Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon: Those Lined Up Above the Horizon/Final Review

Back with the final episode of the first season of the Fall 2011 series, Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon. Now that Tori and Horizon are reunited, it’s time to book it and get back onboard Musashi.  The Far East ground forces are able to make their retreat from the K.P.A. Italia and the Pope on the airfield, but the captain of the Pope’s airship sets off to stop the escape of Horizon and their lost Deadly Sin Armament. After failing to ram the floating city, all cannons are locked and loaded, ready to blast Musashi out of the sky. It’s up to Horizon to boost the power of Lyte Katarripsi, but she still can’t do it without Tori’s help, thanks to his energy reserve sharing.  Along with decimating the K.P.A. ship, Horizon also regains a part of her original soul, and, for the first time, feels the emotion of sadness. Tori stands gently by her side, promising to recover all of her lost emotions.

The battle isn’t over, or rather, it’s just begun, because now Musashi stands against not only the K.P.A. Italia and Tres Espana, but also the P.A. ODA, who make a surprise visit, to show that Musashi’s stealth shield is useless against them. Bringing a dire warning of the fights to come for the currently festive citizens of Musashi, who are celebrating the safe return of the dear Horizon.  In style, Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon leaves season 1 mid-battle, as Tres Espana forces (more like their baseball team, really) begins an assault on Musashi. But the students aren’t hesitant, and quickly jump into battle to protect their home.

While confusing at first, Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon is finally moving into a forward step plot that explains (or at least recognizes the newness of new things) and shows character development (did you see that? Tori only made a few sexual remarks to Horizon, that’s called self-restraint *jk*).  Supposedly, the original novel included a long preface explain the Horizon universe, as well as the Testament which determines the path of human history and is set to end sometime during the series. This hasn’t been explained (or even touched) in the anime series, so I can understand why a majority of viewers are put off and don’t want to continue. I personally am advocating perseverance, as I feel like, given time, patience will pay off and Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon will be a series you’ll be glad you didn’t miss. Season 2 is slated for Summer 2012, can’t wait.

Until next time,
– BeldenOtaku

(I know, this really isn’t a “Final” review, as there WILL be a second season. But just think of this a final thought on season 1.)

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Fall 2011 Final Review

Back for a final review of the Fall 2011 season. For simplicity sake, I’m dividing this post into “finished” and “continuing” series. Series that have reached a definitive end (even if just for now) and don’t have any rumor of possible continuation, are deemed “finished”, and series like Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon and Guilty Crown, which are most definitely going to be continued, are deemed “continuing”.

For “finished” series, this season I followed Shinryaku!? Ika Musume, Working’!!, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Ben-to, and Tamayura~hitotose.  Shinryaku!?, Working’!!, and Tamayura are all continuations from previous seasons or OAVs, while Boku wa, Ben-to, and  are original premiers.  The more comedic series, Shinryaku!?, Boku wa, and Working’!!, offered a refreshing break in-between more action or character-driven series like Ben-to, and Tamayura.  But that’s not to say the comedies didn’t offer their own substance in way of character development or excitement.  In general, the series I would like to see more of, and think there’s a chance of a continuation are Boku wa Tomodachi ga SukunaiC³and Working’!! (I feel like there’s still room for fresh material to continue the story of the Wagnaria crew).  Ben-to and Tamayura~hitotose both reached logical, definite conclusions, and I’m satisfied with their endings. I’m almost apprehensive of asking for another season of Ben-to, as this may not live up the enjoyment of the first season (but I’m all for more Asebi, so I’d be willing to try it if it did get a second season).  Shinryaku! Ika Musume, while amusing to me, is really a hit-and-miss sort of comedy style, and it’s quite fortunate to have gotten this second season.  I’m not hopeful for a third season, but if the hit-and-miss hits enough people to generate good revenue, enough to justify a third season, more power to them.

(I’m not used to giving ratings, but I’ll see how this goes.) Overall, for “finished” series this Fall 2011 season, I’d give an 8.7 out of 10.  A lot of the series, as stated, are continuations from previous seasons or OAVs, so they bank on previous success.  But there was quite a good bit of excellent new material to give a nice blend of old favorites and fresh series to keep me thoroughly entertained.

 

On to the “continuing” series, Guilty Crown, Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, and Gundam AGE.  Ultimately, the only two I’m eager to see continue are Guilty Crown and Kyoukai Senjou, as they are the only ones to truly not make me cringe 90% of the time.  Guilty Crown was poised to become the next Code Geass, but, as many other blogs will quickly remark, this just wasn’t the case. Ohma Shu is no Lelouch Lamperouge.  But I do admire the unique premise, drawing voids that take on form depending on the owner’s heart is very interesting and I’ve been surprised to the individuality and applications of the voids Shu has so far drawn.  While the main protagonist leaves much to be desired, the 11th episode, marking the halfway point of the series, shows him finally acting the part of the hero. My fingers are crossed that this will continue into the Winter 2012 season.  Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon also broke it’s pre-determined impressions, as many, including myself, spent much of the series wondering what was going on.  While normally this would be considered a minus for a series, Kyoukai Senjou pulls it off in such a fashion that makes me overlook the confusion and enjoy it more so now that everything just seems to be happening in a way that makes me happy to understand.  While this is a confusing idea to some (trust me, I’m still wrapping my head around it), I’m still looking forward to the second season, announced to air in 2012.  Finally, there’s Gundam AGE, my most disappointing series this season.  Not that there’s inherently anything wrong with it, but if you’ve seen other Gundam series such as Gundam 00, Gundam AGE seems to spit in the face of previous success. The character designs are very childish, as is the dialogue, and I’ve never found myself rooting for the bad guys because I can’t stand what they did to the Gundam design.  I’ve really only continued watching because, steadily, AGE is recovering ground inch-by-inch. Supposedly this series is going to span three generations, i.e. Flit’s son and grandchild eventually become the focus. I’m hoping for Flit to leave the cockpit soon, I honestly can’t stand the thought of someone as generally annoying as that child piloting (what is, in my opinion) one of the greatest machines ever imagined.

Rather disappointing “continuing” series, compared what I expected going into Fall 2011.  My rating is a 7.0 out of 10.  Passable because the tail-end of the season sees some remnants of what I hoped for going in.  For Guilty Crowns sake, Shu better man up or shut up, take a lesson from Dan the Man and use some “GUTS!”.   Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon needs to do nothing but continue the great plot movement of the last 4 or so episodes in the first season (I fear the first episode of the second season will be a recap of the first season, if anyone involved with this show is reading, please don’t do this, just jump right back into the story).  Gundam AGE…*sigh* just, stop ruining what I like about the Gundams. If Flit is going to lose, don’t let it be because of something so simple as type-disadvantage.  If Flit is going to whine, let someone else b**** slap him. And if the UE is an alien force, give them a good reason for attacking human colonies (may I suggest reading the Ender’s Game series? very good example of extraterrestrial misunderstanding).

Next season has less in store (for me, anyway) than Fall 2011. I plan on following Kill Me, Baby! and Another for sure. As well as continuing Guilty Crown and Gundam AGE.  There’s a high possibility that I’ll pick up others perhaps a few episodes in if I get good impressions and have the time.

Until next time,
– BeldenOtaku

Additional note, just finished Azusa Nakano’s Speed Draw :3, you can check them out here. Enjoy, and Happy New Year.

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon: Those Who are Joined Beyond the Boundary

Hey minna,
back with another episode of the Fall 2011 series Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon.  Tori has finally reached Horizon, just as Futayo rises from the ashes to take down Muneshige and recovers his Deadly Sin Armament.  The T.U. Pope has totally forgotten about everything except the battle lines on his base, as Neit prepares to fight to buy time for Tori and Horizon, who is still trapped within the Testament Union’s barrier. A barrier that makes whomever comes in contact with it relive their sins, before killing them in their despair.

Convinced the world is better if she were to simply allow her death to proceed, Horizon refuses Tori’s flirtatious offers to come with him back to Musashi.  After seemingly endless back-and-forth, Tori is finally able to reach out to the piece of Horizon that still resides within the automaton.  Convincing her of the love he still has for her, Tori is able to finally make Horizon agree that it’s best for her to leave with him and continue living. But not before Tori accidentally reaches through the shield, taking himself and Horizon back to his greatest sin, the day he caused Horizon’s death….

After coming to understand how each felt for the other after that day, Tori and Horizon agree to continue living together, so they may find the place where their divergent paths overlap.  Now, using Muneshige’s Deadly Sin Armament, the Pope’s defensive field is rendered useless, and Musashi needs to either finish off the Tres Espana and K.P.A. Italia troops, taking the Pope’s Armament with them, or make a hasty retreat to continue collecting the Deadly Sin Armaments from the other Divine Entities before the apocalyptic event that was started by that tower of light in Mikawa.

Personally, I’m glad to see some dynamic plot development, and am willing to overlook the confusing first 8 or 9 episodes if they keep up the pace.  Now that Horizon is rescued, it’s time for Tori to focus on collecting the remaining Deadly Sin Armaments, and Horizon’s stolen emotions as well (for Tori’s sake, let’s hope she becomes more sociable, and less robotic).

Until next time,
– BeldenOtaku

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon: Musashi’s Mr. Impossible

Hey minna,
back with a series that’s finally coming into its own, and a new episode of Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon.  Musashi’s battle to save Horizon is going strong, even though Tori’s army is pinned down. As Masa, piloting her God of War, launches Neit at break-neck speeds towards the battlefield, making mincemeat of the Testament army as she unites with Tori, allowing them to move on to the Testament Union and K.P.A. Italia’s forward base, where they are holding Horizon.

Just as the armies make contact, Pope President Innocentius of the Testament Union unveils his Armament of Deadly Sins, the lust armor, Stasis Porneia.  Using Stasis Porneia, the Pope is able to render the Far East’s offensive weapons useless, as it has the ability to stop anything it considers an enemy within a 3 kilometer radius, even punches and kicks lose momentum once they make contact.   But never fear, for Tori has unbeatable happiness to power their offense, literally.  As viceroy of Musashi, Tori has access to 1/4 of the city’s ether supply, and using a contract through the Asami shrine, Tori makes himself a conduit through which his army can receive unlimited external energy to power their fighting, despite Stasis Porneai’s effects.  Even the need to sacrifice is nullified, so long as Tori remains happy, but it comes at a cost…Tori’s life is not staked in his happiness.

While Musashi now has power to stand up against the K.P.A. Italia’s top-notch forces, but Stasis Porneai’s effect still in place, they can’t quite get the strength to break through.  Until  Masazumi debuts on the scene to challenge the Pope President to a duel, using his short temper to their advantage.  The Pope accepts and drops Stasis Porneai’s field to rush to his fight with Masazumi, even though it was just a ruse to get him off the battlefield.

Now the real fighting begins, as Noriki and Kiyonari take down Galileo of the K.P.A. Italia, and Futayo takes on Muneshige of the Tres Espana and his Armament of Deadly Sin.  Armed with her father’s prototype armament, Slicing Dragonfly, Futayo puts up a good fight, but Muneshige’s experience fighting her father gave him the knowledge to render her weapon’s special ability useless.  With Futayo down for the count, Muneshige prepares to fire his Lypee Katarrispi at Musashi, giving them an ultimatum, evacuate and live, or stay, and be unable to defend Horizon if rescued, without being able to leave dock, Musashi will be a sitting duck to Testament forces.

Finally, everything comes together to produce a battle that lives up the expectations I had going into Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon.  It only took 3/4 of the season to get there… Now I look at the big questions, does Musashi have a contingency to face the Lypee Katarrispi? How do they keep the Pope President from re-lauching Stasis Porneia’s effect?  And what about that bullet-hole like thing that appeared in Horizon’s book? Is something else happening?

Until next time,
– BeldenOtaku

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon: The Trumpeter at the Start Line

Hey minna,
back with Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, where the action is finally living up to my expectations, and, for once, they explain the things I don’t know! Although, in my opinion, it’s a little late to start a serious sequence of events, I’m letting it slide because it’s shaping up to be quite an epic battle.

With Neshinbara at the helm of the Musashi offensive, Tori leads the ground forces in their rescue operation.  Facing with the K.P.A. Italia and Tres Espana “fortress”, all the Testament Union has to do is hold off Tori’s assault until Horizon commits suicide.  Not at all daunted by this measure, Tori rushes into battle, literally.  Thanks to Adele’s retro-armor, they successfully stand against the defending pillar’s armaments.

Meanwhile, Musashi defends against the Tres Espana’s air forces, who bombard the city’s defenses, only to be pushed back by Lady Musashi and Asama’s defense and counter-attacks. After the Tres Espana airship launches one of its God of War machines, it’s up to Margot and Malga to protect the skies. Touch and go, the witch couple pull it through in the end with some encouragement from friends back home.

Back to the ground forces, who aren’t making as much progress, but still holding their own. Until Testament Forces start rushing onto the field and the “Fortress” splits Tori’s army in two, but all is not lost.  Rising over the horizon, Mitsotsudaira, riding atop Nao’s God of War, nearing the battlefield after launching from Musashi and flying through now clear airspace.

Finally, what I’ve been hoping for in Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon since the beginning, too bad it’s close to ending…but with battles and fighting this great (not to mention they’re taking time to explain a few things now), I find it hard to complain yet.

Until next time,
– BeldenOtaku

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon: The Summit’s Flower

Hey minna,
back with a series that I’m glad I can finally make sense of, Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon.  With the decision as to whether or not Musashi will take on the Testament Union in its goal to bring together the Deadly Sin Armaments and save Horizon standing at 1 win, 1 lose, and 1 tie.  The King of Musashi declares that the best way to decide this, is with a fight. The students take on Futayo Honda, captain of the guard, winner decides the fate of Musashi.

So, I think I’ve figured out the point of these first 9 episodes, they’ve introduced the entire cast, the background information happened before our eyes, and they’ve kinda shown what these fighters can do.  But I’m still left wondering, what’s with all the in-fighting? I’m really revved up for some real fights that will actually decide stuff.

After Kimi takes down Futayo Honda with some eroctic dancing, the stage is finally set. It’s been decided officially that the King of Musashi will appoint Toori and Masazumi as viceroys of Musashi, until such a time Toori can be properly declared king.  Does this mean the prologue is complete?…I certainly hope so.

Until next time,
– BeldenOtaku

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon: Ruler of the Land

Hey minna,
back with the action series I’m glad I didn’t drop, Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon.  Aoi left us speechless last week when he suggested that they just give up trying to save Horizon…It was a part of his plan, he knew he couldn’t beat Masazumi in a debate, so he turned the tables and made her debate for the side of saving Horizon.

Deep down, she really wanted to, she only needed some convincing, and who better than the best debater in the school, Masazumi, herself. She addresses all the issues, the politics of raising the Far East as an independent power as well as concern of how, if so, Musashi should fight the Testament Union, including their moral for doing so.

There is a legitimate cause for saving Horizon Ariadust.  There is no need for her to take responsibility as the ruler of Mikawa. Last night, Lord Motonobu died while obliterating Mikawa.  But his death isn’t being treated as suicide so his responsibility has shifted to his heir. However, Horizon wasn’t his heiress when Lord Motonobu died…Horizon Ariadust does not remember her past and has been living as a citizen of Musashi. So, she was in no way responsible for the destruction of Mikawa.  If they make her responsible for something she had no part in, then the Testament Union would have appointed someone else as heir and ordered them to commit suicide if Horizon Ariadust wasn’t around. They’re conveniently taking advantage of recreating history to execute someone.

This has Masazumi fired up to lead Musashi to go and rescue Horizon, even gaining the approval of the city’s citizens. Until the Papal President of the Testament Union’s KPA Italia starts a debate with Masazumi, in order to destroy her image and put down any thoughts of rebellion.  The Testament Union doesn’t wish for Horizon to live, because they see her as the OS for a collection of WMDs that the Lord of Mikawa was planning to amass for the use of the Far East, and any apocalypse that occurs is merely according to the recreation of history according to the Testament. Likewise, Masazumi claims that Musashi would be in the right to establish the Far East as an independent power to collect the Deadly Sins Armaments and prevent the coming apocalypse, in turn, returning to Horizon the emotions that were stolen from her to create the Deadly Sins Armaments.

Despite the President’s aim to ruin Masazumi’s image by revealing her secret and portraying her as liar, Aoi rises to the occasion, to show that all that matters is Masazumi is the only one with answers, it shouldn’t matter what she decides to hide, she’s the only one with a solution that saves Horizon’s life as well as the fate of Musashi.

Now, Musashi begins its preparations, not for war, but for an international cooperation to collect the Deadly Sins Armaments, stop the apocalypse, and save Horizon, even if that means fighting the Testament Union to do so. But first, the students must deal with Vice President of the Testament Union’s KPA Italia, Galileo, and his Deadly Sin Armor, Staseis Porneia, and it’s ability to “renounce and play with any power it touches”. Luckily, Futayo Honda from the Mikawa Guard arrives to help out, she seems more than a match for Galileo, especially armed with her fathers blade that brought down a Deadly Sin Armor before the destruction of Mikawa. What’s to be the fate of Musashi now? Horizon is set for suicide, and it’s up to the demilitarized Far East to collect the Deadly Sin Armaments, or face apocalypse.

Until next time
– BeldenOtaku