Log Horizon is an anime that tells the tale of what happens when players of the MMORPG game, Elder Tale, mysteriously find themselves actually inside the game after the 12th expansion, "Novasphere Pioneers," is added. The main character of the series is Shiroe, and he is joined by his two companions Naotsugu and Akatsuki.
Episode three sees Shiroe, Naotsugu, and Akatsuki reaching the Depths of Palm as they travel on their way to Susukino in order to rescue Serara from the Crescent Moon Alliance. During their time in the Depths of Palm, Shiroe provides the audience with a couple of instances of exposition that feels like it came straight out of a manual on how to play Elder Tale. During this episode, Shiroe explains about the rat-men and an explanation of how communicating via telepathy works in the game.
Their first path for getting through the Depths of Palm is blocked by the rat-men, and the bridge that they try to cross as their second path crumbles beneath them and causes Shiroe to fall into the water. While he's in the water, he's afraid that if he dies in the water, he'll be sent back to Akihabara and their mission will fail. The audience gets some background on Shiroe, specifically how he got into Elder Tale in the first place, and how he became recognized as an experienced and knowledgeable veteran. We also learn that after a while, he found the recognition to be a bit of a pain.
When Shiroe comes to, he finds that he's been rescued by Akatsuki and Naotsugu. When they continue on, we learn that Shiroe is a graduate college student in engineering and that he was about to graduate soon. We also learn that Akatsuki is about his age; both of the boys are shocked by how old she is, because they assumed from her avatar that she must be a child. They are suddenly approached by a monster they've never seen in the game before, and assume that it must be a new monster from the Novasphere Pioneers update. The climax of the episode shows Shiroe and his party working together to try to defeat this new monster.
During this episode, we finally get to see Serara in Susukino. The good player who rescued her is named Nyanta and he looks like a cat. The fact that Nyanta is a cat was something that I wasn't expecting.
During the episode, two more characters are shown, but the audience has no idea who they truly are. One of the characters is giving a report to the other one, and mentions that Shiroe is on his way to Susukino. When the other person hears Shiroe's name, their face shows that they're very intrigued. I have a feeling that this is going to become important in the future; hopefully, the series will provide us some more information for these two characters, since at this point I don't even know what their names are.
Episode three was able to provide us some brief character development for Shiroe, and I also appreciated getting a little more information for both Shiroe and Akatsuki on how old they are and what they do in the real world. Hopefully, we'll learn more about Naotsugu in a future episode of the series.
While there were still a couple of moments where we got explanations for concepts that felt like they came straight out of a "How to Play Elder Tale" manual, it was nowhere near as pervasive as it was in episode two.
Now that the story of Log Horizon is finally getting going, I'm finally excited about being able to watch this series once a week through the simulcast. I hope that the next episode will continue to keep my interest in the series.