Review: Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere

I’ve realized that my posts tend to get pretty wordy, especially for the reviews.  What you really want to get out of these reviews are really, “Should I bother with this show?”  So I’ll be removing the in-depth look on individual Story, Art/Animation, and Sound portion of the reviews for now on.

Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere (Also: Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon) is a rare series to me.  During it’s TV broadcast, I dropped the series 3 episodes in.  Why?  I just could not keep up with what was going on at all.  The pacing is weird at first.  Overall, at least in Season 1, the events that transpire are actually between several days, but borderline about a week.  In the first 3 episodes, we were given the perspective of the same day from 3 different characters.  I honestly just got lost, especially considering there were a number of other shows I had on my watch list.

About a year later, I realize that people on 4chan’s /a/ are still talking about this show.  The airing of the 2nd season, of course, aids this.  But the more and more I saw screenshots, the more I wondered about what I was missing out on.  Additionally, I was wondering why the main male lead was naked without a care in the world in many of these screenshots.  Curiosity was killing me.

Now, for the actual review portion of this post.

An adaptation of the Light Novel series of the same name by Kawakami Minoru, Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere takes place in the distant future.  Humans once abandoned Earth, but have now since returned only to find that the area around Japan is the only hospitable land.  In order to house the entirety of the human population, pocket dimensions are created around Japan to accommodate the populace.  To find a way to return to space with technology they have long forgotten, humanity began reenacting human history according to the Holy Book, “Testament.”  In the year 1413 of the Testament Era, the nations of the pocket dimensions conquer Japan, dividing the territory into feudal fiefdoms.  With no place to call home, the original inhabitants are forced to leave.  Now, in the year 1648 of the Testament Era, the Japanese refugees live on the city airship, “Musashi,” as it travels constantly around Japan.  All while under the watchful eye of the Testament Union, the authority on the history re-enactments.  Rumors of an apocalypse and war spread when the Testament stops revealing the events post-1648.

There really is more to this plot summary.  But for the sake of not having a bigger wall-of-text than I already do, I’ll refrain from going more into it.  Besides, this backstory alone about “re-enacting history” and “unforseeable future of possible war and strife” should be enough to hook you on story.

Besides the story itself, Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere  is full of action and comedy.  Battles are accompanied by interesting magic, styles, and techniques, most I’ve never seen anything like before.  See below for a video on one such battle.  For instance, while not shown in that video, “Shinto Magic” in the series requires a contract and provisions of some sort in order to activate spells of holy power.  The really great funny scenes are always the “did that seriously just happen?” and “that just happened!”-type.  Another video below.  Character interaction is key and the vital entertainment piece of this series.

Story: 8/10

Art/Animation: 9/10

Sound: 9/10

So, should you check this out? Verdict:

– Pros: Very interesting plot. Lovable, fun, large cast of characters.

– Cons: May be confusing at first.  Character design and fanservice may not be suitable to your tastes.

While I give this show high scores overall, this show may not be for everyone, to be quite honest.  Some may be turned off by the fanservice, but this fanservice completely adds character to the cast.

Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere is available now on Hulu (Season 1 & 2) and Season 1 on BD/DVD at retailers.

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