Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere 02: Placeholder

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The girl who collapsed at the end of last week’s episode gets quite a bit of screen time as her life reveals the darker side to the nature of politics and economics of their damaged world. Meanwhile, Toori and his classmates continue to think of ways to swoon what apparently is just a placeholder for Horizon’s existence. Who’d have thought the silent type would wind up just being another robot?

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Well, first thing’s first: the Horizon that exists today is officially confirmed to be P-01s, an ‘automatic doll with no memory and a citizen certificate’, presumably created to carry on the legacy that was Horizon ten years ago before the merger of the two parallel worlds and subsequent warring period. Despite this, Toori still has plans to lay his emotions bare and confess to her for whatever reason. Someone’s been lovestruck enough for an entire decade to want to share his feelings with a robot. Perhaps a glimmer of hope that Horizon’s soul somehow carried over into P-01s? Rei clone much? Fitting, especially given P-01s/Horizon’s voice actress’ history of character roles. Just put some glasses on her and she’d be a futuristic, long-haired Yuki Nagato that would make Kyon jelly in the knees and Haruhi jealous enough to throw Horizon off the side of the ship with her stress entities.

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Masazumi’s back story also helps to uncover some truth (or at least current perceptions) to the roles of the students in this world. Until the age of eighteen, each student learns about the history of the world, takes on a fighting class tailored to their talents, and becomes both a politician and a participant of armed movements. Case in point, it looks like we have a shady (ha, pun) transaction being mediated by an unknown student as the leader of Musashi (our protagonists’ floating home city) and leaders from as-yet-known cities/nations meet. And if the preview told us enough, this meeting will more likely turn into an ambush where Musashi will be in some sort of danger from a collapse of diplomatic authority.

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Masazumi’s eagerness to find the Path of Remorse suggested by one of the owners of the Blue Thunder Bakery as the higher-ups meet makes for a nice little split between her inner conflicts and the situations happening around the students despite most of the lighthearted scenes we’ve been introduced to of the students and their daily lives. Makes me feel as if I’m watching what the Gardens of FFVIII would have been like if we focused more on that system and its complexities than on Eden and Ultimecia and Final Fantasy being Final Fantasy. Still, there’s no denying that Masazumi has been leading a rather unfortunate life, what with having her mother murdered at the hands of a mysterious organization while her father makes his stay in Musashi to figure out how to support his family. At this point, any and all signs point to Motonobu of Matsudai for either being the figurehead to the chaos, or simply just a placeholder for the master antagonist of the series.

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All seriousness aside, I’m beginning to like how the show has been handling its cast of students and their strange quirks. The Aoi siblings take center-stage this episode among the class with their airheaded tactics and perverted mindsets that makes for rather ecchi but still very entertaining scenes like Neito’s naivety for helping Toori practice his confession on her. I suppose it doesn’t help that Makiko’s class in-general is run with a very laid back attitude (so long as you get her questions correct), but I’m certainly going to miss the class dynamics if the series ever decides to send them off to graduation early on in the show for the sake advancing the serious, political aspects of the story.

Next week: more student antics, a possible cooking segment, and does that meetup in the forest actually turn into an ambush? It’s okay, so long as we get more chibi-Masazumi!

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