At First Glance – Log Horizon

Note: There are spoilers for the first episode of the anime in question in this article.
You have been warned.

Welcome back folks. As a quick reminder for those who are new or have forgotten, the concept of these “At First Glance” articles is that I watch the first episode of an anime I’ve never seen and give my thoughts on it.
Simple, right? With that out of the way, let’s get down to business.

Log Horizon

Ah yes, that OTHER “We’re stuck in a video game somehow” anime I’ve had on my to-do list for quite some time now. I could’ve done Log Horizon back to back with Sword Art Online few weeks back, but the listing Gods determined it would happen now rather than then. Unlike Sword Art Online however, Log Horizon revolves around the main characters realising they’ve been sucked into the MMO they’ve been playing (Named “Elder Tales”), as opposed to just being stuck in a VR headset forever.

A fate worse than death

Also unlike SAO, Log Horizon has the people just kind of thrust into this situation and forces them to realise what must’ve happened on their own, rather than having an exposition dump. Honestly? I found that funny, because it shows how much of a trope this set up must be by now. They even guess the whole “if you die in the game, you die for real” aspect of the whole thing.

From what I can gather, we’re introduced to the characters that make up the main cast (or at least main trio) in this episode. Shiroe (The Strategist), Naotsugu (The Pervert), and Akatsuki (The loli-I mean The Assassin). Shiroe I feel will be the one I like the most out of the main three, though Akatsuki is a close second purely by how she deals with Naotsugu’s perverted nature.

I’m fairly certain Naotsugu is going to grade on me with time. His “I’m perverted and proud” thing was kind of funny at first, but they somehow manage to run it into the ground in this one episode alone. At least in my opinion they do. Like, I grew up watching Dragon Ball Z, and am a huge Naruto fan. I can handle pervy characters as comic relief, especially ones that don’t get away with being pervy idiots. This time though, it just…doesn’t work for whatever reason.

Speaking of Naruto, let’s talk about Akatsuki. Fitting how she’s named that considering her Assassin class thing seems to be modelled after ninja, by the way. Akatsuki shows up as a “guy” that won’t talk, only to turn out to be a girl who got stuck as her male character, taking a potion Shiroe gives her so she can revert to a female body. And then she comes out looking like an eight-year-old. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, both Shiroe and Naotsugu find her attractive.

Considering she looks like an eight-year-old, that’s a creepy choice of words

And yes, I bothered to check, she IS an adult, as are the guys, but the anime never clarified that on her end. And sure, it’s still just an in-game avatar, but it’s blatantly stated she took the chance to model her female appearance on herself a bit more. Thinking about it, Akatsuki’s appearance seems to garner a lot of unwanted attention for her, though only Naotsugu has made anything resembling a sexual advance so far.

Which quickly prompts her to knee him in the face, hence the cut-off

That aside we only meet a few other characters, and the plot of the next episode is set up throughout, not that I realised at first. But overall this episode did a decent job of introducing us to the characters we’ll be following on this adventure, so I can give them that much. Plus, the lack of exposition for why this happened works for now, since any explanation would probably come off as sounding pretty technobabble-y anyway.

So, will I continue to watch Log Horizon? Sure, why not. It’s definitely a different enough set up from SAO for me to not just write it off as a rip off or anything like that. Also, despite all the negatives I mentioned, it’s better than bad. It’s good! …Okay, fine, I couldn’t think of a better way to work that reference in there. Sue me. I was determined to make it anyway…even though most might not even get what I’m referencing.

Anyway, bad references to 90s shows aside, Log Horizon currently consists of 50 episodes across two seasons (25 eps per season), and from what I can tell is only currently available in Japanese with English subtitles.

Well, that about covers it. If anyone has any suggestions for anime I should watch for this in the future, give me a shout and I’ll put it on my list. If it’s already on my list, I’ll bump it up in priority. However, if I’ve already watched it then I’m obviously going to have to decline.
I’ll see you next time folks.

Fyreharticles – My (Current) Top Ten Favourite Anime Opening Themes

Ah yes, anime. From my humble beginnings watching Sailor Moon & Pokémon as a kid, to watching the likes of Hellsing, Trigun & Tenchi Muyo! Ryo Ohki as I got older, it seems like I’ve always had some sort of interest in anime, even before I knew what I was watching was called anime. That said, I may not have the most extensive list when it comes to anime I’ve seen, but regardless I think I’ve seen enough to warrant a list like this. Plus, I wisely threw “current” in the title for a reason, as this list could easily change when I start to watch some anime I haven’t previously seen.

Before I start, two things. First is that, as the name of this implies, this is just purely my opinion on what I liked the most at the moment. This isn’t one of those “these are the best anime opening themes ever” lists, as I think lists like that are bullshit (Specifically when they non-sarcastically try to make their opinion come across as fact ). Second, I was originally going to limit myself to one theme per show, but I ended up with two from the same franchise anyway, so I decided to drop that. Not that it would matter, I could make a list ranking Naruto themes alone there are so many, but I doubt most of them would make the cut anyway.

Well, I think I’ve bored you all enough, now time to actually get to the list! Which, by the way, is in NO PARTICULAR ORDER. Hence the lack of numbers.

A World For Us All (Digimon Frontier English Opening Theme)

I may get a bit of hate for liking this, but I don’t care. This is honestly the best English dub Digimon theme I’ve ever heard. Helps that it was the first NOT to use a version of the original Digimon dub theme, but even then it’s still a good intro song in my eyes. The energy is great, the lyrics are catchy and stick in your head, and it legitimately used to get me pumped to watch the show back when it aired. It was rare that an anime theme could do that for me as a kid, to the point I think it may only have been this and Rock The Dragon that ever actually managed to get me pumped up.

Sadly some people will overlook this because they didn’t like the anime, but whether you liked it or not, I say give it a listen. I’ll also add that you should give the show itself a fair go. I mean, kids who turn into Digimon? Sounds like a cool concept to me.

H.T. (Trigun opening theme)

If I was actually ranking these, this would most likely be at the top. I mean, holy crap. This may be one of the best guitar riffs ever, let alone in something used by/made for an anime. It’s honestly hard to describe why I like this so much. Everything about it just works, and it’s easily one of the most badass anime theme songs in existence. In my opinion anyway.

Kimi Wa Majutsushi (Orphen 2nd Opening Theme)

Good lord, Orphen; that brings back memories. Funnily enough I actually forgot Orphen had a second theme at first. Then when watching it back after finding the series on DVD, it suddenly all came back to me when I got to the first episode to use this theme. I honestly used to prefer the first theme (Ai Just On My Love), but over time I’ve been drawn more to the second theme. I’d even argue the tone fits the anime more than Ai Just On My Love, but both work in their own ways.

If you want to hear the full version of the song, here’s the music video for the song the band that performed it (SHARAM Q) did. Bit of a warning though, they keep randomly cutting back to some muscle dude in speedos posing for like no reason. So if that would put off watching something, my suggestion is just listen to the song and not pay attention to the video itself. You aren’t missing much by only listening to the video anyway.

Hyadain no Kakakata Kataomoi – C (Nichijou 1st opening)

God damn it Nichijou! Why the hell is your first opening theme so damn cute and catchy? Seriously this song alone got me to actually watch the anime….and I had previously NEVER watched an anime before it got dubbed before. That’s how much I liked that song. Well, and this one clip on YouTube where some character continuously says “EEEEEEEEEH?” but still. Only downside to this song I can think of is it doesn’t seem random enough for a show like Nichijou, which seems to be the bastard child of Azumanga Daioh and Pani Poni Dash. For an anime called My Ordinary Life, this is anything but, so you’d think the theme would kind of reflect that. Nope. Unless it does, but the language barrier prevents me from realising it. Which could easily be the case.

One more thing to point out. This song was apparently sung purely by a guy, as in a guy did both the male and female parts of this song. Just a fun fact I found out that I thought I’d share with you.

If you want to hear the full version of the song, please for the love of God drop everything and watch this video. Seriously, just watch it.

Haruka Kanata (Naruto 2nd Opening Theme)

I know this is usually quite a generic pick when it comes to Naruto themes, but Haruka Kanata is honestly my favourite of all the Naruto themes, with GO!!! by FLOW being a close second. I can’t explain it very well, but this theme just basically seems to fit the show the best. But I guess when your show is over 200 episodes long, you’ll want to change up the music every once in a while to keep things interesting.

If you want to hear the full song, I found yet another “people who did the song having done a live-action music video” music videos, so here you go.

Inner Universe (Ghost in The Shell: Stand Alone Complex Opening Theme)

I’ve honestly seen barely anything of GITS: SAC, but I can say this much. This may be one of the most unique anime opening themes I’ve ever had the privilege to hear. A Japanese woman singing in three different languages, and none of them are Japanese (English, Russian & Latin were apparently the languages used)? Yeah, that sounds pretty unique to me. I do mean it when I say this has unique feel to it by the way; I’ve honestly never heard another song like it period. It’s actually part of the reason I got so interested in trying to watch the show when it used to air in Australia. I’ve been meaning to buy the anime on DVD actually, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet (partially due to lack of income).

As before, if you want to listen to the full version, here’s a link to it.

The World (Death Note 1st Opening Theme)

I’m going to go on the record and say that, in my opinion, I think this song is a MUCH better fit for Death Note than What’s Up People by Maximum The Hormone. Don’t get me wrong fellow Death Note fans, I like What’s Up People, but it just doesn’t fit the tone the anime has as well as The World does in my eyes. I’d delve deeper into why I think that, but I may hold off on that to be its own article. I will admit this is another case of me liking the song that seems to be the more popular choice, then gradually changing my mind as time goes on and I hear the song more.

Want to hear the full thing? Got you covered with another “the band that did it” music video.

CRUSH GEAR FIGHT! (Crush Gear Turbo Opening Theme)

Oddly enough, the English dub of Crush Gear Turbo (at least as aired in Australia) could never make up it’s mind which version of the song to use. Sometimes they used the inferior English dub version of the song that felt like there was crap all energy behind it most of the time, or they’d use the high energy Japanese version, which I grew to absolutely love, to the point I’d find myself singing along at points recently, mumbling when I couldn’t catch on to whatever they were saying in Japanese, and probably butchering what Japanese I could get right.

I actually may have only properly heard the Japanese version of Crush Gear Fight due to attempting (and failing) to find the English version, giving in and just growing to love the awesomeness that is the original version of the song.

Want to hear the whole thing? I got your back.

Butter-Fly (Digimon Adventure 01 Japanese Opening Theme)

And thus you see why I went against picking one theme per show. I mean, technically since we’re talking about two completely different Digimon seasons/shows I could’ve just gone with the rule and said this was fine, but I decided to just drop the rule so I didn’t have to make the old “ok I cheated” gag. I honestly have only heard this a few times, but majority of those few times I got chills somehow. That alone bumped this up to almost immediately being one of my favourites; hence it’s in this top ten list. I would honestly much prefer to listen to this over the English dub theme for Digimon Adventure 01 (or 02 for that matter, since they don’t really change the English dub theme much for that).

I’m not entirely sure why, but I get a very clear vibe of the Japanese DBZ theme Cha-La Head-Cha-La from this song at certain points, to the point I started switching between the two when I got this song stuck in my head. That’s not a knock on the song though; anything that gets Cha-La Head-Cha-La stuck in my head is good in my book.

Once again, if you want to hear the full version of the song, here it is.

Soramimi Cake (Azumanga Daioh opening theme)

Thank God I specified this is in no particular order. Considering some of the themes on this list, if this was legit the #1 I may get lynched. Anyway, like the Nichijou theme earlier, this is another case of a song being just too damn cute for its own good. If you aren’t convinced, the band who performed this is apparently called Oranges And Lemons……..Oranges And Lemons people, how much cuter do you get? I mean damn, the song is cute enough already without that little factoid.

I’ve honestly always enjoyed the Azumanga Daioh theme since I first heard it, despite how blatantly “Bubble gum Pop” it sounds. But hey, I liked the English dub Cardcaptors theme as a kid, so go figure. Basically, this theme is what it is. An innocent song for a seemingly-innocent-but-not-really anime.

That’s all for now folks, but if you want to hear the full version of Soramimi Cake (and I know you do), then here’s one last link for those who want it.