Log Horizon's weakest part is Minori's plotline

December 28, 2014

The most recent Log Horizon 2 episode has made me fully realize that the show's largest single flaw is how it's addressing Minori's romantic feelings for Shiroe, and unfortunately this is a serious flaw that significantly lessens the show for me; it actively makes things painful any time the storyline comes up. That the show focused almost all of episode 13 on the whole mess made the episode kind of unpleasant to watch.

The problem is not Minori's feelings as such; they're sort of vaguely realistic and if it wanted to, the show could do a decent plot handling the issues involved there in her mixture of hero worship and a crush. The problem is that the show insists on taking the situation seriously, with characters (starting with Akatsuki but not limited to her) taking Minori's would be romance as a realistic possibility. Various people clearly see what is going on, indulge Minori, and appear to see nothing wrong with the whole situation, when by all rights they should be either backing away quietly or taking her aside and saying 'um, look, you are 14 and he is a college graduate, no'.

In short, any actual materialization of Minori's intended romance would be deeply creepy and that the show strings along the possibility of this is itself not a comfortable thing. It doesn't help that this is a not particularly attractive anime cliche and/or trope in general, one that shows almost never handle well. As it is the whole thing feels very 'light novel', which is not praise.

The whole show would be much better off if it lost Minori's feelings down a well and then never referred to them again. I'm not particularly fond of Akatsuki's angst in general, but removing Minori as a nominal romantic rival and shifting things purely to gaining the courage to approach Shiroe would help a great deal (although not completely, since that particular trope is very shopworn).

(This comes from a recent Twitter conversation or two. To put it one way, I've decided not to do all of my blogging on Twitter.)

Comments on this page:

By Hogart at 2014-12-28 20:21:42:

To be honest, the story needed some real planning and possibly a rewrite to truly shine. The pieces for something great are there, but by season two of the anime it becomes clear that Minori really is the least of Log Horizon's problems. Unlike Akatsuki she actually has an arc that doesn't involve simply crushing on Shiroe, with a decent buildup and payoff. And even then basically all the material in season two so far has been poorly executed, and it's sad that it's not just another convenient case of "blame Deen for everything bad".

Well, part of what the show is trying to note is that Akatsuki doesn't really have much experience in things like romance, love, etc. (partially because of how her appearance in real life, like that in Elder Tales, is younger than she actually is). And to her, something like Minori's crush on Shiroe is actually a major threat, regardless of whether or not this actually true. If Akatsuki was a little more versed in this sort of thing, I'm pretty sure that the show would drop this thing quickly, but it's part of her character. Akatsuki still needs to grow up in a bunch of ways.

Written on 28 December 2014.
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Last modified: Sun Dec 28 19:29:27 2014
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