Zetsuen no Tempest

Title:Zetsuen no Tempest
Blast of Tempest: The Civilization Blaster
Zetsuen no Tempest: The Civilization Blaster
絶園のテンペスト (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , , , , ,
Notables: R1 License - Aniplex of America
R1 License - Subtitled Only
TOYONAGA Toshiyuki
Mahiro Fuwa, a teenager whose family was mysteriously murdered a year ago, is contacted by Hakase Kusaribe, a young woman who stands against her clan since they left her stranded on a deserted island. As the two decide to help each other, Hakase's quest to oppose her clan brings to light that the Kusaribe clan intends to awaken the "Tree of Zetsuen" whose power can bring chaos upon the entire world.
(Synopsis courtesy of ANN)

The series is loosely based on Shakespeare's play ↗The Tempest.

24 episodes (?)

OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 9 9 9 7 9 9 Ggultra2764 [series:2633#1552]
It's not easy nowadays to find a recent anime title that I get genuine enjoyment out of and Blast of Tempest is a title that does that very well. The series is focused on two teenage boys who become entangled in a plot from a family of magicians trying to revive a tree whose power would result in the end of the world if triggered, with the plot also involving the family's teenage leader who is left to die on an island by her clan and the murdered younger sister of one of the boys. It's a bit tricky for me to reveal much about the series without revealing major spoilers involving the plot and characters. What I can say is that all isn't what it seems on the surface with this series as Blast of Tempest is rather elaborate in the execution of its plot direction and twists, showing that the nature of events surrounding character motives, situations and major aspects to the title's plot and elements have other elements to them that aren't expected yet make sense within the show's themes that heavily draw upon Shakespeare's plays of The Tempest and MacBeth with plot and character elements focused around tragedy, love and betrayal. The show's character development is mainly focused on exploring the perspectives of Mahiro and Yoshino in regards to their ordeals, their bond with Hakaze and how they were affected by Aika's death with the first half focused on the former and the second half more prominently focused on the latter. Their personalities are complex enough where they don't follow an assumed character archetype given their predicament, which make their characters all the more interesting. Most of the other major characters get their moments of fleshing out like Hakaze and Aika to show what connections they share with our two male leads and how they are affected by the events surrounding them. The series does have some occasional hiccups with some characters feeling like they exist only to fulfill a specific role and the pacing slowing to a halt at points, but this isn't enough to completely derail the quality of Blast of Tempest. If you're looking for an anime that doesn't follow any ongoing popular fad or conventional genre getting heavily milked for hype, Blast of Tempest is a definite title worth looking into.

Last updated Sunday, December 07 2014. Created Wednesday, April 09 2014.
Rent Stretch [series:2633#628]
(All episodes watched):

Episode one of Tempest left me feeling that this show had a strange, almost absurdist tone to it, as it jumped back and forth between several storylines. I had a hard time keeping track of all the characters and everything that was going on. Basically, Mahiro is an aggressive guy who doesn't give a damn about the rest of the world (which is in imminent danger) as long as he manages to find out who killed his sister, Aika, and take revenge on them. Yohiro is a more laid back friend who tags along. The show was kind of cool in some ways, with wild fighting and strange characters, and kind of melodramatic in others, as fairly common themes are served up to us yet again--perhaps it was the music which was contributing to this impression. I was a bit frustrated by the confusion I was experiencing, but the two guys are kind of fun, the angry, revenge minded one and the one who has reluctantly gotten involved. The odd notion of Hakase, the magician girl who is stranded on an island but magically communicates with the two guys is kind of neat, too.

But I wish the plot had come together more quickly and in a more easily understandable manner, to reassure me that there was some plausibility (even if magic is involved) to it, and it isn't just a lot of fancy trappings without much meat to the story. One problem is that the magical premise of the story is bewildering. Something about the trees of 'Genesis' and 'Exodus' clashing; and logic versus anti-logic, or something like that—it's never explained very well. I didn't really get it or consider it to be interesting enough to be worth figuring out.

I got a feeling that Aika would turn up alive and well sooner or later. Surely she wouldn't be getting as much attention as she is (in flashbacks and the OP sequence) if she's really dead. Around episode nine, the show actually gets kind of intriguing. Which is the 'good' side, Genesis or Exodus? Both make some convincing arguments why things will be best if they win out. It will be up to Mahiro and Yoshiro to figure out the best resolution to this crisis, and make it happen. I like the way that the show isn't settling for a simplistic good versus evil plot. The red-haired guy with the sword isn't just a bad guy, he really believes he's doing what's best. I'm glad I stayed with Tempest. All the firepower being employed against the Tree of Exodus, and the magical combatants who duke it out, isn't nearly as interesting (except that the magical villains admit that it just might overwhelm them, instead of laughing at it like they usually do in series like this). But I have taken a liking to these three principal characters and sincerely hope that things will work out well for them. The story behind the Yoshiro/Mashiro/Aika triangle is kind of intriguing, too.

I was certain that Tempest was going to be a one season show, what with the buildup to the climax-like massive battle at Mount Fuji. But in fact the story has only reached the halfway point. The final confrontation between Mahiro, Yoshiro, Sword-guy and Hakase (in absentia) probably could have been shortened by an episode and doing so skillfully would have done more good than harm. At least I understand what they're trying to do, and how they must avoid a time paradox and stuff like that. Often times at the conclusion I have largely lost my grip on what's going on when magic is involved. Afterwards, earth is basically screwed up (but not destroyed altogether) and the team of characters must figure out how to return things to normal. This is fun; the characters are interesting, Yoshino is hiding a terrible secret from Mashiro, and Hakase is back in Japan to interact with them face-to-face. I still don't understand what this 'logic' business is, or why one form of it is better or worse than the other, but something intriguing is going on here. I was a bit surprised when a totally new character showed up to fill an important role. No sign of Aika yet...

Episode 15 contained two or three LOL moments, such as the time that the new guy, Hanamura, who is pretty much a weakling, says something to Mashiro which everybody else has wanted to say for a long time, but hasn't dared to. Also the idea which Fraulein Yamamoto comes up with for a costume for Hanemura to wear. This stuff was hilarious. Also good was when the geek realized something important which nobody else had managed to do in a later episode. I still wish that the Genesis/Exodus business had made more sense to begin with, because it gets confusing as all sorts of new possibilities are revealed, and I don't know what to think. This is a fun show but it would be even better if it was more clear what's going on. I can't help feeling that a very sophisticated and clever plot has been partially masked by a fog of unnecessary confusion due to poor storytelling.

I was surprised when a plausible theory of the origin of at least one of the 'trees' was presented in episode 19. This show has seemed to operate on the basis of 'magic' being behind everything fantastic that has happened up until now, and being as far along as we are, the implication was that we shouldn't expect any logical answer. And suddenly we may have one; too bad something like this wasn't done back around episode two. Still, this show manages to intrigue me and I look forward to each new episode. Hakase comes up with a way to learn once and for all who killed Aika, and the answer is bizarre. What a neat story--if only I was able to completely follow it!

My favorite line: "Well, if we want to go there, everything about this is absurd" --Yoshiro

Last updated Wednesday, May 15 2013. Created Sunday, October 21 2012.

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