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 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.