Recap: Hanamura faces down the Tree of Genesis. After the climax, our main characters come together for one final heart to heart over their beloved Aika.
Bones are some tricky bastards. They just had to keep us at bated breath with that whole gunshot, only to make us find out it was just a flesh wound. I suppose I’m glad Yoshino’s fine, but talk about leading your audience on. At least this does get rid of any nagging questions as to what would happen if anyone else dies.
Hanamura’s battle was definitely the highlight of the finale. It’s good to see Bones using whatever they had left of that Brotherhood money to make another fantastically choreographed fight. I almost thought we were going to see some kind of hidden Exodus power after his initial defeat being unleashed by someone else. I’m glad that didn’t happen though, since it would have really invalidated his character. I guess it does make sense that you’d need the entire power o the Tree of Exodus to defeat the Tree of Genesis.
It’s been kinda strange watching Hanamura through this. Initially I just thought of him as a random add-on for the second half of the series. There were times that I honestly didn’t even understand why he was there in the first place. Still, he slowly grew as the season rolled on, and especially after his part to play in figuring out Aika’s boyfriend and that great scene where he just beats the sense back into our downtrodden heroes. This episode definitely shows him off at his best, especially once he receives the Tree of Exodus. He just puts on this fantastic smile on his face that really spoke of his renewed confidence without even having to say anything.
Not to be outdone by her successor, Aika had a great scene of her own. You have to applaud the sheer audacity of her to joke about getting naked when she was basically making a suicide note. The message was incredibly fatalist, which did seem to be a theme with Aika. It is a shame she didn’t see outside of the the structure she saw in the world, but it did make for a powerful exit when she chose to leave.
With her final words, the heroes are finally able to put Aika behind them. It’s hard not to feel cynical about Mahiro somehow becoming the one man army that can change this world, but as Aika said, there will be challenging days ahead for everyone now that magic is gone. I suppose with the world in shambles a righteously stubborn guy like him might be what this world needs to get on a different track. I did find it kinda hilarious that Mashiro basically had a secret girlfriend this entire time as well. Maybe that’s how he was able to so easily forgive Yoshino for dating Aika. As much as I would have liked to see fruition to Yoshino and Hakaze’s relationship, that really was the end of the story, and we didn’t need to know what happened to them as long as we knew they were still able to attain their ending without a tragedy.
Marlin’s Final Impressions:
Talking to me during the first few episodes and you’d hardly think I cared at all. The plot did drag and exposition was incredibly heavy which really made the show tough to watch in the beginning. Despite that, it really was able to come into itself at the culmination of the first Arc, with the battle of words under the Tree of Exodus. From then on, discounting the unnecessary half-recap episode, it started to really come into its own. What started as an assigned show that I would watch and write within the two or three hours between waking up Saturday mornings and publishing it became the second show I just had to watch as soon as it came out Thursdays.
Each character really grows with each episode of knowing them. Yoshino begins as almost a begrudging accomplice, but really starts to shine as the rational rock that the three ground themselves on in the first arc. While Mahiro is initially incredibly violent and unpredictable, his motivation for revenge really humanizes him. Hakaze starts out as an all-knowing teacher for the boys to lean on in the beginning, but as we get to know her as a girl, we start to appreciate her for all the little things that make her normal, like her blossoming crush on Yoshino. As much as I love Miyuki Sawashiro’s portrayal in this roll (so much that i used our dedicated tag for it), the standout performance was clearly Kana Hanazawa’s Aika. She really was written with a great haughtiness that fit perfectly with every line she had, and the voice Hanazawa made for it was absolutely what you would imagine that kind of playfully smug high school girl would sound like.
If there is one legitimate complaint I had, I did find it very strange that we never really got a proper explanation as to why Junichiro can cancel out magic. It’s just something we know he can do, and we’re just supposed to take it on faith that there’s no other reason than he can. This is a minor problem in the long run, but I just felt it worth questioning. Looking back, even with my complaints from the early part of the show, there is no doubt in my mind that Tempest will be one of my favorite shows of the year.
Lifesong’s Final Impressions: Sometimes a little faith goes a long way. It’s no secret that Bones hasn’t been the best name in anime lately. When Tempest started up I think I can safely say I am not alone in expecting it to fail simply by studio pedigree. The first few episodes of this anime are slow but once Tempest builds up momentum, it never slows down for long. Bones I thought you were crazy when you threw this story full of Shakespeare and magic trees at me but I was wrong. Tempest was one hell of a ride. All the little details and the early slow burn are justified in the end. This is one of the best pieces of fantasy that anime has produced in years.