Story & Characters
Cyanide Blizzard (Cy) : Aoi Toori is in a bit of a bind... oh you know what, I
can't do this. Matter of fact, I'm going to need some help with this review. Distortion, are you up for the task?
I must warn you, this will be a dangerous journey that might result in a lengthy review that could rival
RedLetterMedia's style of reviewing!
Distortion (Dist) : Sir, yes sir!
Oh... OH GOD! This is... is, this should not be seen by mortal men. Also I hate you. I don't mean just you, Cy, I mean
you reading this, you who watched this, and you who created this anime. Soooo, let's just get this over with.
The plot, if it can be called that, is quite a simple story told in the most backwards, god awful way I have ever seen
in my life.
Now if you were to go strictly by what the anime shows and tells you the world of Horizon has two(?) main factions. By
the way people, get used to question marks behind statements because I'm not sure on half the crap in this show, and I
refuse to do any more research than I have already.
Those factions are the Far East, and the Testament Order. Both live on Earth but due to most of Earth being unable to
handle life anymore, they have created a pocket dimension where the Testament Order resides. The Order also follows some
bible they believe tells the future, and they should follow this book to a tee to prevent some doomsday. There are also
some weapons call the Armaments of Sin that have powers beyond anything else in both worlds. Currently the Order holds
all these weapons for safe keeping so they would not fall into the wrong hands. This does not prevent them from USING
these supposed doomsday weapons in battle though. If this sounds like I am rambling about some small detail in the
anime, trust me this show revolves around these unexplained, nonsensical tools of death for over half the episodes.
Oh, and it should be said that the history of this universe: humans left for space. Humans came back. Found Earth to be
in need of some T.L.C. Decided that was too much work and decided to kick it over in Japan, the only country that was
fairly untouched. Too many people. Made pocket dimension. Also Far East = original Japanese people, Testament Order =
You're up Cy, and I loathe you.
Cy : You know you're enjoying yourself, Distortion
The worst part about Distortion's bit, is Horizon wants to throw a lot of information at you and some of the time, it's
done so quickly and mixed in with so many other things that you actually end up not absorbing everything the show has to
offer. Horizon definitely has a story to tell, but it ends up tripping over itself trying to tell you everything and
the end result is how both Distortion and myself ended, completely confused.
This starts off the biggest problem I found with Horizon is that I never knew what exactly was going on. Accumulating
from the first episode all the way to the last, there wasn't a single episode where I wasn't scratching my head, or
re-watching a scene in order to try and process what exactly happened. This comes from a combination of poor narrative,
or simply throwing in too many plot points at once and not properly developing them. Horizon finds itself in a
situation where the show demands that you have an understanding of the universe in order to be able to actually follow
along with the show.
However, this isn't the biggest problem. Far from it, in fact. The biggest problem is our main hero that the story
revolves around, Aoi Toori, is absolutely detestable. It's not so much that he's a terrible character, but rather he's
completely unlikable pervert who has absolutely no redeeming qualities or anything that would make the audience root for
This might sound a bit harsh, but as the show progresses it becomes very apparent that there is no reason that we should
care to witness what Aoi plans on doing, what he is doing, who he's molesting or what plans he has. Mostly because Aoi
doesn't have any plans or desires except to find Horizon, have sexual intercourse with her and play eroge. Normally, a
hero wanting to rescue the heroine would push the audience to like him and relate, but the problem is Aoi doesn't work
towards any of this. All of this is accomplished by his classmates, which is the second problem with the characters in
this anime. Although I really shouldn't say his classmates as I should say a select portion of the class.
Distortion, you want to have a go at this?
Dist : Oh yeah, yeah I get it hand this portion over to me, you bloody donkey!
I don't know what to say about these characters, I really don't. They are some of the most stereotypical characters I
have ever seen. Why is there a blob/poring from Ragnarok Online there? And it talks, fantastic! Why is there an
“incubus” there? I put quotes around incubus, since that's what he refers to himself as but he is built like a ken
doll, and yes you get to see him naked...all the time. What is the point of the racial stereotype Indian guy? Who has
only one line in the show, and it's to randomly ask if anyone wants a plate of curry?
And that's just three of the characters in one class. So you can understand why I do not have ounce of caring for anyone
in this class. If you want to know who the others are, let's run down the cliché line real quick, and remember this is
just the class, not the random characters that are introduced outside of it.
Aoi's perverted sister, who has giant tits, of course. The quite girl, with a small chest, and hair over her eyes. The
fat otaku who has a lolita complex. The ninja character, who is a pervert. Some talking mech who has no name. The takes
crap from no one, big breasted woman, that works in the garage, engineering, wielding, take your pick, that is always
smoking but this time has an allen wrench in her mouth even though it's gotta be hard on the teeth and taste awful.
The student council vice president, who has to clean up after the president as if the president were a child that had
not been potty trained, here's a hint Aoi probably hasn't been.
That shrine chick that has a crush on Aoi, and of course giant tits. The drunken teacher or as I call her Misato from
Evangelion, except without the depth, so she's just a drunken teacher who just sits on the sidelines after
And some ultra serious guy that cares only for money, there are somewhere between five or six more people in just this
class I am forgetting.
The show wants you to think everyone of these characters are important, or have been designed for a reason, but they
aren't. The only reason they have been designed this way is to attract attention, or for fan service, that's it. The
reason is as shallow as you can get, but it's also the oldest, and from what I have seen from viewer response, it
worked. Feel ashamed, all of you!
There is one last character I want to mention, some crazy old guy that replaced his entire staff with robot maids. He's
some big shot corporation head, or house head? I don't know, point is they allude to him for three episodes, when he
finally does show up in the flesh, it's to throw some weird shrine festival/parade, with the robot maids and then blow
them, him and everything around him up. Fantastic. It was pretty pointless, but it sums up the show perfectly.
Should we move on to the design/art, and music? Cause if we continue on every character in the show, this review would
never end. Yes, people there is not one, NOT ONE, character in this show I can not complain about.
Get this thing moving Cy!
Cy : Sorry Dist, but I'm going to break this down a bit further and explain why
this show is getting the rating it did. Hit me up with a beat!
The biggest problem with the characters is as Distortion mentioned. The class at Musashi, and for some reason it's only
this class and not the entire school, seem to play a prominent role in the story. So much so that the show itself
dictates that they actually have enough political power to rival the king. This would be fine, but the problem is the
cast isn't properly developed. Save for a decent handful of characters, the rest aren't properly developed and some are
even nameless. There's a guy that looks like a girl who is apparently some prince(?), a girl confined to a wheelchair
and a ghost. What importance do they serve? Hell if anyone knows, but they are featured throughout the series and do
absolutely nothing for the plot, despite the fact that they are treated as important characters and that we should care
about what's going on with them.
Problems like these occur throughout the show, and then we get to the pacing of the show.
Horizon is built upon the concept of having care-free days built up to a conflict, but the show doesn't exactly grasp
the right concept upon how to execute it. The first half, while coming across as a nightmare in terms of plot delivery
and character development, actually came across as more depressing and dreary instead of light-hearted and during the
conflict, which takes place in the latter half of the show, actually came across as insulting due to the sheer amount of
forced comedic scenes. Generally speaking, when people are dying and a huge conflict is at hand, comedy is fine here
and there but Horizon felt the need to over-do this aspect and instead the audience is left with the feeling that
there's no depth to what's happening. Instantly, all tension is lost when one of the big muscle guys, who is never
given a name, picks up one of the classmates named Adele, who is in a suit of armor, and carries her across the battle
field, using her as a shield. I applaud them for trying something different in an attempt to keep the show light
hearted, but in order for people to get invested in something, we need a reason to care. If the show doesn't care, then
neither do we.
That, ultimately is Horizon's biggest problem. It doesn't seem like Sunrise really knew what they wanted this show to
be and instead tried to make it appeal to everyone, which resulted in probably one of the biggest messes I have ever
seen before. I think we both can agree that, ultimately, Horizon had a great deal of potential to tell us an
interesting tale with a main character that grew as the story progressed with a heart-felt conflict to save a childhood
friend. Unfortunately for Horizon, the story and characters end up getting in the way of that along with the fact that
the majority of the show just is not properly explained for those who know nothing about the Horizon series.
Cy : Art is where Horizon truly shines. As previously mentioned in the story
section, Sunrise worked on this anime and it's very apparent that they did. Battles are absolutely stunning, and
visuals do have a pop to them. Background scenery, for the majority, is actually rather nice to look at and the world,
it's technology and magic, are actually rather interesting as well. There is no doubt that there was a decent budget
for this show and they made sure to put as much of it as possible towards the art itself.
However, art becomes a double edged sword. The show truly shines when battles happen, but the problem is battles are
few and far between. The show also takes the tendency to represent a platoon of soldiers with the same generic solider.
Since the majority of the show is also spent discussing things, there isn't exactly a lot that needs to be animated.
It certainly isn't Sunrise's strongest work when it comes to animation, but it does fair rather nicely overall. The
biggest hurdle being if you can get past the character design, which seems to be the most universal flaw I've noticed in
my research of the series.
Dist : I have to agree with Cy here, the art is great on characters and on
The problem comes when the story is plodding along like usual and we have these bland, vague backgrounds that give us no
insight into where we are, what is going on and are fairly generic. Here's a question for those that have seen the last
or second to last episode, did they literally just park 50 feet from the execution site? Which seems to be on a giant
gravel or dirt clearing, right outside a forest.
The other problem I have is the character art/design or just angle choices. Yes I said the character art was good, and
it is, every character that is a focus is bright, grabs your attention, and you could pick them out of a crowd. Now
let's talk the crap. Every female character in this series suffers. There is not one, not a single one female that is
not exploited for fan service. Every time a female is one screen it is a shot of ass, cleavage, or both. Which is
another question, why are the male uniforms nice robe looking things, while the females seem to have to where skin tight
latex, that looks very uncomfortable around the crotch region?
The more I look at this the more I hate it, and the more it looks like the entire staff that made this are trolling it's
viewers. Let's just go to the sound section, which will probably be the highest rated. Do it Cy!
Cy : Thanks for hitting me up, Dist! However.. I really don't have too much to
say about sound. The soundtrack itself is mostly forgettable on the whole. Sadly, nothing in the show really stands
out in terms of music and while battle music is climatic and epic, there isn't anything that truly sets itself apart as
a must have. The best way I can describe the music as simply background noise to the vocals. With that in mind, how do
the vocals fair against everything else?
Well, not so good. I want to establish right away that I did not hate the VA work. It's evident that a deal of effort
was put into it and there were attempts to do the best they could with what they were working with, but unfortunately
the vocals fall into the same category as the music does.
Jun Fukuyama (Most notable for voicing Lelouche in Code Geass and Kimihiro Watanuki from xxxHoLiC, most recently he
voiced Yukio Okumura from Ao no Exorcist) voices Aoi Toori, and for the first time I find myself at a loss on how to
comment on his work. Aoi Toori, vocally, comes across as a bit of a creeper and a weirdo, and while I'd like to believe
that this is simply the direction that Mr. Fukuyama was given, I cannot say since I don't have any knowledge on this
part. Sadly, the rest of Horzion is a mixture of veteran VAs, with Minori Chihara voicing Horizon Ariadust, Masazumi
Honda being voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro and Yu Kobayashi lending her unique vocal talents to voice Futayo Honda. While
there is a rather large and diverse cast, I cannot honestly say that one VA really pulled me into the show or really
broke away with an outstanding performance.
It seems to be a constant theme in this show, that despite the pedigree in both the art and sound, nothing really stands
out above the crowd as unique or memorable, nor does anything really help pull the show back up from the characters or
However, that's my take on it. Distortion, how do you feel about the sound?
Dist : I have to completely agree with you on the sound, every piece of music was
just there in the background. There was one or two times that I thought the music was actually very good, and fit the
situation. Though if you were to ask me what the music was and where I would not be able to tell you.
I have to disagree with you on the voice acting, while it was not horrible it was would very bland to me. Though every
time Aoi spoke it was like he was trying to rape my eardrums.
Dist : It can't be said enough that I hate this anime. I hate the story. I hate
the characters. I hate the fact that anyone would think this is acceptable entertainment. I hate that this was ever
created, and the fact that it exists is reason enough for humanity to feel ashamed.
If I had to list something that was decent in this show, it would be episodes four and five. Since those two showed the
most potential for a good show. Though this was immediately squandered.
If I had to pick one thing I truly loathed in this pile of filth, is the characters. All of them. Every last thing about
them, the design choices for the females, the characters that we are introduced to that are never used, mentioned or
barely seen again.
Not to mention the incoherent babble that these characters spew, as if you are to automatically know the technology, how
it works, and what is going on politically.
I'm done, I hope this series rots in the deepest pits of hell to be forgotten for all time.
Cy! Enlighten the people, I'm going to go grab my medicine to stop twitching.
Cy : Well Distortion, you want to know my thoughts on Horizon? Give me a few
paragraphs and I'll sum it all up.
Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere is truly like nothing I have ever viewed before. It's got a great line up of voice
actors/actresses, a talented studio behind the animating of, and a light novel backing it up with a story. Yet within
all of this, Horizon actually ends up as the worst anime I have ever viewed, and it bothers me to say this because
within everything that these thirteen episodes offered, there was potential for a great show to emerge.
Hands down, if I had to pick my favorite part of the show it would fall under the transitional change in the second half
to the war. This was truly the only part of the show where I didn't feel like I was forcing myself to watch it, and
expressed some interest in. While it definitely was better structured and developed than the first half, it still
carried over the existing problems and sadly ended on probably one of the laziest endings I have ever viewed.
Which brings me to my least favorite part. In order to avoid spoilers, I will try to talk about it as minimally as
possible, but it involves the last episode and the part with Horizon and Aoi. This is by far the most convoluted,
mind-numbing and far too lengthy segment I have ever seen. Hands down, this part alone is one of the most confusing and
illogical sequences I have ever viewed.
I don't mean to berate Horizon for what it is. As previously mentioned throughout the review, I really wanted to like
this show, but after viewing this I'm not sure what exactly happened. The only thing I can do is recommend to stay very
far away from this show. The most unlikable main character I have ever encountered, alongside a cast that is never
properly developed, in a story that's poorly transitioned and told. I'm curious to know how the light novels are in
To each their own, but tell a friend, a loved one, or tell the world. Just make sure that everyone knows what they'll
be getting into should they dare venture this path.
1.83 (very poor)
Reviewed by Distortion, Jan 23, 2012