Sometimes you just have to take a chance on a new show. When I read the premise behind this one I thought to myself “Oh look! Another .hack rip-off.” I mean, let’s face it: Sword Art Online was infinitely better than that show, but it was far from original. That said, I sat through the rather awful theme song and watched the first episode. Surprisingly, it was anything but terrible. The only problem with Log Horizon was the lack of a distinguishable plot. For the first few episodes the show was just kind of, there. The possible reason for this is that there seems to be a decent amount of reading material (from light novel to manga) that the show is based upon. This is possibly going to be one of the longer anime since they take several episodes to flesh a story arc out.
The show is about a game called Elder Tale, a worldwide MMORPG that has over thirty thousand players logged on in Japan alone when what players call “he Apocalypse” occurs. At midnight, Elder Tale’s twelfth expansion was applied, titled Novasphere Pioneers. At that moment, the thirty thousand Japanese players logged on and over seven hundred thousand logged on worldwide found themselves bewildered and trapped within the game world. No explanation thus far has been given as to why this has happened or whether there is any way to escape the game world. The only thing that has been made clear is that death is not an escape. Whether killed in battle by monsters or other players, characters revive in the cathedral of the city they last visited. That fact becomes a vital point of the first story arc as main character Shiroe and his friends try to rescue someone from a far off land. The in game world is roughly half the size of Earth, so imagine trying to travel from Tokyo to Sapporo (>250 mi) on foot, while having to fight monsters. After their first adventure in this new world, Shiroe sees that much is wrong with the way things are going and decides to essentially “fix” Elder Tale. To do this, he will do what he has always refused to – form a guild. Log Horizon is born and the real story begins.
Just because a show is completely unoriginal, it does not mean that it cannot be good. Anyone who has seen the earlier anime I mentioned will feel the same way checking out Log Horizon, that it is copying other stories. Even still, I feel that people should give this one a chance. The characters are extremely likeable and the story finally seems to have a direction after episode six. Prior to that, I found myself engaged just wanting to find out how Shiroe, Akatsuki and Naotsugu would overcome insurmountable odds. I do not want to give too much away, but the trio is pretty badass and it is all because of Shiroe’s ability as a strategist. What separates Log Horizon from SAO, for example, is that the main character is not the end all, be all. Shiroe is NOT Kirito and you will not see him taking on colossal monsters by himself. He relies upon the abilities of his allies for survival. His character class in the game pretty much demands such. If you liked Sword Art Online, you will most definitely like this show and the story will hopefully surpass SAO with future episodes. Log horizon should not be passed on.