Zetsuen no Tempest – 24 (End) and Series Review

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At the rate things are going, this season is in danger of doing a little damage to anime’s reputation for utterly crap endings.

I’ve seen it remarked that it’s sad how underappreciated Zetsuen no Tempest has been, and how quickly it’s going to be forgotten.  I certainly don’t disagree with the former, but as to the latter I rather suspect the opposite – I think time is going to be kinder to this series that BD/DVD sales have been.  It’s a show that will be remembered long after splashier shows with bigger sales are relegated to the ashcan of history.  Zetsuen is not a series whose appeal is easy to put into words, but whatever “it” is, this show has it.  In a world made up mostly of the ordinary, it’s special.  Whatever its faults, Zetsuen no Tempest is a series of signifigance and those types of shows are remembered long after most are forgotten.

I certainly don’t think this was a perfect finale, and there are two things particularly that fell flat for me.  The first was the appearance of the Lance of Longinus Sword of Exodus at just the moment when Hanemura was drawing his last breath, which had more than a whiff of deux ex machina to it.  It was certainly grand and theatrical in classic BONES and Zetsuen fashion, but as a way of settling affairs with the Tree of Genesis – which is, after all, the top boss among all top bosses in this mythology – it was pretty anti-climactic.  I can even understand the logic behind it, sort of – a kind of “Hail, Mary” pass by the Tree of Exodus, materializing all its power in one object specifically intended to take out the T of G.  It just didn’t work from a dramatic standpoint.

The other thing that seemed a bit off was the very end of the episode.  Not the moments leading up to it (I’ll delve into those in detail shortly), which were sublime, but the last 30 seconds.  I felt pretty confident that the series had spoken clearly on Yoshino and Hakaze – he simply doesn’t feel about her as she does about him.  That’s not to say he might not develop those feelings, and I would have been quite happy with an open-ended resolution to that thread.  But it feels as if the final shot sequence especially was out-of-character, both for the series and for Yoshino.  I don’t feel as if that moment was in-synch with the developments up to that point, and it was a little too neat and too decisive.  Now as to whether these two quibbles are anime-original or not, I have no idea (if I were guessing I’d say the first wasn’t, and the second was) and I don’t intend to use them as a cudgel to pound on Okada Mari’s writing here.  She did a superb job with the series on the whole – those two elements in the finale just happened to swing-and-miss for me, whatever their source.

In the big picture, though, those are indeed quibbles – the final episode scored on almost every other front.  In the first place it was true to the series as a whole – big and operatic, with sweeping background music that refused to be ignored and theatrical behavior on all fronts.  It also gets major props from me for allowing time for the characters (Yoshino getting shot was pretty much a red herring, too) to reflect on everything that’s happened and and to show them getting on with the lives – the “coda” for which I plead for over and over but which most series blow off  by taking the climax right to the finish line (we’ve seen both Zetsuen and Shin Sekai Yori do a superb job of bucking this trend).  And it delivered big-time on the Aika storyline, giving us a real sense of closure and a truly magnificent and emotionally powerful scene to bring that plot to its close.

I grew to like Aika very much over the series, but I’m pleased we didn’t get some sort of troll or reset button where she walked through the door at the end with a “Just kidding!”  That’s a surprise that would have been so predictable that it’s almost more surprising that it didn’t happen.  I’m also frankly stunned that Yu-chan turned out to be nothing more than a big red herring.  I’m quite certain that mangaka Shirodaira Kyou knew full well what the audience was thinking, and the anime did nothing to discourage that by offering tantalizingly vague references to her pretty much every episode.  That she should turn out to have been nothing more than exactly what she was described as all along – the ex-girlfriend who dumped Hanemura – breaks pretty much every rule in the anime handbook.  But that’s why I love this show, because it doesn’t seem like it’s read that book, or ever cares to.

I’ll go so far as to say the finale pretty much nailed the Aika storyline on every level.  Again, the lack of duplicity is remarkable – pretty much everything Aika said from the moment she met Hakaze has turned out to be honest and accurate.  I still don’t buy her logic for taking her own life, but as I said a couple of weeks ago I rather like the notion that the most powerful mage in the world, someone on whom the fate of society hinges, is capable of the same bad judgment as any other 15 year-old girl.  Not only that, but Mahiro comes right out and says it in this episode – he calls out his sister for being wrong in what she decided to do, and steadfastly refuses to follow her example of following someone else’s script.

Apart from that, there’s also the fact that Aika’s acceptance of her death wasn’t an act – wrong or not, her attitude was quite sincere.  I found the final video message via the SD card to be close to perfect, from her fidgeting with the camera right down to her teasing promise to strip (so in-character that I found myself expecting it).  It was in effect her statement of purpose, unapologetic and somehow both sentimental and detached at the same time.  It was also a very honest and open declaration of love for both Yoshino and Mahiro (more so Yoshino, in truth) that once again impresses with its directness.  I loved the way they both reacted almost as much as the video itself, and in fact the entire scene is every bit as necessary in completing their story as it is Aika’s.  They’ve both been wrapped around her finger for the entire series despite the fact that she’s been dead – pretty much the whole world has – and this was her admonition to the two of them to move on.  For a character who was dead before the first episode started, Aika was a huge presence that was felt at practically every moment.

To the matter of which of The Bard’s masterpieces Zetsuen no Tempest ended up being, it was exactly as the episode title suggested it might be – neither.  It was a tragedy and a comedy both, and the above scene demonstrates that perfectly.  Life is, in fact, not a play at all but something to be lived, and it’s somewhat surprising that it’s Mahiro who winds up grasping the big picture most clearly in the end.  This is really what the battle against the Tree of Genesis was all about in microcosm, the fundamental need of humans to chart their own destiny rather than follow the proscriptive path of a deity, or an alien intelligence, or a dead playwright (or girl).  In the final analysis the entire Hamlet vs. The Tempest thread was almost as much a red herring as Yu-chan was, though it was indispensable as a framing device for the story.  That metaphor was Aika’s, and as long as she was the one calling the tune, it dominated the narrative.  But she took it with her to the next life in the end, and it died along with her, and with magic.

In trying to summarize just what made Zetsuen no Tempest such a special series, I hardly know where to begin.  This was not a show that made a big impression on me right off the bat, to the point where I wasn’t even sure I was going to continue blogging it.  I liked the atmosphere but found the plot indecipherable and the characters dull, and I wasn’t sure if there was really enough there to carry a series for two cours.  But Zetsuen has a funny way of slowly sucking you into its marvellous absurdity – it happens within the episodes themselves (I almost always found myself slow to get into them, but completely enraptured after the break) and it happens over the course of the series.  This is not a show that stands up well to being broken down into its component parts – it needs to be appreciated as a whole, almost like a painting rather than a narrative drama. Andou Masahiro is a theatrical director with a great sense of scale and scope, and the perfect choice to work with this material.  Zetsuen is Shakespeare, and Beethoven, and Samon pounding his staff on a rock and shouting “Shounen!”.  It’s Hakaze with a rocket-launcher and a loincloth facing Aika in a middle-school uniform with a giant sword, and it’s Evangeline calling herself “Fraulein” despite having an Italian first name and Japanese last name, and Junichirou loading up a trunk full of porn to go save the world, and Natsumura looking miserable in an aloha shirt and sunglasses.

Most of all, I think, Zetsuen is Yoshino and Mahiro, and Aika pulling them along in her wake from beyond the grave.  I think the friendship between these two young men is one of the more interesting and unique in modern anime.  They could hardly be more different in most ways, yet they share a keen intelligence and a love for the same girl.  Their entire relationship spent the series skating on a wafer-thin sheet of ice built on lies, yet there was somehow a profound trust between them – even in the face of seeming betrayals and double-crosses – that was genuinely touching.  I think it’s very possible that the finest moments in a series full of them sprung from the huge gap in perspective between the boys and Samon (who ended up being one of the most entertaining and hilarious characters of the year) as he found himself completely baffled by their illogical behavior.  That’s to take nothing away from the truly magical way the series combined the mundane and the fantastic over the second cour (again, Samon was the source of so many of these great moments) and Hakaze’s hilariously frantic self-analysis over her obsession with Yoshino.

Irrespective of Blu-ray sales (the manga sales did at least get a large boost from the anime) I view Zetsuen no Tempest as an uncommonly fortunate gathering of forces.  BONES was the perfect studio to handle this operatic, sweeping story – a story big enough to take on Okada’s invasive writing style.  And Andou-sensei was the perfect diretor to conextualize her contributions and make sure they didn’t overwhelm the essence of the material.  It takes a big anime to successfully incorporate Shakespeare and Beethoven, and Zetsuen no Tempest was more than up to the challenge. There was a time when bold, unapologetically grandiose re-imaginings of classics were a staple of the anime catalogue but in this day and age Zetsuen plays something like a gloriously welcome throwback to another age.  With its sweep, vision and gloriously 2-D animation, this is a series that reflects the best of the parties that created it and reminds us of all that’s possible in anime.

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  1. h

    What a fantastic ride this show has been but all good things must come to an end.

    We shouldn't be too sad though, as Aika puts it "The end is the beginning, and the beginning is the end" With the promising Spring season coming up, 2013 is picking steam up with the new shows looming ahead

  2. A

    New shows don't fill my need for ended animes.

  3. T

    A classic for it's time.

  4. b

    A really under-appreciated anime, as you noted, because many people get the wrong impression about how the plot is going to develop during the first episodes and decide to drop it. Thank God you didn't because I love reading your reviews, they were part of the anime experience for me. After being fed up with Okada's hand at Aquarion Evol I was skeptical with how she was going to handle this but the result exceeded my expectations.

    The final episode in essence has been similar to the manga but a lot of details have been left out:
    – According to a conversation between Hanemura and Yu-chan, the final chapter of the manga is set 9 months after the disappearance of the Tree.
    – Samon becomes Mahiro and Yoshino's guardian.
    – Samon and Evangeline are in a relationship according to Tetsuma, Junichirou and Natsumura.
    – Hakaze gets a driving license.
    – We see some scenes of Hanemura and Yu-chan interaction.
    – Aika's video is a bit more extense in the manga, she shows her powers, plays with a plush… Because her outfit is different in the manga she shows her navel when making the joke about getting naked.
    – Mahiro and Yoshino pass their college entrance exams.
    – Hakaze is at the grave scene and the punch Mahiro gave to Yoshino happened right after the ToG disappeared

    – Hakaze wants to know the status of her relationship with Yoshino but his feelings are left unclear. He tells her that he is not worth her love, that there should be many men better than him, or perhaps her love will not last because it was a consequence of her stress regarding everything she experienced
    – Hakaze confirms he is the only man who can handle her and will still love him.

    We don't know what Yoshino will do. In my opinion I think that Yoshino still needs time to get over Aika since during the series we were shown how much he loved her. I'm positive that in the future he might get interested in Hakaze but that's left for interpretation.

    – Mahiro introduces his girlfriend called Mimori (the girl he briefly mentioned in the anime) to Yoshino and Hakaze. She is a funny character.
    Mahiro half-jokes saying that he didn't want to introduce her to Yoshino because he might steal her from him. Mimori looks at Yoshino and says he isn't her type. Mahiro responds that Aika said the same thing.

    – The manga ends with Mahiro, Mimori, Hanemura, Yu-chan, Yoshino and Hakaze walking together.

    I'm really curious about the spin-off which starts next month. Will it be set before or after Zetsuen? Will characters from Zetsuen appear as secondary characters or cameo?

  5. S

    Thanks for this. an interesting read.

    And also thanks to Enzo for the constant blogging. After the first episode I was only mildly interested and forgot about it. It would have remained forgotten unless Enzo kept teasing and reminding me with his brilliant 1-sentences previews each week. I finally succumbed in february and marathoned 18 episodes. Totally worth it.

  6. R

    ZnT is really a great show — a very enjoyable ride. I picked this up — aside from the talented team — was because of the BGM when I watched the preview. I am a sucker of orchestral scores or classical music. However, along the way, I became overly tuned-in and found that the BGM was slightly overpowering at certain points — I had to shut my ears off a bit and focus on reading the subtitles. I am not saying that the BGM is bad but very much to the contrary — it's really me, and, therefore, I prefer SSY's punctuating BGM better.

    The other thing that hinders the show a tad bit is HanaKana. I know that she's a very talented seiyu with a very pleasing voice — and a lot of people really like her — but, with such a strong and unique female protagonist like Aika, I find her acting lacking to fully give Aika life and character — like what Riki-san could for Samon and for Wang Qi in Kingdom, or what NamiDai could for Squealer in SSY. I felt the same with her for Akane in PP.

    Aside from that, I like ZnT a lot, and there were a number of golden moments for me. The sequence of Mashiro, Yoshino and Samon negotiating and throwing out different logics was brilliant — kudos to Samon (and Riki-san), but I was also impressed by the wit and relentless in Mashiro and the intelligence and kindness in Yoshino. I also loved the scene when Yoshino disclosed his girlfriend to Mashiro — it's quite touching to me to feel the bond of these two. The dialogue between Mashiro and Yoshino in front of Aika's grave in this episode was quite interesting in a way that it circled back to who these two were as a person.

    Talking about Yoshino and Mashiro, I can't say whom I like better. Most of the time it's Yoshino — I had empathy for him — but at times I was impressed by Mashiro. What he said about owning the scripts for our lives was pretty encouraging and very Mashiro. All in all, I have grown to like these two a lot more than when the show started, and for that — and other great elements of the show — I kept on following till the end and am glad that I did. Thanks, Enzo, for blogging this show for the past months…especially when it's during the time when you were relocating to Tokyo.

  7. J

    Ronbb, I find that I always enjoy your comments because they always communicate your point with such honest enthusiasm. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

    I do, however, disagree with your HanaKana point. I think that Aika was supposed to be a character who transcended expectations. For me, she seemed to be a character that would appear frail but actually be overwhelmingly willful and calculating. HanaKana, the ultimate damsel-in-distress seiyuu, allowed that perception to deepen. Having Aika be a walking contradiction to all logic in the world and having her reflect that by having her voice actress be someone you wouldn't expect such a strong female character to have helped engross me in her character that much more. Compared to many other series, I actually found this to be one of HanaKana's better works. It is a possibility that another seiyuu could have done it better, but I still found it to be a strong performance on her part.

  8. I tend to feel KanaHana is an actress with a pretty limited sweet spot. She's very good when she gets a role in her zone, but she's overexposed and takes way too many roles that aren't. She's also an actor that basically plays herself in every role, while I tend to prefer actors like Tomatsu Haruka that completely mold their performance to the role.

    As for her Aika, I think it's pretty good by her standard, just as Hanemura is pretty good by Kaji Yuuki's standard. I don't think she adds anything to the role that isn't inherent in the way it's written (the way, for example, Rikiya does with Samon) but she's not a drag, either. It's fine, nothing special.

  9. R

    Thanks Jimhawk for the compliment…*blush*. Happy to hear your view and love the agree-to-disagree attitude shared here. Actually, after hitting the publish button for the comment, I was thinking if I was too hard on the seiyu, especially when I was comparing her with Riki-san and NamiDai… Pondering on that a bit, I still went back to how I felt. It's just a personal perception I guess, and I am not saying that she was bad at all — perhaps I had an expectation that was different from her performance.

    Thanks Enzo for sharing your view…and agreed. I like HanaKana's (please correct me here…is it KanaHana or HanaKana?) take on Mayuri in S;G and Tsukimi in Kuragehime than Aika and Akane. Kaji Yuuki isn't one of my favourite voice actors, but I am fine with his performance in SSY. Gosh…still love your post on seiyu…that was a while back.

  10. s

    the end with hakaze running to yoshino is anime added i dont know about the sword though since i only read the last chapter rawsss

    in the manga yoshino x hakaze is more ambigous and yoshino is hesitant about his feelings towards herr..he tells her there are better men for her and she replies that he is the only one that can handle her.

  11. B

    I just marathoned the whole thing today. It's good, just scrambling some of my thoughts here…

    The first part is okay, but nothing really happened in the present (flashbacks XD). While it built up Aika really well, the present plot felt it got dragged on.

    The showdown at Mt Fuji, lol, I have mixed feelings. There are really good exchanges, but it felt dragged on, again.

    The 3rd part I digged, since its mostly about Hakase. Well, and Aika too.

    From the flashbacks, I really was not surprised about Aika's decision. She felt like a character that was okay of things are shown to her, and her hiding her relationship from her brother felt she has intricate way of keeping that status quo between them three (I chuckled when she was angered hearing Yoshino cry at her lost; something she sees out-of-character for Yoshino do and blamed Hakase for it). Her killing herself was understandable in frame with the character she was built up to that time. I also foresaw since Mt. Fuji arc that she was the mage of exodus. While not manipulative in a way, she did made an impression on the boys that dragged them into the whole mess. While interesting, I don't like her though. Her rigid outlook in reality really sickened me. Mashiro did a good job telling where I felt she got it wrong. Life is not like those in the Shakesperean play. Interestingly, she does not like any other books outside of Shakespeare(?); I guess we just don't see things the same.

    In contrast, while she's not something complicated, Hakase felt natural to me. I like her impulsiveness. I also scratched my head about the last scene, but just glossed it over as part of happy ending for her.

  12. H

    An excellent show with and excellent ending that does what any well made ending is meant to do .. emphasize the themes of the series and play on its strengths, tie all or at least most loose threads, give closure to the characters, bring things full circles .. and Zetsuen like From the New World and Psycho Pass succeeded in achieving all of those point to a great degree of success.

    Also like From the New World it warped up the final battle at the start of the episodes and dedicated the rest of the time to the aftermath (instead of leaving only a 1 min for the aftermath and epilogue .. i'm looking at you Robotics;Note), here is how i thing this ending fits perfectly with this amazing show.

    -Emphasize the themes of the series and play on its strengths –> which it did in spades, Mahiro's talking about writing his own role and that he won't be an actor in a pre-set play/story contrasted by Aika's final message and how she believes the exact opposite really hammers in the theme of the show about fate, how life is like a play where everyone is an actor with a specific role to fill .. it also played on the strongest aspect of the show which is the dialog .. after all this is a series that had four people talking for 4 full episodes (Mahiro, Yoshino, Hakaze .. of course emergent comedian Samon) and still manged to be tense and super exciting, the rabid back and forth between Mahiro and Yoshino is always a joy to watch because of how much they contrast yet complete each other as best friends .. Aika's final message and her final words were just beautiful and heart-wrecking at the same time.

    -Tie all or at least most loose threads –> Apart from the fact that we truly didn't know what are those trees for real (aliens or deities) everything was pretty much explained and covered .. no major plot-holes or massive inconsistency that soils the enjoyment of the show or the ending.

    -Give closure to the characters –> Done in spades, Mahiro will end having the power he thought to change/save/rebuild the world and he found a love interest (the last one is a little underdeveloped plot point but at least it shows he grew over his fascination with Aika), Yoshino finally accepted Hakaze's feelings and is more open about his feelings way more than before .. he will probably live a normal, logical and happy life with Hakaze who might have lost her magical powers and status as mage/princess of the Ksurabi clan she got the heart of the man she seeked out and the normal life Aika wished she could have had, almost everyone (even Hanemura) got what they were looking for .. even Aika despite how tragic her fate was got what she thought she could never have (the normal life she lived with Mahiro and Yoshino).

    -Bring things full circles –> done very well, choosing the final location of the last dialog between Mahiro and Yoshino infront of Aika's family grave was spot on (with a sunset for dramatic effect), the flash backs that played brought back sweet memories of the early episodes of the show making you feel how far the story and the character came since the start of the events of the story (five months ago for us .. five enjoyable months ^_^)

    Goodbye Mahiro, Yoshino, Hakaze, Samon, Aika, Hanemura and Frau Yamamoto .. goodbye Zetsuen no Tempest.

  13. a

    I'm glad you brought to light those faults. I wasn't so bothered with the Sword appearing before Hanemura because it felt like Aika knew that it would happen. There was a montage of her before the Sword suddenly disappeared. Maybe, I'm just reading too much into it but we're free to interpret it. The Tree of Exodus definitely has a script for Hanemura and won't let him down with the timing.

    Anyway, I was most bothered with the final sequence. I wish Hakaze ran up to where Yoshino is. He could still be staring from where he was and smile. That would still make it feel like an open ending for the both of them. Speaking of Yoshino, I'm curious as to why he didn't mention what he'll do next. Mashiro captures the message so perfectly. I kind of hoped Yoshino would say he'll support Mashiro like he did before.

    Oh well, those quibbles can be overlooked. I enjoyed the series overall. It's true the reason why this is so good can't be explained. It has this certain hook that you get over the episodes. I'll miss those ED songs. It's been awhile since I played ED songs on repeat.

  14. G

    For the sword, yes, Aika did mention the tress of exodus would turn into a sword when the time calls for it, so the method wasn't the problem, but the timing is a little too convenient. As for the final scene, I actually like what Bones did here. Having Yoshino outright rejecting Hakaze is a little too decisive in my opinion, considering he had multiple opportunities to reject her before but he didn't. I'm not suggesting he has romantic feelings for her, he's probably just the kind of guy who can't really bring himself to reject a girl who has so much devotion for him, but it was in-character, as far as Bones style goes, to end things where they are.

    Great post as usual, and amazing series that's well worth the time. And I can't believe no one commented on the FLYING PINEAPPLES, seriously, I can't see anyone watching that with a straight face. I had to pause the screen to wipe the stupid grin on my face lol.

  15. S

    A good, if predictable, ending. I liked that they took their time to show the fate of all the characters. I facepalmed a bit when Yoshino's injury was revealed to be "just a flesh wound". Oh, Okada… you really love your cliffhangers, don't you?

    I am ok with the Sword of Zetsuen appearing to Hanemura at the last moment. After all, it's logical that the Tree will use all of its power to help its Mage in a moment of crisis. OTOH, I agree with Enzo that the last sequence with Yoshino running towards Hakaze was OOC, especially since he was coming from Aika's grave.

    My only gripe for the finale is that Aika got the short end of the stick. Everybody got their happy endings except her. This is one of the few times where I wouldn't have minded a deus-ex-machina resurrection. She was too awesome to die. ;_;

    The series as a whole was solid, only slightly behind SSY and P-P this season. It dragged a bit in the middle, especially the standoff between Yoshino, Mahiro and Samon. But the second half was always exciting.

  16. A

    Thank you for the amazing ride and journey on this series, it grew on me and it left with a big and lasting impression, definitely memorable for years to come.

  17. e

    Bravi! Bravissimi :D! As a final episode it might have not been perfect but it came pretty close. I still liked the battle climax (or anticlimax) – I suspect the deadly flying pineapples [I had a Macross moment] the music and all.that.butterfly.imagery.YAY had a part in it – , what bothered me was the timing of the Yoshino&Hakaze-in-the-sunset-gonna-embrace.
    I'm as Team Hakaze as I ever been and unlike maybe someone here I was expecting for a certain ship to sail since the princess managed to uncork Yoshino's emotions at the ryokan – at least in this anime version as I've gathered things are left more open on the Yoshino—>Hakaze front in the manga – , just not that soon. I mean , it feels like after two years of mourning Yoshino went through the rest of his 5 stages of grief in a matter of minutes if not seconds, just in time to spot Hakaze and going byebye Aika's grave my redhead here I come under Mahiro's benevolent gaze. Errrr…
    Well, the sunset sequence itself was cute 8D.
    Among the elements this week I unabashedly liked instead:
    1) Mahiro got some of the best lines of the whole series this episode, and they are both a good conclusion and answer to Aika's philosophy and a good seal to his character's growth. Well done and well put, shonen. To think I wasn't too fond of you at the beginning… *grins*
    2)Yu-chan lives! She was indeed a giant red herring. Well played mangaka-san, well played.
    3)The return of the twin grannies X,DDD. I'm ridiculosuly fond of them. Team Grannies!
    4)Bromance. It's such a glorious thing when well executed.
    5)Aika's teasing. True to herself to the last. And the reactions of the boys while watching the video.
    6) Samon's ponytail. It just does things to me, as my inner Mama Squirrel would say. And I think it does think to Fraulein Yamamoto too, even if there's a chance she likes a certain brunette ponytailed Kusaribe too XD.
    7) Dulcis in fundo, the blogger's post. Migoto, otoko.

    P.S.: Evangeline is not an Italian first name. If anything that would be EvangelinA, but even then that would be the first time ever I stumbled on such a name in my language. Did the mangaka or Bones stated that's supposedly Italian anywhere? πŸ˜€

  18. l

    According to 2 baby names web sites I checked, Evangeline is an English name first used by Henry Wordsworth in his poem entitled "Evangeline". He derived the name from two Greek words that mean "good news" & "messenger". So the name's meaning is given as "messenger of good news".

    Sources: http://www.babynames.com/name/EVANGELINE & http://www.behindthename.com/name/evangeline

  19. l

    Ack! It would help if I spelled the poet's name right. It's Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Not that nonsense name I wrote above. Sorry!

  20. e

    @Ikk: yep, that was my hunch too.
    In Latin-derived languages the Greek root meaning is pretty transparent thanks to Bible and Church usage. (E)vangelo is still the label for each of the 4 gospels in the N.T. in Italy for instance :), and Angelo/Angela(the latter for females) is stil quite a common first name in Italy on top of being the Italian form for 'angel' . Then there's the form Angelino/Angelina but it's much less popular, although at present we have a prominent politician here named just Angelino – .
    The meaning of Evangeline was not an issue, the spelling+nationality match was :). I had spotted Evangeline pegged as French in the fandom for instance… my own bet would have been on Yamamoto's first name being a French or English form derived from the Greek roots you linked above. I liked the French option because it went well with the mole she has :p… a very XVIII century French mademoiselle (aka 'fraulein') must look-wise XD.

  21. Well, it sure as salt ain't German.

  22. e

    I'm vouching for mixed and borderline pan-European heritage :p. Yamamoto's family tree* might be a worthy mystery to unravel in and of itself.

    *final Tree-boss! XD

  23. H

    I didn't mind the ending as much, I wouldn't even have minded them being more demonstrative, but I can see where you all are coming from based on Yoshino's reticence.

    The problem I had more with Hakaze was when she turned into a whiny pouty ojou-sama leaving the Kusaribe compound. Sure, she doesn't have magic anymore, but that was such a huge personality shift that felt wrong. Sure, the grannies were making fun of her, but she seemed like such a composed character most of the time before that that particular breakdown felt silly.

  24. Well, that made me laugh a little, because I would describe Hakaze's behavior as anything but composed whenever Yoshino is involved.

  25. e

    @Highway: she can act pretty composed and dignified, but on virtue of my past but not yet forgotten maidenly blunders I'm now going to channel Hakaze's ways :p and as such I may remind you most of her spazzy moments during the whole series have been Yoshino-related whenever the lad was brought up either by herself in her own thoughts or by others :p. On top of that those grannies have a knack for voicing aloud her 'secrets' X,D . And for all her (past) power and responsibility shouldering both by attitude and upbringing she is also still very young, very sheltered and oh-so-inexperienced and vulnerable at this love thing. Also super straightforward and very very true. And hot :p.
    'I didn't mind the ending as much, I wouldn't even have minded them being more demonstrative' The shipper in me could go ' Hell yeah 8D'.
    Yoshino's reticence – and even that cracked oh-so-spectacularly when prodpoked by a certain girl :p, same girl he had that pseudo-telepath moment with in the heat of battle this very episode. No 'Oh Hanemura' caring thoughts from Yoshino – smelled to me like testing the seriousness of her affections before allowing himself to act rather than tactful friendzoning.
    For all their differences, Aika and Hakaze – all the main four really – proved along the course of the story to be very steadfast in romance and friendship. For this same reason I still thought the transition from grave scene to reunion a tad too quick – romance switch time! we're gonna finish the episode&wrap the series guys let's hurry things a bit more along the romance road than they would have normally gone yesssss? – .
    Personally the same sunset scene would have worked perfectly for me just with a timeskip, anything beyond literally a handful of seconds transition XD. Once the script decided to go with it might as well have gone all the way and big damn kiss with soaring string orchestra ftw. The more restrained mood they choose still has its charms per se though, and given there's no timeskip it worked better than a more explicit alternative imho :).

  26. H

    I wouldn't have minded the flustered, embarrassed Hakaze that we've seen before nearly as much. But as far as I remember, we'd never seen a pouty whiny Hakaze before, and it was that seemingly-spoiled attitude that seemed incongruous.

  27. Congratulations, by the way!

    (Though I still think you're wrong about Hakaze here…)

  28. e

    *blinks* Congrats? Congrats!

    Pouty whiny Hakaze instances: speaking about Yoshino with Junichiro (amusement park and/or hotel scenes) and last week cracking the nut under her sole and mightily puffing her cheeks as they were discussing Mahiro's plan… Looked annoyed irritated agitated sulky pouty whiny (you can whine with your mimic even without vocalizing it :p) enough to me. Her childish/immature/bratty/inexperienced side has range and fits with the whole sheltered princess thing anyway :p . But I'm ending it here really. I do like this girl both for her flaws and for her better qualities anyway. *waves Team Hakaze banner*

  29. H

    Thanks very much!

    And I could be just ignoring other instances of this sort of behavior because I'm on Team Hakaze also.

  30. M

    I really don't know what BONES tried to accomplish here with this incompetent mess of a script. I mean they've achieved the same grandiose impression with better material before, right? FMA perchance?


  31. B

    Since I've commented on so many episodes of this I feel compelled to do so now as well, but I find I have very little to say. This was basically exactly the perfect ending I was hoping for. I have little to add, you already gave it all the praise I would have. This will end up being a classic for sure, long after most other shows of this era are forgotten. I've been watching anime for a little over 10 years now and I barely remember most of the shows I watched back then, only the cream of the crop stuck in my memory. In another 10, this will be one that sticks in my memory.

    As for the Yoshino/Hakaze thing, it was perhaps a tad overdone, but my reading of their relationship for much of the second cour has been that Yoshino does like Hakaze but was being held back by the unfinished business with Aika. With that over with and her final message essentially boiling down to "move on with your lives" he can move past it now. Maybe not quite so quickly as the anime shows but I'm willing to suspend disbelief at least a little.

    Lastly, this has been bothering me for most of this series but I haven't posted it until now, and this is my last chance so here we go. How come so many commentators on this show always type Mashiro instead of Mahiro? Mashiro is the heavily autistic blonde girl from Sakurasou, there's no s in Mahiro's name!

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