Zetsuen no Tempest (TV) – Episode 2 (and a bit about Episode 1)
Before I get into more detail about this anime, I’d like to mention that at the start of the season I watched the first episodes of most of the series that could interest me. The major ones include: Zetsuen no Tempest, Robotics;Notes, Little Busters, Shinsekai Yori, Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun. Apart from these, some of the seasonal anime I even continued watching for more episodes, so whenever I start reviewing them, it might come a bit suddenly. Now, more about Zetsuen no Tempest.
It’s one of the series that I wasn’t really planning on watching in the first place. I only found it when it had already started, and despite liking the first episode, didn’t find the immediate motivation to continue. That’s why right now, I’m right in the beginning – striving to catch up to the real-time airing of the episodes, just like I did with K.
Before I continue with episode 2, I’d like to say a bit about the episode 1 andthe anime in general. Zetsuen no Tempest talks about two high-school guys who are dragged into a big conflict. It’s not a normal conflict, though – it involves magic and super-powers. In an incident 1 year prior to the start of the series, a sister of one of the guys is myseriously and brutally killed. The murderer isn’t found, and the world for the two is changed forever. For one of them, Fuwa Mahiro, it’s the death of his beloved sister. For the other, Takigawa Yoshino, it’s the death of his girlfriend. Their reactions to this event are different, though. As Yoshino continues with his everyday life, as if nothing big really happened, and trying to hide his sadness for his friend, who didn’t know who Yoshino’s girlfriend really was, Mahiro suddenly disappears. A year later, he reappears with magical powers and a talisman which connects him to the strongest mage in the world, Kusaribe Hakaze, who has been sent into exile.
In episode 1 of the anime, the guys just meet up, and the story is explained – a mysterious organization of mages is trying to revive ancient mosters (or “fruits” as they call them). Mahori saves Yoshino from a special agent, who is trying to find out more about the disappearance of Mahiro. Right after that, one of the monsters appears and all people in the town are turned into metal (Guilty Crown, anyone?).
Episode 2 continued where the first one left off. It is revealer that Mahiro returned to find out the killer’s name with the help of Hakaze. It is hinted throughout the episode, that they were successful, and as Mahiro set out to get revenge, he is confronted by a subordinate of the main antagonist. Yoshino, at the same time, is chased by the special agent, and after a short fight (using magical items lent by Mahiro), they make a deal.
General thoughts about the anime. First of all, the opening. In short, it is good. It’s better than the average opening out there, and the English song (rather unusual for anime!) suits the footage. It does not reveal much, except for the characters, and really isn’t essential. I liked the ending a bit less than the opening. In my opinion it is too happy and cheerful for a moderately dark-themed anime like Zetsuen no Tempest. The story deals with death and revenge, while the ending song would suit any slice-of-life comedy.
The story is fascinating, and probably the best one of the season. It’s even better that the anime will last for more than 13 episodes – probably a double season (~26 episodes). At the same time, as always there’s an unfinished manga being released once in a while, so the ending will be an anime-original one, if there even will be one. Though, there’s plenty of time for the development of the plot, and no need to rush. A big plus for a good anime.
The art is original. The details aren’t of amazing quality, but it isn’t bad either. Facial expressions can be recognized, and the colouring doesn’t bother me as a viewer. The animations are smooth, so there’s nothing to complain about regarding them. One that that surprised me in connection to the art, though, is that the anime is tagged as shounen. I really haven’t seen that many shounen anime with character design from a shoujo manga…
The voice acting is good. Too bad Hanazawa Kana is already dead according to the story =/ In general, everybody is portrayed well, and none of the characters has an unmatching voice. That means everything is also good with the audio.
As a first impression of the anime, based on two first episodes (that I watched during a period of 2 months), I would give this anime a starting 8.5/10. Why not higher, despite liking almost everything? Becuase there’s always something that could be improved, and a better score is better saved for episodes that are truly awe-inducing. Why not lower? Well, as said in my first post of the blog, I score anime quite highly. If I give something a 7, you can compare it to a normal 5 or 6. If I give something a 6, I consider it below average, or even poor.