Log Horizon: Game’s End, Part 2

By Mamare Touno and Kazuhiro Hara. Released in Japan by Enterbrain. Released in North America by Yen On.

As I’ve said many times before, Log Horizon has a bit of a fandom war with a similar series, Sword Art Online. It’s something of a one-sided war, given that SAO has about 10 times the number of fans LH does, but being #2, Log Horizon fans try harder. And one thing that comes up in complaining about SAO is how Kirito is the sort of self-insert perfect hero type who always gets all the attention and the girls. This contrasts with Shiroe in Log Horizon… somewhat. Shiroe’s not a front-line combatant, being more of a general and tactician. And there are many girls in the series who seem totally uninterested in him. This is perhaps balanced by the events at the end of this book, in which he reveals that with a properly written contract, he appears to have the power to resurrect the dead and create life. Which is something Kirito could never do. (Isn’t it sad, Sachi?)


Of course, Shiroe’s role in this book is not as big as it has been, mostly as the cast continues to be fleshed out and expanded. On the cover we have Crusty and Reinesia, two similar characters who are able to project a veneer of serenity and competence even though they’d rather be doing something else. And, as we find in this book, both are able to supporess their lazy impulses when the need arises. Reinesia impressed me the most in this entire book, showing off impressive political acumen in cutting through all the red tape and ego tripping of the Council arguments and realizing what had to be done. And then she goes and does it, despite being forced to dress in a revealing Valkyrie costume “for morale reasons” and getting exposed to horrific battles (and, even more terrifying, Crusty loving those battles). I really hope to see more of her soon.

Meanwhile, we discover the terrible secret of Rundelhaus, though admittedly we don’t get the extensive background story I was expecting. He’s an NPC who desperately wants to be a hero, and has tried even harder than the others, despite the fact that the game itself won’t let him level up as much. So, naturally, he’s killed in combat, which leads to Shiroe doing what I said he did in the first paragraph. I had sort of hoped that this would lead to Isuzu finally treating him like a man instead of a big dog, but to no avail. Actually, shippers will be happy-yet-left-wanting with the ending, in which no less than four ships get teases but that’s about it. Also, I am amused that it became so obvious Akatsuki had done next to nothing since the first book that she actually whines about it here.

Log Horizon continues to do a very good job of building a world logically based on “what if we were trapped in a game” mechanics, with the plot of these two books being particularly clever, as it relies on the adventurers not doing something due to the crisis, and the consequences being horrible. I do wonder if we’ll ever see the original core trio battling together again, though. Perhaps next time.

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