Zetsuen no Tempest – 08

The JSDF launches a major offensive against the Kusaribe clan, bombarding the barrier that protects them and the Tree of Exodus. Mahiro and Yoshino break through with a wad of talismans, and not soon thereafter encounter Samon. Mahiro aims the talisman rifle at him and demands he bring back Hakaze. Samon tries to convince them they’re on the wrong side; it is her Tree of Genesis that will reset civilization and destroy the world as they know it, and Exodus that will save the world. Mahiro doesn’t care, as he’s heard the story already. But then Samon presents them with Hakaze’s skeleton in the barrel beside him, and informs Mahiro, Yoshino and Hakaze that she’s communicating with them from two years in the past, and she has since died.

The fate of the world rests in the hands of Mahiro, who hates the world’s guts because it killed Aika. Hakaze is the one who has convinced him she can help him make things right. So whatever Samon says, or no matter how many times he smacks his scabbard against the rock (and he does that a lot) it won’t convince Mahiro to stray from the plan. So Samon’s cornered, right? Checkmate? Game Over? Notsofast…Samon has to whip out that damn skeleton again; the elephant in the room. We were willing to hear Samon out as much as Mahiro, but only as a courtesy. Now…we don’t know who or what to believe. His revelation even spooks Hakaze, who stands on the beach as a storm arrives, literally raining on her parade.

She’s carefully counted her days, adding up to four months, but the year she gives the others was two years ago. So all this time, Mahiro’s been talking to someone just as dead as Aika? If so, how can she help him? This all depends on how seriously Mahiro takes Samon’s insistence that she’s dead. She isn’t dead in the past; perhaps there’s a way to avoid her death and make that skeleton disappear, BTTF-style? So Mahiro may well press on. But Yoshino’s a different story. He had his doubts before he learned this – now he may not be able to let Mahiro wield the power destroy the world he knows – even if the world he wants is also one where Aika is still alive.

Rating: 9 (Superior)

Kamisama Hajimemashita – 08

Nanami’s friends Ami and Kei suggest they all go to the beach for summer vacation so she can get over Tomoe’s rejection. Tomoe is against it, as he says he cannot enter the sea, but comes along anyway, as does Mizuki. When Ami nearly drowns (due to the intervention of a wind deity who is friends with Mikage), Tomoe goes in after her, alerting the Dragon Lord Sakuna to his presence. Sakuna imprisons him in a giant mollusk. Nanami swims after him but Sakuna rescues her from the deep, telling her he’ll only give up Tomoe if she retrieves the eye he stole from him 526 years ago. Begging Mizuki for aid, they travel to the distant past.

This series is definitely on a roll. Nanami has barely an episode to digest what happened between her and Tomoe last week (and as a result can’t easily digest any food either) before Tomoe is spirited away by another deity. Fortunately for her she knows other deities; this week it’s Mizuki’s turn to help her out again. She insists wanting to rescue Tomoe has nothing to do with her being in love with him, but of course that’s nonsense; she can’t separate that reason from any of the others she may have, no matter how practical they may be. Interestingly, it seems like Mikage is orchestrating this whole thing, pulling the strings from the shadows to get Nanami to save Tomoe. Why exactly is anyone’s guess.

This Dragon Lord guy has the memory of an elephant and is quite the stickler when it comes to debts (he has the date of Tomoe’s transgression down to the second), but we like how he’s also a pretty reasonable guy who not only saves Nanami from her foolhardy dive into the ocean (even deities need gills down there), but also promises to hand Tomoe over to her if his debt is repaid. And the only way to do that is to go to the past and avert Tomoe’s theft in the first place. Now that it’s not just her soul but her body going back, Nanami’s love and resolve will be tested to greater degree than ever, as she’ll once again be confronted with the Tomoe of the past, who isn’t bound to her and may not be as nice as the present Tomoe (and even he’s not that nice…)

Rating: 8 (Great)