Ash here. I’m back again with another set of Afterwords that rounds of most of my missed seasons. For the new season, besides Maou, I’m having Xewleer do most of the AAA shows in an effort to have him post more. I’m in my last semester of college as well, unless I go for a Masters, and I think I need the extra time to focus myself. School starts on the 14th and I’m a bit nervous about it, but otherwise calm. Hope this new year has been good to people thus far, I certainly have been enjoying both good and bad times.

Well that wraps up a bit of rambling I wanted to start with. Horizon has been one of those series that I adore because of how it builds itself. At first glance, you think it’s not that special, but only by giving a careful study, do you realize its brilliance and greatness. Onward to the season 2 afterword!

Taking advantage of the opportunity that the Mikawa Conflict provides, Tori and his comrades attempt to rescue Horizon from the Testament Union. But even as the Floating City Musashi speeds towards its next destination, the Floating Island England, Tres España is preparing its own armada for war against the British Islanders. Now, as the quest of Horizon’s emotions builds to its climax, Tori’s new battle is about to begin in the land ruled by the Fairy Queen! The reenactment of the history described in the mysterious Testament continues as the secret of the Armor of Deadly Sins is unleashed in the spectacular second season of Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere!

Horizon is my ideal fantasy. In truth, what I mean is that the books are my ideal, as they contain all the minute details that I absolutely adore in world building. This doesn’t mean that I think much less of the anime, as I’ll proudly state that Sunrise did a magnificent job at adapting the series into the constraints that they have. Season 2 brings the return of everything the first season had, without having to spend four episodes leading us into it and with all the characters from Season 1 still there to have fun with once again.

Perhaps my favorite part of this season was the change in focus. Rather than stay firmly fixed on Horizon and Toori, the series has enough confidence in its entire cast to give the limelight to others, to let Neshinbara and Malga and Tenzou (among others) have some time to shine.  This had the effect of having all the excitement of the first season, almost like we were starting fresh, while still having all the old plots there and moving and pushing us forward. This is how it was able to hit climax after climax without the effect diminishing, and with each standing on its own and thrilling us (or not) by its own merits. I have said before that this show has several “normal” shows worth of plot all woven together, and it does, and I think that’s a tremendous way to tell a story when you can pull it off.

The central focus this season is the Musashi trying to get England to join its side while Tres Espana is itching to wring their necks. The main plot brilliantly shines in the anime because it was able to incorporate the three main appeals of the anime. As I said before, the anime is complex. There are three main elements that make the anime really enjoyable. The first is obviously the use of the side characters and their subplots. The second one is the action sequences. There are a lot of action scenes in the anime ranging from simple melee fights with weapons and other awesome things (like using money as a weapon or magic) to aerial fights with giant robots and ships. The last element of the anime is the dialogue. The anime has a lot of dialogues and most of them are political. Some of the most memorable scenes in the anime occur when the characters debate. The pacing of these political talks is like a very intricate chess game that you just can’t help but pay attention to. Seeing the characters argue, convince their opponent, and then the opponent suddenly has a counter argument, is a sequence that has become one of the many charms of this series. Magnificently  the plot was able to incorporate all of these elements and keep them nicely balanced. When you realize that the main plot has a lot of parts to it before even incorporating the sub-plots; it’s really amazing how the anime was able to keep the pace steady and the individual components balanced.

Undoubtedly the most central characters of the season, Tenzou  and Mary Stuart took over the roles played by Toori and Horizon in season one. The difference of course being that they met pretty much entirely by accident, unlike the long history Toori and Horizon have. That being said, its easily the best developing (as opposed to established) romance in the series. Every scene of the two together was absolutely delightful. Perhaps the best being the one of them in the hot springs together, when they discuss each others scars, and what the meaning of being “scarred” is. The parallelism between Mary Stuart and Horizon in the first season is important, and in fact the meaning was laid bare during Masazumi’s negotiations with Elizabeth. Musashi has declared that it will no longer allow people to die for History Recreation, especially not in the way Horizon and Mary were set to die. Tenzou’s quest to save Mary wasn’t just a hero come to rescue the girl, but it was about Tenzou convincing Mary that there was someone who loved her, and that she should live. It was very similar to what Toori did with Horizon, only with fewer metaphors and more ninja antics.

It’s amazing how well Horizon SII handles itself despite probably having some of the biggest compression ratios of pages:airtime. Not to mention they’ve probably introduced at least 40-50 new characters with this season. And still you can actually remember who’s who easily just by thinking of their special traits.

Kawakami-sensei has proven once again that he can, and Sunrise that they can continue to do the impossible and adapt a series that’s so complex it has no right being on the screen. It may not be for everyone at first, but if you put in the time then it’s one of the most rewarding shows you can possibly watch. It’s a true treat.

Horizon has always been a bit of a polarizing series, one that people either love or hate. That’s why, though to me it has always been the height of High Fantasy, one of the kings of the fantasy genre.

With that said and my own inherent bias towards this series present,

I proudly give Horizon Season II a 100/100.

A perfect series.

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