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…?
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.
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 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 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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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:
An automated doll. No – the best automated doll.
- Automated dolls (sentient machines)
- Elves & Half-elves
- 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.
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:
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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).
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).
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A country located in Western Honshu, Hexagone Française is composed of the Mouri clan + France. It’s currently ruled by an absolute monarchy. The “Hexagone” in the country’s name comes from the fact that the country is shaped like a hexagon.
Uniform and Culture: Its uniforms are very flashy and, following the renaissance movement from Italy, the lifestyles of the citizenry are becoming more and more secular. As such, the country is at the forefront of fashion, its people are not very stiff or religious, and armaments and knights are becoming less common.
Academy: Ecole de Paris.
Armaments of Deadly Sins: Phos Kenodoxia (Vaninglory) and Phos Hyperephania (Pride); Mouri Terumoto and Louis Exiv (the “Exiv” from XIV, so Louis XIV) are their respective owners.
Testaments: The Fourth Testament “Prudentitia” (Prudence).
Located in the Kinki region, it’s composed of the Hashiba clan and the Holy Roman Empire. The Emperor-President, Rudolfini II, is currently under house arrest for the purpose of history recreation. Its citizens follow both the Old School (Catholicism) and the New School (Protestant), which coexist in a delicate balance.
Uniform and Culture: Its uniform wasn’t very effected by the renaissance period, and as such is based on knightly and religious culture. However, because of the reformation [the Protestant Reformation], the design has had to incorporate elements from both the Old and New Schools. This has resulted in a serious, simple, and black-heavy design.
Armaments of Deadly Sins: Pheugos Gastrimargia (Gluttony); its official owner is Matthias.
Testaments: The Third Testament, “Caritas” (Charity; In Japanese, “kindness”).
Located in Kinki~Todai, P.A.ODA is comprised of the Oda clan and the Ottoman Empire. Currently is in partial secession from the Testament Union. Allied with Mikawa.
Uniform and Culture: Due to the area’s desert climate, their uniform is very lightweight. Likewise, their shoes are pointed in order to prevent them from sinking into the sand. It’s a very pragmatic design. The badges attached to their clothing can be used as substitute currency, with their value determined by their weight.
Armaments of Deadly Sins: P.A.ODA was not given an Armament of Deadly Sins, due to their religion being Murasai (Islam).
Testaments: The Sixth Testament, Fortitudo (Fortitude; in Japanese, “courage”).
Located in Hokuriku, and ruled by the Uesugi clan + Sviet (little) Russia. Has many Harmonic Territories, so living there is quite harsh.
Uniform and Culture: To emphasize its neutrality, their uniform is white in color. Their gloves are composed of many parts to ensure a tight fit, while anchors are installed on the soles of their shoes for use in skiing and combat. While similar to other schools’ designs, the inner suit of the girl’s uniform is its main component, so it has much more insulation, even more so than the boy’s uniform.
Armaments of Deadly Sins: Maska Orge (Anger); its official owner is Malva Voletskaya.
Testaments: The Second Testament, “Spes” (Hope).
Located in the Kanto region, Qing-Takeda is composed of the Takeda clan + China. It is a large country with a mobile city-state, and Elves play a central role in their affairs. Due to the geography of the country, because it is separate from the European countries (where the Testament Union is based), and because there are many who want to succeed the throne, many strong warriors reign in Qing-Takeda.
Academy: Kagura Academy
Armaments of Deadly Sins: None.
A country in the vicinity of the Tsushima island, it is governed by the Fairy Queen, Elizabeth, who reigns over all four layers. Each layer is composed of blocks, with landfills at the sides. A blast furnace in the center incinerates garbage from the landfills. There are many different races in England, so much so that it’s over 50% non-human. Not only that, but many of them also have connections to pirates. England maintains a neutral stance with other countries.
Uniform and Culture: the uniform is a heavy-type design, made with considerations for winged humanoids.
Academy: Oxford Academy.
Armaments of Deadly Sins: Aspida Phylargia (Greed); its official owner is Thomas Shakespeare.
Testaments: The Fifth Testament “Justitia” (Justice).
Composed of the Shimazumi Clan + Africa. It’s a country with a focus on agriculture; has an abundant labor force.
United States of India
The United States of India is composed of the Houjou Clan + India. Its sphere of influence is in East~Kantou. The clan’s civilization is based around automated dolls, which are the best in the world and work behind the scenes in every country. The current head is Houjou Ujinao.
Siberia Uncharted Region
An area found in the Tohoku region, the Testament Union ordered that it remain undeveloped for the purposes of history recreation. It has very harsh winters, so few people live in the area. No characters have been introduced from this area so far.
Refers to Hokkaido. Left undeveloped by the Testament Union, also for the purposes of history recreation. It is currently under surveillance to watch for any peculiarities.
The Shikoku region. Also designated as an undeveloped area by the Testament Union. Has a lot of Harmonic Territories, and it pretty barren. It’s mostly inhabited by Silicon-based races.
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
Chancellor and Student Council President
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.
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 ▼
Musashi Ariadust Academy – Students
Student Council Vice President
Class 3-Plum Student
Seiyuu: Sawashiro Miyuki
A (too) serious girl aiming to be a politician; her abilities lie in debate. Originally was supposed to undergo gender reassignment surgery in order to succeed the family name, but stopped midway due to certain circumstances. Her lack of breasts is a result of the surgery. Initially thought of as male by her fellow students. Some of her classmates call her “Seijun”, which comes from using alternate kanji to spell her given name (Masazumi). Originally comes from Mikawa, so she’s still considered “new” to many of her classmates. Second cousins with Honda Futayo.
Stilts note: Watch out for Seijun. She just might make you look at politicians in a better light. Also, she throws out some pro tsukkomis.
Student Council Secretary
Class 3-Plum Student
Seiyuu: Tamura Mutsumi
Has a very dry personality that penetrates even the thickest atmosphere of tomfoolery, yet is also fond of history, an aspiring novelist, and a romanticist. Is in charge of strategic planning and command during wartime. Is generally agreed upon to be the author’s insert character.
Stilts note: I love a writer-character that talks in tropes! Not the most important person initially, but look for that to change.
Student Council Treasurer
Class 3-Plum Student
Seiyuu: Koyasu Takehito
Works as one of the youngest merchants in the Musashi Business Administration, and is contracted to the god of commerce. Makes decisions using profitability as his basis. In other words – a miser. Nicknamed “Poker Face” by the Testament Union.
Stilts note: Definitely a cheap bastard, but formidable when he thinks there’s a profit to be made. Besides, I like characters who know exactly what they want and go after it wholeheartedly. Pay attention when he talks.
Student Council Treasurer’s Aide
Seiyuu: Nazuka Kaori
Heidi Augesvarer is Shirojiro Bertoni’s partner, both in business and in personal life. Although she constantly has a smile on, she is as much of a miser as Shirojiro is. She is always accompanied by her Maus, Erimaki.
Stilts note: So comforting! Certainly a miser like Shirojiro, but also keeps him grounded from time-to-time. Has some good lines. Also, have you noticed how her and Shirojiro’s given names are first? A nice little touch for the characters that aren’t of Japanese descent.
Chancellor’s Board 1st Special Duty
Seiyuu: Ono Daisuke
A highly talented ninja, excelling in ninjutsu and intelligence gathering. Though very nice in character, he is also quite the pervert, openly declaring his love for blonde-haired, big-breasted women.
Stilts note: One of two strong “de gozaru” characters. Don’t let the shrouded face with the strange emoting hat weird you out. I’m sure there’s a reason for that, but, well…you just get used to it.
Chancellor’s Board 2nd Special Duty
Seiyuu: Kuroda Takaya
An aerial-type half-dragon aiming to be an inquisition officer. He labels himself as one in charge of older sister-type characters in eroge. As a Christian, won’t use his full power against other Christians (or non-believers), only those he deems heretics.
Stilts note: I’m not a big fan of his inquisitor schtick, but he’s an amiable enough guy. Comes in handy occasionally too.
Chancellor’s Board 3rd Special Duty
Seiyuu: Touyama Nao
A blonde, 6-winged black magic user. She’s always smiling, and is Malga’s lover (who she calls Gacchan). Freely uses her abilities in flight, characteristic of magicians. Is pursuing a career in the transportation industry.
Stilts note: Yes, she’s gay for Malga. No, it’s not fanservice! That’s just who they are. Other than that, I love how Margot freely blasts away with her spells. The nuker in me loves to see that.
Chancellor’s Board 4th Special Duty
Seiyuu: Nitta Emi
A black-haired, 6-winged white magic user. Also affiliated with the manga club. Her personality is rather rebellious, but she always puts Margot (who calls her Gacchan) above all else.
Stilts note: They other half of the lesbian witches couple. Once again, not fanservice! They’re just sweet together. She’s somewhat overshadowed by Margot, but watch her for subtle clues about how much she cares.
Chancellor’s Board 5th Special Duty
Seiyuu: Inoue Marina
Neito is a knight from Hexagone Française and successor of the powerful Mitotsudaira Clan. Half-human, half-werewolf. Although she cannot transform into a wolf form, she possesses its great strength. She uses her special weapon, Argenté Chaîné (lit. Silver Chains) to great effect. Because of her chivalrous nature and strong sense of duty, Neito feels very protective of the land on the Musashi, which technically falls within her family’s domain. Inherited the name Mitsukuni Mito, and is thus sometimes called “Mito”.
Stilts note: Love love loooove Neito! Kyoukaisen is full of serious characters with cute sides, and she’s one of the best. Every interaction she has with Toori is either hilarious or HNNNG. And yes, I know her name is spelled “Nate”, but I will always spell it as it is pronounced. Deal with it.
Chancellor’s Board 6th Special Duty
Seiyuu: Shindou Kei
Naomasa is from Qing-Takeda. Works in the Musashi Engineering Club and lives alone in the dorms. Her right arm is prosthetic. Uses her God of War Jizuri Suzaku to fight. She has an older sister-type personality. Often seen holding an allen wrench in her mouth (note: it was a pipe in the original light novels).
Stilts note: Gotta love the onee-san type. A dependable powerhouse, and says one of my favorite lines of the show. See if you can pick out which one.
Seiyuu: Saito Chiwa
Toori’s older sister. Both she and Toori were born on the same year, so they are in the same grade. Bad with ghosts. Is a follower of the god of eroticism and dance. Dislikes her name for some reason, so she changes it habitually. Though she calls Toori he “foolish little brother”, she cares for him deeply.
Stilts note: Ohhh, the marvelous Kimi-nee. To be honest, I’m probably not as much in love with her as others are, but a screenshot of her performance in a certain episode is what finally got me to begin my initial marathon of this show. She’s also very, very wise.
Seiyuu: Koshimizu Ami
The only daughter of the Asama Shrine and childhood friends with the Kimi and Toori. Asama is a master archer who uses her artificial left eye for precision shooting. Although a holy shrine maiden, she is called “Sniper Maiden” by some.
Stilts note: Serious, but gets flustered and even a bit perverted (inside her own mind).
Seiyuu: Yuuki Aoi
Suzu Mukai is a blind girl who acts as a “stopper” for the intense cast surrounding her. Highly perceptive, and is able to detect phenomena that escape most people’s attention. Toori calls her Belle-san (because Suzu means “bell”), and she can often be found riding on Persona-kun’s shoulder.
Stilts note: Suzu is among my Top 5 characters, and with this cast, that’s an impressive feat. Shy, gentle, and sincere, she’s the heart of Class 3-Plum. I cannot say enough good things about her.
Seiyuu: Ohashi Ayuru
Descended from Hexagone Française, she works as a thane for knights. She has a small build, but during battle she walks about in her heavy-duty Mechanic Shell, “Raging Beast”, which she inherited from her father. Outside of Raging Beast, she has impressive agility and strength.
Stilts note: Small girl, big lance. I’ll admit that it’s a trope I’m fond of, but Adele’s cheerful attitude makes her even more fun to watch. She gets stuck in some funny situations. Poor Adele.
Seiyuu: Hirakawa Daisuke
Constantly works in part time jobs to support his large family. Specializes in physical attack-based Abilities. Socially awkward, taciturn, and very blunt with words.
Stilts note: As someone who used to be socially awkward, taciturn, and blunt with words (I got over it), I can really relate to Noriki. Let’s just say that he’s a dependable guy.
Seiyuu: Morinaga Rika
The child of the emperor and a half-god. His abilities have been sealed now that he has returned to secular life. Lives on the Musashi. Azuma is somewhat clueless about the world.
Stilts note: Azuma is all about his interactions with his roommate Miriam. Oh, those two.
Seiyuu: Matayoshi Ai
Miriam is confined to a wheelchair, and thus conducts studies from her room. Has a strong character, but is very tactless and will say anything that comes to her mind. However, she has very gentle eyes.
Stilts note: I like the blunt Miriam, especially when it makes Azuma all flustered.
Seiyuu: Miyashite Eiji
A naked, muscular incubus. His nickname is Itoken. Has a very merry personality, and is good friends with Nenji.
Stilts note: Not sure what to think about this guy, other than that he seems, ahem, unequipped to do an incubus’ job. Probably for the best. That would be a bit distracting.
Seiyuu: Shiraishi Minoru
A self-proclaimed otaku who glorifies little girls. Often called a lolicon by his classmates, though he stridently (and unconvincingly) objects to this. Not interested in girls over 10. Ohiroshiki is a member of the cooking club, and is highly knowledgeable about the Musashi’s food situation.
Stilts note: Ohiroshiki is kind of a one-note wonder, but it doesn’t get played often enough for it to become tiresome. I still laugh!
Seiyuu: Hirakawa Daisuke
A slime with around 3 HP. Tries to be brave and chivalrous, but kind of sucks at it. Usually explodes after getting stepped on, but is able to regenerate and even change form.
Stilts note: I enjoy how it’s specifically said that he only has 3 HP. He can be surprisingly useful once in a while, though.
Seiyuu: Ono Daisuke (again)
Always has curry on his person. Eats, drinks, and breathes curry, and is a pretty nice guy as well.
Stilts note: Seems like a pretty silly (and probably racist) character, but he hasn’t gotten a ton of screen time so far. I’m mostly just impressed that Ono Daisuke had another voice I didn’t recognize. That guy is a pro.
A very tall and muscular guy with a bucket helmet. Quiet, but very pure-hearted. Uses gestures instead of talking to convey his thoughts. Often uses his great size and strength to carry Suzu or others.
Stilts note: He spends most of his time acting like a two-legged biological vehicle. As a result, he often has cute girls riding on him. Lucky bastard!
Musashi Ariadust Academy – Staff
Seiyuu: Shiraishi Ryoko
Makiko is self-centered in both speech and action, but is actually a very personable teacher who always thinks of her students. Has incredible physical power, to the point where she is called a “Real Amazon”. Loves alcohol.
Stilts note: Makiko-sensei is another character I’m a huuuuge fan of. It’s hilarious how she squabbles with her students and threatens to wallop them when necessary (especially Toori), but what she’s really doing is treating them like equals, and it’s clear that she cares for them deeply. There’s just something about how she whispers “ganbare, ganbare” that gets me every time. That, and powerful + booze = winner in Stilts’ book!
Seiyuu: Shimizu Ai
Class 3-Bamboo’s homeroom teacher and Makiko’s kouhai. Her class is right next to 3-Plum, so they usually get caught up in the mayhem.
Stilts note: Poor Mitsuki-sensei, she ends up seeing Toori naked a lot. It’s a good thing he has that illusion spell going to hide his “divine weapon”, or I’m pretty sure she’d be scarred for life.
Seiyuu: Kusunoki Taiten
Formerly one of the Four Divine Matsudaira Kings (powerful followers of Lord Motonobu), he now works as the principal of Musashi Ariadust Academy. Though somewhat aloof, he’s still as powerful as he once was.
Stilts note: I feel for the adults of the Far East. Along with Makiko-sensei, principal Sakai is clearly still strong, but he can’t make use of it. Frustrating!
Musashi – Citizens
Overall Commanding Automated Doll
Aerial City-ship, Musashi
Seiyuu: Nakahara Mai
An automaton managing the floating city of Musashi where Toori and the others reside. She is the captain of each and every one of the eight ships making up the Musashi (via other automated dolls networked together with her). Possesses a characteristic sharp tongue.
Stilts note: A lot of the automated dolls have sharp tongues, which I heartily enjoy. Nakahara Mai can be as mean as she wants to be *swoons* Oh, and to prevent confusion with the ship / city whose name she shares, I’ll refer to the automated doll as Musashi-sama.
King of Musashi
Vice Principal of Musashi Ariadust Academy
Seiyuu: Madono Mitsuaki
Dispatched from Hexagone Française to serve as the king of the Musashi. He looks like the king from a deck of playing cards, and even uses “Ic / Maro” (an archaic form of “I”) to address himself. Because of this, Toori often makes fun of him. As King of Musashi, he holds the right to veto the Academy (to keep them from doing anything too stupid), as well as the authority to manage Musashi.
Stilts note: Yoshinao is a pretty silly character when you first see him, but like other silly characters in Kyoukaisen there is depth to him. When he starts seriously considering things, pay attention – there’s more to the card king than meets the eye.
Seiyuu: Takada Yuji
A member of the provisional council, an organization that supports the academy. Very strict with his daughter, Masazumi. In reality, he has another hidden side to him, but it’s quite…
Stilts note: At first I was inclined to dislike him because of the hardships I felt he put Masazumi through (what with the sex change operation and all that), but I ended up changing my mind. Watch for him during the debate (you’ll know the one). Oh, and that one other place.
Seiyuu: Kobushi Nobuyuki
A merchant who does business with Honda Masanobu. Perhaps a friend as well…?
Stilts note: Started off seeming like the nice guy who humanizes the stern father. A bit silly, especially if you’re paying attention.
Shopkeeper and Owner
Blue Thunder Bakery & Cafe
Seiyuu: Yamada Miho
Has a good disposition and a helpful personality, such as when she took in the unidentified automated doll, P-01s, as an employee.
Stilts note: Exactly the lady you want to know if you need food for a big party. Also, there’s that one other thing…
Musashi – Other
Organisms with a shared consciousness that reside in gutters within Musashi. They are able to purify themselves using a process similar to photosynthesis. Can talk. Friends with P-01s/
Stilts note: They’re weirdly cute. That’s all I’ve got.
Quasi-Bahamut Class Floating City-ship
Composed of two ships in the middle, and 3 ships on each side, front and back, for a total of 8 ships. Length is over 7 kilometers overall. Has residential, commercial, administrative, and industrial areas; it even has embassies. Basically, it has all the facilities needed to function as an independent country.
Stilts note: You have to wonder why they didn’t just build one bigger ship so they didn’t have all of those dangerous gaps in between the individual ones. Knowing Kyoukaisen though, there’s probably a reason.
Made by Naomasa using a combination of parts from other Gods of War. Her own Maus resides within it, allowing her to control it. Primarily an anti-personnel unit, as it cannot fly – it is launched onto the battlefield using a derrick. Uses two massive wrenches (wielded like swords) to fight. In terms of strength, it is second to none in the Musashi Engineering Club.
Stilts note: Jizuri Suzaku certainly has limitations, but it’s a powerful unit when used well.
The Far East – Mikawa
Seiyuu: Kobayashi Yuu
A student of Mikawa, and old friends with Honda Masazumi (they are second cousins). She is Honda Tadakatsu’s daughter and is the head of the Mikawa Guard. Because she has only ever received combat training from Tadakatsu, she is incredibly clueless about the world.
Stilts note: I know I tend to have good things to say about most of these characters, but Futayo is one of my favorites. She’s straightforward and powerful, but with a dense and clueless side that’s really cute. Plus, anytime I get to hear Kobayashi Yuu going all “-de gozaru” is a good day in my book.
Lord of Mikawa
Seiyuu: Hayami Show
The creator of the Armaments of Deadly Sins and the ruler of Mikawa. Responsible for Mikawa’s current isolation policy. Refers to himself as “Sensei” (though this is considered rude, because it’s a term of respect and humility. “Kyoushi” is the preferred term), and speaks as if he’s lecturing. As Mikawa is under provisional rule by the Testament Union, he is thought to be a puppet ruler. Once changed his surname to Ariadust by omitting the first syllable and reversing it (Matsudaira – first syllable = Tsudaira, reversed = Ariadust) as a show of loyalty to the Testament Union, but was allowed to change it back.
Stilts note: His boisterous lecturing is fun, and he’s one of the few leaders who are involved in History Recreation whose philosophy I like.
Seiyuu: Sumi Naomi
Futayo’s father and one of the Four Divine Matsudaira Kings serving under the Mikawa ruler, Matsudaira Motonobu. A soldier of remarkable ability, he is known as the “Peerless Man of the East”, and owner of the Divine Weapon Slicing Dragonfly.
Stilts note: Tadakatsu’s daughter is a badass. She gets it from him. ‘Nuff said.
Seiyuu: Shintani Ryoko
An automated doll created from the soul of Tadakatsu’s late wife. Handles the daily needs of both Tadakatsu and Futayo, and also serves as Futayo’s fighting instructor. Possesses not only the cooking and sword skills of Tadakatsu’s late wife, but her sharp tongue as well.
Stilts note: Another sharp tongued automated doll, banzai! I very much enjoy her “no one can make fun of Tadakatsu but me” rule. Not someone you want to cross.
Seiyuu: Nakata Jouji
Representative of K.P.A. Italia and Pope President (Student Council President & Chancellor) of its top school, K.P.A. Scuola. Also the owner of the Armament of Deadly Sins, Stáseis Porneía (Lust), and therefore a member Eight Great Dragon Kings. Naturally, he holds a lot of influence around the world. He’s also highly ambitious, and intends to expand his power and influence under the premise of recreating history.
Stilts note: The leader of a country (and/or religion) using flimsy pretexts in order to expand his power while still being able to call himself the good guy? Yeah, I’m cool with this kind of antagonist. Say what you will about Kyoukaisen, but that’s damn realistic right there.
Seiyuu: Koyama Tsuyoshi
An archdevil who uses the Ptolemaic (Geocentric) and Copernican (Heliocentric) Theories as Abilities. Was one of the students of the K.P.A. Scuola when Innocentius served as its principal.
Stilts note: I don’t have a lot to say about most of the name inheritors, but an archdevil as Galileo? I’ll admit it, I laughed.
Chancellor’s Board 1st Special Duty
Alacalá de Henares
Seiyuu: Sugita Tomokazu
Owner of the Armament of Deadly Sins, Lype Katarripsi (Sadness), and one of the Eight Great Dragon Kings. A very serious but amiable youth. His biggest strength is his speed, which come with his inheritance of the Garcia de Ceballos name. Married to Gin
Stilts note: It’s impossible to hate Muneshige, no matter what side he’s on. He’s just an honorable, straightforward, and decent guy. Definitely doesn’t understand women, though.
Chancellor’s Board, 3rd Special Duty
Alacalá de Henares
Seiyuu: Kotobuki Minako
A girl whose arms are both prosthetic. Clueless about the world, and prone to misunderstanding things. Boasts very high firepower. She and Muneshige are married.
Stilts note: You can be forgiven for thinking that she’s an automated doll by how little she emotes, but she’s not. I love her interactions with Muneshige, who she clearly loves deeply. She’s a complex woman.
Student Council Vice President, Treasurer
Alacalá de Henares
Seiyuu: Tanaka Rie
An elf who, on the one hand is a teacher-type cool intellectual, and on the other is slightly airheaded. An excellent subordinate of Felipe II [the Student Council President/Chancellor of Tres España], who continues to support him despite constantly reprimanding him. The owner of Akidía Katárripsi (Sloth), making her another of the Eight Great Dragon Kings.
Stilts note: Tanaka Rie + cool beauty + slightly airheaded? SOLD!
Winged; roughly 10 meters long. Unlike Jizuri Suzaku, which is controlled from outside, this type of God of War is piloted by having someone absorbed into itself. Generally speaking, most other Gods of War use a similar system for flight.
Stilts note: I included this one so you could find the general specs behind a God of War. Remember this though – these things are tough. Defeating one of them is not easy, so anyone who can pull that off is a badass.
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.
Show Summary ▼
Starts with glimpses of a conflict in 1457 TE (this is the end of the Harmonic Unification War).
Fast forward to 7:58 AM on April 20th, 1648 TE, where the automated doll P-01s is singing aboard Musashi. After the OP, we see class 3-Plum assembled outside of Musashi Ariadust Academy, preparing for PE. For this class, they have to land a blow on Makiko-sensei before she makes it to the house of her former landlord on another part of Musashi. Shirojiro asks why they’re doing this, and Heidi explains that Makiko-sensei got kicked out of her house, so she’s living at the school now. Makiko-sensei denies that it’s for revenge, though Margot and Malga disagree.
Makiko-sensei asks who is absent, and it is revealed that Miriam, Azuma, Masazumi (who is excused because of her part-time job, and Toori are absent. Kimi says that she has no idea where Toori is, and that he left early without making her breakfast. She also mentions that her name is now Bel Flore Aoi. Margot asks about this, saying that she was calling herself Joesphine three days ago, but Kimi shakes her and demands she be called Bel Flore. Makiko-sensei talks about how the Far East is under provisional rule, mentions history recreation, and how Toori was chosen to be the leader because he’s easy to handle. She also mentions his nickname, “Impossible.” Neshinbara mentions that this situation has been going on for 160 years, and that the Divine States used to belong to the Far East. He mentions that they have to give money and deference to the Testament Union, how they’re always in transit, and how other countries don’t have an age limit for their students, all while a Tres España God of War flies past. He also says that they’re about to enter Mikawa territory.
Makiko-sensei goes over the rules, saying that they’ll get five free absences if they manage to hit her before she reaches the goal. Tenzou makes sure she wants them to actually hit her, and then asks if there’s anywhere they’d get points deducted for touching or groping. Kiyonari mentions bonus points. Makiko-sensei threatens them. Makiko-sensei then launches backwards, and the chase begins. As she goes through Remorse Way (a road surrounded by trees), she notices a tombstone, and thinks about the name Horizon.
8:50 AM, the Blue Thunder in the Tama district. P-01s is shown minding the shop. Explosions go off nearby. On the street, Shirojiro and Heidi thank them for their patronage as Margot and Malga fire spells at sensei via Margot’s broom. Sensei dodges, and then runs down one of the massive cables connecting the ships of Musashi. Adele catches up to sensei, and says that she takes pride in her speed. She performs a series of lance attacks against sensei, but sensei kicks it away, making Adele stumble. Hassan tries to attack with a plate of curry, but sensei hits him with Adele, and then knocks her away. Neshinbara calls for Itoken (Kenji) and Nenji to help Adele and Hassan. On the way to help Adele, Nenji gets stepped on by Kimi, who apologizes unconvincingly. Neito chastises her for this, but Kimi insults her and asks why she isn’t using her crazy chain move like usual. Neito says that the land falls under her family’s domain, and that they’re destroying it. She picks up Adele’s lance as she moves. Kimi calls her a heavy tank type. Behind, Nenji reforms, telling Kenji that he was in proper defensive form.
At the Blue Thunder, the Shopkeeper goes out without closing the shop, because Horizon is minding it. On top of Musashi, Musashi-sama (the automated doll) talks to President Sakai about Class 3-Plum’s chase below. He says that the close-range combat types should step in. On the rooftops, Tenzou charges forward straight towards Makiko-sensei, who was expecting him. They face off, and Tenzou charges – as does Kiyonari, who swoops down from the sky. Kiyonari says that he won’t use his inquisitor weapon on her because she’s of the Shinto faith, and that he’ll use his own hands. Sensei tells him to keep dreaming, and partially releases her sheath, smacking Kiyonari down. Tenzou blocks the blade, and then calls for Noriki. Sensei releases her sword, which moves towards Noriki’s face, so he punches it away. The three of them lament their failure as Sensei dodges away. They call for Asama.
Reclaiming her weapon, Makiko-sensei charges off. Neshinbara calls for Persona-kun to give Asama a lift, and he appears with Suzu on one shoulder. Asama jumps on the other. Her eye lights up, and she summons her maus to use a ritual from the Asama shrine. She asks her maus, Hanami, to purify her shot so that it won’t miss, and agrees to make the necessary four offerings. The offerings are accepted, and she locks onto Sensei with her artificial eye, “Konoha”. She fires. She says not to bother defending, because it will hit anyway – but sensei swings her sword, and then deflects the arrow in front of her. Asama asks what happened, and Neshinbara says that sensei cut her hair and put it in the arrow’s path, so that it dissipated when it struck it, thinking it had reached her. On the ground, Neito hurls Adele’s heavy spear, but misses.
Makiko-sensei zooms across another cable when Margot and Malga catch up. Their aim is to buy time for the others to catch up. They say they won’t use their most powerful abilities, but fire a pretty powerful one at sensei anyway. She dodges it, and then says that if they keep trying to buy time then they’re going to knock everyone else out. Neshinbara asks if they were trying to kill the rest of them. High up, president Sakai and Musashi-sama discuss the chase, with Musashi-sama saying that class 3-Plum is unlikely to catch her now. Sakai asks if she should be on the bridge, and she says not to worry because they’re about to enter Mikawa’s port. Sakai talks about visiting some old pals there, but Musashi-sama says that Mikawa is in turmoil, so that he should be careful. He says he knows, and wonders about the kids below. They reference the apocalypse that the Testament Union thinks is coming as Makiko-sensei reaches the goal just ahead of her students.
9:00 AM, temporary resident district, in front of the mafia office. Most of the class collapses, though they did make it to the very end with one member (Suzu) still “alive,” an improvement over last year. Sensei then demonstrates how to defeat an archdemon (her former landlord) by giving it a concussion, striking it on one side of the dead, and then quickly on the other. It is at this point that Toori walks up. He reveals that the reason he skipped class was to wait in line for a new edition of an ero-game. Sensei gets mad, and Toori, after (probably purposefully) misinterpreting what she was thinking, calmly gropes her boobs. While Makiko-sensei is too shocked to move, Toori announces to his friends and classmates that he intends to finally do what he has talked about before – ask the girl he loves out. Who’s the girl? Horizon, he replies. That is, Horizon Ariadust, a girl who died 10 years earlier in an accident on Remorse Way (so says Kimi). Toori says he knows, but he doesn’t want to run from her anymore. He says he will probably cause a lot of trouble for them all, and what he intends to do afterwards will amount of declaring war on the whole world, but still, he intends to ask Horizon out on the 10th anniversary of her death, and though he may be inept, he’ll always aim high.
It’s then that sensei emerges from her enraged shock and, after Toori inadvertently raises his own death flag, she kicks him through a house. More exposition is heard about the world and the history recreation process. Musashi, Innocentius, the court of P.A. ODA, Muneshiga & Gin, soldiers of Tres España, Honda Futayo & Tadakatsu, and others are shown. The exposition reminds us that the world is currently reliving the Warring States Period and the Thirty Years’ War era. The episode ends with Honda Masazumi collapsing in front of P-01s, and the ero game falling out of Toori’s jacket.
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? 😀
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!
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Then there was, of course, Toori. His calm groping of sensei’s chest was unexpected and hilarious, and did you catch how Kimi was the only one who didn’t seem surprised? She knows her otouto well! Though pretty much every time Kimi-nee spoke this episode was amazing. Her telling Toori to stick his !@#$ into a power socket (w/ the audio censorship and Neito’s reaction in the background) was hilarious! Keep chewing that scenery (trope!), Kimi-nee.
Last but not least, I found Toori’s speech, even when I didn’t totally understand it (i.e. the first time through), to be quite touching, mostly for the sense of camaraderie I already sensed in the group. That, and there’s something about how he says “Horizon daio” that always tugs at my heart strings. As for the completely deserved and totally expected violence that Toori suffered at the hands (well, leg) of sensei… hilarious ^^ A little slapstick is fine too! Though it wouldn’t have been quite as awesome had she not called out the death flag before she nailed him, hah!
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Go back to 7:58 AM on April 20th, 1648 TE – that is, the same time and day that the previous episode started. Honda Masazumi (who is the girl everyone thinks is a boy) narrates that the day started out like any other (nothing special, she thought they would go on forever) as she hurries to the class she’s teaching part-time. P-01s once again sings in the background. After the OP, it’s an hour after arising when Masazumi collapses from hunger in front of P-01s. The main ship of Musashi enters stealth mode. Masazumi reveals that she ran for Student Council Vice President (that’s the political side) because she’s only been here a year (she’s from Mikawa), and she thought that Toori would understand everyone better. The Shopkeeper mentions that Toori used to come by the shop all the time until 10 years ago…but in the past year he’s been coming every morning, probably because of P-01s (who is a lost automated doll she took in). The Shopkeeper tells Masazumi to look into Remorse Way if she wants to become closer to everyone.
In class 3-Plum’s classroom, sensei says they’re going over the Harmonic Unification War, and asks Suzu to give a review. She does so, but is nervous, so Toori tells her not to worry. While Sensei bickers with Toori, Shirojiro mentions that he doesn’t have any orders from Mikawa, whose port they’re about to enter. When it becomes clear that the class isn’t listening, Sensei asks Asama to help Suzu out. Asama talks about the war that lead to the collapse of the Harmonic Divine States, and how over half of the world was destroyed. She goes on to explain how the people of the Harmonic Divine States flocked to (and took over) the Divine States. Images from the first minute of Episode 1 are replayed here.
After the lecture, Toori says they should have a party tonight, and suggests exorcising spirits in the school. Sensei tells him it’s punishment time, because he said she could hit him if Suzu messed up, and she made a minor mistake. His chosen punishment for this month? Stripping. A nearby teacher talks about the testament a bit while class 3-Plum cheers. Azuma and the King of Musashi arrive in time to see Toori naked.
At the cemetery, Masazumi meets P-01s. While Masazumi takes care of her mother’s grave, she talks about automated dolls. P-01s sings a song that Masazumi used to sing with her mother. Masazumi talks about how she was supposed to take the role of the historical Honda Masazumi, even undergoing a sex change to better fit the (male) role, but the process was stopped partway when the ruler of Mikawa dismissed all his vassals (that is, the people serving under him) and entrusted everything to automated dolls instead. Masazumi even speaks of her mother’s death, though P-01s fixates on this answering why Masazumi wears a male uniform. Musashi exits stealth in order to dock at Mikawa. The Lord of Mikawa, Matsudaira Motonobu, broadcasts to everyone in Musashi, telling them he is planning a show for them this year, complete with fireworks. Musashi docks at Mikawa.
Back at the school, there’s a joint Student Council and Chancellor meeting about helping Toori’s confession go well. Tenzo suggests that Toori write a letter, and Kimi-nee says he should just pour his heart out. Toori proceeds to list a lot of perverted stuff. Kiyonari says the list is missing something important (for Toori) – boobs. Everyone talks about what a boob man he is. He says he cannot describe them until he gropes them, so Kimi-nee suggests that ask someone with similar breasts if he can grope hers. All the women (and most of the guys) cover their chests. Neito and the Sakai (who is the president of the academy) walk up. President Sakai and Toori seem to agree that the girl he’s after is Horizon, but even if she’s not Toori wants her to stay by his side. Toori asks president Sakai to ask Masazumi if “he” is coming to the party tonight. Kimi-nee suggests that Toori grope Neito’s chest, and then tricks her into agreeing. Toori gropes Neito’s chest, and then reveals she wasn’t wearing a bra. Neito punches him into a wall.
On the way into Mikawa, president Sakai mentions how it’s odd that good are only going into Musashi, but nothing is going the other way, into Mikawa. The notice the ship of Pope President Innocentius of K.P.A. Italia flying nearby. Mention is made of the Armaments of Deadly Sins, which are weapons powerful enough to level entire cities that are based upon the Seven Deadly Sins (though there are 9 of them). On the way back to Musashi (to investigate Remorse Way), Masazumi wonders what the point of becoming a politician is if she’ll only be able to be a bureaucrat at best after 18, and how she feels that Toori hasn’t lost things like she has.
Inside the Shin Nagoya Castle – a special reactor that makes up most of Mikawa, which produces ryutai (ether, like mana, the fuel needed for magical abilities) – the Lord of Mikawa wonders how things will proceed, and says he is excited about tonight’s fireworks.
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.
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Past that, my impressions. This episode is chock full of exposition, character introductions, and a metric ton of foreshadowing. The first time I watched it I didn’t feel it was nearly as strong as the first episode, and perhaps it still isn’t, but the second time through I thoroughly enjoyed picking out all the delicious little details that Sunrise managed to stuff into such a small amount of time. The foreshadowing was especially good, as multiple things pointed towards upcoming events in subtle (and some not so subtle) ways. As I went through it again they were easy to see, but the first time there was just so much new information that I didn’t catch them! This was a feast for the mind above all else.
Still, on the comedic side of things Toori and Kimi-nee continued their track record of being amazing with the groping of Neito. I loved how when Kimi-nee suggested that, everyone else (even the guys!) covered their chests, hah! Best of all, did you notice how everyone accepts that Toori is an incorrigible pervert, but they’re completely fine with it? I love that. He might be silly and frivolous, but his friends know his true worth. Being beloved as a master pervert? Mr. Impossible indeed!
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Go back to 5:00 AM, April 20th, 1648 TE, i.e. the same day that the previous two episodes took place, but even earlier in the morning. Asama is waking up in her room in the Asama Shrine. She too muses/narrates on how the morning was the same as any other (nothing special, she thought they would go on forever) as P-01s sings in the background.
After the OP, fast forward to 2:12 PM, where Kimi sits on the steps outside of the academy. Inside, Azuma arrives at his room, and meets his roommate, Miriam. He freaks out upon realizing that she’s a girl. Down in Mikawa, the academy president (Sakai Tadatsugu) meets two of his friends. One of them is Tadakatsu Honda, and his daughter, Futayo Honda, attacks Tadatsugu, displaying great speed. Tadatsugu responds by groping her ass instead.
Back on Musashi, Asama, Suzu, Naomasa, and Adele are picking up groceries for the party. They talk about how the whole world is worrying about big problems, and they’re wondering where one idiot will get the girl. They also talk about Kimi, and how she’s watching over Toori as he tries to visit Remorse Way for the first time in 10 years. Suzu talks about Horizon, how kind she was, and how Toori has never forgotten her. The girls meet up with Shirojiro, Heidi, Neshinbara, and Kiyonari, who are also shopping for the party. They talk to the Blue Thunder Shopkeeper a bit.
Flash over to Margot, who is talking to Malga while they work. They talk about Kimi and Toori, and the ero game that Toori apparently ordered. Margot noticed Masazumi. They talk about the party tonight, and Masazumi says she probably won’t come due to how far away she lives. Margot gives the package to Masazumi and flies off for a race.
Back in the dorms, Azuma is back in front of the door, sighing and wondering what to do. Miriam tells him to come in. They talk, and Miriam makes Azuma promise that they won’t interfere in each other’s personal affairs. Miriam also says she likes people who are dense but earnest. Back in front of the school, Kimi is still watching Toori try to go down Remorse Way. Sensei comes out to get some fresh air while drinking, and Kimi begins brushing her hair. Kimi asks if sensei is on Toori’s side, and sensei says she’s on everybody in the class’ side. Kimi observes Masazumi coming down Remorse Way.
Inside, Masazumi hears P-01s singing, as does Toori still outside. Along the path, Masazumi meets her father and one of his associates. The air is tense between father and “son”, until Toori runs past looking awful. He accepts the game from Masazumi and, after inviting her to the party going on that night, runs off again. Masazumi’s father’s associates calls Toori the Master of Remorse Way, and relates the tale of Horizon’s death to Masazumi. He revealed how the Lord of Mikawa changed his named to Ariadust, and how Horizon Ariadust was his daughter, and how she died in an accident under her father’s carriage. He also told of how Toori was injured as well, and he and Horizon were rushed to a hospital in Mikawa…but only Toori came back. Masazui wonders how Toori is still able to laugh, and why everybody gives him their support. Though still terse, Masazumi’s father seems to urge her towards find the answer to her questions, while outside, Toori collapses, exhausted, into Kimi’s arms.
Go forward to 6 PM that night, and two ships pass one another, one containing Muneshige and Gin Tachibana of Tres España, while the other contains Honda Futayo of Mikawa. Muneshige talks about how he’s there to keep an eye on the Pope President and Mikawa, despite the fact that he can do nothing but fight. He promises Gin that he won’t bring her sadness by losing.
7 PM that night, at a guard post outside Mikawa. One of Mikawa’s automated dolls neutralizes one of the Tres España soldiers that are there to keep Mikawa in line. It’s 7:30 PM, and everyone has collected in front of the academy, save for Toori. Asama talks about the apocalypse that everyone thinks is coming, and the Lost Nobles supernatural event. Kimi freaks out because she’s bad with scary stories, and then Toori emerges from inside the school, where he was making “preparations.”
Inside, Asama, Suzu, Naomasa, and Adele walk through the hallways hunting for ghosts. Asama bullseyes one, and then blows up two other very suspicious “ghosts.” While Shirojiro yells at Toori, Margot and Malga blow up some more stuff as well. The episode ends at 7:59 PM, with Shin Nagoya Castle beginning to glow.
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.
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Other than that, it’s the camaraderie of everyone working together. Though things are heating up in Mikawa (that foreshadowing, that foreshadowing!), it’s just as Naomasa said – despite all the important stuff going on, they’re only concerned about whether their stupid friend will get the girl. I don’t know, that kind of friendship just speaks to me, and this is the episode where I first started to truly realize how close all these characters are. I know a lot of people don’t like how many characters there are that you have to remember, but that feeling isn’t something you can accomplish with just three or four.
Oh, and Futayo losing that fight due to ass-groping was pretty funny too. All glory to the perverts! Perverts shall rule the world!
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Once again starting early in the morning on April 20th, 1648 TE. This time it’s 4:58 AM, with Honda Futayo waking up. As with the previous episodes, Futayo narrated on how the morning was the same as any other (nothing special, she thought these days would last forever) as P-01s sings in the background. After the OP, there’s a short replay of the butt-groping scene from last episode (Futayo’s loss), and then it’s onto president Sakai, Honda Tadakatsu, their other friend and Futayo eating dinner (and drinking). The old men joke about the past, and then president Sakai tries to recruit Futayo for the academy. Tadakatsu says that Futayo will be guarding Musashi for a bit, after which she can decide what she wants to do for herself. Tadakatsu mentions that the world is ready for change, and he wants his daughter to make her own path. Kazuno (an automated doll made using Tadakatsu’s deceased wife’s soul) walks up. She has a very sharp tongue, insulting Tadakatsu a lot, though she threatens to stab Sakai with a levitated skewer when he does the same. Tadakatsu, Kazuno, and Futayo depart at 5:30 PM, while president Sakai asks their other friend two questions: about their missing fourth friend, and P-01s. His friend brings up Lost Nobles.
At 6:11 PM, and the scene where ships containing Futayo and Tachibana Muneshige pass one another repeats. Tadakatsu and Kazuno stand in the middle of a highway alone, in full battle gear. After talking about Muneshige, Tadakatsu departs, as do many other automated dolls. the Lord of Mikawa and Kazuno talk about the fireworks that will turn the world against them.
At 6:59 PM, Tadakatsu and a bunch of automated dolls attack the Tres España sentries.
At 7:44, an automated doll gives some blank documents to president Sakai from his friend (Sakakibara, the one from earlier who isn’t Tadakatsu). Sakai remembers that he told him to pursue the Lost Nobles kidnappers. Sakai rushes off to see him, and finds him gone with the Lost Nobles symbol written on the wall of his study in blood. He finds papers saying “Pursue the Nikyou Crest” and “Genesis Project”.
7:53 PM, and it’s back in the academy where Margot is blowing up “ghosts.” The “ghosts” rush off, and the King of Musashi walks in, making Suzu cry in the process. He demands to know if the commotion was Toori’s fault. Suzu detects something, and they all see explosions go off near Mikawa. They disperse, but they stop when Suzu detects a ghost…the ghost of a girl clinging to Azuma.
7:57 PM, president Sakai leaves the house of his friend and sees the explosions. He rushes off, but is (politely) ambushed by Tadakatsu and Kazuno. Sakai noticed Slicing Dragonfly, a shinto weapon that Tadakatsu is wielding. Sakai feels a tremor, and Tadakatsu reveals that they’re starting a meltdown in the Shin-Nagoya Platonic Plate Reactor. He also reveals that there is no one left in Mikawa other than the Lord of Mikawa, automated dolls, and those standing there right now. He says he doesn’t know anything else other than it’s all part of his lord’s Genesis Project. Tadakatsu explains the power of Slicing Dragonfly (to sever the existence of those reflected in its blade), and says that he doesn’t care if he dies because he’s loyal to his lord. He then tells Sakai to get out. Light streams out of the reactor…light very much similar to that which occurred during the Harmonic Unification War. Aboard the Mikawa ship, Futayo observes the situation as Tres España forces land. She ponders what to do, and wonders what Masazumi would do.
8:01 PM, Masazumi looks on as the reactor spews light. P-01s asks if that’s the fireworks. Masazumi says no, and then takes P-01s’ hand and heads to Blue Thunder.
A force field appears around the reactor, and as the Tres España Gods of War (mechs) try to penetrate it, they lose power. Using a giant gun, Kazuno fires on the Tres España ships, bringing one down. Alone against two Gods of War and a bunch of ground troops, Kazuno uses her gravity manipulation powers to rip slaps of asphalt out of the ground and uses them like massive levitating swords. She uses more asphalt as shields as well. The God of War pushes her back, but she splits her blades into four and keeps going. On a landed Tres España ship, Muneshige vows to find a Mikawa local and ask them why they’re melting down their own reactor.
Aboard the Mikawa ship, Futayo and the other officers talk about what to do. They conclude that the Testament Union will likely try to lay claim to Musashi as a result of Mikawa’s actions, and that they are the only ones that can stand between Musashi and the Testament Union. Futayo decides that, for now, they will remain neutral.
On the ground, Muneshige Tachibana and his wife Gin head towards Mikawa, and on the road, Honda Tadakatsu stands in their way. It ends with Futayo, Asama, Masazumi, and Toori narrating on how the world was changing, and how the days that they thought would last forever were coming to an end.
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.
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The whole ghost girl tugging on Azuma was rather random though, I must admit. I would complain more, but it took like 5 minutes, so it was hardly the focus of the episode. Right now it’s not the protagonists that are propelling the plot forward, but rather the Lord of Mikawa, Tadakatsu, and Kazuno. One could say that this is an odd storytelling choice, but with such a wide and incredibly complex world full of characters all working at cross purposes – you know, kind of like our own world – it’s to be expected that the world won’t revolve around just one group all the time. I guess I’m just okay with it because this is High Fantasy as I’ve always loved it – an incredibly complex world where there aren’t just good guys and bad guys. Sometimes there are people, like the Lord of Mikawa and his followers, who are somewhere in the middle, doing what they’re doing for their own reasons. I don’t know about you, but I love frolicking in the gray. Just wait until you see what we’ll find there.
By the way, did you catch who those “ghosts” were? Check what’s in Masazumi’s father’s carriage (next to his friend) when they’re talking on Remorse Way. Those are some funny pastimes you have there, otousan… nishishi ^^
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Still the same day (April 20th). This time it’s P-01s who narrates about the morning being the same as always, as she sings in the background. The scene flashes past Horizon’s grave, then other scenes from that day. After the title screen, it’s Kazuno fighting a holding action with the Tres España God of War. They exchange blows, and Kazuno sends the God of War’s bullet back at it, damaging it. Then Tadakatsu shows up and uses Slicing Dragonfly to incapacitate the second God of War with a single blow. With the Gods of War and all the Tres España soldiers down for the count, Kazuno and Tadakatsu walk off to protect their Lord – until Kazuno takes a shot that blows the bottom half of her body away.
Tachibana Muneshige shows up in an incredible show of power and introduces himself. He shows that he carries one of the Armaments of Deadly Sins with him, Lype Katarripsi. Tadakatsu tries to bind Muneshige, but Muneshige is too fast. Muneshige reveals that he knows Slicing Dragonfly’s specs (30 meters, must catch in the blades reflection, etc), and in returnTadakatsu explains how Lype Katarripsi works. It can be a normal gunblade, a normal drive function similar to Slicing Dragonfly’s, and a super-drive which decimates everything in a 3 kilometer range. He also guesses that Muneshige can only use the super-drive one more time, which Muneshige confirms.
Muneshige says his plan is to take out one of the four reactors so that the other reactors have a place to divert the pressure to, preventing them from exploding and saving Mikawa. Tadakatsu says that’s not what the Lord of Mikawa wants. The doors open, and Lord Motonobu begins giving a professorial lecture to the world. He talks about how exciting it is to be under pressure, and to be confronted with a challenge that you have to think about really hard, about it, or be wiped from the face of the earth. He says that the only thing scarier than endangering the Far East is Armageddon. He says that everyone is about to enter an apocalyptic world with no future, which is exciting. He says that people must think to figure out how to stop it. He says that the one thing that can save the world is the Armaments of Deadly Sins, and that anyone who possesses all of them can avert the apocalypse. This is also where he reveals that there are not eight armaments (like everyone thought), but nine. He speaks of the eight temptations, but that there is a ninth evil, jealousy, from which all other sins are born. He also says that the rumor that the armaments were made from a human is, in fact, true. He says they were made from the emotions of a certain girl. He says that a decade ago he ran her over and turned her into the Armaments, then a year ago put the ninth Armament in her soul, gave her an automated doll’s body, and sent her to Musashi. Just as Masazumi figures it out and turns to see her, Lord Motonobu reveals what Toori, president Sekai and others suspected – P-01s and Horizon Ariadust are one and the same. At the school, Toori immediately dashes off to find Horizon.
Lord Motonobu finishes and says that the rest is up to them. There could be a world war and the Far East could fall (further)…but wouldn’t it be great to see a world war not mentioned in the Testament? Muneshige vows to stop him, but Lord Motonobu doesn’t want that, so he asks Tadakatsu to do something about him. There is 3 minutes until the meltdown cannot be stopped.
Muneshige and Tadakatsu fight, with their normal drive bind attacks nullifying one another. Muneshige accelerates to insane levels, but a combination of Tadakatsu’s experience and Kazuno’s help them get the better of Muneshige. Muneshige still manages to activate his weapon’s super drive and aim it at the reactor, thanks to him stabbing Tadakatsu’s blade into his body to avoid it reflecting his image. Tadakatsu and Kazuno discuss what to do. Kazuno reveals the soul orb on her tongue, and Tadakatsu pulls it out, changing her body into a soulless machine. Tadakatsu then throws the body in front of the shot, which uses its gravity manipulation powers to redirect the blast. Since that alone wouldn’t be enough, Tadakatsu severs the body’s image. Muneshige’s shot fires, and misses the Mikawa reactor. Then Gin shows up to retrieve the unconscious Muneshige. Tadakatsu tries to fight her, but she says she is forbidden. Instead Tadakatsu gives her Slicing Dragonfly, telling her to give it to his heir (Futayo) if Muneshige wants a real rematch.
Aboard Musashi, forces move to capture Horizon. Toori and the others try to stop them, but K.P.A. Italia – aided by Futayo’s Mikawa forces – manage to get to Horizon first. Still Toori reaches for her, almost causing the K.P.A. Italia commander to give the order to kill them, but Masazumi stops Toori with a kick to the face. He falls unconscious.
Inside the Mikawa reactor, Lord Motonobu is incinerated as the reactor explodes. Outside, after a vision of his dead wife passes before his eyes, Tadakatsu holds up the orb that holds her soul and proclaims that they’ll never be apart again. April 20th, 1648 TE, 9:03 PM – Mikawa explodes.
April 21, 1648 TE, 6:00 AM, P-01s was officially proclaimed to be Horizon Ariadust, and also charged with the loss of Mikawa as its leader. She was sentenced to suicide, to be carried out that day at 6:00 PM.
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!
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As for Lype Katarripsi, it has the same ability + a BFG form (trope!), which is pretty badass. That said, probably the weirdest thing about it is it’s strange shape. After the Squall-style Final Fantasy gunblades that we’re used to, hearing that thing called a gunblade was quite off-putting initially. I mean, how does he swing that thing like a sword?? That said, I’ve pretty much just gotten used to the whole thing by now. He seems to use it well enough, so whatever works.
Then there’s Lord Motonobu’s philosophy. If I had a qualm about Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon overall, it’s that the whole “history recreation” idea is patently stupid. You can’t recreate history with completely different people and technological levels and expect it all to end up more or less the same as before! And what’s more, why would you, if it led to the overwhelming majority of the planet being inhospitable to life? That said, it’s the kind of dumb bullshit I can easily see people believing in if they stand to gain power from it, or if they’re brainwashed into believing it from the time they were small, so here we are. Fortunately, Lord Motonobu sees another way – wouldn’t it be wonderful to see something that’s not in the Testament? Bravo. And of course, he went ahead and made sure that everyone had MacGuffins to fight over, and a good reason to do it. Well done, old man. Too bad you won’t be around to see how it all goes.
Then there’s Tadakatsu and Kazuno, a comfortable old couple fighting to the death with one another…and Gin and Muneshige, a young married couple still feeling out their place in the world…and Toori and Horizon, a young potential-couple torn apart before they could even start (maybe)…and all their friends in Class 3-Plum striving to keep that chance alive, and, and, and…
And that was only the first day. 24 hours. Care to see what will happen on Day 2?
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6:30 AM, April 21st, 1648 TE. Horizon is talking to a Tres España servant aboard an inquisition ship. She asks for a book, and her clothes.
7:00 AM. Gin is applying bandages to Muneshige in the Inquisition ship infirmary. Gin explains that, because the Far East is prohibited from possessing WMDs, and because Horizon’s soul has assimilated with an Armament of Deadly Sins (which is a WMD), she has to commit suicide to release it. Gin then grips his leg in her mechanical hand and grips, asking if he has anything to say. Muneshige apologizes, and thanks her for taking care of him. Some other Tres España soldiers enter, and mistake his cries of pain for something else. As they leave, Muneshige hugs Gin and says “I’m back.” Gin smiles and welcomes him back. The OP plays.
7:58 AM, Port of Mikawa. Musashi (the automated doll) says that it has been decided that the Mikawa refuges will board Musashi, and that the Testament Union will take control of Musashi, with all of its residents being relocated elsewhere. President Sakai observes that he is being detained, and that Musashi (automated doll) is angry. Musashi (automated doll) asks if he wants to save Horizon. He says he’s not a student anymore. Sakai’s bail is posted, but he is stopped by Galileo, the archdevil Vice President of K.P.A. Italia. Innocentius (the Pope President and Chancellor of K.P.A. Italia) walks up as well. They refer to a past triumph of Sakai or Innocentius. Innocentius vows to win this time by taking away the Far East’s control of Musashi and putting it on the front lines against P.A. ODA. The two disappear, and Sakai prepares to defend himself and the two automated dolls. they reappear, and Innocentius vows to take back everything K.P.A. Italia has lost, even at the cost of someone’s life.
8:43 AM, Musashi Ariadust Academy. They summarize the situation: because Horizon inherited rule over Mikawa, she now also represents the Far East, including Musashi. That will be revoked when she commits suicide though, which is bad for the Far East. Also, King Yoshinao (the King of Musashi) has taken back all of the students authority for the time being. Heidi notes that Neito (called Mito), Naomasa (called Masa), Masazumi (called Seijun), Miriam, and Azuma are absent, and that Toori is slumped on his desk. They note that:
- Azuma and Miriam are being “protected” by guards, so they can’t leave their room.
- Naomasa is meeting with the Engineering Club.
- Neito is talking with the local landowners at the Nobility Club. They note that she’s in a tough spot because, if Horizon commits suicide, her family will become representatives of the Far East.
- Masazumi is the only one who retained his authority as vice president, due to his father (and perhaps him kicking Toori the night before). They also mentioned that others intend to use Masazumi as a pawn, and that “his” skills as an orator are not to be underestimated.
Heidi asks if anyone wants to save Horizon. After no one raises their hands, she asks Shirojiro to share his opinions as a merchant. Upon hearing that there’s money involved, he gets excited. He says that if they oppose the Testament Union, Musashi won’t be able to replenish its supplies at any ports. That would mean their deaths, because they only produce 10% of the food Musashi’s 100,000 people need to survive. After they insult Ohiroshiki for being a cooking club lolicon (mainly the latter thing), Shirojiro notes that Musashi’s reserves would only last for two weeks. Adele thinks this means it’s game over, but Kimi disagrees. Shirojiro reveals that in order to get supplies while defying the Testament Union, they must force Honda Masazumi to side with them. But first, they have to do something about Toori.
Sensei walks in and says they’re writing essays today, with the topic “What I Want to Do.” They then watch an exchange on TV between Tres España’s Tachibana Gin and the Mikawa’s Honda Futayo. It’s 9:01 AM, with many troops in evidence from both sides (and from K.P.A. Italia as well). Gin tells Futayo that Tadakatsu (her father) asked her to give Slicing Dragonfly to Futayo. Futayo realizes that the exchange is being broadcast around the world, including to Musashi and Mikawa’s refugees. She realizes that the Far East will give up if she doesn’t do something, so she makes her move – she surges forward to take Slicing Dragonfly. Muneshige stops her though, and hands her the weapon. Gin wonders if anyone will share in Futayo’s resolution.
9:30 AM, Musashi Ariadust Academy. Everyone is writing their essays. Asama muses on how today would have been the day that Toori confessed to Horizon, and that she and everyone else just wanted him to spend today that way. She imagines what he would have done. Her thoughts get a little perverted, which she unknowingly writes down. Sensei asks her to read her essay, but she’s too embarrassed and makes excuses. Sensei calls on Suzu, and then asks Asama to read Suzu’s essay since Suzu is blind.
Suzu’s essay speaks of the one she loves. It says that she met them on the first day of elementary school. Because her parents work, she went to the welcoming ceremony alone, despite the fact that she didn’t want to. Young Suzu hated staircases, and there was a long one to get up to the academy. She stood at the bottom of the stairs, feeling dejected and alone. That’s when she met Horizon and Toori, who were also without their parents. Horizon holds her hand, and they take her up the stairs. Before Suzu knew it, she was at the top, and they congratulated her. They wanted to be friends.
It talked about middle school and high school, and how just once in high school Toori took her hand, the same one that Horizon took so long ago, and led her up the stairs. But when she got to the top, Horizon wasn’t there. As Asama continues, Suzu begins to cry. The essay says that Suzu loves Toori, and Horizon, and everyone, but mostly she loves Toori when he’s with Horizon. Standing up and speaking for herself, Suzu implores Toori to save Horizon. Toori (already in front of her) says that he plans to do just that. Then Suzu puts Toori’s hands on her chest, and says that she’s all grown up now. After nearly killing the mood, Toori stands up and says that he didn’t hold her hand out of concern – he held it because she’s cute and kind, and because he wanted to. The others agreed. Toori then revealed that he had been reading a ero-book about silver-haired women to recharge his manliness gauge. Sensei gets annoyed. After kicking him through a wall, she asks how he intends to save Horizon. He turns to Shirojiro, who proposes a special student council meeting. Heidi says that they can’t do that, because it would require Masazumi’s agreement, and he’s not there. Shirojiro says that they can do it anyway for one reason: to pass a vote of no confidence. If Masazumi doesn’t come, he’ll lose his position (and they can hold the meeting), and if he does, the meeting will be official (and they’re already holding the meeting). Either way, they would be able to decide.
10:15 AM in the Inquisition Ship. Horizon speaks to a Tres España servant while dressing. Horizon said that if she had a choice, she’d rather be an employee at a cafe than a sovereign.
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 ▼
Speaking of politics, there’s the matter of Horizon’s suicide. Explanation time! Here’s the question: why is the Testament Union forcing Horizon to commit suicide instead of just executing her? That’s what they’re pretty much doing anyway, after all. Well, it’s a political thing disguised as an honor thing. Remember: Horizon is now the sovereign ruler of the Far East. In a less complicated world, the Testament Union would just kill her and be done with it, but that’s not the world they live in. Such an act would have massive geopolitical repercussions as all the countries in the world realize that their rulers can be executed for no reason. However, this is also a world suffused with Japanese culture, a culture which the Far East is founded on. They’re saying that she must take responsibility for the death of Mikawa, and so great was this disgrace that she must commit suicide to make up for it (it’s a seppuku-type situation, really). That leaves Horizon with a choice: kill herself, retain her honor and lose control of the Far East to the Testament Union (giving them what they want), or don’t commit suicide, disgrace herself and the Far East, and give the Testament Union an excuse to execute her for refusing to take responsibility for such a heinous crime…thus giving them what they want anyway. With the choices they’re presenting to her, it’s lose-lose for Horizon. Oh, and either way the other rulers can still feel safe, because as long as they don’t give the Testament Union such overwhelming justification to orchestrate their deaths, they’re fine.
Back to the episode at hand, then there was Suzu. While Toori is the driving force of the group, it is in Suzu that the heart lays. While others spoke of practical considerations – and they certainly should, because those things are important – Suzu spoke from the heart, and described the world as she wants it to be. As with Futayo, timid little Suzu was sending a message, and trying to motivate her friends to action as best she could. Perhaps she didn’t need to – I have every faith that Toori would have acted regardless – but after that speech, how can they be anything but fully committed? Morale matters, people. It’s going to matter very soon.
A quick note, because I didn’t mention it before: I appreciate how they change the ED based on the feeling at the end of the episode. There’s nothing more jarring than a peppy ED after a mournful episode. I’m looking at you, Kanon and Clannad! I’ve never gotten worse mood whiplash in my life *rubs neck*
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!
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.
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!
If you were here two seasons ago… ;w;
Don’t worry my son, for I am here now.
*is probably getting too full of himself ^^;;*
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.
for a series based on 17th century balance of power, it lacks distinctly few powers, from Sweden and Holland to Polish-Lituanian Commonwealth…
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.
Oh my god, Stilts, you are a hero!
Easily my favorite series of the winter season, and I can’t wait for the second season 😀
My jaw dropped at the sheer length of this…
+1 for Stilts
Like I said before, I maaay have overachieved a little bit. Just a bit!
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 😀
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.
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. 🙁
Ahaha, keikakku doori! >:D
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.
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!
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!)
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!
“Magnificent mess”? I love that way of putting it 😀 Arigato!
And I can neither confirm nor deny that I am the son of god. That would be crass.
MHAY GWAD! <- saw a large wall of text..
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.
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.
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
*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!
Good job, this is nice recap before getting back into the show this summer
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.
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
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?
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!
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).
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.
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
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.
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.
Thumbs up for taking the time to make this.
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
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.
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!
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…
Stilts.. I didn’t understand. Can you repeat this post? XD
Don’t tempt me!
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?
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
Also, what was the thing inside Masazumi’s father’s carriage? I can’t seem to find it?
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.
For those who are interested in the significance of this, click this spoiler! (it’s only a minor one)
Show Spoiler ▼
I need to rewatch before season 2 starts, I forgot and passed many things xD
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.
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?
* 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 ^^
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 ▼
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
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 🙂
My ass you will, you’ve been saying that for forever.
Brilliant. I salute you, sir Stilts.
Y U NO LOVE KIMI ENOUGH?
but if you love Futayo more I admit it :3
Quality post is quality!
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).
Thank you kindly! I edited the Non-Human Races section to reflect this information.
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.
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.
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.
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…
A little from column A, a little from column B, imo
I like this comment, Moondoggie.
Love you dude D:
Can’t wait for season 2 XD
Your efforts are inspiring.
Perfect post… I love this anime and all the visual goodness that came with it. XD
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.
Left is Horizon books 1-8 (missing 2)
Right is Owari no Chronicle
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
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.
Totally appreciate this man, you could make a pdf already out of the layout:P
Impressive work, Stilts! I hope this, alongside Zeroblade’s tumblr infodump and the wiki would avoid the confusions in the Second Season.
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
Thankfully there’s the Episode Glossaries in the official site.
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.
You should! Just let Stilts-sensei fill in all the holes for you ^^
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?
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
Thank you, this will help me a lot to get some friends to finish this series 🙂
Also yay for you acknowledging Margot/Marga. *fangirls*
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 :]
Well done sir! Well done.
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)
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!
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!
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.
This… was… so… pointless…. Stilts, what a obsession this was. One could say it was a complete waste of time for everyone involved.
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.
Is it me or he downvoted every single positive comment? LoL “waste of time” indeed.
Dude, there’s a better way to handle a bait than being a jackass. Way to stink up the joint, my friend.
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~!
@ 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.
You are the worstof2012.
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
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!
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.
Best compliment evar 😀 I’m glad my craziness has contributed to some more Horizon-themed happiness in the world!
That picture on the post was also my natural reaction. And yes. You must be M!
WOWOWOW!!! GREAT JOB MAN!!! this is really appreciated!! will totally dive in to all this info when i get the chance!
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.
Correct me if I wrong,but isn’t TAKII@randomc drop Horizon after episode 4 ?
Yup, he dropped it at 4.
and his name is Takaii not takii.
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.
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….