With both the current school semester and anime season coming to an end, as well as two of the shows I’m watching with it, I decided that I needed a new show to watch. I’m not sure what I want to watch, but I’ve had a few different anime sitting around in my queue for a while. Decided it was finally time to give them their fair shot and what follows is my thoughts on various first episodes. Because anime is produced in so vast a quantity, they’re not shows I give a ton of chances to. With tokusatsu, you’re limited to two tokusatsu most of the time, with anime you have somewhere around 20 new shows a season. Because of this vast quantity, I’m only giving these shows one episode to appeal and motivate me to watch more. I’ll be giving the best three a greater look and I’ll watch each of those for a further episode, and then three becomes two, and then two becomes one.
Enough of my yammering on, here are the shows I gave a shot!
Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere
「境界線前の整列者達」 Kyoukaisen Mae no Seiretsu Monotachi
Those Lined Up Before the Horizon
The first show I tried out was Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere. I’ve heard some good stuff about the show and figured it would be an interesting watch thanks its bizarre set up. Long story short, humans tried to leave Earth behind because it was dying, but something prevented them from venturing too far into space. When they return to Earth, Japan is the only hospitable country on earth. In order to house every human on Earth, pocket dimensions are created for different parts of the race. Humans are now reenacting history in order to find a way to leave Earth once and for all. The series picks up around the 1600s of the reenactment when factions from the pocket dimension have grown tired of waiting and, when the book they use to guide their historical map ceases to provide information after a certain day, believe the efforts to be futile and begin their attempt on conquering Japan.
Okay, a little convoluted. If humans can created pocket dimensions, why not just live there instead of going out to earth? And instead of reliving all of history, why not spend that time doing something to figure out what’s keeping humans from going deep into space? It’s weird. I like the concept, but the execution is all off. We don’t even learn any of this until the final minute of the episodes, thanks to the narrator giving us an info dump. I don’t mind slow stories when I like the characters, normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but…
I didn’t like any of the characters. Not a single one. Even though the series is a scant 13 episodes, I don’t see myself sitting here and caring about any of them. They’re portrayed as a hyperactive bunch of lunatics with no real rhyme or reason to what they do. Again, this is probably the story’s fault for not introducing us more to itself within the first episode, but because of that, I don’t care about anything that’s happening here. We’re introduced to a character named Aoi Tori towards the end of the episode, he’s the head of a certain school and we’re meant to feel sympathetic for him as he’s going to ask out a dead girl on a date ten years after her death. This same guy just felt up one of his teachers moments before revealing this. It’s all played for laughs and I didn’t find it funny at all, I didn’t find anything in this show funny.
Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere strikes me as a show that delves into a world with an overly comical tone so that, when the story decides to escalate and become grim, you’ll feel sympathy for the characters. That’s not going to happen here, at least not with me. Only two of the characters were given any characterization and I wasn’t particularly fond of either. The comedy just isn’t funny, more than anything I found myself sitting here and being rather bored with it. When a show’s main draw is its comedy, it better deliver if it’s going to take the approach of having a slow burn story. Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere did not deliver for me and thanks to that, this won’t be the new show I watch.
On top of all this, I wasn’t fond of the animation either. It’s very low budget and cutesy. Well, perhaps low budget isn’t the right term. There’s definitely good production values going on, but I am not at all fond of the animation style. Character faces are very sharp and flat and every female character is either flat chested or has these torpedo breasts, each going off in their own direction. One of the biggest hurdles for me and anime is that I know how badly the animation quality slips after a while and I don’t want to put up with sub-par animation on top of an animation style I don’t like.