Anime Review: Log Horizon

Log Horizon
Directed by Shinji Ishihara
Written by Syouji Masuda
Character Design by Mariko Ito
Voice cast: Emiri Kato, Takuma Terashima, Tomoaki Maeno, Ayahi Takagaki, Daiki Yamashita, Eriko Matsui, Jouji Nakata, Kanami Takahashi, Misaki Kuno, Nao Tamura, Ryota Ohsaka, Shohei Kajikawa, Sora Amamiya, Taishi Murata, Takahiro Sakurai, Tetsuya Kaikihara, Yumi Hara.
Air Dates: Saturdays, 6:30 a.m. CDT.
Currently Simulcasting on Crunchyroll

At first glance, NHK’s production of Log Horizon is reminiscent of many anime series in the fantasy/RPG genre. Sword Art Online and .Hack both come to mind. Nevertheless, this series has its own strengths that allow it to stand on its own, including character development and story details that don’t distract from the plot and wonderful character designs and fight sequences.

Simulcasting on Saturday mornings on Crunchyroll, Log Horizon is based on a series of novels by author Mamare Touno. Besides the anime adaptation, there have been four manga adaptations of the original novel series as well. The anime centers around three main characters, Shiroe, Naotsugu, and Akatsuki, who are among some 30,000 players in Japan – and several hundred thousand worldwide – trapped in the world of “Elder Tale,” a long-running MMORPG that, for some unexplained reason, has trapped everyone within it. At this point, I must mention that I love the setting for this series. The action all takes place on the actual islands of Japan and in real places like Akihabara and Susukino, but in “Elder Tale,” they are set in a kind of post-apocalyptic, sword-and-sorcery environment.

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