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Light Novel / Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere

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Just an ordinary student council tasked to rule the country, protect the people, and save the world

Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere (Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon) 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 break 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 by 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 pre-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 deceased childhood friend, Horizon Ariadust, 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 in 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 animated adaptation of the first volume produced by Sunrise began airing in the Fall 2011 season, with the manga starting publication at the same time. The second season began broadcasting in Summer 2012. The series is licensed by Sentai Filmworks, and is available online at Crunchyroll.

Baka-Tsuki has an active translation project for the novels The Ending Chronicle, Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere, Clash of Hexennacht, CITY Series, On a Godless Planet and Rapid Fire King.

Note: Some spoilers for the light novels are here!

Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere 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.
  • Adults Are Useless: Subverted then Averted. All students in Musashi must graduate when they are 18 but everywhere else have no age limit to graduate. So, in Musashi the adults is forbidden to actual battle but allowed to give support. Everywhere else adults, i.e. Pope Innocentius, can join battle.
  • After the End: The series takes place in a far future in which humans are forced to abandon a devastated Earth and travel to outer space. However, due to an unknown phenomenon that prevents them from traveling into space, humanity returns to Earth only to find it inhospitable except for Japan. To accommodate the entire human population, Pocket Dimensions are created around Japan to house the returned populace. In order to find a way to return to outer space, the humans begin reenacting human history according to the Holy Book Testament. But in the year 1413 of the Testament Era, the nations of the pocket dimensions invade and conquer Japan, dividing the territory into feudal fiefdoms and forcing the original inhabitants of Japan to leave. It is now the year 1648 of the Testament Era, and the refugees of Japan now live in the city ship, Musashi, which constantly travels around Japan while being watched by the Testament Union, the authority that runs the re-enactment of history.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Especially Toori.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: Several of the Ten Spears of P.A. ODA that oppose Musashi several times through the light novels are actually the future children of some students of Class Plum. They came from a Bad Future where the world was destroyed and their parents died. Their main motive is to Set Right What Once Went Wrong with a Well-Intentioned Extremist plan to save the world in the current timeline, but they're also taking out their anger against their young parents for leaving them alone in a post-apocalyptic world.
  • Bad Future: Turns out the Apocalypse already happened in another timeline. In that future, Toori and Horizon died early on and Destiny continued to commit suicide which resulted in the world being destroyed. The only survivors were the children of a few members of Class Plum, who then traveled to the past in order to prevent the Apocalypse this time and Set Right What Once Went Wrong. They joined P.A. ODA to serve as members of the Ten Spears under Toukichirou Hashiba.
  • 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 España'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!
  • Balanced Harem: An interesting case. While Horizon is the girl Toori loves the most, she eventually invites Asama and Nate to enter a Polyamory where they can evenly share Toori and support him in different ways. Horizon still carries the title of the Top Wife, but Toori cares a lot about Asama and Nate too and intends to properly reciprocate their feelings. Marry Them All becomes the most plausible outcome at that point and it indeed happens in the last volumes.
  • Battle Couple: Margot and Malga, the lesbian witch couple known together as Zwei Frauen.
  • BFS: The swords are huge.
  • Bridal Carry:
    • In the first episode of Season 2, Tori falls into Tenzou's arms and has to be carried by him this way. Tenzou complains that he can't believe the first person he carried in his arms was a naked man.
    • Luckily for Tenzou, he gets to carry Mary in his arms like this after he saves her from her execution.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Class 3-Plum, bordering Ragtag Bunch of Misfits each of them has distinct notable character and has their own quirks.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: It's later revealed that P-01s is Toori's childhood friend Horizon. He is completely in love with her and Horizon eventually reciprocates his feelings.
  • Cloning Splits Attributes: By stabbing himself with his gravity sword, Walter can use the gravity to spread his molecules out, splitting himself into two bodies. Because his body is just spread out over a wider area, each clone body is less dense than when he has a single body, and he still only has a single consciousness controlling both clones, so it's noted by Tenzou to be a difficult technique that's easy to disrupt. While Walter was able to duel Futayo, one of the strongest students from Musashi, to a standstill using a single body, using his clone technique he was easily overwhelmed by Milton, a small talking crow.
  • 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: 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.
  • 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.
  • Diegetic Visual Effects: Whenever Toori gets naked, a sign frame always appears over his crotch. Although it seems to be just a stylized Censor Box, it actually appears in universe as part of his contract with the god of entertainment, allowing him to include nudity in his comedy routines without worrying about public indecency.
  • Divided for Publication: All volumes are divided in chapters, some in two while others are in three, but keeps the same numbering.
  • 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 compose The Lord of the Rings amount to 1178 pages; the second volume of Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon (Shita Chp.) 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 she lost all of her emotions upon the creation of the Deadly Sin Armaments.
  • Emotions vs. Stoicism: Toori and Horizon have this conflict, highlighted in their debate near the end of Season 1. He's cheerful, optimistic and makes his decisions based on his emotions and instincts. She's an emotionless machine who makes her decisions completely based on logic. Toori has to resort to Reverse Psychology to get to some sort of agreement between them.
  • Excalibur: In England, there's the legendary sword Excalibur, but is represented as two swords: one called the "Excalibur Caliburn" and the other the "Excalibur Collbrande" ("Collbrande" being a variant on the spelling of the mythological Caliburn).
  • Fallen Angel: A subspecies of black-winged angels that betrayed God long ago. Between the three common angelic subspecies, they are the ones with the most potential but as they have a feeble constitution, the usage of abilities causes them a backlash with negative influence on their own bodies.
  • Fanservice: Most of the female cast, except maybe William Cecil or Robert Dudley.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: In this future, you can easily find robots, deities, elves, fairies, werewolves, angels, demons, witches, ninjas, dragons, ghosts and so on.
  • The Four Gods: The Four Divine Gods of War: Jizuri-Suzaku, Michiyuki-Byakko, Seiryuu-Bushin and Hidamari-Genbu.
  • Four Is Death: GENESIS is time period four.
  • Future Slang: "Judge"note  and "Tes"note . 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".
  • Gainaxing
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: The conflict between Musashi and the Harmonic Divine States. Each of the Harmonic Divine States has custody of one of the Deadly Sin Armaments that contain P-01s/Horizon Ariadust's emotions and Musashi wants to retrieve them to give Horizon her emotions back and to save the world from the apocalypse, since Horizon supposedly can do it with her power to operate all of the eight the Deadly Sin Armaments at once. However, the Harmonic Divine States don't want to hand over the Armaments since it could endanger the current balance of the world and History Recreation. Several of the characters of the Harmonic Divine States such as Tres España and England, are shown to be fairly decent people outside of battle.
  • Groin Attack: All the time to Toori.
  • Happily Married: This series has several example like Tachibana Gin and Munechige, Fusae Era and Takakane Hironaka, and Kazuno and Tadakatsu Honda.
  • Homosexual Reproduction: It's possible for people of the same sex to have children thanks to the Magitek of the setting only needing to extract their DNA to produce babies. Margot and Malga are planning to do this in the future. In the light novels, they meet their daughters from the future who were born through the process mentioned. There's also Masanori Fukushima, who was also born in the future from two women in Class Plum, Futayo and (very implied) Masazumi.
  • 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.
  • Kid from the Future: The true identity of most members of the Ten Spears in P.A. ODA is the children of Class Plum from the Bad Future. Nagayasu Hirano, Takenori Kasuya and Katsumoto Katagiri are Toori's children by Asama, Nate and Suzu respectively, Kiyomasa Katou is the daughter of Tenzou and Mary, Yoshiaki Katou and Yasuharu Wakisaka are the daughters of Margot and Malga, and Masanori Fukushima is the daughter of Futayo (and possibly Masazumi). In addition, the teacher of Class Plum Makiko Oriotorai is the future daughter of Toori and Horizon with Kimi having acted as her surrogate mother.
  • Hybrids Are a Crapshoot: Elves can live upwards of a thousand years, so they age and mature slowly. Half-elves, elf-human hybrids, age mentally at the same rate as elves but physically at the same rate as humans, so most half-elves never develop beyond the mental capacity of children. The few exceptions are more akin to child geniuses than adults.
  • Kissing Discretion Shot:
    • When Tori and P-01s kiss at the end of the first season.
    • Also when Tenzo and Mary share their True Love's Kiss in Episode 11 of Season 2.
  • 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 Races:
    • Our Angels Are Different: Also known as the Celestials. Their wings can be used for flight, spreading the wings and accumulating air within them to glide through the air and land and by ejecting the compressed air can even perform something closer to midair jump or a jet acceleration, achieving a way of flying far fiercer than the mere wingbeats of a bird. Due to the hereditary impressive Ability capabilities they hold, the angels serve in sacred temples and are known as the "Messengers of God". There are two types of angel; the Fallen Angels and the Descended Angels.
    • Our Elves Are Different: Elves are known for their elegance, higher power output, agility and slower aging process of their bodies. Their main distinguishable trait is their long Pointy Ears. Their ability to live for up to a thousand years makes them important people in the system of History Recreation, as they can inherit many names and hold influential positions thanks to their extended lifespans.
    • Our Ghosts Are Different: When someone who dies still linger to life and there is some kind of regret, the soul remains on the world as a residual shaped existence, with their principal component being only ether. It is difficult to identify someone as a ghost due to their appearance being the same as they when they were alive. Their only distinction is that some of their body parts are blurred (mainly the legs). Physical attacks don't work on them, as the blow goes through the ether, but they are able to carry and stand on physical objects. They can eat victuals but require to be consecrated before. There are three main types of ghost, the Floating-type, Suicide-type and the ghosts those who wished to be like this, the Reassigned-types.
    • Our Mermaids Are Different: Mermaids are a race of fish humanoids that lives under the water. Like the legendary creature of the same name, their upper body is that of a human and the tail of a fish.
    • Our Werewolves Are Different: Werewolves are spiritual entities that absorb and eat other beings. They never age, always keeping their best physical conditions, have the ability to repel attacks with their ether-based defenses and their superhuman strength is similar to the one of the Gods. They can show their true forms as complete monsters under the light of the full moon, easily surpassing the combative capabilities of the human world dwellers.
    • Robot Girl: The automated dolls.
    • Wolf Man: The Half-Wolves, a race of wolfmen human-eating beings, fusion between a wolf or humanoid wolf with a human being, as it seems there are two patterns of human-wolf amalgamation.
  • Long-Lived: Elves, a race of people who can live for hundreds of years.
  • Magical Girl Warrior: Every single woman; how much "mage" or "warrior" there is depends on the person and their abilities.
  • Magitek
  • Marry Them All: Polygamy is perfectly acceptable in the setting because having a wife and concubines is validated as a part of the history recreation. The light novels start building up this resolution with Horizon, Asama and Nate all becoming romantically involved with Toori. In fact, Horizon herself is the one who wanted to share Toori with the other two so he could be surrounded by all the women who love him. By the final volumes, Toori consummates all of his relationships with his harem and thanks to Time Travel, he already has a fully-grown daughter with each one of them.
  • Marshmallow Hell: In the final episode of Season 2, Margot and Malga use a new move in which Malga ends up pressed against Margot's breasts. Malga admits it feels good.
  • 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.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: 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.
  • Official Couple:
    • Tori Aoi and Horizon Ariadust.
    • Shirojiro Bertoni and Heidi Augesvarer.
    • Tenzo and Mary.
  • Opposites Attract: Keet Tori and Emotionless Girl P-01s/Horizon.
  • Parental Abandonment: Many characters lost one or both parent, i.e. Honda Futayo, Nesshin Tousshinbara, Horizon Ariadust. Some are still alive, but being The Ghost like Aoi siblings' father.
  • Patron God: Kimi's patron goddess is Uzume, the Japanese goddess of celebrations, parties, and eroticism. Everything Kimi does, from her makeup, to the way she walks, and the way she dresses acts as an offering to Uzume. In exchange, Uzume fulfills Kimi's wish that, "The only ones who can touch me are those I wish to wither away for", turning Kimi into a untouchable Stone Wall protected by a seemingly endless series of barriers, particularly while she's singing and dancing to increase the value of her offerings.
  • Polyamory: Later in the light novels, Horizon outright tells Asama and Nate that she would like to share Toori with them because Horizon thinks this way they can give Toori the emotional support and love he needs now that the path to Westfalia is getting even more difficult.
  • 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.
  • Rescued from the Underworld: Near the end of the light novels, Toori violates the rules of his contract by crying. This is in fact done on purpose so Asama and Nate can bring him back from the spirit world. The two then have sex with his soul 1501 times to let him return to the world of the living.
  • Robosexual: The romance between Toori and the automated doll P-01s. However, he fell in love with her back when she was a human named Horizon.
  • Schizo Tech: The series blends modern (and extremely advanced, futuristic) technology with 13th-16th century Japanese architecture.
  • Screw Destiny: Deconstructed. Turns out the real cause of the Apocalypse is destiny trying to screw itself. The personality of destiny could not stand seeing all the death it caused and it decided people would be better off without destiny. Thus, destiny eventually began slowly killing itself in a process that became known as the Apocalypse.
  • 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.
  • Sex Magic: There is a ceremony to resurrect the dead that needs someone of the living to travel into the spirit world and have sex with the spirit of the dead person 1501 times. This is exactly what Asama and Nate do with Toori in the final volumes of the light novel.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Showgirl Skirt: Crescent-shaped skirts combined with Sensual Spandex are the female school uniform in the Harmonic Divine State's academies.
  • Sleep Cute: Tori and Horizon fall sleep together while holding hands at the end of Season 1.
  • 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.
  • Song of Prayer: The "Song of Passage" is a popular folk song in the Far East the begs the gods in heaven for safe passage despite one's fears. Kimi makes particular use of it as part of her abilities as a Dance Battler, using the song and her dance as offerings to her Patron God to become an unstoppable fortress so long as she keeps dancing and singing.
  • Thanks for the Mammary:
    • Toori gropes the breasts of his own teacher in the very first episode.
    • In Episode 4, he gropes Nate's breasts after Kimi tricks her into letting him do it.
  • The 'Verse: Minoru created his own world in his books; they're divided in FORTH, AHEAD, EDGE, GENESIS, OBSTACLE and CITY. The official timelines goes:
    • FORTH: The world as it is now. Comprises 2 novels (Rapid-fire King).
    • AHEAD: The setting for The Ending Chronicle: after conquering ten parallel worlds, we must make their own Concepts part of our universe lest it be destroyed. Comprises 14 novels.
    • 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, In-Universe, and FORTH is all but forgotten. This is when Horizon takes place. Comprises 11 arcs in 29 novels.
    • OBSTACLE: The setting for Clash of Hexennacht. When the world rebuilds and destroys itself. Comprises an online card game and a light novel series currently in production (4 novels).
    • CITY: The setting for the CITY Series. 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 6 arcs in 15 novels.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: The Deadly Sin Armaments. Each one is said to have the power to destroy an entire city.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 5 in season 1, when Motonobu causes a reactor meltdown in Mikawa, and reveals that P-01s is Horizon Ariadust and has an Armor of Deadly Sins in her.
  • Winged Humanoid: There are a whole race of them, it seems. Margot and Malga are the recurring examples.
  • World of Badass
  • World of Buxom: The series is sort of infamous for the ridiculously large boobs of quite a few female characters. Even without having the biggest breasts many of the woman are still well endowed. Hell, even the Humongous Mechas have large breasts.

Alternative Title(s): Kyoukai Senjou No Horizon, Horizon In The Middle Of Nowhere