Like many of Bones’ works, Blast of Tempest has an odd story but interesting characters. Blast of Tempest is set in our world with a twist. A select tribe of people known as the Kusaribe clan have access to magic through an entity called the Tree of Genesis.
Enter Mahiro Fuwa and his friend Yoshino Takigawa. The stranded Kusaribe princess, Hakaze, contacts Mahiro through a magical talisman looking for help off the deserted island she was dropped upon. She offers him what he wants most: a chance to avenge his murdered sister. Hakaze was placed in exile by her own family. By choosing to help her, Mahiro and Yoshino are forced to stand against the powerful mages of Kusaribe and possibly end the world in the process should Hakaze awakens the fabled Tree of Genesis.
Blast of Tempest is essentially a murder mystery wrapped in a story of a world tree, an axis mundi in scholarly parlance. In typical Bones style, the outlandish story is used to explore how characters will react. Mahiro is driven by revenge for his sister. Yoshino is driven by the same girl’s death, but he seeks to make her death mean something positive. The story spends a lot of time quoting from Shakespeare’s Hamlet and The Tempest. It blends the two story retribution stories and ponders which path will be taken: that of Mahiro and Hamlet, or that of Yoshino and The Tempest.
The characters are believable and interesting. Despite being driven by revenge, Mahiro is complex and logical. Yoshino is a bit of a rogue and has a scalpel intelligence. Hakaze is pampers and sometimes naive. Despite being the most powerful magic user of the Kusaribe – even able to time travel – she is the most normal of the bunch with her behavior. Sometimes her normalcy is jarring when contrasted with the magic driven events that engulf the world. This story is as grandiose as any found in mecha with how the character’s choices influence world events. It is easy to forget that the trio are only teens with the way they act. That little detail could easily be dropped and not hurt the story.
So what are my thoughts? Blast of Tempest has many different ideas such as the need to sacrifice technology to the Tree of Genesis in order to be able to use magic. The characters are interesting but a little theatrical. Given the Shakespearean context this is easily forgiven. Bones has solid animation, and the action sequences shine. Although there are very few of those. This is a dialogue heavy anime with a fair bit of magic theory. It isn’t an excellent anime, but neither is it terrible. It was an enjoyable and interesting 24 episodes. Although if you are a Bones fan, the murder mystery is predictable. The later love interest that develops with Hakuze felt abrupt, but it wasn’t entirely a surprise.