Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon: Initial Thoughts

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon (Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere) is quite honestly a terrible series in many ways, but I am continuing to watch it. First let us talk about the plot.

In the far future, humans abandon a devastated Earth and travelled to outer space. However, due to unknown phenomenon that prevents them from travelling into space, humanity returns to Earth only to find it inhospitable except for Japan. To accommodate the entire human population, pocket dimensions are created around Japan to house in the populace. In order to find a way to return to outer space, the humans began re-enacting human history according to the Holy book Testament. But in the year 1413 of the Testament Era, the nations of the pocket dimensions invade and conquer Japan, dividing the territory into feudal fiefdoms and forcing the original inhabitants of Japan to leave. It is now the year 1648 of the Testament Era; the refugees of Japan now live in the city ship Musashi, where it constantly travels around Japan while being watched by the Testament Union, the authority that runs the re-enactment of history. However, rumours of an apocalypse and war begins to spread when the Testament stops revealing what happens next after 1648. Taking advantage of this situation, Tori Aoi, head of Musashi Ariadust Academy’s Supreme Federation and President of the student council, leads his fellow classmates to use this opportunity to regain their homeland.

Here we have the first and quite probably the biggest issue that I have with Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, it doesn’t make any sense. This anime is based on a Light Novel series written by Minoru Kawakami and illustrated by Satoyasu, and quite honestly it feels like most of the story from this series has been left out in the anime. I get the feeling that I have been dumped right in the middle of a story that has the potential of being very interesting and actually quite entertaining. Unfortunately the anime doesn’t include anything about the division of Japan, and instead jumps right in on the city ship of Musashi. Now at first I had no idea that Musashi was in fact the ship that carries the refugees of Japan, I only found this out by reading various wikis that explain the light novel series.

The series has continued like this, with various ‘things’ happening and lots of ‘explanation’ of events that I honestly don’t care about, simply because I have absolutely no clue what’s going on. There is even a strange bit in the latest episode that looks like the Samurai are fighting back against the futures equivalent of the Spanish Inquisition, only this time with more breasts. We are also introduced to ‘autonomous dolls’, which might be cyborgs, and yet might also be something like magic, but I cant tell.

Now we get onto the characters, who, while being a bit odd aren’t all that bad. There are plenty of women with breasts the size of Saturn, amazing clothes and generally an ecchi feel about them. The main character Tori Aoi clearly has an important roll to play, and potentially is a revolutionary and extremely powerful leader. Yet from what I have seen in the first few episodes he is a bit of a pervert who openly admits to playing countless eroges, which he incidentally uses his powers as the student council president to order with their budget. He also seems to have quite the stripper streak in him, and is generally a random, if quite lovable pervert.
Overall the characters aren’t bad, but my issue with them is that, firstly I don’t really care about the, secondly I have no clue who is going to be significant and who isn’t. There are no firm relationships that we can look at, and at the moment it seems to be a simple collection of school kids who randomly use magic or summon weapons. The only ‘proper’ relationship seems to be between Tori Aoi and a girl called Horizon, who he apparently killed, and a robot (or perhaps not) called P-01 who looks exactly like Horizon. If this were a simple ‘school girls fighting’ anime it wouldn’t be so bad, but I am not even seeing that. Quite honestly the whole thing doesn’t make sense to the point that I gave up thinking about it.

Now there are some good things about this show. The art is really quite nice, so far I have barely seen anything wrong with it, the fight scenes are nicely done, the backgrounds are actually quite detailed, and the cg is pretty nice, also the soundtrack is pretty good. The costumes look really weird but also great as well, and overall it’s a nice looking and sounding anime. The fight scenes are also very well done from what I have seen, with some nice effects and generally the look good and flow very well.

Overall this is a bizarre anime, it looks wonderful and has a great soundtrack, but it makes no sense. I don’t mind random plots with loads of girls, I mean Maji de Watashi Koi Shinasai has a pretty random plot, but in this case there is a darker plot underneath it and at least the show makes sense. In the case of Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, nothing makes sense, we as the viewers have been dumped into the middle of what potentially is an amazing story, but its like we are dumped in the middle of no where without a map, compass and definitely without a paddle.

There might be lots of breasts, but for a show that has so many women in it there is a surprising lack of fanservice, and if you really wanted a fanservice anime with loads of massive breasts this season you might as well watch Maken-ki. This entire thing has been disappointing because from the story this anime had a lot of potential, and yet being thrown in at the deep end and with no explanation it is being spoiled, which is especially annoying since it does actually look rather good. The only real explanation that can come up with for my continued viewing of this show is some sort of Masochistic Curiosity, and a hope that it will get better as the plot thickens, because I certainly cant understand what’s going on at the moment. I wont necessarily recommend watching this show, but I would suggest that if anyone is interested it may be worth having a watch and making up their own mind.

About illogicalzen
An Illogical anime fan in a very Zen-like way.

2 Responses to Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon: Initial Thoughts

  1. Mmm, you’re pretty much describing the exact reasons why I dropped this. I already know all the pretexts of the backstory, I read them is the blog but it still didn’t make much sense. Not to mention, an anime that requires familiarity with the light novel has little chance to succeed, even more to non-japanese audiences.

    • illogicalzen says:

      Yes, I may continue to watch it out of that masochistic curiosity that I mentioned. However, like you say, any show that seems to require intimate knowledge of a light novel series or a game in order to fully understand what is going on is doing things very wrong.

      I honestly only worked out what was going on in this series but researching the backstory online and actually downloading the first light novel and having a quick flick through. That is simply ridiculous actually.

      This is a shame since I do think that this show had some potential if only it didn’t start halfway through the story. He animation quality and the fight sequences are all good enough to make a relatively good show.

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