Bless you, BONES, for continuing to not give a damn about the flavor of the week.
Zetsuen no Tempest is yet another Fall series of sterling quality that’s a complete commercial flop, which is something of a recurring (and depressing) theme. I can understand it to some extent, because Zetsuen took a while to really get under my skin and even now, I sometimes don’t quite feel connected during the A-Part. But somehow this series has a magical quality to it that reaches critical mass somewhere around the episode break, and from that point on I’m usually completely entranced – as indeed happened this week. ZnT definitely isn’t getting any less bizarre, but this arc seems to have found its legs in a big way. It’s radically different from the last in many ways, but I’m beginning to appreciate that this might not be such a bad thing.
outlandishly cool poses and larger-than life personalities. As I’ve said in the past not only do I doubt any studio but BONES could pull this off with a (mostly) straight face, I sincerely doubt there are many who would even try.
isolated village of the Kusaribe would take us back to the vibe of the first cour, but it doesn’t – what we see instead is the villagers as perfectly normal people who happen to be magic-users. I loved this setting with it’s mountain landscapes, deep gorges and rushing rivers – it fits the majestic tone of the show perfectly. As Hanemura is beginning his career as a Genesis-battling superhero, Hakaze and Yoshino are headed to the village to track down rumors of a spy from the outside world. I enjoyed Hakaze’s inner monologues as she becomes more and more hopelessly entranced by Yoshino (“Would I be cuter if I acted scared here?”) more than I have in the past, and there was some interesting back-story about Aika – including Mahiro reading Hamlet and discussing it with Natsumura. It’s still hard to keep track of just who is working with who and why, but it seems pretty obvious that Tetsuma has the strongest antipathy for Yoshino – he seems to interpret everything that happens as a sign that he’s really the Mage of Exodus. Is there a deeper reason for this animosity – such as his own feelings for Hakaze? Hard to say yet.