Light Novel: Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon

aka: Horizon In The Middle Of Nowhere
Just an ordinary student council tasked to rule the country, protect the people, and save the world

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon (officially translated as Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere, but as Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere outside Japan) is a set of school fantasy light novels by Minoru Kawakami, with an anime produced by Sunrise Studio 8 and a manga in Dangeki Daioh.

In the 20th Century, it was discovered that there were ten universes parallel to our own, called Gears. Each Gear had their own fantastical races and laws of nature called Concepts. When it was found that the eleven Gears were destined to collide and destroy each other, the other ten Gears were destroyed and their Concepts were incorporated into our own. Using these new laws, mankind and the other races were able to uplift themselves to the state of gods, leaving behind a used and barren Earth. Before leaving, they activated three machines called the Elemental Gods to repair the planet in the event it was needed again. With that, they ascended to Heaven to live among the stars.

Unfortunately, even with their power and enlightenment, war would once more broke out between the uplifted races. The war caused the deaths of most of the populace, destroyed the laws of causality, and forced the survivors to return to Earth. The Elemental Gods had repaired the planet, but had done so too well: The planet was now overgrown and inhospitable towards life. Through the power of their Emperor, the Japanese islands were cultivated to once more become livable, and were renamed the Divine States. For a time the survivors bickered and warred with each other despite their precarious predicament, until they began to implement the policy of History Recreation.

Using the Testament, a book connected directly to the concept of fate, the survivors could manipulate the Concepts to retrace their steps and rediscover the secret to their lost divinity be re-enacting history. In order to facilitate this, history was split into East and West and staged in different areas: Eastern history would be recreated in the Divine States, while Western history would be recreated in a pocket dimension made by the Emperor called the Harmonic Divine States. Starting from 10,000 BC, the system worked well to stop pointless wars by making skirmishes per-determined in line with historical battles. Tragedy wouldn't strike again until 1413 AD during Japan's Nanboku-chou Wars, when the three Regalia of Japan which the Emperor was using to maintain the Harmonic Divine States disappeared.

Without the Regalia, the Harmonic Divine States collapsed onto the real world, severely damaging the planet as well as over-writing over small areas of reality. The Harmonic States banded together and invaded the Divine States in retaliation, conquering them. As penance for destroying the Harmonic Divine States, the locals had their lands stripped from them, were barred from forming a standing army, and had their power limited to only what was needed for History Recreation. In order to continue on, each nation would take on both Eastern and Western history simultaneously. The countries as they are now each represent a European country active in the 30 Years War, as well as a daimyou in Japan's Sengoku era.

The Testament, which is supposed to update automatically and show recorded events up to 100 years in the future, abruptly stopped updating in 1548. This is assumed to mean one thing: in 1648, something will happen that will destroy the concept of fate, destroying the universe. The deadline is approaching fast, with no clear plan in place besides P.A. ODA's mysterious Genesis Project. The story begins on the Far East's only remaining "land", the Quasi-Bahamut Aerial City-Ship Musashi, and centers around its Student Council, led by their president Toori "Impossible" Aoi. When an automated doll resembling Toori's dead Childhood Friend, Horizon, appears on the ship, the stage is set as he prepares to pick a fight with the rest of the world to get back her lost emotions and save the world from the impending apocalypse.

Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere is chronologically the fourth entry of six in author Minoru Kawakami's universe, though the entries haven't been produced in that order. The official timelines goes:

  • FORTH: The world as it is now. Comprises novels 42 and 43.
  • AHEAD: The setting for Owari no Chronicle: after conquering ten parallel worlds, we must make their own Concepts part of our universe lest it be destroyed. Comprises novels 16-29.
  • EDGE: When mankind discovers space travel, and leaves the Earth That Was. The discovery of a fuel from AHEAD allows for further development.
  • GENESIS: The stage when the world ends and a time where Technology Marches On and FORTH is all but forgotten. This is when Horizon takes place. Currently in production, comprising novels 30-41, and 44+.
  • OBSTACLE: When the world rebuilds and destroys itself. Comprises an online card game.
  • CITY: When all the technologies developed from OBSTACLE come together, and, after the world was recreated countless times, a world that would not be destroyed is created. Comprises novels 1-15.

The Animated Adaptation of the first volume began airing in the fall season of 2011, with the manga starting publication at the same time. The second season began broadcasting in the summer season of 2012. The series is licensed by Sentai Filmworks, and is available online at Crunchyroll..

Baka-Tsuki has an active translation project for the Light Novels of Owari no Chronicle, Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere, and CITY.

Note: Some spoilers for the light novels are here!

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council: This series set the trope on a new level as every nation here is ruled by one.
  • Action Girl: Most of the girls, especially Makiko Oriotorai.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Especially Toori.
  • Badass Boast: S2 E12, by Musashi's students:
    We have already been punished by the Testament Union! We must carry the possibilities of our King, and the emotions of our Princess! But we must never give our King or Princess cause for grief!
    • And Tres Espaņa's response:
    We're saturated with our own downfall! The empire where the sun never sets declares to the nation where the sun never rises: We are invincible! Victory will be ours! Glory will be ours!
  • BFS: The swords are huge.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The first season covers the entirety of volume one, which is actually two books from the light novels; it leaves no major event behind, but it excludes and compresses lengthy elements like conversations between minor characters and world exposition.
  • Cool vs. Awesome + Disney Acid Sequence + What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs? = WHAT: Episode 9 showcases the fight between Futayo Honda and Kimi Aoi in an Acid Trip Dimension where Futayo uses her Tonbokiri spear and Kimi simply utilizes dancing. All of this is done to a club house remix of P-01s' Leitmotif. Definitely much better than it sounds.
  • Cry Cute: Suzu in episode 6 after her essay which tells a little about her backstory with Toori and Horizon. She uses this to try and motivate Tori into rescuing Horizon.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Kazuno delivers one to a God of War in episode 5.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Futayo allies with Musashi after Kimi snaps her out of her indecision whether to aid Horizon Ariadust or not.
    • Muneshige Tachibana and Gin Tachibana, near the end of the second part of volume two.
  • Door Stopper: While the series is made of "light" novels, the novels aren't that light as you can see here note .
    • For a quick comparison, all books that composes the Lord of the Rings amounts to 1178 pages; the second volume of Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon (Shita Chp.note ) is 1152 pages long.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Toori is on the receiving end of these a lot, although it's usually justified in that he's often making sexist remarks to female characters such as his teacher. He is also immune to damage (though not pain) from women thanks to the contract with his god, so long as it's part of a gag.
  • Duck Season, Rabbit Season: Toori Aoi uses a more subtle version of this to change Horizon's mind when he rescues her.
  • Emotionless Girl: All automated dolls, given they're really machines, but justified with P-01s because it carries the soul of Horizon. She lost all of her emotions upon the creation of the Deadly Sin Armaments.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: GENESIS
  • Fanservice: Most of the female cast, except maybe William Cecil or Robert Dudley.
  • Four Is Death: GENESIS is time period four.
  • Gainaxing
  • Groin Attack: All the time to Toori.
  • Hide Your Lesbians: Averted; Margot and Marga are explicitly Lipstick Lesbians.
  • Humongous Mecha: Gods of War; while typically fielded by the Testament Union, Naomasa of the Engineering Club at Musashi Ariadust Academy has fixed up an old one for her personal use.
  • Invocation: "Judge"note  and "Tes"note  are variants: they're used as a confirmation of an action, such as responding to a question or confirming an order from authority, much like the Japanese "Hai" is used as a formal "Yes".
  • Kill 'em All: Averted in episode five. While the reactor explosion in Mikawa decimates the entire region, no harm is performed on the public since all citizens have already left the area.
  • Like Cannot Cut Like: In episode five, during Tadakatsu Honda and Muneshige fight's, Honda's Tonbokiri and Muneshige's Lypē Katathlipsē canceled each other's attack because the former is the prototype of the latter.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: And HOW. Season one already had a bunch of characters for one cour; the second season introduced a bucketload more. It's gotten to the point that although Tori and Horizon are arguably the main characters, everyone else gets their shot at screentime (barring several) and Tori and Horizon are relegated to a few minutes an episode.
  • Magical Girl Warrior: Every single woman; how much "mage" or "warrior" there is depends on the person and their abilities.
  • Magi Tech
  • My Greatest Failure: Weaponized by the barrier surrounding Horizon's holding cell while awaiting her suicide, which forces anyone touching it to relive their greatest sin, and, unless they manage to completely deny it, disintegrates them.
  • Older Than They Look: Primarily elves, a race of people who can live for hundreds of years and are easily distinguishable by their pointy ears.
    • Also, automatons do not age, so Kazuno, Musashi and the other ship captains are this.
  • Punched Across the Room: Happens to Toori in episode 6 of season 1 after he makes some sexist remarks about his teacher. Hilariously he goes through the wall of their class, and he ends up in the room next door.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Many of the women; not only are they lengthy (with some going all the way down to the ankles) but they're plenty voluminous, too.
  • Rule of Cool: Multi-ship drifting.
    • Multi-ship backflip.
  • Running Gag: Nobody knows what 'having sex' means.
  • Scenery Porn: Even the Conspicuous CGI looks amazing.
  • Schizo Tech: The series blends modern (and extremely advanced, futuristic) technology with 13th-16th century Japanese architecture.
  • Sensual Spandex: Clothing of choice in the future.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Crops up in the form of the 9 Armor of Deadly Sins. In an unusual twist, "sloth" is split into two halves representing "anguish" and "dejection", while "vanity" is an extension of "pride". According to Motonobu Matsudaira, all of the original eight pieces, and thus, the Seven Deadly Sins themselves, ascended from the discontinued Armor "Envy", the operating system housed within P-01s.
  • Shout-Out: Nate Mitotsudaira — "Who exactly do you think she is?"
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Minor case regarding Nate's (or "Neito's") correct romanization of her name: while The Anime Network uses the latter, the original novel spelled her name in unadulterated English using the former.
  • Theme Naming: As the current date being reproduced is during the Sengoku era, many characters have names either reminiscent or precisely those of important players in the era.
  • The Verse: Minoru created his own world in his books; they're divided in FORTH, AHEAD, EDGE, GENESIS, OBSTACLE and CITY. Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon is part of the GENESIS saga, his previous work, Owari no Chronicle, is part of the AHEAD saga.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 5 in season 1, when Motonobu causes a reactor meltdown in Mikawa, and reveals that Horizon has the Armor of Deadly Sins in her.
  • Winged Humanoids: There are a whole race of them, it seems. Margot and Marga are the recurring examples.
  • World of Badass

Alternative Title(s):

Kyoukai Senjou No Horizon, Horizon In The Middle Of Nowhere