Sunday, November 18, 2012

FIRST LOOK: Zetsuen no Tempest 1-5

Here's another show that's taken me awhile to hop on to.

Zetsuen no Tempest is about two boys, Mahiro and Yoshino, who over a year ago lost someone very important to both of them: Aika, who is Mahiro's sister and Yoshino's secret girlfriend. A few months after Aika's murder, Mahiro disappears, presumably to seek revenge against his sister's murderer, leaving Yoshino to fend for himself against bullies and girls in black leather jackets and big shotguns. The latter comes in the form of Evangeline Yamamoto, a self-professed volunteer working to solve the "Black Iron Syndrome," a mysterious illness that turns all living creatures in a given area into, well, black iron. Yamamoto goes after Yoshino because of his connection to Mahiro, who in turn seems to have gotten himself involved with mages in the interim.

Long story short, it turns out Mahiro has gotten himself embroiled in some kind of mage war. He's allied himself with a powerful mage by the name of Kusaribe Hakase. Earlier in the story, Hakase was marooned and trapped on a desert island by her followers, led by Samon in his bid for power and goal of awakening the Tree of Zetsuen, which is set to destroy the world. In exchange for helping him find his sister's murderer, Hakase teaches Mahiro how to use talismans embued with her magical powers to battle the Kusaribe Clan and stop the Tree of Zetsuen in its tracks. Yoshino decides to join his friend.

This one's by BONES so the production values are really high. I particularly like the character designs. The Shakespeare is a little pretentious but the show is entertaining enough, the story compelling enough, for me to let that one pass.

Something tells me all is not what it seems with this series. Particularly with Aika (was she murdered or was she sacrificed?) and the frequent mention of "fate." It's not a coincidence that Mahiro stumbled upon Hakase's wooden doll and make a pact with her. It's not a coincidence either that Yoshino learns all about Mahiro's involvement through Yamamoto. Moreover, Samon doesn't seem to have any evil intentions against the world.

The music is okay, too. I like the rock OP theme better than the cutesy patootie ED theme. Voice acting is also top-notch. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Miyuki Sawashiro voices Hakase, making Zetsuen no Tempest the second series I'm watching this season with this same VA playing a prominent role.

Well, adding this one to my watchlist then.