Fall Preview Via Manga: Zetsuen no Tempest
Next up in my fall preview via manga series is Zetsuen no Tempest: The Code Breaker. It looks like Zetsuen no Tempest means Forsaken Tempest? At any rate, it looks like we have a magic-filled adventure on our hands–at least when going by the synopsis for this upcoming anime adaptation.
Just looking at the art, I’m getting 07 Ghost or Reborn vibes… Well, time to read the first volume and see what this series is all about.
Chapter One – The story starts with a good hook with a girl stranded on a deserted island. We then transition to our main boy protagonist (Takigawa) at school. His friend Mahiro has been missing, which made me assume they were talking about the stranded girl… but Mahiro’s a different character entirely, it turns out (he’s a boy, for starters). And he wants to track down the unknown killer of his family. But back in the present… a mystery and a fight ensues! The action is pretty basic shounen stuff, but I’m intrigued by the large-scale dilemma that’s revealed. And fortunately the connection with the stranded girl is made too, bringing the chapter full-circle. I wonder if the viewpoint character will learn magic, so he’s not just an observer for Mahiro’s battles.
Chapter Two – So evil bishie and his league of sorcerers will destroy the world with butterflies and giant fruit. (beat) This is going to be one of those days… We go back to Takigawa and Mahiro–the latter is even more bent on revenge than I expected, and the former is lovingly turning away from his potential girlfriend. WOW, Pixiv is going to have a field day with this series. XD And WHOA, our protagonist is pretty cool after all! And on top of this, we get a battle between Mahiro and Michael Jackson? Hopefully the anime will play Smooth Criminal in the background for this fight.
And, uh, I completely misunderstood the whole thing with Takigawa and his “girlfriend.” Well-played, Zetsuen no Tempest. This changes everything, and is actually a rather compelling development.
Chapter Three – Battles in fighting-themed shounens often have the dilemma of needing to explain its combat system in the middle of a clash, which almost always comes off as extremely awkward to me (eg “Why are you explaining the secrets of your abilities to your enemy?!?). Zetsuen no Tempest fortunately avoids this problem by having Takigawa communicate all the details with Hakaze while Mahiro keeps the enemy busy. The magic system is actually pretty intriguing, and the outcome of this battle was different than I expected.
Chapter Four – Okay, I really like how intelligent our three main characters are. This is very refreshing for a manga of this genre, though I suppose it’s only fitting since the story is driven by an extensive mystery (ie figuring out how the enemy will act next and planning fitting counter-measures). The fact our head antagonist is also intelligent makes things all the more interesting. And hey, our head protagonist is actually thinking about questions I had as well, such as the likelihood of Hakaze contacting Mahiro specifically. I like this.
(reaches end of chapter) WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT.
Final Thoughts: Okay, this has the potential to be a really great story. There’s apparently some Shakespeare references throughout the manga, so it seems the general plot may include all sorts of high-scale drama in the future. But as long as the cat-and-mouse mind games continue, I think I’ll be quite pleased. I really wonder though if the anime will be satisfying at all if the manga isn’t completed yet?
Verdict: Plan to watch this fall, and may read more of the manga too.