Posted by psgels on 29 March 2013 with categories: Anime Reviews, Zetsuen no Tempest



Spiral was a series that was all about mind games. The characters had to battle people who used puzzles and mind games. Zetsuen no Tempest is the next logical step from its original author: a world-shaking plot that can decide the fate of the entire world, but somehow it managed to find a way to make it entirely dependent on the logic of a bunch of teenagers. It was glorious!

This may sound weird, but really: the characters in Zetsuen no Tempest really are excellent. All of them are fresh and witty, and they play off each other really well. I mean, it’s nothing new that series put a lot of consequences on teenaged emotions, but it has never been done with a cast that works so well together, not to mention with a cast that tries so hard to put logic into the plot as well. The two lead males in particular look like your average male hero at first, yet they turn out to be completely different.

I have sometimes called this “mindfuck, the anime”. This series really loves its surprises in its plot. And while it’s not the first series to attempt some mind-screws, it did manage to pull them off in a unique way. The key here was how it played with its own logic. On one hand, it took itself entirely seriously, on the other it deliberately just ignored it and just went wild with emotions. This dual battle is a really big theme in this series. Logic versus emotions, Genesis versus Exodus, Magic versus Technology, Tempest versus Hamlet (this will all make sense when you see the series). My one complaint though is that it takes a while to get going, and the ending is not what it could have been. The goodness in this series really is in the middle.

Also it also helps that this series has an incredibly epic soundtrack. No, seriously. The animation may be normal, but the soundtrack is just amazing. Right from the start, it just bombards you with complex and classically inspired tracks that just keep coming.
One-Sentence Review: If you’re looking for a good mind-screw with a godly soundtrack and fun characters, then this is a series to check out!
Suggestions:
Death Note
Un-Go
Armed Librarians – The Book of Bantorra

15 Responses

  1. gurdlo says:

    So From the New world surpassed this one in your opinion didnt it? Didn’t see that coming.

  2. Houlgrave says:

    Eh, I’m surprised Zetsen no Tempest gets called a “mindfuck” at all: is it a smart series? Yeah. Is it a mindfuck? Not really.

    Mouryou no Hako was a mindfuck. End Of Evangelion was a mindfuck. Ergo Proxy was something of a mindfuck. Akira was (and still is) one hell of a mindfuck.

    Seriously, although Zetsuen no Tempest is enjoyable and well done, its fairly tame…even when compared to Spiral (the manga incarnation) too. :P

    • gurdlo says:

      yeah, didn’t really get the whole “mindfuck” thing really. This was nothing compared to those things you mentioned. Serial Experiments Lain and Paranoia Agent were great examples of mindfuck. This, not so much, nope.

    • Gavrilo says:

      It’s not mindfuck because of phenomenal plot twists, it’s mindfuck because of the contrived mind battles and messing around with logic itself. It’s a bit of a shame that this series really shined in the middle climax and not the final one, however.

  3. Michael says:

    While Aika definitely wouldn’t want to follow the script for Macbeth, I think you wanted Hamlet in the review.

  4. huh says:

    “Tempest versus Macbeth”? Hamlet, surely.

  5. TheUltimateReaper says:

    It was great and worth considering a favorite. It didn’t play games with my mind but it made me enjoy watching it all the same. The ending was definitely not as grand or amazing as it could of been but it delivered a definite conclusion, that pretty much wrapped up everything into a nice package.

    Considering the nature of many anime these days, this much is a godsend.

  6. So they went for the rock-solid ending, by just rushing through the pretty random deus ex machina plot part, and instead focus on the strong characters.
    That’s okay, works out fine for me, the series started off very solid and after all that twisting around, there we come down to in the end.

    Oh, btw: Mahiro is definetly the best character. Despite all the shit he goes through, he always keeps calm and pursues his goals with utter determination.

  7. boa_sting says:

    I’m not really sure if anything to do with trees really worked that well over all those 24 episodes. Certainly not the final action scenes. What’s the deal with Japan and their evil trees, anyway?

    The characters were overall great and the structure of magic and a few plot twists here and there contributed to pretty decent story and character development. But maybe the only real standout here is how one dead character (a very interesting one) shaped the entire storyline and all of the important cast.

  8. Tulip says:

    Why is Yoshino not in the screenshots??!!!?!!

  9. Halfman says:

    The first half of Zetsuen no Tempest is really, really good (9/10), while the second half is absolute garbage (3/10).

    Boring as fuck ending as well.

  10. Hogart says:

    Finally got around to finishing Tempest, and I’m happy with it. Lots of series bite off more than they can chew, like Ergo Proxy, Evangelion, etc.. but Tempest figured out that you can be fun and complex, without being too fun or complex. The characters were the story, not the grandiose logic nonsense they used to good effect. It’s rare to find an anime that doesn’t take itself so seriously that it becomes impossible to take it seriously.

  11. raj says:

    Yep, first half of the show was whip-smart, with great characters, pacing, and a compelling drama. The second half is quite weak – no dramatic tension, frequent “As you know” exposition, shallow comedy and romance. It feels like the story doesn’t know where to go.

    Bounen no Xamdou has a similar tone, characters, and epic music, but much better execution.

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  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 04:06 PM)
    @Bam, Well the three games were originally supposed to be one. But it turned out that the first two were bundled together and Alternative was made a separate release.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 08:38 AM)
    Jesus I never expected that doing a myanimelist/letterboxd account thing would be so hard. I’ve seen a scarily higher amount than I thought, its insanely hard to remember everything to add.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 06:17 AM)
    It seems then that the future of the franchise’s anime adaptations rests a bit on Schwarzesmarken’s success, which looking at the buzz doesn’t seem favourable at all. I doubt it can regain the lost audiences.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 06:14 AM)
    That would suggest that the author(s) had the foresight of including seemingly useless stuff that will come into play later. That’d be impressive if they did, as these kinda series are make-it-as-you-go.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 01:59 AM)
    It’s difficult to put into words but essentially while the first game isn’t good, it does work as a tool for introducing and endearing you to the characters. Then Unlimited sets down the rules of the new world. And finally alternative proceeds to kick your ass into next Tuesday.
    That’s sort of why I don’t think it would have the same effect if it was an anime. VNs allow you to get a more personal connection with the characters.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 01:55 AM)
    It’s not quite the same. It’s more like there are things in extra which seem insignificant but turn out to play an important role later. It wouldn’t really work the same if you did it in reverse order. Character history is a bit different too as each game is essentially an alternate universe. The character histories in extra are different from those in alternative.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:38 PM)
    And also remember how Darker Than Black had a big jump between the main series and Gemini of the Meteor. They later made a 4 episode OVA that covered the gap, and although you knew the outcome it was still entertaining; or at least more than the Gemini one. There’s merit to non-linear chronology and storytelling, but it is usually very hard to pull. The audience is intrigued by secrets that can later be uncovered, although in anime the pay-off is not always substantial.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:32 PM)
    I don’t know, the audience usually only needs very limited information to figure out dynamics and histories between the characters.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:27 PM)
    A 13 episode series would work for the second title unlimited. But Alternative is a pretty long visual novel. You need at least two cours to give it justice. Making extra an OVA could work but you do need it for alternative. But it’s not an optional part of the trilogy. It needs to be read first, so that events later have a greater impact. Personally I am not even sure Muv Luv can even work in another medium.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:12 PM)
    That might compress things, but I think a good screen-writer can fit pretty much any VN in 12-14 episodes (covering just the main route).

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