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Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon – Retrospective, Part 2 – Episodes 07-13 & Final Impressions »« Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon – OST

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon – Retrospective, Part 1 – The Premise, the World, & Episodes 01-06

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   Retrospective   Top crop

The natural reaction to how much work went into this post.

Welcome, one and all, to my special series of retrospective posts on the sci-fi / fantasy epic Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon. In the following two posts, I’m going to give you everything you need to know in order to enjoy this wonderfully complex series, including background information, character bios, detailed summaries and impressions for every episode, and a giant final impressions section that explains exactly why I felt compelled to write so much about this series. In the end, these two posts are going to cover the entire season – all 13 episodes – of one of the most vibrant and detailed worlds that has graced our screens in years.

Of course, this all begs the question – why? Why did I do what amounts to over a season’s worth of blogging in two weeks? Other than the fact that I’m clearly a masochist (“you blogged an entire series in two weeks? M!”) , it’s because this series is the reason why I’m here today. While I know many have called me the ecchi writer due to…well, everything I’ve covered on RandomC so far (whoops!), the truth is that the genre I love above all else is Fantasy, with Epic Fantasy standing proudly atop the pile like a haughty king. Stories with rich casts in expansive worlds full of war, politics, intrigue, romance, and magical battles galore are what really get my blood pumping. That’s why, when the first season of Kyoukaisen got dropped here on Randomc, I felt the lack. My favorite blog wasn’t covering my favorite show! That’s when an insidious thought slipped into my mind – if they’re not covering it, then maybe I could…?

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   Retrospective   Crop Neito hat o

In my heart.

So yes, Kyoukaisen holds a special place in my heart, so much so that I took the rights to cover season 2 within a month of joining RandomC. But in order for everyone to enjoy this upcoming season, I think it’s important to understand (and enjoy) the previous one. That’s what these posts are about. Here are my pledges to you, both for these two posts and for the upcoming season:

  • I will take extra time to make sure that I’ve explained anything that is potentially confusing about every episode. This show can be complex, so I don’t want you to stay confused.
  • I will find the answer to any (Kyoukaisen-related) question you guys ask. If you have one, post it on the latest post, which I’ll check every day until the next one goes up. You should have a place to go get the answers, and I’ll try to provide that.
  • I will edit for clarity and additional information. Usually I don’t edit a post much after it goes up, because blog posts are rarely referred back to after they first go up, but for these I’ll edit in more info when necessary. You should have a place where you can get the complete picture, and I’d like that place to be here.
  • For these posts I summarized each and every episode, but I don’t know if I’ll do that for next season. Undecided! Feel free to comment on that once you see how I summarized this time, though I will say it’s fairly unlikely. Summarizing is sort of boring =X

That’s my pledge to you. Now, I suppose I should get on with it, eh? First of all we’ll be going over the basic premise, the world, the various factions, and all of the important characters from season one. My primary sources for this information are the Horizon Wiki, MyAnimeList, Wikipedia, and the insanely detailed and useful kyoukaisen.tumblr.com, which is chock full of even more wonderful information than I’ve included here. Highly recommended. Now, let’s begin!

Stilts note: do not be daunted by this post’s length! It may look like a lot, but each of you probably won’t need to read all (or perhaps even most) of it in order to enjoy this series. It’s all just here in case you do. Read through, pick out the details you want to read, and come back if there’s anything you don’t understand – that’s my suggestion.

Stilts note #2: Yes, I realize that if a show needs (or is much enhanced by) a giant post explaining things, it didn’t do it’s job properly. “Show, don’t tell” and etc. I never claimed Kyoukaisen is perfect! I merely said that I enjoy this story, and once you understand it – if you’re willing – I think you might too.

 

Premise

In the distant future, the Earth has been devastated due to the powers wielded by humanity at the time. Seeking a new home, the people of Earth rose to “the heavens” (more on that below), but they fought too much and were soon forced to return to Earth. Though most of the planet had been rendered inhospitable (think wild magic and extra-dimensional interference – scary stuff), there was one part that could still support life: the archipelago formerly known as Japan. This land became known as the Divine States. However, there were more people than there was land available for them to live on, so a mirror image of the Divine States was created in a pocket dimension above it. This became known as the Harmonic Divine States. Most of humanity crossed over to the Harmonic Divine States (especially those of non-Japanese descent), while the powerful items known as the Divine Tools (the devices which maintained the Harmonic Divine States) were entrusted to the people of the Divine States.

Yet, humanity did not want to be stuck on one slip of land and a pocket dimension forever – they wanted to return to the heavens. Over time though, doubt arose about whether mankind could get back there. In response, a plan was hatched – if humanity could just retrace the steps it took to get to the heavens the first time, they could get back there again (and presumably not fight like idiots once there). Thus, the Testament was born.

 

The Testament

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   Retrospective   The Testaments v2

The Testaments. Just kidding! On the left are vol 1-8 of Kyoukaisen (there are 10 volumes now), while the right is all of Owari no Chronicle (more on that later). And just think, these are classified as “light” novels.

Now, the Testament is not just a set of World History textbooks lifted from an old history professor’s book shelf. Rather, it’s a set of books produced by a device called the Testament Descriptor, which is designed to update the Testament every 100 years by creating another volume. The reason why the Testament works this way isn’t stated (to my knowledge), but the natural conclusion is that, due to humanity’s constant warring, they lost most of the knowledge about history. Thus, they must trust in the Testaments because there is no other way to know.

Up to the present time, the Testaments have been compiled into seven volumes, containing information from the year 10,000 BC up to 1648 AD. During the process of history recreation, the years 10,000 BC to 1,000 BC were done in 90 years, while the following 1,000 years were done in 100 years. Starting from 1 AD, the ratio was slowed to 1 AD per every 1 TE (Testament Era). The Testaments are maintained by the Testament Union, an international organization of nations which oversees the process of history recreation (more on that below).

The seven volumes of the Testament are each held by a different country, specifically those based on European countries (which were all located in the Harmonic Divine States…more on that later as well). Given the world history that this blogger knows from plain old written text books, Europe pushing the rest of the world around in the time periods they’re recreating is not surprising.

 

History Recreation

History recreation primarily focuses on two things – the reenactment of major wars, and the inheritance of names from key figures in history. A couple of quick notes on the inheritance of names:

  • Sometimes those who adopt a name are required to undergo changes in order to better suit the role, such as a Honda Masaszumi’s (aborted) sex change. This is not always necessary, though.
  • Those who inherit names are often given roles, responsibilities, and attributes that the name’s original owner had. For example, Tachibana Muneshige was given superhuman speed upon taking the name Garcia de Ceballos.
Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   Retrospective   Crop Harmonic Territories

Harmonic Territories are areas from the Harmonic Divine States that overwrote parts of the real world. They appear as pillars of light, and the climate within them is different from that outside.

The recreation of history went smoothly up until 1413 TE, when the Nanboku-cho War (originally fought between the Northern and Southern Courts in Japan) was recreated in the Divine States. During the war, the Southern Court stormed the Imperial Castle and usurped the Divine Tools from the Emperor. With the mechanisms that maintained their stability disrupted, the Harmonic Divine States collapsed, with more than half of them being completely destroyed. The rest fused with the Divine States, overwriting patches of land entirely and creating the Harmonic Territories.

Naturally, the people of the Harmonic Divine States were pretty pissed about this, so they invaded the Divine States. Unfortunately for the people already living in the Divine States, their resources had been depleted due to the war they had been recreating, so they were quickly defeated. This event became known as the Harmonic Unification War.

This whole situation presented a problem for the Testament Union – Japan was not supposed to be conquered by a bunch of European countries in 1413 AD. To solve this, the nations of the Harmonic Divine States partnered with various powerful clans and relocated to different areas of the Divine States, while the remaining lands that were left to the Divine States’ original occupants, which were renamed the Far East. The people of the Far East were then placed under provisional rule by the Testament Union, losing most of their sovereignty in the process. No surprise there, as historically that’s what happens when a country loses a war. In addition, every country’s military and government was replaced by an academy, with students becoming responsible for all governing and fighting. More on that shortly.

With that taken care of, the history recreation marched on until another problem arose – the Testaments stopped updating after the year 1648 AD, at the time when the Peace of Westphalia happened (note: they know about the conference that take place at Westphalia, but not necessarily the peace that resulted, and they certainly don’t know what comes next). That means that after over eighteen hundred years of following the Testaments and knowing pretty much exactly what would come next, humanity was about to suddenly be all on its own once again. Naturally, people proceeded to do what they always do when confronted with wide-spread uncertainty that has anything to do with a calendar – they assumed that the apocalypse was coming and began to freak out (see: Y2K, 2012 Mayan Calendar nonsense, etc).

This is the situation the world is in when Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon begins. It’s April 20th, 1648 TE. Now stepping on the stage is Aoi Toori, the memory of the dead Horizon Ariadust, and their friends in class 3-Plum…

 

Assorted Details

The Heavens

So far I have referred to “the heavens” multiple times, but I never actually explained what they are. The reason for that is because I’m not entirely sure. To my knowledge, it’s never been explicitly stated what the heavens are, either in the not-so-light novels or the anime. Some sources say “the heavens” are outer space (which is what I initially assumed), while others imply that they’re alternate dimensions. Either explanation works, though let me give you a few pieces of information to consider:

  • Kyoukaisen is not the first popular published work by author Kawakami Minoru. He also wrote Owari no Chronicle, which is a prequel of sorts to Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon. I say “of sorts” because the two story’s plots don’t have much to do with one another, but the worlds they take place in are either extremely similar or exactly the same. For instance, much of the magical system in Kyoukaisen can be directly traced back to that seen in Owari no Chronicle. Anyway, since Owari no Chronicle deals heavily with alternate dimensions, it is reasonable to assume that “the heavens” in Kyoukaisen might be the same.
  • Remember, Horizon’s earth is radically different than ours. When I first heard of “the heavens,” I assumed that meant outer space, and wondered why the hell they couldn’t get back to space if they had flying ships like Musashi. However, they also have magical abilities, archdevils, talking slimes, and huge areas of alternate dimensional land that is superimposed over the real world. So yeah, when they say that “something is preventing them from getting back to the heavens,” I’m inclined to believe there’s a pretty good reason!

But to be honest, it doesn’t matter. Whether it’s outer space or another dimension, Horizon’s earth is pretty messed up, and it shows it in a number of visible ways. Where they’re trying to get won’t matter to us until it’s much closer than it is now.

 

Why Do Students Do All the Fighting?

The short answer is “because that’s how the Testament Union decided it would work” (after the Harmonic Unification War, as noted above). However, I’ll explain why this makes sense. When watching Kyoukaisen, think of the word student as a combination of the words “student” and “citizen“. Students (citizens) are the only people able to take part in military or governmental affairs. For people in most countries, they become students for the first time when they’re very young (as early as elementary school), and remain students for the rest of their lives. If you translate student to the word to “citizen” based on what I’ve said so far, the situation is little different than how countries operate IRL.

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   Retrospective   Crop Students

Students. Angry, angry students.

The only exception to this is, naturally, the Far East. Due to rules imposed by the Testament Union, the Far East’s Musashi Ariadust Academy is the only place that has a concept of “graduation”, where people stop being students (citizens) and graduate to become…nothing. Once a resident of Musashi graduates from the academy, they essentially become second-class citizens, as they’re no longer able to help run their country, or fight to protect it. Graduates can try to influence the students, but their words hold little weight since only students can make decisions. This is a massive disadvantage for the people of the Far East, because their leaders and soldiers are always far less experienced than those of other countries, and their total number of people eligible for public service is radically smaller. In fact, this is by and far the biggest disadvantage that the Far East must labor under, for even if they were to throw off the restriction and have non-students fight, they would still lack the decades of experience that other countries’ students would have amassed. That’s not something the Far East could make up for overnight.

Academies

A little more information on the academies:

  • Each country has a single academy to which all of their students belong. Their names are listed under the Factions section below, but the only one you really need to know for now is the Far East’s academy, Musashi Ariadust Academy. That’s the one most of the main characters belong to.
  • Each academy has two organizations that are responsible for its political and military duties: the Student Council and the Chancellor’s Board. The Student Council is in charge of the academy’s political affairs. It is headed up by the Student Council president, and aided by the Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary. The Chancellor’s Board (also called the Supreme Federation) is in charge of the academy’s military operations. It is headed up by the Chancellor, who is assisted by the Vice Chancellor and a number of Special Agents, each who are tasked with specific duties.
  • An important note: the Student Council President and the Chancellor are supposed to always be the same person, according to Article 4 of the School Regulations (though sometimes this is not the case). Needless to say, this person is pretty damn powerful.

 

Non-Human Races

I’ve alluded to this before, but Horizon’s Earth is not solely inhabited by humans. It contains a number of other non-human sentient races, including:

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   Retrospective   Crop Automated Doll

An automated doll. No – the best automated doll.

  • Archdemons
  • Dragons
  • Winged-humans
  • Werewolves
  • Incubus
  • Slimes
  • Automated dolls (sentient machines)
  • Elves & Half-elves
  • Mermaids
  • Fairies
  • Living gods
  • Living skeletons
  • Talking algae
  • What have been referred to as “Silicon-based races”
  • Humans with really big hair. Okay, they probably don’t count.

…and those are only the ones we know of so far. Once again, it’s not overtly stated why there are so many different non-human races – at least, within Kyoukaisen itself – though I believe it has to do with the events of Owari no Chronicle, when the denizens of alternate worlds in different dimensions ended up moving to Earth due to their planets being slightly destroyed.

Regardless, the main reason I point this out here is because I found non-humans just popping up without an explanation to be quite jarring when I first watched this series, so I wanted to prepare you. It makes sense, though. Why would the residents of Horizon’s Earth comment about non-humans? They’re a common occurrence, to the point where some countries are over 50% non-human (though humans are still very much the majority overall). Also, the fact that some characters are non-human isn’t usually that important, since it’s only one facet of their personalities anyway.

Automated Dolls

Of all the non-human races, automated dolls are the ones that have the most impact on season one, so I’ll go into further detail about them. Automated dolls are a race of mechanical beings which possess souls. Automated doll’s bodies are artificially created, and their soul can be as well, though the soul can also be extracted from a dead person. Either way, the soul is then housed in a marble-sized ball which can be located anywhere on their body. To an automated doll, it doesn’t matter if their body is damaged or destroyed, so long as their soul is alright. As long as that marble is safe, it can be relocated into another body at any time with no ill effects.

  • Automated dolls look and feel like humans on the outside, and they also possess certain internal functions, such as a digestive system. However, they are powered by ether (mana), which they absorb from the air, allowing them to operate continuously without needing to recharge. Ability-wise, automated dolls often inherit abilities from the soul integrated into them, and all automated dolls have the ability to manipulate gravity (though some are better at it than others). Still others are linked together like a computer network, such as Musashi-sama and the eight other captains of the ships of Musashi.
  • Here are the two most important facts about automated dolls: they are emotionless and servile by nature, and they are programmed to always make the best, most logical decision. Remember that for later.

     

    Magic, Mauses, & Sign Frames

    I’m going to say very little about the magical system in Kyoukaisen because I think it’s largely self-evident and explained pretty well within the anime. You know how it goes – the caster uses mana (here, called “ether”) as fuel for spells (here, called “abilities”), which are activated by saying certain words. Same thing here. That said, a few notes:

    Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   Retrospective   Crop God Mosaic

    Magic in action.

    • The human body produces ether, and it is this ether which most characters use to fuel their abilities. There are some rituals and external fuel sources that can be used to give them access to more energy, though.
    • Shinto abilities are extremely powerful because they utilize rituals, or the offering of material objects and/or ritual activities in exchange for the use of an ability. Instead of being limited to a certain number of abilities, a Shinto user can perform any ability so long as they can perform the ritual offering that the god in question requires. Let me repeat that – a Shinto magic user can effectively use any spell, as long as they can afford the offering. That’s some devastating potential right there.
    • A maus (pronounced like “mouse”) is an entity that assists with the usage of abilities. If you see a tiny human- or animal-like being floating over a character’s shoulder or lounging on their head, it’s a maus.
    • Sign Frames are those little screens that appear when an ability is used. They are also useful for communication and for interacting with abilities, like little floating computer screens. The design of the sign frames differs by nation (torii, crucifixes, books, overlapping squares, etc).

    By the way, I told you that last part to tell you this: have you ever noticed the censorship that is always over Toori’s little chancellor? That’s not something Sunrise just threw in there, but an actual ability called God Mosaic that Toori uses so he can do naked play all he wants. Sign frames are very versatile!

     

    Religion

    All the old religions still exist, though they’ve acquired new names over the years. Christianity has become known the Tsirhc Church (Tsirhc = Christ reversed), while Islam has become known as Murasai (Iasarum reversed, which is of course engrish for Islam). Tsirhc is further split up into the Old School (Catholicism) and the New School (Protestant). As was the case during the historical period they’re recreating, certain countries are heavily religious, while others are moving away from this. Which countries are which is mentioned under the Factions section below – I’m merely mentioning this here so you’re familiar with the words ahead of time.

     

    Judge and Tes

    This one’s easy (and short, for once). “Judge” and “Tes” are the equivalent of “roger” or “acknowledged.” The Far East uses Judge (short for Judgment, abbreviated “Jud”), while everyone else uses Tes (short for Testament, abbreviated “Tes”). Even creating new words based on the changed situation of the world…these are the kind of little details that I love.

     

    Time Elapsed During Season One – Two Days

    Here is perhaps the most crucial fact that you need to know in order to enjoy the first few episodes of this series – aside from a short scene at the beginning of the first episode and the second half of episodes 13, the entire first season takes place over two days. Episodes 1-5 take place on the first day (April 20th, 1648 TE), while 6-13 take place on the following day (April 21st, 1648 TE). What’s more, Episodes 1-5 each start at the beginning of April 20th, and then follow different character’s points of view throughout the day. The first few episodes can be very confusing if you don’t pay attention to the times and dates, because it can easily feel like there’s too much happening for the whole season to take place during two in-universe days – especially if you watched it the first time when it was airing, and had to wait a week between every episode.

    Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   Retrospective   Crop Still morning

    Yes, it’s still the same morning, Masazumi. Time to wake up.

    Below is a rough outline of how the first day proceeds, by episode number. After the 5th episode, the plot proceed in a more linear fashion and doesn’t jump around as much, so it’s easier to keep track of things then. It’s still always important to watch the dates and times when they appear, though.

    • Episode 1: starts at 8am, ends at 9am. Total consecutive time covered: 1hr.
    • Episode 2: starts with scenes at 8am and 8:30am, skips forward to 9:30am, goes to 2pm. One scene at the end is from 6:30pm. Total consecutive time covered: 4 1/2hrs.
    • Episode 3: starts with a scene at 5am, skips forward to 2pm, goes until 7:59pm. Total consecutive time covered: 6hrs.
    • Episode 4: starts with a scene at 5am, skips forward to 2pm, goes until 8pm. Total consecutive time covered: 6hrs.
    • Episode 5: starts with a scene at 8am, skips forward to 8pm, goes until 9pm. Skips forward to 6am the next day. Total consecutive time covered: 1hr.

    From there, the episodes proceed in a fairly linear manner. As you can see, there’s a great deal of overlap, with episodes 3 & 4 taking place at almost exactly the same times, just from different character’s points of view. This is probably the most crucial thing I didn’t realize on my first watch through, so make sure you’ve got it!

    Note: if you’re ever unsure about the times, check my summaries in the coming posts. They’re not perfect (especially for the earlier ones), but I tried to note the times whenever I saw them.

     

    World Map

    Now, onto the map! I’m going to keep this short and let the picture below do most of the talking, but let me get a few things out of the way first.

    • Yes, that is (or rather, used to be) Japan. Re-read the premise stuff above if you’re confused about this.
    • No, I don’t know why it’s all blocky and unrealistic. Possibly dimensional interference? Or maybe they just thought maps would look cooler that way. It’s probably that second thing.

    …and that’s it. Now the map. Immediately below is a little more info on the map, after which I’ll be going straight into each of the major factions in Horizon’s Earth. By the way, the majority of this information is courtesy of kyoukaisen.tumblr, with me merely providing some trimming, reorganization, and readability improvements.

    Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   Retrospective   World Map
    Click map for larger version

    On the map, the words under each dot provide the following information: the area of the country (Ex: Setouchi), the clan (Aki), and the faction (K.P.A. Italia). By the way, the clans they’re referring to are the feudal clans that controlled those areas before the Harmonic Unification War, and which the Harmonic Divine States combined with when they relocated into the real world. They’re not terribly important though – or at least, they aren’t yet – so we’ll mainly just focus on the factions and go from there.

     

    Factions

    These are listed in order of plot importance to season one, and then by the little number in the top left-hand corner of each page (which is simply the order they were presented in the original light novels).

    The Far East

    Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   Retrospective   Faction Far East

    A country that is (paradoxically) in the south, the Far East is centered around the Kantou region, as well as a region south of Tokai (south of Tokyo on the Pacific Ocean). Consisting of the original inhabitants of the Divine States, they lost to the Harmonic Divine States in the Harmonic Unification War, and were put under provisional rule as a result. The territories of the Far East include the capital of Mikawa and the flying city of Musashi. While most of the Far East is under provisional rule from the Testament Union (meaning they lack sovereignty, and their rulers are puppets), Musashi is the sole recognized independent territory; that is, it’s the only territory that governs itself.

    Academy: Musashi Ariadust Academy, located on Musashi.

    This is the faction the primary protagonists belong to.

    Tres España

    Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   Retrospective   Faction Tres Espana

    Located in the Shimoseki region, Tres España is composed of the Ootomo and Ouchi clans, as well as the people of Spain and Portugal. A country that places high importance on having pure-blooded lineage, the situation with its successors is…complex. Currently heavily in debt. Many of its citizens belong to the Tsirhc (Christian) faith.

    Academy: Alacalá de Henares.

    Armaments of Deadly Sins: Lype Katarripsi (Sloth); Tachibana Muneshige is its owner.

    Testaments: The Sixth Testament “Temperamentia” (Temperance).

    K.P.A. Italia

    Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   Retrospective   Faction K.P.A. Italia

    Located in the Setouchi area, refers to the union of the Aki states (Hiroshima) and the United Italian Cities. The Pope President is the head of the Old School (Catholicism); naturally, K.P.A. Italia has many believers.

    Academy: K.P.A. Scuola (sometimes simply abbreviated as K.P.A.S.)

    Armaments of Deadly Sins: Stáseis Porneía (Lust); Innocentius is its owner.

    Testaments: The First Testament, “Fides” (Faith).

    Show All Factions ▼

     

    Cast

    Finally we have the cast. For this, the vast majority of the information (including the pictures) has been taken straight from kyoukaisen.tumblr, with a bit from MAL. They did the work, not me! I want that to be perfectly clear so that nobody thinks I’m taking credit. I have, however, mixed in some supplementary information from other sources / my own knowledge, killed a few spoilers (these are all from an episode 1 of season one point of view), spruced up the prose, and included some short impressions of my own. Characters are sorted by faction and their relative rank/plot importance, in descending order. Also, these are for season one only! Though I did leave out some characters that only appeared for a moment and didn’t say much. I hope this is helpful

     

    The Far East – Musashi

    The Main Characters

    Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   Retrospective   Toori

    Aoi Toori
    Chancellor and Student Council President
    Class 3-Plum
    Musashi Ariadust Academy
    Seiyuu: Fukuyama Jun

    The protagonist. His studies and athletic abilities are average, and he’s publicly recognized as an incompetent leader (he agrees), which is why he was selected by the Testament Union to be Musashi’s head representative. However, due to his cheerful attitude, he’s still very popular and respected. Knows a lot of strip-jokes, and often plays the fool. He is known as “Mr. Impossible”.

    Stilts note: Toori is a silly, ridiculous pervert, but he’s super fun. I just can’t help but liking honest idiots like him.

    Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   Retrospective   P 01s

    P-01s
    Blue Thunder Employee
    Seiyuu: Chihara Minori

    An automated doll that works at the Blue Thunder bakery. She strongly resembles a girl killed ten years ago.

    Stilts note: P-01s isn’t quite like most emotional girls. I think you’ll find there’s more depth here than that…

    Show Full Cast ▼

     

    Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon

    Holy Tsirhc, did I really write all of that? Clearly I’m out of my mind, because I’m not done yet! Let’s get going in style with full summaries and impressions of episodes 1-6. What can I say – I just have to give Kyoukaisen the love it deserves. And myself carpal tunnel. Let’s begin!

    Stilts note: the summaries are a bit rough. I’ll freely admit that I haven’t edited them up to my normal standards, merely because I’m running out of time to finish these posts. Apologies in advance if anything in there reads weird.

    Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   Retrospective   Crop Series Starto

    Series start-o!

     

    Episode 01

    Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   01   01 Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   01   09 Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   01   20
    Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   01   24 Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   01   32 Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   01   39

    Episode Summary:

    Show Summary ▼

    Impressions:

    As is befitting of the first episode of the series, episode one was mainly introduction. There was a fair bit of exposition (which I am not ashamed to admit I didn’t completely grasp the first time I watched it), so if you are in the same boat, check out all the premise information above. There’s also the summary I did of the episode immediately above, in case that’s helpful. By the way, did anyone catch that foreshadowing Toori did at the end? I didn’t notice that until the second time though, but I loved it when I caught it. Oh Toori, you’re deeper than you appear, aren’t you? :D

    Anyway, to me this episode was always about the chase scene. Seeing all those different kinds of magic really ignited my imagination and got me excited for what was to come. I felt the whole thing was done pretty well, because each character wasn’t introduced too much, yet we still got a glimpse of their personalities. Adele is fast, Tenzou is perverted, Shirojiro is greedy, Asama has something to do with a shrine, etc. Plus, Makiko-sensei was a stonecold badass. It’s probably a good thing she’s not a student anymore, or she’d kick too much ass and not leave any baddies for everybody else!

    Show Full Impressions ▼

    Episode 02

    Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   02   03 Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   02   08 Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   02   16
    Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   02   24 Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   02   27 Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   02   33

    Episode Summary:

    Show Summary ▼

    Impressions:

    This is commonly where people start to get confused, which is why I’m beginning to narrate at such great length. The key here is timing – as I noted earlier in this post, this episode takes place on the same day as episode one. Scroll up for the time line, because this is important to realize to avoid confusion. Episode one took about an hour in universe, with this one taking ~4hrs on the same day. Vury important.

    Show Full Impressions ▼

     

    Episode 03

    Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   03   01 Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   03   08 Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   03   14
    Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   03   18 Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   03   23 Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   03   33

    Episode Summary:

    Show Summary ▼

    Impressions:

    This episode is all about two things: camaraderie, and tragedy. To me, Toori has always been an interesting character because he manages to command the loyalty of his friends and lead them despite being so silly. As we delve more into the tragedy of Horizon’s death alongside Masazumi, it becomes more and more clear why people support a pervert like him – not out of pity, but because even after such a huge tragedy he can still laugh, because he cares about everyone and wants them to be happy and at ease, and because even after a decade he hasn’t forgotten about Horizon. He’s an idiot to be sure, but he’s also strong, and sensitive, and kind. That’s why people follow him. That’s what begins to become clear here, as we watched the Master of Remorse Way struggle to step down that path again.

    Show Full Impressions ▼

     

    Episode 04

    Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   04   02 Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   04   06 Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   04   15
    Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   04   20 Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   04   27 Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   04   30

    Episode Summary:

    Show Summary ▼

    Impressions:

    If episode one was a little teaser to suck us in, while two & three were the background that laid the foundation of the story (and these are all true statements), episode 4 is the windup to the plot punch. With a bunch of the foreshadowing coming to a head, the action really heats up here, and boy was it awesome. Kazuno’s gravity-controlled-asphalt-blades fighting was beautifully animated, and even if I didn’t already know what was coming next I’d say it was a sign of good things to come. I remember watching this the first time through, and it wasn’t entirely clear what was going on, but I knew that by now I was interested…especially with Tadakatsu’s rival, the Peerless Man of the West (Tachibana Muneshige) en route for a throw down.

    Show Full Impressions ▼

     

    Episode 05

    Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   05   01 Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   05   02 Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   05   03
    Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   05   04 Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   05   05 Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   05   06

    Episode Summary:

    Show Summary ▼

    Impressions:

    Wow. I know some people have a “three episodes and you’re out” rule, but if you did that to Kyoukaisen and didn’t get to this episode, you missed out. First of all, the action in this episode was great. Tadakatsu / Kazuno’s fight against Muneshige featured rapid fire one-upping, with each of them pulling something out of their bag of tricks just as soon as their opponent did the same. The best part was that, given what we knew about each of these character’s abilities, none of what they did was especially surprising. Or rather, it was, but it wasn’t like they pulled them out of their asses, which I appreciate quite a bit. There’s also the fact that both sides are admirable individuals, making it a fight between two “good guys” going at each other. Rather than straight black and white, I prefer fights like this where the morality of each side is gray. More on that in my final series impressions later on.

    By the way, it occurs to me that I should probably comment on their weapons a bit. As far as Slicing Dragonfly goes, the whole “severing names” thing might be a bit confusing to some. Remember that “true names” are said to be powerful in many magical systems, which is why (in those worlds) they are a closely guarded secret. That doesn’t appear to be the case for most things on Horizon’s Earth, but names still clearly have power, as is shown by the inheritance of names for history recreation (which was how Muneshige got his speed). Slicing Dragonfly severs those true names, both of people and things, and takes away those attributes that the name gives the person or object when the name is severed. In the case of a person only having one name, and that being severed – well, without a name, it would appear one doesn’t really exist. Not anymore, at least!

    Show Full Impressions ▼

     

    Episode 06

    Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   06   01 Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   06   02 Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   06   03
    Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   06   04 Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   06   05 Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon   06   06

    Episode Summary:

    Show Summary ▼

    Impressions:

    There was a lot to enjoy about this episode, if you’re a weirdo like me. I’m not talking about anything perverted, but about politics, symbols, and morale. Take Futayo trying to grab Slicing Dragonfly from Gin. Though she didn’t stop Horizon from being taken by the Testament Union, she doesn’t want the spirit of the Far East to be broken, so she makes a gesture. In a practical sense (we’re going into realpolitik here), it doesn’t mean a damn thing – Futayo would have gotten the weapon either way, and in fact she did. But that wasn’t the point. The point was to send a message, to show the people of the Far East that they still had strength. I love how so much was said, so many complex issues were considered in such a short time, and she sent a message that didn’t mean much…but perhaps helped stir the hearts of a few crucial people. Morale counts, people. I guess you can tell I’m not a big fan of realpolitik, ne?

    Likewise, I enjoyed Shirojiro’s plan for getting Masazumi on their side (more on why that’s important later on). One of the things that makes Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon so difficult to understand – but also so remarkable – is that it’s extremely faithful to the complicated way our world works, especially in regards to politics. In most stories, politics are either glossed over, approached at a kindergarten level, or ignored entirely. Think the Star Wars prequels for a stupidly black-and-white view of politics. Not here! This is politics between nations as it truly is – with knives hidden behind words and snakes lurking in every speech. Wonderful.

    Show Full Impressions ▼

     

    Next Post

    I’m going to end the madness there for now, and give those of you who want to start watching (or re-watching) the series some time to catch up. Part 2 will go live either next Tuesday or Wednesday (late Tuesday is the hope, though I’ve been tardy with everything about these posts so far, so I’m not making any promises!), so look forward to complete summaries and impressions of episodes 07-13 and my intensely insightful final series impressions to appear then. There have already been some awesome events, but these episodes were just the buildup. It only gets better from here!

    Edit: Thank you for all your kind words, everyone! Now, for your enjoyment…Part 2 is live!

    June 30, 2012 at 2:19 pm
    105 comments »
    • June 30, 2012 at 3:23 pmDusk252

      Thank you so much for this. I was thinking of watching the first season this week, though as people say it is rather complicated, I was somehow afraid of not getting it, even though I consider my analytic skills to be quite good. That said, even if I don’t get everything by myself (since I don’t plan on exhaustively studying the show anyway), I’ll know where to recur to. This just gave me the courage to start watching it, so I thank you a ton for that.

      • June 30, 2012 at 3:28 pmStilts

        I’m glad to hear that! That’s exactly why I wanted to do this. If a few more people can enjoy this series because of me, I’ll be supremely happy ^^ Ganbare, ganbare!

    • June 30, 2012 at 3:26 pmMushyrulez

      If you were here two seasons ago… ;w;

      • June 30, 2012 at 5:33 pmStilts

        Don’t worry my son, for I am here now.

        *is probably getting too full of himself ^^;;*

    • June 30, 2012 at 3:55 pmxRichard

      Horizon was the first anime since Evangelion that required me to do extra research to understand it all. It was definitively worth my time and I’m a fan of the series now. It really has that Epic Fantasy feel to it but without following you would expect from a Shonen action show.

      With that said, after EP5′s events, I was very surprised they didn’t go full-retard storming the front at the shout of THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP WILL PREVAIL to rescue the princess. Instead, they engaged in a long debate spanning several episodes on the Political, Economical and Religious consequences of rescuing the princess. WTF!? Right?.

      That’s when I realized that the tits and the goofiness served just as a cover, a camouflage to an anime like no other. That’s why Stilt’s effort to help people see past that camouflage and get more people into enjoying Horizon is a thing to admire.

      Thanks you so much, Random Curiosity, for giving Horizon an unprecedented second chance in these 8 years of episodic blogging.

    • June 30, 2012 at 4:04 pmewok40k

      for a series based on 17th century balance of power, it lacks distinctly few powers, from Sweden and Holland to Polish-Lituanian Commonwealth…

      • June 30, 2012 at 5:09 pmZnail

        Agreed. Sweden being the leader of the protestants at the time and the victor of the 30 years war is a bit odd to leave out. But there are quite a few other errors as well. So I just see it as the Testament is just full of errors.

    • June 30, 2012 at 4:07 pmKyokai

      Oh my god, Stilts, you are a hero!

    • June 30, 2012 at 4:21 pmUnknownSoldier

      Easily my favorite series of the winter season, and I can’t wait for the second season :D

    • June 30, 2012 at 4:37 pmLuxor

      My jaw dropped at the sheer length of this…

      +1 for Stilts

      • June 30, 2012 at 5:34 pmStilts

        Like I said before, I maaay have overachieved a little bit. Just a bit!

      • June 30, 2012 at 9:47 pmUnknownSoldier

        I glossed over it earlier and thought to myself it was long.

        Then I started reading it a little bit ago and realized Stilts had hidden entire sections under spoiler tags :D

    • June 30, 2012 at 4:43 pmSerapita

      Woah, thanks for great works! Honestly, even after I finished watching first season, there are still some plots that I didn’t understand. This helps sheds some lights into those matters.

    • June 30, 2012 at 4:43 pmFirstAndOnly

      Horizon 101, accepting sign ups at your local community college.

      Stilts, stop converting me to the Horizon cause. I’ve been fighting a losing battle to not get into this series, and I think you just got me to watch it now. :(

      • June 30, 2012 at 5:30 pmStilts

        Ahaha, keikakku doori! >:D

    • June 30, 2012 at 4:51 pmFencedude

      Stilts, you are completely insane. But thank you for doing this so I didn’t have to.

      Can’t wait to read your posts on the series, and to be able to compare with my own thoughts on the matter.

      I don’t think I have to say who my favorite characters are, but right after them I am a fierce devotee of Kimi-nee.

      • June 30, 2012 at 5:32 pmStilts

        Happy to help ^^ And I approve of your choices, though Suzu, Toori, Makiko-sensei…there’s really just so many awesome ones, I can’t decide. Probably why I have something like 10+ favorite characters!

        • June 30, 2012 at 5:39 pmFencedude

          I started to list them, but then I realized I was listing the entire cast.

          I was flipping through the mini-novels that come with the BDs, and I must say, I’m definitely starting to feel Tomo/Kimi (image potentially NSFW!)

    • June 30, 2012 at 5:04 pmZen

      Stilts…wth is this magnificent mess?!? When you said that you thought you’d “overachieved” a little, I expected your post on this to be pretty long- but a full-length world-guide and episode reviews- and a “Part 2″ to come? Wow, dude…I can’t even imagine how you managed to find time in your day to do something like this- none hast been known to be capable of such feats here at RC besides Divine himself- but he is God…maybe this is a sign of the coming of his Son? (Jk) Anyways, love what you’ve done, maybe this show’ll finally get some of the attention that it deserves now, keep up the absolutely stellar work!

      • June 30, 2012 at 5:35 pmStilts

        “Magnificent mess”? I love that way of putting it :D Arigato!

        And I can neither confirm nor deny that I am the son of god. That would be crass.

    • June 30, 2012 at 5:11 pmMrRei

      MHAY GWAD! <- saw a large wall of text..

    • June 30, 2012 at 5:20 pmanon

      The background info is great and helps invaluable perspective. Still, the tropes in Horizon are so trite that I don’t see the depth in the moments & dialogue noted above. It’s likely there in the novel, but it doesn’t transfer effectively to anime. The only reason to watch this is for stunning bodysuits.

    • June 30, 2012 at 5:22 pmboingman

      Wow, just wow at this blog post.
      And yes, I certainly wouldn’t have enjoyed the first season half as much if I hadn’t checked out the posts of some very knowledgeable ppl in a certain anime forum.

    • June 30, 2012 at 5:26 pmMutare502

      YOU THE MAN STILTS. Getting more readers to be get into Horizon. I thoroughly enjoyed Horizon mostly because I didn’t understand what was going on, but after going through the first season multiple times, I’ve come to understand much and WOW, I have to agree the polticking maybe quite absurd to some but it certainly takes aspects of how our politics work. Even more pumped for season 2 with this post. ARIGATO STILTS-ONII-CHAN <3

      • June 30, 2012 at 5:39 pmStilts

        *bows* Domo, domo!

        And yeah, I find politics to be reeeeally interesting, especially when there are no messy real life consequences to the backstabbing and ridiculous speeches. Seeing it done to such a glorious degree in Horizon is one of the few places I get that kind of thing. Looking forward to more of it in season two!

    • June 30, 2012 at 5:35 pmSherylfan

      Good job, this is nice recap before getting back into the show this summer

    • June 30, 2012 at 5:42 pmAccess

      Glad you did this. The lack of love for Horizon on the site was severely disturbing.
      It was one of my favorite shows in recent years, apart from the balloon breasts and rather voluminous hair.
      Really looking forward to the second season and I wonder how many more they will animate.
      As someone who doesn’t read Light Novels, for one because I cannot read Japanese and, in Horizon’s case, the lack of translation, it’s a sad thing I will probably never see the conclusion to this story in animated form.

      Probably the main reason why I don’t even start watching adaptions these days.

    • June 30, 2012 at 5:47 pmR131

      First, amazing write up. Being part of the ones who watched through Kyoukaisen on it’s original run. I was only able to to scratch the surface of the show/series, it didn’t help either have week breaks in between eps. But Nether less I still in enjoyed it.

      My second go through was really eye opening. Going through the whole show in a few days, I got a whole new understand for what was happening. Especially figuring out everything happened in two days! I found a whole new respect for the series, and wish others gave it more of a chance.

      Stilts, thank you for your hard work. And I hope this gives other some encouragement to watch this great series

    • June 30, 2012 at 6:06 pmSaa

      Are you sure about the Garcia de Ceballos-Tachibana Muneshige thing? I mean, about Garcia being his “historical” name that gave him that speed.
      While Tachibana Muneshige was an important samurai who lived during centuries 16 and 17 (although he died in 1643, 5 years prior to the show’s TY).
      Whereas all I could find about some “Garcia de Ceballos” is the director of the royal postal service in the 15th century. And it makes more sense that someone born in Tres España has a “native” Spanish name than a Japanese one.

      Now that I think about it, wasn’t he stripped of one of his names in the last episode?

      • July 1, 2012 at 12:30 amStilts

        I’m as sure of it as I can be. Futayo mentioned…(spoilers ahead – do not proceed unless you’ve seen all of season one) Show Spoiler ▼

        It’s possibly that it’s a mistranslation or Futayo was wrong…but then again, that doesn’t invalidate thepoint that some attributes are given when a name is bestowed!

    • June 30, 2012 at 6:29 pmkuroishinigami

      BTW, that line of books in that photo is not just Horizon. Horizon is part of an epic series called Genesis series. That line of books consist of Horizon(the thick books) and Owari no Chronicle(the “thin” one). Owari no Chronicle is set before Horizon timeline(Horizon’s medieval time, although the technology is still much modern than the current world).

    • June 30, 2012 at 6:39 pmKentaiyoshimi

      Give me a sec while I pick my eyes off the ground from the sheer amount material/information you’ve arranged, Stilts. And this is only half of it too.

      I watched the 1st season, but I never really understood all the intricacies of the plot/ characters. I still enjoyed it for various characters and the fight choreography/ animation (Kazuno’s fight in Ep 5) comes to mind. I never really got around to reading all the back-story to this until now.

      The premise really helped put things into context. The fact that season 1 spanned 2 days blew my mind. I had absolutely no idea. This has got me more interested in season 2.

      A great BIG thank-you (and a pint of beer) to you for all your hard work, Stilts.

      • July 1, 2012 at 12:32 amStilts

        You’re welcome! And yeah, the two day thing really blew my mind when I went back through it. Those were some busy days! I have no idea how they found the time to sleep enough to be able to fight that afternoon, heh

    • June 30, 2012 at 6:59 pmClick

      Wow, completely epic post. While Horizon’s anime is still overly complex and contrived for my tastes, it’s still pretty shocking how much source material there is and how much thought went into it. Unfortunately, I doubt that I’m going to follow the second season, since I’m a firm believer that adaptations should be judged based on their own merits, not their source materials.

      Regardless, thanks for the post and awesome analysis.

      • July 1, 2012 at 3:43 amZnail

        But the adaptation is made with the assumption that the viewers should check out the web page of the show with character summaries and a relationship chart at the least. This may upset purists, but not as strange for the Japanese viewers.

        It’s also worth noting that you can figure out the info at this page just from watching the show, but having the info in writing helps those less observant and lacking perfect memory.

        It’s also fairly easy to just watch the first 5 episodes a couple of times to learn to recognise the cast as that is the largest hurdle for most people when watching this.

    • June 30, 2012 at 7:20 pmLonghaul

      Thumbs up for taking the time to make this.

    • June 30, 2012 at 7:27 pmSeishun Otoko

      Damn Stilts, I think you’ve just made me wet myself
      I’m still working through this massive wall of texts but I can totally see why you said you’ve overachieved now.
      As Stilts nii nii’s biggest fan, I promise I’ll make the effort to read every single word of this UNIVERSE-worthy post and trust me, I have questions >:3

    • June 30, 2012 at 7:28 pmlol

      Oh boy, I’ll have to read this when I have time.

      Question: are the novels finished? I have to wonder if the anime will ever reach the end of the books.

      • July 1, 2012 at 12:36 amStilts

        The books are not finished. Much like me in writing this post, Kawakami-sensei is a bit of an overachiever who keeps churning out more books, heh. That’s one of the things I love about high fantasy…but yeah, it’s also a bit worrisome whether it’ll all get finished, and whether we’ll see it all animated. All we can do is hope, I suppose.

        Or buy BDs/merchandise. Whatever you prefer!

        • July 1, 2012 at 3:27 amDynellen

          After 10 books and some ~7k pages the author has said that story for Horizon is ~30% complete. Nevermind his overarching storyline for the universe, the guy has laid out I think 6 different eras, Owari no chronicle was one, Horizon is another so even after Horizon he still has several more series’ planned…

    • June 30, 2012 at 7:29 pmMrRei

      Stilts.. I didn’t understand. Can you repeat this post? XD

      • June 30, 2012 at 8:10 pmStilts

        Don’t tempt me!

    • June 30, 2012 at 7:46 pmalster1985

      Great job with this one!! I have a quick question. You kept mentioning the “ghosts” in episode 4. I rewatched the episode but I still can’t figure out what you meant by who they really were. Can you explain?

      • July 1, 2012 at 12:41 amStilts

        I’ll go ahead and stick this in spoiler tags, for those who want to find the answer themselves.

        Show Spoiler ▼

        Oh, and there’s also the little ghost girl, but I think her being a ghost is pretty obvious, heh

    • June 30, 2012 at 8:06 pmalster1985

      Also, what was the thing inside Masazumi’s father’s carriage? I can’t seem to find it?

      • June 30, 2012 at 10:19 pmLoL

        A pillow with an anime type character draw in it xD

        I didn’t remember it so I looked up, it’s in episode 3 after Torii gets the hentai game from Masazumi.

        • July 1, 2012 at 12:43 amStilts

          For those who are interested in the significance of this, click this spoiler! (it’s only a minor one)

          Show Spoiler ▼

        • July 1, 2012 at 1:06 pmLoL

          I need to rewatch before season 2 starts, I forgot and passed many things xD

    • June 30, 2012 at 9:29 pmsarcastic_weasel

      Stilts– you should have started with Motonobuko’s “授業…始めますー!!!” Good job.

      The “ghosts” were people (from the P.C. IIRC) hired to pretend to be “ghosts” for the students to have fun chasing around. In the scene with Seijun, Seijun’s Dad, and the Merchant guy Konishi, you can see one of them hiding in a Dakimakura cover. The guy in the Dakimakura is one of the two that Asama winds up “purifying” in the library later on in the ep. (And one of the other assorted “ghosts” jumps out of a window and squishes Nenji… poor Nenji. So manly, but always getting squished.)

      Oh, and in the preview we’ve seen, the Tres Espana StuCo relieved Tachibana Munishige of both of his names– the Tachibana and the Garcia names. What will Gin do???

      This is an awesome series if you’re willing to put the effort in. Kawakami has created a whole passel of complex characters. Even the antagonists are kind of cool. (Innocentius is a manly man. Not very bright, and somewhat arrogant, but manly in his own way.) And I found it hard not to root for Dacchan, even though what he and Motonobuko were doing was insane, Dacchan was awesome. A samurai’s samurai.

      If you’re talking favorite characters, Tachibana Gin is awesome in her own way. “Tes. There isn’t a more complex woman than me. (Futayo) is maybe 1/5th as complex as I am.” She keeps insisting that her husband is more powerful than she is… but she’s pretty much a walking tank. Futayo is great, too, in her own way. So it Nate. “我が王” Heh.

      • June 30, 2012 at 11:01 pmsarcastic_weasel

        A few other things–

        IIRC, the use of “Judgment” or “Jud.” originates from the Divine States’ loss in the Harmonic Unification War. They were “judged” by the Testament Union to be at fault, and were therefore punished.

        Even though School Rule #4 says that the President and Chancellor are supposed to be the same person, that’s not always the case. Motonobuko was President, and Sakai was the Chancellor when they were students. (Not at Musashi, though. Motonobuko built Musashi later on.) Also, the Chancellor is appointed by the T.U., while the President is elected by the students of the academy. (That’s why Seijun didn’t run for President. She knew she’d lose to Toori.)

        Also, one thing to keep in mind about Toori– the accident when he was 7 that killed Horizon made a mess of his body, too. He barely escaped with his life, so he’s not very strong physically. At best, he’s average. This is important for a lot of reasons.

        Oh, and is the line from Naomasa you’re looking for, “We pacified ‘em back there, how are you guys doing?” (When she reports to Seijun during the battle.) (I’m too lazy to write it in JP. It sounds a lot better in JP.) Or are you thinking about one of her lines in the fight with Shirojiro?

      • July 1, 2012 at 12:55 amStilts

        Some replies:

        * I believe Muneshige lost the Garcia de Ceballos, though that might have happened as soon as it was severed. I’m 90% sure he has not lost the Tachibana Muneshige name though, because (spoiler for episode 13) Show Spoiler ▼

        * You’re correct on the Judgement thing

        * You’re right about the Student Council President / Chancellor thing (I went back and checked Sakai and Tadakatsu’s talk about the old days, just to be sure), so I’ve edited my post accordingly.

        * On the Naomasa line, nope, that’s not the one! I’ll give you a hint: it’s probably not something that most would point out, but it resonates for me for reasons i referenced in one of the impressions posted here. Also, it’s in a later episode. Good luck ^^

        • July 1, 2012 at 6:55 amsarcastic_weasel

          The deal with the Garcia de Ceballos being severed by Dacchan, well, it’s hard to say if it was. That’s what Futayo thinks was the reason for her win– that way she can give the credit for the win to her father, and Muneshige of course can save face that way, so Muneshige thanks Futayo for being considerate. But Futayo has a lot of skill herself, so it’s hard to say.

          And about having his name revoked… well, this is kind of a big spoiler.
          Show Spoiler ▼

        • July 1, 2012 at 12:10 pmStilts

          Note: sarcastic_weasel’s spoiler is from volume 2 of the light novels, i.e. season 2 of the anime. So yeah, don’t click unless you want to know something we’ll (probably) be seeing this season!

          *wishes he hadn’t clicked* T__T

    • June 30, 2012 at 9:51 pmjrj

      stilts, THANK YOU A MILLION!!!!! this is awesome! one of the best information post I have seen!
      although I want to ask questions, the information here is so much that I already forgot my questions… :)

      I will need to go read the LNs now… :)
      will definitely re-watch the show and read your post 2 :)

      • July 2, 2012 at 8:46 pmKunagisa

        My ass you will, you’ve been saying that for forever.

    • June 30, 2012 at 10:07 pmLoL

      Brilliant. I salute you, sir Stilts.

      but

      Y U NO LOVE KIMI ENOUGH?

      but if you love Futayo more I admit it :3

    • June 30, 2012 at 11:11 pmTatsuki

      Quality post is quality!

    • July 1, 2012 at 1:13 amDynellen

      Great post, now for couple of additional details

      “Jud/Tes, everyone else uses Tes”. Actually the Islamic faction use ‘Shaja’, according to some anon on 4chan it probably refers to shaja’a, an arabic word meaning strength or courage.

      Also a little bit about world history, 60 years before World War II mankind discovered alternative dimensions, each of which housed their own special concepts and races. After a ‘concept war’ these dimensions were about to collapse and Owari no chronicle is about avoiding this collapse. At the end of the series they avoid it by combining all concepts to one dimension, ours (aka all races moved to the human dimension). The relevancy to Horizon is clear, the existance of all these other races isn’t explained in Horizon because the whole series of Owari no chronicle tells the story of how these races came to exist in our dimension.

      Each dimension had a concept core and it’s these concepts which allow many of the things in Horizon, concepts like ‘Metals have life (can act as Cells) and control gravity’ and ‘Words have power’ are the basis for automatons and things like names granting power/the floating shields Musashi moves around in ep 9 (they were just pieces of paper with ‘shield’ written on them).

      • July 1, 2012 at 2:46 pmStilts

        Thank you kindly! I edited the Non-Human Races section to reflect this information.

    • July 1, 2012 at 2:22 amGP

      I think Toori is actually pretty smart but because of what happened and his ability he has to always be in that happy fool character. I hope we see more of his real character as the series progresses.

      • July 1, 2012 at 2:35 am†Croos†

        Nope. Toori isn’t smart but he is also isn’t dumb. His thinking is like a normal citizen. One example of that is when he intervene with the debate and that he needed Mazasumi to declare that Horizon isn’t at fault which he can’t explain it. Because of his character and his goal, people tend to follow him.

      • July 1, 2012 at 2:32 pmStilts

        Ahhh, but there are many different kinds of intelligence, ne? Toori might not have raw logical / analytical processing power, but he’s quite clever, and he seems to understand what is in people’s hearts – and how to sway them with a well-timed statement from a foolish guy – quite well. That’s intelligence of a sort, even if it might not aid him well on a standardized test.

      • July 1, 2012 at 8:42 pmThe Moondoggie

        I think Toori’s just playing the fool: He’s actually a cool strategist and a determined leader who wants to rescue the love of his life.

        Or he just miss groping Horizon and would go to great lengths to do it. Who knows…

        • July 1, 2012 at 10:21 pmStilts

          A little from column A, a little from column B, imo

        • July 2, 2012 at 11:35 pm†Croos†

          I like this comment, Moondoggie.

    • July 1, 2012 at 4:22 amricz

      Love you dude D:

      Can’t wait for season 2 XD

    • July 1, 2012 at 4:40 amYue

      Your efforts are inspiring.

    • July 1, 2012 at 4:49 amThe Moondoggie

      Perfect post… I love this anime and all the visual goodness that came with it. XD

    • July 1, 2012 at 5:03 amXacual

      I had to comment since it didn’t seem like anyone else did, but the picture of the novels you have up there aren’t KyouKaisen. The bottom row is the first four but the top row is Kawakami’s other series Owari no Chronicle that happened in the past millenia before KyouKaisen.

      Thanks for the write up, good job.

      • July 1, 2012 at 5:12 amDynellen

        http://img59.imageshack.us/img59/1631/1340027429803.jpg

        Left is Horizon books 1-8 (missing 2)
        Right is Owari no Chronicle

        • July 1, 2012 at 7:00 amsarcastic_weasel

          Yeah, I picked up all of the Horizon/Owari books while I was in Nagoya last year, and stacked them side by side as well for giggles. At this point, Horizon is *just* slightly taller than OnC. I think it’s around 7700 pages now, and it still has a way to go. (I think OnC is around 7400? I don’t remember exactly, but it’s close.)

          The hardest part is finding book covers that will work with them. I couldn’t find one while I was in Japan that would fit Kawakami’s monstrously thick “light” novels, so I wound up having to learn how to make one myself when I got home. XD

      • July 1, 2012 at 2:47 pmStilts

        Ahhh, I hadn’t realized that. Thank you very much! I went ahead and swapped out the pictures in the post, and tweaked the caption so people would know which books were what.

    • July 1, 2012 at 5:51 amDuqs

      Totally appreciate this man, you could make a pdf already out of the layout:P

    • July 1, 2012 at 5:56 amherald_of_meridian

      Impressive work, Stilts! I hope this, alongside Zeroblade’s tumblr infodump and the wiki would avoid the confusions in the Second Season.

      • July 1, 2012 at 2:55 pmStilts

        I’m not as worried about confusion during the second season. With all the introductions and much of the world building already done, I’m hoping they’ll be able to jump right in and give us some serious storytelling from the get-go. Then we just have to watch out for those corkscrewy political debates

        • July 1, 2012 at 4:55 pmherald_of_meridian

          Thankfully there’s the Episode Glossaries in the official site.

    • July 1, 2012 at 6:00 amparallelzero

      I’ve been wanting to watch the first season, but have been avoiding it due to people telling me it makes no sense. I might give it a shot now, though.

      • July 1, 2012 at 2:49 pmStilts

        You should! Just let Stilts-sensei fill in all the holes for you ^^

    • July 1, 2012 at 7:06 amTrombe

      Thanks a lot! There were some things that I didn’t know about the background.
      I re-watched it like a week ago, I’m too excited about the second season!
      And all my love is for Nate! (Well and Suzu,Masazumi,Futayo,etc,etc…)

      Btw How long did it take you to write the post?

      • July 1, 2012 at 3:00 pmStilts

        Uhm, it’ll probably end up being something like 60-75 hrs overall. Something like that.

        I might have overdone it a little bit… =X

    • July 1, 2012 at 10:58 amMacha

      Thank you, this will help me a lot to get some friends to finish this series :)

      Also yay for you acknowledging Margot/Marga. *fangirls*

    • July 1, 2012 at 2:46 pmJackiro

      Stilts, you just made me love this series even more. I’ve seen it already and i enjoyed it even though it was complicated. Thanks for your two weeks of hard work :]

    • July 1, 2012 at 2:59 pmOdeus

      Well done sir! Well done.

    • July 1, 2012 at 3:12 pmNaYa

      They should pay you for writing this comprehensive guide/review. This is the kind of stuff you’d see on Newtype! (I miss that magazine)

    • July 1, 2012 at 4:54 pmDorian

      While I had a brief knowledge of this series and Owari thanks to Sushi-Y of Aquastar, I appreciate you going out of your way to explain things that I did not know (Judge, Tes, etc.) and things that I was sure of but wasn’t positive (that it was only 2 days that passed).

      I really wish someone would bring both Owari and Horizon light novels over. Just so that I could appreciate this more.

      And NaYa, this is magazine quality stuff for sure. Makes me wish I could actually “pay” Stilts somehow for his wonderful work. Heck, all the writers here who do such wonderful jobs.

      Keep up the good work!

      • July 1, 2012 at 10:14 pmStilts

        @Dorian, NaYa

        I appreciate that! And if you would like to “pay” us for our work, go out and find some people who don’t read RandomC and say “hey, this place is pretty awesome. You should check it out!” We do this for everybody that comes hear to read what we write, so the more readers there are, the more fun it is for us!

    • July 1, 2012 at 7:07 pmLovelyAngel

      This is an awesome overview! Thanks, Stilts!

      Horizon was my favorite anime series from Fall 2011. I’ve watched every episode at least twice and caught a lot of the foreshadowing on the second time through – which made me appreciate the anime even more. I sort of wondered why Horizon didn’t receive more love here – although DVDs/Blu-ray seem to have sold very well in Japan.

    • July 1, 2012 at 8:05 pmworstof2012

      This… was… so… pointless…. Stilts, what a obsession this was. One could say it was a complete waste of time for everyone involved.

      • July 1, 2012 at 8:37 pmThe Moondoggie

        Yeah. Including for you, by posting here. Your mom, for giving birth to you who posted here. And your dad, for fucking your mom.

        Worst, take your opinions elsewhere. GTFO.

        • July 1, 2012 at 9:18 pmxRichard

          Is it me or he downvoted every single positive comment? LoL “waste of time” indeed.

        • July 2, 2012 at 3:44 amGIFT

          Dude, there’s a better way to handle a bait than being a jackass. Way to stink up the joint, my friend.

        • July 2, 2012 at 2:58 pmworstof2012

          tsk tsk tsk, I don’t remember raising you with your mum this way, Moondoggie! Such a 8-year-old puerile personal insult written by an obvious grown-up is something else! LOL! I’ll keep it clean since I don’t want to be banned, but… what can I say, folks, I always enjoy being a party pooper. It would’t be any fun if everyone has the same opinion, now would it~!

        • July 2, 2012 at 3:02 pmworstof2012

          @ xRichard, yeah it’s just you… But then again, being the only poster with a negative opinion after 94 comments (gasp!), things don’t look very good for me. hahaha. Let’s just say I don’t care enough about the topic of the blog to go through all that trouble.

      • July 1, 2012 at 9:33 pmKevz

        You are the worstof2012.

      • July 1, 2012 at 10:18 pmStilts

        I appreciate your defense everyone, but haters don’t bother me. They are entitled to their opinions, but that doesn’t mean we’ve got to pay them any mind, ne? Just ignore em

    • July 2, 2012 at 1:47 amnaixil

      this is definitely going to help me get through season 1. i gave up after ep6 because it was just way too confusing, but the sheer amount of characters and even more interesting premise setting is making me marathon through it now, though i’m only currently at episode 2.

      i doubt i’ll finish S1 before S2′s first episode on saturday (will need to read and be able to digest each summary after i watch each episode), but i sure am going to use Stilts’ Horizon posts as THE must-go encyclopedia entries!

      awesome awesome post.

      looking forward to your S2 coverage!

    • July 2, 2012 at 5:39 amYggdrasill

      Haven’t posted for at least 3 months… but YOU, sir, made me watch the entire first season which I had dropped after the first episode and anticipate the next season.
      Your burning passion and the work you have put in it moved me and almost made me shed the manliest tears of approval in my life (well, not really, but I still loved it).
      Keep it up, man, you’re an inspiration.

      • July 2, 2012 at 3:35 pmStilts

        Best compliment evar :D I’m glad my craziness has contributed to some more Horizon-themed happiness in the world!

        • July 3, 2012 at 4:05 amRandom Hobo

          That picture on the post was also my natural reaction. And yes. You must be M!

    • July 2, 2012 at 8:05 pmBROOKLYN otaku

      WOWOWOW!!! GREAT JOB MAN!!! this is really appreciated!! will totally dive in to all this info when i get the chance!

    • July 2, 2012 at 11:18 pmRyua

      Oh, Stilts. /Oh, Stilts./ I’ve been waiting for something like this ever since you introduced yourself in RC and mentioned that you like Horizon, and oh my, I have to say that the waiting has been worth all of it.

      I was one of the few people who actually enjoyed Horizon ever since episode 1, despite not knowing what’s going on until about episode 4 haha, so I was kinda frustrated that Horizon’s been very underappreciated in most blogs. For me, Horizon was my “First Impressions are Wrong” the anime, especially since almost everybody thought that it was just fanservice before the first episode aired (I was one of those, too – good thing I gave it a try!)

      I’m not going to say that Horizon’s the best anime of all time, but I think it’s an anime that deserves to be given a try, and things like these definitely gives a chance for others to watch and appreciate this epic of a series. Thank you so much for that entire block of text you just given to us.

    • July 3, 2012 at 2:01 amTopboy

      Correct me if I wrong,but isn’t TAKII@randomc drop Horizon after episode 4 ?

      • July 3, 2012 at 2:08 am†Croos†

        Yup, he dropped it at 4.
        and his name is Takaii not takii.

    • July 3, 2012 at 4:03 amRandom Hobo

      OH DEAR GOD. Amazing detail yet you can certainly understand why people didn’t get into the anime. I for one watched the entire thing without having a single clue besides Judge = Yes.

    • July 8, 2012 at 10:55 amNeKoRoKeTto

      It’s annoying that they tried to cram all this crap into 13 episodes…this series would work better as visual novel with all the infodumping….but yeah this is great, I’m going to back to finishing season 1 now that get the setting….