ANIME & MANGA - Review
11:00 - 22nd February 2015, by Andrew Osmond

Blast of Tempest: Collection 2

The second half of Studio Bones’ apocalypse fantasy sees the Earth under a strange god – the giant, magic “Tree of Genesis” which swallows millions of people while reshaping humanity along peaceful, docile lines. Meanwhile, the show’s rival characters form alliances, unsure what the heck they should be doing. A wimpish kid shows up with the potential to reshape the world (again). Meanwhile, schoolboys Mahiro and Yoshino – yup, they survived – are still haunted by their memories of the bewitching, murdered girl Aika, whose part in the story is a mystery.

Aika’s continued presence in the show, via elegantly inserted flashbacks, is one of the things which makes this erratic anime intriguing. The eco-apocalypse, with its giant people-eating tree, feels like a dark parody of Miyazaki, bringing out the genocidal undertones of eco-extremism. Even so, at first it seems that Blast of Tempest has flattened out. The original battles are over, and Hakaze – the formerly exiled sorceress – is now playing a tiresome-seeming role as Yoshino’s unrequited love. No one seems traumatised by the world-shattering events (though the lack of human reaction turns into an important theme of the series).

Patience is rewarded, to a degree. The later episodes have some great emotional character payoffs, plus truly ingenious storytelling. These satisfactions make up for a disappointing finale; it ties up much of the plot, and has some admirable (if Bones-ishly traditional) epic fantasy spectacle, but it’s so clumsily structured that you feel short-changed at the end.

A sometimes impressive second half, but the show still demands patience.
SCORE: 3.5/5
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