17 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Shinmaru /

Zetsuen no Tempest 1 – A Sad Snowflake on a Sad Hand

So sad that it moved me to tears . . . of laughter! Ha ha ha, I am so clever!

I actually think the episode gets decent once it hits its and has some solid action and intrigue, and introduces scenes where the bombastic score is given room to breathe and be awesome instead of heightening angst for characters we barely know. Sorry, but I’ve seen too much goofy angst to be automatically heartbroken~ when a character gets beat up and looks longingly into the sky while a single snowflake falls onto his hand. It’s so sad, everyone!! The stuff with the sister is a bit better because there’s at least a tiny bit of clever thought put into how it’s presented. I’m guessing those feelings are as hidden from Onii-chan as they were from the audience. What a wonderful train of angst that shall be!

Everything else is mostly setting up the larger story: a disease that pretty much instantly kills whoever gets it (maybe there’s a reason our hero doesn’t get it aside from plot armor?), butterflies everywhere that herald the arrival of the disease, evil people who want to fuck up the world, a sorceress stuck on an island who wants to put a stop to that shit, and our other protagonists who have their own reasons for getting involved with all this. I can see the No. 6 comparisons people have been throwing around (though this is at least nice enough to let you know at the beginning that there will be magic out the ass), but there’s also a dash of A Certain Magical Index and, of course, all that Shakespeare.

I’m a bit ashamed to admit I needed a bit of help on that front. Weirdly enough, I caught at least the basic allusions to The Tempest easily enough even though I haven’t actually read it (helps that, you know, it’s in the title and all), but the Hamlet lines went over my head because it has seriously been almost a decade since I read it. Jesus Christ, I am fucking old. More knowledgeable people than I could probably go on about whether the references actually color perceptions of the characters and their motivations, or whether it’s just trying to be cool like Garth Marenghi quoting a random line from King Lear before the first episode of Darkplace. But if you’re into that sort of thing, it’s there! It’s totally there!

Because I am secretly Michael Bay (except not a racist), I dug all the fighting and crazy occult stuff that went on during the latter half of the episode. That is what the BONES folks bring to the table when the studio’s creators are on their A game. The sorceress seems pretty cool, although I wonder how she managed to get her magic walkie-talkie working when there’s apparently a magic blocking shroud over the island. Hard work and guts, no doubt! Also, the dynamic between the protagonists could be interesting. There’s the sense that the sister isn’t lying when she says special snowflake is a con artist who can lie with a straight face. It didn’t seem like Onii-chan knew they were seeing each other, yeah? Well, there you go! That automatically makes him more interesting than your typical Insert-kun.

So, hey, a decent first episode. It could always crash and burn horribly from here on out, but it at least has my attention for now.

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  1. Posted October 5, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    “although I wonder how she managed to get her magic walkie-talkie working when there’s apparently a magic blocking shroud over the island.”
    There’s no magic blocking. The barrier than Samon used only isolate the island so that it becomes invisible.

    Or at least that’s what I get from the manga.

    • Posted October 5, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      Hm, you’re right in that I’m incorrect, but going back to the beginning, she can’t use her magic because she doesn’t have the necessary tools to do incantations that can get her the hell off the island. I guess she DOES have just enough to do what I assume is a simple spell to communicate through a device.

      You would have thought the simple thing to do would be for me to make sure I have everything straight, but this is what happens when I write early in the morning. Or maybe I purposefully put incorrect things in so that you people will have stuff to comment on!

      (Note: It’s the former. I’m just dumb.)

      • Billish
        Posted October 5, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        You’re Michael Bay, and you’re a racist. This episode was awesome.

      • Posted October 5, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        Don’t make me get out my exploding white hood!

  2. Posted October 5, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Was the girl on the bike with Mahiro (the blond kid) his sister? I wasn’t sure about that, even though it’s probably obvious in retrospect. The cryptic talking and all threw me off.

    • Posted October 5, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      Yes, she’s his sister. Just check the MAL entry if you’re confused! (But presumably you should avoid the spoilers.)

  3. Mr.RR
    Posted October 5, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    After watch the end I’m wonder if his sister was killed on purpose. Like she is the incarnation of some magical something or other and her death was needed for the crazy villains to take over the world.

    • Posted October 5, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      That wouldn’t surprise me in the least. If what we see at the end of this episode is actually the scene of her death, it DID look like some crazy blood ritual.

  4. Mr. Anon
    Posted October 5, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    a disease that pretty much instantly kills whoever gets it (maybe there’s a reason our hero doesn’t get it aside from plot armor?)

    Well Fuwa did remark that it was because Yoshino was next to him when the plague struck. Probably lil miss sorceress is providing Fuwa with a protection aura.

  5. Posted October 6, 2012 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    I watched this back to back with Chuunibyou whcih was totally not a good thing. It felt like every single character hear suffered chuunibyou because of the lines they spouted. I couldn’t take it seriously at all.

    • Posted October 6, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      Hahahaha, I could definitely see that!

  6. Posted October 6, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Decent intro episode? DECENT? The first scene kind of reminded me of Kore wa Zombie desu ka, except noone was killed. The scene with the barrel reminded me of One Piece. Those were the best parts of this episode.

    The characters were so full of themselves, it’s like they want a hammer with “get over yourself” on it smashed in their faces. They took themselves serious to a ridiculous level, which is only heightened by the show taking itself just as serious.

    This is the kind of show that makes even gentleman elitists like me ponder using the word pretentious. I thought Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun was the strongest contender for worst show of the season, but then I watched this.

    • Posted October 6, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      I guess it creeps dangerously close to pretentious territory with the Shakespeare references … but, really, the tone is SO deathly serious that I didn’t take it that seriously, you know? The overall plot doesn’t interest me all that much yet, but the action is good enough, and the characters at least seem like they’ll DO things. That’s good enough for me at the moment!

      • Posted October 6, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        …I didn’t even know there were Shakespeare references. That makes it worse, I guess. It’s just trying far too hard to be taken serious. It’s for me almost like the US-comics “there is blood and rape and stuff so it’s for gronwups and serious” kind of thing.

      • Posted October 6, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        Definitely understandable. It’s still in my enjoyably self-serious zone, but I could understand how others would be scared away.

  7. Erif
    Posted October 7, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    So after watching K and From the New World right before this, I noticed the horrible amount of exposition that was present here. I’m usually adverse to over-exposition, but watching those two shows right before made it stand out even more.

    Nevertheless, it was a decent episode. Like you, the Shakespeare references soared over my head, but I think we’re in for a decent Bones series.

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