Posted 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

Posted on with categories: Zetsuen no Tempest

From the New World and Psycho Pass had endings that really impressed me. The downside to that is that they did raise the bar on endings quite a bit now. You can’t just defeat the evil monster and do nothing beyond that. You have to do something special now as well. I guess that that’s why I was underwhelmed by the first half of this episode, because that was exactly that. Not to mention: this series prides itself inits logic. A fight scene ending doesn’t have the same impact compared to if they would have based it on logic.

The second half of this episode was much more satisfying as an epilogue, though. This really showed everyone being able to move on, and quite a few characters have changed their ways or beliefs thanks to what happened in the series. Aika also showed again that she was a really compelling character to watch. She was a character who was dead at the start of the series, and yet her impact is all over it. She definitely was my favorite character here.

Tempest was great. It’s a shame that there is not going to be a bones series next season, because they are always interesting, even when they’re weaker. But really, their last weak series was Heroman for me. I eagerly await their next work.
Rating: 4.5/8 (Good)

Posted on 27 March 2013 with categories: Zetsuen no Tempest

And these are the penultimate episodes for Zetsuen no Tempest, with its finale about to air tomorrow. They weren’t about a mindfuck, but instead about a complete role reversal from what you’d expect: Hanemura gets to play the hero, while everyone else plays backup. It might seem insignificant, but I find this really refreshing to see: it isn’t trying to force its main characters into the spotlights. Instead it’s offering everyone his chance for this.

And I really like Hanemura by the way, for a character who got introduced in the second half of this series. He is a very good example of a wimpy looking character done right. First of all because amongst the cast, he was often the only one stupid enough to state the obvious. Plus, his little outburst in episode 22 was pretty damn cool for him. I really loved the irony there: this series prides itself with its focus on logic. And here Hanemura just coms and kicks some emotions back into the characters.

What also was really refreshing was the way episode 23 ended: when they were all rounding up those crewmembers on the boats, I was really wondering why everyone just complied like sheep. I mean, I know that they put bombs on the ships and all, but the way in which everyone just complied neatly felt a bit like they were all just plot devices. To think that nobody was crazy enough to try something… And they did. It’s not the first time Yoshino has been shot to near-death, but this is slightly different than before, with all of the build-up of “we’re not going to care about you or anything”.

Now, as for the actual ending… Zetsuen no Tempest really was an awesome series, but I do not think that it will have the strongest ending out of the “Big Four” of the Autumn Season (Psycho Pass, Tempest, Jojo, From the New World). Out of all of the penultimate episodes, I’d say that this one has the least hints that it’s going to become something special. But who knows? It might surprise us again. I’d love it if it did that.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 14 March 2013 with categories: Zetsuen no Tempest

Okay. If this isn’t a mindfuck then I don’t know anymore.

I have one question about this episode, but that is for below. First, I just want to praise this series for its absolutely wonderful rendition of Aika, who in two episodes really has become my favorite character of this series, with already an incredibly strong cast. The way she just blew Hakaze away with both her logic and powers was amazing.

In fact, this episode was so damn logical. That she killed herself: it was given the circumstances by far the most logical possible cause for her death, considering that she’s incredibly strong and the complete and utter lack of alternatives. But the reasons why really blew me away. The irony was wonderful: the way in which she decided to kill herself in order to be able to set the story in motion, in order to be able to defeat the tree of Genesis. Time travel is always tricky to write, but I really like what this show did with it. I also really liked the details at the end of the episode: Yoshino running past Hakaze, not knowing what will happen after half a year.

I just wonder: was suicide really the only way? What if Aika did not commit suicide, and instead used her knowledge to make things progress smoother? Could they have stopped the Kusaribe clan? Wouldn’t that have lead to a bigger chance of being able to stop the Tree of Genesis? Or was there some other kind of risk that I didn’t take into account here?
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 1 March 2013 with categories: Zetsuen no Tempest

Omg wtf!

This epsidode had it coming, there is no surprise here, and yet it managed to completely blow me away with how this episode was delivered. The guy who wrote this? The author of Spiral. This guy is amazing. I mean, spiral itself was smart, but with this series, he really managed to create something amazing.

The build-up for this series is juust brilliant. Aika being the Mage of Exodus? That was the first theory I had about the identity for this person. And then this episode just kept throwing red herrings at the viewers, and it kept distracting from this little fact to focus the attention on other people. Now that’s just amazingly well done.

Aika was awesome. Again, this is because of the build-up. For the entire series we’ve been talking about her, even though she was dead. Now we finally got to see her outside of a flashback, and she shows a completely different side of her. After all, everything we’ve seen of her so far was from the perspective of Yoshino (and a bit of Mahiro). It makes perfect sense for her to be able to sense Hakaze, and het yer directness in this episode took me completely by surprise.

Also, Samon. I love you. Your jokes are awesome.
Rating: 6.5/8 (Amazing)

Posted on 27 February 2013 with categories: Zetsuen no Tempest

Here is why I love Zetsuen no Tempest’s new direction: a second half transition is tricky, and most shows just head into the usual roads: be more dramatic. Zetsuen no Tempest however decided to add more comedy here. My question is: what’s wrong with that? As a story transitions and changes, it needs to use the build-up of the start and head into the most logical direction, while still being interesting. Nobody said that it had to be more dramatic or anything. In fact, Sakurasou is currently showing that that can also hurt a show in a way.

The point of Zetsuen no Tempest’s change of tone is not to just give it more romance. Instead, the romance is a tool to get the other areas to shine: Aika’s death is the center of the story. You really need this well developed. And the characters. I don’t know about you, but I find them hilarious. Their chemistry in this episode again was really fun to watch.

Also, here we have a series that makes excellent use of its main characters being teenagers. A lot of the charms of this series is watching adults go crazy by having the fate of the world dependant on the hands of a bunch of impulsive kids. And the big difference with the usual: despite all their hormones, they remain intelligent. Samon in this episode was hilarious again when he found out that all his plans were foiled again.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 22 February 2013 with categories: Zetsuen no Tempest

The past autumn season had a lot of really good series. But at this point, I think that my favorite series of the bunch, is Zetsuen no Tempest. It nearly edges out Jojo and From the New World, but in the end it was this show’s twisted logic that hit me on an emotional level the most. This show is the best at what it does from all of those series for me.

it definitely was a season with so many series with a lot of thought put behind them: Psycho Pass, Robotics;Notes, Shin Sekai Yori. This reduces this to the essence with its complete mindscrews. The thing I noticed is that I just keep getting surprised by the twists that this show takes, combined with how well the characters have been fleshed out for the past season. This series has the right combination between characterization, character-development, and acting, and the plot makes brilliant use of them. It’s the series that succeeds best at bringing everything together and amking everything a whole. It all just fits! The other series this season all have a few areas in which they are really, really good. Tempest does it in all of them.

This episode again: I loved the aftermath of the revelation of Yoshino’s girlfriend. Everyone had their own reactions that were just awesome to follow, even though the pacing or intensity might not have been as high as with other series (compare that to other series which have to resort to killing people, this show managed to do it in an entirely different, yet equally exciting way).

Another thing that quite surprised me about the upcoming spring season: Bones is not in it. It’s a pity, really. They always come with very creative premises and ambitious series. Like this one.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 12 February 2013 with categories: Zetsuen no Tempest

Zetsuen no Tempest, I admire your guts. I really do. You went into a direction that has caused so many other series to crash and burn horribly, and you pulled it off wonderfully. Creators who try to forcefully insert romance into a story have failed in so many different ways. It often has no place in the storyline, and while it’s normal for characters to fall in love, it somehow has to take control of the entire story and characters while feeling horribly uninspired.

Here too the romance has taken control of the story at this point, but dear god, it’s glorious! This show analyzes its romance with the same amount of detail and mind-games as it did with its other subplots. It does not feel uninspired at all, and in fact this episode was hilarious. Not to mention that the depictions of love were really well done, and not cheesy like you would expect.

It’s the episode in which Yoshino finally reveals his big secret. He has been dating Aika. This needed a lot of build-up to work well, considering what a huge part it plays in this series. The past few episodes did this really well by using Hakaze on one hand, and Samon and Mahiro on the other.

Especially the characterization in this episode was amazing, though. Hakaze’s attempts in order to find out more about Aika were awesome (not to mention that this gave us even more excuses to know more about that girl who really has been dead for a year). What I expected even less was that hilarious discussion in which Samon and Mahiro started guessing why Yoshino would hide his girlfriend from him. That really made me laugh.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 6 February 2013 with categories: Zetsuen no Tempest

The past few episodes were weird in how they suddenly focused so much on Hakaze’s crush on Yoshino. Compared to the first half of this show, it contrasted completely: here we have this serious series full of mind-screws and world-shattering conflicts… that gets followed by a happy romance story. This episode I think forms the conclusion to that.

Hakaze once again was hilarious, but this episode carried it even further. It showed how Yoshino indirectly used Hakaze’s powers because she was worried about him. From the outside this looks like a cheesy scene, but there is something that just does not add up: Yoshino is no idiot.

I love how, even though he’s the main character, we are not allowed to fully look into Yoshino’s head. The way he used the chain in order to slide to the other side, and just “ran” into that easily avoidable burning building… it’s like he was asking to be saved with magic or something. So we’re now at the point at which a person like him has full control over the end of the world. Hakaze confessed her feelings and will now be very, very heavily influenced by his actions. Oh boy. The question is now: was this on purpose? This show is evil enough to not give any confirmation or denial about this.

There are two series that are referencing classical literature this season: Psycho Pass and Zetsuen no Tempest. They both use it as symbolism, but in completely different ways. Psycho Pass occasionally mentions a classic and compares its own setting to it. Zetsuen no Tempest meanwhile is all about Hamlet and Tempest, using this symbolism to show the difference and similarities between the two works.

Also some really good animator was working on the scene where Yoshino rescued that child. Lots of creative movements!
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 31 January 2013 with categories: Zetsuen no Tempest

Most of the second halves of the series of the past Autumn season have changed into predictable directions: Jojo got more epic, Sakurasou got more dramatic, Psycho Pass started to delve into its setting, Robotics;Notes started to tie its various subplots together. Zetsuen no Tempest though… I did not foresee this change… The show has actually gotten much more light-hearted.

And yet, it still rocks. This episode shined in the details. From various small hints to indicate the building chemistry between the characters, ranging from subtle to hilarious (Samon buying Mahiro some flashy underwear?), to people dressing up that mage of Exodus guy as a superhero and having him destroy the tree of Genesis. This episode was stuffed with those fine moments that just made me smile. The dialogue was just brilliant here.

Best of all was the romance, though. I loved both Exodus-kun making fun of Mahiro’s sister complex (and how everyone knew EXACTLY what he was talking about), as well as Hakaze realizing that she has a crush on Yoshino, complicating Aika’s death even more because she, if she wants to, could have easily killed Aika unconsciously with her Genesis powers. Yes, Hakaze, wanting to couch his earlobes is perfectly normal. Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

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