I’m trying to sort out my feelings for Zetsuen no Tempest but believe me, it isn’t so easy. There’s no show quite like it.
Without wishing to complicate things further, let me introduce a quote from yet another of Shakespeare’s plays (A Midsummer Nights Dream) which seems appropriate here:
Captain of our fairy band,
Helena is here at hand,
And the youth, mistook by me,
Pleading for a lover's fee.
Shall we their fond pageant see?
Lord, what fools these mortals be!
It can’t be ignored that Zetsuen no Tempest is quite simply a very funny show, too – for one that isn’t a true comedy it delivers some of the finest humor in memory. Hakaze’s recurring inner monologues have grown on me to the point where I now love them for the hilarious way they send up the preposterous strictures of anime love comedy in a way that’s true to the story. Her at long-last confession was a gem:
“I want to touch your earlobes!”
debating who Yoshino’s girlfriend was. For my money it was the funniest scene in anime so far this year, starting with the mere premise itself – to see the fate of the world distilled down to this discussion – with a whiteboard no less – is a perfect display of how Zetsuen can combine the absurd with the epic. Loli? Teacher? Older woman? Boobs too big – or too small? Cafeteria lady? The seriousness of these suggestions, combined with Hanemura’s reactions, were utterly priceless – it was gorgeous to watch and listen to. And in fact all these powerful and self-important men were avoiding what was obvious to any fool who cared to see it, and it took the fool in the room to point it out them. Oh what fools these mortals be!
know the truth of Aika’s relationship – will Mahiro even believe it, and what will the knowledge do to a potential Yoshino-Hakaze romance? These should be fascinating questions to see answered, and there’s one more turn in the story I love to see – the delicious irony of the Tree of Genesis itself turning into a flash point for conflict between humans. That’s a perfect cherry on top of the grand story here, a repudiation of the very existence of the Tree of Genesis and what it represents. I don’t know what BONES has in store to tie all this together, but based on the work they’ve done so far I’m going to go into the last several episodes with a fair bit if optimism that they can pull it off.