Sunday, January 27, 2013

Zetsuen no Tempest - 15

[HorribleSubs] Zetsuen no Tempest - 15 [720p].mkv_snapshot_10.21_[2013.01.27_17.33.40] [HorribleSubs] Zetsuen no Tempest - 15 [720p].mkv_snapshot_16.52_[2013.01.27_17.40.46] [HorribleSubs] Zetsuen no Tempest - 15 [720p].mkv_snapshot_18.06_[2013.01.27_17.42.07]

I don’t know what the hell that was, but it sure was fun.

I have to hand it to BONES – they’re continually surprising me with Zetsuen no Tempest.  I wasn’t thrilled with the direction the series seemed to be headed in last week, and while this was hardly a return to the operatic grandiosity of the first cour (the opposite could hardly be more true) it had the merit of going completely in the opposite direction.  This was more “Twelfth Night” than “The Tempest” or “Hamlet” – ZnT as a romantic comedy and satire.  A highly audacious move, but they pulled it off.

I suppose if there were ever a role Kaji Yuuki were born to play it would be Hanemura.  Seriously, the guy is such a complete derpwad that I find myself actually feeling sorry for him.  I certainly don’t think he killed Aika (even assuming she’s actually dead) – or at the very least, he doesn’t believe he did if he did.  No, he’s just a total loser who happens to be, by all appearances, the Mage of Exodus.  He’s certainly powerful enough to be one, having wiped out one of the Tree of Genesis’ manifestations with alarming easy.  Fraulein (why Fraulein?) Yamamaoto and Natsu were certainly alarmed.  But what seems to be happening is that this unassuming boob is being used as a tool by those who understand his power far better than he does.  He may be a dingus and a mope, but Hanemura seems like a nice enough guy – he certainly doesn’t deserve that fate, at least as far as we know.

Mostly, though, this was an episode that was comedy-first, canon second.  Among the gems:

  • Samon and Mahiro (they’ve become quite the odd couple) on a shopping trip.  “These would be for you.”
  • “Please do not call me that.”
  • “Who’s Aika?”
  • Exactly what everyone wanted to say.”
  • “SF stands for Sci-Fi, not Sangfroid.”
  • Hakaze’s romantic soliloquy listing Yoshino’s charms.
  • “Do whatever you want!  Too much talk!”

It’s pretty remarkable for a series like this one to give itself over so wholly to humor at this stage of the narrative, and even more for it to have worked so splendidly.  Of course that’s because the comedy was true to the characters – I’m reminded somewhat of the songs from “Once More With Feeling”, the Buffy musical episode – which worked so well because they fit the cast perfectly.  Samon (again, Koyama Rikiya with a knockout performance) is an unintentionally comic character all the time, so he’s a natural for this sort of development – eternally surprised at the curveballs the world throws at him.  But Hakaze’s riff on Yoshino was one of the better passages of comic dialogue this season.  Yes, it’s absurd that with everything that’s happening the one person who should be most fixed on saving the world is mooning over a boy as Hakaze is – and a younger one at that.  Reminding us of how absurd that is does nothing to cheapen the series – rather, it crystallizes for the audience just how the fate of the world is broken down into the selfish passions of the principals at the heart of the series.

So what happens now?  It appears that the Kusaribe are officially signed-on for Hayakawa and Evangeline’s plan – the exact nature of which we don’t know yet, but which would presumably entail trying to reverse the actions of the Tree of Genesis.  The first stage of that, apparently, is turning Hanemura into a sideshow freak in a super sentai suit – my guess being to try and inspire the public to turn against the new order, perhaps a necessary component of the larger plan to defeat Genesis.  There’s some quite substantial material sandwiched between – and even among – the comedy this week too.  Junnichirou’s suggestion that the Tree of Genesis might kill Yoshino’s girlfriend if Hakaze was in love with him has interesting implications – is it possible the Tree knew what would happen and preemptively killed Aika (I doubt it, but it’s a nice misdirection)?  Samon’s “Would you rather?” question to Mahiro was an intriguing one, and Yoshino’s comment about how the population of the world wasn’t really acting any different before the new order was perhaps the most cutting and essential of the episode.  Humor or not, Hakaze was quite right – the boy has Sangfroid in plenty, and he remains the one person in the cast who seems most likely to act as an independent agent with a clear head when the chips are all on the table.

[HorribleSubs] Zetsuen no Tempest - 15 [720p].mkv_snapshot_03.08_[2013.01.27_17.25.47] [HorribleSubs] Zetsuen no Tempest - 15 [720p].mkv_snapshot_04.08_[2013.01.27_17.26.47] [HorribleSubs] Zetsuen no Tempest - 15 [720p].mkv_snapshot_04.31_[2013.01.27_17.27.34]
[HorribleSubs] Zetsuen no Tempest - 15 [720p].mkv_snapshot_05.14_[2013.01.27_17.28.18] [HorribleSubs] Zetsuen no Tempest - 15 [720p].mkv_snapshot_05.27_[2013.01.27_17.28.31] [HorribleSubs] Zetsuen no Tempest - 15 [720p].mkv_snapshot_06.06_[2013.01.27_17.29.09]
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[HorribleSubs] Zetsuen no Tempest - 15 [720p].mkv_snapshot_09.11_[2013.01.27_17.32.35] [HorribleSubs] Zetsuen no Tempest - 15 [720p].mkv_snapshot_10.21_[2013.01.27_17.33.47] [HorribleSubs] Zetsuen no Tempest - 15 [720p].mkv_snapshot_11.23_[2013.01.27_17.34.42]
[HorribleSubs] Zetsuen no Tempest - 15 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.33_[2013.01.27_17.38.21] [HorribleSubs] Zetsuen no Tempest - 15 [720p].mkv_snapshot_15.07_[2013.01.27_17.38.55] [HorribleSubs] Zetsuen no Tempest - 15 [720p].mkv_snapshot_15.31_[2013.01.27_17.39.19]
[HorribleSubs] Zetsuen no Tempest - 15 [720p].mkv_snapshot_15.46_[2013.01.27_17.39.34] [HorribleSubs] Zetsuen no Tempest - 15 [720p].mkv_snapshot_16.52_[2013.01.27_17.40.40] [HorribleSubs] Zetsuen no Tempest - 15 [720p].mkv_snapshot_17.57_[2013.01.27_17.41.45]
[HorribleSubs] Zetsuen no Tempest - 15 [720p].mkv_snapshot_22.03_[2013.01.27_17.45.51] [HorribleSubs] Zetsuen no Tempest - 15 [720p].mkv_snapshot_22.03_[2013.01.27_17.45.56] [HorribleSubs] Zetsuen no Tempest - 15 [720p].mkv_snapshot_22.18_[2013.01.27_17.46.27]


12 comments:

  1. I got chills when they refused to look at the picture of Hanemura's girlfriend.

    She's got to be important. They haven't even stated her name yet, just a nickname. At this stage I wouldn't be surprised if she looked exactly like Aika.

    If you offer objects of civilisation to the tree of Genesis, perhaps you offer people to the tree of Exodus?

    That way either the girlfriend is already dead, or Hanemura is an offering made by the real mage and doesn't even know it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice one, ZnT, nice one...

    I got excited when Junichirou reappeared, but that conversation was disappointing. He's in dire need of a background story or even a short story arc. It's not going to happen, is it?

    I like tenshi's idea of offering people to the Tree of Exodus, though.

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  3. Yu-chan is totally Aika, the Princess of Exodus, assuming a new identity. Hanemura is but a mere mage.

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  4. Of all the characters in shows I'm watching right now, no one is as moe for me as Hakaze.

    The cast of Chihayafuru and Koutora-san are close seconds but she is sooo adorable when she thinks about Yoshino. My kinda of moe. Not some ditzy idiot in a shopping centre.

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  5. i dont think aika is hanemura's ex girlfriend since aika was 15 when she died and hanemura is in college. Yu-chan was said to be around his grade level i believe so aika has instantly been ruled out. Not to mention if aika was his ex, we would have had some sort of reaction at his name.

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    Replies
    1. She could have been Aika's twin sister, switched with Aika to be the body Mahiro found. When did Yu-chan and Hanemura break up?

      Admittedly I'm just throwing out crazy theories at this point!

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    2. We could also consider that Yu-chan only exists in Hanemura's mind as I guess the Trees can possibly overwrite memories to serve its or the Mages' purpose. Of course, that loose logic creates too many possibilities in the storyline with the Trees either working for or against the Mages. These overpowered Trees seem to create one big storyline cluster fuck.

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  6. "ZnT as a romantic comedy and satire."

    Now it just sounds like Zero no Tsukaima.

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  7. Hahaha Hakaze was awesome this episode. That moment when she realized her feelings for Yoshino and just started freaking out was priceless. Evangeline is still my favorite in this show but Hazaze gained some serious points in this one.

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  8. A question I've wondered is how omnipotent is the Tree of Genesis. For instance, it's possible that if the magic of the Tree of Genesis could have allowed knowledge to time travel between Hakaze and Mahiro when she was on the island, then it's possible that the Tree could have learned that Hakaze loves Yoshino, and either known that when she's on the island (cause as soon as she showed up in the present, she was awfully protective of Yoshino) or have communicated it back, and set up the death of Yoshino's girlfriend to help Hakaze out.

    In reality, tho, there are so many ways this show can go that speculating just means you'll be wrong in an episode or two. Better to just watch and find out, I think.

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    Replies
    1. I agree it's not unreasonable at this point to assume that the tree can know things that will happen in the future and set for them ahead of time. However, I'm hoping that's not what happened to Aika, as I'd prefer the reveal there to actually be surprising and not a theory that's already been discussed by the characters in the show. At this point the show has given us several possibilities for what may have happened to Aika but my hope is that none of them will be correct and we'll get something completely shocking instead.

      Delete
    2. You could say that Hakaze's feelings for Yoshino had started developing before she had even left the island (and before she even met him in person). That still would have been 2 years before the present day, so the tree could have killed Aika based on Hakaze's feelings at the time.

      That said, I doubt that was the case. I just felt like pointing out that detail.

      Delete