Log Horizon Episode 16 Notes – Risk Aversion, Memory Loss, and Forgetting the Law of the Land

(Note: Episodic notes are still mostly to be found on the Episodics Notes’ page, but 0-2 episodes per week will have their write-up appear on the main page, when I think they warrant it. For those who don’t know, I take the notes as I watch the episode, and merely re-order them afterwards.)

Log Horizon Episode 16 anime

As I said last week, this situation is more than it seems, it is the demi-humans showing initiative, the world enforcing change without a GM-originated “quest”, and most importantly, it’ll force Shiroe’s new knowledge out into the open, as the adventurers can’t simply be the shield of the People of the Land. Oh yes, we also have the kids ;)

Thoughts and Notes:

1) The Rules of the World:

1) “We only need to hold out until the kids reach the safe zone.” – Assuming concerns such as “Safe zones” still hold true, which is quite an assumption in our post-Apocalyptical setting. Who knows what rules still hold true? Also, it shows what I touched upon earlier, it’s not that they’re being noble and sacrificing themselves, it’s just that the sacrifice isn’t considered that significant. Also, they are probably looking to escape after a while.

2) Yes, awesome. This is a world they all know intimately, they know all the rules, all the quests, all the by-laws of the old game, right? But now that they live in it, it’s a completely new ball-game. Even this, unlike the whole memory issue – it’s as if you find yourself on a new planet where you don’t know the rules, anger people and get smacked. Here, they did know the rules, but it slipped their mind. No one has wikis to rely on here, no one was in the old mindset, of “most efficient farming” methods, and “keeping the enemies weak” – and that was indeed one of Shiroe’s goals in forming The Round Table – to get people active and efficient once more.

Still, this is brilliant, how we’ve had the game we’ve always had, but now that it’s reality, and now that they’ve been too busy focusing on things they didn’t have to up until now, the “game things” they forgot come back to bite them, and it’s not a simple issue of losing some time with your character, or losing some gold – societies, lives, their lives, are at stake here. They’re going to have to up their game.

2) Remembering Which Memories You’ve Lot is Hard:

“It’s hard to say exactly which memories are missing.” – Not surprising, they’re missing. But considering how we can artificially create memories, if you know which memories are missing, you could perhaps recreate them, somewhat.

Well, the cat’s out of the bag. Let’s see how they react to it. The biggest issue is they can’t experiment to find out the rate of lost memories, or which memories are lost. Two big problems – The first is obviously ethical, who will you subject to this? Would you even accept volunteers? The second is what I discussed in the above paragraph – unless someone tells their whole life’s story, and then again after each death, you can’t truly compare, and should you read them their life’s story and ask what they don’t remember, then their memories could convince them they remember these missing events.

3) Risk-Taking Adventurers!:

1) “Failing to act for the risk of failure is no different than a living death.” – A very common message, those who do nothing for fear of failure, in a certain way they’ve already failed, having done nothing. But for leaders, it’s not so simple, and that line can be atrocious. Do nothing and lose nothing while gaining nothing – it’s not the same issue as not asking someone out for fear of being turned down, and causing the deaths or loss of selves of thousands of people because you didn’t feel like being patient. Cool lines are cool, but it’s important to remember they are just that.

2) And now the same mirrored conversation, but more emotional, amongt the kids – “The risk is too great.” – “How can you call yourself an adventurer if you fear risk?” – Silly Rundel Haus, it’s not about fearing risk or not being afraid of it, these are the words of a rash boy, it’s about weighing the cons and the pros, and deciding the risk isn’t worth it.

“Ostensibly, we have no reason to help them.” – They still think of them as NPCs, they don’t think much of them dying, or at least, not enough to trouble them enough to act without permission. I am not sure I fault them though.

3) “If we run home without helping them, then I don’t know why we became adventurers.” – Several things:

  1. This further cements Rundel as a person of the land, the others didn’t “become” adventurers.
  2. And yet, they did. Why did they choose to enter this game? Why did they make heroes? Because of the wish to be greater, stronger, and help others (or use your power to keep them down).
  3. Helping others is its own reward, ok, but I still don’t think this is the entirety of the situation, and I still won’t fault the older adventurers, who are looking at the big picture (though I’m sure the kids will end up as heroes of the people of the land and force the Eastal Lords’ hands, myself).

Shorter Asides:

  1. “I’ve taken the irregular step of convening a telepathic meeting!” – Shiroe, why so serious? I can’t stop giggling, sorry. Well, he set it up as you would in a military, with relay-officers, it’s an interesting method, with him speaking and people relaying every word he says, and then the relay people relaying them as well farther on, speaking and listening. Sort of like the simultaneous translation one has in the United Nations.
  2. The goblins and the merfolk strike together! There’s a sinister intellect behind all of this, a guiding hand.
  3. “The Knights of Izumo, people of the land even stronger than us adventurers.” – You all know them, the NPCs in towns that smack any opposing race that tries to kill players allied to that city where they should be safe, they’re basically a way for the game’s creators to tell players “You can’t go there” or “Behave” in certain zones.
  4. A lie? A part-truth? Doesn’t matter, we know Lenessa’s father is expecting to die, and is leaving his daughter behind so she will survive. This understated scene was one of farewell.
  5. In a way, this is a dream come true for Tohya. We like feeling strong, powerful, and heroic, so we play such games, because we can’t do these things in real life. Now for Tohya, they are one and the same, and he gets to act out his shounen fantasies.
  6. Yeah… no. Attacking the goblins and “Defending the town” aren’t the same, but they’re equally meaningless with just the kids. Sure, it seems you have the fighters amongst the adults with you now, which could make a difference, but before they arrived this plan was as ridiculous as trying to defend the town.

Sweet, seems the princess will rise up next episode.

Post Episode Notes:

Well, this was a nice episode. No, it’s not the demi-humans showing initative over their programming, but a forgotten “sub-routine”, and yet, it was even better. The players supposedly know the world very well, having done all these quests countless times. Yet, now that it’s a “real world”, they’re like completely new visitors, who have to re-learn everything. Not just that, the price for oversight of unknown or unremembered rules is quite steep.

We also have some ethical discussions, and even more ahead of us, and though they’re trying to paint it as if there’s “one true answer”, I’m actually pleased by how I consider the situation to not be as clear-cut. But then again, it’s still an anime-show, so “cool lines” which make some sense might yet carry the day, but at least other characters remind us it’s not as simple.

Return to the Log Horizon Episodic Notes page.

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2 comments on “Log Horizon Episode 16 Notes – Risk Aversion, Memory Loss, and Forgetting the Law of the Land

  1. ann says:

    Very in depth write-up. Yeah, the whole Return of the Goblin King event was a great idea by the author, all this time they were forming Round Tables and pushing their glasses up, they forgot to farm goblins

    • Guy says:

      The best thing about it is that though technically it’s been brought out of nowhere for us the viewers, it feels organic and makes total sense within the show; so yeah, good job, author!

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