January 23, 2013
The highlight of Zetsuen no Tempest‘s first course turned out to be a multi-way logic game, with the different parties involved trying to convince each other of the superiority of their argument. The various tank battles and magical battles and so forth all were a mere backdrop to the shifts in who had the upper hand in a discourse that lasted about three episodes. The twists and turns were excellently played, not only in the argument itself, but in the inner monologues that revealed how much every character was keeping from the others.
These monologues continue to be a special feature of Zetsuen no Tempest, as is appropriate, given the recurring references to the plays of William Shakespeare. The inner turmoils, and the scheming, revealed when the characters speak their private thoughts seem to be the forces that give shape to reality. Meanwhile the actions and interactions in many ways are merely the visible effects of that hidden universe.
Episode 14 continues in this fashion, with various characters attempting to convince Mahiro that he might need to kill his childhood friend Yoshino to save the world, without giving him all of the information they have, or the entirety of their reasoning. For his part Mahiro agrees to do their bidding, all the while making his own hidden plans. Although the episode included a magical battle, one of the most interesting aspects was that the various plans that were being developed throughout the episode were upset when Yoshino calls those plotting against him to announce the discovery of the mage of Exodus.
This isn’t always the strongest show, and the idea of a giant tree taking over the Earth is difficult to swallow, but the psychological twists can be very satisfying.
October 20, 2012
I was thinking I could get away with just two “first impression” posts this season, but it turns out this season has enough going on that the omnibus format is still quite useful. This week I include Zetsuen no Tempest for the first time. I also have juggled my pseudo-ranking scheme a little bit; shows that were previously marked “dropped” are still off the list, but some shows have failed to impress me during the first 2-3 episodes. I’m breaking this list up, then, into shows that have shown themselves to be Solid, those that I am still Following, and those that are on Probation.