The ‘Villain in Glasses’ gives Kirito a lesson on strategy.
This is my first journey through the “100 Days of Anime” Challenge, an ambitious project that I’ll be taking. For the full list of prompts, click here.
“An anime crossover you would like to see?”
When it comes to Sword Art Online, I might be in the minority when it comes to rewatching the show. I’m not afraid to say that I enjoyed the ride, especially the first season. I could care less for Kirito being an empowering blank-slate with little character, or the romantic tension within his rapidly growing harem. No, I found myself being completely enamored by the idea of Aincrad as a video game; its scenery, backstory, and mechanics that get my inner gamer all fired up; all video game elements that I wanted to see more of.
Unfortunately, the Aincrad arc doesn’t elaborate more on these elements, aside from the rare “Switch!” and a skill UI that’s vague at best. It’s a shame when the same scene of Kirito essentially soloing what are supposed to be the MMO equivalent of “Raid Bosses” over and over is deemed as way more badass than a carefully planned and executed strategy. I hold the biggest respect for the dedicated players that spend countless hours learning the ins and outs of a fight, and adapting to the situation when the fight inevitably goes wrong.
A skill that Log Horizon showcases quite well.
Though Log Horizon’s “trapped in an MMO” trope lacks the sweet sweet threat of certain death, it manages to entertain in other ways. Instead of following an overpowered warrior mowing through dungeon monsters, Log Horizon highlights the lesser known nuances of MMOs. Economy, politics, guilds, and even the importance of class choice. Throw in an episode or two on “Raids” and my inner MMO-nerd would be utterly hooked.
A crossover between Log Horizon and Sword Art Online would be amazing – essentially giving me the best of both worlds. Though SAO may have an advantage on Reddit’s yearly “Best Girl” polls, Log Horizon boasts an equally cool cast of characters with Shiroe, Akatsuki, and even Crusty. Seeing Shiroe (dubbed the “Villain with Glasses”) stuck in Aincrad brings up so many interesting scenarios and questions. Would he be the same if he was stuck in the death game? How would he handle that realization?
I want to see our master strategist take down Aincrad’s bosses, one floor after another. A carefully planned strategy followed by a tense fight. The realization that death is only a mistake away. And how will he handle the death of the party members that followed his strategy afterwards?
Raising the stakes on Shiroe in a way that Log Horizon’s own setting was unable to, while giving Aincrad a deeper sense of strategy and depth.