Blast of Tempest: Complete 1st Season (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)
July 24, 2013 by Dennis Amith
“Blast of Tempest” is a series that captivated me from beginning to end. It’s unique, unpredictable, complex and so far, the first half of the storyline has been nothing less than great! If you are one of those anime fans who have been wanting something original, smart and entertaining…then “Blast of Tempest: Complete 1st Season” is recommended! It’s definitely one of my top picks for “best anime series on DVD” to watch in 2013!
Image courtesy of © Kyo Shirodaira, Arihide Sano, Ren Saizaki/Zetsuen Project, MBS. All Rights Reserved.
DVD TITLE: Blast of Tempest: Complete 1st Season
DURATION: Episodes 1-12 (300 minutes)
DVD INFORMATION: English and Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0, 16:9 LB, Dolby Digital
COMPANY: Aniplex Inc.
RATED: Suggested 13 and Up
RELEASE DATE: August 13, 2013
Originally created by Kyo Shirodaira
Directed by Masahiro Ando
Series Composition by Mari Okada
Music by Michiru Oshima
Character Design by Tsunenori Saito
Art Direction by Ayumi Sato, Tomoaki Okada
Mechanical Design by Masahisa Suzuki
Art Design by Ayumi Sato
Anime Production: Bones
Featuring the following voice talent:
Kouki Uchiyama as Yoshino Takigawa
Toshiyuki Toyonaga as Mahiro Fuwa
Miyuki Sawashiro as Hakaze Kusaribe
Hirofumi Nojima as Junichirō Hoshimura
Hiroyuki Yoshino as Tetsuma Kusaribe
Junichi Suwabe as Natsumura Kusaribe
Kana Hanazawa as Aika Fuwa
Miyuki Sawashiro as Hakaze Kusaribe
Nana Mizuki as Evangeline Yamamoto
Rikiya Koyama as Samon Kusaribe
Shintarō Asanuma as Takumi Hayakawa
Yuuki Kaji as Megumu Hanemura
One day, a sorceress princess was stuffed into a barrel and banished. One day, a single girl was suddenly murdered, and the culprit still runs free. And one day, a battle spanning time and space over magic and revenge began! Sanity and madness; sense and intelligence; self-confidence and convictions. The tragic tale of this irrational world begins here…
In 2009, “Zetsuen no Tempest” was released as a manga byy Kyo Shirodaira with illustrations by Arihide Sano and Ren Saizaki. In 2012, the anime series received an anime adaptation courtesy of BONES and in August 2013, Aniplex of America will be releasing the series with the title “Blast of Tempest” with the first season (first 12 episodes) on DVD.
The series is directed by Masahiro Ando (“Sword of the Stranger”, “Hanasaku Iroha: Home Sweet Home” and “CANAAN”), series composition by Mari Okada (“AKB0048”, “Aria – The Natural”, “Anel Tales”, “CANAAN”), music by Michiru Oshima (“Fullmetal Alchemist”, “Gokusen”, “Arc the Lad”, “Gokusen”), character designs by Tsunenori Saito (“Sword of the Stranger”, “Towanoquon”, “Halo Legends”) and art direction by Ayumi Sato (“The World God Only Knows”, “Heroman”, “Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2” and “Eureka 7: Astral Ocean”) and Tomoaki Okada (“Banner of the Stars”, “Darker than Black”, “Crest of the Stars”, “Star Driver”, “Wolf’s Rain”).
“Blast of Tempest” begins with an introduction to two teenage students, Yoshino Takigawa and Mahiro Fuwa. Mahiro gives his step-sister Aika a ride back home and with her attitude towards Mahiro, Fuwa believes that his sister dislikes his friend.
Meanwhile, we see a woman breaking out of a barrel and is stranded in an uninhabited island. Her name is Hakaze Kusaribe, the leader of the Kusaribe clan and the “Mage of Genesis”, a princess who’s goal is to protect the “Tree of Genesis”, which is the source of magic used by her clan. But it appears that she was betrayed by her aide named Samon, who had put her in the well and put her in an island to block out any of use her mage powers. His intention, to awaken the Tree of Exodus to prevent the advent of the Tree of Genesis, which he and the Kusaribe clan believe will recreate the world and destroy mankind.
Fast foward to the near future and it was revealed that Aika was murdered and Fuwa has not been seen for months after the incident.
As Yoshino wonders what has happened to Fuwa, a woman named Evangeline Yamamoto arrives and with her weapons, threatens to kill Yoshino unless he provides her with information in regards to his connection to Mahiro. Yoshino explains that he has not seen Mahiro in months and that he has been mourning the death of his sister, Aika.
All of a sudden, butterflies show up everywhere and we see how humanity has been affected with some strange disease that turns people into metal. But as Yoshino tries to fight back and escape, Evangeline shows how dangerous she can be and before she hurts him, out of nowhere, Mahiro teleports and beats Evangeline.
Mahiro explains to Yoshino that he was given this power by a mage named Hakaze, who he can communicate via a wooden doll that Hakaze had made (and Mahiro found it inside a bottle on the beach). Hakaze makes a deal with Mashiro that she would find Aika’s murder in exchange for his help in stopping the resurrection of the Tree of Exodus.
Yoshino decides to help Mahiro find out who murdered Aika as well, but what is his real motivation of assisting Mahiro? Meanwhile, Yoshino is given some of Hakaze’s power via a magical talisman that has been left behind in the city. As Mahiro and Yoshino try to find the murderer and the magic talismans, they receive word from Hakaze that there is no magic to track the culprit, which can only mean that a member of her clan may be responsible.
And out of nowhere, Samon’s aide Natsumura tries to kill them.
Will Mahiro and Yoshino find out who killed Aika and can they also find a way to free Hakaze and rescue her out of the island?
VIDEO & AUDIO:
“Blast of Tempest” is an anime series that I expected wonderful animation, especially with director Masahiro Ando behind-the-scenes. When it comes to BONES anime productions, Masahiro Ando is one of my favorite directors because he brings quality to a film or animated series and having watched “Blast of Tempest”, I am absolutely pleased with the animation. From character designs, shading to lighting, Tsunenori Saito and staff did a wonderful job in bringing out the emotion of the characters but also to capture the action and the mechanical designs as planes and tanks go to war against the unknown.
And as one can expect from BONES, the art direction by Ayumi Sato and Tomoaki Okada is absolutely beautiful. From oceans, forests, hills, cities and just the ambiance of a certain area, they captured the environment with wonderful detail.
While I wished this series was released on Blu-ray, as some Aniplex releases are released in Japanese with English subtitles on DVD, perhaps this series will receive a Blu-ray release in the future with an English dub included.
For now, the series is presented in 16:9 LB with audio in Japanese linear PCM stereo with English subtitles.
“Blast of Tempest: Complete 1st Season” features the following special features:
- Textless OP – “Blast of Tempest” opening theme without text.
- Textless ED – “Blast of Tempest” ending theme without text.
“Blast of Tempest: Complete 1st Season” comes with a slipcover, special booklet, reversible mini-poster and 2-sided reversible cover.
“Blast of Tempest” is one of the most intelligent, addicting and enjoyable anime series I have watched in the past few years.
It’s a series with a lot of twists, a series with a lot of secrets and I don’t even know how to discuss the series without revealing any major plot details. So, the best way for me to even describe the series is a mix of murder mystery as one brother tries to find the killer of his step-sister but aided by a friend, or is he a good friend at all?
The interesting aspect of this series of its two main characters is that the character of Mashiro Fuwa, is a boy who has been born under privilege and has always been treated differently because his family comes from a powerful background. While Yoshino was the person who rather keep to himself and not be involved in anything. Due to circumstances, Yoshino ended up having to help Mashiro and in the process, their relationship was not of mere friendship, as one would think. But a friendship of convenience.
How this friendship lasted from their younger years to their older years, it is because of one important connection which one will find out as the series progresses.
But it’s the protagonist Yoshino that you are amazed to see how his storyline unfolds as each layer is peeled and you get to see a side of him that he has kept secret all this time. But how damaging will his secret be? And for Mashiro, why is his drive to find Aika’s killer, made him change to this person only seeking nothing but revenge?
The other storyline that captivates you is the storyline that surrounds the character Hakaze. She appears to be a beautiful, naive teenager but in truth, she is the powerful “Mage of Genesis”, born to be the leader representing the “Tree of Genesis” and like the concept of ying and yang, opposing the “Tree of Genesis” is the “Tree of Exodus”. Both trees locked up into an epic battle that has spawned generations and for Hakaze, she has been left on an island, hidden by a sphere and no way to use her power to leave the area.
Kept on the island, as a viewer, you feel bad for the character because she doesn’t have a mean spirit. If anything, she wants to help Mashiro and Yoshino find the murderer of Aika, but she needs their help to get her out of the island. And thus, it becomes a cat and mouse game as the Kusaribe clan now led by Hakaze’s former aid Samon sends his clan after Mashiro and Yoshino, but unlike regular humans, they have been given part of Hakaze’s power to defend themselves and others.
Meanwhile, the government/military are trying to put a stop to whatever has unleashed the virus on humanity, which have been killing innocent people by turning them into metal.
The drive for each character is easily explained throughout the series, but within the series is this storyline about logic vs. illlogic. In order for Hakaze and the Tree of Genesis to thrive, all actions must be based on logic. But we see how one’s perception, may it be false, can be seen as logic in their own terms, but must be proved or discredited.
Each character is faced to evaluate situations in their life or other’s lives to find out why one is siding on Genesis vs. Exodus and the logic of why one would side by one side versus the other. It’s a complexity that many anime do not try to touch because it requires one to think. I just want to say that the series is not as cerebral as a Masamune Shirow animated film but it’s a TV series that stands out from other series because so much thought went into the complexities of logic and illogic and how choices affect a character and one has to prove their case.
While the first half of the series does not end on a cliffhanger, it’s one heck of a cliffhanger because you are left wanting more and more!
Because of its character development and its complex but yet fascinating and enjoyable storyline, “Blast of Tempest: Complete 1st Season” was a complete surprise. It’s a unique storyline with no abundant use of old cliche’s or typical banality seen on other anime series.
With this DVD release, the animation looks great and the Japanese voice acting is top-notch, but it is without an English dub which may detract people from this DVD release.
As for Aniplex swag, you do get a slipcover, special booklet and reversible mini-power plus a 2-sided reversible cover. The booklet features episode synopsis and character artwork. While the poster features Yoshino and Mashiro on one side and Hakaze with Aika on the other.
Overall, “Blast of Tempest” is a series that captivated me from beginning to end. It’s unique, unpredictable, complex and so far, the first half of the storyline has been nothing less than great! If you are one of those anime fans who have been wanting something original, smart and entertaining…then “Blast of Tempest: Complete 1st Season” is recommended!
It’s definitely one of my top picks for “best anime series on DVD” to watch in 2013!
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