Hello there. This is review number fifty two. It took me three hours to write this review simply because I can’t give the anime a good description. I’m sorry if the review is all over the place. Let me correct it after my head clears up.
Anyways, this is Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon. Its twelve episodes about well…um… it’s about… war? I guess. Let’s just read on.
The story of Kyoukai Horizon is about the Earth in ruins and only selected parts are still habitable. The rest of the world suddenly came into Japan and the country was divided into fiefdoms (um…they’re like states). The world is trying to recreate the past and a group had enough of this recreating bull. They simply wanted the world to burn and start a world war. The leader of the group succeeded in starting the catalyst for war and died in the process. His successor would suddenly take the blame who, coincidentally, is the robot named Horizon. Tori wanted to confess his love for Horizon but the plan was scrapped when Horizon was scheduled to die to resolve the political issues and to prevent world war. Being the happy go lucky guy that he is, he decided to retrieve Horizon. He can’t do so without being branded a hostile person who wants to create more conflict resulting to world war. Saving Horizon compromises his Academy’s political standing attracting trouble and raising the death toll. So can he save Horizon?
Taking the Pants Off
Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon is an interesting anime. First of all, if you plan to watch this anime then go read the description on MAL first (also in wiki, I’m not sure who stole what). The anime has a huge backdrop about Japan being ruled by other countries and the world trying to rewrite past history in order to revive the post-apocalyptic Earth or travel into outer space. Meh, I didn’t catch the whole thing. I also stopped watching the anime just to read the description on MAL. Read it first in order to get an idea of the situation and the history of the anime. I’m not saying it’s an accurate explanation but it’s enough to get a gist of the story. You can either do that or watch the anime once then re watching it. That’s a waste of time.
The problem with the anime is that the first half is a bit uninteresting. The anime utilized the first half to introduce the backdrop of the anime, the characters and it even threw some technical words without explaining much of it. It’s like I’m watching Shakugan no Shana all over again with the way this anime throw words around. It was important to the anime so you can’t just skip the first half. You have to endure all the technical jargon and the names the anime introduces. It was hard to keep though. Eventually, I blocked out all the names and just watched the anime as it rolls along.
The first half of the anime is slow paced and it was all over the place. By all over the place, I mean that it introduces a lot of characters at once and then tracks these characters as the story progresses. There was no cohesion to the plot and there was no main character to focus on. The reason is that the anime is still setting up the event that takes the anime off the ground. Okay, your still in the feeling process and the anime throws this complex and highly convoluted story at you immediately with already established characters and an already established status quo. It can very well turn you off. I don’t blame people for dropping the series because the first half is really a mess.
There are two reasons the anime is still enjoyable though despite the complex and uninteresting plot. One, the action sequences are amazing. It was still heavy on technical terms but a great fight is a fight. The nice chase sequence in the first episode is enough to get people hooked even though I’m still not sure how to differentiate magic and paid abilities. Two, the characters are interesting. It’s a golden rule for an anime that when the story isn’t interesting then the characters carry the weight. The characters in this anime are great and they are interesting.
This anime has a huge cast of characters. Main characters and side characters aren’t given that much difference so you have no idea who to focus on but they all stand out in their own way. There are three notable main characters to focus on in the first half. There is Horizon Airdust or rather, her robot look alike. She is the character that sings in the very first scene of the anime and she has a monotonous voice because she is emotionless. She stands out because she is the main interest of the other main character, Tori Aoi. Tori is the main hero of the anime and the president of the school. He has the appeal of a main character but he is also the comic relief of the anime. He has a laidback personality and he seems to make light of certain situations. He isn’t like any ordinary main character though that started out as a normal boy then gets plunged in the anime’s affair. He is tailor made for the role he is about to take. He is actually a very likeable character even though his personality comes off as annoying from the start. The last main character is Masazumi Honda. She is the vice president of the school and the other character that the anime fleshes out. Some of the characters in the anime are used to build up the climax of the anime heading into the second half but she was one of the characters, alongside Tori, whose backstory and standing was utilized to make the anime interesting. She is the character who underwent surgery to become a guy to become her family’s successor but it was stopped and she only had her breasts flattened. All these three characters were introduced greatly and their role was immediately established for the second half.
I actually had a hard time writing this review because I don’t really know how to do it properly. The first half was just a stage for the second half. All the characters, all the technical terms and the general status quo are established on the first half. In a nutshell, this anime is like a huge RPG with characters ranging from humans, to slimes and even demons. There are fighting robots, witches, samurais and knights. It’s an ROG fan’s dream come true. I actually thought it was adapted from a game but it’s actually a light novel.
The anime is mostly Action but there was also some Comedy and Ecchi. It’s mostly Action though with some pretty awesome one on one showdown. There is also a Mecha battle in the anime but the best parts are the showdowns. The first half has this really wonderful battle that wiped out all the sour feeling I had for the anime. It really delivers on the Action side superbly. There is also a smart storytelling in the fights and all of them are unique mostly because of the different characters involved in the fight. I personally love the mecha versus witch fight at the second half of the anime.
Its other genre is Ecchi and Comedy. The anime is serious but it has its light moments. The only time the other genre comes out is when Tori would grab a fellow classmate’s boobs or when he would act stupid despite the gravity of the situation. Tori’s interaction with the rest of the characters also brings out the Comedy of the anime. There are some pretty eccentric characters in the anime too. There is a naked demon, a slime that would fall apart when he gets squished and a ninja that resembles Strider Hiryu. There are some pretty crazy characters here and their interaction with each other brought out the Comedy of the anime.
The second half of the anime is undoubtedly the part where the anime shine. All the roles are cleared and anime finally got off the ground. There were some talking in the second half in the form of a debate and it was a nice way to build up the anime some more. The transformation of Tori into a leader, the antagonists finally starting to get aggressive and unfinished business on the first half finally gets resolved in the second half. All of the characters, both minor and main, got time to shine and they got even more awesome as the second half progresses. The anime also ended on a sweet note. It’s truly a shame the first half was greatly botched because the anime is amazing.
Sight and Sound
One thing the anime does right is the animation. The fight scenes are really clean and nicely animated. The fights are great because it was intelligently made and there are some twists and turns that would really surprise you. I personally love the showdown between Futayo’s dad and Muneshige every move was smart and the result was surprising.
The character design is a bit good and bad. It’s bad because most of the female characters look alike. At first, I was really confused because Masazumi and Futayo looked alike and it took me awhile before I differentiate them. It’s my own stupidity though but other people might be tripped up by it too especially since they aren’t really introduced one by one.
It’s good though because the character design is mostly the reason you can tell them apart. Some are generic but they shine in their own way. I especially love the ninja because he was cool. Sunrise made this anime so you can expect some pretty damn good character design here. The techno feel of the anime is amazing and the mecha design is great as well.
The music ties the whole anime together. The anime has a really good soundtrack and some of the best parts of the anime is enhanced by the background music accompanied to it. The opening song was great as well. It has an energetic feel to it that greatly reflects the action of the anime but also has this soothing steady beat to it greatly embodying the characters during the opening sequence. I used the OP sequence as a guide map to see which character was who because I get lost easily in the huge cast. The opening did have some spoilers to it but honestly, it didn’t matter because the story is mostly disjointed at first. A tiny spoiler couldn’t hurt. The anime had two ending sequences. Both of them are great and it has a nice beat to it that fits the anime nicely.
6/10 “The first half dampen the overall experience but the anime still shines through.”
Here’s the bottom line. This anime has a second season and this first season is mostly the set up for the things to come in season two. The action and the characters were great and it’s enough to give the anime a try.