Log Horizon Episode 20 Notes

February 15th, 2014.

Altering the Law of the Land

Oh man, just thinking about last episode gets you in the feels. Rudy sacrificed himself, not just for others, but for the sake of his ideal, for the sake of what he wanted to be, an adventurer. But not being an adventurer, his life had been lost. The kids are helpless and called forth to Shiroe, and the episode name of “contract” and how the message changed to “We shall change the world”, along with the fact Shiroe is referred to as an Archmage by NPCs makes me wonder what is going to happen.

Tears and world-altering actions and revelations, let’s go.

Thoughts and Notes:

1) Wishes and Hopes:

Log Horizon episode 20 notes anime - Shiroe and the leader of Debauchery Tea Party

1) ;_; I might need a moment here. You know, Shiroe is so irresponsible, shirking his duties to help his friend, but still. Just throwing it out there as we use the OP to recover a bit.

2) This is interesting, “In this irrational world there aren’t many things I can do,” calling it irrational seems to suggest it has no rules, in which case you can do anything. I think he means it’s arbitrary rules, which stop him from doing anything. Rules without rhyme or reason. I don’t think this is a world without rhyme or reason, even if it’s arbitrary. The whole part about losing XP and thus memories, or the Return of the Goblin King event? They’re completely arbitrary, but they make perfect sense. I think a perfect translation would’ve been “In this unreasonable world,” a statement with a normative and value-judgment level.

3) I’m quite miffed the leader of the Debauchery Tea Party isn’t here, and yet, she still has quite an effect on Shiroe. Shiroe isn’t one to set goals, he’s one to find solutions when others tell him what it is they wish for. Shiroe is a genie. Well, Minori had made her wish known.

2) Changing the World:

Log Horizon episode 20 notes anime - Isuzu and Rundell House

1) Interesting. Shiroe moved MP between players. MP is the psyche. Does this mean that Shiroe had given some of his psyche, some of his mind to the other players? I think not, because players use their MP all the time. I think it’s more “energy”, and of course being drained of energy isn’t easy. The split between XP as “personality/experience” and “MP” as “mental energy” is a bit arbitrary and funky, because when your psyche goes away, so does your MP, but players can end with 0 MP without losing their mind / becoming unresponsive. Well, it’s hard to convert a person to such states.

2) You know what Shiroe’s contract sounds to me like? Like the Terms of Service one signs when one joins a game. This is indeed the same contract all the players signed, that allowed them to become adventurer. As for magic, western magic in the form of Hermetic Magic is what most RPGs are based on, where words call upon change in the world. This contract defines Rundell House as a Capital-A-Adventurer, so for him to sign it, and as a result of him signing it, the world will have to be altered. Naturally, just calling someone an Adventurer isn’t enough, you need magic to make the symbolic act change the true nature of things. The form of a contract is actually brilliant, because Shiroe and everyone else are only adventurers due to such a contract as well.

The contract is a piece of sympathetic magic, so to speak, they sign a contract in-game, and liken it to the out-of-game contract, and thus shift Rundell’s status, his form of being. If they truly are in a game, then this creates Rundell as a player, and if it’d truly been a game, with them having bodies outside the system, then Shiroe’s actions, if magic truly can cross the boundary, will also result in creating a real world Rundell House to mirror the in-game one. Magic in this case takes the symbol and makes it into reality, by making a symbol out of what is already real (I strongly suggest people read Making Money by Terry Pratchett. In some ways, this is all what money is – you shift the symbol (money, most of which doesn’t physically exist), and the world moves).

3) Interesting. Rudy doesn’t want glory, he wants to be an adventurer. I guess it’s all about starting positions. The players start by being adventurers, so we ask why. Rudy isn’t even one, so his goal isn’t what comes out of being an adventurer, but simply being one. One step at a time. Then again, don’t we sometimes just marvel at being not-ourselves, at seeing fantastical vistas? All these things we include within being players of video games, or when we visit a world via an anime series or a good book? :3

This image fits, looks quite like many shots in movies where people enter books / video games. This is the look of a window opening into the world of magic and adventure.

3) The Terrible Adventurers:

Log Horizon episode 20 notes anime - Shiroe and the young members of Log Horizon

1) Sharp teeth, crazy eyes, “Let’s murder them all,” – Crusty-san, how will you win over the princess like this? What would your younger sister think? Adventurers lose part of their memories when they die, that means losing part of their self, part of their real-world selves who are more than killers, fighters who do nothing but kill monsters. The more you die, the more combat is your life? The more you die, the more bloodthirsty you get?

2) In the presence of the master. Man, this shot is a classic shot in video games, or young adult fantasy books, where the young people, the newbies, meet with someone who knows the mysteries of the world, someone who is as far above them as to be a god. They’re in the presence of an adult, one who keeps mysteries. Shiroe really stepped into the role of the archmage here, the archetype that keeps secrets, who says “I know the mysteries of the universe, and you aren’t worthy of them.” The kids asked for his help, and he’s an overpowering presence. They asked for a genie, and they got one.

3) And from a magical badass who changes the laws of the world, to a warrior badass. Level 90 Adventurers aren’t to be trifled with, world. I really like the music track playing here. I have a thing for gregorian music.

War is a terrible thing. The phoenix? They’re burning the goblins and the dire wolves alive. No mercy is shown. The players are terrible beings, conditioned to slay without question.

4) Crusty is Darius from League of Legends, Crusty is Hector from Fire Emblem. Crusty is the quintessential axeman, the executioner. And yes, Lenessia isn’t afraid, she is sad. She feels pity for Crusty and the other players.

Welcome Back, Rudy:

  1. You need to die in order to live. You need to die for the joining of the elements, Anima and Psyche.
  2. Welcome back, Rudy.

Post Episode Thoughts:

Log Horizon episode 20 notes anime - Crusty the Axeman

A lot happened this episode, but not a lot did. Very few events actually transpired, but those who did had been transformative. The world can be changed by the players. That seems obvious, right? When we plant a tree or kill someone, we change the world. But no, here is what magicians are often about, they are about messing with the basic laws of the world. That is what Shiroe had done.

But if a Person of the Land can be made into an Adventurer, which isn’t the same type of being, could an adventurer become a person of the land? Could the monsters be turned into players? And what real difference is there between the demi-humans and the “humans” (which also includes the elves and the cat people)? I think there might not really be a difference, in which case, they’ll have to be faced with their slaughter.

There is a difference right now though. It seems the demihumans are still controlled by set routines, such as The Goblin King’s Return, but are they? They just do what makes sense to them, just like we do, or the people of the land do.

Hm. I’m actually curious to see what the next storyline is like, because there can be so much stuff done in this world, that they could take it anywhere. Exciting. I still think we might have something to do with joining the other cities in the Japanese server, and something to do with the missing leader of Debauchery Tea Party, at some point.

This was a good episode. And Lenessia dealing with Crusty and all the crazy adventurers will likely play into it. They helped her, but I think as a result she might be more wary of adventurers now, rather than less.

Return to the Log Horizon Episodic Notes page.

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