Log Horizon Season 2 Episode 1
Log Horizon 2nd Season Episode 1
Hello everyone! It’s time for the new season, and there’s no better way to start things off than the DATABASE WOW WOW. Let’s just get right into it.
Note: For Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works, I’m still not sure how I want to review it just yet since it’d be me gushing about the animations and so on. I think I’ll wait for it to touch upon some more significant¬†plot points¬†before doing reviews of it.
Log Horizon Season 2 Episode 1 Impressions
Damn it feels good to hear the DATABASE WOW WOW once again. It’s very rare for a show to have the same opening for a different season. Some may call it lazy, but in this case I call it awesome. This first episode wastes absolutely no time and starts off with the boss that Shiroe has to defeat in order to obtain the help from the Kunie Clan. Right off the bat, we see one of the biggest strengths of the first season, that is, the grand strategies employed by Shiroe, being emphasized. It’s great how this show knows its strengths and wastes no time to get to the more interesting parts. I originally expected it to be a bit calmer with more slice of life moments, but from this first episode it’s clear that this second season won’t have the slow build up of the first few episodes of the first season which is fantastic. It’s anyone’s guess as to what Shiroe is going to do with 80 trillion gold pieces. One of my guesses is that he’s trying to establish a nation state for adventurers. Currently, they still have to pay monthly and they’re dependent on NPCs to some extent when it comes to using those buildings. Shiroe may just buy out the entire surrounding land and make adventurers independent from NPCs. He could do this for other starting zones as well. Obviously, he can use the money to fund bigger projects such as building those ships or creating other things that they couldn’t when they were just playing the game on their computers. The major barrier to accomplishing all of this is money, so why not take the money from its source?
While we’re on the subject of money, let’s talk a bit about money in MMORPGs. In MMORPGs, money is obtained from killing “mobs” that spawn periodically or from quests given by NPCs or by selling items to NPCs. These three methods are the main ways people obtain money¬†in a game that increase the total pool of money in the game. (Exchanging money and items between players is a zero-sum game if you exclude the transaction costs.) This¬†means that the longer the game goes on, the more currency will be in circulation. However, all MMORPGs have some form of “gold sink” to slow down or prevent the constant growth of money to prevent excessive inflation.¬†A nice example of a gold sink in this episode is how the Round Table has to pay monthly fees for the facilities they’re using. The situation with Log Horizon is… a bit different compared to¬†other MMORPGs now though. Shiroe says, “All the money is gained by defeating monsters.” The key word here is “all.” This means that there is supposedly only one way of generating money for the overall economy. (Okay, we have to include treasure chests and stuff, so it’s not technically “all,” but you get the point.) In MMORPGs, you can sell loot to NPCs and you’d generate money for the overall economy. Like monsters, NPCs are an infinite source of money. However, now that the game has become like real life, it doesn’t make sense for any NPC vendor to have an infinite amount of money. Moreover, in a regular MMORPG, when you buy items from vendors or spend money to repair items or pay rent, the money technically disappears from the game. That’s how an MMORPG tries to stabilize the in-game currency. I’m assuming now that the NPCs hold on to this currency and use it themselves much like¬†what an actual player would do.
Okay, so¬†where does the 10 million gold pieces go every month now that it’s not a game people play on their computers?¬†Well, all that gold is probably now being recycled in the whirlpool by the Kunie Clan which will then be redistributed to monsters. In essence, the Kunie Clan is acting like a central bank in real life. While they cannot change something like the prime rate, they can¬†probably influence the amount of money in an economy by changing the amount of money in the whirlpool. That, or if they have some method of tightening it. Remember that killing a monster in an MMORPG doesn’t always give you the same amount of gold. It’s within a range. Perhaps, it’s their duty to keep an eye on this range and adjust it whenever necessary. However, it would be a different story if they have absolutely no control over it. Also, I doubt the Kunie Clan can change the supply and flow as much as a central bank in real life can. Whereas in real life they can inject billions of dollars into the economy fairly quickly, in the game people still have to kill monsters which can be a lot slower. And because this is a game, it wouldn’t make much sense that killing a low level monster would suddenly yield great amounts of gold. It would also be strange for something like the rent to greatly¬†for the facilities the Round Table is using in an MMORPG to balance the greater gold gain since most of those variables are static. All of these factors and more could be reasons why the banks don’t lend currency since it’d be far more difficult to stabilize an economy like this.¬†Or, it could simply be the fact that almost all MMORPGs don’t allow lending, and the “ancient treaty” is the form that this tradition in MMORPGs has taken now that they’re actually in the game.
Nevertheless, now that adventurers are actually in the game, I think this quest is the first major step in making Elder Tale’s economy more like a real life economy. Financing is a cornerstone of modern economies. At this point, adventurers can only use their own money to fund¬†activities such as building ships, and other projects. This may be fine if the projects are few in number and are not too large, but if Shiroe and the others really want to make a difference in the world¬†and want more of the population to gain benefits from these projects, they need to borrow money. It’d obviously be best if Shiroe could gather 80 trillion gold pieces right away (though he has to be very careful with how he handles all that money because he’d be acting like a central bank), but I doubt that’ll end up being the case. That amount of money will¬†probably be the amount¬†he’ll borrow over the course of a long period of time. Okay, some of you are probably tired of seeing me talk about money money money money money money. To give myself some room to talk about other things in the future,¬†I’ll just talk briefly about some other interesting parts in this episode.
Log Horizon has always had a big list of characters, and¬†it appears that this list will only grow from here on out. Although the anime will be focused on Shiroe’s actions, the relevance of events going on around the world will most likely become more and more important. In fact, Shiroe’s actions will affect things on a larger scale more so than ever before. We already have many different things going on at once. The northern raid to clear the quest, Shiroe’s other raid, Plant Hwyaden, Akihabara’s problems, not to mention the quick glimpse into the future at the beginning of the episode¬†are all things the show try to tackle at the same time. Personally, I love this sense of scale with all these different conflicts contributing to the overarching story. This is precisely what I wanted to see from this second season. I want to see a bunch of storylines, subplots, or whatever you want to all them,¬†nicely mesh with each other to create a fantastic world and a great overarching story. I’m very pleased that this season is already on this route. However, with all these different characters and subplots come the difficulty of fleshing them out properly, and relating them well with each other. The more subplots there are, the more difficult it becomes to incorporate them well. This will be a major test as to how good the writing is in this anime. If it manages to meet its potential though, this will certainly be one of the most enjoyable rides of the year. LET THE DATABASE WOW WOW BEGIN!