Sound Horizon

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
/wiki/Sound Horizoncreator

Sound Horizon is a Japanese band consisting of songwriter Revo and some other people (who tend to vary from one album to the next). Their albums are nearly all Concept Albums, if not Rock Operas, usually with fantasy or science fiction themes. The creator of the band has also done an image album for Gunslinger Girl (translations of which can be found here), an Image Album for the Leviathan manga and a theme song for Atelier Iris 3. They are known for their play-like live performances, and lots of foreign languages.

They have quite a following in Asia, and numerous fan-made music videos have been made to their songs.

The song "Ark" from Elysion Rakuen e no Zensōkyoku and the entire album Roman have also had manga adaptations drawn by Yukimaru Katsura, also the artist for the manga versions of AIR and Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl.

Sound Horizon provides examples of the following tropes:


  • Acting for Two: Aramary and Jimang both did this a lot in Chronicle 2nd
  • Album Title Drop
  • All There in the Manual: Some instrumental pieces (such as "Yaneura no Shoujo" and "Raijin no Sawan") have lyrics printed in the CD booklets.
  • Alternate Character Reading: Every fucking song.
  • Audience Participation Song: Many of the songs. Some of them are "Asa to Yoru no Monogatari", "Yield" "Hiiro no Fuusha" and "Sunawachi... Hikari wo mo nigasanu ankoku no Chou← Juu↓ Ryoku↑".
  • Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: Revo, usually.
  • Badass Baritone: Ike Nelson exists to give songs epic English narrations.
  • Battle Cry: After General Alvarez/Ramirez/Amethystos/Cortes/Gefenbauer!!!
  • Bilingual Bonus: The lyrics given in the CD booklets are all in Japanese, but parts are usually sung in another language (English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Greek...). These foreign language bits often have a slightly (or very) different meaning from the lyrics as written in Japanese.
  • Character as Himself: Revo is typically credited by the name of the character he plays in the album.
  • Character Overlap: As least implied character overlap. To list a few:
    • Abyss shows up briefly in Roman as the man who kills Loraine de Saint-Laurent's lover.
    • Moira has a minor character called Orph who suspiciously resembles Orpheus.
    • Elysion features Old Rose, the one-eyed "Crimson Witch" who was banished to the forest. Cut to Märchen, in which a red-clad witch with one eye covered by her hair called Alte Rose ("Old Rose" in German) appears...
    • "Yaneura Roman" all but confirms that Michèle Malebranche has trapped Hiver in a deadly Eternal Recurrence much like the one she suffers.
  • Cool Shades: If Revo isn't dressed as one of the album characters, he's wearing these.
  • Costume Porn: Revo enjoys himself some fancy outfits.
  • Death of the Author: Invoked by Revo's infamous declaration of, "All interpretations are valid."
  • Epic Rocking: Quite a few in their story albums. Märchen, for example, has a grand total of one song ("Gyoukou no Uta") under six minutes.
  • Fake Nationality: By necessity, usually - Most of the albums are set outside of East Asia, and there's not exactly a surplus of French/ancient Greek/Middle-Eastern/German/etc. singers working in Japan that can sing fluently in Japanese.
  • Genre Roulette
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Norio Wakamoto, Inoue Azumi,...
  • Hidden Track
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: Some of the albums can feel like this.
  • The Klutz: Revo - just ask the other members.

Mio: What I like most about [Revo] is that he falls down a lot.


Revo: So why is REMI singing Utsukushiki Mono? Because she said she wanted to. And Hiiro no Fuusha's violin solo was changed to Acchan's bass solo since he wanted to do it. This is something new we tried this time. We don't need consistency!


Story Albums/Singles:



"History repeats itself. Don’t ever forget that. History repeats itself. You can’t ever forget that…"


Your eyes shall reflect… Both beautiful things and ugly things, all of them…




  • Benevolent Genie: "Mahoutsukai Sarabanto". And she's really happy to be let out of the lamp she was imprisoned in for so long.
  • Catch Phrase: "Wasuremono wa arimasen ka...?" ("Haven't you forgotten something...?"), repeated in nearly, if not in every, track of the CD.
  • Ominous Music Box Tune: "Eien no Shounen"
  • Staking the Loved One: "Koibito wo Uchiotoshita Hi"
  • Together in Death: After the protagonist of "Koibito wo Uchiotoshita Hi" slays the monster that used to be her lover, she uses the last arrow she has to kill herself.

Pico Magic

Pico Magic Reloaded

  • Abusive Parents: Keeping your child chained in the attic sounds pretty abusive to me.
  • And I Must Scream: Michèle Malebranche, in Christopher Jean-Jacques Saint-Laurent's professional opinion.

"She probably wanted to escape The narrow cage she was trapped in... To the point of monomania. ...but, regrettably her wish was not granted during her lifetime. ...and even now, one century after her death, she is still within that cage..."


The moment that the girl’s closed eyes open, the world will bear witness to the worst kind of lunatic dream it can fantasize…a cruel reaper[god]…

  • Blood Sucking: Michèle Malebranche
  • Go Mad From the Isolation: In "Yaneura no Shoujo"
  • Gratuitous English: "They there said reloaded!"
  • Madwoman in the Attic
  • Non-Indicative Name: "Pico Magic" isn't exactly the sort of name you'd expect an album about a torturous, inescapable cycle of death to have - It also has little to no connection to the first Pico Magic.
  • Recurring Riff: All tracks of the "cage trilogy" ("Yaneura no Shoujo", "Ori no naka no Yuugi", and "Ori no naka no Hana") all have a riff in common, indicating they're all part of the same story. This also connects them to Roman, as the later album has a bonus track that also shares the riff.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Implied in "Ori no naka no Hana".
  • That One Case: Or, more accurately, Those Three Cases (all relating to Michèle Malebranche) in "Ori no naka no Hana".
  • Thirteen Is Unlucky: In "Ori no naka no Hana", the shriveled body of Michèle Malebranche is found under the decomposing corpses of thirteen young boys.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: It's pretty easy to see why Michèle Malebranche is so screwed up.

Chronicle 2nd


"You idiot! That won't solve anything! You might be satisfied with just that, but there might be people who want to take revenge for you. That line of logic repeats itself, creating new tragedies..."


Elysion ~Rakuen e no Zensoukyoku

Elysion Rakuen Gensou Monogatari Kumikyoku

Shounen wa Tsurugi wo...

  • No Name Given: The main character of the story is known in Japan simply as Sword Boy.


  • All There in the Manual: The entire CD. It's impossible to tell, more often than not, what exactly is going on. In particular, "Norowareshi Hōseki" brings up a LOT of questions regarding practically everything, not like other songs (i.e. "11-moji no Dengon (Message)") don't, either.
    • It very quickly gets to the point where, the more you think about it and try to figure it out, the more brainpain you doom yourself to.
    • A lot of critical information (particularly relating to "Norowareshi Hōseki" and "Yaneura Roman") is in the much earlier Pico Magic Reloaded rather than in Roman itself.
  • Artifact of Death: The eponymous diamond in "Norowareshi Hōseki", which brings death to anyone who possesses it.
  • Badass Mustache: Savant.
  • Bishounen: Hiver and Laurencin.
  • Big Friendly Dog: Pleut.
  • Body Motifs: In "Miezaru Ude", the main character is missing an arm, and this is brought up a fair amount of times in the lyrics. Heck, it's referenced straight in the title (translation: "The Invisible Arm").
  • A Boy and His X: Etoile and Pleut in "Hoshikuzu no Kawahimo".
  • Creepy Twins: Violette and Hortense, though arguably, they're also quite cute.
  • Catch Phrase: "Soko ni Roman wa aru no kashira", or roughly, "I wonder if a story exists there", which is the line that either Violette or Hortense or both will say in each song. Hiver gets his own variant of this phrase ("Soko ni Roman wa aru no darou ka") in the first track.
  • Convenient Miscarriage: Well, more so "heartbreaking" than "convenient", really, especially after taking certain songs (like "Honoo") into account. It's also what sets the album in motion: Hiver is actually the soul of a stillborn, and his curiosity about life and death, as well as a desire to be born into the world, is what prompts him to send the dolls out to find stories revolving around those subjects.
  • Cypher Language: Somewhat. In the lyrics booklet, each song has a Japanese character replaced with a four digit number. This is important for "11-moji no Dengon (Message)", where a message in the lyrics is written out as a chain of these numbers. Since the vocalist only sings the line in "la" syllables, the actual message needs to be worked out using that code. Not to say that's the only "message" to be found, however...
  • Death by Childbirth: "Tenshi no Chōzō" and implied in "11-moji no Dengon (Message)".
  • Drowning My Sorrows: The blond Laurant in "Miezaru Ude" after the redheaded Laurant severs his arm and leaves him in constant, crippling pain. When the blond Laurant finally encounters the redheaded Laurant for a second time, he seems that he's succumbed to the same fate after losing his own arm.
  • Gratuitous French: Roman translates to "story", and there are French words and phrases scattered throughout the songs. The lyrics in the included booklet don't have the French written out however, but rather Japanese equivalents (which is typical for Sound Horizon). To Revo's credit though, the translations hold unless he's going for a double meaning in the text.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Violette and Hortense.
  • Evil Redhead: The redheaded Laurant in "Miezaru Ude".
  • Fisher King: Hiver in the manga. He's obviously not in our world, but the very little we see of the... mysterious place he stays in seems pretty parallel to winter, what with its emptiness and open space of white. Probably makes some lovely echoes, too.
  • Impoverished Patrician: Loraine de Saint-Laurent, in "Yorokobi to Kanashimi no Budōshu", is from this sort of family, which is why her father insists that she marry a rich man rather than the poor vineyard-worker whom she truly loves.
  • Intellectual Animal: Pleut; in "Hoshikuzu no Kawahimo", she sings with Étoile, even though she's a dog. It's depicted in the manga as a sort of dream experience where a blind Étoile can see her and interact with her.
  • Mad God: "Yaneura Roman" implies that the world in Roman was created by Michèle Malebranche. No go back to Reloaded and realize what that entails.
  • Meaningful Name: A few. To start off, Hiver is "winter" in French, the season of his death.
    • Violette and Hortense refer to "violets" and "hortensia/hydrangea". Also, with a little creativity regarding the flowers' imagery and kanji pronunciation wordplay, you get "death" and "life" respectively.
    • Étoile's name is actually explained and referenced right in the song title, through the song, and in the manga adaption many times. Heck, it's kind of the point of her song to begin with.
  • Mismatched Eyes: Hiver. Even his nails follow the idea.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted - there are quite a lot of Laurants running around. "Miezaru Ude" in particular features a man named Laurant confronting a man also named Laurant after the latter severed the former's arm. And then Laurencin shows up...
  • POV Sequel: "Yorokobi to Kanashimi no Budōshu" is implied to be the same story as "Eru no Tenbin", only from the side of the eloping lovers, which is the interpretation the manga takes
  • Pretty in Mink: Hiver once again. His coat's trimmed and apparently lined with the stuff.
  • Recurring Riff: A faintly playing musicbox shows up at the end of most songs when one of the dolls delivers the catchphrase. There are two brief tunes alternating depending on the doll speaking, but both are still recognizable from the first track's melody.
    • Also, there's no way to not recognize a slower version of the chorus' melody in "Asa to Yoru no Roman (Monogatari)" and in the final verse of "11-moji no Dengon (Message)". Plus, "Hiver's Message", a song exclusive to the Triumph III concert, uses a quick chord progression also found in the aforementioned chorus.
  • Runaway Fiance: Implied in "Yorokobi to Kanashimi no Budōshu"; definitely the case in the manga adaptation.
  • Snow Means Death: As stated earlier with Hiver.
  • Storyboard Body: Hiver, Violette, and Hortense all. In the manga, it's shown that Hiver cloned (for lack of a better word) his facial tattoos onto the cheeks of his dolls. Violette, being the doll relating to death, gets the moon, while Hortense, as the one relating to life, gets the sun.
  • Unreliable Narrator: "Yaneura Roman" suggests that one of the dolls is not quite honest about the stories she finds. ("Reality…fantasy…the world of roman…who is the liar-").
  • What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic: Life and death and the cycle they both make... The windmill references in one or two songs, the change of the seasons... Plus the characters' names, and their roles, and practically everything about this and every other Sound Horizon story album, really.
  • White-Haired Pretty Boy/Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Hiver.

Seisen no Iberia


  • All Amazons Want Hercules: Leontius and Alexandra
  • And Then John Was a Zombie
  • Angsty Surviving Twin
  • Animal Motif: Scorpius (scorpion), Leontius (lion), and Elef/Amethystos (wolf).
  • Anticlimax: Just as Thanatos (hosted in Elef's body) is about to confront and duel with Moira, Eirene interrupts her husband's reading of the story to announce that she's pregnant with twins
  • Anyone Can Die
  • Babies Ever After: Eirene runs in at the end of "Shinwa no Shūen - Telos" to announce that she's having twins, which are implied to be reincarnations of Elef and Misia.
  • Badass Cape: Elef, Leontius, and Scorpius
  • Because Destiny Says So
  • BFS
  • Big Brother Complex
  • Bishounen: Orion. And arguably, Elef. And probably Leontius, Orpheus...
  • Blind Seer: Misia is blinded after washing up on Lesbos's coast, after which she is rescued by Phyllis and trained as a diviner.
  • Book Ends: The album's bonus track, "Kami no Hikari - Moira", repeats the first verse of "Meiou - Thanatos" before being suddenly cut off. This, when put together with Eirene's twins, suggests that history is going to repeat itself.
  • Break the Cutie: Thanatos spends the entirety of the album tormenting Elef so that he will eventually give in to Thanatos and become his host to fight against Moira.
  • Cain and Abel: Leontius and his half-brother, Scorpius, are warring against each other to hold the throne of Illion. Leontius successfully slays Scorpius, only to be killed by his Long Lost Brother Elef/Amethystos in his siege of Illion.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Orion, at least as a child. Elef thinks it's stupid.

Orion: One-hit kill! 'The bow bends and a flame springs forth, freezing the night sky over' shot!
Elef: The name’s too long, idiot!
Orion: Hush you! This is the essence of Orion-styled archery!


Life is a gift, a Matryoshka doll filled with absurdity.
No matter how much you open it up, you will find only pain.


Leontius: Amethystos...being a Hellenes yourself, why do you assist the Barbaroi in their invasion?
Elefseus: What did the motherland ever do for me? All it did was take away my loved ones! Don't make me laugh!


Ido e Itaru Mori e Itaru Ido


"I always wanted to have friends
But I don't know what such things were"

  • Ill Girl: Elisabeth until she was cured.
  • The Ingenue: Elisabeth
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Elisabeth, enclosed in her home which apparently is a metaphor of bird cage without knowing the outer world, does not even have any friends until März arrives.
  • Mama Bear
  • Meaningful Name: Both Elise and Therese take their name from "Für Elise" ("Therese" coming from the hypothesis that the name of the piece was transliterated incorrectly, and that its real name is "Für Therese"), indicating their connection.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The crimes that got Therese burned at the stake as a witch? Healing sick children, apparently.
  • The President's Daughter: Elisabeth. It is never stated explicitly so, but if we look through the history, her surname, von Wettin, signs that she comes from the House of Wettin, which is a ruling family in Thurigia, German, at that time.
  • The Promise: Elisabeth made März promise to her that he'll come back one day, which sadly turns to be an Empty Promise due to his death.
  • Separated by the Wall: März and Elisabeth
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Hans and Tom, the men In the Hood who captured Therese.
  • Throwing Off the Disability: März used to be blind, but regained his sight "due to a mysterious incident". This was one of the reasons Therese was accused to witchcraft.
  • Thrown Down a Well: März. Literally.


  • Adaptation Expansion: "Kuroki Okami No Yado" expands greatly upon "The Man from the Gallows", which is only a few lines long.
  • Ambiguous Gender: The Black Landlady's gender is listed as "unknown".
  • Arc Words: "Ido"[1] is a very important word.
  • Akio Ohtsuka: As Bluebeard.
  • Amnesiac Lover: Märchen recalls the faint feeling that he was once in love in "Yoiyami No Uta", but is told by the seven dead princesses except Elisabeth that it must have been his imagination.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Elisabeth wished that she wouldn't marry anyone else, only to be crucified by her own brother/father.
  • Big No: Elise's last word is a Big No of denial, after some Little Nos of denial too.
  • Bokukko: The main character in "Kuroki Okami no Yado" refers to herself with masculine pronouns. This is actually not that uncommon in the dialect she speaks in.
  • The Black Death: Gets its bonus track this time around.
  • The Brothers Grimm
  • Chained by Fashion: Märchen's new outfit still had his chains. It is significant.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Elise until she was spurned
  • Creepy Cool Crosses: Scattered everywhere.
  • Creepy Doll: Elise
  • Crosscast Role: Jimangu plays the role of the Landlady, and Yume Suzuki plays both Princes.
  • Cute and Psycho: Once she's revived, Snow White has no trouble in reveling in her stepmother's torturous death with an Evil Laugh, while the Blue Prince can only look on and wonder what the hell he's gotten himself hitched to.
  • Determinator: Elisabeth chose death over being tied into a loveless marriage
  • Disappeared Dad: The father in "Kakei no Majo".
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma: Neither the Blue Prince in "Garasu No Hitsugi De Nemuru Himegimi" nor the Red Prince in "Bara No Tou De Nemuru Himegimi" seem to care that their brides to be are comatose, if not outright dead.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Märchen
  • Every Thing Is Better With Princesses: About half of the girls have no ties to royalty, but that doesn't stop Märchen from calling them the "seven dead princesses".
  • Fairy Tale: The seven revenge songs are based on one
    • "Hansel and Gretel": "Kakei no Majo"
    • "The Man from the Gallows": "Kuroki Okami No Yado"
    • "Snow White": "Garasu No Hitsugi De Nemuru Himegimi"
    • "Mother Hulda": "Sei To Shi Wo Wakatsu Kyoukai No Furuido"
    • "Sleeping Beauty": "Bara No Tou De Nemuru Himegimi"
    • "Bluebeard": "Aoki Hakushaku no Shiro"
    • "Saint Kummernis": "Takkei no Seijo"
  • Fantasy Tavern: Kurokitsunetei
  • Foreign Cuss Word: In "Kuroki Okami No Yado", the Landlady shouts "Scheiße!"
  • Friend to All Living Things: The nun in "Kakei No Majo". Well, her only friends are animals, though.
  • Genki Girl: The main character in "Sei to Shi wo Wakatsu Kyōkai no Furuido".
  • Ghost Amnesia: Märchen remembers nothing of his life as März, until Elisabeth causes him to remember.
  • Gratuitous German: Oh yes. For starters, the title of the album is German for "fairytale".
  • Hair Decorations: Elise, Swing Girl (from "Kuroki Okami No Yado"), Snow White, Well Girl ("Sei To Shi Wo Wakatsu Kyoukai No Furuido"), Sleeping Beauty, and Elisabeth fall into this category.
  • Hand Puppet: Märchen, of all people, makes use of them in "Sei To Shi Wo Wakatsu Kyoukai No Furuido".
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Märchen and Elise
  • Humans Are Morons: Elise stated this clearly in her revenge proposal to Märchen as humans never stop hating everyone.
  • "I Am" Song: "Yoiyami No Uta" - or a "I Have No Idea Who I Am" song, rather.
  • I Gave My Word: Apparently Märchen purposelessly fulfilled his promise as März to Elisabeth when he came to the church. During one of the lives, too, when there's a member introduction, März says to everyone that "März is a man of his word."
  • I Love the Dead: The Blue Prince has, in Märchen's words, "unusual preferences".
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The landlady in "Kuroki Okami No Yado" serves up human meat at her inn, although it's largely because there's not much else available.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Elisabeth
  • The Killer Becomes the Killed: Most of the villains (except the lazy stepmother and sister, Alterose, and Elisabeth's brother/father) who made the girls die, in the end gets killed by those girls (or anyone they use to kill back) in various ways.
  • Lady in Red: Bluebeard's first wife. The dress used to be white, but...
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Märchen
  • Looks Like Cesare: Märchen
  • Love Hurts: Elisabeth keeps her love for März, even though she must be crucified for that.
  • Love Redeems: Apparently Elisabeth's love is the one that makes Märchen remembers all of his past.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: One way of looking at the album. "This story is fiction. But that doesn't mean everything was made up."
  • Meaningful Echo: "Mother, the light is warm."
  • Musical Chores: "Sei To Shi Wo Wakatsu Kyoukai No Furuido"
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Elise. Actually, Alterose and Snow White's step mother fit this trope better.
  • No Name Given: All of the seven dead princesses, save for Snow White and Elizabeth.
  • Numerological Motif: Märchen sure loves the number seven.
  • Offing the Offspring: The mother in "Kakei no Majo" does this.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Märchen is basically a type R, brought back into the world only to indulge in his impulses for revenge.
  • Painful Transformation: If his screams are any indication, then März turning into Märchen probably isn't a very relaxing procedure. The fact that he's integrating Id into himself at the same time doesn't help in the mental aspect.
  • Palette Swap: The Red and Blue Princes are only distinguished by the color of their tunic. They're even played by the same person.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Gretel's overactive imagination leads her to believe that the old woman feeding them is actually a witch planning to eat them.
  • Prince Charming: The Red and Blue Princes.
  • Recurring Riff: All of the sequences where the princesses get their revenge share the melody of the call and response portion of "Hikari to Yami no Märchen (Dowa)".
  • Revenge: What this whole album is about.
  • Revenge SVP: Alte Rose, as per the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In a manner of speaking. Elise encourages Märchen to take revenge on humanity in general (because they're bastards), which Märchen decides to do by granting the opportunity for revenge to those who've also been wronged in life.
  • Rock Me, Amadeus: "Yoiyami No Uta" features a snippet from "Ode to Joy", followed quickly by "Fantaisie-Impromptu" and "Pictures at an Exposition".
  • Tear Jerker: "Takkei no Seijo" and "Gyoukou no Uta". The tears started during Elisabeth and Märchen's reunion, but Märchen's reprise of "This brightly shining era~" in "Gyoukou no Uta" just drove the nail home.
  • Together in Death: After his untimely death, Märchen and Elisabeth finally meet after Elisabeth is crucified.
  • Tohoku Regional Accent: The main character in "Kuroki Okami No Yado" speaks like this.
  • Turn the Other Cheek: Elisabeth is the only one of the seven dead princesses who decides not to take revenge.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: The seven dead princesses' are based on this, from gluttony, greed, envy, sloth, pride, lust, ending on wrath.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers
  • Stealth Pun: The notes Elise hums at the beginning of "Yoiyami No Uta" are from "Für Elise". It also plays on Elise's connection to Therese, as it's been suggested that the piece's title is actually a mistranscription of "Für Therese".
  • Vocaloid: Elise's singing voice is provided by Hatsune Miku.
  • Widow Witch: The "Witch" in "Kakei No Majo" - not that she hasn't done bad things in the past.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Schneewittchen's and the well girl's step mother fell into this category. The Landlady could fall into this category too, or maybe not
  • Woman Scorned: More like Doll Scorned for that couple of seconds in Elise's case.
  • World of Cardboard Song: In the second half of "Takkei no Seijo".
  • Yandere: Elise could be considered this for Märchen.
  1. "well" or "id"