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Blast of Tempest

May 20, 2013

Revenge is such sweet...

So I suppose you can think of this as review #2 of the Big 3 2012-2013 carry-overs: Psycho-pass, Sakurasou, and the subject of this review Zetsuen no Tempest. I was definitely impressed with all three of these shows, I've shuffled them around atop my Winter 2013 list a number of times (each of the three at some point holding top honors). And since people tend to relate well to comparison, what I can most positively about Tempest is well two things actually. (1) It has arguably the best ending of the Big 3. Now I say arguably because I was actually much more of a fan of the Psycho-pass ending than what I've heard from a lot of people, so if you are one of those people there really is no argument that Tempest had the best ending. (2) And this one I stick by 100%, Tempest is certainly the most consistent show of the Big 3. There were moments of both Psycho-pass and Sakurasou that surpassed Tempest; however, unlike either of those shows not only did Tempest maintain a high level of quality throughout, it improved tremendously through the 2nd half of the series. I've felt the backlash from the anime community over lacking 2nd halves in 24 ep series (i.e. Guilty Crown), so believe you me Tempest won't disappoint. It's a little slow getting in, no doubt about it. You've gotta buy into the show conceptually before the real action starts. But once it does, Tempest is able to really cleverly tie everything together from the slower parts of the show to make you realize, "Hey, this all makes sense now." You get a lot of these sort of a-ha moments in the 2nd half of the series. There are also surprises in store, things aren't as you first suspect. My biggest takeaway from this series is how the methodical approach is able to make the absurd logic of the series seem plausible. That's what I felt the show aimed to do and quite frankly I believe it succeeded completely. So I guess I'm obligated to mention, story-wise this is meant to loosely derive from a famous Shakespearean work called The Tempest. I haven't actually read The Tempest, but from synopsis I was able to find online, it's pretty obvious that it acted more as an initial staging (if you'll pardon the pun) and not much more. But for sure, the screenplay atmosphere that's present throughout the series I think adds a lot to the overall presentation of the series. This begins of course with the most influential character of the series Aika. I'm not going to go into Aika's background, it would spoil the hell out of the series, but the screenplay atmosphere definitely derives from her constant quoting of Shakespearean verses. On the topic of characters, I've already rambled some so I'll keep it at 3: Mahiro, Yoshino, and Hakaze. The male mcs, Mahiro and Yoshino act as two-sides of the same coin. Mahiro is the aggressive, act first and screw the consequences type who'll do anything to get what he wants. On the other hand is Yoshino, who is more calculated if not a bit manipulative and doesn't show his emotions despite a deep inner pain. Then there's Hakaze, the magician, who inexplicably gets involved with these two. What Hakaze comes to provide, besides being a plot device, is this delightful girlish presence which lightens the harshness of this series. So overall the characters are strong and thoughtful. Let's see, I suppose all else I have to say is that I liked both OPs, I think they set the mood well. So wrapping things up, Tempest is a really solid thought-provoking series. It's not for everyone, you've gotta be patient and you've gotta buy in to get the appropriate emersion. But once your there, Tempest is a special series and a great watch, 8.5 out of 10.

8.5/10 story
8/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
9/10 characters
8.5/10 overall

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