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LOG HORIZON #1 -- Special Review

Between this and SWORD ART ONLINE, anime has your MMORPG fix covered. But which show is better?

What kind of a title is LOG HORIZON? I mean, really? I'll do you the courtesy of not describing what it makes me think of, but it's certainly not something you want associated with your show. But does that same crappy imagery extend to the show itself? Is it possible for the show's quality to wipe it away?

The other thing that LOG HORIZON does is invite comparisons to SWORD ART ONLINE, the other show from this fall in which nerds get trapped in a real-world version of the MMORPG they play. And that, unfortunately, is where LOG HORIZON bottoms out.

I appreciate that we're plopped right into the middle of the action in LH, and the fact that they really push out the exposition, but everything about the show is just a watery, less substantial version of SAO. The world is less interesting, dialogue is flat, and even the colors are less vibrant (less lush greens and more earthen browns).

The show doesn't have characters so much as it has, well, logs--lumps carved to seem like people. They matter of factly discuss the differences between their new world and their old one as if this was something that occurred with regularity. Yes, they hint at development buried deep in the bowels of the show's future, but most of this first episode is about characters making superficial judgements about each other. This does not bode well for the show's originality, as these are all archetypes we've seen pass through these same movements over and over again.

Would I recommend SWORD ART ONLINE over LOG HORIZON? Depends. If you found SAO lacking in action or too slow you may prefer LH, but SAO's first ep established a deeper world with greater depths to swim in. As for myself, I place LOG HORIZON as a firm number two to SWORD ART.

You can watch LOG HORIZON's first episode, entitled "The Apocolypse," here and decide for yourself!

Matt Murphy is a freelance nerd who has contributed to many nerd websites. You can reach him by going to where the light meets the shadow, by sending out zeta-brainwaves or by following him on Twitter @Murphix.

Marshal Victoryon Dec. 31, 2013 at 10:13 a.m.

Wow i could not disagree more.With title question to the review.

1st let me help flush what you "think" log means.In mmorpg game terms it means to leave the game.Short for Log out.

2nd Which is better Star Wars or Star Treck?The title question is asking which is better in the same gene or theme.Sure thats all fine but their difrent stories told in much difrent ways.There is no have to be better.Each can be liked for difrent reasons.An your makng a pick which is better off of one episode?An its "about characters making superficial judgements"?Ohh really?

3rd Log Horizon goes into game mechinics much deeper than SAO.If you just go by the first 12 episodes then more still.An its actualy less action based than SAO.But its writer is behind Maoyu so if you liked it you should like Log Horizon.Hes also a mmorpg player From Everquest to some newer games .

Log Horizon suffers from a art style that doesnt fit the story.It has a larger cast than SAO an in some respects does suffer for it.But its characters never came off watered down at all.They are not the same characters that was in SAO .Log Horizon is not perfect by any means.That said its not what was reviewed here.

zaldaron Dec. 31, 2013 at 7:11 p.m.

Heh....well as I thought Sword Art Online was silly poorly done, and a waaay overdone premise I doubt I will like this at all. Log Horizon doesn't make the connection to logging out really clear enough even after knowing what the show is about. Though I play mmorpgs enough to be able to say "I'm going to log" it wasn't what I thought of either (I am curious what you thought about actually) the use of Horizon, which I suppose is supposed to reference that logging is impossible much like being unable to get past an event Horizon?, is not clear enough as people don't use horizon in that way often at all. To clever by half titles can be a problem.

How exactly is getting further into game mechanics a good thing? Nothing is more boring to me in shonnen than people spending an episode explaining their powers, or mmorpgs people talking about mechanics (this is probably why I find "soft" science fiction much better than "hard").

Finally, StarTrek is by faaar better than StarWars as it does a MUCH better job at not being polar, understanding that black and white in the real world do not exist and actually saying something about the human condition rather than being a simple adventure show (all of this ignores the most recent movies which destroy all of this and turn it into a simple adventure show which is why I despise them).

Marshal Victoryon Dec. 31, 2013 at 8:19 p.m.

@zaldar: The Star Treck Star Wars anology is basicly they just share space as the gene background them. Both have difrent plots an subplots.Its phasers an light sabers.Not the same thing.

You pick which you like over the other true enuff.But its not a equal comparison.Dont think you made your desion on which is better on the two by watching all of the Star Treck moves an tv shows then watching one Star Wars movie either.

Log Horizon an SAO are two difrent things. They share the traped in a mmorpg gene.The plots an story elemtens an characters are difrent.One is more centered on one character with romatic love story in the adventure drama.As people die in the game they die in real life.The other is action adventure comedy with more focus on groups of characters.With no real life death if you die in the game.

Oh about the game mechinics thing Log Horizon its not shonen.SAO could qualify as shonen tho.Mostly because of the leveling up to beat bosses etc.None of that shonen like dynamic is in Log Horizon . It deals with game mechinics better ( as in user interface an explantion of classes in a timely maner ) but does not focus on one guys joruney to get stronger.

Also i picked up Y's 1 an 2 for dirt cheep on steam hope ya keeping eye on the sales :)

takashichea moderator on Jan. 1, 2014 at 7:22 p.m.

@Marshal Victory:

Agree with you there on Sword Art Online and Log Horizon points. I probably repeating the same thing.

  • Since Log Horizon is written by the same author who did Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, there are strong emphasis on the economics and game mechanics.
  • Sword Art Online stresses more on the animation and fight scenes's fluidity.
  • SAO's romance works faster than Log Horizon, but I feel SAO's romance is superficial and shallow because they didn't take their time.
  • For those who love harem themed shows, they probably like SAO more.
  • For those love actions, go with SAO. For those who dig a slower paced and slice of life esque show, go with Log Horizon.
zaldaron Jan. 1, 2014 at 8:31 p.m.

@Marshal Victory: Different yes but like all anime can be compared, contrasted, and judged...hence the idea of reviews in the first place. And yes I have seen all the Star Wars Movies and all the original star trek shows as well as all of TNG, Deep Space Nine, and even Voyager and Enterprise. So I do have a very good basis for comparison on those...

Marshal Victoryon Jan. 2, 2014 at 3:55 a.m.

@zaldar: Ya i didnt think you would judge a whole series on one epsode .A fair review is a fine thing.

Now i have watched all of SAO an the special.Odds are will own it some time this year.I have seen all of Log Horizon thats out atm 13 episodes it still have 12 more to go.No way could i say one is better than the other .

Log Horizon is not done .It could flub things in its second half .It could end up being a great series.I do know its good enuff for me to watch now.It does not have the same story or characters as SAO.It only shares the traped mmorpg theme.An even then they are diffrent.One can compair how diffrent they are true.But then your reveiwing two shows.

Can not claim ill even like the next 12 episode .But i know when you judge something by contrast ,the contrast better be acurate.Otherwise your useing one series to bash the other.As well as not viewing it on its own.An as it stands now series are judged by 1 episode an compaired to a completed series.

When my friends talked of Star Treck an Star Wars never was either used to review the other.Because they are difrent stories.They share the space opera gene tho, true enuff.Your own opion is they are two very difrent stories.The header for this was "Between this and Sword Art Online ,anime has your MMORPG fix covered.But which show is better?" Off of 1 episode this can be determend? Opinions vary an all but i disagree.

Also as a side note Star Wars did have shades of grey .Han Solo would be a good example.But Lucas likes to edit out grey an fun.

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