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 far future, humanity abandoned the devastated Earth
and moved to the heavens. After war broke out, Heaven and the laws of causation collapsed. Humanity was forced to return to the Earth, which had become savage and uninhabitable except for an area called the Divine States
. The Divine States were too small to accommodate all of humanity, so they duplicated the area and created a parallel world called the Harmonic Divine States. In order to once more reach Heaven and rediscover their lost technology, the Testament Union began attempting to rebuild history starting from 10,000 B.C. When the reproduction proceeded to 1413 A.D., a war broke out in the Divine States, and the Harmonic Divine States fell back onto the original world.
In the end, the humans living in the Harmonic Divine States invaded the Divine States, conquering it and renaming it the Far East. The people of the Far East surrendered and the land was divided by the invaders. They tried to resume the reproduction of history, but the Testament, the book that has been re-recording history, suddenly stops in 1648 A.D. While the cause is unknown, rumor has arisen that it foretells an impending apocalypse. The story takes place on the Far East's only remaining "land", the aerial city-ship Musashi, and centers around its Student Council, led by their president Toori "Impossible" Aoi. When a Gynoid
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.
Horizon is chronologically the fourth entry of six in author Minoru Kawakami's Verse
, though the entries haven't been produced in order. Aside from its (in)famous heavy nature, the novels are known from using a rather unusual numbering for its books; there are 14 books as of Summer 2013, but it counts as six volumes. Kawakami uses more than one book to amount a Volume, ex: Volume 1 is two books long, Volume 3 is three books long. The system seems to be [2 books = 1 Volume] or [3 books = 1 Volume], as Kawakami has followed these two patterns strictly.
All of it is part of a chronicle, divided in 6 stages:
- FORTH is the world as it is now.
- AHEAD is 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.
- EDGE is when mankind discovers space travel, and leaves the Earth That Was. The discovery of a fuel from AHEAD allows for further development.
- GENESIS is 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.
- OBSTACLE is when the world rebuilds and destroys itself.
- CITY is the when all the technologies developed from OBSTACLE come together.
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.
US viewers may legally watch both Seasons at Crunchyroll.Baka-Tsuki has a translation project for the Light Novels.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 Tori.
- 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 lenghty 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 Slicing Dragonfly 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 Tori and Horizon. She uses this to try and motivate Tori into rescuing Horizon.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Kazuno delivers one to a mech pilot 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 currently has 10 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: Tori 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.
- Duck Season, Rabbit Season: Tori Aoi uses a more subtle version of this to change Horizon's mind when he rescues her.
- Emotionless Girl: All automatons, 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: The entire female cast
- Four Is Death: GENESIS is time period four.
- Groin Attack: At the rate this happens, Tori will be rendered sterile by the end of the second season.
- Hide Your Lesbians: Averted; Margot and Malga Naruze 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 Slicing Dragonfly and Muneshige's Lype Katarripsi 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 Choujuzokus (長寿族), a race of people who can live for few thousand years and easily distinguishable by their pointy ears. There are no Choujuzokus introduced in Musashi but two known individuals were shown in the last minutes of episode 13: Queen Juana of Tres Espaņa and Fusahide Era.
- Also, automatons do not age, so Kazuno, Musashi and the other ship captains are this.
- Punched Across the Room: Happens to Tori 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.
- 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?"
- While held prisoner by the K.P.A. Italia, P-01s reads a magazine about metal songs and style. The metalhead on the cover is a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo of Krauser II from Detroit Metal City.
- Theres a very obvious dragonball z and dragon quest shoutout in episode 9 of the second season.
- 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 Malga are the recurring examples.
- World of Badass