Genre: Action, Drama, Fantasy, Magic, Mystery, Psychological, Shounen
Zetsuen no Tempest is a complex story about two boys, Fuwa Mahiro and Takigawa Yoshino. Mahiro and Yoshino have been best friends since elementary, Yoshino didn’t like him at fist, but after Mahiro got into an accident, Yoshino was delegated to visit him on behalf of the class at the hospital. While spending time with him through various visits, Yoshino and Mahiro became inseparable.
A few years later, in high school, the story introduces Fuwa Aika, Mahiro’s “sister”, she becomes the character that makes the world go round. The plot is so complex, that I have to be really careful to not spoil anything while I keep the explanation understandable and detailed. The reason for quotation marks in the word sister, is because Mahiro and Aika are not blood relatives, she was added to the family from an outside source. Mahiro was pretty rough with her, kinda like a brother, but Aika didn’t let his attitude get to her, however, she was shown to be a verbal brute to Yoshino.
One day, when Mahiro comes home from school, he tumbles upon a heart-wrenching, gruesome scene. Aika sitting on a chair, her chest impaled, and a pool of blood covering the floor. Mahiro becomes determined to find her killer to make him pay, Mahiro only realized his feelings for Aika when she died.
Okay so, in story, exists two trees, the Tree of Genesis and the Tree of Exodus. Each tree has a physical form, but when not active, their power are channeled by a mage. The Tree of Genesis is considered the good tree and the Tree of Exodus is the bad tree. In the setting of the anime, the Tree of Exodus is sealed, but a clan of mages is trying to bring it back, because they believe it’ll save the world. More complexity will follow, as the very clan trying to revive the Tree of Exodus is the very clan that the mage of Genesis, Kusaribe Hakaze, belongs to.
To execute his plan without interference, the clan leader casts her away on a deserted island, where she cannot use her magic. Since they are affiliated with the Tree of Genesis, in order for the Kusaribe clan to use magic, they must offer a product of modern civilization to the tree of Genesis, by reciting a spell as they touch that object. It can be anything from a car to a soda can, then they are granted the ability to use magic in proportion of their offering size or value. Sometimes, they store magic in objects for quicker use, these objects are called Talismans.
In the city, Mahiro has been absent from school since Aika’s death, Yoshino is basically alone there. Mahiro took the initiative and goal, to find Aika’s murderer and deal with him. Along his journey, he finds a raggedy doll with a string attached to it, turns out, it was the Princess of Genesis, Hakaze, using her craftiness to enchant the doll to get some help. Mahiro only accepted to help her if she would later help him find Aika’s killer. Hakaze accepted and told Mahiro to stop her clan from reviving the Tree of Exodus.
Because of the revival rituals happening, “fruits” from the Tree of Exodus are hatching all over the world, and are heading towards the site where the Tree is sealed, this causes the hatching site of the fruit, often cities, to “metalicize”, causing every living organism to turn into iron, the only thing that can protect you from it is magic.
When a secret organization investigates Fuwa Mahiro, they aggressively come in contact with Yoshino to find out where Mahiro is. During that turmoil, Mahiro zaps out of nowhere and rescues Yoshino, he briefly fills him in on what he’s going to do, and the anime starts there.
This anime is laden with plot twists, which is why I said the plot was complex. This anime’s theme is very deep and I would say psychological, because it takes quite some time to understand, not just the characters, but the stroryline as well. I’ve had a hard time writing the overview, because of the plot’s complexity. The good thing is that it isn’t boring, it does feel like you’re reading a book, I don’t mean it as a bad thing though. The actions and plot twists will keep you going.
The romance in this anime is very complex and becomes the theme that drives the plot. There are are many secrets between the characters, and they have yet to reveal them to each other, this becomes the reason for the many plot twists. The burden of these secrets are so heavy, upon knowing about them you wonder how was it even held for so long, how can a character go about his or her daily life while having to hide it, you can say their poker faces are quite commendable. To wrap this up, this brings us to the epitome of character insight, you guys know how I feel about character insight and this anime did not disappoint, there is great depth in the portrayal of the main characters, and I’m really impressed. How is it related to the romance? Well I won’t spoil it, I did say it was complex, so that’s all I can reveal.
The characters of this story are very interesting, one character in particular is absolutely brilliant, although not much is said about her at first, but if you watch the entire show you’ll see I’m talking about Aika Fuwa. Although dead, the plot and the characters are mysteriously revolving around her, and makes her into the other bigger theme of the story. Kusaribe Hakaze also has something interesting about her, as the mage of Genesis, the Princess of the dominating Tree that makes up the universe listens to her and her wishes. The Tree acts like a karma, and tries to stir things in her favor.
Also, the women in this anime are not useless, or weak and being burdens, they are very prominent, strong and reliable. You guys know character diversity is my thing, and this anime just gives purpose and potential to almost everyone and it’s awesome.
I could go on about other highlights this story has, but I absolutely don’t want to spoil the storyline and the many plot twists. So I’ll just say that this story has a powerful literary aspect, it really feels like a book. Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Tempest, are used in the story as a comparison to refer to the characters situations. The anime also includes various concepts of time, such as time travel, time paradox and of course, Hakaze’s karma who can also influence time. All of that just leads to the many fascinating events during plot development and climax.
I watched this anime twice to understand what exactly was going on and why certain things had happened, but it was really worth it. I enjoyed it both times, especially the second, because I was able to understand so much more of the story. The plot can get really complicated at times which may end up confusing you and have you give up on the anime, but when you understand why it took this approach you’ll see it differently, which is why I said it’s like reading a book.
The underlying themes of the Trees, Aika’s mysterious death, Hakaze’s karma, plus Yoshino and Mahiro, have a huge impact on one other and interact in ways you only realize when the plot decides to let you know. It’s just epic.
RATING: Story: 10 Plot: 9.5 Main Characters: 10 Characters: 9.0 Action/Feels: 9.5 OVERALL SCORE: 9.6 SirMeliodas Approved