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Swallow and Young Starling is the twenty-second episode of the Log Horizon anime. It aired on March 1, 2014.

Plot

Cold Open

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Maryelle, Nyanta,and Naotsugu.

From a rooftop, Nyanta and Naotsugu observe and comment about how Akihabara has becomes much more lively than usual as the Libra Festival, the first festival since the Catastrophe, is making final preparations. Many of the production guilds are debuting brand new items, and the Crescent Burger is set to make a comeback. The two return to the street and encounter Maryelle, who is carrying tons of decorations. With the two men in tow as shopping mules, the three continue down the street discussing what they will do to enjoy the festival. Elsewhere on the busy street, Minori is holding a flyer for a couples' cake eating event. Sitting alone looking at her guild's building, Akatsuki holds a flyer for the same event.

Invitations

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Decisions, decisions

Detached from the city's activities, Shiroe continues his work until a strong breeze scatters his papers across the room. Just as he cries out in frustration, Henrietta enters the room to deliver some documents he requested. She suggests that he take time away from work to enjoy the festival with everyone; more firmly, she reminds him that as one of the lead guilds of the Round Table, he needs to appear at the festival. Distracted by the doll of Akatsuki the girl gave in self defense, Henrietta dances out of the building lost in fantasy. Trying to return to work, he's surprised by Akatsuki emerging from hiding under his desk. They move to the rooftop table to eat the expensive red bean buns she has brought. As they eat, she tries to invite him to the cake eating event only to be interrupted by Minori showing him the flyer for the event. Akatsuki and Minori talk over each other till and realize they must both invite Shiroe to the couples' cake eating contest.

Nothing to Wear

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Date?!?

Minori is trying to decide what to wear for the event while Isuzu enters her room with news of a pre-festival dance. Minori explains that she intends to use the contest's reward, an invitation to Rayneshia's Twilight Dinner Party, to improve the public's trust of Shiroe that had been wavering as of late. Akatsuki alone in her room realizes that she essentially invited Shiroe on a date, and she has no cute clothes to wear. After she comes to the conclusion she needs help to choose an outfit, Henrietta across town senses her need. Cringing from the thought of Henrietta's "help", Akatsuki decides to go elsewhere. Across town in Charasin's office he and Michitaka are discussing the shear amount of work involved in putting on the festival. Looking up, Charasin sees Akatsuki hanging on the ceiling. Dropping to the floor she announces "I require....Fashion".

Contest

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Shiroe senses pressure.

The next day, Shiroe participates with both Akatsuki and Minori at the cake buffet. The Chef Kanako misinterprets his explanation of the situation, and decides to punish him for bringing two dates. The group reckon that the twelve slices of cake will be easy to consume, but Kanako instead serves twelve whole cakes as a “gift” from the guild. To add insult to injury, she even scribbled menacing words like "I hope your glasses break" onto some of the cakes. Shiroe receives a large amount of envy from the other participants as the two girls serve him cake, which only escalates when Akatsuki and Minori begin competing with each other for his attention. The trio naturally end up failing the challenge of finishing the cakes, forcing Shiroe to pay for the order.

Confessions

Mulling over the day's events atop Log Horizon's headquarters, Shiroe decides in a fit of spite to recommend the cake event to harem master Soujiro Seta. Shiroe then ponders over the leadership presence of his peers, which he apparently lacks due to keeping to his room all day. Akatsuki then joins him and they have an awkwardly brief conversation, where she shows her feelings for him by rubbing his face, despite Shiroe's obliviousness.

At the same time, Minori brings up some tea, but quietly observes them and runs away with a broken heart after admitting her feelings for Shiroe to herself. Tohya encounters her in sorrow, and says that a crush on Shiroe is no secret because he is a very admirable person. Minori initially thinks that her crush is a problem, but through affirmations from Tohya, she realizes that since she has yet to do anything about her feelings, she has no reason to be ashamed.

Trivia

  • The Crunchyroll subtitles call this episode "Swallow and Young Starling" opposed to simply "Swallow and Starling" from the novel (the kanji are the same for both, though.)
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