Monday, 13 July 2015

Opening Impressions: Log Horizon: "I can show you the world"... well, a digital world... another digital world...

An anime type (does it count as a sub genre yet?) that has appeared recently is, what I'm dubbing, the MMO world. Basically, the main characters get sucked into some sort of MMO and have to survive in that world, using their knowledge of the game. In this, we have the world of Elder Scrolls... I mean Elder Tale and the world of Log Horizon.

Like with any other show, the knowledge of what's actually going on at the start is minimal at best, in the latest expansion pack of the not World of Warcraft... though I'm personally getting more of a Dragon Quest vibe, though that could be because I haven't played World of Warcraft. Anyway, in the latest expansion, almost, if not all the players in Japan have been sucked into the world, with no way to escape. As suck it is up to the players to survive in this world. While we know even less about what's going on in comparison to shows like Steven Universe (I just finished writing it, its still in my head), I'm not asking as many questions about it. In Steven Universe, the writing comes off as "oh you already know about this world, lets dive into the action" where as in comparison, Log Horizon delves more into the world and world building. We know the inspiration of this world, we know how it works, we don't know a lot about the lore, but at least I'm not pausing every five minutes going "what the hell is going on?"
I'm seeing a lot of people talking about PK's, but I'm yet to see a Starspam, false advertisement!

In the process of World building, the characters have had time to develop, while I'm not a fan of some of them, a certain Guardian class comes to mind, these are great characters, each of them working well off each other. There have been many shows, films and games I've seen where I'm not interested in their characters in some form, more often then not due to bad writing. So far this hasn't been a problem for me, as each of the characters have got great personalities, with voice acting that matches them perfectly. Best performance though goes to Jovan Jackson, a bit more of an up and coming voice actor in comparison to others who have appeared on this site in some form, for his performance for Nyanta.

While the animation isn't anything spectacular in comparison to other anime I've seen, I'm not sure if its just because of what I've seen or its now competing with Madoka Magica's art direction, it does its job really well, and the combat works perfectly. Its fast paced, the sound effects make you feel the pain that they're dishing out. Whenever I look at combat shots, I always look for the sound effects and visual effects, which is the reason why most of Bayformers combat feels meh to me in comparison to other Transformers films and even the shows overall. You feel the power in each attack, thanks to the metaphorical camera positions, the fast edits, the visual and sound effects when an attack hits. Its a joy to watch for that alone.
"Well now, it would appear you haven't learned from Dynasty Warriors, have you?"

While I'll praise the sound effects, that same praise doesn't carry over to the music. While the instrumentals are quite nice in the main show, the opening and closing themes are either meh, or awful. The closing theme is your typical J-Pop, from my perspective, nothing really to say about it, however the opening theme... The opening theme sounds like a Crush 40 wannabe is trying to do the music for Digimon, asside from the fact that I had to look at the sub titles just to understand what they were saying, I'm not sure if this is localization or bad sound design though because I couldn't hear what they were singing. The instrumentals overpowered the singers to the point where it sounded like a wall of noise, and the lyrics were awful, at least when I read them. I made the Crush 40 comparison for a reason, because while their lyrics aren't the best either, they at least have a comedic edge to them and it fits the sonic games they're used in, for a case in point, look up What I'm Made of. The Digimon part should be a bit more obvious, due to the nature of what this is. All I specifically recall is the word "Database" in the lyrics, as it gets repeated over and over again, make of it as you wish.
"Flavor, glorious glorious flavor"

I'm going back to Steven Universe, more so to see if what others say is true or not rather then the show itself. Log Horizon on the other hand has me genuinely interested and invested. That's the major difference between the two. However, I won't be going back to it straight away as there are more show to cover, so come Friday, Gravity Falls, but before that, more content making my montage out of date, as there's one piece of SDCC news I want to talk about. Come Wednesday: Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Where's Jessie and James when you need them?

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