「それぞれの物語」 (Sorezore no Monogatari )
“To Each, Their Own Tale”

Here we are again. Another season’s gone by in a flash, and with it, comes the end of series we’d rather not say goodbye to. One such series is Zetsuen no Tempest (of course), whose finale ends up being a showcase of what the series has been about the whole time—the characters themselves. Yes, we got a lot of flashy action scenes throughout to support things as well (Bones did a really great job with this series by the way), but at the end of the day, it was the characters that really made this series. As such, it’s only fitting that the finale ends up being not so much about the final battle, but about the developments as a result of it. It’s about the culmination of the journey that led our main characters to this point, how the end is just another beginning, and most importantly—the things that they’ve learned as our characters return to some semblance of a normal life…

…one no longer ruled by Gods (or should I say, giant Trees of Destruction?). As Mahiro puts it aptly, “the dream is over,” and it’s quite the statement. Because in many ways, the world they’ve been living in has never been quite real, having been guided by magic and filled with illogical/impossible events. With the Trees both now gone, people can actually now live a life where they’re able to write their own scripts—or in Mahiro’s and Yoshino’s cases, actually live normal lives.

Speaking of scripts though, Aika’s final message just highlights the philosophy she had toward life, as well as how her circumstances led her to living her life the way she did. Her comments about how she believes life is something where you’re an “actor on a stage (who) cannot change their script,” as well as her belief that you’ve fulfilled your role if you manage to “exit beautifully,” really just hammers in the situation thrust upon her as the Mage of Exodus. In many ways, it’s quite tragic in and of itself how much that power (and responsibility) made it so she could never really ever maintain a life many would consider normal. At the same time though, it’s quite amazing at the same time how she was able to still live on despite knowing that her life would likely never hold the same things many people take for granted, which just combine to make her one of the most memorable characters in recent memory for me. I’ve said this time and time again, but there are few shows where a single character ends up playing such a significant role in the story. Yet, Fuwa Aika manages to achieve this (this scene kinda looks like a curtsy/bow now that you think of it), despite having been killed before the series even started. Indeed, it only helps further that she’s a female character as well, and combines with Hakaze to make Zetsuen no Tempest a rare beast in terms of having not one, but two strong and complex heroines in its cast (three if you count Evangeline).

Shifting back to the views on life for a moment, it’s also admittedly interesting how Mahiro and Yoshino ended up being complete opposites—fighting against a script someone has written for them, rather than acting it out. Of course, one could still say it was all fate regardless, but going from the assumption that this wasn’t all destined, it serves as a nice contrast to Aika’s point of view. What makes it even more notable, is the fact that Aika’s decision actually ended up serving as the spark that led them to this result, which kind of just brings everything full circle…

…which was another big thing for me this episode. Because as the sequence above demonstrates, it’s that everything is linked. Everything that has happened in this series has happened as a result of something else, and everything just builds on one another. The characters build off of each other, the plot developments develop off the characters, the story builds from great plot development—all culminating in a spectacular feat of storytelling. Interestingly enough, this whole notion of one thing leading to another and the butterflies we see this episode, make it so that I can’t help but think of the Butterfly Effect as well. By definition, the Butterfly Effect describes a situation where one small change can lead to a large difference at a later time… which in many ways feels representative of many of the things that we’ve seen happen in Zetsuen no Tempest.

Ultimately, this is what I mean when the finale ends up particularly fitting for the series. Everything just wraps up nicely, and it’s a conclusive ending that stays true to what the series has been about. The flashback montage at the end was just spectacularly done, as was Aika’s final message—which just highlights the person she was, as well as notion of how one should cherish the little things many take for granted. With that said though, this finally brings the series to an end. Sadly, the ending to this series is not another beginning, as we’ll likely never see anything else come out regarding this universe. At the very least however, the end of this paragraph is, as you’ll find some final impressions after the ending caps below.

Full-length images: 13.


ED2.24 Sequence

Final Impressions:

Looking back to the beginning of the series, I was admittedly somewhat skeptical about Zetsuen no Tempest. Having peeking at the first few chapters to compile the preview, I remember being somewhat intrigued, but unsure how it’d develop in the long term. I decided to intro the first episode as a result though, which combined with Bones’ superb animation to keep me interested. One episode turned to two, and well, you know the rest.

Now a full five months later, I’m exceptionally glad that I decided to (and had the chance to) give this series the coverage it deserved. In retrospect, it’s not quite a masterpiece, but there was a lot here to distinguish the series from the run of the mill shows. Well developed characters, great plot twists (and facial expressions to those twists), superb animation, and a nice complementary soundtrack really came together to launch this series above and beyond all my initial expectations. That said, the ending of the series leaves a kind of void as a result, in addition to a bittersweet aftertaste. Because as many of you have probably found out the hard way, series like Zetsuen no Tempest just don’t go on trees, and it’s just sad how we’ll likely never receive anything more regarding this series/universe. On the other hand though, one has to take the moment also to bask in the glory of a series vastly exceeding expectations, which does at least nullify the post-great series depression somewhat.

And well, there’s not much to say here when you get down to it. I think I’ve made it abundantly clear how much I’ve loved this series (and what I’ve loved about it) through my weekly posts,and I guess all I can say is I hope that those of you reading this managed to get the same amount of enjoyment I did from Tempest. I’d also like to hope that my coverage contributed at least somewhat to that as well and look forward to seeing some of you guys again in some of my future posts as well. Until then, I guess we’ve reached yet another end eh? At least in this case, “the end is just another beginning.” To that end, just make sure you ain’t following anyone else’s script, you hear?

Author’s Note:

  • Decided to revive my blog. If you’re interested, take a gander. You’ll find a quick article about my PAX East trip there as well.

        1. Show Spoiler ▼

          The Story You Don't Know
      1. They did that on purpose. The end of the show was a new beginning, and the fact that it cut off right before they embraced each other was emphasizing that idea which was the main idea of the show. They intentionally did not put a proper ending because it never ends. What happens doesn’t matter because we don’t know what’s gonna happen. It’s for them to figure out.

    1. Absolutely amazing finale. One knows that when a series (and an episode) manages to make you laugh AND cry – and you could switch that two and still make sense of your actions, especially in the case of Zetsuen.

      Hakaze and Fuwa Aika… such contrast between them, yet… I was only missing one thing. Aika giving Yoshino her blessing SPECIFICALLY towards Hakaze. But then I realized that she did just that, without being blatantly obvious about it. Every other show would have mentioned Hakaze by name in that farewell. But not Zetsuen, and not Aika.

      Farewell, Zetsuen no Tempest.

    2. Zephyr, allow me to ease your worries.

      A spin-off manga was announced a couple of months ago. There is still more to tell in this universe!

      As for the ending of the anime, it was quite excellent in all aspects. And for those curious, the ending of the anime and manga is mostly the same. I guess the biggest difference would be that we don’t get a dramatic ending with Hakaze and Yoshino as the ending. Rather, Mahiro and his new girlfriend, Hanemura and Yuki, and Hakaze and Yoshino decide to hang out and the manga ends with the 6 of them walking off somewhere.

      All in all, I loved it, and Samon was so goddamn moe I can’t even put it into words.

    3. This is Amazingly Beautiful and it ended well. It is not always that one gets to stick with the long unending series like Naruto,Fairy Tail, Onepiece, Gintama etc. Sometimes it is better to stick with the short ending ones like this one.

      K C M
    4. Show Spoiler ▼

      So pretty much a perfect ending IMO. Not rushed like Robotics.Notes and not too open ended like Psycho Pass.

    5. I really liked this anime it was great and everything was not only tied up well nut the fact that the final episode could reach back thematically to all the episodes of the series also really makes it work. At the moment this is probably my favorite show of 2012/2013.

      I ended up giving it a 9 on MAL. It just didn’t feel like a 10 to me and I don’t know what it could have added to gain such, but it was still a great series.

    6. I’m mix about this anime. It’s really a love and hate relationship. Actually throw some annoyance and some weak points, but Tempest had that habit to always throw me a curveball of a great episode that puts the anime back on top to one of my favorites. And as soon as that happens, I get a whiplash of a weaker/annoyance episode that leaves me bland.

      I won’t deny the fact that many episodes in this series were jaw-dropping in revelations. Some even had amazing quality and animation that can easily make Tempest tower over other titles. Some were just perfect and moving. But throughout the anime it’s hard to say. Because of the oddness that I felt about this anime, I can’t really consider it ‘the best’ of 2012/2013. But it definitely deserves something. . .

      The only thing that I actually really like in this episode was the long await sucker punch from Mahiro, and that Yoshino finally chase after Hakaze in the final scene looking like a potential lover leveling out Hakaze’s mad obsession with him. FINALLY the guy gives a damn. And finally the viewers can actually ship this without feeling it one sided. And to me that’s the best resolution Tempest can give me for a final episode. It tied up the loose ends, isn’t that what we viewers want? With that in mind, it’s a proper ending to me.

    7. This show never ceased to amaze me, as it was always able to take unpredictable directions, up to the end: the world was saved by a relatively side character (Hanemura), the most impulsive one (Mahiro) has become the most reliable with the final brilliant plan and now studying hard for a bright future, the misterious smart boy (Yoshino) didn’t actually have any hidden power, he was charismatic but still suffering like and more than the others.

      Beyond a great story sapiently orchestrated, the characters were the really exceptional thing here. I could find my two favourite girls of this year (at least up until now) in the same show. They are strong yet feminine, determined but kind and loving … and with very different and peculiar personalities. Goodbye, Aika, Goodbye Hakaze, I’ll see you again when the BD will be released 🙂

    8. Loved the short montage at the end. Through our own 24-episode journey, it really drilled home the point that Yoshino and Mahiro have been through a lot in their own journey. That montage alone feels like I’ve been watching Tempest for at least 50 episodes. Every episode was meaningful and the depth of the entire story was superbly written.

      And how bout that tease of an ending :(…Right before the hug actually happens! AUGH!

    9. Hakaze, Aika… Best girls. ;-;

      Going to miss this series. Loved both the manga and the anime to pieces.

      Lastly, thank you, Zephyr, for blogging this ZnT to the end. I enjoyed reading your thoughts greatly.

    10. This episode goes in my “top final anime episodes” list(hidden somewhere in the depths of my mind but coming out whenever another season comes to an end ^_^).

      I can say that this and another simulatiously airing series from fall,that I enjoyed just as much at 1st but then a lil’bit less than ZnT,that ended last week made me realize that character driven stories really are more to my liking than the plot driven ones.

      Not saying that the later are bad or anything but there’s just a nice feel to it when you really grow to care about the characters and you’re thinking something on the lines of “I want to know what will happen to these characters and how will their actions affect the story.” rather than “I wonder where the story will go from here?Oh,and what part will these characters play in it.”

      Looking forward to something of this caliber from Bones in the future.Hmmm,maybe an S3 of Darker than Black?Time will tell!

    11. Zetsuen never friggin ceases to amaze me. First off, BONES is a massive troll. I thought Yoshino got shot through the chest or some shit, he just got shot in the arm. So all my screamin, straining my voice was entirely for nothin…for the most part.

      Second of all, Hanemura continued to get my respect this episode, especially with his little smirk of sudden victory when he found the Sword of Exodus.

      Third of all, Hakaze without her magic is as hopeless as can be XD. I find her even more cute to take care of now than she was with her magic, cause now, shes someone who will begin to depend on others, like Yoshino.

      Fourth of all, Aika’s final message to Yoshino and Mahiro…I know I wasn’t the only one to shed tears of those 3 amazing people. Then she decided to play one final joke on them, and my reaction was very close to theirs as well. Her face when she cancelled the video seemed very sorrowful but willing in the end. Aika is an amazing girl to say the least.

      And finally, that ending sequence was nostalgic. The song plays as Mahiro and Yoshino continue their last speech for the amazing finale of ZnT. And there comes Hakaze, who I thought wouldn’t show up, then Yoshino runs to her, and their smiles tell it all.


      I think, now I have the authority to do this…….*ahem*….NOW KISS!!!!!!!!!

      And with this I just need to say I’m glad to have been able to watch this series. Very glad. Good bye Yoshino, Mahiro, Hakaze, Aika. Until we meet again! 😀

    12. I’m confused. In the manga, Yoshino did not reciprocate Hakaze’s feelings. He said he only thought of her as a friend and told her that there are other guys out there who are better than him and yet she refused to give up. That was what REALLY happened. And since I am not fond of the Yoshino x Hakaze pairing, I would like to believe that Yoshino just came to her to say hi and some other things, but not to say that he returns her feelings.

      Yes, this is a beautiful anime, an extraordinary anime at that. Thanks for giving me entertainment for six months, Zetsuen no Tempest.

    13. I almost passed this series up. Was intrigued by the artwork, was turned off by “Mystery” being in the description, watched 5 minutes of the first episode and was turned off by the little clips in Yoshino’s hair, decided that was stupid, gave it another shot, saw Shakespeare quotes, got turned off by that, decided to try again. The rest is history. This show vastly exceeded any expectation I had for it. The action was amazing, the psychological/tactical/thought provoking side was so engaging, and the characters, as the author of this post put, are at center stage.

      We had to say goodbye to SSY last week, and now ZNT this week. 2 shows that I put in my top 5 now have ended within one week of each other, but I will remain happy that I had the opportunity to watch.

      Enker Blues
    14. Another great anime comes to an end. If Sakurasou was a adrenaline, passion-filled run, I’d say Zetsuen no Tempest has been a thought-provoking jog.

      Really loved it when the characters are modeled after Shakespearean characters and themes, as well as the unconventional way of story telling. One would normally consider the male leads (Yoshino and Mahiro) to be directly involved in ending the conflict, which is not so. Time and again we are reminded these guys are normal – getting seriously hurt, disadvantageous in their conflicts with opponents using magic etc. , and yet it is them who made the significant changes that allowed the happy ending to happen.

      -The truth is out – Fraulein did make googly eyes at the two long-haired handsome dudes somewhere along the story. 😀

      -I quite like how they did the ending, with the ED song in the background and flashbacks of the entire season, culminating into a beautiful scene with Yoshino and Hakaze meeting up. I thought that was pretty appropriate too, considering that Yoshino was the one who’s most affected by the death of Aika. By having it at the end truly signifies that everything has ended – only for a new beginning and a new future to look forward to.

      Good stuff.

    15. If you liked this series i suggest everyone here go read Kyo Shirodaira’s (Zetsuen’s author) other manga ‘Vampire Juuji Kai’ its pretty much another zetsuen with different setting story and characters!

    16. Fuwa Aika, you are one of the most interesting characters ever created considering you were dead from day 1 of the story.

      And boy, I love this ending. I’m pretty happy that Yoshino and Mahiro were able to move on from Aika’s death (as lovers).

      The Story You Don't Know
    17. So first we get that kissblocker ending and then it leaves us wanting more. MAN this reminds me of Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo at the end. How do they compare? Simple, both of the endings pretty much kissblocked us but leave us wanting more and they’re amazing.

      Jason Isenberg
      1. Have you seen Steins; Gate. It’s really interesting and the ending was cute but they didnt really kiss. Although they did kiss one time in the series. I’m pretty sure there’s the second season.

        Me Duhhh LOLZ
    18. If I might one thing, this show really have a mature feeling.

      It’s not try (or force) to be mature by dealing with some controversy stuffs whether in the visual or the story itself.
      It’s just confidently told it’s well profound story by it’s own pace.
      Of course, there are some high-note point here and there but the overall pace of the series
      is still considered slow when compare to other anime series
      But (at least for me) that is a good thing to have a series that takes time and confidently delivered like this.

    19. And so comes and end to one of my favourites of the last two seasons. Another example for me why you shouldn’t judge a book on its cover, because at first I didn’t know what to think of this show. Now I’m glad I did.

      Aw, man, I’ll miss these characters. Because while I have some minor gripes about aspects of the plot in the second half (it had a tendency to lose its momentum), its characters really made this series shine. Yoshino and Mahiro are some of my favourite male characters of the last year or so, having been well developed, personalities that go beyond stereotypes and being full of surprises. I miss seeing their growth. And there’s Aika too, who deserves special mention. She certainly was one of the more developed posthumous characters I’ve ever seen, and looking back at the show, her importance went far beyond being a mere plot device. And then there’s feisty Hakaze, and hilarious Samon (god I loved that guy) and…and…I could go on for a while. It’s only because of the strength of its characters that the show could pull off a discussion that lasted four episodes.

      I liked the ending as well – most of the problems are resolved and we had plenty of time to deal with the character’s final feelings on the matter. Aika’s message was both touching and hilarious, and I really liked the scene of our two protagonists near Aika’s grave, with the sun setting in the background. A good closer for a very solid series. While it wasn’t a perfect masterpiece, it’s still highly likely it’ll be in my top of the year list at the end of 2013.

    20. Another great ending of this season. Aika’s significance despite being dead before the main story kind of reminded me of the Comedian’s impact despite being a dead character in Watchmen. And I gotta say, after episode 21, I would always stick around to watch the ending animation when Yoshino and Aika are walking together and finally, when Yoshino is walking alone. I’m a guy who usually skips through the ending credits, but something about it was executed beautifully. This was really one of the highlights of the season.

    21. All i thought was, I don’t want this to end, they could just continue it on. The characters were that good. But i loved the ending, it fit the series, it put the characters first. Like a great play, i enjoyed this very much, and they deserve there standing ovation.

      1. Totally get what you are saying, i have been following new anime seasons for 3-4 years now and i got to say this was one of the best seasons of anime in a very long time .. having shows like Psycho Pass, Zetsuen no Tempest, From the New World, Magi, Robotics;Notes and Uchuu Kyoudai all playing during the same time was super goodness overload (i know not all these shows started during the same season but at some point they were all playing/showing at the same time).

        Hopefully some new animes from the spring season will fill the emptiness left by awesome shows like Psycho Pass, Zetsuen no Tempest, From the New World .. i have hope that shows like Attack on Titan, Gargantia will do that ^_^

    22. I suppose I was the only one saw a brief glimpse of sadness on the last frame of Aika’s face (it’s a quick change/blink-‘n-miss shot), just before she turned off the camcorder after she said her goodbye. Why else am I the only one mentioning it, eh?

      The girl was obviously putting on a brave face when she was actually feeling sad to say goodbye before she offed herself -and that she certainly did. (thanks for not miraculously reviving her after all that and keeping her dead, writers. As much as I liked her character, she is probably my favorite character in this show, that would’ve cheapen the show). After all, she didn’t really have time to prepare or anything after a chance meeting with the red-haired girl from the future.

      Anyway, among anything in this last episode on Aika, I remember that last sad faced Aika more than anything. Go back and watch, it’s true! Her face changed all of the sudden from smily face to sad face just before she exited for good from the show.

      Anyway, there were few things bugged me (what’s with the random christmas-tree-sword that came out of nowhere to save the day, huh?), this was a pretty good show.

    23. An excellent show with and excellent ending that does what any well made ending is meant to do .. emphasize the themes of the series and play on its strengths, tie all or at least most loose threads, give closure to the characters, bring things full circles .. and Zetsuen like From the New World and Psycho Pass succeeded in achieving all of those point to a great degree of success.

      Also like From the New World it warped up the final battle at the start of the episodes and dedicated the rest of the time to the aftermath (instead of leaving only a 1 min for the aftermath and epilogue .. i’m looking at you Robotics;Note), here is how i thing this ending fits perfectly with this amazing show.

      -Emphasize the themes of the series and play on its strengths –> which it did in spades, Mahiro’s talking about writing his own role and that he won’t be an actor in a pre-set play/story contrasted by Aika’s final message and how she believes the exact opposite really hammers in the theme of the show about fate, how life is like a play where everyone is an actor with a specific role to fill .. it also played on the strongest aspect of the show which is the dialog .. after all this is a series that had four people talking for 4 full episodes (Mahiro, Yoshino, Hakaze .. of course emergent comedian Samon) and still manged to be tense and super exciting, the rabid back and forth between Mahiro and Yoshino is always a joy to watch because of how much they contrast yet complete each other as best friends .. Aika’s final message and her final words were just beautiful and heart-wrecking at the same time.

      -Tie all or at least most loose threads –> Apart from the fact that we truly didn’t know what are those trees for real (aliens of deities) everything was pretty much explained and covered .. no major plot-holes or massive inconsistency that soils the enjoyment of the show or the ending.

      -Give closure to the characters –> Done in spades, Mahiro will end having the power he thought to change/save/rebuild the world and he found a love interest (the last one is a little underdeveloped plot point but at least it shows he grew over his fascination with Aika), Yoshino finally accepted Hakaze’s feelings and is more open about his feelings way more than before .. he will probably live a normal, logical and happy life with Hakaze who might have lost her magical powers and status as mage/princess of the Ksurabi clan she got the heart of the man she seeked out and the normal life Aika wished she could have had, almost everyone (even Hanemura) got what they were looking for .. even Aika despite how tragic her fate was got what she thought she could never have (the normal life she lived with Mahiro and Yoshino).

      -Bring things full circles –> done very well, choosing the final location of the last dialog between Mahiro and Yoshino infront of Aika’s family grave was spot on (with a sunset for dramatic effect), the flash backs that played brought back sweet memories of the early episodes of the show making you feel how far the story and the character came since the start of the events of the story (five months ago for us .. five enjoyable months ^_^)

      Goodbye Mahiro, Yoshino, Hakaze, Samon, Aika, Hanemura and Frau Yamamoto .. goodbye Zetsuen no Tempest.

    24. This anime was in every way perfect. The creator of this had to have put so much thought into it to make it. It was absolutely flawless. Anything that you may think of pointing out as a flaw was intentional and the creator wanted you to do that, and realize that. Also the story never got boring. It was truly a journey, and was a great experience for the viewer. The showed picked up on the first episode and never stopped. The creator of this anime was a true artist, and it great that Shakespeare would be used in this because I would compare the two. My top 5 anime are Code Geass, Death Note, Fmab, Guilty Crown, and Fate/Zero. I’m certain Zetsuen no Tempest is now in there but idk where to put it because this show was flawless, while code geass, death note, and fmab were simply amazing but Idk which is better flawless or amazing. Idk whether it’s my number 1 or number 3

    25. All I can say.
      Zetsuen no Tempest was awesome.
      It really ended on a right note to me, not to mention it had some suspense in the end.
      Hope to see another show of this caliber soon.

      And yes. Never thought Jun-niisan had the hots for the Fraulein!
      Too bad Fraulein seems to be fixed on the more suave guys…
      And Aika is kinda a troll till the end.

      I think Hanemura’s girlfriend looks hot, by the glimpses of her…

    26. Welcome to the rest of your lives, characters!
      Mahiro actually having a girlfriend was the final curveball that has hit me in this show.
      Jun falling for Evangeline – I can totally understand him. Too bad she doesnt notice him…
      Hakaze running off to chase after Yoshino, was totally predictable, though!

    27. I wish the sequel has Aika Fuwa in it. Aika is one of the most memorable anime characters in the recent time. Also ZnT anime is the best winter 2012/2013 anime. Respect to that.

      Kiritsugu Emiya
    28. Alas all good things will come to an end.

      The whole premise of this series was bittersweet but fortunately the ending took an non-tragic route. I have to say though, it was a wise decision to follow the discussions here instead of on MAL. The people there seem to be a bit more harsh with their criticism and often unjust. Not to mention the intricacy of the plot and motivations of characters are usually lost on most MAL readers(most but not all) so reading their thoughts more often than not would dampen my enjoyment.

      Anyway, this has been a fun ride all the way from the first episode to the last second and I just want to thank you guys for covering this series objectively. I’m going to miss these characters..
      Especially Samon and his sense of humour. And Aika of course. The most influential posthumous character I’ve seen in awhile.

    29. Well It took a long time to finish this but I’m glad I did. But as it has been mentioned, I wanted to see a kiss or at least a hug from Yoshino and Hakaze! I guess we’ll leave that to the shippers or hopefully a vanilla doujin.

    30. Ummmmmmm……. This anime seems really like Guilty Crown. Seriously, Yokino looks like the protagonist in Guilty Crown. His girlfriend also died. I admit she’s pretty but I like Ayase more.

      Me Duhhh LOLZ

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