Zetsuen no Tempest Review — B-

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Teenagers save the world from giant trees with magic while quoting Shakespeare and solving a murder mystery.

Zetsuen no Tempest is the kind of show that’s hard to give a rating to because it swings around so much in quality throughout its run. For the show’s first half, I was not impressed. At first I thought it was another BL show along the lines of No. 6. The two main characters spent all this time on the run, not doing much of anything to further the plot. Then we spend four episodes talking on top of a log. We throw conspiracy theory after conspiracy around. I was bored.

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Finally, after twelve episodes, the main female character shows up and Zetsuen no Tempest turns into a romantic comedy. As bad as this sounds, the romantic comedy portions of the show were excellent. They treat the romantic portions of the show with as much seriousness as they do the saving the world plotline. In fact, the fate of the world is decided based on who’s going out with whom.

Why did the first half of the show fail? Some people liked it (particularly the four episodes on the log) but I was not impressed. If you want to make a show about crazy conspiracies and plots, show some crazy conspiracies. That’s what made Code Geass such a great show. What Zetsuen does, instead, is to stand around and debate plots and plans. A little bit of that is fine. But to do it for four episodes straight— that’s a bit much. It also ruins any sense of surprise when the plot is actually executed.

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I was half-ready to drop this at the halfway point. Up until that point, I’d give the show a C-. The second half, particularly the romantic comedy portions, was much better, meriting a rating in the neighborhood of a B+. I’ll split the difference.

  • Storytelling – C – Some great comedy, poor when conveighing the story.
  • Voice – B – Shakespeare and magic.
  • Characters – B – Sammon and Aika are the best.
  • Attention Grab – B – Boring first half, entertaining second half.
  • Production – B – Looks fine.
  • Overall – B-

Recommendations – I honestly can’t think of anything that is quite like this. There are similarities to No. 6, although I wouldn’t recommend that one.

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