The best way to indicate the difference between Sword art online and log horizon is to highlight the manner in which the name of the series is explained to the viewer. Log Horizon is the name of the protagonist’s guild in it’s respective series which is introduced in episode 6. SAO is the name of the realm in which the players become trapped. Both shows function from the premise that MMO players become trapped in the game world.
In the early stages , both shows make a significant effort to show the viewer how the game mechanics work and how the universe functions. In this aspect , both anime are equal. The differences between the shows become apparent as the action sequences progress. SAO’s action is intense rivaling the best in the industry. It is flashy, fast paced, dynamic and well balanced. Log horizon’s action places more emphasis on tactics , Shiro explains each move carefully as he maneuvers through the battle. Each character is utilized in the tactical displays. Ultimately Log horizon’s action is more subdued but more fulfilling.
Log horizon places great emphasis on the politics of the land when not focusing on action. Sword art online attempts to include political elements but does so in a manner which does not engage the user. The political parts also seem to have no large impact on the story. Log horizon’s politics are epic; comparable to game of thrones as Shiro and Crusty conquer territories and relations without raising a weapon. In place of the lacking politics, SAO includes a feasible romance story. Romance to a serious degree is lacking in log horizon and is not a significant focus.
Shiro is a college student while kirito is a high school student. The difference here gives major insight into the differences between the series. Log horizon was clearly geared towards more mature audience. This is seen in the tactical fights and political elements.
The music for log horizon is world class. It has an opening song which really resonates with western audiences. And in- show soundtrack which realty matches the tone of the occurrences. SAO also has amazing music but only shines during the large scale boss fights.
Log horizon is clearly superior to SAO, the two series use similar premise for the foundation of their story but log horizon’s execution was way more impressive. The characters are well developed in and out of combat. The plot seems to have more purpose with a hint of mystery. Log Horizon would have benefited greatly if SAO had never been released.