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My thoughts on all things geek…anime, comics, conventions, etc. Just remember stay geeky my friends!

Geek Debates #1: Sword Art Online vs. Log Horizon (Spoilers!)

Greetings! Railgunfan75 here! It has been a while but now I have some new content for you. I apologize for the lack of content recently, the real world has sucked me into it’s dark abyss. This is the first post for a new series that I would like to start where I address some of the highly discussed topics in the geek world. For the first post, I will give my thoughts on a topic which I have seen discussed in great length, which anime is better Sword Art Online or Log Horizon? There are many people who feel passionately one way or the other about this topic and since I have reviewed both series, I feel it is time to weigh in on this. I will compare the series in terms of concept, animation, sound, characters, story, and entertainment value and tell you which series wins out in that category. Warning: To discuss this properly, some minor spoilers may be revealed.

Log-Horizon-Anime-Wallpaper VS  b6796-sword_art_online_

 

Concept: Tie

This is really no surprise to those who watched both series. Both start off with the premise of players being trapped in a game world. There are some minor differences between the two but in both the players are trapped in a world which is not their own. The idea behind the two series is pretty much the same. The outcomes and how the series plays out are different, but the basic premise behind both series is the same.There is nothing wrong with this as the concept is really an excellent one to explore. In both series this concept works really well so to say one or the other is better is a very close call.

Animation: Sword Art Online

This is one of the easiest decisions in comparing the two series. While there is nothing wrong with the animation style for Log Horizon, Sword Art’s animation is just more visually appealing. The backgrounds and battle scenes are gorgeous and the character designs are visually appealing. The animation does a really good of conveying a wonderful fantasy/game setting and in my opinion reaches a quality that you only see in cinema. In the case of Log Horizon, the animation is great and is certainly fitting for the game world setting. The character designs are a perfect fit for the characters as well. Log Horizon in terms of animation just lacked the wow factor the SAO has. I liked the animation for both series, however this is just a case where the animation for Sword Art Online is just better.

Asuna 1

An example of the wonderful animation detail in SAO

Sound: Sword Art Online

This was a really tough call for me. The theme music for both series is quite excellent and quite memorable. In both series we are given catchy and memorable theme music. The voice acting in both series is done quite well (I’m comparing the Japanese voice work since Log Horizon has not been dubbed yet). The actors did a great job in both cases of conveying the wide range of emotions in dealing with the respective scenarios. Both soundtracks fit he settings of the respective series rather well and help the viewer get immersed in both of the worlds. Where SAO wins out is the fact there are more memorable themes and tracks from the soundtrack then Log Horizon. From the battle themes to the music when the characters are in a town, the range and number of catchy tunes is higher in Sword ArtLog Horizon has memorable tracks from the soundtrack for sure, but they are outnumbered by the ones in Sword Art Online. Because of this I have a Sword Art Online  a slight edge….very slight.

Characters: Log Horizon

Kirito from SAO is certainly a bad ass and one of my favorite male protagonists in any medium. Asuna is an excellent heroine when she is allowed to be one.  Leafa was certainly entertaining to watch in the second half of the series and characters such as Lisbeth and Silica were memorable as well. However, the cast of Log Horizon feels more well rounded and complete. It is rare to see a main character such as Shiroe who uses his wits to solve a problem instead of relying on power alone. His uniqueness, intelligence, and humanity make him a great character. His counterpart Kirito instead spends a substantial portion of the series alone and prefers it that way.  Sure his reasons are somewhat justified but it is a character trope that is fairly common in many media.   Akatsuki is just an awesome and fun character. Her loyalty and bad ass nature mixed with the awkwardness of dealing with people make her fun to watch. It is some ways more realistic than Asuna from SAO, even though she is what many consider to be a gamer’s dream girl. While she is cool and one of my favorite characters Asuna is a less realistic charcter than Akatsuki.  Naotsugu, Nyanta, Marielle, Henrietta, and the other characters are all quite likable. The characters in Log Horizon in most cases seem more human and real. Also each character has a big role to play in the series unlike in SAO where many characters make an appearance and then are rarely heard from again. Log Horizon focuses more on an ensemble versus one or two characters. Because of these reasons, Log Horizon takes this category.

log_horizon_nn0

This is just a portion of the cast of characters that Log Horizon has to offer…they all play an important role in the series

Story: Log Horizon

Both series have fun and entertaining stories to tell. However when exploring this category, one must look at how the story plays out and how well the story is told. In this regard, Log Horizon wins out. In the case of Sword Art, the story starts out with a very cool and thought provoking idea and then gets sidetracked a bit with of series of episodes which while entertaining really ends up giving Kirito his own harem really. The second half is nowhere near as bad as people make it out to be, the bigger issue is really the fact the story strays off track a bit. In the end SAO is in fact a love story culminating with Kirito saving Asuna in the second half. There is nothing wrong with that and it is an entertaining story, however what Log Horizon offers is a bit more appealing and unique.  Log Horizon has a deeper and more complex story of the two series. The series focus is more on the ramifications of getting caught up in a new world. Add in the fact that the characters can’t die opens up more possibilities. The divierging approaches offer up two different perspectives to the scenario. Log Horizon takes advantage of this and explores some really interesting scenarios while SAO does play off of the desperation of their scenario a bit before going down the love story path. Because of the complexity and the unique story story approach, Log Horizon takes this category.

Entertainment Value: Tie

This category is next to impossible for me to pick to pick a superior series. Why? Because both series are entertaining in different ways. Basically these two series approach the same scenario in vastly different ways and both do an excellent job of it. I was equally entertained by both for different reasons. In the case of Sword Art Online, it was because of the great action sequences, the desperate nature of the plot, and yes I enjoyed the love story aspect as well. Log Horizon was entertaining because of the great cast and the deep thought provoking story. Picking one over the other is next than impossible to do.

WinnerBoth

This may seem like a cop out….how can I not pick a side? The answer is simple really…because both sides and both series are winners for different reasons. What it really comes down to is personal preference in this case. These series after some deep thought are actually quite different animals despite a similar premise.  Don’t worry in future debates/topics sides will be picked. In this case for me a definitive conclusion can’t be reached.

So this concludes my exploration of this highly contested topic. If you liked or disliked my arguments please comment down below. I do plan on doing more of these types of posts in the future so stay tuned! Coming soon as promised before, A review of the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, I am thinking about doing a first impression post for some of this summer’s talked about shows such as Akame ga Kill and SAO II. Also more Weiss Schwarz content! So until next time, this is Railgunfan75 saying stay geeky my friends!

 

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2 comments on “Geek Debates #1: Sword Art Online vs. Log Horizon (Spoilers!)

  1. Mathias Rosier
    November 22, 2014

    So Sword Art Online just look and sound better while Log Horizon has a better story and characters, Is Animation and Sound more important then Characters and Story because if you think about it the Light Novel doesn’t have Animation nor Sound which mean if it was the light novel, LH would be the clear winner. Not to forget that the animation and sound are what the studio does not the author so clearly Sword Art Online studio was a little bit better but LH light novel was better.

    • railgunfan75
      November 23, 2014

      Thanks for reading the post! I would say all four are equally important in terms of the experience. Some things are just entertains for the reason that they please the senses, others because they please the mind. It doesn’t mean that one is more entertains or better than the other. Because each series took categories, a tie was the best way to approach it. I love both series but for different reasons. Also my assessment is independent of the light novels for the reason that certain concessions are made when adapting light novels, novels, and manga. I am reading the SAO light novel and am enjoying its immensely. I haven’t completed the SAO or LH light novels yet so I can’t give an opinion or not on those. Thanks for your comment and thanks for reading my blog!

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This entry was posted on August 2, 2014 by in Anime and Manga, Geek Debates, General Geek Topics and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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