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I’ve been watching Log Horizon with friends, and caught them up to the latest episodes last night. As part of the discussion I expressed my dissatisfaction with the current season, and some debate ensued.

My friend’s view is that Log Horizon is taking a long, deep, view to its scripting, and that a western analogue to the approach would be Babylon 5. That there was never any intention to wrap things up this season, that this season is to a large extent set up for seasons 3 and 4.

In other words each season is essentially a chapter or two in a larger novel. The next chapter (season 3) is likely to be the looming war, and chapter 4 (season 4) is likely to be about getting home.

We watched the most recent 5 episodes last night, and on that viewing he may be on to something. There are hints of strands being drawn together that I may have disregarded in my disdain for how I was seeing the storytelling.

The problem I still have though is that too much effort setting up for the next story detracts from the story the viewers are watching now.

What we’re seeing this season might become awesome in the context of later seasons, but it still feels like bad story telling now. This is similar to the risk that Dusk Maiden of Amnesia took with its series structure but on a much larger scale[1].

Given the risks of not getting subsequent seasons[2], I feel that each season should have a consistent theme, story, and finale. By all means set up threads that won’t be resolved, and signal them for later seasons, but you need to tell a solid story in the current season first.

So, what do people think? Is Log Horizon season 2 a confused mess, or will it make sense in the long run? Is there a deeper game afoot?

Sound off in the comments and let the debate begin!

[1] Dusk Maiden of Amnesia only risked a dodgy first half of a 12 episode series. Log Horizon is potentially doing the same thing over 100 episodes.

[2] Off the top of my head Bodacious Space Pirates, Rocket Girls, Hanayamata, and Girls Und Panzer are examples of shows that could really do with a second season but aren’t going to get one.