Sunday, April 7, 2013

[Ended] Zetsuen no Tempest: Masterpiece

Despite having handed the long season anime of the season award to Shinsekai Yori, for last six months, aside from Bakuman, there is only one other anime I waited week after week for the next episode. It is Zetsuen no Tempest.

At first glance, the presentation was rather strange, as throughout each episode, almost the entire episode is accompanied with a symphonic background music in a rather depressing tone. Then as the story slowly progresses, I find this BGM is quite fitting as the entire first half of the story is in a very depressing mood.

Surprises are among one of the biggest selling points of the story. Watching it the second time through would clear up some details that weren't caught first time, but it wouldn't be nearly as enjoyable as the first time through as so much of the excitement are from the suspense and the unknown.

Often, the characters refer themselves as characters from Shakespeare's work, more specifically, Hamlet, and yes, you have guessed it, Tempest. The reference made in such a way that you'd probably appreciate it if you have read them, but would still get most of the reference even when you haven't read them. The residual effect of such is that after watching the series, I got a very strong temptation to go read them.

There's a very interesting dynamic where one main character is simply wants to avenge against the world about her sister where his best friend who is helping him every step along the way has one of the biggest secret that he could not tell him. It is even more interesting that a character that has been dead for two years plays as an important of a role as those who are alive because the story constantly cuts back to flashbacks where the memory of her words greatly influences the course of actions of characters presently.

The entire story is very intricately constructed where it kept very important facts hidden until very late. Story drops many hints, but they were careful enough that these hints found along the way could never reveal the big secret itself. And when you look back after the secret does finally reveal itself, you'd find that all those hints are very supportive of the conclusion.

There is however one thing the story couldn't cleanly escape: the paradox of cause and effect. It seems ok on the surface as they properly address them with the use of "magic". But if you look further, the causality paradox in this case is just unfixable.

Final Scoreboard:

Drama: 97 (Grand)
Comedy: 91 (Second half)
Action: 95 (Magician's fight)
Art/Animation: 96 (Very well done)
Sound/Music: 100 (Great and fitting)
Character: 98 (Very interesting)

Plot: 98 (Intricately constructed)
Ending: 95 (Proper)

Re-watch value: 75 - Catch more detail, but lose the surprise factor

Overall: 98 - A Masterpiece

Recommendation: The second half of Tempest did not feel as strong and powerful as the first half. That's why it is Shinsekai Yori who I gave the long season anime of the season award to. However, it is still one of the best series from last fall and I'm going to give it

Action Drama of the Season for Fall 2012 Season


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