Log Horizon. One of my favorite anime series, actually. It's a wonderful story that goes thoroughly in depth into a fantasy, game-like world. Like most of you, I fell in love with this story through the amount of detail. There was something special about learning more and more about the Elder Tale world.
The show does a lot of things really well and, might I add, the light novels are even better. The characters all go through their progressions nicely, we get to see the world they are trapped in develop and change, and, most importantly, we get to see many sides to every story.
We get to see the character's struggles, their triumphs, and everything in between. In the end, we have a great story.
So what kind of shows are like Log Horizon?
SAO, if you are unfamiliar, is an anime where virtual reality has finally been perfected. A new same, called Sword Art Online, has just been released, with only ten thousand copies. However, once the players all log in, they are terrified to learn that they are stuck in this game. Worse off, if they perish in the game world, their real bodies die as well. The only way to win? Beat the game, all 100 floors of Aincrad.
Both of these anime shows take place in a fantasy, game-like world; for SAO, it is literally a game, though. However, the difference in story depth is quite amazing. SAO focuses almost exclusively on the main character and his point of view, jumping around his time in the game, whereas in LH you get many points of view, and lots of detail.
Both of these shows use game-like terms, phrases such as "party" or "raid" are thrown around quite a bit, giving them both a similar atmosphere. Though similar, SAO is no match for the "realism" feel that LH gives off, as the game is just a game, not reality.
You should give SAO a watch if you are a fan of the game-like world, and lingo, that is present in LH. SAO has quite some drama attached to it as death is absolute, which is different from the more political drama we see in LH. Don't expect as much depth as you get in LH either, as one of the main drawbacks of the SAO franchise is lack of story depth.
Grimgar starts off with our main characters suddenly appearing in a fantasy, medieval world. They have no memories prior to the incident, and no knowledge of why they are now here. They soon find out that in order to make money in this world, they must slay monsters and sell their spoils on the market. However, taking a life isn't as easy as it sounds.
The basis of Grimgar and LH is quite similar, they both start out with the sudden appearance into another world. However, in Grimgar's case, it isn't based off a game, it's literally another world to them. Despite that, this "other world" has many game-like characteristics such as guilds, skills, etc.
The most prominent similarity between the two would have to be the emphasis on teamwork. LH was great in pointing out that going solo doesn't cut it, and in Grimgar, you quickly see why having a party is necessary, especially with death lingering around every corner.
Lastly, the two are both quite dramatic at times; Grimgar more so. Grimgar draws is drama from the very act of living, which is a struggle for the main characters. This means, like LH, there is less emphasis on action, and more on what happens in between battles, which is nice.
Give Grimgar a chance if you are wanting a more realistic, dramatic take on something like LH. It has a bit of fan service in the beginning, but gets toned down later, thankfully.
On what seemed to be an ordinary day, a gate, or portal rather, opened in a downtown city of Japan. What came through were man and beasts alike, like something out of a fantasy novel. After Japan's defense forces repelled the attack, they decided to push through the gate, to this other world. Now, Japan's SDF must carefully make it's way into and through this unknown world, all the while receiving pressure and criticism from the real one.
Right off the bat, I have to mention the fantasy-like theme. Though, this "other world" in Gate is far from a game, it does have fantasy qualities that are very similar to LH. Such as dragons, magic, etc.
Much like LH, we get to see a lot of different perspectives in this show. We don't just stick behind the MC the entire time. We get to see the different aspects of the war, from foot soldiers, to leaders, to the media.
There is also a strong similarity between the way Japan's SDF forces must act, just as the Adventurers had to. The forces are going into an unknown world, and must learn as much about it as possible; all the while, the other world is trying to learn about them too, much like the Adventures x People of the Land.
Gate has a lot more modern, not game-like aspects to it, but it is a great show if you want to see how a modern world would clash with a fantasy one. You should watch this show if you enjoy seeing the many perspectives of a story, and also enjoy precision planning that even Master Shiroe would applaud.
A boy who yearns to become an adventurer, but can't find any Familia to take him under their wing. Enter Hestia, a Goddess who has no Familia, until now. Will he be able to make his new found Familia successful? Or will he die in the process?
Again, this is a fantasy, game-like world. Quite similar to LH, the adventurers in this story have skills and levels, that are upgrades for them by their Familia's Goddess.
Like LH, there is always lots of stuff going on. We hang on the MC for his development, but the show isn't shy about going away from him and showing what kind of other stuff is going on.
You should give this one a go if, well, you like the whole fantasy, game-like feel. There are parts of this show that are quite funny, and others that are quite dark. You get to follow the MC on an incredible journey, where he is trying his best to get stronger for his Goddess. It's quite the good story.
A brother and sister, practically born into the wrong world. Together they are Blank, and Blank never loses. They are very skilled gamers, defeating foes that even cheat against them. However, one day, they defeat an online player in a chess game, and their world changes. The person they defeated was a God, and he invites them into his world where games rule everything.
Games, games, games. Except...this is different. Instead of being stuck in a game, they are in a fantasy world where games decide everything. Some of the games are pretty in-depth and well thought out, as well.
Strategy. Blank's strategy rivals that of Shiroe, maybe even surpasses him. The way they think out everything throughout the show is simply incredible, especially when you start to doubt they'll win.
A minor similarity as well, between Blank and Shiroe; they are both quite awkward around other people.
You should definitely give No Game No Life a watch if you are a fan of in-depth, strategic games. It is more on the comedic side, but still a good watch. If you love seeing Master Shiroe's plans come together, you will be more than satisfied watching Blank execute their plans.
A regular boy, trying to save a girl, and ends up getting killed. Now, he is given a choice to be reborn in a game-like, fantasy world, where he must kill the evil king. He can ask for one thing, and one thing only, to start him on his journey into this world. Of course, he chooses to take the Goddess with him.
This is another show that is in a fantasy, game-like world with skills and such. However, Konosuba definitely takes on a more comedic role, for sure.
It might be a bit of a stretch, but they are similar in ways of getting used to a completely new world, a game-like one if that.
Who am I kidding, the only similarity here is the fantasy, game-like world. Even so, you should watch this show because it is freaking hilarious, and getting a second season.
Do you like the fantasy, game-like worlds in shows? Do you want to laugh your butt off non-stop? Watch Konosuba.
There you have it, my top picks for shows you should watch if you are fan of Log Horizon. Some are more similar than others, but I, personally, have enjoyed each and every one of them. Some are funny, some are serious, but they all have good stories attached to them.
Other shows you may enjoy:
If none of these shows quite strike your fancy, you can always give my random anime generator a go, that's what it's there for!