The time is out of joint.
Zetsuen no Tempest / Blast of Tempest: The Civilization Blaster (REVIEW)
(MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD)
NOTE: This review does not meet my standards any longer and will be updated sometime in the future.
I didn’t pick up Zetsuen no Tempest initially as the season was fairly busy and this one slipped from my sights for a time. Even so, I picked it up a short while after and have since then followed and enjoyed the anime as a whole. Let’s begin this review of revenge, doubt, mind games, magic, temporal paradoxes, and giant trees.
The whole anime surrounds one girl, Fuwa Aika. Indeed, from the onset of the anime, the first mission that drives everything is Fuwa Mahiro, her step-brother’s desire to find who killed Aika and bring logic back into the world. How does he do that? By making a deal with a princess and almighty magician of the Tree of Genesis called Hakaze. Of course, we can’t ignore the last important character, Takigawa Yoshino who is also one of four critical components in this anime. And the trees, let’s not forget the trees. There is a Tree of Genesis that is noted to be the “good side” while the Tree of Exodus which is on the opposite side. However, whatever the protagonists are fighting for becomes more blurred as time passes and plenty of other themes come into the fray as well.
One aspect that is very interesting is how the anime uses Aika as a means of advancing the story even though she’s dead. Having flashbacks to her interactions with Yoshino and Mahiro and relating it to the current situation at hand is quite neat. As Mahiro tries to find the killer with Hakaze and Yoshino’s assistance, the Kusaribe Clan comes in to stir things up. Most notably, they try to revive the Tree of Exodus so that it may defeat the Tree of Genesis. Of course, one would wonder if it is so simple that both trees represent “good and evil” and whether if everything is as clear as they seem. The Kusaribe Clan has their reasoning and Hakaze has hers as well. Either way, the anime executes this conflict between people who are supposed to be allies fairly well especially when you take into consideration some of the mind games that the anime plays.
It’s really hard to review this properly without giving away too much, but let’s just say that there is some time travelling going on midst all this magic. Time paradoxes are not something that’s original, but the heated debates and guessing what’s going on may be entertaining to some. For others, I can understand that some may not want to sit through people arguing back and forth somewhat pointlessly. Whatever time travelling that does happen doesn’t challenge bounds, but it is entertaining because the characters are.
You might be surprised that it becomes more about romance later on. That’s not to say that the tense situation the characters are in is irrelevant, but the romance becomes much more prominent. It’s a strange change of pace as it was once not really anything of the sort. Some may dislike the turn while others like it. The overall story turns slower and makes it more like a slice of life. However, there are still bits of tense situations embedded in all of the romance and personally. It’s interesting mix that brings out the feelings that some characters hold.
There are twists and turns along the way, and while most of what happens isn’t shocking, it’s well executed. Actually, looking back for this review, I would say that many who watch this anime would be able to successfully predict what happens in the story. However, even if we know what will happen, the characters and the way they interact with each other is another thing altogether. I would say that the story is suitable, but the characters are great. The relationship between Mahiro, Yoshino and Aika is the most interesting and important one in the entire story. Things are hidden from the overprotective Mahiro and let’s just say that Yoshino and Aika have something going on. Later on in the story, intentions are realized and the characters have to simply accept what happened. In the end, it’s quite an interesting result, especially taking into consideration the relationship the three share. One can consider them to be closer than family.
This is another one of those anime that likes to quote. A lot. Though, in this case it may make more sense as it is called Zetsuen no Tempest and the characters are quoting Shakespeare. Skillful usage of quotes? Not quite. The characters get my blood running when they say those quotes, but it may be more pretentious than meaningful. Nonetheless, some of the more hidden motifs and references to Shakespeare’s plays are not completely arbitrary even if it’s sometimes unnecessary.
There’s not a lot about the soundtrack or animations that I can review. They’re both decently done and while there’s nothing noteworthy, nothing is bad. Average for both, but I really do like the second ending and the usage of it in one of the episodes did impress me quite a bit. Otherwise, the openings and endings are fairly standard while the rest of the soundtrack is decent. Animations for the battles are well done with the usage of magic being prominent in each.
Zetsuen no Tempest Review Recommendation
If you like watching decent characters interact with each other with some magical and temporal elements thrown in and a decent story, Zetsuen no Tempest is probably for you. You may be thrown off a bit come the mid-point, but rest assured, the story is still exciting all the way until the end. The ending itself rounds everything up nicely and is mostly thanks to, once again, the characters. The story and plot are fairly good in places where they matter and the characters do make it even better. Try out the first few episodes and see if you like it. If you hold some interest, maybe wait until the time paradoxes begin and the mystery of Aika’s death to develop further before deciding to continue or not.
Zetsuen no Tempest Review Conclusion
Zetsuen no Tempest has been an enjoyable watch for me and it’s characters have made me come back to see what more they could do. Nothing new or completely original is presented here (except for the giant trees), but it doesn’t have to be to make me like the anime. Much like a lot of other anime I have watched, it’s good in some respects, but there’s nothing that astounds me. That’s not to say it’s bad as I think this anime deserves at least a try. Who knows, maybe you’ll really like the characters because I certainly do.