Monday, October 7, 2013

Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere - Seasons 1 & 2 [Anime Review]

There are some anime series that just beg you to watch them.

This is one of them. Everything I learned about the series before I sat down to watch made me wonder what the heck I was getting into.
A classroom filled with the student council. Leaders of a nation.
And now that I've seen both seasons, I'm still not sure I can tell you completely what I watched. This is a very Japanese anime, in that it appears to be an insane jumble of a hundred ideas all at once. Take a look at a Japanese magazine. That's what this anime is like. Lots and lots of information and action and dozens of characters thrown at you.  

Tori, our Hero?! Yes... yes that is our main protagonist.

Ok. I'm going to give a real brief overview of the world the story takes place in. Well, I'll try to be brief... that could be tough because the idea is rather bonkers.

In the future, humans try to flee a devastated Earth. But they can't travel through space for some reason... I do not remember the reason being explained, seriously. Plot contrivance!

Humanity returns to Earth, but the only land that remains inhabitable is Japan (sure, why not, I suppose if an American wrote this it would be set in California or New York). But humanity cannot fit on Japan so they create pocket dimensions to live in. Fine. That sounds perfectly reasonable. 

But that's not all. See, humanity still wants to escape into space. So in order to do so they begin to reenact history according to a Holy Testament. Now, this is just weird but it doesn't stop there. Eventually the nations of the pocket dimensions invade Japan and conquer it, dividing Japan into six Feudal nations and forcing the Japanese to flee. That was five hundred years before the main story starts.

It is 1648 of the Testament Era and Musashi is a city-ship that travels about their lost homeland of Japan. This is where our story begins. Rumors of a great war and of the oncoming apocalypse begin circulating through the Testament Union. When the Testament ends the Apocalypse will occur. There are forces both seeking to usher in the apocalypse and other forces opposing its arrival. 
I'm serious, he's our Protagonist.

 Into this chaos steps Tori Aoi, student council President of the Musashi Ariadust Academy, the ruling body of Musashi. He goal, well... to marry his dead friend. Oh, and maybe retake their homeland in the process... 

Shakespeare vs Toussaint Neshinbara, I think.

Was that confusing enough?

Tenzo, he's kinda the co-protagonist of season II.
That's not even much beyond the introduction of the very first episode. Not even half an episode which spends most of its time introducing you to a class full of characters and their abilities. But don't worry, there will be loads more characters introduced through the season and a whole bunch of English characters introduced in season II, like Shakespeare and Francis Drake.

Now don't get me wrong.

Horizon is a fun series. It's just a whole lot of series jammed into two 13 episode seasons. I re-watched the first season twice in a row just to try and comprehend it. I've seen this anime both subbed and dubbed (both were fine).

Also, he wins the series so far...
It is fantastically animated, you get sucked into the insanity, and once again I've stumbled upon an anime with an excellent music. Unlike the past few anime I've reviewed the intro music is not as excellent. In this series its the insert music, the music in the episodes. Specifically the song sung by a character called P-01s. The song is called 'Toorimase' or 'Let us pass.' A sad melancholic song, but very beautiful.

Excellent music, odd but fun story, and very good animation. I'm looking forward to a third season, but I doubt that either the light novels or the game will be localized this side of the Pacific.

I am confident in my rating for this series. It's biggest faults are too much information and too many characters. Everything else, from the comedy to the drama, from the animation to the music, is very good. It's a solid viewing experience.  It's definitely one I look forward to seeing more of, and there better be more...

4.0 Stars

And you can buy a Tenzo hat! With alternate expressions!

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