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Manga: Zetsuen no Tempest

"The time is out of joint: O cursed spite,
That ever I was born to set it right!"
Hamlet, Act I, Scene V

Yoshino Takigawa is visiting the family grave of his friend Mahiro Fuwa, who had disappeared a month previously searching for his family's killer, when he encounters Evangeline Yamamoto. She's searching for Mahiro, who's recently been spotted in two different places right before they were quarantined due to a spreading epidemic, the "Iron Sickness" - an unexplainable disease which causes living things to turn into metal.

When she questions Yoshino at gun-point, Mahiro suddenly appears and saves him using a strange ability that lets him fly and stop bullets in mid-air. Mahiro says he's made a deal with the strongest sorceress in the world, Hakaze Kusaribe, who's promised to find his family's killer with magic in exchange for helping her stop the Kusaribe clan's plan to revive the Tree of Zetsuen, the cause of the epidemic and a destructive force which could destroy the world.

Zetsuen no Tempest: The Civilization Blaster is a fantasy mystery manga series written by Arihide Sano and Kyou Shirodaira, and drawn by Ren Saizaki. It began serialization in 2009 in Square Enix's Shonen GanGan magazine. An anime adaptation began airing in October 2012.

Shakespeare allusions abound. You Have Been Warned.

A character sheet is now under construction and Needs Wiki Magic Love.


Zetsuen no Tempest provides examples of:

  • Alas, Poor Yorick: Junichirou picks up and cradles Hakaze's skull after being informed of her death and shown the corpse in chapter 5. Considering the series' frequent quoting of the Trope Namer, this is most likely not a coincidence.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: The only unambiguous canon couple is Yoshino/Aika, and the latter is dead. Hanemura's girlfriend broke up with him before we meet him. Mahiro had unrequited feelings for Aika that he wasn't aware of until some time after her death. Hakaze has unrequited feelings for Yoshino, who is still in love with Aika. Junichirou has a one-sided crush on Evangeline.
  • Badass Normal: Mahiro and Yoshino. They seem to have been normal high school students before Mahiro's family died, but with the help of Hakaze's talismans, can kick serious amounts of ass.
    • The anime gives them a tendency to pick normal fistfights; they don't seem that bad off after losing a fight to 15 opponents.
  • Barrier Warrior: Force fields are one of the main powers of Kusaribe mages.
  • Bishōnen: Everywhere. There is not a single named male character that does not qualify for this trope - and a significant amount of unnamed male characters also count.
  • Black Blood: Played with whenever Aika, right after her murder, is shown. The trail of blood is always depicted as a disturbingly beautiful pattern of twists and curls that could be mistaken for a carpet or a pathway, were it not for the fact that it always leads up her dress and to her throat.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: The Tree of Genesis and, likely, the Tree of Exodus too. The former controls the logic of the world
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Mahiro was in love with Aika, though he doesn't admit it to himself before or after she dies. In his defense, he knew they were Not Blood Siblings.
  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: Unseasonal butterflies are the heralds of the Black Iron syndrome, since the latent magic causes their cocoons to grow in seconds.
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes": "Can you kill Yoshino Takigawa?" Shortly thereafter, they admit that this would introduce even more chaos into the situation. Instead, they want Mahiro to help them gain leverage over Yoshino, eliminating the risk he poses.
  • Cain and Abel: Played with through Samon and Hakaze as both siblings are Well Intentioned Extremists that only want to save the world with as little loss of life as possible, and don't show signs of bearing legitimate animosity towards one another.
  • Caught the Heart on His Sleeve: A (mostly) non-romantic example: Hakaze to Yoshino. She's feeling down about the partial awakening of the Tree of Beginnings, and after she grabs his sleeve, he comforts her.
  • Character Tics: Samon and his Sword planting.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Episode 17 has Samon, Junichirou, Mahiro and Hanemura hold a meeting to try and figure out the identity of Yoshino's girlfriend. It's already ridiculous to start with, but the theories Samon and Junichirou come up with just keep straying further and further from the truth. Hanemura gets increasingly disturbed by how no one can figure out what seems obvious to him.
  • Convenient Coma: Yoshino seems to like the "Put on a Bus" variety of this trope. First, he theorizes that Samon used one to to trick Hakaze into thinking she was stuck two years in the past, but then that turns out to be true. And then he wanted to keep Mahiro in one until they found Aika's killer... for at least a year. Geez, With Friends Like These......
  • Dead All Along: Samon reveals that the Hakaze they're talking to is actually two years in the past, and he presents her skeleton as proof that she's already dead. It turns out to be more complicated then that, however.
  • Deserted Island: Hakaze is trapped on one of these by Samon. It's even made invisible with magic, so that passing boats and planes can't see it.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The ending Happy Endings is sung by Aika's seiyuu.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: Anything to do with Aika's boyfriend. That one moment Mahiro off-handedly asks Yoshino if he thinks Aika might have been dating someone...
  • Dystopia: After its partial awakening, the Tree of Beginnings starts to enforce world peace. Military forces are disabled in an instant, infertile land is restored, pollution is eliminated, water is no longer an issue, world hunger ends, and crimes are stamped out, leaving people peaceful but uneasy; the trees are always watching them.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Both trees count.
  • Eyelid Pulltaunt: Hakaze does this to Samon and his gang when they lure her into a situation where she has no technology to sacrifice for her magic. In the process she reveals her tongue piercing, which is enough technology for her to blow up the mountain they were standing on.
  • First Episode Spoiler: That Aika was Yoshino's girlfriend is only revealed in chapter two of the manga, and at the very end of the first episode; it flips what we know of Yoshino's situation upside down, turning him from a normal dude who probably wants nothing else than stay normal and make sure his girlfriend is okay, to someone with a lot of personal investment in the plot and nothing to lose anymore.
  • Flash Back Echo: Part of Aika's presence as a Posthumous Character. The most significant comes after Hakaze discovers she's dead in the present time, when Yoshino remembers the time Aika told him about Shakespeare's Tempest. He realizes the parallels to the current situation, and decides to ensure that the story does not end as a tragedy.
  • Flash Step: One of the powers of Kusaribe magic.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: With the exception of Mahiro, every single named character from all sides is actively trying to save the world from destruction. They come into conflict because they can't agree on what the correct way to go about that is, and can't take the chance that the other side is wrong - and no side is ever definitively shown to be correct.
  • Imaginary Love Triangle: Hakaze falls in love with Yoshino after the first arc ends, but everyone thinks that Yoshino already has a girlfriend who's alive and well since he hid the fact that Aika was his girlfriend so well. This trope has the added bonus of Hakaze fearing that the Tree of Beginnings will kill Yoshino's girlfriend if she wants him too much, so she does her best to not like him, but only winds up discovering that he has many qualities that she really likes.
  • Internal Reveal: We're told the identity of Yoshino's girlfriend very early on, but it's a very plot-relevant secret in universe and lots of characters have yet to discover it. As of episode 17 and 18, Hakaze and Mahiro finally got their reveal.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Samon's primary weapon is a pretty awesome-looking katana - also, he can use the scabbard as an offering for a quick magic-boost.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: Mahiro is this for Aika. He was insanely protective of her, and demanded that she didn't get romantically involved with anyone. Probably had to do with the fact that he was in love with her without being aware of it.
  • Lethal Harmless Powers: The Kusaribe clan's barriers can be used offensively. Hakaze can shape them into Combat Tentacles, and Natsumura uses them to enhance the power of his trident.
  • Loophole Abuse: The Tree of Beginnings will not allow Hakaze to die or lose. She always has a chance to win. However, if she gives up or can't find the correct solution, then it's possible to defeat her.
  • The Magic Goes Away: Both trees get destroyed in the ending, and magic is no longer a thing. Even Hakaze becomes completely powerless; and something of a Cute Clumsy Girl, for some reason.
  • Maybe Ever After: The anime ending has Mahiro & Yoshino leaving Aika's grave when they see Hakaze on the road, looking around. Mahiro tells Yoshino to go to her, and he does. The last shot of the series is them taking a step towards each other.
    • The manga's ending is a little more expanded but essentially the same. In the manga's final chapter, Hakaze is already with Mahiro & Yoshino as they are saying their final words to Aika's grave before they leave since Mahiro is planning to introduce his girlfriend to them. As they take off, Yoshino expresses hesitation at getting into a relationship with Hakaze, saying there must be other guys that would be better for her (and also implying he's not quite over Aika yet). Hakaze's answer is that he's the only guy who can handle her, and that she isn't going to give up on him. The conversation is cut short when Mahiro's girlfriend shows up, then Hanemura & his girlfriend Yu-chan arrive. The manga ends with all 6 of them walking down the street.
  • Mind Screw: Hoo boy. This is a pretty odd series, and it doesn't seem terribly interested in answering the questions it asks.
  • Mood Dissonance: The anime's upbeat ending theme would fit better in a romantic school comedy, not a story about what is basically the apocalypse.
    • Fridge Brilliance: The theme is called "Happy Endings." Yoshino's mission, entrusted to him by Aika, is to ensure the story has a happy ending. If Yoshino succeeds, the ending theme will be perfectly appropriate.
  • Mood Whiplash: The first half of the story is very dark and is almost completely devoid of any and all light-hearted antics, but chapter 21 throws in the hilarity that is Hakaze being overjoyed at how it seems like she's on a date with Yoshino. At the same time, the plot throws in the fact that Hakaze thinks that Yoshino already has a girlfriend, and thus has to be careful about her desires to be with him. Since she isn't aware that his actual girlfriend, Aika, died before they ever met, she fears that if she wants him too much, the Tree of Genesis will act upon her desires and kill his girlfriend. This winds up making Hakaze come off as a bipolar Tsundere.
  • Morality Chain: After the Tree of Beginnings partially awakens, Yoshino becomes an important figure to Hakaze, who fell for him after. So long as he's alive, Yoshino can influence Hakaze to either wake up the Tree of Beginnings or keep it partially awake.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The show features a debate between Mahiro, Yoshino, Samon and Hakaze that lasts 5 EPISODES. It is not boring for even a second.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Mahiro is extremely protective of Aika and hates the idea of anyone dating her. The reason for this is that he is in love with her himself.
  • Mysterious Backer: Yoshino to Mahiro. Mahiro says that Yoshino goes against him surprisingly often, but that it's never been to his detriment; he's learned to let him be. As the one the Princess loves and trusts, he eventually takes on this role to the other members of the Kusaribe, who fear the influence he holds over her and doubt his intent.
  • Nice Job Breaking it Anti-villain: Though Samon meant well, and tries to pin the blame on the Tree of Beginnings whenever possible, none of any of the horrible things would have happened if he hadn't planned to wake up the Tree of Zetsuen and destroy the Tree of Beginnings, which upset the world's status quo. and woke up the Tree of Beginnings which then reacted to save itself and to instill order where the Tree of Zetsuen left chaos.
    • Subverted. The Tree of Beginnings was eventually going to cause a Reset Button and wipe out most of mankind with only a minority surviving no matter what unless the Mage of Exodus defeated it. Samon's actions along with Aika's death helped set in motion the defeat of the Tree.
  • Not Blood Siblings: Mahiro and Aika.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Eventually they start comparing the Trees to dragons and serpents as they have similar roles in mythology. Even being considered good by some and bad by others.
  • Plot-Based Voice Cancellation: Hakaze names a date two years before the start of the series, but lightning ensures that only the characters get to hear exactly when that is.
  • Posthumous Character: Aika Fuwa, Mahiro's younger sister.
  • Recap Episode: Most of episode thirteen is a recap of the story so far.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Mahiro and Yoshino are the red and blue respectively.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Mahiro's primary motivation is to find and kill the person who murdered Aika and the rest of his family, and he couldn't care less about what else happens along the way.
  • Secret Keeper: Yamamoto is the only other person who knows Aika was Yoshino's girlfriend, and Yoshino made her swear not to tell.
  • Secret Relationship: Yoshino and Aika hid the fact that they were dating, mainly because they were worried what Mahiro would do if he found out.
  • Shout-Out: At the amusement park in episode fifteen, there are five costumed performers in the background that look a lot like The Power Rangers.
  • Shout-Out to Shakespeare: Shakespearean themes are all over the place. Specifically, the series takes most of its motifs from Hamlet and The Tempest (which it's named after), and hardly a chapter goes by where one of the plays is not quoted from. (Yoshino and Mahiro seem to have the entirety of Hamlet memorized, probably because Aika seemed to be quite into Shakespeare.)
    • The four leads are based off Hamlet/Laertes (Mahiro), Horatio/Ariel (Yoshino), Prospero (Hakaze, in a case of Gender Flip) and Sycorax/Ophelia (Aika).
  • Slasher Smile: Mahiro loves these.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Yoshino and Aika were initially a mild example of this, with them having to hide their relationship in order to avoid incurring Mahiro's wrath. Then Aika died. Now Hakaze thinks that she and Yoshino are this. Because she thinks that Yoshino still has a girlfriend, she fears that if she falls fully in love with him, the Tree of Genesis will kill whoever he's going out with in order to grant her wish.
  • Stable Time Loop:
    • In order to save Hakaze from the past, they needed to switch her with her bare skeleton, which they had only found on the island because she had been switched with it.
    • The entire circumstances surrounding Aika's death are one BIG Stable Time Loop!
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: Aika, pre-series.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: Suggested in-series as a possible source of the "magical" Trees. Supposedly the Tree of Genesis is a weapon for neutralizing intelligent species, a "Civilization Blaster." And the Tree of Exodus is...something else. Both trees are destroyed in the end, and their reason for existing remains unknown.
  • Super Hero: Invoked by Samon's team when they find the Magician of Zetsuen and realize that he wasn't responsible for Aika's murder. They decide to begin working against the Tree of Beginnings, as well as take advantage of the widespread unease that has built up against it by having him dress up in a fancy costume and take out the branches of the tree in the most spectacular and public way possible. It works.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: Natsumura.
  • Temporal Paradox: About 7 chapters are spent debating (and with the antagonist at that) how it would be logically possible for Hakaze to return from the island when she's confirmed dead in the present with Samon holding her skeleton as evidence and she was only communicating with the cast from 2 years in the past even with the help of magic.
  • The Thing That Goes Doink: At the Kusaribe house.
  • This and That: During the ending Yoshino off-handedly mentions he did This and That with Aika, which prompts Mahiro to demand an explanation. However we never really find out if Yoshino actually did make love to Aika, or if he was just saying that to get a rise out of Mahiro.
  • Time Skip: After Chapter 16, approximately one month (the aftermath of the Tree of Beginnings and the Tree of Zetsuen going berserk) is skipped over.
  • Tricked Out Time:
    • Yoshino, Mahiro, and Hakaze figure out Samon's contingency plan to work around the event of her death. He has her skeleton and the barrel she was sent to the island with, both of which appear to prove she died there. If they do nothing, she will die. Instead, they use magic to have her teleport off of the island and leave her skeleton and the barrel behind, thereby averting Temporal Paradox and saving her life.
    • Yoshino suggests that Hakaze could save Aika by faking Aika's death in the past. It doesn't work out that way.
  • Two Scenes, One Dialogue: Frequently occurs in the anime.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Yoshino has this as his strength, as his great adaptability makes him able to act calmly and think things through no matter how absurd or unreasonable the situation. It is also his weakness, as he has little individuality and doesn't do anything extreme out of his own initiative.
  • Urban Fantasy
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Yoshino and Mahiro.
  • We Could Have Avoided All This: A variant that leads to wacky hijinks. Hakaze eventually falls in love with Yoshino, but she's under the impression that he has a girlfriend. Junichirou then tells her that if she wants Yoshino too much, then the Tree of Genesis will act upon her desires and kill his girlfriend. Naturally, Hakaze, being one of the saner members of the cast, does not want this to happen. Only Yoshino no longer has a girlfriend. This entire subplot could be avoided if Yoshino would just explain to Hakaze that he'd dated Aika behind Mahiro's back. Admittedly justified, as Yoshino does not know that Hakaze loves him and has no reason to explain this to her.
    • When she eventually confesses and explains everything, Yoshino's reaction is pretty much the trope. "Oh, sorry to have made this so complicated for you, don't worry about my girlfriend. She's already dead, see."
  • Winds of Destiny, Change: The Tree of Beginnings will not allow a situation to develop such that Hakaze has no option but to lose. The most that can be done is to place her at a severe disadvantage. The bigger the disadvantage, the more the situation bends to help her out of it. The Tree of Zetsuen is outside the laws, however.
  • World Tree: The Tree of Genesis...Sort of.

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alternative title(s): Zetsuen No Tempest; Blast Of Tempest
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