Zetsuen no Tempest Episode 8: The Hour to Suppress the Princess
“Should the world’s fate be determined by Mahiro’s personal desires?” -Yoshino Takigawa
Summary: Everything comes to a head as forces converge on the Tree of Exodus and the shocking truth behind Hakaze is revealed. The fate of the world now rests on the shoulders of…Mahiro?
Impressions: After finally awakening from the food-coma known only as Thanksgiving, I have emerged to bring you (belatedly) this review! The twists just keep coming! I’m shocked by how quickly they’re advancing through the story. I would have thought that any confrontation between Mahiro, Yoshino, and Samon would come somewhere around episode 13 or even later, not at episode 8. As everyone converges on the area where the Tree of Exodus has emerged, our to boys mange to breach the barrier surrounding the area, as the army attacks it from outside with just about every kind of weapon you can imagine. Yoshino and Mahiro quickly find Samon who explains to them the truth behind the Tree of Exodus and the Tree of Genesis. We’ve already had a couple of hints that the Tree of Genesis might actually be the worse of the two, and Samon confirms this.
This is how it breaks down. While the Tree of Exodus, once resurrected is only dangerous if (or when) the Kusaribe tribe can’t control it. If Mahiro, for example, were to fire the ultra-powerful talisman gun at, it would react in such a way that Samon and his followers would no longer be able to manipulate it, and the only one who would be able to stop the ensuing catastrophe would be Hakaze. We already knew from past episodes that the two trees had “fought” and that the Tree of Genesis had been put into a deep slumber. While Tree of Genesis was asleep, the Tree of Exodus allowed the incomplete current world to come into being. The Tree of Genesis would, upon being brought back, take as its sacrifice all of the civilizations from all over the world in order to create a new, “complete” world (remember, it takes offerings of high-level product of civilization in order to use it’s power the way that Hakaze does.) Hakaze believes that if the Tree of Genesis were revived it wouldn’t completely destroy the world in order to remake it, while Samon thinks that it will, which is why he wants to revive the Tree of Exodus, so that it will once again put the Tree of Genesis to sleep and let the current imperfect world continue on.
Yoshino and Mahiro get all of this information dumped on them, and Yoshino rightfully is conflicted over which side is correct. As someone who doesn’t know much about magic, or even very much about either Hakaze or Samon, he has a hard time coming up with what the “right” answer is. Mahiro, on the other hand, has no such qualms. He doesn’t care one way or the other, as long as he finds Aika’s killer. If the world isn’t destroyed, he can continue on with his mission, and if it is, then everything will be rewritten and given a fresh start, giving him a chance to live in a world where Aika wasn’t killed. Hakaze comments on how strange it is that Mahiro exists in the world, since he’s almost tailor-made for her purposes and I’m inclined to agree with her. A couple of episodes ago, it was mentioned that everything happens for a reason, even Aika death, which leads me to believe that someone very purposefully chose her as a target in order to get Mahiro to act as he is now. He’s literally holding the fate of the world in his hands, even though he really could care less about it. His sole focus is on revenge, and with all the borderline-psychotic faces he has in this episode, I have no problem believing that he would risk destroying the world if it ment getting his sister/love interest back (he even quotes Shakespeare to that effect, but more on that later.)
So after discussing which side Mahiro (and Yoshino) will choose, Samon reveals yet another shocking truth to them, this one concerning Hakaze. All this time, everyone has been assuming that she’s just been stuck on an island, but it’s not only that. As it turns out, her time and everyone else’s are separated from one another by a time of two years. She’s been communicating not just across space but also through time (Noooooooo! my brain scream, I just got done with a show that had time travel! I don’t want to hear it any more *crycrycry*) I knew something fishy was up when her body was a complete skeleton after supposedly only having been on the island for four months. Even if she had died the very first day she’d been there, there is no way her body would become such a clean skeleton in such a short time.
To her credit, Hakaze looks pretty confused about how she ended up in the past too. From what I can gather, she was trapped on the island and sent her little messages in bottles out and some time after that, died. The messages floated around for two years until finally Mahiro found one, which somehow became linked to the past, back when Hakaze was still alive. It was their communication that linked the past and the future together as it is now. Yeah…I don’t know. Time travel is one of my least favorite plot devices/ story line things, because almost always it just ends up being confusing as fuck. We’ll see. Maybe Samon will continue being so chatty and tell us how exactly he managed to do that.
Next week looks like Mahiro and Yoshino will have to be making some heavy choices about what they believe the truth is, and which Tree they will fight for and against. I get the feeling that their friendship might not survive that choice. Plus, Evangeline looks like she’ll be back, and judging by that familiar spear in her hand during the preview, I think she might just be giving our trench coat wearing friend Natsumura a beat down. Oooo Drama!
Final Though: This week’s Hamlet quote comes from Act Four, Scene Five:
“Conscience and grace, to the profoundest pit!
I dare damnation. To this point I stand
That both the worlds I give to negligence.
Let come what comes, only I’ll be revenged”
It’s actually not a quote spoken by Hamlet (as other’s up to this point have been) but Laertes, talking about getting revenge for the death of his father no matter what the cost, even if it means going to hell. Most people equate Mahiro to the character of Hamlet, since they both will stop at nothing to get their revenge, but I think that Mahiro is more like Laertes. Not only do they both want revenge, but like Mahiro, Laertes also very deeply mourns the loss of his sister Ophelia (who I think is very similar to Aika in a way.)