OP2: 「大好きなのに」 (Daisuki nano ni) by Kylee
「あけましておめでとう」 (Akemashite Omedetou)
“Happy New Year”
Following last week’s transitional episode, Zetsuen’s second half begins in earnest with the reveal of the new OP. Sung by one of my favorite artists in Kylee (Can you believe she’s still only a teenager!? She’s younger than me!), this was a theme I looked forward to the second I heard she was doing it, and she doesn’t disappoint. Her debut themes for Bounen no Zamned (Xam’d: Lost Memories) were just superb (filled with strong vocals and great lyrics) and it’s just nice seeing her get more roles to shine with.
Shifting back to the the episode itself, The New Year takes focus this time around—bringing with it a drastically different world. We get confirmation that the Tree of Genesis did indeed cause the creation of a peaceful world, but at the cost of large scale destruction. However, due to Hakaze’s intervention, neither the Tree of Genesis or Tree of Zetsuen are destroyed, and the world is pretty much caught in what one can only describe as a “calm before the storm.” Looking around, the world’s definitely at a point where the chaos caused in the previous episodes has dissipated, but the fact remains that the overall problem hasn’t been solved. In ways, one could argue the situation’s even more complicated before, as even Hakaze herself finds herself fearing the Tree of Genesis and unsure whether or not it’s really the correct side in this conflict.
Notably though, Samon and his new, rather strange group of “merry” cohorts have realized the same thing, along with the fact that Hakaze’s falling for Yoshino pretty much puts the fate of the world in his hands. To that end, Yoshino could theoretically be a bigger threat to the world than Samon ever was, which leads to Samon’s theory that Yoshino could be the Mage of Exodus. Of course, with the reveal of Hanemura Megumu and his powers which stem from the Tree of Zetsuen, that idea’s shot down for now… but at the same time, the fact that Megumu only realized he had this power recently doesn’t leave Yoshino off the hook. It just feels too easy that the Mage of Exodus merely stumbles upon Hakaze and Yoshino, and there’s just definitely more than meets the eye here.
Suffice to say, this episode brings in a lot of questions, and the 2nd half of Zetsuen’s really laying thick the foundations for (if the OP hints at anything) a climactic ending. Interestingly enough, we got a small taste of that with Hakaze and Megumu sparring toward the end of the episode… and it was quite a treat to watch. Bones definitely ain’t letting up with the animation with this series, and despite the fact I haven’t read the source material up until this point, I can’t help but feel they’re doing a good job giving this series justice.
Finally, I gotta say, I enjoyed the return of the well done comedic moments, which were interlaced throughout the episode. There haven’t been much opportunities lately to put them in lately, so it was nice to see the series didn’t lose its touch despite this long layoff. The whole “waving your spear around will cause trouble” comment from Mahiro, the jump kick Hakaze does on Megumu despite not knowing who he is, Hakaze’s comment about Aika’s boyfriend being an idiot… some nice ones inserted here.
Ultimately, it’s just another week’s work for Zetsuen no Tempest, and it’s just nice to see this series keep churning on without really dropping in quality at all.
Some random additional points: