Oh the addiction! Picked up and finished Horizon on The Middle of Nowhere all thanks to me listening to music on YouTube. Quite a lovely anime from the start to finish and the musical area. Am aware I’m many months late but who cares! I enjoyed this show regardless heh.
(S1 images provided by Naito & S2 by me using Fraps; Image heavy article with spoilers.)
This Horizon anime hooked me in the second I listened to Honda’s battle music track on YouTube. Curious, I listened to more and even watch-streamed it. There are actually quite a few Anime shows that can pull me in to enjoy it in full. This show is one of those rare awesome shows that I once ignored in PV form because it seemed too ecchi for my taste, yet later pick it up because something about it catches my attention. Seeing it from the music side sure allowed me to enjoy the show more from an invitation stand-point.
I find that this show has the right mixture of comedy, seriousness, battles, and fun to make this show quite enjoyable as I found it. I came into Horizon with an Oda Nobuna mindset, found Dog Days type fun, PSO2 concepts, and Last Exile type ship battles. Quite a fun Anime with epic battles and a awesomely composed soundtrack.
If you don’t want to read the rambling then scroll down till you see the bold “Final Thoughts” portion.
In a distant future, Japan is divided into feudal territories, which have been conquered and are ruled by outside countries. The flying city-ship Musashi, which holds the remnants of the Japanese, is being targeted and has no choice but to keep its people safe by going to war. With the fate of the world resting on its hands, the students of Musashi may hold the key to victory.
Horizon is both the main female heroine and the name of this anime, one in which the world will have to take seriously due to her deadly sins being unleashed onto the world. Her various emotions held up in each and every “Deadly Armor of Sins” that Horizon requires to regain her lost memories.
As this is going on, the world around them is busy reenacting various past events from their long-past ancestors in hopes of rejoining them. Each reenactment is taking seriously, and is quite blood majority of times. As such, each individual must inherit the names of those that once shaped our current world into their former one.
– Horizon PV:
– Sensei’s Lesson: The Far East and Musashi:
– Short-Circuiting Complexity:
One thing I can easily say about this show is the level of complexity and confusion. For those that couldn’t understand the show simply short-circuited, gave up and called the show worthless because they simply refused to process all the information pitched at them all at once. They simply gave up, refusing to recall their lessons in History class. The source of the confusion is the historical portion mixed with Horizon’s future time-frame.
Basically, this show will short circuit your brain if you aren’t even paying for that 1 brief second. It will punish you, forcing you to re-watch the show or to Google up past historical events. It is best to go with the flow and to enjoy show, Googling whatever confuses you after. Hope this doesn’t scare those still waiting to watch because it does scale back gradually as the show carries on.
When the battles do get started you can expect a nice level of seriousness to enjoy the epicness of each and every single one of them. It does well giving each battle their respected worth and value.
– Comically Random:
On the flip-side – This show is quite random as well. It is heavily random and quite comical. Most of these random yet comical scenes are sponsored by Tori’s nudity and overly perverted +18/R-18 ecchi Galge games way. Anything comical and perverted can mostly be pinned on Tori’s horny ways. He isn’t afraid to speak out, be perversely awkward, nor even spawn ecchi fan-service scenes on a whim.
If Tori is absent be sure to expect randomness from other characters as well. Tori isn’t the only clown within the show. The Cross-Dressing Musashi King and even the Evil Pope have their moments . Do expect to find some random comedy placed in battles as well because……why not? It adds to a nice level of “Dog Days” (anime) type fun into it all. It all manages to fit in the end.
Even when characters try to get depressed they immediately get smacked in a hilarious Fair Tail-esque manner of slap-stick comedy, mostly by Kimi slapping characters in line, straightens the character back up.
– The Battles:
Each and every battle I observed was epic in their own way. Each conflict felt it had a worth, even if an reenactment. Each one is as real as its past self, set with goals to flag it near game-like status. Almost Dog Day’s like by conquering sections or triggering specific flags, just with blood and actual death.
Each battle tends to vary, each with their enjoyable way of reenacting history, or to lead up to reenactments. Quite enjoyable. Just as there are hand-to-hand combat, there are also verbal conflicts – politics – to set the stage for Musashi and others. Because of such each battle worthwhile. Nothing stays the same.
Often times the tension of a battle will be dropped down by a brief comical “mishap”, probably to keep it from getting too serious or dense. As serious as the conflicts get they are often (briefly) interrupted by comical happenings to possibly bring sorrowful or tense conflicts back to enjoyable non-tiring levels.
Even though this show takes place in the future, using futuristic technology and “spells”, it does heavily use past strategy and formations to do battle. Tres Espania can be seen doing such in the later half of the first season, and again in season 2.
Each and every character is based upon the reenactment universe while also playing with the whole character personality type. Each character is based on each type of arch-type or sub-category of character types – miko archer, horny male, geeky female robotics girl, and etc. Each are based on such, yet made into their own non-marysue kind of way with enough depth you wouldn’t really notice. I guess you could if you were painfully critical of the show, but that is somewhat beside the point.
Tori is an overly perverted male character open about being such a character; Kimi in a similar fashion towards erotica, fashion, and dancing. Tomo (“Sniper Maiden”) is one of your miko girls that gets a tiny bit on the clumsy-day-dreamy side of things. Tenzo works as a fine example for being a ninja with clothing bordering on the generic-ninja wear.
Have to remember that even though this show takes itself seriously, it wants to also be on the comical and fun side of things. Character designs have that in mind, for the ecchi-comedy yet still half-serious portion of the series. Half comical and half serious.
Favorite character out of the whole cast? Kimi, for her dancing and trolling skills. Second place goes to……Musashi herself with her graceful movements when protecting her own ship.
As mention above the soundtrack alone invited me to watch Horizon just by speaking to me through music. Horizon has one of the very best soundtracks out there, one that sounds fits perfectly in the anime and one that be listened to alone. Think I’m kidding or even over-selling the point? If you haven’t already, go and listen to the whole soundtrack and the character albums right this second.
The soundtrack hit all the right musical notes within the show with Horizon herself singing “Tooshi Douka”, or “The Song of Passage” as named in subs. Kimi herself even gives us a nice dance version of it, sadly not in full or extended format. Tooshi Douka is an important track for season one while “Save you from Anything” is such for season 2.
The soundtrack itself contains mostly battle themes and highly positive tracks to give the audience a nice rush. That itself should explain why the battles and the pre-battle portions always end up being epic. When something should contain depressing music it instead plays a more upbeat track to keep it from being fatiguing or depressing. This isn’t Clannad nor Angel Beats, more like Dog Days meets Last Exile….or even Sengoku Basara and Oda Nobuna. I’m probably stretching it but but shall stick with those.
I quite enjoyed Kimi’s dance version of Tooshi Douka being animated and danced out in person. Was highly enjoyable. Even the festive “fireworks” performance at Mikawa. Goes without saying that “Save you from anything” was another brilliant track during ship to ship battles at the end of season 2. Victory!
The real touching one has to be this:
Katou Tatsuya did an awesome job on the soundtrack. Respect points and all that to you! I’ve been relistening to the OST almost non-stop from when I first heard the track to after watching the whole season.
Most likely cliched, and as mentioned above, but Horizon has one of the very best motivational moments that could possibly rival that of Fairy Tail. Maybe not as popular or fully taken advantage of. When the group finally win their debate they proudly and happily go off to save Horizon. A nicely earned victory as they all the overly lengthy Japanese-themed stair way. A nice soundtrack mixed in with some neat speech-lines.
– Season 2:
Seeing as how the first half was more of a prologue it would only be fair that we would carry onto the real part of the story. Season 1 was basically a crash course into Horizon’s universe, and to basically set the stage for the next part of the events to unfold.
Fleeing from the “Far East” – Japan – To England Musashi and her citizens must find away to invite Britain into their alliance, all the while fending off the invading Tres Espania. Things escalate greatly as Musashi is dragged into another reenactment battle.
As trivial as it may seem, it is highly entertaining with one provocation to the next. Constant battling from one situation to the next from weaponry to politics to actual ship-to-ship battles.Â OnwardÂ to victory!
“Save you from Anything.”
– Animation & Art:
Impressive actually. The art and animation are both quite impressive for this kind of show. Great care and attention was paid when making this kind of Anime. The art style is amazing, and the animation is smoothly done for the majority of the Anime. No real low-quality frames were noticed….maybe except for when Kimi was launching a misbehaving Yuri-Witch into the sky heh. It is quite beautiful to look at with all the movie-like scenic eye-candy for one to gaze at. From Mikawa to Great Britain, and even Tres Espania. It all look amazing.
Anything futuristic gets a nice CGI touch – the touristic “Welcome to Mikawa” signs, information signs, and even the ships Ether wakes. It all compliments one another.
I guess it would go without saying for the author who over-prepared and out-done himself during meetings and such. For someone (Kawakimi) going so far as to even making a 3D model of the Musashi ship should expect great things to be made in great quality. The art style compliments Kawakimi’s (hope I got the name right) desire and ambition with the show.
I guess I’m over-hyping it and it could simply be generic scenery here and there, but I have to give proper respect where proper respect is due. This show is amazing because of both the art, the animation and attention placed into it all.
– The Invitation for the Third Season:
Whether it was intentional or not, Horizon did leave the doors purposely open for a third season. Similar to how Oda Nobuna ended with new enemies popping up at the end, Horizon did the very same….yet in a more open and in a non-ending tightening way. It did spark a season 2 at the end of season one and it did the same for this for season three to pop around.
New important characters were introduced as well as Musashi herself saying to “Prepare for the next voyage”. Let’s just say I jumped ship late and now waiting for news of Season three to pop around exactly when people were expecting an announcement for a season 3. People even speculated that this show can easily make it to 6 seasons as well, which I’m willing to believe.
– Final Thoughts:
I’m aware I jumped on Musashi’s ship a bit late, but I’m glad I managed to watch it when I did. It has been a surprising, yet awesome ride from the very first episode to the last of season 2’s episode. For what I first mistook as an overly ecchi Anime ended up being highly entertaining in a nice PSO2 meets Dog Days type fun.
The story, animation, character design, music, and the whole flow was highly entertaining. Still enjoying the after-effects of the show as well. Sure, the character design may seem generic. It does feel unique enough that it can free itself from such generic-ness to something that feels epic and awesome. Seeing some of what went into making this Anime gave me more respect to both the author and those working on the show. Everything was planned out in mind-confusing detail. I maybe over-hyping things a bit but I do got to give proper respect where respect is due.
I’m also willing to pin the story together with Fairy Tail’s type motivation of feeling down turned back into positive motivation. Feeling down leaves you open to Kimi’s motivational attacks. Also going to say that this might not be the best show out there, yet it is insanely close to being such! Such epicness in each and every episode.
For those that haven’t watched yet I highly recommend this show. Watch it whenever you get the chance and enjoy every second of it. For those that dropped it need to be smacked by Kimi and to properly enjoy the show. If you can’t then….can’t be helped.
Fox Stamp of Approval! (Still need to make one)
– Awesomely composed Soundtracks and character tracks. The soundtrack is upbeat and quite energetic. Musical beauty!
– Each battle (big or small) felt awesome and worthwhile. They all had their memorable moments with awesome music to back it up.
– Epic ship-to-ship space battles similar to Last Exile’s battles. Needs more!
– Each character is likeable, some more than others obviously. Each felt unique with their own respected depth.
– Animation and art are also on the high-end. The CGI portionsÂ nicely complimented the other portions of the scene. The floating digital signs for example & the ship’s wake.
– There is actual depth and complexity in the story, enough to take the show seriously when it is trying to be serious.
– Due to the amount of characters the story flows quicker without getting too deep into each character’s background. Some mysteriousness is left untouched.
– The show reenacting the historical events in a futuristic way. Not accurate but still quite entertaining.- Well placed comedy and references. They’re quite subtle so do enjoy the hunt!
– The little bit of English it had actually sounded good. No bleeding ears or anything.
– Due to the number of characters some flags character depth scenes were missed. Opportunities to dig deeper was ignored for fluidity. Can’t really argue, just saying.
– Stereotypical and sub-category of character types tends to distract the viewer from taking things too seriously at times (Example being Tres Espania’s baseball and Britain’s swimming team.)
– This show requires you to be paying attention every second it plays. People weren’t paying attention, calling it stupid because they couldn’t follow it. They short-circuited instantly.
That was a fun show! Encore! Encore! Season 3 please! I’m ready for the next leg of the voyage! Even if I did jump on Musashi’s ship a bit late. 🙂
Also, I went a bit image heavy because this show was highly entertaining. For those that got put off by it….well….go elsewhere. I enjoyed this show greatly so I want to share my love for this show here!
Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed the series as much as I did! Going to see if I can continue it in manga form or similar.