DVD Review: Blast of Tempest – Part 2
02/12/2014 Leave a comment
We venture once again into the strange but unfamiliar world of Blast of Tempest; but what can we expect from this second, and final, instalment of the series? Find out in our DVD Review.
A month has passed since the showdown at Mt. Fuji, but the world is once again thrown into chaos with the appearance of the “Mage of Exodus”. In order to discover the truth behind Aika’s murder, Hakaze decides to return to the past. There, she meets Aika and is told something completely unexpected. If everything happens for a reason, is Aika’s unfortunate death actually a blessing in disguise? All the puzzle pieces finally come together to reveal the shocking truth!
It’s been a whole month since the confrontation at Mount Fuji came to a close and since then the tree of genesis has sprouted several tress across the globe which is causing a growing concern for those involved with it; however while this may be considered the ‘hot topic’ of this half of the series it’s actually the relationship between Yoshino and Hakaze as well as the introduction of a new character, the mage of exodus, which takes centre stage and not for the right reasons either.
It all starts within the first six episodes of this instalment as it sees Yoshino and Hakaze travelling across the globe in search of clues surrounding the mage of exodus as well as the tree of genesis possible intentions for the planet. Mind you it’s not long before they stumble across Hanemura, a shy man who wields destructive magical abilities which after a quick ‘test of strength’ they discover that he is indeed the rumoured mage of exodus. As result of this discovery they send him to Mahrio and Samon for further investigation; which amusingly yields very little results and even more headaches for the group. That’s not all either as while travelling around the globe Hakaze, with help from Jun, discovers that she has deep emotional feelings for Yoshino and does not know how to the deal with them; additionally since she believes that Yoshino is in a relationship with another girl she attempts to keep these feelings to herself so that the tree of genesis doesn’t harm her girlfriend; but it’s not long before she admits her feelings and uncovers a harsh realisation about Yoshino’s girlfriend – a fact which viewers have known for awhile.
Meanwhile the remaining six episodes of this instalment take a more drastic and unique turn; as not only does Samon form a plan that sees Hanemura dress up as a superhero and destroy sprouts of the tree of genesis, thus giving the public and the government an opinion on the subject, but Hakaze decides to return to the past so that she can discover who killed Aika; however in doing so she unearths some shocking realisations and truths – both of which involve the tree of genesis. Spoilers aside a climatic battle between the tree of genesis and tree of exodus is ensured; but despite the build-up it’s not that big of a deal, but of course more surprises are in store for the viewer – some more better than others.
In retrospect a variety of different storyline elements entangle within each other and thats whats on offer here; but to put it bluntly the series takes on far more than it can chew and results in everything being spat out at around the same time. For instance Yoshino’s girlfriend secret, Hakaze’s feelings for Yoshino and the realisation of Hanemura being the real mage of exodus all occur at around the same time; there is then the ‘main’ storyline which at this point seems completely lost. In reality the real story here is that the tree of genesis is trying to reset civilisation; but this storyline is actually overshadowed by the “murder mystery” of Aika’s death and Hakaze’s attachment to Yoshino. Is this a bad thing? not really, I just wish it got on with it instead of deviating from it; but at least its more entertaining, and easier to understand, than the first half of the series.
The disappointment found within Blast of Tempest also continues within the selection of extras as the bonus material is exactly the same as that found within Part 1 albeit with one addition – a Japanese trailer for the series.
Other trailers included are Rosario Vampire – Season 1, Garden of Sinners and Fate Zero; each of which suffer from some form of visual discrepancy. For instance 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 and smoothed over. Furthermore only half of the Aniplex logo can be seen in the Fate Zero and Garden of Sinners trailers. Basically these trailers seem like they were taken from Youtube for a home-made DVD as opposed to being included on an official retail product.
The final selection of bonus content on the other hand sees the inclusion of textless opening and closing songs as well as well as the original japanese promotional trailer for the series; it’s nothing much but its better nothing.
Media: DVD 9 x2
Running Time: 2:20:48 (Disc 1), 2:20:34 (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
The second instalment into Blast of Tempest is another one of those ‘mamite’ type of shows; you’ll either instantly connect with the current storyline and enjoy it or find yourself completely puzzled as to what you are watching. For me it was a bit of both as I realy enjoyed the deceptive relationship with Yoshino and Aika, as well as the developing crush with Hakaze, but the introduction of an important character as a comedy relief for the viewer was just bizarre. These aside I found it much easier to watch and enjoy than the previous twelve episodes found within the first part and I believe this is due to the lack of discussion regarding the tree of genesis and tree of exodus; in this collection of episodes they are only mentioned when needed- which in this case is vey little.
More interestingly is that even if you haven’t seen Part 1 you’ll still be able to get to grips with the characters and storyline within Part 2 as it’s a whole different ball game. For instance the first half of Blast of Tempest seemed to act like a decisive battle between two rival fractions whereas in Part 2 it’s a story about relationships and discovering the truth behind the lies. Futhermore if you did skip part 1 then the first episode of Part 2 is, of sorts, a re-cap episode whereby events of the past tweleve alongs, along with some new scenes thrown in for good measure, are explained to the viewer; thus making the past 12 episode experience a complete waste of time – which to some it may have been.
In regards to this DVD release by MVM Entertainment then its pretty much business as usual, whereby the DVD’s have been authored by Madman Entertainment, chapter points are corect and visual/audio quality is as you’d expect it to be. There really isn’t much to say; everything works as it should – however when it comes to the episodes then there is some continuing annoyances. For starters the subtitles are ‘smaller’ than other releases, but they are the same size as Part 1, furthermore it seems the episodes themselves are the TV broadcast version of Blast of Tempest as the opening and closing songs feature the karaoke lyrics in Japanese. Its nothing to ‘really’ complain about but you don’t usually see them on DVD (or Blu-ray) releases nowadays.
Overall Blast of Tempest – Part 2 offers something completely different to what the first half of the series suggested you should expect; is this a good change though? It all depends – if you wanted a decesive mage battle between groups then obviously you’ll be disappointed; but if you are looking for various surprises and plot-twists then the episodes contained within Part 2 have got you covered. Be warned though this is a ‘Japanese Subtitled Only’ release so it may not appeal to everyone; and thats before you dive in the varying episode content.
Blast of Tempest – Part 2 will be available on DVD from the 8th December 2014.