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Log Horizon Season 4 release date: Log Horizon Twilight Orphan predictions

Shiroe and Roe2 Re:Fraction Art
The Log Horizon Season 4 anime will feature the return of Roe2. Pic credit: Kazuhiro Hara

The Log Horizon Season 4 anime will have Shiroe and friends taking on multiple threats in Elder Tales to rescue Krusty. But when will Log Horizon Season 4 come out now that the TV series will be on the web novels?

Considering that the third season was called Log Horizon: Destruction of the Round Table (Log Horizon: Entaku Houkai) it’s possible that the fourth season will be titled Log Horizon: Twilight Orphan. This name happens to be the title for Volume 14 of the web novel series by author Mamare Touno (real name Daisuke Umezu).

The returning studio staff and cast for Log Horizon Season 4 haven’t been announced yet. The second and third season was produced by returning animation company Studio DEEN, while Studio Satelight animated the first season.

Studio DEEN is famous for the KonoSuba anime series. In early 2021, they also released Netflix’s The Seven Deadly Sins Season 5, Sorcerous Stabber Orphen Season 2: Battle of Kimluck, and the Sailor Moon Eternal movies.

Most of the Studio DEEN staff returned for producing Log Horizon 3. Helming the project was director Shinji Ishihira, who is best known for directing the Fairy Tail anime series.

Writer Toshizo Nemoto oversaw the script with Syouji Masuda once again providing story supervision. Sound director Shoji Hata and composer Yasuharu Takanashi also both returned.

The Log Horizon Season 4 OP (opening) and ED (ending) theme song music haven’t been announced yet.

The third season’s OP was “Different” by BAND-MAID. The ED was “Blue Horizon” by Miyu Ooshiro.

The finale, Log Horizon Season 3 Episode 12, released on March 31, 2021. All 12 episodes were released in a single Blu-Ray box set volume (there is also an older “complete edition” that includes the first two seasons with the English dub).

  • Updated June 16, 2021: Added Log Horizon: Destruction of the Round Table Blu-Ray sales number in Japan.

This article provides everything that is known about Log Horizon Season 4 (Log Horizon: Twilight Orphan) and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.

FUNimation’s Log Horizon Season 3 English dub released

The third season was initially only streaming online with English subtitles on FUNimation Now (not Hulu, Crunchyroll, or Netflix Japan). At first it was only listed as SimulCast on the FUNimation schedule.

The Log Horizon Season 3 dub was announced in February 2021. Here is the returning members of the English dubbed cast:

  • Mike Yager plays Shiroe
  • Jad Saxton plays Akatsuki
  • Andrew Love plays Naotsuga
  • Jovan Jackson plays Nyan-ta

FUNimation’s Log Horizon Season 3 English dub release date was February 24, 2021. Check out the announcement for the full dub cast.

Log Horizon Season 4 release date predictions: Mamare Touno’s hiatus is the main factor

As of the last update, NHK, Kadokawa, Studio DEEN, or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed the Log Horizon Season 4 release date. Nor has the production of a Log Horizon: Twilight Orphan sequel been announced.

Once the news is officially confirmed this article will be updated with the relevant information.

In the meantime, it’s possible to speculate about when, or if, the Log Horizon 4 premiere date will occur in the future.

First, let’s get one thing out of the way. Yes, Mamare Touno aka Daisuke Umezu, was busted for tax evasion for not filing income taxes for $1 million in royalties over three years. But this took place in April 2015. Mamare already served time under house arrest and paid back his taxes, including all fines.

For several years it was commonly believed by fans that the anime’s third season would never happen since Japanese companies wouldn’t want to be associated with an author with a criminal history. But Mamare’s past is apparently considered water under the bridge.

Kadokawa has published two Log Horizon books in 2021 (see below for more details). The primary producer and financier of the Log Horizon anime series, including the third season, is NHK, the government of Japan’s national public broadcasting organization.

The real elephant in the room is the lack of recently completed web novels and light novels. It’s possible Mamare has been quietly writing more books without publishing the chapters on the web novel site.

In the past, when he was working on the official light novels he would stop updating the web novels. But that doesn’t explain the long, three-year wait for the official Volume 12 light novel, never mind finishing the Twilight Orphan web novel.

On the other hand, long Log Horizon hiatus are not unusual for Mamare. The first five volumes were almost finished before he uploaded them online in 2010, but then Volumes 6 and 7 took two years to self-publish as web novels. Since then he’s averaged more than 6 months for each web novel.

Even in the best-case scenario where Mamare resumes publishing in 2021 or 2022, it’ll still be several years before three more books are completed. Therefore, the wait for the Log Horizon Season 4 release date will also be several years out.

On the other hand, it’s possible that the entire Log Horizon story will be finished in anime format, not as books or a web novel. While that would be extremely unusual, so is basing an anime almost completely on web novels.

But that possibility depends on the financial success of the third season. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to determine whether Destruction of the Round Table had streaming success since it was exclusively on FUNimation’s platform, which does not indicate popularity.

Worse, the Season 3 Blu-Ray box set launch in June 2021 was just mediocre, selling only 1,090 copies in its first week in Japan. Keep in mind that the box set included all 12 episodes instead of being split into volumes so it was much more expensive. Still, on the face of it the BD box set is marked drop from the first season, which sold 4,026 copies in the first week, and the second season, which sold 2,438 copies in the first week.

Therefore, it’s tough to say whether NHK will greenlight Log Horizon Season 4 for production.

Log Horizon
It may be years before we get to watch the Log Horizon characters in action again. Pic credit: Studio DEEN

Log Horizon web novels will be the basis for the anime?

In the past, the Log Horizon anime series has been based on the Log Horizon light novel series by writer Mamare Touno (check out his official website and Twitter account) and illustrator Kazuhiro Hara.

The web novel started in April 2010, and Japanese publisher Enterbrain picked up the series for a light novel adaptation starting in March 2011. As of March 2018, the light novel adaptation was up to Volume 11: Krusty, Tycoon Lord.

The light novel Log Horizon Volume 12: Destruction of the Round Table was originally scheduled for a September 2019 release, but it’s been put on an indefinite delay by the publisher. The web novel version was finished on January 4, 2017.

The Log Horizon Season 4 anime could be unprecedented if it’s based entirely on the Log Horizon web novel series self-published on the website Shosetsuka ni Naro (So You Want to be a Novelist).

Web novel Log Horizon Volume 13: Nightingale’s Song was completed on April 16, 2017. Web novel Log Horizon Volume 14: Twilight Orphan remains incomplete with 8 chapters published as of March 25, 2018.

During a May 2018 Re:Fraction event, Mamare announced that he was already planning on writing Volume 15: Coppelia, Tiered Islands, and Volume 16: Thelsdesia’s Friday. So far, no chapters have been published online.

Mamare originally had planned for the Log Horizon light novel’s ending to be in Volume 15.

“I intend to make Log Horizon a 15 volume series, with some small things on the side,” Mamare said in 2013 during a 4chan discussion. “I should be able to complete it with your support.”

Apparently, the creator’s plans changed since he began merging side stories into the main plot. Thus the overall story was greatly extended by Krusty and Kanami’s story in the Chinese server, which is contained in Volumes 9, 11, and (apparently) 15. Therefore, it’s possible that the ending could be contained in Log Horizon Volume 18, 19, or 20.

The story also spawned multiple Log Horizon manga series, but they are spin-off side stories. The longest-running manga, Log Horizon: The West Wind Brigade, finished up in 2018 with Volume 11.

The licensing rights for the official English translation of the Log Horizon light novel and manga series was picked up by Yen Press. The English Volume 11 was published back in January 2019, while the English manga finished in March 2019.

Log Horizon 2021 Book
Log Horizon New Land of Adventure is the first light novel published in three years. Pic credit: Tomomi Ozaki

Log Horizon 2021 books published by Kadokawa

Enterbrain has not announced any plans for continuing the light novel adaptation of the main series. However, on January 13, 2021, Kadokawa did publish a new novel called Log Horizon: New Land of Adventure.

The new book is side stories based on the 10 most popular story events from the Log Horizon game. The four stories were written by different authors with Mamare acting in a supervisory role. The book was originally supposed to release alongside Volume 12 but was delayed to coincide with the anime’s third season.

In addition, a new Log Horizon: Kazuhiro Hara Art Book released on February 10, 2021. The special edition included an audio CD that dramatized with voice actors the side stories that were occurring in the background during the Destruction of the Round Table story arc. The book has illustrations that were originally featured during the 2018 Re: Fraction event.

Log Horizon light novels compared to the anime

The first season of the anime series adapted the story of the first five volumes. The second season followed suit by adapting Volumes 6 through 10.

The third season stood out largely since it began by adapting a web novel, which is unusual by any standard. The first five episodes maintained a relatively slow adaptation pacing, which was good in a sense, but the problem was that the politics-heavy book slogged down the story.

The introductory episodes also lacked a major hook other than the Princess’s personal drama. It’s difficult for audiences to care about characters when it’s been so many years since they’ve watched them in action.

Besides putting all the talking before any major action scenes, the anime reordered the presentation by first skipping Volume 11. This directorial decision felt odd since the characters kept needing to reference story events from Volume 11 in order for the plot to make sense and move forward.

Even from the beginning, Krusty was ever-present despite being absent. His disappearance was one of the many reasons the Round Table began to fracture. The Princess’s decisions were also based on Krusty’s actions.

Log Horizon Volume 11 Light Novel Cover Art Krusty Tycoon Lord
The anime finally animated Krusty vs Elias Hackblade. Arguably, the third season may have been better if it had fully fleshed out Volume 9 with one episode and Volume 11 with three episodes, condensed Volume 12 down to three episodes, and then finished Volume 13 with six episodes. Pic credit: Kazuhiro Hara

Bizarrely, Log Horizon Season 3 Episode 6: Immortal in Ethereal Utopia chose to summarize Krusty’s tale in Volume 11 with a puppet show rendition. The pacing increased dramatically since the episode covered only the main plot beats of three out of five chapters in the book.

Log Horizon Season 3 Episode 7: Not a Curse is named after Volume 11’s final chapter. Finishing Krusty’s side story in only two episodes is fast, but at least it’s an improvement on the second season, which briefly summarized Volume 9: Kanami Go East! in only one episode!

With only five episodes left, Log Horizon Season 3 Episode 8 began adapting web novel Volume 13: Nightingale’s Song. It’s predicted that the anime will find a stopping point that corresponds to the ending of Volume 3.

Warning: The following paragraph contains major spoilers.

It’s the best stopping point since it’ll feature an action-filled climax for the third season. The supposedly safe Akiba is transformed into a raid zone by the Genius of Despair, Eirenus. The book also finally moves forward the Shiroe x Minori shipping sub-plot, with the latter’s confession of love being shot down in flames only for Minori’s friends to swoop in help her, thus preserving her nightingale’s song. While that ship has sunk, the Shiroe x Akatsuki ship has finally begun to set sail as Shiroe finally acknowledges her feelings.

Unfortunately, English-only fans who wish to read ahead of the anime are out of luck. Not only is the Japanese Volume 14 unfinished, but fan translation projects such as skythewood and MountainOfPigeons stopped at Volume 7 back in 2016 when Yen Press licensed the work.

Log Horizon Season 4 anime spoilers (plot summary/synopsis)

The last time we watched the Log Horizon anime, Shiroe’s party had gained the so-called Useless Mofur Sisters, the Ancient Monk Lelia and the Druid Litka. Princess Raynesia is preparing to embark on a quest to the Chinese server to rescue Krusty by killing the Genius Bucaphi.

Meanwhile, Westelande and Plant Hwyaden are in the middle of a civil war. Iselus, the younger brother of Risselthea and Raynesia, is going to Westelande.

Log Horizon Season 4 will likely adapt three books. Kanami’s story will pick up again with Volume 15: Coppelia, Tiered Island. It’s expected that the two stories will start to converge since Raynesia will need to confront, Susabo, the Genius of Voyages.

Known as the Ocean Barrier, Susabo prevents traveling between servers by ocean. Thus, Raynesia’s group (or Kanami) will need to defeat Susabo so she can finally be reunited with Krusty.

Speaking of reunions, Volume 16: Thelsdesia’s Friday will feature the comeback of Shiroe’s female alternate character Roe2. A teaser for the Re:Fraction exhibit revealed that Roe2 meets her “big brother” in his office and she hopes to “compare answers”, which is probably a reference to the Catastrophe and/or a method to connect this world to Earth.

Unfortunately, finding out those answers will require anime fans to wait until the Log Horizon Season 4 release date to watch what happens next. Stay tuned!

Patrick Frye is Monsters and Critics' Anime Editor. He considers himself a "Woke-taku", which means having an awareness of the many issues surrounding anime. As such, he enjoys covering all the...read more

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