「不破愛花」 (Fuwa Aika)
“Fuwa Aika”

Continuing a string of great episodes, this week brings us literally a calm before the storm — the lull before the final battle. With Hakaze’s revelation of the truth, both Mahiro and Yoshino are forced to accept Aika’s decision, and what results is just a superb, character driven amalgamation of greatness. And I wouldn’t have it any other way, because if you really got down to it, that’s what Zetsuen no Tempest has been about. Yes, the story’s been spectacular and the animation just as superb, but the bottom line is that there ain’t no way we would’ve been as invested if it weren’t for the great characters and the amazing development they get week after week.

I mean, gosh darn, everyone was just bouncing off each other this week. For one, we had Hakaze, Yoshino, and Mahiro trying to console each other over the blame and the fact that they needed to accept what they’ve learned. This in turn gives way to Samon and Evangeline’s mixture of worry and relief at how the former were able to keep their control… and ultimately sets up the stage for Hanemura, who stands up and calls everyone out for being unreasonable — beating the crap out of both Mahiro and Yoshino in the process.

Suffice to say, it’s a powerful moment because it shows both just how hard our protagonists have been and trying to keep things in a way that makes sense — to the point where they’re arguably being unreasonable themselves in terms of how hard they’re trying to repress the emotions that make one human. In addition, it just emphasizes just how hard the revelations hit them and how despite the feeling that Mahiro has about it being “the end for him,” there’s still a lot to do here. As Hanemura puts it so aptly himself, “nothing has ended yet” and it’s something that just gets built upon as our characters realize how true that statement is. Because as Mahiro says in response, they won’t be able to “move forward, cry, or even yell if they can’t defeat the Tree of Genesis.” And as Yoshino follows further, “if we don’t end it, nothing can start” — in other words, you can’t start anything new if you don’t give what you’re doing a proper end. And “even if nothing at all begins,” it’s better to finish what you started regardless.

It’s just some amazing stuff to say the least and something made even better by Evangeline and Samon’s discussion about how while there’s such a thing as being at the wrong place at the wrong time, there’s also something as “being at the right place at the right time.” To top it off, there’s some great moments of bittersweet comedy in here as well, with the whole bit about Yoshino saying Aika has a terrible personality and was a weirdo, as well as that bit where he suddenly just starts bleeding out and collapses as a result of Hanemura’s attack.

Ultimately, all of this just sets up a bit of closure for everyone, and both sets up the ending — the need to defeat the Tree of Genesis while killing as little as possible of the military protecting it — and gives some key answers to questions we had last episode. Specifically, we get the revelation that the Tree of Genesis’ core is the key to its destruction, as well as flashbacks that explain Aika’s suicide as one driven by her steadfast adherence to her philosophy, which was to not rely on others and be decisive. In the end though, I do admittedly wonder somewhat, because if Hakaze’s return to the past lead to her death, then would there not be one original timeline where Hakaze wouldn’t have influenced it? I mean, the fact that she killed herself in order to preserve the timeline after Hakaze revisited makes a fair amount of sense… but if you go by the current explanation we have… the future influenced the past… and it just feels odd. I guess when it comes to things like the space-time continuum… that could be possible, but I do find myself wondering if there was some alternative scenario that led to Aika’s death the first time — one that was not Hakaze — but led to the same result and started this whole loop. In this context, it would be quite possible her Mage of Exodus powers alerted her to the events her death would trigger… but again, it seems like from the explanations we’ve been given, there was no alternative cause for her death, and the future did indeed influence the past.
Actually, after reading this and this, it seems like that is possible after all. Well darn, you learn something new everyday after all.

In any case, the final battle begins next week, and I’m admittedly quite disappointed that I won’t be able to cover it. I’ll be going to PAX East and won’t have the time/internet access to do so sadly, but there will be coverage from Guardian Enzo, who will be covering episode 23 in my stead (Thanks good sir!). It may be a day or two late though, so just a heads up on that.

Full-length images: 31.




  1. I have to say that it is interesting that in many ways by being freed of the specter of getting revenge both Mahiro and Yoshino are on the same page about actively saving the world. With them both turning full hero here it stills leads me to wonder if Aika’s knowledge of the two led her to predict that this could be turned into a happy ending? She has had so much influence on everything and, like LOST, it seems like everything happened for a reason.

    I can’t wait for the end.

  2. ……logically Speaking the future can’t affect the past……it’s like if today someone went into the past to kill hitler. then they got to him in the past and killed him. He would be dead. Since he would be dead he would never go the past to kill him……or sort of w/e its fantasy and aika is a asspull but they found a way to almost hide the fact that she’s a complete asspull

    1. In a realistic sense I believe time travel or ‘future influencing the past’ is impossible because of the non-existence of ‘time’.Think a about it, time is merely a illusion created by memory.

    2. Quite an interesting conversation, but Yoshino, you aren’t really giving any support to what you said; you hypothetical statement seemingly makes sense but I think its would be wise to consider the theories relating to time and time travel like the many-worlds theory. Also the links that Zephyr put in make very strong points since quantum physics take into acount the entanglement of particles and that the measurement needed to fix the entanglement is available in the future (Its a lot to take in but time traveling applies quantum physics).

      Also, its important to consider that this is a science fiction genre so actions like trying to change the past applies to science fiction; a good example is when Hakaze traveled to the past to find Aika’s killer and she later tried to stop Aika’s death. At that point, Hakaze was unable to stop Aika’s suicide, this is a conventional technique in timetravel called a predestination paradox. You can also apply the causality loop since Aika’s death propelled the future events and thus the future events went back to the first event (Aika resolving to kill herself).

      Quite interesting on how timetravel could work since applying science fiction with what is theorized today.

      1. Ok…if we go by science fiction anything goes you win….realistically well none of this show is realistic anyways so yeah…I just dont want zeyphee aka ,my love to cause children to believe the future can change the past

      2. Well you don’t have to believe it, just that the future changing the past is theorized, and science fiction still applies some logic, just not completely in the sense that it applies a fictional perspective.

        P.S “Children” won’t understand how the future could change the past, its kind of too complicated to explain and its still a theory that applies a different way of thinking about time XD

      3. The anime itself provides an excellent quote on this matter when Fraulein~ was introducing her idea that the Tree of Genesis was sent by aliens: What’s “fictional” or “magic” to us could simply be science far beyond our understanding.

        […especially when the lengths of your science are learned under a bridge.]

      4. Plus, for the fictional character to make such a quote, it firstly had to been thought up by a non-fictional person.

        Or maybe now we can blame it on Japanese anime not being serious? How about H.G. Wells writing about the atomic bomb in a 1914 “Sci-Fi” novel called “The World Set Free”, over 20 years before World War II even happens?

        H.G. Wells, as far as I know, is a pretty real and pretty cool guy, doesnt afraid anithings u no?

  3. Mahiro and Yoshino…truly remarkable characters. The both of them. Even Hanemura is becoming impressive, and everybody else remains impressive. I friggin laughed so loud when Yoshino bled ferociously saying, “I think he broke something important.” Nice relief there.

    As for Hakaze, that scene between her and Yoshino in the episode preview looks type mysterious yet interesting. (And I’m not just saying that because Hakaze is in a swimsuit. Although that is a reason.)

    And finally Aika in that flashback, she seemed far more uptight and formal there. It was so cute :D. That uptight girl became a “unique” young woman (I know she was only 14, but her personality was pretty damn mature for that age)

    Yoshino, Mahiro, Hakaze, Aika, everyone else. You all are truly wonderful. Just too damn wonderful. I thank the person who made this series, and I thank the people who made this into an anime, or else I wouldn’t have known about it.

  4. for those who don’t understand the concept of this kind of time travel, read Doraemon, Doraemon explain quite easy to understand in there.
    This is one of the theory about time travelling, Steins;Gate is another

  5. I’m wondering if they are gonna tell us who Hanemura’s gf is, but that info might not be constructive in the storyline anyway.. so oh well~ i heard that the anime is giving an original ending. Is it true? O.O

    oh and uhh when is Spring preview coming? :3 i know i can look it up myself, but i love the way RC does the previews.. >w<

    1. Is it necessary? As far as I know, producers don’t tend to do this unless absolutely necessary (i.e. First FMA Anime). I’m not reading the manga so I don’t know how much material is left or what kind of material it is (sometimes the ending gets changed due to censorship *sigh*).

      But in terms of planning and the staff’s production it doesn’t seem like it would happen D:! At least, I hope it doesn’t. Anime original endings are usually quite annoying and frustrating…resulting in me finding the source material to get proper closure.

  6. This time travel thing is in over my head. Leaving it to you guys to debate the endless argument about the details. I think it’s much easier to simply attribute those things as stuff that will happen all the same, unless one wants to do a Steins; Gate. Hakaze’s no Okabe though.

    I like how the series creates the atmosphere when something important occurs. In this case, the responses from Mahiro and Yoshino felt totally muted. They were logical in their reasoning, yes, but muted, and somehow it felt like there was an air of heaviness hanging around them till Hanemura went bananas to turn it around. Interesting that it was he – probably the weakest person mentally – who helped put things back into focus. Pretty good timing and dosage for comic relief at the end of the scene too. Nothing over the top such that the transition seemed unnatural.

    Two mere ordinary students at a special place at a special time. That really caught my attention there. As cliche as it may seem, one underlying message here seems to be that if you have the will and the purpose, even ordinary people working together can change or even save the world. Of course, the recurring theme of irony, this time in that they have to go against the world to save it continues to impress me.

    Pity that Hakaze had to take a backseat for this episode, though it looks like the focus will pan to her again in the next episode. Can’t wait to see what kind of plan those two who decided to take responsibility have cooked up.

  7. This really was a calm before the storm episode, yeah, and I can’t wait for the last two episodes, because all the pieces have come together now – I like how pretty much every side has a hand in this final battle, and most of them will be opposing our protagonists. I wonder if the entire thing will be as epic as the end of the first half; I’m sure hoping so.

    And yes, character development has always been one of this show’s strongest points – it’s been working these archetypes into complex, troubled people who feel alive since day one, so it’s definitely got one of the most – if not the most- engaging casts this season for me. They work well together as well – the recollection of Aika’s meeting proved that. It’s been a joy watching them grow over the last half a year of following this show.

    I liked how this ep had some more comedic moments to lighten the mood as well, laughed my ass off at Yoshino’s comments about Aika. Weirdo girls ftw!

  8. Oh, wow… Aika shines again, this time in a flashback of her first encounter with Mahiro & Yoshino, and furthermore, totally dominating everyone’s thinking – from the afterlife, no less! – about how to deal with the ToG.
    But another person that gets to shine, is our weaklimg MoE, Hanemura. Who of all the wise could have foreseen him questioning everyone’s sad attempts at rationalizing the situation, and curb-stomp swatting away both Mahiro and Yoshino in the process. It looked like it took physical pain for them to be able to manifest the pain they’ve felt after rhe truth of the Aika’s death dawned on them.
    We’re off to the final battle, with enemy for the first time clearly defined and localised: the core of the ToG. And it seems that Mahiro is intending to show himself as “Mage of Exodus” to the vengeful world after the kill is done, to protect Hanemura?

  9. Yoshino and Mahiro are rare people indeed. They are rare, because they understand life. It’s just a card game. You’re dealt and hand and it’s up to you how you play it. Maybe you’re dealt a junk hand, and something terribly tragic occurs like getting caught up in a global conspiracy to destroy civilization, resulting in mass death. It’s unfair, and it sucks. There’s no point crying over it. What’s done is done. You can’t cry ’till it’s all over and you’ve done all you could.

  10. i find ironic that even with his near-god’s powers, Hanemura is the most normal and sane character of the serie and if not like the rest of the cast is abnormal or weird, but they are too sane considering the circumstances they are facing (i pity you, Samon).

    And complete agree about the characters, they are the best of ZnT. To me, they don’t even need to save the world, watching them in a slice of life, would be if not a masterpiece a very entertaing show.

  11. I don’t see why they feel they have to limit casualties for some peace related reason? It is of course humane to avoid killing people. But what does it have to do with world peace? It’s not like a bunch of cruisers can prevent countries from going to war. But I guess an Island nation like Japan values fleets rather highly for their own defence, but that isn’t exactly the entire world.

    1. They don’t need to limit casualties to accomplish their immediate goal, but they are also thinking about what their situation (and the world’s) will be like once/if they win.

      Killing a bunch of the people here will make them extremely unpopular & make it harder to stabilize the world after the tree is dealt with.


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