「彼氏」 (Kareshi)

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’.

Full-length images: 1, 3, 5, 8, 11, 16, 18, 32.




  1. I could only think of profanities as the episode ended.
    F***, I want to watch the next episode NOW!

    Was planning to read the manga after the episode ended, but since next episode’s title pretty much says what Yoshino’s theory is, the urge disappeared

    1. I actually laughed out loud at this while watching, which is rare for me while watching anime. His entirely reasonable bafflement at how ridiculous a topic the fate of the world rests was just perfect, yet completely unexpected.

  2. I must say, it’s quite unusual for the main antagonist to be at the complete whim of in-fighting between comrades/friends to succeed in his goal. Yoshiro was definitely amazing here, but I can’t help but feel disappointed in Samon. He seemed like a calm, calculating man, who planned well ahead to defeat his enemy. I think the excerpt “..the very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.” may fit Samon to an extent =01.

    1. The way I see it, is its because he is the type of person to plan EVERYTHING. So when something comes up that he didn’t plan for he just doesn’t know what to do, hence his situation here dealing with the complete wild card that is Mashiro.

  3. This episode showed Yoshino’s manipulative side. He was able to manipulate Mahiro’s judgment or decision from one word. Although he will carry out his back up plan if Yoshino’s plan fails, he still managed to sway Mahiro, who cannot be swayed easily as we all know.

    The entire thing about Hakaze’s death 2 years ago, was alittle bit confusing, I had to watch the episode again to fully understand. Very complex, and solid answers indeed.

    Now, it’s time for my favorite character to shine next week! (Being Yoshino as I said in a earlier episode)

  4. I have to say i just can’t get enough of this series soundtrack .. the track that played when Natsumura took out the tank with Kusaribi magic was darn epic, also loved the music when Yoshino started flash-grenading everyone and Samon drew his sword and started fighting them XD

    Also, Mahiro is quite a zealot when it comes to his goal, he just forges forward regardless of anything else .. bet Samon never met someone like that in his life considering how confused he was by Mahiro’s disregard for everything except his goal … Hakaze is surely still in luck becasue the doll ended up with someone like Mahiro .. who happens to the exact opposite of Samon (who seems to like to plan everything ahead and seems to be allergic to surprises and uncertainty .. which Mahiro -how managed to throw a wrench in Samon’s plans- has in spades XD)

    The evil face of Hayakawa (the leader of the military operation, who also happens to be a member of the Ksuaribi clan) in the preview of next episode makes me think he in fact is responsible for part of the mess that’s happening, after all he provided Yamamoto with a magical spear and seems to know a lot more than he is showing .. so far he is also another wild card and we surely are going to find out more about him in the next episode (more of a reason why i can’t wait for it) .. and Yamamoto is just a pleasure to watch .. her looks and her antics are just sweet.

    Then there is the whole “Shakespeare” thing going on, and i have to say the series is making great use of it, the writer tricked us by making us think that the whole story is a tragedy based on elements from Shakespeare’s own tragedy “Hamlet” .. then he suddenly tosses “The Tempest” in our faces when we least expect it (and seriously, how no one saw this coming is beyond me, it was in-front of us all this time but so well hidden .. hidden in plain sight as they say, damn clever) .. everything was there, the title of the series having “Tempest” in it, a “magician” stranded on an island, and a actual “Storm” that has been going on for two episodes (just like the storm in the story) .. well played indeed .. i wonder though if more Shakespeare stories will get involved, when it comes to jealously there is no better story than “Othello” .. wonder if that will show up when Mahiro finds out that Yoshino was Aika’s loved one and boyfriend.

    And i have to say it’s really amazing how much Aika impacts the story even though she is dead, i also love how in every flashback scene involving Aika and Yoshino we get to find out something new about an item that either of them had, previously Aika gave Yoshino the dolphin toy and the hair-clips, then in this episode we see where she got her straw-hat from .. it was Yoshino’s hat to begin with .. i wonder of all this items exchanging is going to lead to something.


  5. The more I watched this series, the more I get the ominous vibe from Aika.
    It’s as if she deliberately manipulate the 2 protagonists for some grand scheme.

    It’s also amazing that at the beginning she only seems like ordinary innocent tragic heroine.

    1. you know what, you’ve got something there. and think about this, what if aika is part of the clan? if she killed herself that would still be considered being killed by someone from the clan. plus what if her death was a needed catalyst for everything to start moving? man this show rocks!

  6. More and more I think that Aika planned her own death in order to trigger the chain of events that would bring Hakaze back from the island and save the world. The remark that “everything happens for a reason” a few episodes ago, and now the reference to The Tempest that pushed Yoshino into action… the hints are becoming hard to ignore.
    We know that Aika was adopted. If she was originally from the Kusirabe clan, the prophecy that “Aika has been killed by a member of the Kusaribe” would be technically true.

    As for dead charcters that have a great influence on a show, we can’t forget Totsuka Tatara in K, although Aika is definitely more central.

    Son Gohan
  7. What an amazing episode! It’s really nice to see a show cover all its bases like that. And I’m always impressed with how they weave in Aika’s influence at every turn. It’s clear that Aika’s death was key, but I’m still not sure who was pulling the strings behind it. It could have been someone like Hayakawa or even Aika herself. I have a feeling, even if Aika didn’t kill herself, that she had something to do with her own death. I can’t wait to find out though!

    I loved all the facial expressions in this episode that’s for sure! And I couldn’t help but laugh when both Samon and Hakaze went brain-dead after the word “boyfriend” turned the tables. I also have to mention one part during the fight between Yoshino and Mahiro. I love that when Samon jumped in and attacked Yoshino, that Mahiro went and attacked Samon. Yoshino is continually hitting them with these flash-bombs and Mahiro yells at Samon for attacking Yoshino lol. They’re relationship/friendship is one of my favorite things about this show.

    1. That was going to be my wild theory!
      If there can be time dilation then why can’t the Tree of Genesis have seen what would happen and provide for it long in advance?
      My cracy theory (for now) is that Aika is a personification of the tree and knew exactly who she needed to influence to tip things in Hakaze’s favor.
      Really, the way she set things up between the two boys and the hints she left Yoshino are too “coincidental.”

      The other part that bothered me was how they (Natsumura & Samon) kept calling on the Tree of Genesis when they wanted to fight – isn’t that counter what they want to do, or at least extremely hypocritical since they’re trying to defeat it? That was a glaring question for me, since this show has been very careful about everything having meaning and/or being a clue to what is going on.

      Finally, though it’s already been said, as soon as Aika suggested a different Shakespeare play, I was happily alone so no one heard me screaming ‘The Tempest’ out loud. I adore Shakespeare. If Mahiro gets to play Ariel… there are some other possible implications for that role that could be interesting.

  8. Samon, another example why calculating traitors never win. It’s also funny how a man who relies so much on his estimates and margins of error is trying to revive something that will upturn everything he learned. But I wish he’d side with the “good guys” in the end since he’s a good guy after all.

  9. Well the whole question is how this can be accomplished. I am doubtful it is something relating to magic that we haven’t already covered as there is no way Yoshino would know that much about magic. Thus said its hard to imagine Yoshino could propose a new magical method. Thus I would come to the conclusion that it probably involves the wooden talisman or similar method. Perhaps they can send a message back in time. I really can’t think of any method though.

    Mext episode titled, “How to make a Time machine”. Perhaps there is a way to influence the past to save Aika as well. It doesn’t seem very likely though or I am sure Mashiro would have brought this up instead of the bf issue. So I am going to venture a guess that it has to do with the barrel and bones. Mashiro will tell Hakaze to do something thus altering the past perhaps to send the barrel away thus creating a paradox.

    1. I was thinking something like that too.

      I had anticipated that Hakaze was in the past, since the whole “radio” communication thing reminded me about the movie “Frequency” with Dannis Quaid and Jim Caviezel back in 2000. Maybe the rest of the things will work out like in that movie too, where the father who died in the past “finally” makes it to the future after repeatedly altering the past under the guidance of his son, saving the day too.

      Maybe Yoshino could start by making Hakaze destroy the barrel and see if it vanish from the “future” … and if it works, then … let’s stay tuned and see 🙂

      1. only problem with your barrel theory is that it’s not the only barrel in the world. samon could have either brought a different one when he came back to the island or just brought hakaze’s body back and put her in a different barrel. im intrigued by the idea of destroying the doll, though.

      2. you’re probably right 🙂 the dolls are much more important than a barrel.
        Anyway I was just wondering why the hell that barrel is there in the first place, it’s in every episode, and the story could do without it, and as the writer seems to give a purpose to everything, I was trying to guess the barrel “role”. Well, it could be just a decoration this time 🙂

  10. The agony of waiting til next week. Now that’s a tragedy. This series is definitely one of the best the season has to offer. I love how a great episode can make the series, and one bad one can break it. This is one of the best ones.

  11. definitely a sleeper series of the season…
    First things first, magic allowing delay of 2 years in phone communication isnt as far fetched when we look at the light of the stars they emitted years ago… (hence term light years…)
    I’ve lost count of the moments I was literally rolling laughing because of Samon getting thrown surprises in his face… Chessmaster he can be, but the Mahiro/Yoshino duo were totally wild cards, first by throwing him a proposal he cant refuse, then by throwing the entire logic of dead Hakaze under the bus of identity of Aika’s boyfriend – all the while dancing merrily over the fate of the world itself. Sheer ridiculousness of the situation and side-changing reminded me of the Pirates of the carribean scene “On whose side is Jack? At this moment?”. And Yoshino is now in it for the sake or fullfilling Aika’s wish/idea and saving Hakaze… Love makes world go round?
    Meanwhile, at the front entrance to Mount Doom, erm, Fuji… The epic fight of Natsumura vs the army was one-upped when Evangeline intervened. I liked her from the start of the series and now we have some really cool duel to fight…
    I was biting my nails the moment ED started… what a cliffhanger!


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