Here be Spoilers…
Mahiro wakes to find that he has been ‘asleep’ for a month and in that time the world has been reset by the Tree of Genesis. Millions of people have been wiped from the face of the Earth but, for the time being, everything is calm – uncannily so. Hakaze and Samon of the magic-wielding Kusaribe clan are now reconciled but a new mage suddenly appears, the mage of Exodus – a rather unprepossessing young man, Hanemura, who wields immense power but has no idea how to use it (or where it came from). As the murder of Aika (Mahiro’s sister and Yoshino’s secret girlfriend) has still not been solved, Hakaze decides to fulfil her promise to Mahiro and risk travelling back to the past to find out the identity of the murderer. However, what she discovers there has such terrifying implications for the future of the Earth that she and the others are forced to work together to do all they can to try to prevent another world-changing disaster. And the meaning of the title of the manga ‘The Civilization Blaster’ becomes clear at last.
Episode 12 ended on a note of high melodrama with our two male protagonists dying and the whole world at the mercy of the battle for supremacy between the Tree of Genesis and the Tree of Exodus. So the abrupt change of tone as we launch into Part 2 of the series comes as something of a surprise. Suddenly it seems as if we’re in a slice-of-life shoujo romcom with Hakaze, the Princess of Genesis, blushing like a schoolgirl over her crush on Yoshino. Hanemura, the new Mage of Exodus, is portrayed as a bit of a klutz at first – but the super sentai-style uniform he’s persuaded to adopt in his role of mage of Exodus takes us into yet another genre altogether. But, to be fair to the creative team, this second set of episodes works much better than the first – as long as you don’t ask too many questions and just sit back and enjoy the ride. This is because the plot issues are mostly resolved in the final episode (and how many anime series can you say that about?) leading to something approaching a satisfying ending.
So – for all you Shakespeare scholars out there – what about the links with The Tempest? Well, we learn that Aika loved to quote from that play – and some (slightly clumsy) analogies come up relating to native islander/monster Caliban and his role in the play. But the parallels between the trio of brother (Mahiro) sister (Aika) and lover (Yoshino) and Laertes, Ophelia and Hamlet are quoted just as often and, arguably, are more apt. Is the outcome going to be a revenge tragedy (Hamlet) or a revenge/reconciliation (The Tempest)? At the end there is a final (and fitting) link to The Tempest…but you’ll have to watch it to discover what exactly that turns out to be.
If there’s a complaint to be made about the series overall, it’s to do with the fact that as its strengths lie in the personal interactions of the main characters, the catastrophic events taking place in the world around them don’t quite convince. But when Hakaze tells Yoshino he should grieve properly for Aika, or when Mahiro and Yoshino are arguing, the series comes alive. The deaths of millions of people are somewhat shrugged aside. Maybe it’s part of the calming effect of the Tree of Genesis…
There is, inevitably, a falling-off of production values with some rather basic (cheap) animation in several of the ‘talky’ scenes but, to be fair, the final battle is dazzlingly portrayed.
The new Opening Theme is “Daisuki na noni (Even though I love you)” by Kylee with animation based on the attractive manga artwork by Ren Saizaki. The new Ending Theme is “Bokutachi no Uta (Our Song)” by Sako Tomohisa and the animation portrays the doomed lovers Aika and Yoshino, walking along as the seasons change.
Extras: Textless Opening and Ending Themes; Trailers.
In spite of – or maybe because of – a change of pace and tone, this second set of twelve episodes makes for a more satisfying watch then the first.
Read the AUKN review of Part 1 of Blast of Tempest at http://www.animeuknews.net/review/1401/blast-of-tempest-1