DVD Review: Blast of Tempest – Part 1
12/11/2014 Leave a comment
It seems MVM Entertainment are in the habbit of releasing Subtitled Only releases this month; so with that being said we did we think of their DVD Release of Blast of Tempest – Part 1? Find out in our DVD Review.
One day, a sorceress princess was stuffed into a barrel and banished.
One day, a single girl was suddenly murdered, and the culprit still runs free.
And one day, a battle spanning time and space over magic and revenge began!
Sanity and madness, sense and intelligence, self-confidence and convictions.
The tragic tale of this irrational world starts now.
The Kusaribe family is a family of sorcerers under the protection of the “Tree of Logic”. Their princess, Hakaze Kusaribe, was the greatest sorceress of their family. But Samon Kusaribe, a member of their family seeking to resurrect the “Tree of Exodus”, a tree that opposes the “Tree of Logic” and controls the power of destruction, stuffs her into a barrel, and banishes her to a deserted island.
From the deserted island, she sends a message out to sea, which is picked up by Mahiro Fuwa, a young boy who’s sworn vengeance upon the criminal who killed his little sister, Aika. Mahiro agrees to help Hakaze under the condition that she find Aika’s killer with her magic. But once Mahiro’s best friend and Aika’s lover, Yoshino Takigawa is rescued from danger, he too gets dragged into this tale of revenge.
Blast of Tempest, or Blade of Tempest as I keep referring to it as, is another English subtitled only DVD release from MVM Entertainment and if this alone doesn’t discourage you from watching the show then maybe what I’ve got to say about it will. Let’s be clear Blast of Tempest is not a bad show, it’s actually quite intriguing; it’s just it doesn’t want to go anywhere in a hurry and instead provides too much information with not enough progression or entertainment – case and point the last four episodes of this instalment see the main characters stay in the ‘exact’ same spot arguing about who is telling the truth, it’s a feat which would put long-running anime franchises, such as One Piece and Dragon Ball, to shame – and to be honest its quite annoying considering the series is only 24 episodes in length.
Anyway let’s start at the beginning; Blast of Tempest follows the ‘unique’ adventure of Yoshino Takigawa and his unlikely best friend Mahiro Fuwa as they stumble into the world of magic. Mahio and Yoshino were originally friends attending the same school, but after the mysterious murder of Mahio’s younger sister, Aika, Mahio left town in order to track down the killer. Since then one year has passed and Yoshino often visits the grave of Aika; however during this visit he finds himself being reunited with his old friend and thrown into the middle of a magical war.
It’s quickly explained that while searching for clues leading to Aika’s killer Mahiro stumbled upon a glass jar with a wooden doll inside it; which upon inspecting it discovers that it connected him to sorceress known as Hakaze Kusaribe, who turns out to be stranded on a desert island. A deal between them is ultimately made; a deal which sees Mahiro aid Hakaze in her attempt stop the Kursaribe clan while Hakaze will aid in the search for Aika’s murder. As it stands this is all pretty simple and easy to follow; but then when the true story starts to unfold not only does it go into ‘darker areas’ of deceit and betrayal but it becomes frustratingly complex to follow – especially if you miss something important.
It turns out that Hakaze was left strandred on the island so that the Kusaribe Clan could revive the tree of exodus without any interference from her; as according to them the tree of exodus is the only thing that can stop the tree of logic from reviving and altering the course of history. However by reviving the tree of exodus a deadly disease which turns every living being into metal has been let loose in nearby cities. To stop the tree being revived Hakaze gets Mahiro and Yoshino, who are equipped with magical talismans, to venture out to the Tree of Exodus and put a stop to it; at which point multiple confrontations take place. Disappointingly these fights don’t really go anywhere as it turns out that mages cannot kill people, otherwise their tree of logic will banish them from using magic forever; so when a fight does break out no-one gets kill only injured – so all of the ‘potential’ trash talk is just wasted dialogue.
In hindsight the story is ‘far too complicated’ for its own good; but at this point I partially lost interest due to the constant time-skip between past and present events as well as the lack of anything ‘progressive’ transpiring on screen. Furthermore due to all of these ‘discussions’ it’s also hard to pinpoint ‘whoose the bad guy’ in this selection of episodes; as they each have their own agendas and correct points of arguments. In hindsight this is what kept me hooked on the show, attempting to uncover who was right and who was wrong as so many plot-twists and alterations happen it can be hard to keep up.
In short the Kursaribe want to revive the tree of exodus to stop the tree of logic from reviving, as they fear it will destroy the world, however Hakaze wants to stop the tree of exodus from reviving as its causing a disease to spread across the planet, meanwhile our main protagonists Yoshino and Mahrio just want to uncover who killed their friend and are not interested in anything that’s taking place. Finally there is then the government, who just want to destroy everything and cover it up. Basically four different agendas are intermingled into a single relatively confusing storyline and unfortunately for us this is only the first half – so maybe things will calam down and become easier to understand in the next instalment.
Unfortunately the bad news continues with the bonus materials as the only bonus content included with this release are text less songs and a small selection of trailers.
Trailers included on the second DVD Disc are Rosario Vampire – Season 1, Garden of Sinners and Fate Zero but interestingly all of them are the Australian versions, as the disc were authored by Madman Entertainment, but even more strange is the ‘quality’ of the trailers.
The Rosario Vampire trailer suffers from jagged edges around the characters, like if it was converted from NTSC to PAL, whereas the Aniplex trailers for Garden of Sinners and Fate Zero seem washed out/smoothed over. Furthermore only half of the Aniplex logo can be seen in the Fate Zero trailer. Basically these trailers seem like they were taken from Youtube for a home-made DVD as opposed to an official retail product.
Media: DVD 9 x2
Running Time: 2:20:45 (Disc 1 & Disc 2)
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps
From my perspective Blast of Tempest – Part 1 is one of those marmite types of series; it starts off pretty good and attempts to lay everything down on the table, but by the half-way point the over-complicated story and the lack of anything interesting taking place just makes it a disappointment. There are some positives, such as the ‘mystery surrounding Aika’ and the ‘magical battles’ that take place but these are all drowned out by the relatively dragged-out approach of the storyline which just left me feeling bored.
I guess the lack of an English dub, and the relatively small English subtitles, can also contribute to making the show difficult to follow, because if you miss a subtitle – as sometimes they do flicker off quicker than you’d expect- or if you get overwhelmed with the various dialogue names (Tree of Exodus, Tree of Logic, Tree of Life etc) you will find yourself at a loss to what’s transpiring. It’s also worth mentioning that ‘extremely’ small subtitles have been hard-encoded into the opening and closing sequences of the series; however if you choose the text less opening and closing videos from the extras menu then no text is on the video. It’s a pretty strange way of doing an opening and closing animation sequence, so I can only assume the text was hard-encoded on the original Japanese release as well – as the song itself is in English.
Blast of Tempest – Part 1 is a series I wasn’t expecting anything from, as other until a few weeks ago I had never heard of it, however upon watching all of the included episodes within this first half I find myself at a stalemate. A variety of the show I liked and it starts off really good; but by the second disc the story starts to drag-on as if someone at the studio was waiting for something to happen. While the second half is (to a point) boring it does see some interesting plot-twists and reversals to the story, but even then these weren’t acted upon.
In terms of the DVD then it’s pretty much as you’d expect it to be, with constant picture and audio quality throughout; but when it comes to the the ‘questionable’ trailer quality and the smaller subtitles then it’s – yet again- a bit of a disappointment.
Blast of Tempest – Part 1 will be available on DVD from the 24th November 2014.