Hello everybody and welcome to our next exciting episode of Log Horizon. The show about a bunch of players lifting up their spirits from a failed raid by telling themselves how much time they put in this game and telling those people who said they wasted their time to piss off.
In our last episode, it was a whole lot of talking as William pleaded with his guild, Silver Sword, to continue the fight after suffering a nasty TPK. He relates to them on how much time they spent in this game, how much time they spent raiding, and their overall win/loss record in raids. He pleads with them to not be like those that would only look down on them and to continue the fight, because this is a fight they can win, even if the odds are so stacked against them that they need to roll nothing but criticals to win. Because the computer is a cheating bastard, that's why.
And... well, that's basically it. Essentially it was one long speech to a bunch of players and that was it. Great use of an episode, guys. But still, it worked and Silver Sword is ready to get back in action. A week after the TPK, they're ready to give it another go. Will they succeed or have they finally hit the one impossible task that nobody can complete? Let's tune in and find out.
-Our episode begins with a Pokemon... no, wait, I do have the right series. It's starts with this pokemon looking creature observing the purple armored raid boss, just sitting there, waiting. It then looks over to the gate as we dissolve into the druid controlling the familiar. Then the familiar itself disappears. William asks Azarea, the druid who's name I'll forget after this episode, who it looks. The knight is just hanging around, all by himself. Apparently he's not a popular guy among the other raid bosses. As Shiroe and Naotsugu are playing invisible tic-tack-toe, William gives the order to move out. As for what our two heroes were doing, they were upgrading their equipment.
-Naotsugu loses his bulky armor and shield for something much more streamlined and less bulky. And in RPG mechanics, that means it has better defense and better agility, too! As for Shiroe, he trades his cloak for more of a winter great coat, as well as trading in a new staff. I wonder if they got that crafted or got it from another fight some time ago, during the week we didn't see. With this, the two are ready to go, and this time, Shiroe Maneuver is a go!
-Before the fight begins, William asks if they remember the plan. They confirm, with Tetora telling Naotsugu to be careful out there. He's brimming with confidence, though, and totally has this as he turns to his other tank companions, who nod with him. With that, the plan begins as William gives the order. Naotsugu is the only one sent out as Shiroe provides backup. The Enchanter tells his friend to keep his distance, about twenty meters, and when there, the Guardian casts Castle of Stone. He turns into stone and completely tanks the hit meant for him. William is pleased with the tank and soon the rest spread out. One of the Silver Sword is telling them that the skill the boss used has a ninety second recast time as the count begins elsewhere. While it isn't a lot of time to do much, it is enough to get everybody in position. William, however, believes they can prevail this time, because if the computer is a cheating bastard, then the players know that they need to cheat out the cheater. Or something.
-After the opening title we return to the action, already in progress. Naotsugu is the sole tank in this fight as pretty much every support person is on him. After an attack from the raid boss, Shiroe reports that there's no damage... I'm guessing on the boss? It wasn't made clear. In any case, he calls for another barrier on Naotsugu as Shiroe continues to pass along orders. Make sure to defense yourself if attacked, but don't hit Ruseato unless you're one of the nine designated attackers. Obviously to keep the enemy reinforcements down to a manageable level. And remember to stick to the plan! That goes triple for you, Demicas!
-One of the Silver Sword players notices how much more Shiroe is talking to them than usual. He suspects something changed and notes that stye've been working together a lot better since the TPK. To him, they've become true comrade-in-arms. Except for Demicas, because he's still a jerk, but they make due. Speaking of, Demicas comes in with an attack as the guy says that one cannot work with fellow warriors they hate. Well, while I imagine Shiroe decided to not bother with Demicas, I don't think the same is true for the Monk. He's likely planning his next course of action when the raid is completed. Because he is vindictive like that.
-Tonight's episode is titled Retry. As the battle rages, that guy from before continues, saying the while he admits that Shiroe can be withdrawn and makes things uncomfortable for everyone sometimes. As Shiroe passes along a switch order, another Silver Sword continues, saying that, in the grand scheme of things, the whole uncomfortable thing is a pretty minor problem. A third says that, yeah, they're all gamers with bad social skills, so it comes with the territory. As one of the tanks enables a skill that buffs everybody in the immediate vicinity, the voiceover from the Silver Sword members continues. One admits that he doesn't want to die out, while another says that they're all out here because they chose to. Another says that he's died more times than he cares to count, with another saying that every time, they ended up stuck in that horrible dream. But they noticed something. Not one member of Silver Sword was caught in that dream.
-So clearly this is all a conversation they had before the battle, because it's pretty clear that they're talking to each other. The battle rages as we continue to hear the conversation the Silver Sword has, as the indicating is that nobody in the Silver Sword has any regrets with their fellow guild mates. To them, this is what it means to belong somewhere. Though they wonder, if they can call each other "friends". Still, they want to do this, indicating that they don't care about beating raid bosses anymore. They don't want the glory or the treasure, they just want to win. The words William said has reached them. The time they spent in this game was not a waste, and they're going to prove it. They're going to prove it by fighting in a raid because screw those other guys!
-As one of the Silver Sword goes after one of the cell doors, William calls for a distraction from Shiroe's team. As the Shadow Vanguard drops from Ruseato's body, another group rushes passed the cell gates, planning to cut off one of the other raid bosses. As they run down the long corridor, one of the Silver Sword says that Shiroe's plan is coming together. After all, last time, Ibra Habra and Tartaurga didn't show up until the gates went up. And if the gates are closed, that should mean they aren't able to move. And this will be the same for Ruseato, who's currently getting health back from the Shadow Vanguard. Though that shining red eye of doom may indicate otherwise.
-It appears the group has split. One group is going down the west corridor, leading to Ibra Habra, and they've already confirmed that the goal is just past the holding pen ahead. Though one issue they do have is Ruseato following them through the gate after he wrecks it. And then there's Tartaurga, if he decides to go the long way, could come to aid Ibra Habra, too. Though even if they deal with Ibra Habra, there may be other raid bosses to deal with. Though they'll come to the when it happens, but for now, they like their chances. And it appears that the group is doing some sequence breaking of their own. Because even if the computer cheats, gamers have long since followed the practice of "if one way doesn't work, break the game and do it another way."
-Even Demicas is all for the plan, even though he was very much against this from the last episode. Well, he's here now, no point in whining about it more. He admits that he forgot about just being a decent person, because he thought that, since he got stuck in the game, he could do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. He thought he could make anything go his way, but he got sent to the Cathedral for his trouble. As we see him being revived after his fight with Nyan-ta, he wrecks the place, but admits that things don't go to plan, whether in the game or in the real world. This was a lesson he had to learn the hard way. And just when he thought he got everything figured out, Elder Tales through another curve at him. He was always terrible at those kinds of pitches.
-A person called Upashi calls him a slob. We see a lady picking things up as Demicas demands her to repeat herself. She says that if he's going to just stand there, he'll be in the way. Pissed, Demicas calls her an NPC, and as he's about to throw a punch, he stops as he gets a good look at her. She asks if he wants this house cleaned up or not? Otherwise, why is he keeping her here? She tells him to either release her, kill her, or move it. Damn, I like this girl. So I suspect this is Demicas' wife? I had a feeling that she'd be a looker, but I was expecting her to be stronger than she looked. Instead, she basically overpowers Demicas by sheer personality. I guess he was hoping for a more demure personality from his housekeeper.
-Still, this was another plan that went wrong for the Monk. So much for being master of the house. And then we have his loss to Silver Sword, which tore his guild apart. Then we have the raid bosses, who got Demicas, and the speech William gave showed that the Monk was lacking as a guild master. His super pissed off. Though I hope we get more scenes with Upashi in there. Those would be some interesting scenes.
-Back to the action. Our team has made it to the Cavern inside the Abyssal Shaft. Tetora calls for Shiroe's attention and directs him to something behind Ibra Habra. It's the target for the end of the raid. Without missing a beat, Naotsugu jumps down and draws the attention of Ibra Habra as the battle begins. Or continues from the previous fight. It's just that they've decided to break the sequence here. William orders his group to concentrate healing on the main tank. Meanwhile, they attack with elemental ice, water, and wind attacks since fire attacks are probably not going to work on a fire breathing lizard. Though the plan doesn't appear to be to beat the boss, just distract it enough to get a clear shot at the corridor. Shiroe tells Naotsugu to get the raid boss from the southwest wall, with Naotsugu activating Fortress Stance. He plans to test out his new equipment by taking the head of the snake, but first, he needs to get hit by a flame attack first. Look, we know Naotsugu thinks he's hot stuff, but don't help him out by actually raising the temperature around him.
-Anyway, Naotusug explains that Fortress Stance is great for his defense, but wrecks havoc with his mobility and accuracy. As he attacks, Demicas comes in, taking a couple of shots at Ibra Habra. The Monk is done with all the humiliation he's suffered, but once again, Shiroe is supporting him by giving him a boost to his attack power. Suddenly, Ibra Habra has flames coming out from all over it's body, forcing Shiroe to order everybody to take cover, with William ordering everybody to scatter. Suddenly, the room is engulfed with fire, but despite a bunch of players taking hits, nobody seems to be taking damage. Tetora likens it to a sauna as William explains what happened. Somebody is using a skill called Cover, which takes damage for nearby team members. And wouldn't you know it, Demicas was the one who used the skill. Though that means he's taking all the damage, so maybe he can use a little healing, please?
-Naotsugu takes over narration duties, saying that Monks have a higher resistance to elemental attacks, as well as having higher overall hit points. If he keeps splitting the damage with Demicas, they won't need to swap out of the front line, allowing him to attack with impunity. William passes along more orders to hit Ibra Habra's left flank. The second head fires off... uh, electric arrows? But they're targeting Naotsugu, which is just as planned. Tetora, who runs with him, notes how hyped up he is, but the Guardian is only just getting started. She smiles, even though she doesn't have any chance of hooking him. Sorry, but even your talents as a Pop Idol Magical Girl have limits.
-Speaking of, Tetora gets into her Pop Idol Magical Girl routine, using her skill called Aurora Heal. No, really, she spends a few seconds just spinning around in a circle before casting the spell. Is this something she needs to do because of her subclass? Luckily, the spell came at the right time. As Tetora rides her mount, Naotsugu comments on how they all seem perked up. Why, what else would you expect for the Gorgeous Sparkly Angel? Her words, not mine. Though the two person show draws laughs from the Silver Sword, but Tetora wants Naotsugu to be honest. Have you fallen for her yet? Nope, he's still got his eyes on Maryelle, though that apparently won't stop the Pop Idol Magical Girl from trying. And she just remembered that there was something she wanted to tell him. Uh, maybe later? They're kind of in the middle of a battle while also running from two other raid bosses that may appear any moment. Can it wait? But don't worry, this will be fast. Tetora is going to join Log Horizon. What does Naotsugu think of that? Sounds like you may have a stalker there, Naotsugu.
-When the Guardian asks why Tetora would do that, it's because she can't keep herself away from him. Oh, Maryelle is not going to like the sudden appearance of her own rival. And unlike Akatsuki's "rivalry" with Minor, this one seems very real. In any case, Tetora already got permission from Shiroe, and as she does her booty dance, Naotsugu promises vengeance on Shiroe.
-While this comedy act has been going on, Ibra Habra prepares another room engulfing fire attack. More fire resistance, please, while everybody get working on healing. However, it appears they've run out of time as Tartaurga has arrived. And what a time to have our eyecatch, too, as everybody gets turned into Chibis here. We have Shiroe, Demicas, and William representing the players while Tartaurga, Ruseato, and Ibra Habra represent the raid monsters. Yay for cute!
-When we return, Tartaurga makes his approach to the battle to aid Ibra Habra. But they prepared for this as they split up some of the forces to engage the hulking viking monster. They pull the same trick with Castle of Stone, tanking Tartaurga's initial attack. Shiroe, however, thinks they have a problem. They can't really expect to beat both of them at once. This leads to a flashback from before the second raid attempt, because now is as good a time as any for that!
-William asks Shiroe about his fifteen percent chance estimate. And this is where we get to hear of the plan. Shiroe explains that, if the three raid bosses join up once more, they won't stand a chance. So what would happen if they took one of the raid bosses out of the picture? This is drawing some confusion from Silver Sword, but some figure it out. If they can prevent the bosses from overlapping their attack fields, they may stand a chance. So the suggestion is to go after Ibra Habra. The cavern is going to be tight, so Shiroe tells them to watch themselves. And they will need to keep the bosses apart, so he'll have Naotsugu draw Ibra Habra to the southwestern wall while Dinkuron, a Silver Sword tank, will keep Tartaurga at the entrance of the northeastern corridor. Now, whatever they do, don't get complacent about staying in one place. Make sure to always move, but watch your step. It may get a little hole-y there as the battle rages on.
-As for the two tanks, they'll need two healers each, whose sole job will be to keep their hit points up. The rest of the healers will be redeployed to help everybody else. As the plan is going on we're seeing the battle take place as people move about, including two moving from the Ibra Habra battle to the Tartaurga battle. Spacing will be important. You can't have them too close or you're getting hit on all sides, but too far and you lose support from the rest of the party. As for everybody in the rear, they'll need to watch how the raid bosses move so they can adjust their interval spacing. Since they're choosing to face two raid bosses at once, they'll be walking a tightrope, though William says it's a string. It'll be a tough battle, which William likes. Fifteen percent? Please, that'll be a cakewalk.
-Back to the battle, we see Tartaurga using an ice attack as orders are being passed out. We get a wide shot of the battle, showing off the elemental attacks from the two raid bosses. Shiroe needs more healing out of Tetora but she's giving all she's got. So he'll use a skill to help, which Tetora calls cute. It's a skill called Force Step, and suddenly, Tetora is glowing. She comments that she looks like a starlet now. As for the skill, it reduces a player's recast by nearly half for a full minute. This increases a magic use's casting options. Aurora heal, which usually has a recast time of six hundred seconds, is cut down to four hundred and eighty seconds. And in a fight like this, two minutes is a world of difference. Speaking of, Shiroe casts another spell, Mana Channeling. We remember this spell from last season, which redistributes the mana of his party around, so this way, Tetora gets more magic to use for her healing spells. With the help, she blows him a kiss and moves back into battle. Akatsuki would begin murdering if she became a rival for her.
-After the spell, Shiroe gets a headache as he's called over by another player. This Adventurer casts a spell called Sequoia of Life. It's a summoning spell used by druids. Any party member touched by by the glow of the tree gets partial healing. And at this stage, they all need the hit points they can get. The tree gives ten players up to thirty percent of their health back. Which is useful in extended battles like this. So go on, hug that tree, guys!
-Shiroe's next spell is Karma Drive. It's a spell he uses on Ibra Habra, which does... something. What, no voice over? After that, he takes a look at everybody's stats. He explains that Ibra Habra can cast that massive fire spell once every three minutes. Knowing that, he'll have to have Voinen, the druid who created the tree, cast Marsh Rain and Life rust at the same time to ward it off. This should increase Ibra Habra's recast time to six minutes. This will also give Naotsugu a chance to recast Castle of Stone so he can stay on the front line and keep doing damage to the lizard from hell. And in those nine minutes, Tetora will be able to recast Aurora Heal and get everyone's hit points back up.
-As for Karma Drive, it allows everyone who deals a critical hit on Ibra Habra to regain some of their magic points back. Though now you're factoring in luck a little bit to get those critical hits, so I imagine those with a high crit rate go on the offensive. As Shiroe observes the battle, he notes that, if they stick to the plan, and if there are no more surprises, they can finish Ibra Habra off in just under twelve minutes. And with him done they can focus on pressing the attack on Tartaurga. Of course, hoping for no surprises means that the universe is going to throw a massive curve ball your way, just because it's a dick about these things.
-Confident in their win, Shiroe tells them to press the attack and they can get Ibra Habra dead in twelve minutes. William gives a moral boost to his raiders. If Shiroe says they can win, then dammit, they will win! Of course, as predicted, the universe needed to screw around with them as massive numbers of the Shadow Vanguard appear. Shiroe notes that there are as many Shadow Vanguards as there are players who deal damage to Ruseato early on, and perhaps these are some they didn't get earlier. Though that doesn't make sense, since he's certain they took care of them as they fought their way here. And even if Ruseato switches back to Black Knight form, there's nobody there to hurt him. Which leads Shiroe to think of the only thing that is plausible. Ruseato is attacking himself. Stupid cheating computer!
-With this in mind, Shiroe has no idea how often Ruseato can do that? In his mind, he suspects the Shadow Vanguard attack the Black Knight mode to create more, using up all of his health and then create more. He tries to figure out what kind of number they'll be facing. Thirty one is the maximum they can fight to give them a fighting chance, and they're ten minutes away from defeating Ibra Habra. He calls to the front line, trying to think who he can use to lead the Shadow Vanguard away. He asks somebody to kite the vanguard, so Junzo, a member of the Silver Sword, takes the task. Or he would, except Demicas decides he wants to do it instead. This catches everybody by surprise, though Tetora calls him the coolest. Just don't try to steal him from his wife. I imagine she wouldn't like that at all.
-So Demicas leads the Vanguard away, but during his charge, grabs on to Shiroe and takes the Enchanter with him. As they run, Shiroe wonders if this is why Demicas is going to get back to him, by sabotaging the raid. Though he does see the vanguard following, leading Shiroe to understand what he's doing. He then fires off some attacks on the vanguard, thinking that if he uses himself like a cannon, it'll help them keep the vanguard distracted and away from the rest of the Adventures. He tells Demicas to take them to the corridor near Tartaurga, which he does, though the Monk complains, because he doesn't like getting orders, especially from Shiroe.
-As they make the leap to Tartaurga, Shiroe notes the spell the raid boss is using. The boss is going to freeze them, except Demicas has resistance. As the boss attacks them, smoke and dust fly up, allowing Demicas to run along the club, straight for the head. Meanwhile, William is asking Shiroe what he needs, and we recap to the stinger from way back in episode one, with the Enchanter calling for help. William seems to understand this as the two continue to run into the corridor behind Tartaurga, with everybody cheering them on. It's like a race, but the prize is your life.
-Inside of the corridor, Shiroe continues to act like a cannon for Demicas, taking out and binding up the Vanguard, and comments that this part of the plan seems to be working, though it isn't entirely his idea to go through it. Still, he doesn't know what Demicas is up to, which worries him. He recalls their first meeting and how he didn't like him. He suspects that Demicas acting like a jerk was his way of coping, though I suspect that he was always a jerk, but just got worse when he was trapped. Still, he couldn't allow Demicas to have free reign in Susukino like that, as well as who knows what he had in mind for Serara.
-Back in the present, Shiroe notes that there are no more Vanguard behind them and tells Demicas to slow down. They need to let the monsters catch up to them. But it doesn't look like the Monk is slowing down at all. He pleads his case, saying that if they allow the Vanguard to return to the cave, then all this running would be for nothing. But still, the Monk continues. When Shiroe asks what he's doing, Demicas throws him a short distance from him, then stares down at the Enchanter with a menacing, serious glance. He then tells the Enchanter that he will call him by his name.
-Shiroe stands up and the two have a stare down, but Shiroe notices something in Demicas' look. It isn't filled with bitter rage or uncontrolled madness. While I hesitate to say it, his look is more stern, expecting even. Almost soft, but you'd never hear me say it to his face. Shiroe sees this and decides to be serious, as well, calling the Monk by his name. And since we're airing things out, Shiroe decides to call him out on his jerkish attitude. Demicas returns the feelings towards Shiroe. Just then, the Monk pushes Shiroe down this ramp towards a set of doors that looks familiar to me. Before Shiroe has a chance to say anything, Demicas throws him his staff and says that if he wants to die so badly, then do it on the other side. But for Demicas? He doesn't plan to die here. He has other plans, like a loving wife waiting for him back home. And with that, he's off, the vanguard close in pursuit, but ignoring Shiroe because who cares about a scrawny Enchanter, right?
-Shiroe is confused by Demicas' words, but turns to see the door in front of him. Looks like the Monk took him to the innermost chamber in the Abyssal Shaft. Shiroe is impressed and has a newfound respect for the Monk. But only a little bit. Just then, the doors open and he is blinded by a golden light. Inside, it's raining gold! Indeed, Shiroe has finally made it. This is where the money goes when it's spent in the NPC markets. There, Kinjo welcomes him, though he does so only out of courtesy. Also, he's standing in front of this unusual creature that looks more machine than monster. Of course there would be a guardian protecting the vault, why wouldn't there be? As the two stare down wordlessly, the tension builds until... cue credits!
-In our next episode preview, Akatsuki says that, upon reaching the innermost chamber of the Abyssal Shaft, there is a slumbering river of gold. The final raid boss, Ullr of the Ninth Garden, lies in wait along with Kinjo of the Kunie Tribe. Shiroe tells him his true intentions, but what could they be? All this and more in our next episode, Kunie's Gold. Stand up, one more time, even if the person you need to stand up to is a hulking giant of a man who could crush you with his fingers.
Looks like we're approaching our end, but man, was there some sequence breaking here or what? Though this is atypical gamer behavior. If there is a sequence to break, then gamers will find a way to break it. It's what we do. Though Shiroe does come up with a good plan, he is taking away from the field of battle from Demicas, who appears to have a change of heart with his own plans for revenge. Though it doesn't look like the Enchanter is in any better spot as he may face off against the final raid boss by himself, which is pretty much suicide, no matter how powerful or smart you are.
With that said, while I can understand trying to give the Silver Sword some characterization, it just seemed to cause the episode to drag on a bit. Especially when it's likely we won't see these people again after this arc. I can understand character development for William and Demicas, as they're important here, but I just don't feel that way with the rest.
Though I do honestly want to see more scenes of Demicas and Upashi. For me, that's just begging for more backstory there, so I hope we see more of them later on, living out their little happy married life.
It appears that this arc is coming to a close in our next episode. What is Shiroe's true intentions, and how will Kinjo react to them? Will the Enchanter be forced to fight in a one-on-one fight, or will he be able to find a way out of this impossible battle? And will they be able to prevent Minami from doing a hostile takeover of their city? Tune in on Sunday to find out.
Until next time, remember, when entering a room that is filled with nothing but gold, make sure to bring some sunglasses. Or else all that shiny coin is going to end up blinding you.