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)