Log Horizon is a fantastic show. Taking the “trapped in a video game” sub-genre to the next level, it’s a series showing the development of an unknown world to a thriving civilization through discovery and economic management. “Economic management” may not be the most appealing buzzwords, but it’s a series that constantly is feeding the viewer information. So who better to learn from than some of the smartest characters that Log Horizon has to offer?
Whilst Minori may not be the smartest character in Log Horizon (Evidenced by the following 9 selections), her purpose as a character is that she is learning. In any MMORPG, there will be one person in particular who sets out to lead the party. Whether that means organising loot distribution or even micromanaging exactly what moves each player should use, this is a position that requires real smarts. After being rescued from Shiroe from a forced labour guild, she along with her brother end up joining the Log Horizon guild.
Here, she’s given training from Shiroe himself on various party tactics, even sending her off as party leader with the rest of the junior Log Horizon members. Several characters throughout the course of the show remark her similarities to Shiroe, particularly when it comes to strategizing and economics. Although she may be far from reaching his level, she’s always taking steps forward to take over whenever he’s not there.
Although Akatsuki is commonly regarded to be little more than Shiroe’s shadow, an assassin obsessed with serving his wills, Akatsuki has demonstrated not only wisdom, but a genuine strategic knowledge on multiple occasions, particularly during her part in the raids in Season 2. Whilst it may have led to her first death in the game, it was a fault that she was prepared to learn from, giving her a strength of character that we just didn’t see from Minori.
However, Akatsuki’s real intelligence comes from her abilities in combat. Whilst many characters within the show require strict guidance on when and how to strike (particularly Naotsugu), Akatsuki is deceptively self-reliant. After her death, she gains the ability to use an Overskill, a particularly powerful ability, requiring a great deal of training and research. Even though she’s not called on as much as the rest of the cast for her wisdom, her understanding of Elder Tale often matches or even surpasses those in charge.
As a sage of the world of Elder Tale, Regan is essential to the adventurers discovering the truth of the world and perhaps even how to get back to their own. Discovered late in the first season of the show, Regan gives us context for exactly how Elder Tale works and warns of many of the incoming dangers that our cast will face as they try to both change the world for the better whilst finding a way to escape by any means necessary.
Regans smarts certainly come in the form of wisdom rather than actual intelligence and even though he’s useful when it comes to wanting to know something, he’s rarely a character that will take the initiative or have many ideas of his own, usually leaving that to Shiroe or the rest of the Round Table. However, whilst his knowledge of the adventurers may be lacking, he’s constantly on the search for more wisdom and more understanding of the world he lives in.
7. Lenessia Erhart Cowen
If there’s one person Log Horizon fans want to see take the throne, it’s Lenessia. Although her subplot isn’t a particularly significant one in the grand scale of things, especially with Season 2 focusing on different narrative trajectories. However, her moments in the first season definitely showed that she was different from most of the royal family and her non-antagonistic approach to the mysterious adventurers gave her the opportunity to learn more and her place as ambassador was invaluable to Akihabara trade.
Her speech calling for adventurers to defend the People of the Land was a big highlight of the show and displayed her natural ability for charisma. She’s a born leader, constantly willing to learn with a careful perspective on how each decision will affect both the lives of the People of the Land as well as the adventurers, with different cultures and desires. Whilst she may not be an adventurer with knowledge of the outside world, her understanding of her own is unparalleled.
You don’t become one of the most powerful guild leaders in Elder Tale through sheer luck. Talent, charisma and serious smarts are all required to gain the trust of so many people and among those on the Round Table, Krusty is perhaps the most level-headed, proving to be talented with both politics and battle strategy. As an instrumental figure in the alliance between the adventurers and the people of the land, he’s a suave and easily likeable figure considering that in reality, he’s just an ordinary guy.
However, it’s the war with the Goblin King that shows Krusty’s real capabilities, leading a huge combined army into one of the most brutal and co-ordinated battles in the show. A crushing defeat for the goblins, Krusty’s ability to not only lead but also to train his forces is something that no other guild master has achieved to such a level, making D.D.D one of the most valuable guilds in Akihabara. Whilst he may rampage in battle, every shout and slice is one that’s heavily considered and highly co-ordinated, separating him from some of the more foolhardy combat guild masters.
5. Soujirou Seta
As the guild master of the West Wind Brigade and a former member of the Debauchery Tea Party, Seta is incredibly level-headed. With only 60 members, Seta’s ability to co-ordinate extremely high level raids has led to the West Wind Brigade being regarded as one of the most influential and powerful guilds in Akihabara alongside D.D.D and Black Sword Knights, even landing itself a place on the Round Table. Unfortunately not having many scenes in the first season outside of his help co-ordinating the festival, we were given the opportunity to see a lot more of Seta in the second season.
Whilst he died along with Akatsuki in the raid on Akihabara, he was prepared to come back from it, working to develop a new strategy for defeating the undefeatable warrior devastating the streets. It was clear from this arc that the only time Seta seems to fail is when he’s lost his composure, otherwise being back to his calculating level-headed self.
As soon as the Apocalypse set in and the cast of the series were trapped within the world of Elder Tale, chaos ensued. Adventurers ran off into the world, new players were exploited and player killing teams started arising throughout the surrounding areas. However, thanks to the help of the Crescent Moon Alliance and in particular, Henrietta, Akihabara was transformed into a proper city and nothing was more important to this city than a working economy.
Working directly with Shiroe, Henrietta negotiated with the other manufacturing guilds to create a genuine working economy that would improve the lives of everyone. Even though she’s not the guild leader of Crescent Moon, it’s her job to upkeep many of the guild’s activities whilst Maryelle acts as the eccentric lovable face of the economic organisations. It’s been joked several times that characters with glasses in Log Horizon are some of the most manipulative in the series and Henrietta is certainly no exception.
Kanami is the centre-point of which everything within Akihabara is built. Before the start of the series, she is the leader of an adventuring group known as Debauchery Tea Party, a team of some of the greatest players in the game, famous for being among the first to complete such a large amount of high level raids. Composed of Shiroe, Soujirou Seta, Nyanta and many others, the former members often regard Kanami as an inspiration for what to do next and how to approach the many challenges that face the world.
Kanami in herself, however doesn’t display many of what we would normally regard as intelligence, though. Often eccentric and foolhardy, she will jump into any new challenge without a second thought. However, as is quickly revealed, her ideas are entirely unique and her strength of character and personality surpasses anyone else within the show, especially when it comes to her decision to not just find a way out of Elder Tale, but to create a way for people to travel in between the two worlds. It’s at this last moment that Kanami’s inspiration reaches Shiroe and inspires him to take a new path, just from a few words.
Nyanta and Shiroe make a formidable team and it’s their combination that turns the Log Horizon guild into the head strategists of the Round Table. As one of the members of the Debauchery Tea Party, Nyanta is a talented fighter and leader, often co-ordinating attacks himself. However, it’s his management of the town of Akihabara and his analysis of the world’s mechanics that really puts him so high up on this list. Nyanta is always ahead of the curve on new developments within the world and is the first to spot any mistake.
His greatest achievement was the discovery of the ability to cook real food. With all of Elder Tale’s food being tasteless, it was Nyanta who discovered the combination of skills that it takes to give food real taste, transforming Akihabara’s economy with food stalls being available throughout the town. His contributions to the town combined with his personal genius is a huge asset throughout the show.
Finally, we arrive at Shiroe. Whether it’s in the battle against the Goblin King, the development of Akihabara’s economy or the alliance between the adventurers and the People of the Land, Shiroe played a major part in all of these things. Single handedly holding the banks of every member hostage through some careful trickery, Shiroe is the most powerful person within Akihabara and his position as the chairman of the Round Table only cements this. Whenever he’s approached with a problem he can’t handle, his knowledge of the people around him means that he is able to find exactly the person for the job.
That’s not to mention that he’s also a master strategist, co-ordinating huge raids with impeccable timing, accomplishing the impossible with ease. An engineering student in real life, he’s constantly trying to find the inner-workings of everything he finds, eventually discovering Regan to add to his ever growing pool of knowledge. He’s regarded as the “Villain in Glasses”, a reference to the manipulative ways in which he develops plans. Out of everyone within the show, Shiroe is the closest to discovering the truth of the world and with the help of Kanami, aims to open the doors between the world of Elder Tale and the real world. It’s a job for the smartest man in the world and Shiroe is more than qualified.
And these are, simply put, the smartest kids on the block when it comes to Log Horizon. With very little chance for a Season 3 after Mamare Touno was found guilty of tax evasion (and the anime being publicly funded), we may not get to see an end to this adventure. But it’s worth remarking on the moments we had whilst the show lasted. Or we could read the light novel. (Lol)
Let us know your favourite moments from these characters in the comments section below.