World Fraction; a spell of the ‘Global Magic’ type that can affect the fate, laws, and existence of the world. World Fraction has been used three times, with the most recent being the Apocalypse. Log Horizon Part 2 sees the adventurers learning more of the lore of the world they now inhabit, alongside a more balanced split of screen time between the higher and lower level adventurers. The major plot arcs this time are a quest, called ‘Goblin King’s Return’, and an Autumn Festival with accompanying political warfare.
This release continues immediately on from Log Horizon Part 1, with Shiroe and Akatsuki having a conversation with the mage from the end of episode 13. He identifies himself as Regan, the Sage of Mirror Lake. He explains to Shiroe that there are multiple types of magic, detailing each to some degree. Global magic, the type that works on a global scale has been used three times; the spell called ‘World Fraction’. Shiroe correctly deduces that the last time global magic was used was the day known as ‘The Apocalypse’. Humans, elves and dwarves destroyed the Alv kingdom out of a severe bout of Magitech, or technology, envy. At this point, the first World Fraction was used to bring forth the birth of Demi-Humans, 300 years ago. There was a world war with these Demi-Humans. To help defeat them, mankind used Alv secrets to create hybrid races. At this point, the Ancients, rivalling the strength of adventurers, were created.
240 years ago, the second World Fraction occurred, summoning adventurers to the world. Shiroe first appeared in history books 98 years ago. As the time in-game for Elder Tales was 1 day for 2 real hours, Shiroe confirms that 98 years is 8 real years, when he began playing the game. 240 years ago, or 20 real years, corresponds to the open beta of the Elder Tales game. Regan reveals that, when adventurers are revived in the cathedral, memories, in the form of experience points, are lost. At the training camp for lower-level adventurers, Minori and her part struggle to form an effective team, until she insists they spend some time getting to know each other and their skills before entering the dungeon again. Shiroe begins documenting what he has learn from Regan and states a desire to make better ink and paper to enable him to create high-level documents using his Scribe subclass the way Chef’s have been using theirs.
The training camp on the beach encounter amphibious monsters, while goblins are seen inland. Naotsugu informs Shiroe and a telepathic relay Round Table Conference takes place. It seems a quest called ‘Goblin Kings Return’ is taking place; an easy event for normal players, but people have been focusing on levelling up and making the world more liveable, rather than accepting quests from people of the land. At this point, Shiroe reveals to the Round Table Conference that memories are lost upon revival; this is confirmed by Krusty, having experienced such memory loss. Minori’s party opt to attack the goblins during the night. The Round Table meet with the League of Freedom Cities. Each try to manipulate the other to get information; Michitaka has a violent outburst, believing adventurers deserve more respect. Lenessia enters the room and asks Krusty to accompany her on journey to Akihabara to recruit volunteers for an army to defend Yamato. She reveals that the Izumo Knights, the usual protectors, are missing.
Recruitment is successful; Lenessia appears before Akihabara residents and admits her people planned to force adventurers to help, apologises and asks those that are willing to fight with her. 1200 adventurers over Level 40 volunteer and a prototype steam engine powered ship is used to transport adventurers to Narashino’s abandoned port. A non-aggression pact and a trade treaty are signed between the Round Table Conference and the League of Freedom Cities. While defending Choshi, an important part of Shiroe’s plan, Rundelhaus Code effects a suicide attack against two dire wolves. The remainder of Minori’s party attempt to revive him, with no success; it is revealed he is a person of the land. Minori contacts Shiroe, who uses a new type of magic upon arrival; Rundelhaus is presented with a contract to join Log Horizon. This contract bestows the status of adventurer, to be retained even if the contract is nullified.
Months later, Shiroe learns that a quest took place, and an adventurer used global magic, in Minami. Lenessia is tasked with being an emissary to Akihabara. Maryelle proposes an Autumn festival. Minori is trying to improve Shiroe’s reputation, even going as far as to change her subclass to apprentice in order to copy Shiroe’s skills, and help Akihabara. An attack is coming from the West, in an attempt to destroy the Round Table’s treaties. Lord Malves complains about mishandled cargo documents to Lenessia, but Shiroe appears and counters his ruse by having prepared the necessary arrangements despite the documentation having not actually existed.
Shiroe attempts to meet with his Minami contact, but instead, he is confronted by Nureka of Plant Hwyaden. She is the leader of the only guild in Minami, having utilised the wealth of the people of the land to buy the cathedral and force adventurers to join. She states knowledge of Shiroe’s research into finding a way back home and attempts but fails, to bribe him with resources. He rejects and states he knows she has found a way to get the transport gates working again. During the final stages of the festival, Log Horizon share a dinner and reassure Shiroe that they intend to help him however they can. Shiroe issues them their next goal of changing the world of Elder Tales. In an epilogue scene, Shiroe is seen making plans with Regan to leave Akihabara.
The video quality of Log Horizon Part 2 is consistent with the Part 1 Blu-ray, with vivid colours. As more time is spent in indoor meetings, dungeons and a festival, for these episodes, there is less focus on green hues. Line detail remains sharp, and subtitling is as effective as ever. White subtitles continue to be used for a secondary character talking, and a few more fonts are utilised to reflect a similar style to the Japanese characters being displayed on- screen as necessary.
The score remains majestic but restrained, allowing the VAs to communicate a great deal through how characters are voiced, rather than simply be what is being said. Whilst the English dub has seen an increase in actual acting over the earlier episodes of Log Horizon, the characters being portrayed can only be described as offprints of the characters from the original language version. Without having listened to the Japanese language track, one could opine that the English dub is effective, as the character voicing is fleshed out to a better degree than Part 1, but this amounts to personalities that can be unfitting for the characters. Subtext within important scenes is sometimes changed entirely for the English language track.
Despite being an anime that spanned two seasons when broadcast, the same OP, database by Man With A Mission ft. Takuma, and the same ED, Your Song by Yun*chi, were utilised again for the second half of the show. This is a most welcome decision, as the OP remains as addictive as it did whilst watching Log Horizon Part 1. The ED, whilst still tiresome in comparison to the OP, makes for an excellent pairing and benefits seamless viewing of both parts of Log Horizon within a relatively short period of time. Subtitles during the OP and ED continue to alternate between English translation and a romanisation of the Japanese lyrics.
As per Part 1, credit-less versions of both the OP and the ED are included as extras; the actual episodes, yet again, already utilise these versions anyway. Unlike Part 1, the Japanese audio track is correctly labelled this time around. Unfortunately episode 20, ‘Contract’, sees a misspelling as ‘Contact’. This affects the menus and the title card within the episode itself. This is a minor issue, thus does not impede the viewing experience.
The storytelling is as engrossing as the previous Log Horizon release. Plot points remain interesting, despite less focus on physical battles. The Japanese language track provides spectacular voice acting. However, the English track leaves a lot to be desired. Even if one does choose the English language track, the anime itself continues to be as good as the first half. The post-credits epilogue in episode 25 will leave viewers eager to watch Log Horizon Season 2. And, with less poorly fitting cat puns in this release, it manages to edge itself into a higher score than Part 1.