I really wanted to like this show, but ultimately I had to force myself to finish it. I felt that it started out strong enough, and, at least at the beginning, the characters seemed deep and interesting. In general, however, I found myself less and less interested as the series progressed. As a number of harsh critics have pointed out, Blast of Tempest fails to deliver a scenario, story, or world, where the decisions of the characters actually matter: fatalism. While not everyone feels the same way, I personally became extremely apathetic regarding the future of these characters and the outcome of the show.
At some point it became obvious that the writers were playing fast and loose, disregarding any real “rules” established by the series. Once time travel was arbitrarily introduced, I realized that anything could happen in this series, and for no other reason than “just because.”
Blast of Tempest takes place in a world where magic is accessible through an earthbound deity called the Tree of Genesis, who requires sacrifices of manmade objects, especially weapons, in exchange for magical power. When dissention arises within the ranks of one prominent mage clan, their Princess – the most powerful of them all – is marooned on a small island with no access to manmade objects, and therefore no ability to use her magic. But, oh yeah, she’s still a human and can make things, so she uses magic anyway (le sigh).
So why did they leave the Princess on an island instead of just killing her? Here’s the series’ logic: Samon (the main bad guy, who ends up not actually being a bad guy at all…or even important as a character) might need her still alive to stop the Tree of Genesis from fully reviving if his plan fails. BUT, it turns out that he kept the princess asleep with magic for two years before placing her on the island. And she was only on the island for four months before the events of the series, so why didn’t he just continue to keep her asleep with magic somewhere nearby where he could get her quickly?! Because lazy writers need a paycheck, that’s why. Seriously, am I really expected to believe that Samon, who is built up as being exceedingly meticulous and thorough, is careless enough to make such a remedial error? I’m insulted.
Meanwhile, two average school boys are contacted (through magic) by the Princess and become involved in a series of events that will determine the fate of the world. But as I stated earlier, the actions of the characters fail to have any real bearing on the major events in the series. The two main characters (Yoshino and Mahiro) inexplicably become the most (superficially) vital characters to the story, while the most powerful mages, characters in the government, and even the Princess herself become, for all intents and purposes, useless.
Season one is essentially a shounen drama, but the series then instantly changes into a rom-com at the very start of season two. Had the transition been less abrupt, I think they could have gotten away with it. Personally, though, I felt I had been the victim of bait-and-switch. It’s almost as if an entirely different set of writers had been brought in for the second half. In any case, the audience is essentially left with one incomplete shounen, coupled with one incomplete rom-com. At least, that’s the impression it left on me.
The story twists and turns quite a bit, and it does tend to be unpredictable, but I attribute this to the writer’s blatant disregard for coherency and consistency. As I stated earlier, this is one of those shows where wild stuff emerges from a lack of discipline in its construction. At the whim of the writers, characters can accomplish anything, regardless of how absurd it is (I quit watching Heroes many years ago for the same reason). This might not have bothered me as much had the series not made such a fuss over logic. For a universe in which logic is so crucial, there sure were a lot of illogical things that happened.
Like the end where a super magic sword appears from nowhere to end the Tree of Genesis. What?! And all the characters knew what it was, even though there was no mention of it even once before that. And why does it need some puny little kid to wield it? It already moves and floats on its own. You know why? To make it appear as though the characters actually matter, that’s why. And so the writers can get a paycheck.
The series’ conclusion is lackluster at best. The most irrational character is appointed to be the master planner for the final act (Plausibility? Hardly), and as I just stated, none of the characters’ actions are of any real consequence here. They appear to be important because they’re all given a specific task, but if you ask me, the whole thing is far too overtly contrived. When all is said and done, characters are dispersed in a rather predictable fashion. Almost no tension is built to make you doubt a happy ending. I was just glad it was finally over.
This is the bread and butter for Bones’ Blast of Tempest. Characters and setting manage to be richly colorful and vibrant, without being nauseating. Each character has a unique look and color scheme, even when outfits change. Backgrounds are detailed well enough, but not super memorable. I would say that the production value for the animation here is very high, and in general, this anime has a very pleasant glossy look. Too bad great animation doesn’t make a great anime.
I don’t speak Japanese, but I thought the voice acting was very well done. There were even a few times I was impressed, like one instance where a character was speaking while standing up from a crouched position, and you could actually hear that strain in her voice. I like that kind of attention to detail. The music, on the other hand, left no noticeable impression on me (other than the intros, which I was just too lazy to skip). Sound effects were adequate, and I can think of nothing negative to say about them.
This is one of my biggest problem with the show. I just didn’t find any of the characters to be at all realistic. From the start, the two main characters lose everyone they love to a deadly disease, but they never show the slightest ounce of emotion about it. Granted, this is later addressed and “explained,” but I didn’t find the explanation to be even remotely adequate. Other characters are built up in an almost over-exaggerated fashion, but then exhibit behaviors entirely inconsistent with what we “know” about them. And then behaviors that seem immutable suddenly vanish as if they were never there.
Like Mahiro being a super emotional hot-head over the murder of his sister, looking high and low for any trace of the individual responsible, willing even to sacrifice the world in order to exact revenge. And then suddenly when he finds out she killed herself, he’s all like, “Oh that’s cool. Let’s go get food.” I’m no psychologist, but even I recognize that people who are as emotionally unstable as that will look for anyone to blame and hate, even if they’re not responsible. Sorry, not buying this character at all: a super emotional megalomaniac who is extra cool when it’s convenient? Right. They should have just made him a villain. It might have been predictable, but at least that would have been consistent with his character.
They tried really hard to develop the characters through flashbacks (seriously, in every episode), but the more I learned about them, the less I liked them, and the less I cared.
Seriously, Yoshino is an idiot. Aika was a terrible person who controlled and manipulated him for her own selfish desires. Anyone in love with a girl like that ought to have his head examined. Or better yet, hire a magic princess to use her tree god powers to go back in time, naked, and see to it that the script for this show is never written. You know, the more I think about it, the more convinced I become that this show it targeted at insecure young people.
All of the characters were constantly quoting Shakespeare. Apparently everyone in this contrived universe just sits around all day memorizing Hamlet and The Tempest. How convenient, since their lives are essentially a copy paste from these works. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t look the past these phony characters, and the Shakespeare quotes certainly didn’t help.
Then there are the tree deities. Man, talk about characters with no personality. You know, the Deku Tree in Ocarina of Time was sick, and then it died right at the beginning of the game, and that dude had ten billion times the character of these useless “gods.” I mean, man, what a brutally moronic concept. Nothing of value is explained about them, you never find out what they really are, and then they just disappear without a trace. I read a better script in my alphabet soup when I was three!
At a few episodes in I had rated this anime at four stars. That rating slowly dropped to three, and now I’m kicking it down to two and a half. The more I think about it, the more I dislike this series. I will not re-watch it. I probably won’t recommend it. I’ll try to forget it. No. Just, no.
Trees destroying the world. Now this is interesting, not.
Blast of Tempest is a show where nothing matters, absolutely nothing. It's simply pretentious BULLSHIT!
It's got all powerful magic trees that pop out of nowhere, uninteresting and hardly developed characters, quotes from Hamlet for no reason, people just standing there for FIVE EPISODES debating about nonsense (Where the villain even helps his enemy, and later the villain and his enemies for NO REASON all of a sudden become friends), absolutely atrocious pacing that goes from way too fast to way too slow, and more things.
I can't even begin to really describe the story because of how much of a mess it is (It's almost as messy as BONES' last awful work, Eureka Seven AO), which is the result of the pacing being ridiculously fast in the beginning, and there being absolutely NO COHESION. The events don't flow well together whatsoever. It starts out with something about Mahiro's sister being murdered, a half-naked mage being left on an island to die, and other stuff that later does not matter much.
It then rushes through everything, and does not even spend time to have you get to know the characters well (And no, the backstory does not count because that backstory did not prove to be relevant enough to the "plot"), or have you get to know the setting. How am I supposed to care about anything in this show if they don't even bother to take the time to build up their characters and setting? You can not even really tell what the hell is going on because of how it jumps from event to event in an atrocious way, with there being no cohesion as I've stated earlier. This is really something that shouldn't be that hard to mess up. One of the most important things in a show is pacing, and placing of events. You need to have a story flow well so the viewer knows what is going on, and is getting a good deal of storytelling.
So come around halfway through the first half of the show, we then have humanity trying to stop a magical tree from destroying the world. All of a sudden the two groups that are fighting each other then engage in a pretentious debate about time travel, the murder, and other crap for no reason. It seems like this stuff matters, but in the end it doesn't because after FIVE EPISODES of this crap with them just standing there, debating, another tree pops up, and saves the world, so their debate DIDN'T EVEN MATTER! Yeah, let's debate and let a tree interrupt our pointless conversation. Oh and apparently that magic tree ends up dictating everything humanity does, stops crime and other stuff, but we never learn one bit about how that's supposed to work.
After that, the show goes under a genre shift, from some "serious" adventure where people are trying to save the world to just your ordinary school setting (Minus the school), and them trying to find some wimpy guy known as the Mage of Exodus, which they later find, but have no clue if he is it when it's clearly obvious he is. Let's not forget how this show wasted time AGAIN with one of the most stupid things I've ever come across in anime. Two full episodes are spent on the character's going "Who's his girlfriend?!!!" when they should have known ALL ALONG! This just goes to show this show doesn't use its time wisely.
In the end, this show is a total failure that trolls its viewers, and the only thing is has going for it are the visuals (And just because a show has pretty visuals DOES NOT mean it's good, what really matters in the end are the story and characters, something this show doesn't have), and the soundtrack. Those that appreciate good characters, story, and shows that actually take the time to make you care about those things (Ex: One Piece, Nodame Cantabile, Eureka Seven, Neon Genesis Evangelion), avoid this at all costs. It is not worth the time.
Blast of Tempest was a show that left me wanting more. While it did conclude properly, I often feel that with most other anime I've watched, there should be at least an episode dedicated to the relationships built at the end of a series.
Besides that Blast of Tempest had a compelling storyline. A fine mix of drama, romance and the supernatural, it appeals to a very wide audience. I felt drawn to the main character Yoshino and his story, the loss of his girlfriend and the need to hide it from her brother (aka his best friend). The loss of his girlfriend was indeed depressing, especially since they seemed to have such a wonderful, fun relationship.
I was less impressed with Mahiro, who throughout the series is dealing with coming to terms with his step-sister's death and his feelings toward her. It's not as if he is unlikeable, I think it was more a question of personal taste than anything else.
Hakaze was another interesting character and without spoiling anything, the development of her ties to Yoshino and Mahiro are interesting to watch unfold.
Blast of Tempest is an amazing show that I'm glad to have watched. While I did come away with mixed feelings, this show is both immersive, dramatic and compelling. I can guarantee you'll be happy with the way everything turns out, but it's worth giving it a shot. The journey is far more important than the destination.
I truly loved this show! Though most scenes left me crying my eyes out, I wish there was a second series (even though there would be nothing for it to be about) My only wish, is that there was atleast one kiss shown between the main girl and guy (I don't mean with Aika)
(my first time writing a review uou. i have currently watched all the released episodes, up to ep 17)
this contains NO spoilers! mostly my general thoughts on the anime.
To be totally, brutally honest, I am really attached to this show because the two main characters are attractive. The story itself is fairly interesting with all the twists and turns. I would say this anime leans more on the psychological side than the action side. There were only two battles that I can think of off the top of my head and that was in the beginning of the anime. I really love the mysteriousness, the character development, and the situational irony. The music is appropriate, characters are interesting, story is interesting (but sometimes confusing and disappointing...yet sometimes it is exciting and has you on the edge of your seat!), and animation is very good.
The first half of the anime was more moving, more action and more exciting. The second half is basically relationships, romance, sitting and talking, etc. To me, the second half of the anime has gotten quite stale, but I'm hoping it'll improve. There are moments when this anime will have you extremely curious, laughing out loud, and crying.
Overall, I can honestly say I enjoy this anime and look forward when it comes out every week! It's a very cute and interesting anime, but wouldn't really recommend it if you are looking for LOTS of action (from the first opening, I was expecting lots of action, but was disappointed umu). I just wish there was more action. I really enjoy the relationships and character development between the characters (especially Aika). My only concern is that the manga is still ongoing yet the anime is almost to the 24 eps...so let's hope the ending is decent enough! So give Zetsuen no Tempest a try! It's one of the best, underrated animes in its season.