Log Horizon tells the story of an MMORPG called Elder Tale, which unsurprisingly seems to be the anime’s take on World of Warcraft. It has millions of fans worldwide and eleven expansion packs under it’s belt. As the twelfth expansion Novasphere Pioneers goes live the thirty thousand Japanese gamers who where logged in find themselves transported to the in game half-scale replica of earth represented in Elder Tale.
We follow Shiroe “the strategist” who plays an Enchanter and Scribe who cast spells and draws maps. His best friend Naotsugu the “open pervert” is the Guardian class who acts like a heavily armored paladin tank. Last is the Assassin Akatsuki, who is SPOILER a girl who used a male avitar. Unfortunately for Akatsuki, the large male body is very hard to maneuver for someone used to living in a small feminine body. Thanks to a potion from Shiroe, she gains a more natural, lady-like form and vows to follow her new “master” in payment for his aid.
My first thoughts upon hearing that it took place in an MMORPG world was to draw the obvious comparisons to Sword Art Online and .hack. Surprisingly, the show does a good job of finding it’s feet and feeling unique. Most importantly, it drops the “Die in game, die in real life” trope that I’m sure we’ve all seen everywhere. So if you can just respawn at the chapel and the food all tastes like unsalted crackers… what do you do? Some turn to PVP and are pretty much regarded as douchebags. Others band together and try to find some meaning in this strange new life.
So far I enjoy it far more than SAO and recommend it to any fans of Anime and/or video games. Definitely one to keep your eye on as the season progresses.