DVD REVIEW: BLAST OF TEMPEST PART 2 / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: MASAHIRO ANDO / SCREENPLAY: MARI OKADA / STARRING: KOKI UCHIYAMA, TOSHIYUKI TOYONAGA, MIYUKI SAWASHIRO, RIKIYA KOYAMA / RELEASE DATE: DECEMBER 8TH
Part 2 of Blast of Tempest collects episodes 13 to 24. Loosely based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, of course, and Hamlet, with regular quotes from both making up this interesting but deeply flawed Japanese interpretation.
Based on Kyō Shirodaira’s manga series, the story follows Mahiro whose out for revenge after his sister’s murder the year before. The latter half of the series focusses on the arrival of the Tree of Genesis, which has ensnared the world, despite putting an end to war and poverty. As is often the case, things are far from what they seem.
There’s no English dub, which is no bad thing in and of itself, but there can be up to three sets of subtitles on screen at one time, which without pausing is nigh on impossible to take in. Kicking off with an awful new opening theme, Episode 13, Philosophy of Dreams, is an exhaustive recap over the previous 12, so having seen the first volume isn’t a prerequisite. From Who Did It? onwards, there’s a marked increase in quality, proving there’s a good story there, it just needs some serious editing. Episode 22, Aika Fuwa, is surprisingly moving, with The Battle of Genesis kicking off the climatic and satisfying showdown.
Despite the flourishes of exaggerated manga effects, the animation is high quality, directed with cinematic flair by Masahiro Ando. The characters are largely forgettable, with Mahiro’s sister Aika proving the most interesting, but seen only in flashbacks. Hakaze could have been a compelling character, but winds up being one of the most irritating.
Playing off various mythologies, Blast of Tempest is mismatch of ideas and concepts and even with a few superficial subplots, it has an earnest message at its heart. Like Shakespeare’s aforementioned plays, this is a story about revenge and guilt and the implications of both. It could have been essential anime, but opts for the road well-trodden instead.
Special Features: Openings / Trailers
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