Blast of Tempest Collection One is an animated fantasy thriller about two teenage boys named Yoshino Takigawa and Mahiro Fuwa. The show starts off with Yoshino saying goodbye to his friend Mahito while he is taking his sister home. Shortly after we cut to a scene where a beautiful female mage has been banished to an island by her clan so that she can't use her powers. We cut back to Yoshino and he begins to worry where Mahiro has gone as he has seemed to have dropped off the face of the Earth. While Yoshino is on his way from leaving school he is attacked by a group of bullies who end up taking his wallet. After that ordeal he walks to a graveyard to visit Mahiro's sister's grave as she was murdered one year prior (that should show how long Mahiro has been gone). While at the graveyard he is attacked by a busty woman named Evangeline yamamoto who starts to attack him with a gun. She asks him questions about Mahiro but he won't say anything. Right about when Yoshino is about to get a bullet in the head they get distracted by a flock of butterflies. After that we see the return of Mahiro who has learned the art of magic.
Once they get away from Evangeline, Mahiro show's Yoshino a magical doll that's being used as a walkie talkie. On the other end of the line we find out that they are being contacted by that beautiful mage from the island who is named Hakaze kusaribe. Turns out that Hakaze needs help from the two boys as her clan has plans to find all the fruits to a tree called "Tree of Exodus" (not a cover band of the classic heavy metal group "Exodus") and once her clan awakens the tree then the Earth will most likely be destroyed. Mahiro isn't helping out for free as he is only doing it because she promised him that she'll track down his sister's killer so that he can get his revenge. Magic, Revenge, and Trees... What could possibly go wrong? (Click "Read More" to read the full review).
The storytelling in this show is quite slow with some scenes that will have the characters stay in the same place over a few episodes. I did like that though (believe it or not) as they handle stuff like that pretty well and do their best to keep the show interesting. This is also a very dark toned show that tries to be very gritty and it works creating a very unsettling atmosphere. This doesn't work the whole time though as there are some scenes in this series that do drag on to the point of boredom. This show also heavily relies on using flashbacks to help get the story moving along and I am mixed on that. A good chunk of them were fine and help build up the story but there are some that can feel awfully pretentious and it annoyed me a little bit. This show also uses a lot of insane plot twists that will remind you of the twists that happen in the "Phoenix Wright video game series (2001 - ongoing)" which were all very unpredictable and did leave me hanging on the edge of my seat wondering "what on Earth is going to happen next?".
The characters in this show do start off very plain but as the show goes along the characters become more interesting. There are also no clear hero or villain groups in this series but rather two groups trying to do what they think is best for planet Earth which was very nice to see as it gets your brain wondering on which side is right. This show also likes to use a lot of quotes from "William Shakespeare" (yes, the bald creepy dude who wrote "Romeo and Juliet (1597)") that I found to be interesting but that could just be me. There is some action in this show but it's very few and far between as this show mainly gets around with interesting conversations. When there was action that was when this show mainly bored me as they weren't interesting and also dragged on for too long.
The artwork in this show looks pretty good and looks like that they had a pretty decent budget for this series. Backgrounds in this show look beautiful and are very nicely detailed and help add to the cold, grim atmosphere of this show. Character designs are pretty average with stereotypical anime designs that aren't all that interesting. I did like the coloring on them though as it looked crisp and clean. This series is only subtitled as of this time so if you only watch anime with the English dub on then you might want to wait until an English dub is produced. The Japanese dub on this show is pretty average with voices that sounded okay but they could've put more feeling into the characters as I do get a vibe to where they just wanted to get the dub over with on this one. The soundtrack in this show is very good with a nice strong sounding orchestra that goes well with the story and really helps to make you take the whole situation seriously.
There isn't anything much going on in the special features department on this release. All you get are text-less opening and closing credits that were very decent with a nice hard rock song for the opening which is in English believe it or not. There is a slight problem I have with the opening credits and that is that it makes the show out to be much more action packed than what it actually is (not like you are going to watch the credits on every episode anyway). Closing credits have a jazzy sounding pop-song that reminds me of songs found in all of Konami's music games like "Beatmania (1997)", "Pop'n Music (1998)", and "Dance Dance Revolution (1998)" (all great games by the way).
Overall while I did enjoy this show this one I wouldn't say that this is every bodies cup of tea due to how slow it is. Although just because it was slow does not mean that it was boring but it does require patience. For those who do like more suspenseful shows like this then this is the show for you.
Title: Blast of Tempest Collection One
Animation Studio: Bones
Genre: Animation/Anime, Action, Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller
Running Time: 300 minutes (12 Episodes)
Distributor: Madman Entertainment (www.madman.com.au)
Rating: MA15+ (Strong animated violence)