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HououinKyouma posted a topic in AnimeThought I would make a thread for this amazing series, since it gets 0 mention on here. I really believe that a lot of people here would really enjoy this show. As I've said before, I am a huge sucker for anime series with intricate and interesting worlds, and Kyoukaisenjou no Horizon has one of the most expansive and interesting universes out of all of the series that I have watched. To round this off the ensemble cast (while rather large) is great. I don't think there is a single character that I can say that I dislike, however there are some that are a little undeveloped (which is understandable since it is based on a "light" novel series that currently has 14 phone book sized entries). It also took a whopping 2 years for Sunrise (Cowboy Bebop, Code Geass, Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou,etc) to produce and was closely watched by Kawakami himself. Before you start this amazing show however, you need to do a little reading to make sense of the first few episodes. Linked here. Relevant text in the spoiler. I had to remove the images from the c/ped text so if you want to see the images read it on the linked site. [spoiler] Premise In the distant future, the Earth has been devastated due to the powers wielded by humanity at the time. Seeking a new home, the people of Earth rose to “the heavens” (more on that below), but they fought too much and were soon forced to return to Earth. Though most of the planet had been rendered inhospitable (think wild magic and extra-dimensional interference – scary stuff), there was one part that could still support life: the archipelago formerly known as Japan. This land became known as the Divine States. However, there were more people than there was land available for them to live on, so a mirror image of the Divine States was created in a pocket dimension above it. This became known as the Harmonic Divine States. Most of humanity crossed over to the Harmonic Divine States (especially those of non-Japanese descent), while the powerful items known as the Divine Tools (the devices which maintained the Harmonic Divine States) were entrusted to the people of the Divine States. Yet, humanity did not want to be stuck on one slip of land and a pocket dimension forever – they wanted to return to the heavens. Over time though, doubt arose about whether mankind could get back there. In response, a plan was hatched – if humanity could just retrace the steps it took to get to the heavens the first time, they could get back there again (and presumably not fight like idiots once there). Thus, the Testament was born. The Testament The Testaments. Just kidding! On the left are vol 1-8 of Kyoukaisen (there are 10 volumes now), while the right is all of Owari no Chronicle (more on that later). And just think, these are classified as “light” novels. Now, the Testament is not just a set of World History textbooks lifted from an old history professor’s book shelf. Rather, it’s a set of books produced by a device called theTestament Descriptor, which is designed to update the Testament every 100 years by creating another volume. The reason why the Testament works this way isn’t stated (to my knowledge), but the natural conclusion is that, due to humanity’s constant warring, they lost most of the knowledge about history. Thus, they must trust in the Testaments because there is no other way to know. Up to the present time, the Testaments have been compiled into seven volumes, containing information from the year 10,000 BC up to 1648 AD. During the process of history recreation, the years 10,000 BC to 1,000 BC were done in 90 years, while the following 1,000 years were done in 100 years. Starting from 1 AD, the ratio was slowed to 1 AD per every 1 TE (Testament Era). The Testaments are maintained by the Testament Union, an international organization of nations which oversees the process of history recreation (more on that below). The seven volumes of the Testament are each held by a different country, specifically those based on European countries (which were all located in the Harmonic Divine States…more on that later as well). Given the world history that this blogger knows from plain old written text books, Europe pushing the rest of the world around in the time periods they’re recreating is not surprising. History Recreation History recreation primarily focuses on two things – the reenactment of major wars, and the inheritance of names from key figures in history. A couple of quick notes on the inheritance of names: Sometimes those who adopt a name are required to undergo changes in order to better suit the role, such as a Honda Masaszumi’s (aborted) sex change. This is not always necessary, though. Those who inherit names are often given roles, responsibilities, and attributes that the name’s original owner had. For example, Tachibana Muneshige was given superhuman speed upon taking the name Garcia de Ceballos. Harmonic Territories are areas from the Harmonic Divine States that overwrote parts of the real world. They appear as pillars of light, and the climate within them is different from that outside. The recreation of history went smoothly up until 1413 TE, when the Nanboku-cho War (originally fought between the Northern and Southern Courts in Japan) was recreated in the Divine States. During the war, the Southern Court stormed the Imperial Castle and usurped the Divine Tools from the Emperor. With the mechanisms that maintained their stability disrupted, the Harmonic Divine States collapsed, with more than half of them being completely destroyed. The rest fused with the Divine States, overwriting patches of land entirely and creating the Harmonic Territories. Naturally, the people of the Harmonic Divine States were pretty pissed about this, so they invaded the Divine States. Unfortunately for the people already living in the Divine States, their resources had been depleted due to the war they had been recreating, so they were quickly defeated. This event became known as the Harmonic Unification War. This whole situation presented a problem for the Testament Union – Japan was not supposed to be conquered by a bunch of European countries in 1413 AD. To solve this, the nations of the Harmonic Divine States partnered with various powerful clans and relocated to different areas of the Divine States, while the remaining lands that were left to the Divine States’ original occupants, which were renamed the Far East. The people of the Far East were then placed under provisional rule by the Testament Union, losing most of their sovereignty in the process. No surprise there, as historically that’s what happens when a country loses a war. In addition, every country’s military and government was replaced by an academy, with students becoming responsible for all governing and fighting. More on that shortly. With that taken care of, the history recreation marched on until another problem arose – the Testaments stopped updating after the year 1648 AD, at the time when the Peace of Westphalia happened (note: they know about the conference that take place at Westphalia, but not necessarily the peace that resulted, and they certainly don’t know what comes next). That means that after overeighteen hundred years of following the Testaments and knowing pretty much exactly what would come next, humanity was about to suddenly be all on its own once again. Naturally, people proceeded to do what they always do when confronted with wide-spread uncertainty that has anything to do with a calendar – they assumed that the apocalypse was coming and began to freak out (see: Y2K, 2012 Mayan Calendar nonsense, etc). This is the situation the world is in when Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon begins. It’s April 20th, 1648 TE. Now stepping on the stage is Aoi Toori, the memory of the dead Horizon Ariadust, and their friends in class 3-Plum… Assorted Details The Heavens So far I have referred to “the heavens” multiple times, but I never actually explained what they are. The reason for that is because I’m not entirely sure. To my knowledge, it’s never been explicitly stated what the heavens are, either in the not-so-light novels or the anime. Some sources say “the heavens” are outer space (which is what I initially assumed), while others imply that they’re alternate dimensions. Either explanation works, though let me give you a few pieces of information to consider: Kyoukaisen is not the first popular published work by author Kawakami Minoru. He also wrote Owari no Chronicle, which is a prequel of sorts to Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon. I say “of sorts” because the two story’s plots don’t have much to do with one another, but the worlds they take place in are either extremely similar or exactly the same. For instance, much of the magical system in Kyoukaisen can be directly traced back to that seen in Owari no Chronicle. Anyway, since Owari no Chronicle deals heavily with alternate dimensions, it is reasonable to assume that “the heavens” in Kyoukaisen might be the same. Remember, Horizon’s earth is radically different than ours. When I first heard of “the heavens,” I assumed that meant outer space, and wondered why the hell they couldn’t get back to space if they had flying ships like Musashi. However, they also have magical abilities, archdevils, talking slimes, and huge areas of alternate dimensional land that is superimposed over the real world. So yeah, when they say that “something is preventing them from getting back to the heavens,” I’m inclined to believe there’s a pretty good reason! But to be honest, it doesn’t matter. Whether it’s outer space or another dimension, Horizon’s earth is pretty messed up, and it shows it in a number of visible ways. Where they’re trying to get won’t matter to us until it’s much closer than it is now. Why Do Students Do All the Fighting? The short answer is “because that’s how the Testament Union decided it would work” (after the Harmonic Unification War, as noted above). However, I’ll explain why this makes sense. When watching Kyoukaisen, think of the word student as a combination of the words “student” and “citizen“. Students (citizens) are the only people able to take part in military or governmental affairs. For people in most countries, they become students for the first time when they’re very young (as early as elementary school), and remain students for the rest of their lives. If you translate student to the word to “citizen” based on what I’ve said so far, the situation is little different than how countries operate IRL. Students. Angry, angry students. The only exception to this is, naturally, the Far East. Due to rules imposed by the Testament Union, the Far East’s Musashi Ariadust Academy is the only place that has a concept of “graduation”, where people stop being students (citizens) and graduate to become…nothing. Once a resident of Musashi graduates from the academy, they essentially become second-class citizens, as they’re no longer able to help run their country, or fight to protect it. Graduates can try to influence the students, but their words hold little weight since only students can make decisions. This is a massive disadvantage for the people of the Far East, because their leaders and soldiers are always far less experienced than those of other countries, and their total number of people eligible for public service is radically smaller. In fact, this is by and far the biggestdisadvantage that the Far East must labor under, for even if they were to throw off the restriction and have non-students fight, they would still lack the decades of experience that other countries’ students would have amassed. That’s not something the Far East could make up for overnight. Academies A little more information on the academies: Each country has a single academy to which all of their students belong. Their names are listed under the Factions section below, but the only one you really need to know for now is the Far East’s academy, Musashi Ariadust Academy. That’s the one most of the main characters belong to. Each academy has two organizations that are responsible for its political and military duties: the Student Council and the Chancellor’s Board. The Student Council is in charge of the academy’s political affairs. It is headed up by the Student Council president, and aided by the Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary. The Chancellor’s Board (also called the Supreme Federation) is in charge of the academy’s military operations. It is headed up by the Chancellor, who is assisted by the Vice Chancellor and a number of Special Agents, each who are tasked with specific duties. An important note: the Student Council President and the Chancellor are supposed to always be the same person, according to Article 4 of the School Regulations (though sometimes this is not the case). Needless to say, this person is pretty damn powerful. Non-Human Races I’ve alluded to this before, but Horizon’s Earth is not solely inhabited by humans. It contains a number of other non-human sentient races, including: An automated doll. No – the bestautomated doll. Archdemons Dragons Winged-humans Werewolves Incubus Slimes Automated dolls (sentient machines) Elves & Half-elves Mermaids Fairies Living gods Living skeletons Talking algae What have been referred to as “Silicon-based races” Humans with really big hair. Okay, they probably don’t count. …and those are only the ones we know of so far. Once again, it’s not overtly stated why there are so many different non-human races – at least, within Kyoukaisen itself – though I believe it has to do with the events of Owari no Chronicle, when the denizens of alternate worlds in different dimensions ended up moving to Earth due to their planets being slightly destroyed. Regardless, the main reason I point this out here is because I found non-humans just popping up without an explanation to be quite jarring when I first watched this series, so I wanted to prepare you. It makes sense, though. Why would the residents of Horizon’s Earth comment about non-humans? They’re a common occurrence, to the point where some countries are over 50% non-human (though humans are still very much the majority overall). Also, the fact that some characters are non-human isn’t usually that important, since it’s only one facet of their personalities anyway. Automated Dolls Of all the non-human races, automated dolls are the ones that have the most impact on season one, so I’ll go into further detail about them. Automated dolls are a race of mechanical beings which possess souls. Automated doll’s bodies are artificially created, and their soul can be as well, though the soul can also be extracted from a dead person. Either way, the soul is then housed in a marble-sized ball which can be located anywhere on their body. To an automated doll, it doesn’t matter if their body is damaged or destroyed, so long as their soul is alright. As long as that marble is safe, it can be relocated into another body at any time with no ill effects. Automated dolls look and feel like humans on the outside, and they also possess certain internal functions, such as a digestive system. However, they are powered by ether (mana), which they absorb from the air, allowing them to operate continuously without needing to recharge. Ability-wise, automated dolls often inherit abilities from the soul integrated into them, and all automated dolls have the ability to manipulate gravity (though some are better at it than others). Still others are linked together like a computer network, such as Musashi-sama and the eight other captains of the ships of Musashi. Here are the two most important facts about automated dolls: they are emotionless and servile by nature, and they are programmed to always make the best, most logical decision. Remember that for later. Magic, Mauses, & Sign Frames I’m going to say very little about the magical system in Kyoukaisen because I think it’s largely self-evident and explained pretty well within the anime. You know how it goes – the caster uses mana (here, called “ether”) as fuel for spells (here, called “abilities”), which are activated by saying certain words. Same thing here. That said, a few notes: Magic in action. The human body produces ether, and it is this ether which most characters use to fuel their abilities. There are some rituals and external fuel sources that can be used to give them access to more energy, though. Shinto abilities are extremely powerful because they utilize rituals, or the offering of material objects and/or ritual activities in exchange for the use of an ability. Instead of being limited to a certain number of abilities, a Shinto user can perform any ability so long as they can perform the ritual offering that the god in question requires. Let me repeat that – a Shinto magic user can effectively use any spell, as long as they can afford the offering. That’s some devastating potential right there. A maus (pronounced like “mouse”) is an entity that assists with the usage of abilities. If you see a tiny human- or animal-like being floating over a character’s shoulder or lounging on their head, it’s a maus. Sign Frames are those little screens that appear when an ability is used. They are also useful for communication and for interacting with abilities, like little floating computer screens. The design of the sign frames differs by nation (torii, crucifixes, books, overlapping squares, etc). By the way, I told you that last part to tell you this: have you ever noticed the censorship that is always over Toori’s little chancellor? That’s not something Sunrise just threw in there, but an actual ability called God Mosaic that Toori uses so he can do naked play all he wants. Sign frames are very versatile! Religion All the old religions still exist, though they’ve acquired new names over the years. Christianity has become known the Tsirhc Church (Tsirhc = Christ reversed), while Islam has become known as Murasai (Iasarum reversed, which is of course engrish for Islam). Tsirhc is further split up into the Old School (Catholicism) and the New School (Protestant). As was the case during the historical period they’re recreating, certain countries are heavily religious, while others are moving away from this. Which countries are which is mentioned under the Factions section below – I’m merely mentioning this here so you’re familiar with the words ahead of time. Judge and Tes This one’s easy (and short, for once). “Judge” and “Tes” are the equivalent of “roger” or “acknowledged.” The Far East uses Judge (short for Judgment, abbreviated “Jud”), while everyone else uses Tes (short for Testament, abbreviated “Tes”). Even creating new words based on the changed situation of the world…these are the kind of little details that I love. Time Elapsed During Season One – Two Days Here is perhaps the most crucial fact that you need to know in order to enjoy the first few episodes of this series – aside from a short scene at the beginning of the first episode and the second half of episodes 13, the entire first season takes place over two days. Episodes 1-5 take place on the first day (April 20th, 1648 TE), while 6-13 take place on the following day (April 21st, 1648 TE). What’s more, Episodes 1-5 each start at the beginning of April 20th, and then follow different character’s points of view throughout the day. The first few episodes can be very confusing if you don’t pay attention to the times and dates, because it can easily feel like there’s too much happening for the whole season to take place during two in-universe days – especially if you watched it the first time when it was airing, and had to wait a week between every episode. Yes, it’s still the same morning, Masazumi. Time to wake up. Below is a rough outline of how the first day proceeds, by episode number. After the 5th episode, the plot proceed in a more linear fashion and doesn’t jump around as much, so it’s easier to keep track of things then. It’s still always important to watch the dates and times when they appear, though. Episode 1: starts at 8am, ends at 9am. Total consecutive time covered: 1hr. Episode 2: starts with scenes at 8am and 8:30am, skips forward to 9:30am, goes to 2pm. One scene at the end is from 6:30pm. Total consecutive time covered: 4 1/2hrs. Episode 3: starts with a scene at 5am, skips forward to 2pm, goes until 7:59pm. Total consecutive time covered: 6hrs. Episode 4: starts with a scene at 5am, skips forward to 2pm, goes until 8pm. Total consecutive time covered: 6hrs. Episode 5: starts with a scene at 8am, skips forward to 8pm, goes until 9pm. Skips forward to 6am the next day. Total consecutive time covered: 1hr. From there, the episodes proceed in a fairly linear manner. As you can see, there’s a great deal of overlap, with episodes 3 & 4 taking place at almost exactly the same times, just from different character’s points of view. This is probably the most crucial thing I didn’t realize on my first watch through, so make sure you’ve got it! Note: if you’re ever unsure about the times, check my summaries in the coming posts. They’re not perfect (especially for the earlier ones), but I tried to note the times whenever I saw them. World Map Now, onto the map! I’m going to keep this short and let the picture below do most of the talking, but let me get a few things out of the way first. Yes, that is (or rather, used to be) Japan. Re-read the premise stuff above if you’re confused about this. No, I don’t know why it’s all blocky and unrealistic. Possibly dimensional interference? Or maybe they just thought maps would look cooler that way. It’s probably that second thing. …and that’s it. Now the map. Immediately below is a little more info on the map, after which I’ll be going straight into each of the major factions in Horizon’s Earth. By the way, the majority of this information is courtesy of kyoukaisen.tumblr, with me merely providing some trimming, reorganization, and readability improvements. Click map for larger version On the map, the words under each dot provide the following information: the area of the country (Ex: Setouchi), the clan (Aki), and the faction (K.P.A. Italia). By the way, the clans they’re referring to are the feudal clans that controlled those areas before the Harmonic Unification War, and which the Harmonic Divine States combined with when they relocated into the real world. They’re not terribly important though – or at least, they aren’t yet – so we’ll mainly just focus on the factions and go from there. Factions These are listed in order of plot importance to season one, and then by the little number in the top left-hand corner of each page (which is simply the order they were presented in the original light novels). The Far East A country that is (paradoxically) in the south, the Far East is centered around the Kantou region, as well as a region south of Tokai (south of Tokyo on the Pacific Ocean). Consisting of the original inhabitants of the Divine States, they lost to the Harmonic Divine States in the Harmonic Unification War, and were put under provisional rule as a result. The territories of the Far East include the capital of Mikawa and the flying city of Musashi. While most of the Far East is under provisional rule from the Testament Union (meaning they lack sovereignty, and their rulers are puppets), Musashi is the sole recognized independent territory; that is, it’s the only territory that governs itself. Academy: Musashi Ariadust Academy, located on Musashi. This is the faction the primary protagonists belong to. Tres España Located in the Shimoseki region, Tres España is composed of the Ootomo and Ouchi clans, as well as the people of Spain and Portugal. A country that places high importance on having pure-blooded lineage, the situation with its successors is…complex. Currently heavily in debt. Many of its citizens belong to the Tsirhc (Christian) faith. Academy: Alacalá de Henares. Armaments of Deadly Sins: Lype Katarripsi (Sloth); Tachibana Muneshige is its owner. Testaments: The Sixth Testament “Temperamentia” (Temperance). K.P.A. Italia Located in the Setouchi area, refers to the union of the Aki states (Hiroshima) and the United Italian Cities. The Pope President is the head of the Old School (Catholicism); naturally, K.P.A. Italia has many believers. Academy: K.P.A. Scuola (sometimes simply abbreviated as K.P.A.S.) Armaments of Deadly Sins: Stáseis Porneía (Lust); Innocentius is its owner. Testaments: The First Testament, “Fides” (Faith). Show All Factions ▼ Cast Finally we have the cast. For this, the vast majority of the information (including the pictures) has been taken straight fromkyoukaisen.tumblr, with a bit from MAL. They did the work, not me! I want that to be perfectly clear so that nobody thinks I’m taking credit. I have, however, mixed in some supplementary information from other sources / my own knowledge, killed a few spoilers (these are all from an episode 1 of season one point of view), spruced up the prose, and included some short impressions of my own. Characters are sorted by faction and their relative rank/plot importance, in descending order. Also, these are for season one only! Though I did leave out some characters that only appeared for a moment and didn’t say much. I hope this is helpful The Far East – Musashi The Main Characters Aoi Toori Chancellor and Student Council President Class 3-Plum Musashi Ariadust Academy Seiyuu: Fukuyama Jun The protagonist. His studies and athletic abilities are average, and he’s publicly recognized as an incompetent leader (he agrees), which is why he was selected by the Testament Union to be Musashi’s head representative. However, due to his cheerful attitude, he’s still very popular and respected. Knows a lot of strip-jokes, and often plays the fool. He is known as “Mr. Impossible”. Stilts note: Toori is a silly, ridiculous pervert, but he’s super fun. I just can’t help but liking honest idiots like him. P-01s Blue Thunder Employee Seiyuu: Chihara Minori An automated doll that works at the Blue Thunder bakery. She strongly resembles a girl killed ten years ago. Stilts note: P-01s isn’t quite like most emotional girls. I think you’ll find there’s more depth here than that… Hide Cast ▲ Musashi Ariadust Academy – Students Honda Masazumi Student Council Vice President Class 3-Plum Student Seiyuu: Sawashiro Miyuki A (too) serious girl aiming to be a politician; her abilities lie in debate. Originally was supposed to undergo gender reassignment surgery in order to succeed the family name, but stopped midway due to certain circumstances. Her lack of breasts is a result of the surgery. Initially thought of as male by her fellow students. Some of her classmates call her “Seijun”, which comes from using alternate kanji to spell her given name (Masazumi). Originally comes from Mikawa, so she’s still considered “new” to many of her classmates. Second cousins with Honda Futayo. Stilts note: Watch out for Seijun. She just might make you look at politicians in a better light. Also, she throws out some pro tsukkomis. Toussaint Neshinbara Student Council Secretary Class 3-Plum Student Seiyuu: Tamura Mutsumi Has a very dry personality that penetrates even the thickest atmosphere of tomfoolery, yet is also fond of history, an aspiring novelist, and a romanticist. Is in charge of strategic planning and command during wartime. Is generally agreed upon to be the author’s insert character. Stilts note: I love a writer-character that talks in tropes! Not the most important person initially, but look for that to change. Shirojiro Bertoni Student Council Treasurer Class 3-Plum Student Seiyuu: Koyasu Takehito Works as one of the youngest merchants in the Musashi Business Administration, and is contracted to the god of commerce. Makes decisions using profitability as his basis. In other words – a miser. Nicknamed “Poker Face” by the Testament Union. Stilts note: Definitely a cheap bastard, but formidable when he thinks there’s a profit to be made. Besides, I like characters who know exactly what they want and go after it wholeheartedly. Pay attention when he talks. Heidi Ogezevara Student Council Treasurer’s Aide Class 3-Plum Seiyuu: Nazuka Kaori Heidi Augesvarer is Shirojiro Bertoni’s partner, both in business and in personal life. Although she constantly has a smile on, she is as much of a miser as Shirojiro is. She is always accompanied by her Maus, Erimaki. Stilts note: So comforting! Certainly a miser like Shirojiro, but also keeps him grounded from time-to-time. Has some good lines. Also, have you noticed how her and Shirojiro’s given names are first? A nice little touch for the characters that aren’t of Japanese descent. Tenzou Crossunite Chancellor’s Board 1st Special Duty Class 3-Plum Seiyuu: Ono Daisuke A highly talented ninja, excelling in ninjutsu and intelligence gathering. Though very nice in character, he is also quite the pervert, openly declaring his love for blonde-haired, big-breasted women. Stilts note: One of two strong “de gozaru” characters. Don’t let the shrouded face with the strange emoting hat weird you out. I’m sure there’s a reason for that, but, well…you just get used to it. Kiyonari Ulquiaga Chancellor’s Board 2nd Special Duty Class 3-Plum Seiyuu: Kuroda Takaya An aerial-type half-dragon aiming to be an inquisition officer. He labels himself as one in charge of older sister-type characters in eroge. As a Christian, won’t use his full power against other Christians (or non-believers), only those he deems heretics. Stilts note: I’m not a big fan of his inquisitor schtick, but he’s an amiable enough guy. Comes in handy occasionally too. Margot Knight Chancellor’s Board 3rd Special Duty Class 3-Plum Seiyuu: Touyama Nao A blonde, 6-winged black magic user. She’s always smiling, and is Malga’s lover (who she calls Gacchan). Freely uses her abilities in flight, characteristic of magicians. Is pursuing a career in the transportation industry. Stilts note: Yes, she’s gay for Malga. No, it’s not fanservice! That’s just who they are. Other than that, I love how Margot freely blasts away with her spells. The nuker in me loves to see that. Malga Naruze Chancellor’s Board 4th Special Duty Class 3-Plum Seiyuu: Nitta Emi A black-haired, 6-winged white magic user. Also affiliated with the manga club. Her personality is rather rebellious, but she always puts Margot (who calls her Gacchan) above all else. Stilts note: They other half of the lesbian witches couple. Once again, not fanservice! They’re just sweet together. She’s somewhat overshadowed by Margot, but watch her for subtle clues about how much she cares. Nate Mitotsudaira Chancellor’s Board 5th Special Duty Class 3-Plum Seiyuu: Inoue Marina Neito is a knight from Hexagone Française and successor of the powerful Mitotsudaira Clan. Half-human, half-werewolf. Although she cannot transform into a wolf form, she possesses its great strength. She uses her special weapon, Argenté Chaîné (lit. Silver Chains) to great effect. Because of her chivalrous nature and strong sense of duty, Neito feels very protective of the land on the Musashi, which technically falls within her family’s domain. Inherited the name Mitsukuni Mito, and is thus sometimes called “Mito”. Stilts note: Love love loooove Neito! Kyoukaisen is full of serious characters with cute sides, and she’s one of the best. Every interaction she has with Toori is either hilarious or HNNNG. And yes, I know her name is spelled “Nate”, but I will always spell it as it is pronounced. Deal with it. Naomasa Chancellor’s Board 6th Special Duty Class 3-Plum Seiyuu: Shindou Kei Naomasa is from Qing-Takeda. Works in the Musashi Engineering Club and lives alone in the dorms. Her right arm is prosthetic. Uses her God of War Jizuri Suzaku to fight. She has an older sister-type personality. Often seen holding an allen wrench in her mouth (note: it was a pipe in the original light novels). Stilts note: Gotta love the onee-san type. A dependable powerhouse, and says one of my favorite lines of the show. See if you can pick out which one. Aoi Kimi Student Class 3-Plum Seiyuu: Saito Chiwa Toori’s older sister. Both she and Toori were born on the same year, so they are in the same grade. Bad with ghosts. Is a follower of the god of eroticism and dance. Dislikes her name for some reason, so she changes it habitually. Though she calls Toori he “foolish little brother”, she cares for him deeply. Stilts note: Ohhh, the marvelous Kimi-nee. To be honest, I’m probably not as much in love with her as others are, but a screenshot of her performance in a certain episode is what finally got me to begin my initial marathon of this show. She’s also very, very wise. Asama Tomo Student Class 3-Plum Seiyuu: Koshimizu Ami The only daughter of the Asama Shrine and childhood friends with the Kimi and Toori. Asama is a master archer who uses her artificial left eye for precision shooting. Although a holy shrine maiden, she is called “Sniper Maiden” by some. Stilts note: Serious, but gets flustered and even a bit perverted (inside her own mind). Mukai Suzu Student Class 3-Plum Seiyuu: Yuuki Aoi Suzu Mukai is a blind girl who acts as a “stopper” for the intense cast surrounding her. Highly perceptive, and is able to detect phenomena that escape most people’s attention. Toori calls her Belle-san (because Suzu means “bell”), and she can often be found riding on Persona-kun’s shoulder. Stilts note: Suzu is among my Top 5 characters, and with this cast, that’s an impressive feat. Shy, gentle, and sincere, she’s the heart of Class 3-Plum. I cannot say enough good things about her. Adele Balfette Student Class 3-Plum Seiyuu: Ohashi Ayuru Descended from Hexagone Française, she works as a thane for knights. She has a small build, but during battle she walks about in her heavy-duty Mechanic Shell, “Raging Beast”, which she inherited from her father. Outside of Raging Beast, she has impressive agility and strength. Stilts note: Small girl, big lance. I’ll admit that it’s a trope I’m fond of, but Adele’s cheerful attitude makes her even more fun to watch. She gets stuck in some funny situations. Poor Adele. Noriki Student Class 3-Plum Seiyuu: Hirakawa Daisuke Constantly works in part time jobs to support his large family. Specializes in physical attack-based Abilities. Socially awkward, taciturn, and very blunt with words. Stilts note: As someone who used to be socially awkward, taciturn, and blunt with words (I got over it), I can really relate to Noriki. Let’s just say that he’s a dependable guy. Azuma Student Class 3-Plum Seiyuu: Morinaga Rika The child of the emperor and a half-god. His abilities have been sealed now that he has returned to secular life. Lives on the Musashi. Azuma is somewhat clueless about the world. Stilts note: Azuma is all about his interactions with his roommate Miriam. Oh, those two. Miriam Polk Student Class 3-Plum Seiyuu: Matayoshi Ai Miriam is confined to a wheelchair, and thus conducts studies from her room. Has a strong character, but is very tactless and will say anything that comes to her mind. However, she has very gentle eyes. Stilts note: I like the blunt Miriam, especially when it makes Azuma all flustered. Itou Kenji Student Class 3-Plum Seiyuu: Miyashite Eiji A naked, muscular incubus. His nickname is Itoken. Has a very merry personality, and is good friends with Nenji. Stilts note: Not sure what to think about this guy, other than that he seems, ahem, unequipped to do an incubus’ job. Probably for the best. That would be a bit distracting. Ohiroshiki Ginji Student Class 3-Plum Seiyuu: Shiraishi Minoru A self-proclaimed otaku who glorifies little girls. Often called a lolicon by his classmates, though he stridently (and unconvincingly) objects to this. Not interested in girls over 10. Ohiroshiki is a member of the cooking club, and is highly knowledgeable about the Musashi’s food situation. Stilts note: Ohiroshiki is kind of a one-note wonder, but it doesn’t get played often enough for it to become tiresome. I still laugh! Nenji Student Class 3-Plum Seiyuu: Hirakawa Daisuke A slime with around 3 HP. Tries to be brave and chivalrous, but kind of sucks at it. Usually explodes after getting stepped on, but is able to regenerate and even change form. Stilts note: I enjoy how it’s specifically said that he only has 3 HP. He can be surprisingly useful once in a while, though. Hassan Fullbush Student Class 3-Plum Seiyuu: Ono Daisuke (again) Always has curry on his person. Eats, drinks, and breathes curry, and is a pretty nice guy as well. Stilts note: Seems like a pretty silly (and probably racist) character, but he hasn’t gotten a ton of screen time so far. I’m mostly just impressed that Ono Daisuke had another voice I didn’t recognize. That guy is a pro. Persona-kun Student Class 3-Plum Seiyuu: ??? A very tall and muscular guy with a bucket helmet. Quiet, but very pure-hearted. Uses gestures instead of talking to convey his thoughts. Often uses his great size and strength to carry Suzu or others. Stilts note: He spends most of his time acting like a two-legged biological vehicle. As a result, he often has cute girls riding on him. Lucky bastard! Musashi Ariadust Academy – Staff Oriotorai Makiko Homeroom Teacher Class 3-Plum Seiyuu: Shiraishi Ryoko Makiko is self-centered in both speech and action, but is actually a very personable teacher who always thinks of her students. Has incredible physical power, to the point where she is called a “Real Amazon”. Loves alcohol. Stilts note: Makiko-sensei is another character I’m a huuuuge fan of. It’s hilarious how she squabbles with her students and threatens to wallop them when necessary (especially Toori), but what she’s really doing is treating them like equals, and it’s clear that she cares for them deeply. There’s just something about how she whispers “ganbare, ganbare” that gets me every time. That, and powerful + booze = winner in Stilts’ book! Sanyou Mitsuki Homeroom Teacher Class 3-Bamboo Seiyuu: Shimizu Ai Class 3-Bamboo’s homeroom teacher and Makiko’s kouhai. Her class is right next to 3-Plum, so they usually get caught up in the mayhem. Stilts note: Poor Mitsuki-sensei, she ends up seeing Toori naked a lot. It’s a good thing he has that illusion spell going to hide his “divine weapon”, or I’m pretty sure she’d be scarred for life. Sakai Tadatsugu Headmaster Seiyuu: Kusunoki Taiten Formerly one of the Four Divine Matsudaira Kings (powerful followers of Lord Motonobu), he now works as the principal of Musashi Ariadust Academy. Though somewhat aloof, he’s still as powerful as he once was. Stilts note: I feel for the adults of the Far East. Along with Makiko-sensei, principal Sakai is clearly still strong, but he can’t make use of it. Frustrating! Musashi – Citizens “Musashi” Overall Commanding Automated Doll Aerial City-ship, Musashi Seiyuu: Nakahara Mai An automaton managing the floating city of Musashi where Toori and the others reside. She is the captain of each and every one of the eight ships making up the Musashi (via other automated dolls networked together with her). Possesses a characteristic sharp tongue. Stilts note: A lot of the automated dolls have sharp tongues, which I heartily enjoy. Nakahara Mai can be as mean as she wants to be *swoons* Oh, and to prevent confusion with the ship / city whose name she shares, I’ll refer to the automated doll as Musashi-sama. Yoshinao King of Musashi Vice Principal of Musashi Ariadust Academy Seiyuu: Madono Mitsuaki Dispatched from Hexagone Française to serve as the king of the Musashi. He looks like the king from a deck of playing cards, and even uses “Ic / Maro” (an archaic form of “I”) to address himself. Because of this, Toori often makes fun of him. As King of Musashi, he holds the right to veto the Academy (to keep them from doing anything too stupid), as well as the authority to manage Musashi. Stilts note: Yoshinao is a pretty silly character when you first see him, but like other silly characters inKyoukaisen there is depth to him. When he starts seriously considering things, pay attention – there’s more to the card king than meets the eye. Honda Masanobu Provisional Councillor Seiyuu: Takada Yuji A member of the provisional council, an organization that supports the academy. Very strict with his daughter, Masazumi. In reality, he has another hidden side to him, but it’s quite… Stilts note: At first I was inclined to dislike him because of the hardships I felt he put Masazumi through (what with the sex change operation and all that), but I ended up changing my mind. Watch for him during the debate (you’ll know the one). Oh, and that one other place. Konishi Merchant Seiyuu: Kobushi Nobuyuki A merchant who does business with Honda Masanobu. Perhaps a friend as well…? Stilts note: Started off seeming like the nice guy who humanizes the stern father. A bit silly, especially if you’re paying attention. ??? Shopkeeper and Owner Blue Thunder Bakery & Cafe Seiyuu: Yamada Miho Has a good disposition and a helpful personality, such as when she took in the unidentified automated doll, P-01s, as an employee. Stilts note: Exactly the lady you want to know if you need food for a big party. Also, there’s that one other thing… Musashi – Other Brown Algae Organisms with a shared consciousness that reside in gutters within Musashi. They are able to purify themselves using a process similar to photosynthesis. Can talk. Friends with P-01s/ Stilts note: They’re weirdly cute. That’s all I’ve got. Musashi Quasi-Bahamut Class Floating City-ship Composed of two ships in the middle, and 3 ships on each side, front and back, for a total of 8 ships. Length is over 7 kilometers overall. Has residential, commercial, administrative, and industrial areas; it even has embassies. Basically, it has all the facilities needed to function as an independent country. Stilts note: You have to wonder why they didn’t just build one bigger ship so they didn’t have all of those dangerous gaps in between the individual ones. Knowing Kyoukaisen though, there’s probably a reason. Jizuri Suzaku Made by Naomasa using a combination of parts from other Gods of War. Her own Maus resides within it, allowing her to control it. Primarily an anti-personnel unit, as it cannot fly – it is launched onto the battlefield using a derrick. Uses two massive wrenches (wielded like swords) to fight. In terms of strength, it is second to none in the Musashi Engineering Club. Stilts note: Jizuri Suzaku certainly has limitations, but it’s a powerful unit when used well. The Far East – Mikawa Honda Futayo Colonel Mikawa Guard Seiyuu: Kobayashi Yuu A student of Mikawa, and old friends with Honda Masazumi (they are second cousins). She is Honda Tadakatsu’s daughter and is the head of the Mikawa Guard. Because she has only ever received combat training from Tadakatsu, she is incredibly clueless about the world. Stilts note: I know I tend to have good things to say about most of these characters, but Futayo is one of my favorites. She’s straightforward and powerful, but with a dense and clueless side that’s really cute. Plus, anytime I get to hear Kobayashi Yuu going all “-de gozaru” is a good day in my book. Matsudaira Motonobu Lord of Mikawa Seiyuu: Hayami Show The creator of the Armaments of Deadly Sins and the ruler of Mikawa. Responsible for Mikawa’s current isolation policy. Refers to himself as “Sensei” (though this is considered rude, because it’s a term of respect and humility. “Kyoushi” is the preferred term), and speaks as if he’s lecturing. As Mikawa is under provisional rule by the Testament Union, he is thought to be a puppet ruler. Once changed his surname to Ariadust by omitting the first syllable and reversing it (Matsudaira – first syllable = Tsudaira, reversed = Ariadust) as a show of loyalty to the Testament Union, but was allowed to change it back. Stilts note: His boisterous lecturing is fun, and he’s one of the few leaders who are involved in History Recreation whose philosophy I like. Honda Tadakatsu Retired Soldier Seiyuu: Sumi Naomi Futayo’s father and one of the Four Divine Matsudaira Kings serving under the Mikawa ruler, Matsudaira Motonobu. A soldier of remarkable ability, he is known as the “Peerless Man of the East”, and owner of the Divine Weapon Slicing Dragonfly. Stilts note: Tadakatsu’s daughter is a badass. She gets it from him. ‘Nuff said. Kazuno Automated Doll Honda Household Seiyuu: Shintani Ryoko An automated doll created from the soul of Tadakatsu’s late wife. Handles the daily needs of both Tadakatsu and Futayo, and also serves as Futayo’s fighting instructor. Possesses not only the cooking and sword skills of Tadakatsu’s late wife, but her sharp tongue as well. Stilts note: Another sharp tongued automated doll, banzai! I very much enjoy her “no one can make fun of Tadakatsu but me” rule. Not someone you want to cross. K.P.A. Italia Innocentius Pope President K.P.A. Scuola Seiyuu: Nakata Jouji Representative of K.P.A. Italia and Pope President (Student Council President & Chancellor) of its top school, K.P.A. Scuola. Also the owner of the Armament of Deadly Sins, Stáseis Porneía (Lust), and therefore a member Eight Great Dragon Kings. Naturally, he holds a lot of influence around the world. He’s also highly ambitious, and intends to expand his power and influence under the premise of recreating history. Stilts note: The leader of a country (and/or religion) using flimsy pretexts in order to expand his power while still being able to call himself the good guy? Yeah, I’m cool with this kind of antagonist. Say what you will about Kyoukaisen, but that’s damn realistic right there. Galileo Vice President K.P.A. Scuola Seiyuu: Koyama Tsuyoshi An archdevil who uses the Ptolemaic (Geocentric) and Copernican (Heliocentric) Theories as Abilities. Was one of the students of the K.P.A. Scuola when Innocentius served as its principal. Stilts note: I don’t have a lot to say about most of the name inheritors, but an archdevil as Galileo? I’ll admit it, I laughed. Tres España Tachibana Muneshige Chancellor’s Board 1st Special Duty Alacalá de Henares Seiyuu: Sugita Tomokazu Owner of the Armament of Deadly Sins, Lype Katarripsi (Sadness), and one of the Eight Great Dragon Kings. A very serious but amiable youth. His biggest strength is his speed, which come with his inheritance of the Garcia de Ceballos name. Married to Gin Stilts note: It’s impossible to hate Muneshige, no matter what side he’s on. He’s just an honorable, straightforward, and decent guy. Definitely doesn’t understand women, though. Tachibana Gin Chancellor’s Board, 3rd Special Duty Alacalá de Henares Seiyuu: Kotobuki Minako A girl whose arms are both prosthetic. Clueless about the world, and prone to misunderstanding things. Boasts very high firepower. She and Muneshige are married. Stilts note: You can be forgiven for thinking that she’s an automated doll by how little she emotes, but she’s not. I love her interactions with Muneshige, who she clearly loves deeply. She’s a complex woman. Juana Student Council Vice President, Treasurer Alacalá de Henares Seiyuu: Tanaka Rie An elf who, on the one hand is a teacher-type cool intellectual, and on the other is slightly airheaded. An excellent subordinate of Felipe II [the Student Council President/Chancellor of Tres España], who continues to support him despite constantly reprimanding him. The owner of Akidía Katárripsi (Sloth), making her another of the Eight Great Dragon Kings. Stilts note: Tanaka Rie + cool beauty + slightly airheaded? SOLD! El Azul Winged; roughly 10 meters long. Unlike Jizuri Suzaku, which is controlled from outside, this type of God of War is piloted by having someone absorbed into itself. Generally speaking, most other Gods of War use a similar system for flight. Stilts note: I included this one so you could find the general specs behind a God of War. Remember this though – these things are tough. Defeating one of them is not easy, so anyone who can pull that off is a badass. [/spoiler] And the extremely well done first and second season openings (because openings can be the best hook for any show!). Opening 1 [spoiler]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1Iw9yED-tk[/spoiler] Opening 2 [spoiler]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Wxbb7sOcJg[/spoiler] As a final note, a great descriptor for the genres of the show is that it is 1 part political, 1 part action, and 1 part comedy. Hopefully those of you who haven't seen it decide to pick it up because it is an extremely solid show, and for those that have watched it, let's talk about Season 3 and the Baka tsuki LN translations because I thought I would start reading those in wait for Season 3.