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ID: Invaded: FALLEN (2020)
Season 1, Episode 5
8/10
My expectations were subverted again
24 February 2020
I got it wrong again and the story is not going down what I would of considered is the logical, or easiest path. This is a cleaver series and this episode, while it resembles a more typical detective episode, is captivating and interesting. My gut feel is my earlier expectation will occur for the following episode and the solution will be very clever - but only time will tell if I am right, or once again wrong. We also see John Walker again - what could this mean? My only complaint is the detectives opening the soy sauce barrels, why they did not do this from the top is a mystery - but then I suppose if this occurred what happened next would not also occur.
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Log Horizon: Stranger (2014)
Season 2, Episode 22
8/10
Setting up the last story arc
24 February 2020
We continue with a well-structured episode and here we are being setup for the final story arc, as it exists anyway. We learn more about the genius, or the gathers and the observers. The gathers are attacking Akihabara, but so far the adventurers are able to eliminate each threat. Its uncertain if eliminating a gathers eliminates it permanently or not, I suspect not. Its also unclear if the Observers and gathers are the same race, or two separate races. I suspect the latter. Roe 2 indicates she may be able to help them get back home if Shiroe contacts them on the moon, although why couldn't Roe 2 provide that help on earth is a mystery. This is a good episode, well-paced and keeping you glued to your seats for the entire experience.
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ID: Invaded: Extended (2020)
Season 1, Episode 4
8/10
This gets even darker, but is captivating
23 February 2020
It's a bit rushed but Narihisago is taken off the team for his involvement of the suicide, we learn he has done these 4 or 5 times and perhaps this is the reason why he is a killer. He does say that he has no wish to cause anyone to die but suddenly he is overcome with the urge to see someone dead and acts on it. However as he saw the person attempt to kill himself later in the night and did nothing, this urge clearly lasts for a long time. They attempt to use Fukuda instead, but he keeps on dying before being able to do anything, so they once again use Narihisago, who attempt to solve another mystery. This times he dies a lot but manages to solve the puzzle, they find the murders, but the ending is very sad. The episode ends with a standard trope of police assistant being kidnapped and after seeing who it is I am certain you will work out how they find this mysterious killer, who leaves no mental traces behind.
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Log Horizon: The Skylarks Take Flight (2014)
Season 2, Episode 21
7/10
More coherent episode
23 February 2020
This episode is much more coherent. WE start with the ruined Safil and the departure of row 2, who gives the party a letter for shiroe. While you have worked it out by now I will provide a clue, shiroe in Kanji consists of three characters. The Kanji for Roe2 uses the last 2 characters of shiroe, with a 2 afterwards. As Roe 2 comes from the moon where the test server exists, I think you can guess what the visible version of Roe 2 is, although we are uncertain what the driving intelligence is, as Roe 2 claims to not be human. This is an interesting sub-plot. The music of Isuzu is brought up again and this time it appropriate and works, although I always thought the song she had earlier sung was new so why is her new song important. I would need to listen to the original Japanese version to determine if there is any translation issue, or if it's a plot hole. I suspect the latter. Dariella also leaves the team, infatuated with shiroe even more and hoping the party does well. I suspect she is being setup to flip sides and become shiroe's ally, but this is only a guess. Back in Akihabara we again meet the Genius, which we earlier met in "Kanami, Go East!". It now obvious to be both characters in that earlier episode must have been Genius and they are responsible for the multiple stats. This is another interesting mystery. This episode is getting us back on a coherent track with some new interesting mysteries and story arcs.
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Log Horizon: Birthday Song (2014)
Season 2, Episode 20
6/10
Lots of effort required to work out what is happening
21 February 2020
We have another info crammed episode in the first half and more slice of life in the 2nd. The first half is too short and the 2nd part is far too long. WE have established the wyvern and nightshade attack was caused by Plant Hywaden, centred in the train. Nyanta decides to attack the train and meets another member of The tea party, who is a bit twisted. After some dialog an up-powered NPC kills him because she is bored and then attacks Nyanta. Nytanta is about to kill her and you can see in her face she is surprised and possibly scared, but he is stopped by yet another Tea party adventurer. Its all so confusing and lacks any sense, which requires some though in working it out. Basically Mizufa, the NPC, is launching an attack which will cause a war between the NPC's and the Adventurers. How this was supposed to happen was not explained and I suspect my original theory the target as the odyssey knights were the target is more correct. However, Nureha, who is in the town being attacked is shocked at the damage and realises the attack was a mistake. She orders it to be stopped. Thus Nyanta has no effect on the situation, he was only there to get some backstory out and it was so confusing it only barely achieved that purpose. Roe 2, in the meantime, shows incredibly powerful and destroys most of the Wyverns. This also makes no sense, as we can work out how powerful she should be and this is much too powerful. Regardless, it was also a waste of time because Nyanta has ordered the attack to be stopped and to eliminate all the Wyverns, so why bother showing such incredible strength. Meanwhile, Toyha, instead of trying to save the city is still talking to the odyssey knights, who seem to be on a bridge without their shrine. This also makes no sense and he has no impact or effect, so I am uncertain what the point was. Finally the piece de resistance, Isuzu and her music. It serves no purpose, its totally inappropriate and wastes several minutes of the show, which would have been better explain what was happening to the viewer. It's a real mess. Originally I though season 2 was so poor because it was based on a smaller number of light novels. Season 1 was based on 5 or 6 novels, from "The Beginning of Another World" to "A Sunday in Akiba". Season 2 was originally based on 3 novels, "Lost Child of the Dawn" to "The Larks Take Flight " and the last episodes were based on a new novel called "Kanami, Go East" and some notes about the following novel. This was part of the problem. I also think they ran out of material and decided to create episodes from this newly released light novel, thus they lacked any time putting it together in a coherent manner. In summary, they rushed it and stuffed it as a result. If you're a fan watch this and read the light novels and you will work out what is happening. The actual light novel story is good, the issue is this is a rushed production and it shows. If they waited another year it would have been much better. I am hoping season 3 will clear this up before moving on to the last 2 novels.
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ID: Invaded: Sniped (2020)
Season 1, Episode 3
8/10
Stand alone episode
21 February 2020
The 3rd episode is stand alone and it contains a good mystery, which is solved in a satisfactory manner. My only issue is the speed, its all so hurried and rushed, on the other hand its possible that was the intention. The main take away was we got more backstory of Sakaido the brilliant detective, and its rather grim. We still don't know why he is imprisoned. I also like the ending very much, clearly Narihisago has a particular dislike of mass murderers and the way he extract revenge when he can is rather interesting. Another great episode.
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Log Horizon: The Red Night (2014)
Season 2, Episode 19
6/10
Rather confusing and I suspect poor translation
20 February 2020
We are now introduced to another data dump and it takes a bit of effort to work out what is happening. A huge number of wyverns are attacking Safi and this is very unusual. Nyanta, later, claims that not even Shiroe saw this coming and decides to attack the Minami train, so we are led to understand the wyvern attack is somehow the responsibility of the Minimai. This could be their war, but if it is it is not very clear. Skipping ahead here the Minimai has created a device which allows a NPC to create a spectre, which can go out and as it gets stronger the NPC gets stronger. If the spectre is destroyed the NPC is still safe. Its basically an easy way to level up NPC's. My first point about this plot line is, why bother. We saw in the previous episode it was possible to level up NPC, at no risk, without going to all this trouble. Basically an adventurer does all the fighting and shares any up-levelling with his party, who could be low level NPCs. Regardless the spectres are created in the Minimai train and sent to attack the Odyssey knight's portable shrine. The Odyssey knights are in Safi and are fighting the Wyverns, or at least distracting them. Thus we need to ask ourselves who is the target, the town of Safi or the Odyssey knights. The Japanese version makes it clear it's the odyssey knights, but the English dubbed version is very vague. The next question, why are odyssey knights being attacked. My wild guess is its because of the portable shrine, which subverts the ability of Minimai to control the adventurers. None of this is clear and I could be very wrong. Now we go to our party, who are spending a lot of time in the middle of this invasion just talking and doing nothing. Isuzu is moping in her room, Rundelhaus is unsure of himself after Isuzu started crying like a baby. This is really pointless slice of life stuff which should not exist in the middle of a battle. Isuzu gets over her moping due to Rundelhaus and they start doing something. Tohya runs off to talk to the leader of the Odyssey knights, who reveals why they are acting so funny. This is a good story arc and needs more focus, but I suspect it will not get it. While Tohya is getting attacked Minori stands frozen like an idiot watching on and demands to know where Roe 2 came from and where she is going. If Minori had bothered to listen she would have heard in the last episode Row 2 comes from the moon. Regardless none of this has any meaning as the point was to allow Minori to realise where she came from and where she was going. I get it, but it all seemed a bit clumsy, it would be better for this type of reveal to occur while waiting for an enemy attack in defences, in silence and with no distractions. Row 2 decides to help Minori and then tells us that she is not human and finds it hard to express herself with human language. There is a good story in here, but its so mashed up and confusing its hard to find it. If you love this series, as I do, you will get through this and think it out. But if you do not love this series, I suspect by now you would have given up watching it.
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ID: Invaded: JIGSAWED II (2020)
Season 1, Episode 2
8/10
This is surprisingly good
20 February 2020
The second episode was better than the first and the bar was high. I thought we were going down a typical trop, damsel gets kidnapped, hero works hard to solve the puzzle and damsel is rescued. However that is not what happens, so this TV series does a good job subverting tropes, which is excellent. The actual kidnap was confusing and it was hard to work out what was actually happening, I also suspect the protagonist was super human in some manner, but that is unclear. My other expectation subversion was the main story arc, originally I thought it would of made more sense for the brilliant detective to have spent more time working out his world, but I now realise the point is the search for the real protagonist, John Walker. Strangely enough he looks like a British John Walker in the ID world, which is amusing. The first two episodes were setting up the story arc and once you have worked this out, it works very well. The final point is the mystery of Sakaido. The clue was given in the first episode when you found out only someone who has murdered someone could enter the ID world. In this episode, Akihito, the real person behind Sakaido, is a prisoner and thus is possibly a murderer. I suspected this in episode one, but now its confirmed we have a while interesting backstory to find out. His real name is very unusual , as the Akihito family name is a rather special Japanese name, so I am wondering if there is something special here as well - possibly the same idea behind the John Walker character. This is well worth a watch.
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ID: Invaded: JIGSAWED (2020)
Season 1, Episode 1
8/10
Fascinating
19 February 2020
This is a very good starting episode, waking up in a weird world with no memory and fleshing it out is always a good way to grab the audience. My only complaint is this is moving too quickly, there is so much more investigating and discovery which could happen before we get the reveal. The way Sakaido, after the initial confusion, quickly accepted this strange world is a bit jarring, and far too quick. Apart from this the first part grabs you in, but then we go back to the real world and move into a very typical detective trope, with a, oh so standard, trope at the end. But these are only minor and I am suspecting this series will contain a lot of stuff which needs to be quickly covered in order to fit into, I suppose, 12 episodes. Well worth a watch.
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Log Horizon: When the Concert Ends (2014)
Season 2, Episode 18
6/10
Still moving rather slowly
19 February 2020
We are back into slice of life, again. I have to admit some minor story arcs are being pursued, but they are so randomly allocated its hard to see what the point of them are. For example, Rundelhaus tells Isuzu there are only 42 songs and her songs have a major impact on the NPC's, after which Isuzu starts crying and says something, in English, which makes no sense. I suspect the Japanese version probably is different and we have a translation issue as I suspect she is saying, "here I am wrapped up in my own needs that I have not taken any notice of the needs of the NPCs", or something like that. This is a good minor story arc, but I suspect it goes nowhere. Another example is when Tohya tells Nureha to stop her fake smile, which may be a good reason why Tohya is suspicion of Nureha. You could even spin the reason why Tohya notices this is because in the real world people faked happiness around him because of his medical problem. Again, this could be a good story arc which goes somewhere, but if it does we need to wait for season 3. In season 2 it goes nowhere, which means most viewers will probably forget all about it. The pace is very slow and there is a lot of wasted time doing nothing. Finally at the end we get two more, more important, pieces of information. The town is being attacked and the Odyssey knight's portable shrine may be interfering with the communication methods the adventurer's use, which Nureha mentioned in the last episode. Enjoyable enough, but while its acceptable to spend an episode building up the story arc backstory, spending more than three episodes is getting too much.
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Log Horizon: Odyssey Knights (2014)
Season 2, Episode 17
6/10
The story arc grinds on
18 February 2020
More occurred in this episode, but there is a strong tendency for the show to descend into slice of life, which is enjoyable in its own right, but has minimal relevance for the actual story arc. Perhaps its because, apart from Rundelhaus and perhaps Isuzu, I don't consider the other characters as being exceptional, thus I have minimal interest in getting to know their backstory more than is required by the plot. If you like all the characters you will find the slice of life interesting and I must admit getting a few laughs from Serara as she imagines herself married to Nyanta. Apart from that the slice of life burns up more than half the episode without progressing anything, but at least we get the other half progressing the plot, which is more than can be said for the previous two episodes. We discover that Row 2 claims to have come from the moon. I would not normally mention something like this in a review as it could spoil the enjoyment of the episode, but she blurts it out so nonchalantly and with no effect to the plot, in this episode at least, that I wonder why this information is even mentioned. It did cause me to increase my interest level a great deal, but it does not seem to go anywhere in this season. I am hoping this is explored more in season 3. Nurha appears again in her armoured train, which was support to be going off to war, but does not seem to be doing very much at all. She turns into a fake NPC and infiltrates our party. This is very interesting and when she learned the party knew shiroe she reacts very strongly. Tohya thinks something is fishy, which makes no sense at all. Row 2 is supposed to be a very high level magic caster, and we know high level magic casters can see through Nurha's disguise, because shiroe did. Yet a low ranked, non-magic caster is suspicious. Clearly the writers are trying to get us to invest into Tohya and get some sort of personal story arc out of it. As Tohya is about as bland a character as you can get, they had to make something up. Personally I would focus on Tohya immaturity and foolishness and create a story arc where he becomes more mature, but then who am I to say? We get some social class issues back in Akihabara and shiroe wants crusty to come back, so the crusty plot line is maintained. The only other thread worth mentioning is Shiroe has Nyanta and Akatsuki conduct some surveillance on Minami, or at least I think its Minami. The final piece of info is the appearance of the Odyssey Knights, which apparently come from Minami. They are carrying a portable shrine, which means they are not dependent on the cathedral. This also makes no sense as the reason why Nurha has gained control of Minami is by controlling the cathedral. If adventurers could get portable shrines they would not be under the control of Plant Hwyaden. Of course the only reason why I think they are from Minami is because Minori says this, so perhaps she is wrong. But nonetheless this is a way to escape Plant Hwyaden. The episode was still enjoyable but we continue to get bombarded by seemingly unconnected facts, which even if they were significant in the plot line, are too confusing to remember. Basically this is very poorly designed, but I still enjoyed it. Whatever you do, make sure you start with season 1 before going to season 2, because season 2 would be unwatchable otherwise.
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Goblin Slayer: The Fate of an Adventurer (2018)
Season 1, Episode 12
10/10
Excellent end to an excellent season
18 February 2020
I am a bit surprised but the quality of the previous episode continues with this episode. The final battle between the gobbling Slayer and the Goblin King, epic combats back at the farm between the high ranked adventurers and the hobgoblins and more than your fills of "oh no, please don't die". They even did a brilliant job at evoking emotion as the shrine maiden attempts to save the mortally wounded goblin hero. Brilliant stuff and we even get to see his face, sort of. If this does not bring on a smile at the end, you have no heart at all. Highly recommended just for the two last episodes if nothing else.
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Log Horizon: The Midday Vampire (2014)
Season 2, Episode 16
6/10
Another padded episode
18 February 2020
This is yet another slice of life padded episode. Unlike the last we do get some minimal plot progression, but you could have merged this with the previous episode and still ended up with a slow episode. I am uncertain why this is occurring as season 1 was so well paced. But besides the very uneven pacing this is watchable, as long as you do not need a lot of plot progression. Some new things are disclosed, the round table has offered to level up some NPC's as a good will measure. We know Shiroe is worried about crusty and quite frankly so am I. He is one of the more interesting characters and his absence is noticed. I think its to give Misa and Riese some character development, but we see so little of them if this is the intention, its not working. The final reveal is the appearance of what looks like a female version of shiroe, calling herself Row 2. She is a vampire and saves the party at the end of the episode, which is another example of a lost opportunity. If you wanted to pad the episode out a better strategy would have to give more time to the fight at the end of the episode. The fight, as it occurred, was, at best, lame. Giving more time to the fight could have allowed more drama and excitement, instead of the slice of life activity with occurs in the first 90% of the episode. A very watchable episode, but such a lost opportunity
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Goblin Slayer: A Gathering of Adventurers (2018)
Season 1, Episode 11
10/10
Brilliant Episode
18 February 2020
This is about as good as you can get, starting with significant and moving character development, the power of friendship and after so much despair, hope for victory. We start with goblin slayer about as low as you can get imminent goblin attack, no hope of survival, and knowing that his childhood friend will be subject to horrific abuse and finally death. Then the plea for assistance, the willingness to give up everything for help and then the willingness to assist at almost no cost. The battle is classic goblin slayer and a joy to watch and of course, we end with the gobbling slayer meeting the king of the goblins. What will happen, as we are not yet out of the woods? I cannot recommend this episode enough.
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Goblin Slayer: Dozing (2018)
Season 1, Episode 10
7/10
Setting up the new story arc
16 February 2020
With the 2nd story arc completed we have a typical rest episode which will be used to setup the last story arc of the season. A good and enjoyable watch, but with a rather sad and sinister edge to it. My guess is this is setting up the last, more dramatic, story arc of the season. Rather than provide a lot of information about the next quest, we are left with a final dramatic reveal at the end. Its noit clear what this means, but we can probably guess and its not good.
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Log Horizon: A New Journey (2014)
Season 2, Episode 15
5/10
Back to slice of life
16 February 2020
After such a short, but dramatic info dump it was strange to move back to a light hearted slice of life tale. The episode was enjoyable enough and is probably the beginning of a minor story arc, to complement a more serious story arc. There was no plot progression; this was simply setting up this story arc. It does seem rather odd and I still feel the previous episode should have been drawn out into a number of episodes and formed into a coherent story arch, with the info dump occurring along the way. But regardless this was an enjoyable, if eventless, watch.
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Goblin Slayer: There and Back Again (2018)
Season 1, Episode 9
8/10
A great end to the 2nd story arc
16 February 2020
This is another great episode and a real good end to the 2nd story arc. We see character development, goblin slayers skill and always finding an answer to any problem and a mystery solved. Good solid goblin slayer entertainment.
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Log Horizon: Kanami, Go East (2014)
Season 2, Episode 14
8/10
A lot of information
16 February 2020
This episode really pours it on and hits the audience with a lot of information. We start in Minami with a number of random characters filling us with some information, including about Kanami. We heard something about Kanami in the previous episode and in this episode we know sparks will fly if she ever meets Intics. Intics is the nasty, real evil mastermind, behind Minami. We then discover kanami had formed a new party in china and here we are thrown a new piece of information. One member of the party is a super NPC hero, which was the main mascot of Elder tale and similar to the Izimo Knights. We also discover another odd character; we later discover is a farming bot. These are two new interesting characters we have not seen before. Then we are thrown with another change, some NPCs are getting a funny disease where their states flicker between two states and they gain a lot of power when this happens. We then discover two new evil characters, which wipe out an entire army of adventurers. Kanami then gets involved with these characters, which appear to not be adventures, or at least one is not. The other is some weird type of character who is trying to kill the ancients. He was called a genius. The more normal character has the ability to flip states. This gives her an ability to take damage. Finally we go back to Minami where we are informed they are going to war, towards the east, which is the round table, I assume. This represent some new threat. This episode seems like a data dump, each item of data probably needs its own episode. This is such a pace change its rather disconcerting. By itself it's a mash of information which has no plot or story arc, so I assume this will all be explained in the future. Nonetheless if you are watching this episode you have made a significant investment in the series and will, thus, find this very interesting. But don't try and start the series from this episode.
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Log Horizon: A Sweet Trap (2014)
Season 2, Episode 13
8/10
Another enjoyable slice of life episode
15 February 2020
Now the two major story arcs are over we get a nice and enjoyable slice of life episode. The magic fruit which will force someone to say who they love was the main plot line and it was surprisingly enjoyable. The cake episode was not my cup of tea, but this seemed to work. The main plot progression was to show us Kanami, who it seems will become a major plot line in the future. The other was we saw a rather pathetic Nureha, who while apparently the leader of Minami, is apparently under the thumb of Intics, who appears to be the true villain. A couple of other minor points are raised, but not really much actually happens.
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9/10
This is what I like about Goblin Slayer
15 February 2020
Now we are getting to an episode which makes goblin slaver go good. The Goblin Slaver has no super powers and is very mortal, as we discovered from the last episode, but he is smart. He gathers information and is always prepared and most significantly he always has a plan. This episode shows the Goblin Slavers skill in all its glory and its very enjoyable. We do get some backstory from the archbishop, which becomes important later on. We also get to see the Goblin Slayer begin to chill out and interact with other people in a less mechanical manner. This is a very enjoyable episode the first time and subsequent viewing.
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Goblin Slayer: Onward Unto Death (2018)
Season 1, Episode 7
8/10
Great episode, but strangely not so good the 2nd time around.
14 February 2020
This is a good episode, great actions, heroic struggles and cliff hanger end. That was the way it was the first time I watched it, but for some strange reason it was not so good the 2nd time. I just wanted to get to the end after the 75% mark, I suspect because I knew what occurred and without the desire to solve the mystery, I did not enjoy it as much. This is common with story arcs which depend on a twist or a reveal, once you know what the twist or the reveal is the viewing experience is not so good. This is a good first watch, but be warned the 2nd may not be as much fun.
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Log Horizon: The Gold of the Kunie (2014)
Season 2, Episode 12
7/10
Good conclusion to the second story arc
14 February 2020
This is a good conclusion to the 2nd story arc, with Shiroe having achieved his objective in a win-win manner. The Kunie tribe are happy, their secret remains safe, and the silver swords get heaps of rewards for their final victory. I must admit the objective is a bit complex and some viewers may not understand why they went to all that trouble. In the end, shiroe still needed the loan so he had to get to this point to make it clear to the Kunie tribe they had to provide the loan. One area he did consider himself to have failed is to not tell anyone his plan, which is a valid issue. However, whey he didn't tell the kunie tribe his plan before they went to all this effort is beyond me. Its likely they would of accepted, but then I suppose we would miss the entire story arc. Regardless, good episode and the third story arc is being setup, with some glimpses provide.
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8/10
The team is back together and its good.
12 February 2020
I like the members of the goblin parties team, they are varied, unique and interesting characters. As a result its good to see them together on an adventure. The main objective of this episode is to setup the 2nd story arc and in that it does a good job. We are left with the knowledge the problem is serious, although the goblin slayer seemed to know this when he first spoke to the archbishop. At that time I though why he said the tow could be lost, but by the end I realised why. This episode flow along, nothing too exciting or though provoking, but a good story involving characters we, by now, care for.
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Log Horizon: Retry (2014)
Season 2, Episode 11
6/10
Lots of action, but not much plot progression
12 February 2020
This is not a bad episode, on first watching its rather interesting and keeps you glued to your seat wondering how they will get out of this problem, but apart from this no much happens. I though the main problem they were facing could be solved by the use of two more raid parties, even if they were weak as long as they kept two bosses busy allowing for the elite raid party to take out the 3rd boss. But in this case Shiroe does not have two extra raid parties, so I understand the plan being adopted. He could always use this as a threat to get his way, if required. But this series is not about ruthless characters, instead its about a bunch of folks developing and becoming nicer and friends, so that plot threat will probably not be used. The only real downside is there is a lack of plot development and apart from the action, not much else. As a result on a second viewing it gets a bit boring by the end. Ponce again this looks like it has been stretched out beyond what is optimal. Its sad to say, but watch it once and if you re-watch the series, you can skip most of this episode, the last 5 minutes is all you need.
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Goblin Slayer: Adventures and Daily Life (2018)
Season 1, Episode 5
6/10
Another pause before the storm
11 February 2020
The last episode was intense so this is clearly designed to be a rest before the next excitement. There is a little mini story about a group of rookies who lose their sword and try and work out how to get it back, with the help of goblin slayers advice. We also have another little mini arc about an adventurer who has cheated his team friends. Both are interesting but do not progress the plot. The key take away is a quest specially sent to the goblin slayer, what could it be and will it lead to more adventures. Of course we all know the answer to the latter question, but the former if the bait to get us watching the next episode.
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