More reviews, coming soon as promised! I wanted to review Horizon as it is still very fresh in my mind.
Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon stands as yet another reason why i shouldn’t judge a series based on the art and character designs. I finally wanted to see what this series was all about, and I can honestly say that i was both disappointed and surprised (in a good way).
Horizon is a huge clusterfuck for the first three episodes. Terminology is thrown left and right, backwards and sideways but from what i’ve gathered it was important for the overall plot and while i didn’t like how those episodes were put together, those three episodes are vital to understanding the main plot of Horizon. I really enjoy the whole idea behind the Testament, which guides history and what the Testament Union seeks to uphold above anything else. Our main characters are, not surprisingly, wanting to break away from the linear and predetermined fates all to save a girl with the power to destroy the world. It’s crazy and absurd, but that’s exactly why people seem to love this series. On top of such absurdity comes a cast that is fairly rooted in high school antics lead by the student council president/chancellor of Horizon Ariadust Academy, Aoi Toori. Toori’s antics usually involve groping breasts, occasional bouts of nudity and groping even more breasts. This does have redeemable comedic value even though i’m not the biggest supporter of fanservice. To think that this character happens to be THE main character is mind boggling at first, but you’ll quickly get use to Toori’s behavior. The entire cast is likable, but you’ll be struggling to remember most of their names if not their faces as well. Horizon Ariadust, the titular character, serves as the protagonist’s love interest though for most of the series she’s got a very robotic personality.
Now onto the bad: The animation isn’t quite above-average, once again Sunrise really ought to really put some effort in animation. But that doesn’t stop there as there’s another very annoying thing I really don’t like about Horizon: the character designs. For the males, it’s slightly annoying but nothing you can’t overlook; for the females, however, it’s beyond the point of redemption. There’s big breasts and then there’s two gigantic pieces of stone attached to the chest, and Sunrise opted to go for the latter. Now, i mentioned above that most of Toori’s funny moments involve groping said stone breasts. It’s both a blessing and a curse: I actually enjoy the comedy that comes out of his actions and the female’s facial expressions are downright hilarious but at the same time i’m reminded of the fact that those are some weird and distracting breasts. During the series’ more serious scenes, the stone breasts become more of a distraction than ever before.
But overall, while Horizon does a pretty good job with the more lighthearted moments, there is a bit of seriousness behind the overall grand plot and the main cast’s goal to not only rescue Horizon but ultimately stop the Testament Union. There is a second season which will air in summer, and i’m already eagerly awaiting it.
Animation: 7/10 (C) – Not the best, but what really annoyed me were the character designs especially the females. There’s boobs, and then there’s two gigantic pieces of stone attached to the chest: Sunrise opted for the latter. It did become both a blessing and a curse, the former being whenever Tori decided to steal the scene by groping someone’s breasts and the latter when it detracted from the serious tone of the latter episodes.
Story: 10.5/15 (C) – It gets very info heavy for the first three episodes, but the show really picks up the pace after episode 5. This show really loves to throw out tons of different terms and events and does a great job at leaving the viewer wanting more. It feels very much like Code Geass with the wacky school life antics and the nation-building political aspect meshing together quite well, as expected of Sunrise and Lelouch/Tori seiyuu Jun Fukuyama. Not the best to understand or follow, but you’ll be swept by the tide enough to understand a basic idea of what’s going on.
Sound: 7/10 (C) – I really liked the OP as it showed exactly how Horizon can balance being extremely hilarious and serious. The ending themes were okay, but nothing special except the first ending’s visuals were funny. The voice acting was quite nice especially Jun Fukuyama as Toori.
Characters: 16/20 (B-) – The cast is definitely a major reason to why i enjoyed Horizon. Even during the info-dump period of episodes 1-3, it was a relief that there was something other than heavy terminology that managed to keep my interest high. They do take a while to remember, but their personalities definitely give the series more finesse. Tori succeeds at not only knowing how to wage a war against an empire of millions, but also being the center of comedic attention whenever a pair of breasts are concerned.
Enjoyment: 36/45 (B-) – Horizon is a poor man’s Geass. Though if i had to say, i believe Horizon was much better overall than the second season of Code Geass. But i do think this show does a great job at being over the top in a way that actually contributes to the plot, Tori’s antics are just the icing on the cake. This is one of those shows that has flaws, but it was just so fun to watch that i forgot about the negative things most of the time. It lacked what the first Code Geass shined, and went far and above what the second CG could ever accomplish (save for episode 25).
Overall – 76.5/100 (C) – Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon deserves a watch, if you can stomach three episodes of confusing and heavy terminology and distracting character designs, the rest of the series will reward you with comedy, over the top craziness and a really nice ending. Of course, there’s still a second season coming up!