This is review number ninety six and its part of the Summer 2012 lineup. It’s Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon season two and I’m actually really excited about this anime. It’s a thirteen episode anime about a very cool war. I remember that the first season was my 52nd review and the second season is now my 96th. I waited a long for this anime and it looks like my waiting was worth it. Let’s read on.
The anime picked up where the first season ended. Tori has just rescued Horizon and declared the floating state of Musashi as an independent nation that doesn’t want to follow the rules of the Testament and the recreating history plan they have laid out. They basically called themselves enemies of the world and the first episode of the second season was about Musashi trying to escape from the crushing force of Tres Espana, one of the major nations of the post-apocalyptic world. Musashi has now embarked on its journey and its first stop is England. They clearly need allies and they decided to ask England to help them. It’s easier said than done when you’re a rebellious group trying to steal the most powerful weapons in the world and are currently branded as enemy of the world. It’s impossible. Tori don’t have that word in his dictionary though.
Taking the Pants Off
I still remember the first season on Horizon. It was a mess and it only managed to pick itself up on the second half where it promised the audience that the second season will be better. I also needed to see the second season because I feel like the anime is incomplete. Its charm hasn’t been fully unleashed yet so I needed as second season. We got a glimpse of it in the later parts of the first season where Tori Aoi saved his beloved Horizon from being executed by the dudes who are trying to recreate history. It also led to his floating home base to declare war against the world. The messy first half of the first season is certainly something the anime needs to make up for. There was an air of awesomeness to the show that we only saw on the later episodes which seems a bit unsatisfying. I have high hopes for Horizon 2 and I am so glad the anime didn’t disappoint.
I finally understand the charm of this anime. It wasn’t clear in the first season because it took a long time to adjust to the anime’s pace. The terminology, the massive cast and the historical background of the anime was in the way so they decided to pour it all out in the first season. The result was really bad but it also gave hope for the second season. The anime’s charm is simple. It’s the supporting characters. The anime’s protagonist is clearly Tori but it’s also obvious that he has no role. He’s like the silent characters in RPG games where he just nods or the player chooses a response and the rest of the cast does all the talking. He was important to keeping the plot moving forward but the true charm of the anime is the supporting characters. Each and everyone have their own unique personality and even the bad guys have their own unique personality that makes the anime awesome. This anime is all about the side characters. Can you imagine an anime where the focus is on the side characters? It’s not like Baccano where everyone is a main character. Horizon has a main character and everyone else is supporting characters but they are more important than the main. Isn’t that a brilliant idea? The approach is advantageous to the plot because the anime is going to war and it needed more than just nameless soldiers. Horizon is an anime where the supporting characters are most likely the most memorable.
You basically just need to pick your favorite among the cast. There are a lot of them and the anime did a great job of giving them some deserved screen time to make the story more exciting. Some of the characters in the anime get their own subplot on top of the major one. It’s a way to feature all the characters, both good and bad guys. Yes, the anime even has time to give us a peek of the characters from Tres Espana (the bad guys) as the anime progresses. This was a great way to give us a look at the other side of the coin as well. We get to see the bad guy’s point of view in the situation and it makes the story more complex. Each individual subplot in the anime really gives the main story some depth. Now you will obviously see this anime because you’ve already seen the first season so you already know that the anime has a large cast. It will easily overwhelm you if you aren’t prepared and it’s not that long before you lose sight of the main plot. The first season did all the hard labor so you can fully enjoy the second season. All the characters in the first season are present here and it will introduce a lot more characters that probably are as many as the first. The cast will double so be prepared. The large cast also did the anime some damage. The main character wasn’t heavily focused and the love story the first season built was also just a subplot in the anime. Tori were sadly reduced to the comic relief and he barely has any lines in the anime. In fact, the dude was mostly naked in the entire anime. Seriously, he was naked all throughout.
With Tori on the sidelines though, the main plot can shine. The big plot that ties the whole anime together is the Musashi trying to get England to join its side while Tres Espana is itching to wring their necks. The main plot brilliantly shines in the anime because it was able to incorporate the three main appeal of the anime. As I said before, the anime is complex. There are three main elements that make the anime really good. The first is obviously the use of the side characters and their subplots. The second one is the action sequences. There are a lot of action scenes in the anime ranging from simple melee fights with weapons and other awesome things (like money) to aerial fights with giant robots and ships. The last element of the anime is the strategical talks. The anime has a lot of dialogues and most of them are political. Some of the best scenes in the anime happen when the characters debate trying outmatch each other. The pacing of these political talks is like a very intricate chess game that you just can’t help but pay attention to. Some of the talks really fly over my head because I don’t understand a damn thing about it but seeing the characters argue, convince his opponent but the opponent suddenly counter argues is a very exciting part of the anime. It was also around in the first season and it was a charm of the anime that made me watch the second season. The plot was able to incorporate all of these things and keep them nicely balanced. This main plot has a lot of elements to it and if you combined it with the sub plots, it’s really amazing how the anime was able to keep the pace steady and the individual components balanced.
I was bummed out though that Tori and Horizon’s love story was never focused by the anime. It wasn’t even a subplot. It was just something that happened a long time ago. Tori is now just a naked weird dude and Horizon is just an emotionless girl that happens to be in the cast. What became of the Romance? Well, it didn’t disappear. It was even amplified, actually. Tori and Horizon never got their story to progress but one of the subplots featured a new love story. It was actually one of the best sub plots in the anime. It was nice seeing Tenzou (the ninja guy) get his own spotlight because he was a huge stand out in the first season and seeing him featured in the second season was really awesome. In fact, all of the great stand outs in the first season got some spotlight on them. Toussaint (the smart dude), those lesbian witches, the girl with the giant robot and even Gin (Tres Espana’s big boobs with short hair). Forgive me, I suck with names but all the stand out characters in the first season gets some deserved screen time in the second season.
The story of the anime is really great and the pacing was incredible. All the events on the anime, the main plot and the sub plot, eventually started to build up and it resulted on big climax in the second half of the anime. All the action sequences, the brilliant chess games and the twists that come out of nowhere delivered a very outstanding ending for this anime. I am so glad it was able to redeem itself after it missed with its first season. I felt the charm of the anime but it was vague. The second season give this series justice and I’m sure you can clearly the beauty of the anime after the first season paved way for a really wonderful series of events. One problem though and it’s about the ending. I don’t want to spoil it but it’s pretty annoying. Just go watch the anime, you won’t regret it.
Sight and Sound
The animation is still amazing in this anime. This was the thing that saved the first season and it just made the second season more awesome. The fight scenes are really amazing. They are all fast paced and the storytelling in it was very smart. Even with a large range of action scenes from weapon fights to giant robot fights, the animation was consistent. The anime uses a lot of crazy camera angles to make the scenes more awesome and the effects make the fights more amazing. The fight scenes in the first season were a bit short though but the second season fixed that. The fight scenes are long enough for the characters to deliver their personality across and satisfy the viewer’s taste for action. I personally love the confrontation between Gin and Musashi that was building since the first season. The payoff was excessive because I was really absorbed at how amazing the fight scenes were. It was worth waiting all this time.
The character design is the same. Some of the characters may look alike though if you don’t pay attention. I do love the fan service in the anime. There are a lot of new cast in the anime with big knockers. The character design is really nice because it complements the crazy outfits they have on. I love the look of the Queen of the Fairies because she looks bad ass while the boobs are bigger than her head. The character design has a huge range as well from the standard bishie and bishoujo to whacky characters with round bodies and big lips. There are also some moe in the anime in the form of the mascots. I love those kobolds but the soot sprite looking things are pretty nice as well.
The anime’s OP is “ZONE//ALONE” by Minori Chihara. It’s a nice song and it’s actually pretty catchy especially the chorus. The OP sequence is really nice. It was able to showcase all the subplots and it presented all the characters in the anime. There were no spoilers which is a great thing. I actually use the OP sequence as a guide map for when I get overwhelmed by the anime and I lose track of the subplots. The anime has two ED songs. The first one is Side SunSet: “Kanashimi wa Dare no Negai Demo nai” by Aira Yuuki. This often plays in the background while the credit rolls and the anime are still going. It’s a bit hard to explain. From what I can tell, the song is about love and the uncertainty of it. It’s a nice song but it plays in the background, you can hardly hear it. The second ED song is Side SunRise: “Sora no Uta” by Masami Okui. This is actually the proper ED because it had a proper ED sequence. The song is pretty normal. The sequence is great because it features the characters in chibi form. Who doesn’t like chibi?
7/10 “It redeemed the first season and clearly brought out the series’ charm.”
This is an amazing anime. Make no doubt about it, the things the first season couldn’t do properly greatly shined in this anime. If you saw the first season then you won’t be disappointed by the second season. If you like an anime with a lot of action scenes but actually has a deep story then this anime is for you. Plus, it has big boobs. That’s always fun. I highly recommend it.