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Horizon Post Mortem

A few months ago I watched Kyoukaisenjou no Horizon II with a hearty group of friends. Some of them are my fellow O-New laureates, while others you may be more familiar with from the Classiest Anime. Needless to say, this was a group of some of the beast minds in the anisphere. And yet, Horizon was too much.

Horizon's Plot

It is not that Horizon is too good, nor is it too bad. It is not too complicated and the characters are not too simple (though this last point is debatable). The animation isn’t too bad, nor is it very good. Ultimately, Horizon is an unbearable series because it is not particularly good at anything except infodumps and shiny boobs.

The biggest criticism that I heard about Horizon is that it’s impossible to follow. I found this to be completely untrue. I didn’t watch the first season, yet I was able to acclimate myself to many of the characters and plots after a few episodes. In fact, I almost immediately recognized the historical significance of the reenactments shown during the first few episodes of this season. I wish I could continue to credit the show for its unique take on history, but as the season dragged on it was clear that even a loose interpretation of history would not fit and this would turn into another failure. The plots were similar. Sure, I could follow along… but the more I did the more I longed for those fleeting moments when I was lost and the show seemed to be a barrage of nonsense. Understanding this show is suffering, because the interwoven plot is full of stupidity and it’s nearly impossible to care about anyone.

Are there mitigating factors? Sure. There’s so much crap in this show that everyone is bound to find at least one character, character trait, story line, or gimmick that they’ll like. I was particularly fond of Margot Knight, she was upbeat and she never opened her eyes. She also had a crazy flying broom gun thing that makes me think of the Mega Maid for no good reason. There’s also the fact that so few things were as bad as they could’ve been. This show flirted with greatness and with terribad, yet it fails at everything it attempts.

That’s the rub. This show is so unremarkable in every way. It’s also incredibly ambitious even though it is a failure. Thinking of the possibilities had the show had a better foundation or better execution makes me sad. I can enjoy shows that are unabashedly bad. I can enjoy shows that are complex to the point of pretension. I cannot enjoy a show that’s only memorable for failing, and that’s the only thing that truly stands out about Horizon.

7 responses

  1. The Kenosha Kid

    I saw a few minutes of a few episodes and couldn’t stand watching it, and that’s pretty damn rare for me, but it felt too damn sloppy and lazy. I don’t really read any fanfiction because most of what I’ve been exposed to has a rather annoying style—as though the writer felt in such a rush to get their story out there that they forgot to take the time to tell it. I’m sure there’s good fanfic out there, but I felt something similar with Horizon. It seemed to have a story to tell, but to be rather uninterested in telling it in any sort of meaningful way.

    And that’s a damn shame! If there is a good story in there (a definite if, and one I’m not sure I’m willing to dedicate enough of my time to finding out), then it would be really nice for it to get a telling that does it justice.

    But I agree on the terribad thing. To continue the metaphor, this wasn’t even My Immortal or something like that, a spectacularly fun, quotable failure that has a sort of genius in its badness. It was just bland to me in its badness, and while there’ve been a decent number of people who’ve been willing to pick this show apart for fun, that could (I think) be done just as effectively to, say, OniAi or Sengoku Collection or any number of forgettable anime. The idea of Horizon being in the ridiculously terribad tier strikes me as a cultural thing rather than something in the show itself, and that’ll make it plenty forgettable in the long run. Which is really sort of sad and depressing; I like for anime to be memorable even if it means it has to be terrible. I don’t rejoice in an anime’s badness unless it is bad enough to be good again. (Keep in mind that I’ve watched probably ten or fifteen minutes at most of any of these shows I’ve namechecked so if my opinion on any of them is way, way off then I would love to be enlightened—whether they’re memorably bad or memorably good.)

    2012/11/29 at 02:43

  2. I am a person with giant shiny boobs and I am not ashamed of this post.

    2012/11/29 at 10:31

  3. The Kenosha Kid

    I don’t know how the fuck her nipples stay hidden in that little whatever-she’s-wearing. I’ve spent a couple minutes staring at it (and not for the usual reason that one would stare at a picture of breasts) trying to figure it out, because it unnerves the hell outta me (not a good thing for boobies to do in general). I’m not going to go do the [ahem] research to verify this, but my gut reaction is that it has got to be impossible. Physically, anatomically, whatever. Impossible.

    2012/11/29 at 20:48

  4. redball

    There are a couple decent stories going on in Horizon. The problem is that those stories are hardly worth digging out of the crap they’re buried in. Plus, the director is too busy trying to keep up with the side stories to give the main one proper attention.

    2012/11/30 at 02:47

  5. Have you ever consider the fact that these might not be boobs,but aliens instead?

    2012/11/30 at 12:08

  6. The Kenosha Kid

    Oooh! I’ve got it! They’re bald Tribbles!

    I mean, if somebody gave me a couple of Tribbles, I’d stuff ’em down my shirt too—bald or no.

    2012/11/30 at 22:45

  7. giant space laser beam censors are also impossible but they drive BD sales :D

    2012/12/07 at 03:45