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Geek It! Anime Review: Blast of Tempest

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“O cursed spite, That ever I was born to set it right!”

Revenge. Betrayal. Forbidden romance. Rivalry. Chaos. Fate. Death. With all of these elements combined, prepare to witness the rise of a magnificent Shakespeare-inspired story brewing from the cauldron. This is … BLAST OF TEMPEST.

Mahiro Fuwa is on a dangerous quest to hunt down the murderer of his non-biological sister Aika who was gruesomely murdered one year ago. Contacted by the leader of the Kusaribe clan who was left stranded on an island, Mahiro strikes a bargain to help Hakaze in exchange for her help to find Aika’s murderer.

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Upon learning his friend’s intentions, Mahiro’s best friend Yoshino joins him on the quest. Little did Mahiro know that Yoshino was secretly dating Aika underneath his nose before she died — something that Mahiro would not have tolerated despite insisting that he doesn’t have feelings for Aika. They soon get caught in the middle of an internal battle within the Kusaribe clan where all members intend to defy Hakaze by reviving the ‘Tree of Exodus’, a deadly tree whose power can destruct the world. 

By far, Blast of Tempest is one of the most original series we have encountered, and it is without a doubt a homage to William Shakespeare’s Hamlet and The Tempest. As expected of a Shakespeare-inspired anime, the ominous stage must be set, and what better way to begin a tragedy than a revenge mission for Mahiro and Yoshino.

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But of course, God has other plans for the duo. As bizarre as it sounds, never before have we seen a story that is focused on two Godly trees waging war against one another. In the midst of this setting, the sight of two well-established characters is rather refreshing — something that we haven’t seen in awhile. Despite being enemies since childhood, both Mahiro and Yoshino consider themselves ‘close’ friends. 

With Mahiro’s recklessness and Yoshino’s calm yet deceitful character, these two protagonists bear traits to Shakespeare’s Horatio (The Tempest) and Hamlet (Hamlet) respectively. Being the unstoppable force they are, these boys will do anything to find Aika’s murderer, and to make sense of the illogical world again.

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Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a coincidence. In Blast of Tempest, all characters are intertwined by a twisted fate where each character has a role to play in the tragedy. Some characters may follow the course of tragedy, others like Yoshino follow their instincts by altering the ending. The final outcome of their fates and the fate of the world can swing either way — even at the word ‘boyfriend’. 

But wherever Mahiro and Yoshino goes, there seems to one lingering question: was Aika’s death a mere coincidence or an incident that contributes towards the fate of the world? 

The story of Blast of Tempest may have kicked off at a slow tempo, but like any tragedy, the audience quickly gets thrown into a world of chaos. Mixed with random flashbacks; vigorous action sequences; the input of Hamlet/Tempest quotes; and dramatic orchestral music overflowing in the background, all of this suspense and foreshadowing heightens the storytelling on a grandiose scale.

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While the story should be commended for its fabulous tragedy of war, rivalry and betrayal, Blast of Tempest is first and foremost a mind-game that severely meddles with our minds. From start to finish, the storytelling is a work of art that expels plenty of witty dialogue between the characters — especially Aika, Yoshino and Mahiro — painting each character’s intelligence and cunning nature in a sophisticated manner. 

Amongst themselves, the characters are constantly questioning each other’s motives and the world around them. What are they thinking? What are their motives? What are they hiding, and why? What is morally right and wrong? What is rational and irrational? And what is logical and not illogical? The characters aren’t the only ones questioning the mind-game within the story — the audience is also subjected to this deadly mind-game.

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Overall: BLAST OF TEMPEST is a glorious tragedy of action, dramatic storytelling and complex characters. This anime series is one of the most ambitious stories we’ve encountered, and it captures everything we love about William Shakespeare. Blast of Tempest might be an inspired tragedy but its ingeniousness is on par with Shakespeare’s works. If not, better.

Rating: 9.5/10

BLAST OF TEMPEST SERIES COLLECTION is now out on DVD. You can view more info on Madman Entertainment’s site [here]

 

 

 

 

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