Zetsuen no Tempest – 20


Hakaze prepares to transport back to the past to investigate Aika’s murder and report back. Her findings will determine against whom Mahiro exacts his revenge, even if Hakaze herself turns out to be the murderer. She transports her flesh to the skeleton on the island and uses magic to travel to Aika’s hometown. She runs into her on the street just after she arrives four hours before she meets her end, but it’s no coincidence. Aika follows Hakaze to a rooftop and introduces herself as the true Mage of Exodus, then draws a massive magic sword.

Aha…of course Aika is the real Mage of Exodus! Without going into excessive detail (or resorting to whiteboard diagrams), it makes sense after everything we’ve seen. Aika always seemed to possess an aura of wisdom and sageiness beyond her years, and being the mage explains that. If she wants to confront her Genesis counterpart (no, not Collins), it also explains why Hakaze would fall for Yoshino. The desire to determine the truth for the man she loves led her right into Aika’s burdock-like clutches. The moment they cross paths is filled with tension, and that’s before Aika tells Hakaze who she really is.

As soon as Hakaze announced she was going back in time, the gears in our heads started to turn. That decision leads to a course of action that leads to her confrontation with and, at least in the first go-round, eventual killing of Aika, which results in the present timeline these past twenty episodes inhabited. It’s a chicken-and-egg paradox: Hakaze becomes the very person she was looking for: Aika’s killer. She needs to die as she did before if the timeline is to be preserved…but judging from the size of that sword, killing her won’t be easy, assuming that’s what Hakaze intends to do.

Rating: 9 (Superior)

P.S. Samon finds another opportunity to demonstrate his singular wit – that wig joke was GOLD.

Zetsuen no Tempest – 18


When Hakaze learns Aika is Yoshino’s girlfriend, she blames herself for her demise, even if he doesn’t. After getting him to show some emotion over the loss he’s carried for so long, she devises a plan to determine once and for all whether the Tree of Genesis follows her will – and will submit to its own destruction – or is only using her as a tool to revive itself. She and Yoshino part ways and she flies to Yokohama in a costume to face Hanemura in a highly public duel in which she helps him push his powers to their maximum potential.

Tempest is a show that isn’t afraid to present lots of discussion, debate, introspection, and analysis, while lacking a defined weekly action sequence in which nearly all episodes climax (a la Bones’ Star Driver). Because of this, when it does break out the action, it’s almost  always unexpected and novel. We would have never thought Hanemura would evolve into the classic superhero…but we expected Hakaze to fly into the air in a gaudy outfit and play along with him even less. That being said, it’s a pretty awesome turn of events.

We also continue to admire Hanemura’s inconvenient perceptiveness as he casually opines that Aika is totally Yoshino’s girlfriend, and he’s never told Mahiro because Mahiro loves Aika too (he doesn’t say this bit aloud). But the comedy is again nicely balanced by plenty of poignant drama. Mahiro’s reaction to Hanemura’s theory is to simply sod off and clean the kitchen. But Hakaze’s reaction is far more involved. She even gets Yoshino to have a badly-needed cry in her bosom. Her love of Yoshino is no longer a distraction, but a key motivator in her future plans for the Tree of Genesis.

Rating: 9 (Superior)

Zetsuen no Tempest – 06

Junichiro tells Mahiro and Yoshino how Samon had Hakaze killed by stranding her on an island, showing him her bones as proof. The paradox irks Hakaze, still alive on the island, but before they can investigate, a fruit is raised in Junichiro’s town. Natsumura tries and fails to get him to break his neutrality, while Mahiro and Yoshino escape on a bus with the special talisman in the form of a chained gun.

While in the forest, they are ambushed by soldiers of the Black Iron Syndrome Countermeasures Force. Mahiro is knocked out, while Yoshino willingly goes with Evangeline, as they’ve worked out a deal where he cooperates with her in gathering info on the Kusaribe clan, who the force aims to defeat, along with their Tree of Exodus plans. Mahiro intercepts the convoy Yoshino is on, and Yoshino must bail to avoid appearances of collusion.

The richness and excellence of this series is such that it can introduce a big and seemingly significant revelation one week, only to be almost immediately placed on the back burner in lieu of more pressing matters the next.We also had a little chuckle at the prominent mention of bones in a Bones series. But the new big revelation is that Yoshino is collaborating with Evangeline Yamamoto (long time no see) behind Mahiro’s (and Hakaze’s) back. It comes as an initial shock, but, also makes sense. Yoshino can’t entirely trust them, but nor can he entirely trust Mahiro or Hakaze. (Evangeline seems more concerned with her and Genesis than Samon and Exodus).

Yoshino is no stranger to lying to Mahiro’s face; he did it the entire time he was with Aika. But he starts to feel guilty hanging out with him and getting rescued by someone he’s lied to on so many matters. That guilt makes him feel vulnerable and expectant of some kind of retribution, but none seems forthcoming, which could either be Mahiro being dense or unobservant, or not wanting to confront Yoshino on his “treachery.” Then there’s the nugget about Aika not being Mahiro’s sister by blood, and that his feelings toward her might’ve been a bit more complicated than brotherly love. Regardless, Yoshino can’t fully trust Mahiro to save a world that, in a way, already ended when he lost her.

Rating: 8 (Great)