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If there is anything I've noticed with this episode, it's how slow Zetsuen no Tempest's pace is.
As one of the few anime this season with the potential to span over the 2-cour standar, its no surprise that Zetsuen no Tempest is taking its sweet time. There is close to zero plot progression, character introductions or character development currently and now we get an episode dedicated to action with no Shakespeare included. Yay or nay
If you watch Zetsuen no Tempest for the action, then of course you'll be happy with it. The fight scenes are smootly animated and don't overwhelmingly dominate the episode but in the end are the primary focus of it. If you're watching tempest for the mystery plot and the Shakespearian developments, then this episode would put you to sleep or at the very least have you yawning continuously. I fall somewhere in between.
The action sequences were nice to watch and after two episodes of pure Shakespeare in terms of plot and character backgrounds, was a nice change. That said, the lack of progression did make it feel a little boring as the episode went on and during the last 5 minutes I couldn't help but yawn whilst dosing off in my pretty average bed.
While this isn't a straight mystery series, a part of me was disappointed to see all filler no thriller in this episode. The plot is one Zetsuen no Tempest's selling points in my opinion and as convoluted as it may be at times, there is something interesting about it. Even without the mystery, there was no spark of interest for me when Hakaze went on to describe the rules of magic which happened to sound a lot like Equivalent Exchange from Fullmetal Alchemist. Coincidence or not - maybe a shared editor since they both run/an in the same magazine - the information coming in continuous bite-sized bits as Yoshino was moving felt a little boring.
As I wondered why I was of two minds with this episode, I remembered what I had read of the manga. With only a handful of chapters available in English (less than 20), a problem I encountered was pacing; the same problem with the anime right now. It's clear that as of now there is no set number of episodes for the series, but logic dictates that if it goes as slowly as it has, it's going to be 2-cour at least. When we also consider how BONES' shonen manga adaptations have lasted 50+ episodes, it becomes even more possible.
Regardless of length, that is still no excuse for the pace of this episode. At times it was just excruciating and the lack of progress in the plot or anything else for that matter made it that much more painful to watch at times. There's slow and then there is SLOW.....