Summary and Impressions
As yet another addition to the list of series I’ll be blogging this season, the second installment of Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon will also be covered in MeepingAnime. However, as its first season didn’t have the same privilege, a brief summary post is required. In it, I’ll make a small recap of the events of the first season. But first and foremost I’ll also address those people who, like me, completely dismissed the possibility of watching it when it first aired, whatever reason they may have had.
When I first saw Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon’s trailer while deciding my Fall 2011 lineup, I completely dismissed it at first sight for one simple thing: the character designs. Almost all the female characters having an oversized bosom is rarely an indicator of a good story, and I am definitely not a fan of ecchi either. Not to mention that combining that with the presence of high tech and mecha made me remind a much hated (by me, that is) recent series – Infinite Stratos. That said, it wasn’t until recently, when I heard some good things about it and asked a fellow blogger – feal87 – if he found it worth watching, that I decided to give it a try. As so, I assure you that Kyoukai Senjou is not one single bit like it – in fact, it is a full-fledged fantasy, with quite a good story, really interesting characters and one of the most in-depth depictions of politics I’ve seen in anime. Fanservice is present, but it’s more visual (with the character designs and all) than it is situational, not to mention it isn’t even that common. The complex setting might also be somewhat confuse, what is a put off for some people, but checking out some information and paying close attention to the episodes should be enough to understand (and enjoy) everything. Don’t let it scare you, or you’ll be missing out on a good series. Also, the second season is a direct continuation of the first one, so if you’re planning on following it, it’s highly advisable to watch the first one beforehand, or you’ll understand nothing at all.
With my intermission and impressions on this series complete, I’ll start this brief recap by the setting, as it is a most important factor. The world of Kyoukai Senjou is supposedly our world in a far distant future. Mankind had once set themselves on a journey to ascend to “the heavens”, yet got caught up in a war amongst themselves and failed in their intent. They then returned to Earth, which was, at that point, inhabitable, save for a small area called the Divine States, which geographically corresponds to Japan (what else would it be). In hopes of once again reaching “the heavens”, humanity started to recreate their steps from a very early stage, believing they’d eventually reach the situation they’d been in before, and hopefully this time not making the mistake of breaking out a war. As a guideline, they use the Testament, a book which has history recorded in it and updates itself every 100 years. For a more detailed of the in-universe history you might want to acquire (and I think it’s rather useful and advisable, albeit not exactly mandatory to do so), check the series’ wiki.
The plot starts in the year of 1648 TE, which corresponds to the recreation of the events that happened in our year of 1648. However, the testament has stopped updating beyond that date, so rumors about the Apocalypse spread throughout the land. The main characters are “students” from Musashi Academy (the word “student” has a very different meaning in the Kyoukai Senjou’s world, students being literally those in charge of their respective countries).
The first season of Koukai Senjou, with 13 episodes, covered a whole of 2 days in in-universe time. In the first, the protagonist, Aoi Toori, who’s the Student Council President and the Chancellor (meaning the higher authority in the Far East), plans on confessing to a girl, or rather an automated doll that had been created with the soul of the girl he had previously loved, Horizon Ariadust, but died in an accident 10 years before. However, things happen and they get caught up in major events that include the destruction of an entire city – Mikawa. Horizon is used as a political scapegoat – considered the sovereign of the destroyed city, thus being held responsible for that night’s happenings. She’s captured by the Testament Union and forced to commit suicide by the next day at 6:00 PM. The situation becomes even more complicated, since upon Mikawa’s annihilation, it is revealed that inside Horizon is one of the Armaments of Deadly Sins (very powerful weapons, that are also said to be the key to avoid the apocalypse), and a very desirable one at that, since it allows control over the others. Toori and the remaining students set out to save Horizon, overcoming bothersome formalities and declaring war on the entire world on the process. They achieve what they set out to do and bring Horizon back to Musashi. The last scene of the season is set almost one month later, as Musashi is attacked by Tres Espanha forces, so I expect the second season (the first episode of which I am going to watch now) to start off from this point. Expect the first impressions in a couple of hours.