Hello! Welcome to my post to kickstart OWLS´ November Tour! In case you want a quick glance on what OWLS is, you can click here. This month’s blog tour theme is “Diplomacy”.

OWLS November Theme – Diplomacy

Whenever we have a disagreement with someone, we use our words to express our thoughts and opinions. However, there are those who would rather use fists instead of words, those who forget that being “right” isn’t the most important thing, and those who lose sight of compromising and acknowledging differences in opinion and belief.

Diplomacy is an important skill and tactic that not many of us have or are able to utilize properly especially in “social media wars” for sensitive issues and anime discourse—we just express our opinions without really listening. For this month’s prompt, we will be exploring some of the best negotiations scenes in pop culture media and discuss how effective these diplomatic moments are and what we can learn from them. We will also discuss why communication and listening are important traits to have and whether or not there are other means to enforce peace.


 

For this month’s theme, I’m going to talk about the events that led to the foundation for the vigorous development of Akihabara, City of Adventurers, in Elder Tale.

In case you don’t know about this series, Log Horizon, you can read the synopsis for it down below.

Synopsis (from MyAnimeList):

In the blink of an eye, thirty thousand bewildered Japanese gamers are whisked from their everyday lives into the world of the popular MMORPG, Elder Tale, after the game’s latest update—unable to log out. Among them is the socially awkward college student Shiroe, whose confusion and shock lasts only a moment as, a veteran of the game, he immediately sets out to explore the limits of his new reality.

Shiroe must learn to live in this new world, leading others and negotiating with the NPC “natives” in order to bring stability to the virtual city of Akihabara. He is joined by his unfortunate friend Naotsugu, having logged in for the first time in years only to find himself trapped, and Akatsuki, a petite but fierce assassin who labels Shiroe as her master. A tale of fantasy, adventure, and politics, Log Horizon explores the elements of gaming through the eyes of a master strategist who attempts to make the best of a puzzling situation.

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Akihabara, Land of Adventurers, was a city specially made to be autonomous and governed by the players. There was no government managed by NPC’s that oversee Akihabara’s affair. Additionally, there was a security system that would activate once it detected PK battles inside the city.

Strangely, Akihabara was flooded with confused Adventurers (AKA players) whose minds came from their real world after being swept inside the MMORPG game by an unknown phenomenon. Feeling lost and unreal, everybody did whatever they wanted. It didn’t seem that anything would go wrong… until minor issues started to sprout: teleportation between cities wasn’t possible, in-game food tasted like crap, there was no way to “log out” of the game nor “die”, NPC’s have self-awareness…

Confusion led to despair. Who can blame them? There was no pleasure to enjoy (becoming high level was easy, and the mother of all pleasure which is tasting delicious food was out of their reach) and no way to go back to their world. Many Adventurers decided to sit around in the city, feeling that there was no purpose to their life. Some decided to force newbies into working for them, tricking them, big guilds were monopolizing everything. Little by little… Akihabara was becoming dead and unbearable to live.

The main MC of the series, Shiroe, is also a player stuck in Akihabara. After some events where he confronts the reality of Adventurers doing as they please… he, together with his friends, decides to fix Akihabara into a place where everyone could live better.

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To restore order on an unlawful city, establishing a proper chain of command and set of rules was necessary. The only way that this could be done was if there was a supreme being, e.g. game masters (whose existence was nowhere to seen), taking the reins. Since Shiroe couldn’t rely on Game Masters, the other idea was to make all big guilds cooperating together. Every major guild were competing against each other and it was very difficult to make them join hands, thus Shiroe needed a catalyst to ensure that every guild leader from the big guilds would cooperate. If there were no catalyst, it was very possible that a guild war would have sprouted in its midst.

A set of requirements were needed to execute Shiroe’s plan. That is, if their real world mechanisms worked on their new reality. Having discovered that tasty food is actually possible to make by cooking the ingredients normally as how one would do in real life, Shiroe used this knowledge and sold it to the big merchant guilds. With a big sum of gold at his disposal, Shiroe had everything he needed to execute his plan.

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Shiroe called all the big names Guild Leader into a Round Table inside the Guild Meeting Hall. Having predicted that the guild leaders wouldn’t agree to cooperating with Shiroe to bring life to Akihabara, even threatening to start a guild war, Shiroe brought forth his trump card: Shiroe acquired the Guild Meeting Hall, thus holding hostage on everyone’s bank account! Shiroe had total control of all the features in the building. If Shiroe wanted, he could ban any Adventurer from using the Bank. This was a huge hindrance to development of the guilds.

With no other option left for the guild leaders, everyone accepted Shiroe’s term, thus officially establishing the Round Table Alliance. Guild wars were avoided in Akihabara, small guilds could flourish, bad guilds that manage forced newbie labor were banned, etc. With this, Akihabara would start to become a better place to live and many things would develop in the future that would make the city a very attractive city to live in.

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Maybe you are thinking that what Shiroe did was wrong and that holding hostage an entire building was too much. I would say that it was brilliant move. It was highly possible that most of the guild leaders wouldn’t cooperate with Shiroe because it was not their priority to make Akihabara a good place to live with everyone. The guilds were competing fiercely against each other and every guild member would just look out for their own kin. Heck, if guild wars started in Akihabara, it would have been very hard to fix Akihabara.

Additionally, making a Round Table with the major guilds in Akihabara ensured that most of the voices of the Adventurers could be heard during meetings by having every guild leader representing them. So it was pretty much like a democratic government was formed by the Adventurers and a set of rules that could lead to make Akihabara a very friendly city was made.

In the end, everything worked out well.

Whew. For a full experience on what I wrote, I recommend to watch Log Horizon.


I hope you enjoyed my OWLS blog post for November! Next in line for this month’s tour is Matt so please check it out in his blog when it’s published!

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