Log Horizon. By far one of my favorite shows, for multiple reasons. If you are unfamiliar, the show is about a bunch of players of a popular MMORPG that suddenly appear inside the game, except, it's no longer a game. Somehow, the world they knew as “Elder Tale” has become a reality, and they have to learn how to survive in this world. Between learning to fight with their new bodies, that resemblance their old avatars, to figuring out how to manage the relationship between Adventurers (players) and the People of the Land (NPCs). Log Horizon covers it all, and it does so brilliantly.
So what makes it so good? For me, it's the details. Unlike most shows, Log Horizon drills the details home, and I love it for that reason. The fact of the matter is, they are inside a game world. The author explains the story from the players perspective of gamers, using terms like “party” or “raid.” However, it is also their new reality. We get to see the characters struggle between this “reality” and thinking that it's still “just a game.” More importantly, the show heavily goes into player interactions, to the point of self-governing. Behind it all is Master Shiroe, probably the best main character I've seen.
So … that's all fine and good, but you are probably reading this because you know how amazing it is. You want to know what you can watch that will give you that same feeling. I got you. Let's get to the list, shall we?
Sword Art Online
Where there is Log Horizon, there is SAO; that's just how it is. Though, I'm putting it in here for a slightly different reason. SAO and Log Horizon are similar, but focus on different aspects. SAO has the “game” feel that Log Horizon does, but takes it to the next level based on the fact of death being absolute. SAO enacts the drama side of being trapped in another world really well, which is why I think you'll like it.
Of course, there is more to SAO than that, but I want to focus surely on the first season (Aincrad). We get more of the awesome battles that are far and few between in Log Horizon; mainly, boss raids. Although SAO does not go into as much detail as Log Horizon on these raids, the fight scenes are still pretty cool.
I'd recommend you checking out SAO, at least the first season, if you are wanting a more drama out of the show, and do not mind being stuck to the main character (unlike LH where we follow many characters).
No Game No Life
So you like Log Horizon because of the depth. You are in love with it, as am I. Well, you will probably like No Game No Life. If you go crazy, fan girl over some Master Shiro's plans, then you definitely will like this show. I'm not going to lie, this is more of a comedy show, but the depth of the games that the main characters play is second to none.
Basically, the two main characters are beast gamers and they get trapped in a world where games decide everything. You can guess what happens. We get to go along with these two on some amazing, high risk games. Some of which you have no idea how they will win until after the end. The only thing you have to know about this anime to enjoy it: Blank never loses.
I'd recommend giving No Game No Life a go if you are in a lighter mood, you know, wanting some comedy. This anime does not have as much drama attached, but the thoroughness of the games they play is something to marvel at.
Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash
I love me some Grimgar. This is one of those shows that usually flies under the radar, you know, because it's not a high dollar show. This has a very similar preference to LH, meaning that the main characters just appear in another world. Except, Grimgar is far from a game. It has game-like qualities, like guilds or skills, but it is most certainly a reality, and our characters learn that very quickly.
This show does not go as in-depth on things such as combat or strategy, but focuses more on the struggle of life. We are taken on a journey where these teenagers are thrown into a world where they must kill to survive. They have to kill to make money, and, as the main character Haru says, “everything costs money.”
I'd say give Grimgar a go if you are wanting an adventure that is real, not fantasy. The drama present in this show is that of real life and death, and is not masked by a video game. Do try and ignore the fan service in the first few episodes, it dies down after a while (they use it as a comic relief way too much in the beginning).
This show. Let me tell you, will have you dying with laughter. If, like No Game No Life, you are looking for a more fun spin, this is your show. Quite simply, it is pretty much a parody. There is not a single serious moment in this anime, well, maybe the very beginning. Basically, main character dies and gets the option to be re-born in a fantasy, game-like world. Of course, he takes it, and the goddess granting him the wish with him.
Chaos ensues. Hilarious, glorious, chaos. We get to see a dysfunctional party form together, which includes an explosive mage that can only cast one spell a day, mind you. Even the fights with the “evil” guys in this show are not very serious, if that tells you anything. Of course, with fantasy / comedy usually comes fan service, and this show is no exception.
Konosuba is a great breath of fresh, comedic air after the intense, dramatic shows like LH. Give it a go if you are a fan of the game-like worlds and want to have a good long laugh. Not to mention, it's getting a season 2 as well.
Lastly, we have Gate. Gate is an interesting show, to say the least. Basically, modern military meets fantasy, medieval-like world. A portal forms in modern world Japan, connecting the modern world to this other world with mages, dragons, and the like. However, they may have magic, but they are no match for guns and tanks!
This show is great because you get a little action, a little politics, and a little of just about everything. You get to follow the main characters perspective as a foot soldier, but also can see what's going on with Japan's leader and the political pressure he is under. This show also accurately depicts the slanderous ways of the media.
Give this show a watch if you are a fan of a good story that covers more than one angle. You get to see so many different perspectives in this show that it is quite refreshing. Plus, we get to learn that war is not all about the fighting, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes. Also, Rory is an awesome character.
There you have it, the top anime that I would recommend if you are a fan of Log Horizon. You may love or hate some of these, but that just comes with the territory of anime shows and people's personal tastes. I, personally, enjoyed all of them, and thought I would share my thoughts on every show. Happy anime watching!