Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon


Image Cred­it: roku­nasi hitonasi from Pixiv

Also known as “Back Pains: The Anime”.

I hon­est­ly think this series is under­rat­ed, at least in the Eng­lish blo­gos­phere, where I’ve heard it being called utter garbage more often than not. I jumped into the ani­me with very low expec­ta­tions, and was pleas­ant­ly surprised.

While the series start­ed off rough with the first three episodes and gave me the impres­sion that it was going to anoth­er over-the-top strange ani­me with big-breast­ed char­ac­ters (fanser­vice, fanser­vice, and more fanser­vice), when the series start­ed to get down to busi­ness with an actu­al con­flict, I was treat­ed to an ani­me that had pret­ty good pac­ing (for a thir­teen episode ani­me, per sea­son) and a world that built itself up to have a lot of potential.

Usu­al­ly with these twelve to four­teen-episode light nov­el adap­ta­tions, despite being giv­en a very lim­it­ed amount of episodes, they decide to screw around with fillers and end off at a very unsat­is­fy­ing note. Because of this, I appre­ci­at­ed the fact that every episode of Hori­zon had some sort of plot advance­ment with­out spend­ing five episodes screw­ing around with beach episodes and the like. And when the first sea­son end­ed on some­what of a cliffhang­er, Sun­rise took it upon them­selves to reas­sure us that there would be a sec­ond sea­son. For exam­ple, I hat­ed how Mayo Chi­ki! end­ed off with an episode cen­tered around ship teas­ing the main pro­tag­o­nist and a VERY minor char­ac­ter right after an episode that could have been an appro­pri­ate way to end off the first sea­son (major points with main girl, Sub­aru!), with­out giv­ing any indi­ca­tion as to whether or not there’s ever going to *be* a sec­ond sea­son. That’s the kind of thing that piss­es me off the most.

Maid vs Giant Mech... wut

I just wit­nessed a maid vs. mecha bat­tle… AND THE MAID WON

There’s one neg­a­tive aspect that will sure­ly scare peo­ple from watch­ing Hori­zon though — that is, despite the world clear­ly being thought-out and planned, the ani­me ver­sion does­n’t do a very good job of explain­ing it to the view­er. I like it how it forces the view­ers to immerse them­selves into the plot in order to slow­ly under­stand facets about the world and what­not, but it’s a detri­ment to get­ting into it — no one knows what the hell every­one is talk­ing about when­ev­er they refer to spe­cif­ic events and ter­mi­nol­o­gy. Cer­tain­ly not a very good first impres­sion. If you try, many plot ele­ments and terms start to become easy enough to grasp, but tak­ing a break from the show will cause you to have mem­o­ry laps­es of them when you come back. It’s a good sign that the writer tried to put his all into build­ing a prop­er fan­ta­sy world, but it’s also a sign that the writer was being over­ly ambi­tious. One thing to note is that it’s much more eas­i­er to get into if you’re one for real life his­tor­i­cal ref­er­ences — because it has real­ly clever ones.

Many of the strange things in Hori­zon actu­al­ly seem to be… com­plete­ly made valid and jus­ti­fied by how the world is built, like the arti­fi­cial maid vs. mecha bat­tle. Still, I will nev­er take a bat­tle between a frig­gin’ MERCHANT and a BASEBALL PLAYER seri­ous­ly. Nor will I take a fight­er play­ing base­ball with HIS FISTS seri­ous­ly. Ever. The con­cepts are still ridicu­lous when said out-loud even if it actu­al­ly makes sense when you watch the anime.

Bed hair times ten

She can make a nest out of that hair

As much as I end­ed up lov­ing the ani­me, I will always hate a lot of the female char­ac­ter designs. Tits as big as a per­son­’s head will nev­er be a pleas­ing thing to look at. I don’t care how much you love boobs (oppai pig­gu go homu), it still looks down­right abnor­mal. Not as bad as High School of the Dead, though, but still.

(I loved Neito’s hair, though. Looks cozy. Room for two?)

This is only half of the cast.

Despite the flaws, it’s easy to get invest­ed in the show as a marathon. I’ll say Hori­zon is one of the few not-so-Mobile Suit Gun­dam shows that does polit­i­cal intrigue cor­rect­ly. There’s one episode where it just cen­tered around a debate, and it was one hel­lu­va good episode. And I’m usu­al­ly one that gets bored of polit­i­cal intrigue in fic­tion, so Hori­zon cer­tain­ly accom­plished some­thing there.

There’s a giant cast of char­ac­ters that sur­pass­es One Piece’s Straw Hat naka­ma, and nat­u­ral­ly with­in only a hand­ful of avail­able episodes, not all of them get as much focus as I would have liked. But Hori­zon has­n’t even had a third sea­son yet and it’s adapt­ed from a TWELVE VOLUME light nov­el series. Unlike the idiots that rail on Haruhi’s sto­ry for being incon­clu­sive despite them only adapt­ing only a hand­ful of sto­ries out of an ONGOING light nov­el series, I’ll give Hori­zon the ben­e­fit of the doubt here (though I high­ly doubt that “Mr. Indi­an Guy with Giant Bowl of Cur­ry I’M DEFINITELY NOT A RACIST STEREOTYPE” will get any sort of devel­op­ment whatsoever).

I want Horizon III


From what was giv­en to me in the first two sea­sons, I’m look­ing for­ward to Sun­rise con­tin­u­ing the series one day.

8 thoughts on “Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon

  1. I think the staff of the ani­me them­selves admit­ted that they had a hard time adapt­ing the ani­me at first, thus the weak first half. Every­thing was just mud­dled and it won’t real­ly appeal to people.
    That’s why it has a bit of bad rep, peo­ple don’t want to give it a chance and not every­one is open­mind­ed when it comes to ani­me like this. 

    It’s still pret­ty good though. I agree with you 100% and now I wish for a third sea­son as well. 🙂

    1. @TPAB: I think that sounds like a fea­si­ble rea­son. The sec­ond half of the series is a lot more enjoy­ablke than the first, that’s for sure.
      @Wah­fuu: Right on! Though I would­n’t call it amaz­ing, I think Hori­zon deserves a lot more respect than it gets. Frankly, I think it accom­plish­es more than it fails, to be honest.

  2. I think for the most part Hori­zon could prob­a­bly stand to take itself a bit more seri­ous­ly, what with base­ball fire­balls and the prince run­ning around and telling every­one to calm down and have sex.

    It’s a bit easy to see why peo­ple would­n’t like Hori­zon. At the sur­face it just seems con­fus­ing, over the top and sil­ly. The world of Hori­zon I think you’d be hard pressed to find anoth­er as detailed. If you give it the chance the show real­ly rewards you for pay­ing atten­tion. With some incred­i­bly sharp dia­logue, fun bat­tles and real­ly well exe­cut­ed romance, I’m hyped as hell for a Hori­zon S3.

  3. I marathoned Hori­zon a few months ago because it was being hyped a lot on some forums but it was only so-so for me.

    I hate Tori, he is the kind of idiot pro­tag­o­nist who charges straight ahead with­out think­ing. I don’t under­stand why peo­ple fol­low him. The reverse trap or the mer­chant guy would make for much bet­ter leaders.

    The premise is down­right ridi­colous (re-enact­ing his­to­ry to escape a mys­te­ri­ous force that oppos­es space trav­el? ok…), the polit­i­cal intrigue is con­fus­ing and the bat­tles con­sist of weird peo­ple pulling out ran­dom pow­ers from their asses.

    I liked some char­ac­ters, espe­cial­ly the nin­ja guy and Mary in the sec­ond sea­son but that’s all.

    1. If you don’t get why peo­ple fol­low Tori I can’t real­ly explain it to you. He’s the chan­cel­lor. And every­one likes him and Hori­zon. It’s pret­ty sim­ple. The premise is a bit weird, sure, but then again you are going to have to start get­ting rid of alot of premis­es of sto­ries if you are going to dis­miss Hori­zons as being bad. The polit­i­cal intrigue is a bit con­fus­ing but I hon­est­ly think it’s because peo­ple don’t try. If some­one is adversed to real­ly think­ing about the plot they are wit­ness­ing then I can’t con­vince you oth­er­wise. Also, I com­plete­ly dis­agree with pow­ers being ran­dom. Over the top and chuu2, sure, but if that’s ran­dom then so is the Fate series and oth­er shows.

  4. Real­ly hate it, pro­tag­o­nist is a good for noth­ing shit, hate how he cant do any­thing and that just piss­es me off. first sea­son i could bare­ly get through but sec­ond sea­son! they showed even less of him and whats worse is he is reduced to liqui­fied shit (not lit­er­al­ly) with even less screen­time. I always get infor­ma­tion to decide if i want to watch some­thing or not but that infor­ma­tion was wrong and i watch it,he does­nt even act as a pro­tag­o­nist hes like the sec­ond hand char­ac­ter. dropped it and first ani­me i have ever hat­ed with a pas­sion, sor­ry if you guys dont agree with me or being too harsh but every­one has there likes and dis­likes and im more into shounen male pro­tag­o­nist rip­ping up every­thing, but the only thing in this pro­tag­o­nist is rip­ping him­self up

    1. @HaremLover: “im more into shounen male pro­tag­o­nist rip­ping up everything”
      Then why is your name HaremLover?
      Don’t real­ly remem­ber him not doing any­thing. A bit of an exag­ger­a­tion, don’t ya think?

  5. I think for the most part Hori­zon could prob­a­bly stand to take itself a bit more seri­ous­ly, what with base­ball fire­balls and the prince run­ning around and telling every­one to calm down and have sex.

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