Horizon Ariadust from Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere (Wave Version)

Horizon Ariadust Figure Review

Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere was one of my favorite shows from the fall 2011 anime season. It features a compelling setting, a likeable cast, a delightfully dense plot, and some of the nicest character designs in all of anime. Those designs, plus the sheer volume of characters in the show, would suggest that the series would be one that would get a lot of figures.

So one would think, anyway; however, it’s now been about a year and a half since the show debuted and only a handful of figures from the series have made their way to retail. Even more perplexing is that all of those figures come from Wave. Unsurprisingly, the great majority of those figures belong to their 1/10 scale Beach Queens line, but they did make one anomalous figure of Horizon Ariadust, which is what we’ll be looking at here.

Horizon Ariadust Figure Review

I have to admit that my early impressions of Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere – Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon or Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere in Japan – weren’t that great. The initial episode introduces us to the students of Musashi Academy, but subsequent episodes shift focus to the other factions that populate the setting, and those characters aren’t quite as interesting as the main characters. The disjointed, spastic storytelling threatens to derail the series, but the spotlight soon shifts back to Musashi Academy and the anime picks up steam from there, thanks mostly to the appealing nature of the cast. The students are plucky, resourceful, and confident, and they display a charming esprit de corps – even when molesting one of their own. Along the way, they meet and do battle with a variety of quirky characters, including Queen Elizabeth, the Pope, and a Spanish baseball team. It’s … easier to watch it than to explain. (Further, the show is based off of a series of books and I’m sure there is a lot of material that didn’t make it into the anime.)

Horizon Ariadust Figure Review

Almost lost amid all this complexity is the show’s titular character. Horizon Ariadust is actually P-01s, an android who works in a quiet cafe. She exhibits a remarkable similarity to a deceased girl named Horizon Ariadust, and after the show settles into its main plot sequence, the storytelling revolves around her personality and circumstances. Despite being an artificial doll, Horizon possesses a deadpan sense of humor and a direct manner of speaking. That bluntness becomes acerbic when she is around lead male character Toori Aoi, and she isn’t unwilling to use her fists to put him back in his place.

Horizon Ariadust Figure Review

Other highlights of the first season include an erotic story authored by shrine maiden Tomo Asama and a pitched battle between an anti-mecha maid and a giant robot. It’s a good show, one that deserves more figures, and that brings us to this figure here. As mentioned, it’s manufactured by Wave, but it’s not one of their Beach Queen products; rather, this figure is sculpted in a fairly typical 1/8 scale and stands about 21 centimeters in height. It was originally released in April of 2012 as a Japan-only exclusive, which makes it somewhat uncommon, though it’s not difficult at all to find it on the secondary market.

Horizon Ariadust Figure Review

Despite not being a Musashi Academy student at the start of the show, Horizon wears an outfit similar to the Musashi uniform for female students. The outfit almost thwarts description, as complicated as it is – it appears to be a thong leotard and thigh-high boots over pantyhose. Whatever it is, I think it’s the best school uniform in all of anime. Horizon’s outfit is a bit unusual in that apparently her arms are left bare – her skin is actually black, or so I’ve heard. Some interesting protrusions along her sides and hips inform the viewer that she comes from a sci-fi anime.

Horizon Ariadust Figure Review

Horizon is frozen in mid-stride, an enigmatic look fixed on her face. I’m guessing that they wanted her to appear unemotional, but with her vacant stare and slack O-shaped mouth, it’s not difficult to think that she’s walking out of a lobotomy ward. The awkwardness of her pose exacerbates this impression, being that it looks sort of like she’s struggling to keep her balance.

Horizon Ariadust Figure Review

That said, one could also argue that she looks ethereal and inscrutable, or that she’s showing a sense of melancholy. All of those traits are very much in keeping with her character and I can see all of those aspects in this figure. However, I can also imagine that she’s taking a field sobriety test, and that’s probably not what Wave intended. However, even though her expression might evoke negative or comical interpretations, I can’t say that I dislike it too much; just the fact that it’s not easy to deduce what she is feeling generates a level of appeal.

Horizon Ariadust Figure Review

Alternate viewing angles are much more kind to the figure. Here, she seems to be quite sad, and perhaps a bit lonely as well. Her look does bring to mind specific instances from the anime, and that is not a bad thing at all.

Horizon Ariadust Figure Review

This is actually only the second Wave figure I’ve ever purchased and while I had no major issues with the first one, it’s pretty clear that Horizon doesn’t pass the macro lens test. I’ll leave the technical observations to the viewer, as the quality of the painting is pretty easy to assess from the pictures.

Horizon Ariadust Figure Review

Several aspects of the sculpt are not particularly impressive, either. The most obvious example is her hair, which is completely featureless in the rear. That’s a bit nonplussing as her bangs show a reasonable amount of detail.

Horizon Ariadust Figure Review

Speaking of the rear, her hair is split in a rather unrealistic manner, giving the viewer a good look at Horizon’s rear end. Unfortunately, there’s not very much to see there; Horizon’s ass is completely flat. That’s completely confounding, being that the show has official, studio-produced art like this. Brusquely put, Horizon should have a much bigger backside.

Horizon Ariadust Figure Review

It’s difficult to argue that this is a really good figure, but it does have the advantage of being the only figure of Horizon Ariadust currently available, even eleven months after its release. For fans of Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere, that’s a significant cachet, and it’s pretty much the main reason I bought this figure. It has numerous problems, but I have to say that I still like it. Horizon’s character design is attractive enough to overcome its technical issues, and while this figure flunks a close-up examination, from a normal viewing distance, she looks alright. I paid too much money for it, and I really wish Horizon had a bigger, sexier ass, but beggars can’t be choosers and right now and for the last year, there’s only been one choice for Horizon fans.

Horizon Ariadust Figure Review
Horizon Ariadust Figure Review
Horizon Ariadust Figure Review
Horizon Ariadust Figure Review
Horizon Ariadust Figure Review
Horizon Ariadust Figure Review
Horizon Ariadust Figure Review
Horizon Ariadust Figure Review
Horizon Ariadust Figure Review
Horizon Ariadust Figure Review
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23 Responses to Horizon Ariadust from Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere (Wave Version)

  1. Asa says:

    Don’t forget Volks’ coming out in May; http://myfigurecollection.net/item/84042

    I’ve not seen the series yet, as it’s part of my ever growing backlog, but I’ve noticed a number of figures from it being announced recently, so perhaps there were licensing issues or something that prevented figures earlier than now. I dunno.

    I can’t really say much nice about this figure. I’m not biased for the character since I haven’t seen the show, and the paintjob looks quite sloppy. I’m sure the Volks version will be nicer, at any rate; she seems to have a more shapely behind you desire, too — http://myfigurecollection.net/picture/511733&ref=item%3A84042 but I’m sure she was already on your radar if you like the character and show.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, I have the Volks figure preordered; I didn’t mention it since it’s not out yet, and I’m not all that confident it’s going to be out any time soon. I think I read that it’s slated for an April or May release date but I have no expectations. The anime is a good show, or at least, I liked it a lot, which is not a common reaction from me regarding anime. I think it’s a show that’s best watched without thinking too hard about it, though; it’s got a ton of idiosyncrasies and plot jargon that can make it a bit difficult to get into, especially at the start.

  2. wieselhead says:

    Horizon is one of the best new action shows in anime. The cast is great and no one should complain about a lack of epic action. You should watch season 2 as well.

    Well, this figure turned out a lot better than I expected, even though the paintjob could have been cleaner, the most prominent flaw is the smear at her black part around her boobs.
    Anyway, all the little details of her outfit look quite pretty and convincing and the textures look delicous and give Horizon has a sexy look ^^ What I also like is that they managed to give the figure a super cute expression mhh combined with her pose it looks like she is a little puzzled or drunk, but it is really adorable. Her bubble butt is missing unfortunately.

    Seeing how cool a figure from a so so manufacturer from this anime looks , I pray for more figures from it. Honda and Mary Stuart are actually planned. Tomo from Max Factory also looks very appealing, but the somehow twisted pose is not my cup of tea.

    thx for the pictures 😉

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, I need to watch the rest of season 2. (I also need to get a Blu-ray player so that I can re-watch season 1, since I have the BDs here. I’m still annoyed that buying a BD-ROM drive doesn’t necessarily let you watch Blu-rays.)

      I was hoping that Tomo would get sculpted standing up; I think I saw Kotobukiya or Volks (I forget which) was going to do that, so I’ll be looking forward to that. I still like MF’s Tomo, though; the facial expression seems a bit awkward but the backside looks glorious.

  3. TomTheCat says:

    Her buttocks may be a little too flat, but what little there is is nicely shaped at least. Her hips and thighs are looking marvelous, also her belly.

    On the other hand, not only the paint job on her bust is sloppy. The sculpt of them boobies itself also leaves something to be desired.

    Your reference to the sobriety test led my eyes to her feet, and she indeed appears to be trying to keep her balance. Funny shoes by the way 🙂

    • Tier says:

      It’s definitely a pretty ragged-looking figure in terms of paint application, which is kinda galling considering that this was an exclusive figure. I know that Wave isn’t a top-tier manufacturer or anything but one has to wonder why they decided to make this an exclusive figure.

  4. Dvalinn says:

    I never completed the Horizon anime myself – the first few episodes didn’t really impress me, and so I ditched it. But if it’s going to be better later on, I guess I might as well add it to my eternally growing backlog. Wouldn’t be the first time I dumped an anime on first impressions that turned out to be pretty good, after all (Oda Nobuna is a recent example).

    Figure-wise though, I’m really not that impressed with this one. Most of the merits come from the design itself, which looks pretty awesome, but the execution has problems. I really don’t like the way her hair looks, myself, and there are other parts (like her chest) that look iffy as well. Her stance is awkward as well, she just looks uncomfortable. Kinda sucks when that happens; when you’re finally getting a figure from a show you like, and it’s not up to snuff. Hmm.

    Besides the Volks one, there’s that Max Factory one coming out of some other character though, and she looks pretty good (she does have enormous tracks of land, though). You going to get that one?

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, I liked the first episode a lot, then it switched over to a bunch of other characters that I didn’t care as much for and my interest slackened. It does get better in the second half of the first season, though. I can think of a number of shows I did not care much for and then wound up liking later on (like Infinite Stratos … well, I dunno if I’d say that I like it, but I don’t hate it as much as I initially did).

      I’ll buy figures of characters I really like even if I’m not too confident in the manufacturer; sometimes it works out okay and sometimes not, and this is probably a case of the latter. It does suck when that happens, since you really want it to be good, but I’m guessing there’s a decent chance Horizon will get more figures (and I’m hoping the Volks figure will be decent; I’m not expecting it to be superlative, given the quality of my others Volks figures, but decent would be acceptable). I’ve got some figures of other characters that I really like – like pretty much every Psylocke figure I own – that aren’t really great, and I don’t expect them to ever get a nice figure.

      Yeah, I’m going to get Tomo; I was pretty bummed that she got kicked from January all the way till April. On the plus side, I guess that gives me some time to think about how I want to shoot her; this shoot was supposed to be a trial for that, and there are still a lot of kinks I need to work out.

  5. It’s not just her ass, her face looks really 2D flat as well, almost as bad as Mitotsudairas or Masazumis chest (ZING!!)

    for me, the show was really fun but far too dense and you could tell that they cut a lot even from that!! Have you seen how big the original Light Novel volumes are?? Still, I’m holding out for the Volks Kimi Aoi figure (even if it is MoeKore+) and the Kotobukiya Futayo de gozaru!!

    I actually have a theory that speaking in archaic Japanese automatically makes the character awesome! We have Futayo, Bang from Blazblue, Yukikaze from Dog Days…

    • Tier says:

      It was tremendously dense, and to be honest, I tuned out the plot pretty quickly. I mainly liked it because of the characters (and the character designs); without the pluckiness of the student body, I would’ve lost interest quickly. (The peculiar terminology and technology used in the show kinda makes me wonder how English-language shows like Star Trek sound to foreign audiences.)

      • TBH, I don’t think there was that much of a plot in the first season beyond “We need to rescue Horizon!” It was more of a platform to show off the various technologies and forms of combat (LOL! Debate!) in the world.

        There was way more plot in the second season when they worked in the whole “recreation of history” stuff with the Tudors. Being a Brit, I do still recall some of my old History lessons on the era so that was a little fun, and it was also interesting to see how the sides manipulated it all to suit their own needs. But overall, it was even more dense than the first season. People will easily get lost in it.

        And luckily, Star Trek never really bothered to explain the science of their universe. It’s usually “this is X. It is able to do Y” For stuff like “Nacelles” the foreign language probably has something similar in meaning or they make up a similar sounding word with their language (which usually means jack shit when translated literally)

        • Tier says:

          I’m going through the second season and it’s making a little more sense to me; not so much the motivations (I’m not quite sure why they need to recreate history), but at least I can sort of see what they’re trying to do. That said, I think one of the reasons that I like this show is that it’s so far out there that I can completely suspend disbelief and not be bothered about it. I’ve watched some other shows that tried to hew closer to reality and I didn’t like them nearly as much (Guilty Crown comes to mind here, which I am sure is no surprise).

  6. Brian says:

    Yeah, the paint could have been a little cleaner, and Wave usually does a little better job of it. I own a few of their smaller-scale figures and I’ve had a few issues (namely the Ami Kawashima Beach Queen) but nothing too terrible.

    Haven’t watched Horizon, though; my backlog of anime is way too long at this point @.@

    • Tier says:

      The one other Wave figure I have is pretty nice, from a technical perspective. It’s also a lot larger, so perhaps they took a little more care with it. I don’t own any of their Beach Queen stuff so I can’t compare it myself; it’s a good thing most of their products are 1/10 scale, or I’d probably feel compelled to spend a lot more money on their stuff.

      That sorta seems how it is with everything these days; too much stuff to do and not enough time to do it all. I’m thinking I won’t even get a PS4 for years, since I still have a ton of 360 and PS3 games to play through.

  7. Lykaios says:

    This post made me try to preorder (try as in I won’t believe my reservation with Toy Coin is a done deal until I get a shipping confirmation email) the Volks Horizon, as I have absolutely no faith that a figure of her is going to be done by anyone. And I need several figures from this show, I ended up loving it so much.

    The show is definitely worth trudging through to about when the story refocuses Toori and the rest of the class and how they deal with the major events that go down right before. If the first half had been like the second half, this anime would have been the best I had seen in a GOOD while. Reading up on a wiki helps to understand the backstory with the world they live in, but you can just have fun watching it for what it is.

    I think I will try to find Volks’ Kimi as well, she seems to be in almost the same figure situation that Horizon is. But at least both the figma and Kotobukiya figure Futayo look MOST promising. And the standing Tomo is Kotobukiya – I hope she looks as good as it appears Futayo does. I may even try for the Masazumi if I have enough free cash, I will wait and see.

    I wonder if we will EVER see a Nate that is not Wave…..

    So anyway, thanks for helping me steer clear of this Horizon ^_^ It’s not that she is tragic, she just isn’t worth the exclusive treatment and price tag.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, that’s pretty much how I felt about it as well, I think; I really enjoyed seeing the Musashi students and the way they interacted to solve problems. It’s somewhat curious that figure companies seem to be avoiding Horizon, for some reason; I would’ve thought that Wave would’ve made a Beach Queens figure of her, at least. I wonder why the only two Horizon figures that are available are both mail-order exclusives? I think the main character of the show deserves more love than that.

      If we do see a Nate figure, I wonder if she’ll be in an action pose, and if she is, I wonder how many braces and pylons they’ll need to hold her hair up.

  8. Wolfheinrich says:

    Horizon from the middle of nowhere has been one heck of a confusing show for me, try 1 was too confusing, gave up; but after talking to a few ppl on twitter, I was able to finish the first season by try 2. Admittedly, the appearances of Horizon Ariadust is what’s drawing me to the show. However, it doesn’t save the show from being extremely confusing, a lot of things are being done and you have no idea where it came from and why. After reading the first half of your review, I decided to give season 2 a try, watched the first 2 episodes on CR, and it’s still confusing as heck >.>

    Speaking in terms of figures though, I think the problem with the anime is that there are too many characters and too few of them have enough screen time to develop their personality and develop a proper fanbase; sure there are lots of girls but can I say for sure I would buy any of them, perhaps Horizon but only if it’s done well.

    • You might get a better understanding of why the shows are like that after you see this pic…

      http://lookingglass.kokidokom.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/kyokai-novels.jpg

      that is the bulk of the series in its original light novel form… If you’re trying to cram even just some of that into a series, you know a lot is going to be cut. If I’m not mistaken, the series covers 2 of the arcs (one for each series) but that’s still 4 of those things to condense and the average light novel volume is probably just over half the size of the smallest Horizon vol!!!

      Still, the busty trio are awesome (and not just cos of their chest sizes) and Mito is great too!

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, I’d agree with that; I pretty much gave up on deciphering the plot. I’m not sure why the student government runs the ship, or why they flew off to England, but it’s all good to me; this is one of very few shows that I enjoy while not knowing what the heck is going on. (Incidentally, this is also how I also watch a lot of sports; I don’t have much of an idea how soccer is played, for example, but when I watch it, I try not to worry about that.)

      • That’s Football to the rest of the world!!! It’s actually one of the simplest sports around.

        Unsportsmanlike play is cautioned with a yellow card and outright dangerous play is a red card and the player is sent off.

        It only gets tricky when trying to explain the offside rule. But in laymans terms, when one team starts an attack on the goal, all attacking players must be behind the line created from the other teams defence.

        • Tier says:

          The main thing I get confused about are the extra time rules. With every other sport I watch (football and basketball), the clock is very important and once the allotted play period elapses, the game is over, unless the score is tied, and the time rules are very strictly enforced. I was watching some World Cup matches a few years back and I always got confused when the clock hit 90 minutes and they kept playing on, and then I’d get more confused when the victorious team would come running onto the pitch, since I didn’t know that the match had ended.

  9. Aaron says:

    I like that the school uniforms are so unique for this series. I have not seen any episodes or even know anything about the show, but I am really surprised that this series isn’t getting more figures.

    This figure is the reason why I don’t get interested in Wave figures. She is sculpted pretty well, but the paint application just doesn’t do the figure justice as I would guess most of their figures would be.

    I liked the backdrop you used this time around.

    • Tier says:

      It is curious; perhaps they are just slow in coming. The good thing is that a variety of manufacturers (Alter, Kotobukiya, and Volks, among others) are making figures of the characters so it’s not a situation where it’s being shunned, at least. (I’m still wondering why Kampfer never got any figures.)

      Yeah, this doesn’t really encourage me to go out and purchase more Wave figures. Though to be honest, their 1/10 scale size for their Beach Queens series is the largest deterrent; I’d be tempted to get more of their stuff without regard to their quality if their figures were of larger size, but I have minimal interest in anything smaller than 1/8 scale.

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