- Title: Zetsuen no Tempest
- Genres: Action, Mystery, Psychological, Drama, Magic, Fantasy, Shounen (MAL)
- Studios: Bones
- Episodes: 24 – 24min (Completed)
- Date: 5 October 2012 — 29 March 2013
Yoshino Takigawa, an ordinary teenager, is secretly dating his best friend Mahiro’s younger sister. But when his girlfriend Aika mysteriously dies, Mahiro disappears, vowing to find the one responsible and make them pay for murdering his beloved sister. Yoshino continues his life as usual and has not heard from Mahiro in a month—until he is confronted by a strange girl who holds him at gunpoint, and his best friend arrives in the nick of time to save him.
Yoshino learns that Mahiro has enlisted the help of a witch named Hakaze Kusaribe to find Aika’s killer and of the existence of an entity known as the “Tree of Exodus.” The witch’s brother selfishly desires to make use of its power, in spite of the impending peril to the world. However, Hakaze is banished to a deserted island, and it is now up to Yoshino and Mahiro to help her save the world, while inching ever closer to the truth behind Aika’s death.
Zetsuen no Tempest is an engaging drama with a great cast, plot and dialogue. Its mysterious and enigmatic characters are able to grab viewers’ attention, wonderfully aiding the psychological narrative that this show has adopted.
It is a show that makes you want to cry, but for some reason you just wont. Not that it didn’t warrant your tears, but it made you speechless, absorbed and so invested that every plot progression dries up your throat even more. It leaves you wanting to cry but you just can’t because of how the end is built up and executed.
The art was well drawn, skillfully expressing the tragedy and the pain on the characters’ faces. Action was great but rather lacking in art, style and intensity considering the grand scheme of things (their powers etc.).
Music played during moments of the show were appropriate. The use of classical music whenever the main characters quoted a line from “Hamlet” or “The Tempest” (both literary works) managed to set the appropriate tone to engage our emotions. Although, I personally did not fancy the OP and Ending theme songs considering the emotional direction of the show.
Each character had its unique individuality that felt comfortable. The side characters weren’t just for convenience, but serve as relevant pieces to the narrative. The cast developed from foes to friends, then to family.
The comedy isn’t your over the top funny, but it was crucial and used in the appropriate tone to fit skillfully into the world of the heart wrenching drama.
The plot and narrative were great and the psychological aspects were well executed.
Importantly, this show was able to make me feel. Throughout the entire 24 episodes, I was drawn into its mystical presence. The anime set up a tragedy and built towards it, invoking multitudes of emotions within me. At the end of it all, I too felt like smiling with the characters despite knowing the pain and hardships behind their smile, and the weight of moving forward despite them. Objectively, it was a happy ending. Nevertheless, I am deeply saddened by it, but would still put up a smile just like Yoshino and Mahiro. I wouldn’t call it a bittersweet ending, rather an emotion of being torn yet satisfied with its closure.
Should I watch Zetsuen no Tempest?
If you’re wondering whether Zetsuen no Tempest is an anime for you, ask yourself if you enjoy psychological dramas with elements of magic and fantasy. It has decent action scenes and a bittersweet romance, but its main tropes are drama and psychology. Be prepared for tear-jerking moments and multiple instances that will get your brain thinking. The general vibe of this show is classy and thought-provoking. So if you’re looking to have a bit of psychological fun with a shade of tragedy, then this is a must watch.