Zetsuen no Tempest Ep. 1
Autumn 2012 (12 episodes) (English title - Blast of Tempest) (more info)
Some Japanese writing, whether it be JPRGs or anime has a tendency to be lacking in backstory at the start. But I think Zetsuen no Tempest is one of those stories where it’s ok to not disclose all the details up front. After all, who in their right mind among the common folk could predict the coming of a supernatural disaster? I really like the immediacy of the conflict because being forced to pick a side with little knowledge of the core causes of the conflict is a great way to force someone’s hand into making a decision they’re going to regret.
There’s also a great lesson to be learned about dealing with dangerous and determined enemies—isolation may not be the most permanent solution to getting rid of them. Hakaze’s resourcefulness has a fantasy-esque MacGuyver feel to it that resonates with me on a couple of different, seemingly disconnected levels. The overall feel has a bit of a Guilty Crown vibe to it, but so far while none of the characters are coming out as likeable just yet, they all have unique and exciting personalities—being neither jerks nor wimps. But if the setting is still a bit of a mystery after the first episode, the motives of the characters are very clear and most of their goals overlap along the theme of recovering something that was lost. The way they have all managed to coincide to create a web of comradeship despite how their personalities constantly clash gives moments for some lighthearted chemistry to take off the edge.
If the first episode of a series can leave me in the dark about little details, encapsulate the cast’s overarching motives and make me interested to know what’s going to happen next, then it’s done its job quite well and Zetsuen no Tempest nailed each of those points perfectly. I also have a part of me that loves characters who meld justice and vengeance into one mouth-wateringly satisfying vendetta. And since it’s made by Bones, it’s probably going to be pretty good; even if it doesn’t turn out to be a masterpiece, I’m doubtful I’m going to be disappointed.