Log Horizon. By far one of my favorite shows, for multiple reasons. If you are unfamiliar, the show is about a bunch of players of a popular MMORPG that suddenly appear inside the game, except, it’s no longer a game. Somehow, the world they knew as “Elder Tale” has become a reality, and they have to learn how to survive in this world. Between learning to fight with their new bodies, that resemble their old avatars, to figuring out how to manage the relationship between Adventurers (players) and the People of the Land (NPCs). Log Horizon covers it all, and it does so brilliantly.
So what makes it so good? For me, it’s the details. Unlike most shows, Log Horizon drills the details home, and I love it for that reason. The fact of the matter is, they are inside a game world. The author explains the story from the players perspective of gamers, using terms like “party” or “raid.” However, it is also their new reality. We get to see the characters struggle between this “reality” and thinking that it’s still “just a game.” More importantly, the show heavily goes into player interactions, to the point of self-governing. Behind it all is Master Shiroe, probably the best main character I’ve seen.
So… that’s all fine and good, but you are probably reading this because you know how amazing it is. You want to know what you can watch that will give you that same feeling. I got you. Let’s get to the list, shall we?
Sword Art Online
Where there is Log Horizon, there is SAO; that’s just how it is. Though, I’m putting it in here for a slightly different reason. SAO and Log Horizon are similar, but focus on different aspects. SAO has the “game” feel that Log Horizon does, but takes it to the next level based on the fact of death being absolute. SAO enacts the drama side of being trapped in another world really well, which is why I think you’ll like it.
Of course, there is more to SAO than that, but I want to focus sorely on the first season (Aincrad). We get more of the awesome fights that are far and few between in Log Horizon; mainly, boss raids. Though SAO does not go into as much detail as Log Horizon on these raids, the fight scenes are still pretty cool.
I’d recommend you checking out SAO, at least the first season, if you are wanting a more drama out of the show, and don’t mind being stuck to the main character (unlike LH where we follow many characters).
No Game No Life
So you like Log Horizon because of the depth. You are in love with it, as am I. Well, you will probably like No Game No Life. If you go crazy, fan girl over some of Master Shiroe’s plans, then you definitely will like this show. I’m not going to lie, this is more of a comedy show, but the depth of the games that the main characters play is second to none.
Basically, the two main characters are beast gamers and they get trapped in a world where games decide everything. You can guess what happens. We get to go along with these two on some amazing, high risk games. Some of which you have no idea how they won until after the end. The only thing you have to know about this anime to enjoy it: Blank never loses.
I’d recommend giving No Game No Life a go if you are in a lighter mood, you know, wanting some comedy. This anime doesn’t have as much drama attached, but the thoroughness of the games they play is something to marvel at.
Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash
I love me some Grimgar. This is one of those shows that usually flies under the radar, you know, because it’s not a high dollar show. This has a very similar premise to LH, meaning that the main characters just appear in another world. Except, Grimgar is far from a game. It has game-like qualities, like guilds or skills, but it is most certainly a reality, and our characters learn that very quickly.
This show doesn’t go as in-depth on things such as combat or strategy, but focuses more on the struggle of life. We are taken on a journey where these teenagers are thrown into a world where they must kill to survive. They have to kill to make money, and, as the main character Haru says, “everything costs money.”
I’d say give Grimgar a go if you are wanting an adventure that is real, not fantasy. The drama present in this show is that of real life and death, and isn’t masked by a video game. Do try and ignore the fan service in the first few episodes, it dies down after a while (they use it as a comic relief way too much in the beginning).