Zetsuen no Tempest: A Eulogy to Love and Vengeance

Revenge and coping up with the death of a loved one sounds rather cliché, but what if you throw these into a setting where the end of the world is coming and someone has to find a way to stop it?

Zetsuen no Tempest, also known by its English title “Blast of Tempest,” is a 24-episode anime series based on a shounen manga by Kyou Shirodaira and produced by Bones, who are known for their Fullmetal Alchemist adaptations. It has a rather complicated story revolving around two young men – Mahiro Fuwa, who wishes revenge, and Yoshino Takigawa, who ends up tagging along with him. Mahiro’s contract with the stranded sorceress Hakaze Kusaribe will lead him to the identity of the person who killed his sister, Aika Fuwa, but in exchange, he will have to help Hakaze in stopping the cause of world destruction.

It runs with themes of vengeance, love, destiny and logic. There’s often references from William Shakespeare’s works “Hamlet” and “The Tempest,” both stories of revenge, except the former is a tragedy while the latter, a comedy.
The characters, particularly the two protagonists, are complex, intriguing, and very likable. The vengeful Mahiro is very outright with what he wants, and does not care about anything else but is still governed by his personal logic. He will not do anything that he finds unreasonable. The cunning Yoshino is surprisingly idealistic and kind, but he will not hold back from killing someone if he needs to.

Then, we have the female cast. Hakaze is a strong and confident woman who has had her fair share of character development. Meanwhile, Aika is very mysterious, even though she only appears mostly in the flashbacks, and has already died a year before the story began. Megumu Hanemura is an interesting addition to the cast in the second cour. He’s overpowered, except that he’s so indecisive that he got dumped by his girlfriend. The rest of the main cast, while not intended to be intriguing in any way, are very likable.

The story is divided into its two cours. The first cour has a generally darker and more sinister mood, but it takes a sudden shift on the second cour, where the story is a lot more melancholic, but is lighter and more idealistic, with some rom-com thrown into the mix. This may be off-putting for a lot of people, especially those who are actually looking for something dark and edgy and avoid romance, so be warned. 
The overall story is outstanding, the storytelling is clever, and the plot, intricate, but never too confusing. Of course, with the storytelling style – with flashbacks inserted not-so-randomly everywhere in the story – it might confuse the audience at first, but once we know more about what is going on, the flashbacks will become easier to tell from the rest. 
The first episode is effective at getting the audience’s attention with its intensity, and it goes on for the rest of the story. The ending isn’t exactly the best one, but to me, it was an appropriate ending for the story and resolved the biggest conflicts in the story. The occasional comedy is gold.
The scores, which are mostly orchestral pieces, are really good, and it goes well with the heavier scenes. However, while they do have scores for lighter scenes, there are times when the music is too heavy for their particular scene.
The theme songs are generally great, though. In the first cour, we have the opening theme “Spirit Inspiration” by Nothing’s Carved in Stone and the ending theme “Happy Endings” by Kana Hanazawa. The former is a fairly fitting song for the series, while the latter, while fitting for the flashback, is perhaps too cute for the first cour. The second cour has the opening theme “Daisuki Nano ni (But Even So, I Love You)” by Kylee, and the ending theme “Bokutachi no Uta (Our Song) by Tomohisa Sako. Both songs have a melancholic mood that fits the second cour.


The voice acting is superb. The voices suit their respective characters, and are great at delivering emotions in the story. Kudos to Yoshino’s voice actor, Kouki Uchiyama, for that certain heartbreaking scene in the second cour.


The art is beautiful and outstanding which can be seen in the backgrounds. The character designs and the art style are lovely, and suits the story very well. The only thing is that there are occasional awkward facial expressions, which unfortunately happens on the heavier scenes. Yoshino’s face, for example, suffers from this. The animation is fluid and dynamic, and this shows in the animation scenes. The special effects on magic are done amazingly, and even the CGI is neatly executed and does not distract.


Overall, Zetsuen no Tempest is a thrilling ride, one that never goes too boring. Highly recommended to those who would be fine with the sudden shift in mood in the second cour, and also for those who are looking for complex and likable characters. The revenge aspect of the story is what initially drew me in, but after watching the complex development of love and friendship between the characters is what made me stick to the anime.


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Watch the trailer here: