Posted by psgels on 22 December 2012 with categories: Zetsuen no Tempest

Oh no, the world will be destroyed! Just like in 50% of all other action series! Yeah, if you want to do this, then you need to make it count.Just putting the world at stake at this point is adequate, but standalone it just doesn’t make enough impact, to the point where it can even feel shallow. Zetsuen no Tempest is very good at avoiding this.

In this series the world is at stake, and you really feel like the world is at stake. It keeps driving home that this can pretty much happen on a whim: it’s unknown what will happen, and wrong move will just blow everything up. The characters are just thrown between two huge trees, either of which is trying to make this happen. In this episode things started to get really out of control, and even though this series doesn’t show many people gathered at the same place or huge crowds, it did drive home that something really big is so easily about to happen. The shots of the businessmen trying to map everything that the tree was doing was enough for that.

Beyond that, I still love this series’ style of storytelling. It just takes what it has, and then uses one of its characters to completely turn over the logic in this series, again and again and again. I also love the way this series plays with logic: normally this is something that can’t be influenced, but here there are these two giant trees that are playing russian roulette with it. Very good depiction of the utterly hopeless situation that the characters are in.

Also, the soundtrack! The godly soundtrack! Really, I am going to write a post on my favorite soundtracks of the year. I can’t believe how many great soundtracks 2012 had in comparison to previous years. I just need to find a good way to publish it…
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

15 Responses

  1. HunterWulf says:

    This episode just exemplifies the reason why i watch anime, who would have thought that seeing two giant trees fight violently would be this exciting, yet Zetsuen somehow managed to do it.

    That is only a small part of way this episode was impressive, the fact they expanded the three-way mind-games between Yoshino, Mahiro and Samon into the grander scheme of things and now we aren’t even sure if the Tree of Genesis is pulling strings from behind the curtains and manipulating things for its favor, or are these mere coincidences, or is it the Tree of Exodus which wants things to seem that way so that the followers of the Tree of Genesis turn against it (like Samon did), or is it a bit of both .. and how come Hakaze isn’t aware of the revival of the Tree of Genesis if she was supposed to be the one to resurrect it, and why would the Tree of Genesis cruelly attempt to kill Yoshino and Mahiro, did consider them dangerous to its existence or did it just deem them unnecessary (i.e fulfilled their task and were no longer needed, could that have been the fate of Aki), or was the whole “killing” thing just an accident due to the two trees fighting (highly unlikely due to the precision and timing of the attacks but still a possibility).

    And finally the gem of this episode was the Aki narration near the end of the episode while Hakaze was transporting herself and Yoshino to the ritual site .. that where did that voice come from .. was it just Yoshino hallucinating or was it real, and if it is real .. doesn’t it paint Aki as the villain here (or rather overly unsympathetic).

    Besides, why some people still think that the Tree of Genesis was turning people into metal, it was very clear that the fruits of the Tree of Exodus were responsible for that metal transformation .. the magic of the tree of Genesis shouldn’t include anything like turning people into metal (it’s just unnatural and against the logic of the world, that’s something the Tree of Exodus would do).. devouring them after they turned into statues of metal is a whole different story as it fits well with the established rules of the Tree of Genesis magic and what it is capable of (absorbing any metal objects that are products of civilization .. although the way they were made was unnatural they still count and are quite similar to the talisman Yoshino and Mahiro used).

    Phew .. so many questions and mysteries .. this show doesn’t fail to impress really, keep the twists and surprises coming (hopefully after the 2 weeks hiatus we will get some answers).

  2. Nic says:

    Hunter, you’re wrong. As much as you don’t want to believe it, the Tree of Genesis is responsible for those deaths. In order to revive and fight the Tree of Exodus, it needs a lot of civilization artifacts. So it creates some by turning humans into metal to use them later. Samon himself said so. I don’t know why you refuse to believe him.

    That’s why the conflict between both trees is very hard to take a side for the Kusaribe clan. In theory, the Tree of Exodus is supposed to destroy the world. But the tree of Genesis will gladly do the same if it means the birth of a new and better world.

    • HunterWulf says:

      Just becasue Samon said so doesn’t make it true (haven’t we already learned not to trust anyone here 100%), and i clearly don’t believe him because the transformation (metalization) coincides specifically with the fruits of Exodus .. as soon as they appear people start turning into metal .. i don’t see how the Tree of Genesis can be responsible for that.

      IMO if the tree of Genesis wanted to get civilizations artifacts there are plenty of them around (a city is chuck of of civilizations products .. buildings, cars, .. etc etc), wasting magic energy to transform humans into metal then absorb them seems counter-productive .. i can understand if the Tree of Genesis absorbed them metalized people just among the other products of civilization it was absorbing (buildings and cars and such), but to say it was intentional is really a big stretch.

  3. Tomtom says:

    This is one of those shows I would not have checked out if it weren’t for this blog. The last couple of episodes were thrilling. This surprised me, considering the core elements of this story feel weak and rather far-fetched: A battle between two trees that are trying to remake the world and provide magical powers to their chosen (???).

    I hope the current atmosphere and intensity keeps up and I’m really curious about the direction the strory will take now that Hakaze has returned (which was an especially epic scene btw). I mus admit I’m sceptical if they can keep this up (for no good reason besides past experience with other anime).

  4. Entrav says:

    Totally did not expect Yoshino to get split in half. All I can say is that I love the direction this is going in. Watching two giant trees battle against each other is certainly something else.

  5. Kaisa says:

    I can firmly say that any anime that has three people standing in the same place for three episodes ~just talking~ but making me grip the edge of my seat is going to be a permanent favourite. And it doesn’t hurt that it drew inspiration from my master’s thesis, The Shakespeare’s Tempest.

  6. Taka says:

    I have to disagree. You can’t just pursue every line of logic to exhaustion. Eventually it just renders the subject moot. To me it’s like examining something to such an extreme that it loses meaning. Particularly when placing blame. Everybody just keeps flip-flopping too damn much with twist after twist after twist. Couple that with them just standing in one place doing all this and I am not a happy camper. When the trees started literally fighting each other I just couldn’t help but laugh.

    • Arno says:

      Not only that but the music was horribly pretentious too.

      Overall they have locked themselves into a plot dead end, and they are trying to get out of it by adding maho upon maho upon maho, until it doesn’t make any sense any more.

      Their tree graphics were a bit ugly from the beginning, but I would never have thought they would go as far as animating two ugly maho trees fighting.

      This show is an intellectual disaster. Not a trace of humor or distanciation. It takes itself so seriously while falling into pathetic nothingness.

      • Calt says:

        Even so I’m surprised how can you still watching this show despite your dislike.

        Perhaps you should check the genres first before watching. This anime’s genres are Drama, Fantasy, Mystery and Psychological. Which means you have to PAY attention to the theories of the anime to solve the mystery. But it seems you can’t handle the theory talk, so you just disregard it as intellectual disaster. Perhaps you should consider trying other anime without the “Psychological” genre?

  7. Rachnid says:

    I keep getting vibes of creator vs. creations in this ep. And a lot of arguments they made about the intentions of the tree resemble arguments about the intentions of our God (if you believe that).
    Just throwing stuff out there.

  8. Shadow says:

    Where the hell is Hashirama Senju to take care of all this mess?!

  9. DangerMouse says:

    Great review, loving this show so much, this and Psycho-Pass are making this season totally awesome. This show is so addictive too.

    Also, hell yes, the soundtrack, Michiru Oshima has to be one of my favorite composers (FMA, Xam’d, D’Eon, etc.), it’s so great to hear again after hearing her work most recently in Xam’d which also had a fantastic soundtrack. :)

  10. kero says:

    marathoned the last few episodes in the last three days!

    loved it, I mean we had episode after episode of three people standing around trying to persuade each other to do what they want, and it was was tense.

    Brilliant use of music! The feel of the show is operatic, and I get the real sense of puny humans trying to control things that are beyond their control, and who would have thought they’d make an anime about
    TWO TREES BATTLING IT OUT

    The whole premise of the show is kinda absurd, but I do like the theme it’s bringing about what is the purpose of life and whether human lives matter as anything other than sacrifices, and offerings, and pawns.

  11. hoiut says:

    Actually, that’s a fantastic idea. I loved the soundtrack in this one and I’d be eager to discover the others. A post dedicated to the best soundtracks of 2012 might actually be a really cool idea.

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  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:32 AM)
    If a series wants to be sophisticated about complex concepts like war and conflict, then it has to presuppose the fact that it is part of human nature. Resources are limited, and even aside from that, greed exists. There is no way to take out a few head figures to stop a war- there will be a vacuum that will almost immediately be filled by a similar, if not worse, individual. A world “where no one cries” or suffers, or dies, etc, cannot exist as long as we have free will.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:26 AM)
    F/SN delved into this deeply with the Shirou/Archer dichotomy, but then it pussied out at the decisive moment. Archer was right, his arguments made perfect sense, yet the arrogant naive Shirou had to pull thru by sheer will alone, and a vague hope and promise that he’ll find a way somehow. I swear, I’m not sure if Nasu gave in to pressure to make a so-called “good prevails” ending, or that he honestly believes in it. Looking at his material, I’ll bet on the former.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:22 AM)
    hehe … that’s why you don’t get me started on Eva or Berserk.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:20 AM)
    It also delved into the depth of what a desperate goodie-two-shoes people-pleaser protagonist would actually be like, and the reception he would get from his peers, specially the women. That alone right there was a deconstruction of the majority of shonen main characters.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:00 AM)
    There was no hype machine back then. The internet was still in its infancy. So when a show became this popular there was certainly some merit to it. The organic/machine hybrid mecha was relatively new, and the scene construction and cinematography was for the most part immaculate. There’s a reason why the mecha genre is divided to “pre-Eva” and “post-Eva”.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:53 AM)
    It also didn’t hurt that the character, costume and mecha designs were slick and attractive, done by the under-appreciated Yoshiyuki Sadamoto.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:31 AM)
    It came up with clever scenarios to common mecha tropes, and answered the questions that would arise from them:
    -Why do we use mechas with melee weapons against alien invaders instead of conventional weapons? AT fields on Angels.
    -Why use kids to pilot them? The Gehrin Project.
    -What happens when you put kids in sever combat situations? Extreme PTSD.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:27 AM)
    These types of deconstruction shows that are run-of-the-mill now didn’t really exist back then. Eva did afterall became the tropemaker for Gainax endings. To see the creator’s psyche twist in front of our eyes was incredible. The show went from a regular monster of the week mecha series to a deranged psycho-thriller by the end of it.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:23 AM)
    Eva was fresh and quite unique for its time. Not that everything they did was original, but they certainly put their own twist on it. I also enjoyed the “fuck-you” ending of the tv series. Anno always defended it as intentional, but we all know it was really a budgetary constrain. well, at least we got the amazing End of Evangelion movie to supplement it.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:21 AM)
    @K-of: yup Eva geek here, guilty as charged. In my defense, I watched it week-to-week when it aired back in 96, and the landscape of anime was a lot different back then.

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