Zetsuen no Tempest 21 — Aika is the Best

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I called it.

Pretty great episode. Too bad Aika’s dead, she is the best character.

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But Hakaze ain’t so bad herself. With all her talk of logic and saving civilization, she really couldn’t care less and I love it. “Aika, you want to kill yourself?!! I won’t let you! Don’t you dare kill yourself or I’m going to kill you!” In any other show this would be a “people die if they are killed” moment, but with Tempest’s focus on logic and all the emphasis it has placed on Hakaze being the avatar of the world’s logic this scene was quite effective.

Tree Cosmology

To be perfectly honest, I don’t really follow all the metaphysics here. Apparently the Tree of Exodus predates the Tree of Genesis, yet the Mage of Exodus draws power from the Tree of Genesis itself? The Tree of Genesis gives power to the mage of Exodus so that humanity can overcome the Tree of Genesis’ trial and survive. My understanding is that the two trees’ creators were acting in opposition, which is why I’m confused over how the two Trees work so harmoniously together.

For a while now I’d been confused over the translation of the names of the Trees. But now the names make more sense. The Tree of Genesis is what holds civilization back in a state of genesis, while the Tree of Exodus empowers humanity to emerge from its beginnings and continue on.

Aika

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Aika’s dramatic yet somewhat deadpan reaction to everything is great. “I’m going to die? I’ve solved the mystery! What a surprising incident!” While she fights Hakaze, she’s also just calmly thinking about random stuff related to Yoshino and Mahiro. She’s going to die but she doesn’t give a crap.

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She’s even excited to learn that Yoshino is suspected of being the mage of Exodus. S.

For once, this show’s gratuitous use of Shakespeare didn’t bother me. When Mahiro and Yoshino quote Shakespeare, it seems totally out of place. They just don’t seem like people who memorize lines from Shakespeare. But when Aika quotes the bard it feels perfectly natural. She was born to deliver soliloquies. Everything she says sounds like it has come from a drama.

I wonder now if the awkwardness of Mahiro and Yoshino quoting Shakespeare was intentional. These lines never really belonged to them. They were Aika’s lines, and they were only trying to imitate her.

Further Thoughts

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DUAL BLADES

16 thoughts on “Zetsuen no Tempest 21 — Aika is the Best

  1. Amazing. I mean except for the ambiguity of the trees, I thought this was a near perfect episode. And to think, Aika already affected most of the plot in ZnT and now she is influencng it even more. That fight was excellent too. Very, very fluid.

    This may end up in my top 20 anime soon. I think its just that good.

    1. Yeah, Aika really does seem to be the driving force behind this show, despite having been dead the entire time. It’s an interesting dynamic.

      I’ve enjoyed the second half a lot, but the first half still didn’t impress me and prevents me from putting this on my list of top anime.

      1. Aika reminds me a lot of Momoka from Penguindrum. Another dead character who influenced the story from beyond the grave.

        Would you consider Zetsuen one of your top five for this season?

        1. Good point, she is a lot like Momoka.

          For this season, yes, Zetsuen’s one of my top five. For last season, definitely not.

  2. like you said, I think mahiro and yoshino only started quoting Shakespeare after aika died. Note how in flashbacks, mahiro or yoshino never quoted Shakespeare. Mahiro started reading Shakespeare because aika quoted it so much. In some weird way, quoting Shakespeare was some way they could keep a piece of aika close to them so i was never bothered by the “out of place” quoting because i kind of understood why (assuming my hypothesis regarding a reason why they quote Shakespeare is true in the first place)

    1. Yeah, I wish I had seen this before. If there was intentionally some awkwardness in their quoting of Shakespeare before, the whole thing fits together much better. So I’ll assume it was intended this way.

  3. I agree with you completely on the seeming inconsistency of their cosmology, however I don’t see why Aika necessarily has to die. She’s the princess of illogic, yes? And her magic surpasses the Kusaribe’s. Why can’t she simply create an elaborate scene that seems as if she had died, creating a hex or something which fools the (canonically weaker) Kusaribe magic into believing that the killer was a member of the Kusaribe clan (which still, seemingly, has not been explained at this point – how could Aika possibly be a member of the clan? Or is it that the guilt for the murder is on Hakaze’s hands?)? Then she could have temporarily shifted her powers to the new guy (whose name I can never remember), and can reclaim them succesfully upon Hakaze’s return. After all, the new guy doesn’t have to be nascent – perhaps the “mind of Exodus” could still be with the living Aika.
    I wouldn’t give this line of thought much credence if it wasn’t for the fact that the new guy claimed to have a pale-white girlfriend; a fact which leaves open the potential for her return.

    I would love it if this was true.

    1. I was wondering the same thing! She’s supposed to be the embodiment of illogic, but she seems to be even more tightly bound by logic than Hakaze. If the source of her magic is ultimately the Tree of Genesis, though, maybe she actually is bound by logic? There are a bunch of ways this could go. But I do agree that the fact that Hakaze didn’t actually witness Aika’s death firsthand indicates something else is going on. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Aika.

      I wouldn’t give this line of thought much credence if it wasn’t for the fact that the new guy claimed to have a pale-white girlfriend; a fact which leaves open the potential for her return.

      Oh damn! I barely paid any attention to this but you’re right! Why would they make such a point of mentioning her if we were never going to see her? Things should get really interesting if this is the case…

  4. My understanding of whole matter with trees and mages (it may be completely wrong):

    Tree of Exodus and Tree of Genesis were created by the same power. Tree of Genesis is meant to give power and to be test of civilization and Tree of Exodus is to chose people who’ll oppose Tree of Genesis. Mages of Genesis are given some power when they give offering to Tree of Genesis which powers it up. Mages of Exodus draws their power directly from Tree of Genesis so they have powers when Tree of Genesis is getting stronger and the time comes to defeat it. It also assures that mages of Exodus won’t take over their planet when they defeat Tree of Genesis.

    1. Ok, good, my understanding mostly matches up with yours. I thought that the trees were created by separate powers, but if it was the same that makes more sense. Was only half paying attention in that part.

      I guess the way the assurance that the mages of Exodus won’t take over the planet works is that their powers vanish once they defeat the Tree of Genesis? Makes sense, I guess, although seems to be a counterincentive to actually defeating the thing. Probably preventing the destruction of civilization is a strong enough incentive on its own though.

  5. They should really consider making Zetsuen no Tempest movie. The sheer magnitude of the story, the well-thought plot, and IMHO the best characters I’ve seen in a long time. At times overwhelmingly deep with a lot of subcontext, always underlining unclear dualism (Trees, Mages, Yoshiro, Mahiro) of good and bad, in such a way that we cannot begin to surmise what would be the right thing to do, nor which side to take, this anime succeeds in gradually building the momentum even though one of the main characters of the story [i.e. Aika Fuwa] has been deceased since the very beginning of the show. Oh and btw I find Aika to be one of a kind in the world of anime. So adorably cute and charismatic, so profoundly beautiful and special in so many ways and yet – The Mage of Exodus )). Seldom has there been such a strong and memorable anime character as Fuwa Aika. You just gotta love her.
    After all is said and done ZnT earns a well-deserved place in my Top 10 anime series for being trully unique. Oh how rarely do we get to experience such a comprehensive, fundamental, Shakespearean -anime- story of love with a tragic fate. Two words: utter perfection…

    1. I hope they don’t make a movie, I want to see the end sometime in the near future. :(

      I love Aika too. Best character by far.

      It’s a good show, but as I mentioned further up, the first half was disappointing enough to prevent it from reaching my list of favorites.

    1. Yeah, other people have suggested that as well. I wouldn’t be surprised… If true, this is going to make the love triangles even better.

  6. Looks like I’ve dropped this show prematurely after episode 3. I thought it was a BL thing like No. 6 but now it’s all girls! Also, the plot seems to be well thought through, not just some random magic fights as I was my first impression. Both your description and the pics are promising. Too bad – I’ll take it up again some other time!

    Btw, just in case you’ve been wondering why I haven’t been commenting much recently: I don’t have a proper internet connection at home presently as I’m moving to another place. So I haven’t been watching much anime recently. Hope the situation will change soon and I’ll find a decent place ;-)

    1. I know! I thought it was going to be a BL thing too, but it certainly is not! (The two main characters still look pretty gay though)

      Good luck in your move!

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