Once a show has been on the air for awhile it is often possible to accurately gauge the future quality and what the show’s return on time invested by the viewer will be to a very narrow degree. This applies to very great series, very bad series, and everything in-between.
(For me, if it feels like a series could maybe, potentially get better in the future – above the level it’s currently at – then I will often stick with it to see if this potential is realized. This accounts for probably most of the bad series that I actually finish.)
Sometimes, though, a series can really shock the viewer by suddenly doing something well-above the level it’s been performing at. Today’s (basically, yesterday’s at this point) moment is the best example of this year and it comes from Log Horizon 2: Database Harder. Sorry, that wasn’t the real title but they did reuse the first season’s opening song again.
Anyways, the moment is from episode 18.
To set this up, for those that are not familiar with the show. This series is about a group of video game players of a MMORPG that wake up in a world that is exactly like the MMORPG video game world; they are known as “Adventurers”. If they are in the video game or a physical world that just happens to match the game hasn’t been explained yet and may play into to the plot of the series. The people who were the NPC characters of the game call themselves the People of the Land and might or might not be real people or code that can now learn. (Our main character advises the others to err on side that they are real people and should be treated as such.)
One of the supporting characters of the show, Isuzu, is a singing bard because that was what she played when it was just a video game. She comes from a musical family and feels she doesn’t measure up to her more talented family members and the praise she now gets while performing concerts in unwarranted.
Rundelhaus – whose story arc in the first season was that season’s best – is a Person of the Land who quests with the Adventurers and drops this bomb on Isuzu after she finishes telling Rundelhaus her feelings about how good of a bard she thinks she actually is:
The author took what could be a cute, clever nod to what the culture of the NPC characters would actually be like if they were suddenly real and created an emotionally powerful moment that was much higher than the average quality of the rest of the series. I wish the rest of the series could be this good.