Continuing off from last week’s dialogue heavy, revelation filled episode… we get yet another one with arguably even greater impact than the previous. It was definitely hard to imagine this following the events of last week, but as this week proves, Zetsuen isn’t your run of the mill show. And admittedly, I’ll say that I never imagined that this series would get this far. Sure, I felt the plot had some nice potential following a quick peek at the series’ manga counterpart, but there was definitely some doubt in my mind as to whether or not it had the ability to develop the elements it had. But darn, as it turns out, it did—and I feel better and better every week having decided to cover this series with Mochi, who notably returns this week to provide y’all with the caps above (Thanks again!).
In any case, a lot of important topics are covered upon this episode, so let’s have a go. To help make it easier to write everything out and for everyone to follow, the topics will be discussed in chronological order for the most part.
First off, we have the continued discussion regarding Hakaze and how she’s actually no longer alive. A key question that popped up inevitably was: “then how would it make sense for Mahiro to still be in contact with her?” And to that question, we get a surprisingly solid answer, which is basically this:
Two years ago, the princess sent out a doll from her island. This was the doll that was ultimately received by Mahiro and used to establish contact. Because the princess died during those two years it took for the doll to reach (or at least, her own doll was destroyed for some reason), the doll that Mahiro acquired and activated would naturally attempt to search for the thing that most closely resembles the original doll it was linked with. As a result, it connected to the princess’ doll from two years ago from before it was destroyed.
To say the least, it makes a lot of sense from a purely logical standpoint—at least, conceptually. It’s still questionable how logical it is to communicate with someone from years back, but the explanation is quite sound for the most part, which is quite something. The onus was on them to make a proper explanation/link between everything, and they definitely delivered on that part. Zetsuen sure knows how to cover its bases, that’s for sure.
Moving along, a notable side development that happens during this is the sending out of Natsumura to deal with the military attacks. Pretty straight forward for the most part, but I felt it still deserved a mention because of how ridiculously powerful a mage can be compared to a normal human—especially given limitless societal tech to use to replenish your barrier. Another thing also was that this ultimately led to Evangeline’s return as well, wielding presumably a few talismans given from Yoshino during their previous meeting. Considering how well she seems to have wielded that spear though… and the fact that Hayakawa (the leader of that military group) was distantly related to the Kusaribe clan—something just doesn’t feel right about them all of a sudden. Perhaps that’s just me. Either way though, this pales in comparison to…
…the interactions between our big thee triumvirate of Yoshino, Mahiro, and Samon. The latter continues his attempt to persuade our protagonists that their journey’s over, but as he finds out the hard way, when you’re dealing with someone who doesn’t care whether the world ends or not… there’s no such thing as an abrupt end. And as Mahiro demonstrates, he has some smarts too, deciding to use his talisman to try and broker a deal with Samon instead. From his surprise though it sure seems like he didn’t know the killer was from the clan either, which makes me wonder even more about Yamamoto and Hayakawa.
In any case, the major thing here is that Mahiro merely tosses away Hakaze upon the realization that she is indeed dead in this time period. And it’s just a testament to who he is: a wild card and an uncontrollable beast that remains fixated on one goal and one goal only. As Yoshino mentions himself, it’s just amazing that Mahiro’s been able to maintain so focused despite everything that has been going on… but also quite tragic too. Still, the fact of the matter is that despite Mahiro’s obvious inability to be controlled, Yoshino himself has always been arguably the biggest wild card of them all. And this episode, this notion gets hammered in as he flips everything on its heels with perhaps the most interesting trump card I’ve seen used in any recent anime: the fact that Mahiro has always wanted to know who Aika’s boyfriend was, and he’s the only one to know this information.
To say the least, it was priceless seeing and hearing Samon and Hakaze having seizures at how illogical the world is to be held in the hands of something they deem “trivial.” In the end though, it’s just a testament to how crazy the world’s become and how battle is not only about revenge or about saving the world, but about the divide between the adults and children in this series and how the aspects they believe to be worthwhile are different from one another. Zetsuen’s just a darn grand story, despite the fact it doesn’t necessarily use anything particularly amazing or complex to do so.
And last but not least, another key element of this story was the mention of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest“. Admittedly, I haven’t read it before, but it adds another layer to Zetsuen no TEMPEST as a whole and pretty much alludes to what Yoshino stands for: the person who could make this story end in a non-tragic matter. More importantly though, the fact that this was mentioned by Aika first and the fact that she’s the trump card to persuading Mahiro to go back to Hakaze’s side… just demonstrate even further how influential Aika has been overall. Off the top of my head, there haven’t been many examples of a series that’s been able to show how much someone’s influenced things despite no longer being alive, but Zetsuen’s definitely one of them… and does it damn well.
Looking forward, it’ll be intriguing to see how things work out, that’s for sure. I’m not sure exactly how they could bring Hakaze back… but it does make some logical sense that it’s possible because she was supposed to be alive in the present and that theoretically, the doll’s connection makes it so that there is still a Hakaze that is “alive.” Perhaps it’s possible do to a mere exchange of the bones or something of the sort. Either way though, the potential’s causing Samon to break out in a cold sweat… and anything that can make a guy like him sweat is probably worth watchin’.