Log Horizon Episode 18 Notes

February 1st, 2014.

Forge Honesty, rather than Weakness, into Your Weapon.

Well, Lenessia is going to meet some people, people who are free to do as they please. So in other words, people of the sort she wishes to be. But now she has to convince them to help her, out of the goodness of their heart, for the sake of her father and her people. Well, let’s see what’s up.

Shorter Asides / Notes:

Log Horizon episode 18 notes anime - No peeking

  1. “Are you afraid?” – “Of course not,” “Well, it was your idea coming here, so it’s only natural.” – He doesn’t need her confirmation or denial. Crusty knows Lennesia.
  2. Yeah, “She smiled!”, “She ate it!” – I can see why Lenessia is so darn tired and cynical all the time. It’s as if she’s an animal in a zoo people come to stare at.
  3. This princess, the event that tops the list of her “sins” is giving a speech dressed like this :P Yeah, she’s a bit vain. Guess living as a noble your whole life does that to you.
  4. “Peek and get sent to the cathedral.” – You know a world is alive and breathing when its humor and insults progress ;-) Makes perfect sense within the show.
  5. I, er, I don’t know how much time passed, but this ship is not what I expected O.O
  6. So we just have the kids go back? We’re not seeing any big fights? Then again, that was the whole point, small skirmishes to sap away the goblins’ strength so the unwalled city would be safe, but still :(

Thoughts and Notes:

1) Captivating the Crowds – On Players and Motivation:

Log Horizon episode 18 notes anime - Princess Lenessia in armor

1) I had the same thought as Lenessia here. As soon as Shiroe began giving out the details, players are already strategizing, and planning. We’ve all watched endless speeches by game companies, and we know to tune out to useless marketing after we get out the important data. Furthermore, it pays to get to the lucrative areas as early as possible, so players are very good at immediately moving to the practical stage, to try and not be outdone by others. No wiki while you’re in the game though, so people have to pool their mental resources, and they had to sharpen their skills anew.

2) Well, dress to impress! MMORPGs sure know how to make good looking clothes, practicality of design aside. But Shiroe had really made things tough, before stepping off, “We don’t really have any reason to help, and with that said, here is someone who would like to speak to you.” – He did say, “If we only care about ourselves”, and he knows players don’t just care about themselves. Shiroe certainly doesn’t, for combating that turn inwardness, and not caring about your fellow players is the reason he started the Round Table in the first place.

3) “I am cowardly and lazy, I cannot do anything, but I am going to fight!” – That just might be the perfect thing to say. The players are players. We all are a bit lazy, most of us do not wish to fight. That’s part of the reason we’re players to begin with. And to let someone who can die go forth while we stay behind? We’re cynical, or at least profess to be, but that does not sit well with the ego of players, does it now? And then she tops it off by giving a whole “damsel in distress” message. A message combining strength and weakness, the goal to be strong even though you are weak.

4) That first cry after the speech is the other big part of it – “I’ve been waiting for a big event like this!” – Why do MMORPGs keep patching new content out, why do they keep releasing expansions? Why do Playstation trophies and Steam achievements work as well as they do? Players need goals, and they want someone else to set them for them. Since the Apocalypse, the people of the land stopped giving players quests. This is a return to normality, a return to the order of things. Even within a game, most quests aren’t “mandatory”, the NPCs ask you to fulfill them. So what if there’s no gold reward here, there’s renown, and we all play games for fun anyway :P

2) Meanwhile, Politics:

Log Horizon episode 18 notes anime Lord Cowen

1) Poor Lord Cowen, such a headache, dealing with nobles who are akin to small children, squabbling over rights. This is exactly the sort of headache Shiroe did not want to get tangled with. Everyone thinks the other might be making a bid for power, and no one thinks about poor Maihama that’s about to get run over.

Good thing Henrietta is here. In case you don’t follow what just happened:

  1. Lord Cowen says he has a problem, that the lords think the Cowen family is trying to make an alliance with Akihabara.
  2. The adventurers say that wasn’t the goal, surely.
  3. The point that it could create a new force to rival the Eastal Leagues, or influence it is made.
  4. Henrietta asks, “So, what do you think? We need to know that before we accept.”

Accept what? You ask, and this is where we see that Lord Cowen is an old hand at this game of subterfuge and diplomacy. He wasn’t just telling them what the other lords feared, he came to see if they would actually be interested in making that fear a reality. He came to them to speak of a hypothetical that wasn’t meant to be, originally, in order to gauge whether they’d like to turn it into reality.

2) Hm, that’s unexpected, after I wrote all the above, he’s just suggesting a non-aggression pact and a peace treaty? Guess he knows they can’t truly force the adventurers to do anything, or best them in combat, and this is his best way of maintaining the current status in his alliance.

3) On Humanity:

Log Horizon episode 18 notes anime Crusty

1) “The more games you’ve played, the harder it is to accept, that NPCs, flags, quests… they’re humans, just like us.” – You all should read the first book in Terry Pratchett’s Johnny Maxwell trilogy (each book stands on its own) – Only You Can Save Mankind. They even renewed it a bit so people who don’t remember old creaky modems and games on floppy disks could follow :P

2) See this? I’ve said it before. People don’t realize how inured we are to violence, how in RPGs, including tabletop ones, any high level character had essentially killed many thousands of humanoids, all because they were “Evil”. We shy away from anything having to do with sex, but this violence is background noise. Didn’t we learn that the demi humans have souls as well? And yet, they’re going to annihilate them. It was hard for Marielle, Naotsogu and the rest to accept the “NPCs” as real people, but it’ll be even harder to accept humanoid monsters as such, because then how can you handle all the many thousands of them you’ve killed?

Next episode’s preview, so we’re going to focus on the kids, and we’re going to focus on Rudy? Man, I can feel something at the corner of my eye already :<

Post Episode Thoughts:

This episode sort of hit me in the feels. I like speeches, I like speeches that feel like they come from the heart (nothing tops the Maoyu speech though, nothing). I too have been a roleplayer for many years, I too played WoW as soon as it hit Europe, back in 2005. I could get these things.

Lenessia is the best non-moeblob moeblob. Crusty is the best non-big brother big brother. This show lives and dies by its cast, much more than the world, it had spent time making us care for the cast, and to let us spend time with them, and now it moves them, and in so doing moves us. I enjoyed the episode, it definitely was a “feel” based episode, one designed to make us go “Yeah!” or even “Cool!” without any action, or real plot progress, and it worked.

But, the inroads made between the nobles and the adventurers, both by Lenessia and her grandfather, they are the plot progression we’ve had this week. The realization by Lord Cowen? That was showing respect to the players – to think that giving them noble titles is respecting them is to say that you have something to offer them, that being a noble is better than what they are. Combined with Lenessia’s realization, “If these are adventurers, then what are nobles?” seeks to say – the adventurers are already much more than the nobles are. They are free, and yet they can speak their mind, and bring forth change. They are not just more powerful, but admirable as people. They are, quite literally, noble.

Return to the Log Horizon Episodic Notes page.

2 comments on “Log Horizon Episode 18 Notes

  1. Wanderer says:

    Note that Shiroe made her eat an hamburger, one that most likely she didn’t know how to eat it, he surely planned from the start that she get dirty her dress, so this way she wouldn’t able to refuse to change her clothes

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