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DVD Review

DVD cover

Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere
Series 2


Starring (voice): Jun Fukuyama, Minori Chihara, Ai Matayoshi and Ami Koshimizu
Distributor: Manga Entertainment
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 21 October 2013

When mankind tried to leave the planet, they found that this was not possible. Returning to Earth they find the only place left to live is Japan. With too many people to accommodate pocket universes are created around Japan and humanity starts to re-enact their own history in an attempt to find a way back into space. After a successful, historical invasion of Japan, its inhabitants retreat to a floating city, Musashi, which sets them against the Testament Union, the group who are overseeing the historical reconstruction...

Don’t know about you, but I’m lost already...

Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere (2012 - 13 episodes) is a science fiction show, directed by Manabu Ono, from a Tatsuhiko Urahata script. The show is an adaptation of Minoru Kawakami’s light novel.

My best advice, if you’re going to watch the show, is don’t start with season two. Not having watched season one I had no idea what was going on. Episode one was like some kind of surreal experience with over amply endowed young women talking about sex, when they obviously didn’t know what it meant, and fights breaking out for no explained reason.

Opening the show's premise up to both alternative universes and re-enacting timeline means that the series can introduce almost anyone, although the main action happens in the alternative seventeenth century, so we get warped versions of historical characters like Thomas Shakespeare et al.

The main action revolves around Tori Aoi, President of the Student Council, who decides to lead his fellow classmates in revolt. The reality is that the show is nothing short of an assault on the senses. Now some of this may have made some sense if you have seen the first series, but I suspect that the first season was probably as full on as this one.

The show seems to be trying to cram more story and information than other anime’s get through in four seasons. And this is a major failing as it may keep fans of the original material happy, but the average viewer is going to be very confused. It does slow down about half way through, before the pace is picked up for the finale.

If the narrative is confusing the presentation of the show is just fine. Presented with a 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer, the show looks great with sharp picture and vibrant colours. For audio your get the options of either the original Japanese 2.0, with subtitles or the English dub 2.0.

There is a good level of extras on disc two with Horizon Teasers (2 min, 54 sec) which just consist of shots from the show. Horizon BD Commercials (34 sec) and as this is the DVD version the two on offer are fairly pointless from the perspective of quality, unless you really love adverts.

You get the Textless opening and closing sequences as well as the Far East Lightening Lecture #2 (7 min, 17 sec) it’s a Q&A presented like an old style role playing game, with the text appearing in little boxes. You also get #3 (7 min, 42 sec) and #4 (10 min, 37 sec). Rather than be more illuminated about the show, I think I walked away even more confused.

In the end the show is great to look at, but confusing as hell.


Charles Packer

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