Zetsuen No Tempest Episode 10: How to Make a Time Machine
“I kind of feel like trying to find some magic to cross time.” -Mahiro Fuwa
Summary: Samon and Yoshino continue to try to persuade Mahiro that their side is the correct one, as the tide constantly turns in favor of one or the other. With the web of magic and time spun by the Kusaribe clan getting more and more tangled, who will gain Mahiro’s trust and emerge as the victor?
Impressions: Alright Zetsuen no Tempest, lemme be real with you for a second: This scene, with Mahiro, Yoshino, Samon and Hakaze’s skeleton has gone on long enough. You need to move on. I know you have it in you to be a good show, but this is the third (THIRD!) episode in a row where all of our main characters have done nothing but literally stand around and talk about shit (or, if your Samon, talk about shit whilst tripping on what I can only suppose are some kind of hallucinogenic drugs.) Right now, you’re getting more than a little weighed down by the sheer about of “blah blah blah” that has been happening. And no light peppering of action scenes between Evangeline and Natsumura is going to change that. And from the previews, it’s not looking like next episode is really going to go anywhere different. And I think that’s a problem.
All of this episode is Yoshino explaining his theory of what happened to Hakaze, and how she’s not actually stuck two years in the past, but has been tricked into thinking so in order for her to give up and just resign herself to her fate. Yoshino makes a good argument, even though as it turns out, it’s all complete hogwash. He’s a tricky bastard, that Yoshino, who knows his argument is wrong, but makes it any way in order to prove that even though Hakaze really is trapped in time there is a way to get her back (otherwise Samon wouldn’t be freaking out so bad) and so that she’ll get her fighting spirit back. There. That’s what? Three sentences? And that was essentially the whole episode. It’s not like it wasn’t mildly interesting to listen to, or watch, since the animation was very nicely done (plus, every now and then it would switch to the fight between Natsumura and Evangeline), but I’m just saying they could have condensed this a little with either last episode or next episode or something, so that we can get to the point a bit faster here.
If there’s one thing to take away from this episode it’s that Yoshino has more to him than one would originally think. While the fate of the world might rest with Mahiro, who for the time being still can’t really decide which side he want’s to use/not use the magical gun talisman for, Yoshino proves that he’s more than capable of manipulating the situation to his advantage. He knows Mahiro (they’re childhood friends for christ’s sake) and knows exactly what to say and how to twist logic in order to get him to do what he wants. Which in this case is to hold off on using the gun until either he or Hakaze can think of a way to time travel (it’s funny that Hakaze, who is protected by the world’s logic, most now think about something as illogical as time-travel in order to get back to the present time.)
Anyway, because Yoshino is such a crafty fellow, Mahiro (for now) seems content to wait until this time travel stuff is resolved. And poor Samon, not only is he getting his plans shattered by some punk-ass kid with a gun and his too-smart-for-his-own-good BFF, but for some reason they felt the need to constantly add this trippy purple background to all of his monologues and inner thoughts. Add to that the giant skeleton and giant Yoshino that he thinks about (? hallucinates??? ) as well as his weird exaggerated facial expressions (you’re entering some Truth from E7AO territory there buddy), and it really does look like he’s on drugs. I think they were trying to add some spice to a scene that would otherwise be very, very boring to watch, but instead of being “cool” it just ends up being unintentionally hilarious. I found myself laughing at times when that’s clearly not the reaction they were looking for from the audience.
Everything comes full circle by the end of the episode, as nothing really has changed. Mahiro is still waiting for either Yoshino to come up with a plan for how to get Hakaze out of her time/dimensional prison or for Samon to bring him the person responsible for Aika’s death, which ever comes first. While for the time being, he might appear to be on Hakaze’s side, I don’t doubt for a minute that he wouldn’t ditch her and Yoshino for Samon if he were to fulfill his thirst for revenge first. While Yoshino and Hakaze now know for sure that there is a way to get her off the island, they’re still no closer to figuring out how exactly to do that. Samon continues to have exciting adventures in his head/ try to (unsuccessfully) convince Mahiro that he should side with him. The government continues to bomb the barrier around the Tree of Exodus, and the rest of the Kusaribe clan races against them to revive the Tree completely before their powers fail. I’m hoping next episode things move along a little, because all this standing around making impassioned speeches is getting a little old, and more convoluted than I really want it to be.
Final Though: The name Ariel that Hakaze carves into the barrel is yes, you guessed it, another Shakespeare reference! In The Tempest, Ariel is a spirit that Prospero saves, so in return he works as his helper, functioning as his eyes and ears as well as helping him several times throughout the play (you can read more here.) Since Hakaze is based on the character of Prospero, it makes a certain degree of sense that Yoshino chooses the name Ariel in order to help Hakaze.