So here it is, Collection Two of the brilliant Blast of Tempest and the series has taken a different tone for its second half, and I’m here to let you know if it’s worthy of a standing ovation or polite applause once the curtain falls.
Now you know that I’d never skimp out on my reviews but I do aim to make this one a little shorter as I don’t want to retread ground from the review of Collection One not long ago, as the graphics and audio haven’t changed. I’ll write about them, I just won’t focus on them in great detail like I usually do as I don’t want to make you feel as if you’ve already read this review!
Blast of Tempest is a very clever show with its witty narrative which kept me on the edge of my seat, and its cast of characters who were as mysterious and complex as the events that they’re trying to solve. Collection One left us on a cliffhanger and MVM Entertainment didn’t want to keep us waiting, and I’m glad that Collection Two released hot on the formers heels.
I do need to talk about how the story continues though, and so light spoilers will follow although it’s nothing you won’t have guessed from the first half. Collection Two has a lot more humour, particularly where Hakaze’s feelings for Yoshino are concerned as she doesn’t truly understand them; being an all-powerful mage doesn’t grant all-knowing wisdom! Mahiro is still searching for Aika’s killer and now who her boyfriend was after Yoshino claims to know. Fortunately, Aika’s relationship with the cast gets plenty of screentime and I found myself liking her much more than I had done before.
The cast remains largely unchanged, but there’s a new face in the form of Megumu Hanemura, who’s suspected of being the Mage of Exodus due to his overwhelming magical ability. I really like Hanemura and what he brings to the overall plot, and he’s one of the easier characters to empathise with. Like in the first half, the story is told in both the present day and via flashbacks where Aika is concerned, and they come together to solve the riddles from both times – and even across time.
The story picks up a month after the first half and it’s interesting to see how the Tree of Genesis is affecting society, and how some worship the tree and others wish to see it destroyed, thus society is split between those believing in the Tree of Genesis and the Tree of Exodus. This isn’t focused on as much as I feel that it could’ve been though, but the little light that they do show on it is interesting and brings a new layer of realism to the show; I’m fascinated with the way the cast think and behave which I find very relatable. I’m fond of a quote in the show, “He has no bad intent, but nevertheless he’s a naturally bad person.”
The animation is as gorgeous as it was in the first half, but the battles in the later episodes of the second half are beautifully animated and pack a real punch, being much bigger in scale than any of the previous battles; the use of vibrant colours, 2D animation with 3D elements and battle costume design are visually stunning and blend together to create some epic action – there’s also flying!
The audio is on par with its earlier offerings with its top-notch voice-acting and fitting orchestral tracks; many of the tunes are re-used but I can’t imagine the show with different music at this point, the battle tracks in particular stand out as amazing and those that play when mysteries are being unravelled. Once again, only Japanese voice-over is available and I still feel that an English dub would’ve been perfect for this series, but luckily the Japanese voice-acting is sublime.
Sadly, the subtitles are still an eyesore and I’m not sure why a chunky, yellow font was chosen over a well-rounded, white font. I fear I’ll never understand this decision, but that’s mostly because I don’t think any sense can be made of it’s ancient Teletext-inspired font. Considering how witty and complex the show is, easy to read subtitles would’ve helped greatly, but fortunately I was able to read everything with ease regardless – but that doesn’t stop them from being blight on an otherwise beautiful show.
If you enjoyed the first half of Blast of Tempest, then you’ll likely enjoy the second half where Hakaze and Hanemura bring more humour to the table without losing the serious tone and of the show and its Shakespeare quotes. Characters are further fleshed out, the action is visually exciting and the story wraps up nicely and left me satisfied. I really didn’t expect to enjoy Blast of Tempest as much as I did, but I’m glad that I got to watch it as I feel it’ll stick with me for a long time.
“The beginning is the end, and the end is the beginning. Well then, let us begin again. And to each, their own tale.”
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