I admit it, I watched this because ufotable never disappoints me when it comes to animation. I wanted to have some eye candy, and I had. The problem with Tales of Zestiria is that nothing is memorable, the animation is pretty decent...but, what about the story, the characters. Where's the spirit?
The story is about a boy who lives in a magical world and he becomes the "chosen one" to defeat evil because...yeah, that's something totally original. The story is so bad I don't even feel sympathetic with the creatures that live in this world. The world is your typical
fantasy world: dragons, people sometimes use magic, almost everything in this world are woods and there are evil beings. Nice. I haven't played Tales of Zestiria, but Tales of the Abyss had a more interesting story. I give it a 3/10 just because Tales of Berseria has a more promising story and it seems more like something I would love. I hope we get more of Tales of Berseria on second season instead of Zestiria.
Yeah, it's beautiful. It's colorful and great. But with the awful character writing and awful situations, I would rather watch Fate/Zero again. Thanks ufotable though!
Sound is very good, but not really special. It feels like an epic moment is going on when nothing special is happening. I don't like the opening, the ending is meh. I feel like ufotable is trying too hard with the sountrack.
God, this is why I hate this show. At least Re:Zero had some character development. These characters are terrible. Not even they fail to feel emotions, they fail to accomplish their stereotypes. Genki boy Sorey is so boring, he is a good guy and wants to save everyone from evil...nice. Mikleo is protagonist's best friend and he's always telling the protagonist how great is to explore ruins; he's also there to inform the protagonist the situation. Pincess Alisha is a woman that I don't like just because she has no personality at all, she is just a princess. Then we have Lailah, who is there to inform the protagonist: "that's an hellion, purify him". I forgot how the loli character was called, but she's terrible too. And then we have 3 more characters that get almost no development at all.
This show is boring. Yeah, you get some nice animation, but that's all. The only reason i will watch season 2 is because I would like to see some more Tales of Berseria, but if you want some eyecandy, go watch Fate/Zero.
Tales of Zestiria the X is a skippable anime. I wouldn't recomment it to anyone, and I mean, I would rather watch something that doesn't bore me than this "good vs evil in a fantasy world" show.
After watching just the first few minutes of this show, I can safely say that Ufotable has once again proven that they are worthy of handling CG. Beyond the visuals, Tales of Zestiria the X is more than just another Unlimited visual porn.
The series is based on the video game of the franchise although it has its own set of principles. Early impressions of the show establishes a set-up as we meet the main protagonists – Alisha, Sorey, and Mikelo. From the setting, there are many conflicts, mostly those that revolve around the supernatural and unnatural phenomenons. In addition, the story indulges with its
fantasy setting and deep history. Of course, there’s world building that has its importance. The show seems to hit the right spots from the beginning and able to stretch its story all the way through. Even early exposition doesn’t bring the series down as we learn just why the world of Zestiria is so interesting.
Although the characters are somewhat generic, they do each have their own unique traits. For instance, Sorey is brave that puts others’ well-being above his own. He isn’t afraid to take risks either and we often see him go beyond lengths to get the job done. In nature, he is a classic adventurer, the type that is curious about the wonders of the world. His easygoing personality makes him easy to find new friends and thus, we see that he earns a lot of allies. Meanwhile, there’s Alisha. She’s a princess and knight who loves her kingdom and people. However, she does have some personal demons and is afraid of being unable to carry her responsibilities at times. Similarly to Sorey, she is courageous and isn’t afraid to take risks either whether it’s to put her own life at risk or getting involved in situations that puts her in disadvantageous positions. Finally, we got Mikelo, Sorey’s best friend and sometimes rival. Unlike Sorey, he is very calm and often quite analytical for just about anything. This actually sets up for a duo that can compliments on each others’ strengths and weaknesses. They are not just the only characters though as we meet others in the series that joins on their quest such as Liliah, Edna, and Rose. Their role in the series varies although all offer something to bring to remember by. Sorey’s relationship with them is also important to note as he develops trust with Alisha while his friendship with Mikelo, Lilah, and Edna show us more of his true character.
One other important thing to note is that the show promotes another game from the Tales universe, Tales of Berseria. As such, expect to see main female protagonist Velvet from that game to make her presence. It share the same world as Zestiria and takes place in the Holy Midgand Empire. What’s interesting about Velvet is that she is very different from the main characters form Zestiria. This is because of her role as an avenger after the tragic past she suffered at the hands of a man named Artorius. While the series doesn’t conclude her main story, it does well establish Velvet’s characteristics as a cold woman, a contrast to Sorey or Alisha. And even though the purpose of those episodes are just to promote the game, it really makes us wonder more about her story. I have not played the game before but Velvet definitely brings something unique to the show overall. Her stance as a vengeful warrior seeking revenge may be generic on paper but also shows just how tragedy can change a person in their world.
Speaking of world, Tales of Zestiria offers plenty of time for building more into its fantasy themes. From malevolence to devious Hellions, it has the feel of a high fantasy adventure. The kingdoms and towns themselves also have history as well so viewers won’t be left stranded about being confused. There’s also terms that are important to understand such as Shepherd and Seraphim. These are important as Sorey’s role as a Shepherd can make great changes in their world. One other thing I want to point out is that the show isn’t afraid to take risks as it sometimes bounces between calm and fast paced episodes. The pacing in general is crafted well although some plot elements are rather predictable in particular with the revelation of Rose’s identity or some conclusions to the various battles.
Animated by Ufotable, a powerhouse studio well known for their high quality. This show does not disappoint at all when it comes to visuals. In fact, if there’s anything to talk about, it would the high level production. It’s basically 3D done right whether it’s the character designs, the monsters (Hellions), or intense battle segments. In addition, the choreography of the character movements complements well in almost every scene with little still shot scenes. Camera angles are timed properly and there’s minimal fan service. Well, you do get service in the full action packed in-your-face kind of way.
Even the soundtrack of the series is admirable. The OP and ED theme songs are dosed with instrumental beats that will get the adrenaline pumping. There’s character voice mannerism that works quite well to fit their personalities. I have to admit that even the OST has impact on the show to add emotional value.
Tales of Zestiria the X is the kind of series that can entertain far more than just what it seems to be. It puts on a memorable world with its cast of characters on their adventures. While the story itself may or may not suit everyone’s tastes, it’s still quite special for a fantasy series. The show also offers a sneak peek to the world of Berseria so fans can get a taste of the game. With that being said, the series almost feels like a movie each episode. As a way to chronicle their adventures further, even a second season was announced before the finale. It’s a good time to be a Tales fan.
Tales of Zestiria the X was an anime that I, well not only me but most had been waiting for a very long time. Knowing that it was an anime from the studio Ufotable, that is known to have flawless and picturesque CG, I was very exited and thrilled about how they were going to execute the series. I haven't played the game of it, nor seen the play-through of it. Therefore it was an entirely new series for me.
The art/animation was perfect, the battle animation, the landscapes, very realistic to almost mesmerizing detail... that I had to hand down to them, it was
truly majestic to look at and the story line was simple and quite interesting.
However, when its first 3 to 4 episodes got aired, honestly I was very let down by it. The story itself at the beginning was a very slow paced one which was a little bother as i had to wait one whole week for an episode, on top of it they switched the plot in the middle of the story, to Tales of Berseria at which made me really confused and took my interest out of the it at times.
Nevertheless, Tales of Berseria was rather much enjoyable than i thought it would be, although short.
More over anything, the main aspect to what really put me off were the characters, I knowingly found the characters in Tales of Zestiria a little too what you call shallow or geeky in comparison to its counterpart to Berseria. where the flow of the characters interactions from Zestiria seemed almost forced, I was pretty annoyed by it.
Despite everything, as the story continued past they kept on introducing new characters one after another at a great pace and that seemingly slow start started to cover up. With little to no detail to how it was all going to mix up. Slowly but surely the story finally started to dig in to as it went on, somehow I surprisingly got costumed to the shallowness of the characters, well only a little... and as the story came to its last 2 to 3 episodes my opinion about it changed and found it pretty good in-spite of its slow start. The story finally started coming to place as it came to its end.
Overall knowing this season was/is maybe an introduction to its sequels, i must say it was a pretty worth the time as long as they don't mess up the sequels.
Now hoping to get the story plot to set to its main stage in the next season. What i am most excited to know is to find out what role the Tales of Berseria plays in the future.
Have you ever had a hotdog? Its a quick and easy to prepare meal that can be enjoyed by anyone. Most people that eat a hot dog need something filling that does not take a lot of time out of their day, as they have other things to do than savor food.
Well imagine if everyday as a natural routine, you bought a hot dog from a vendor. Then one day, when you bought that hot dog, you met a world class chef who offered to make a world class meal for the price of a hot dog. However, out of habit you instinctively say
"hot dog". So the chef prepares you a world class hot dog. When you eat it, it tastes much better than any of the other hot dogs you've ever had, but its still tastes like fast food. You've had better tasting meals from lower quality chefs, and you wonder if you wasted an opportunity. Well, in this case, Ufotable is the world class chef, Tales of Zestiria the game is the hot dog, and its anime counterpart is that wasted opportunity
It's funny, out of all the video game franchises, the Tales series seems like it is the easiest to adapt into an anime. It has character dynamics, dramatic scenes, scenes of intense suspense, and large plot lines that come together at the right moment. Except, none of these are Tales of Zestiria's strong points. The developers were much more concerned with creating unique bonus bosses and developing a customization system using items, to really care about the plot.
The plot itself can be summed up like this "A member of the royal family searches for a hero that can save the land which is being swallowed by the darkness of an evil overlord. The hero leaves his isolated village and draws a magic sword to gain the powers to defeat the darkness. He visits a number of elemental temples, becomes stronger and with this power he defeats the evil overlord and saves the world". That's pretty much it. The plot line is so generic they might as well have renamed the game "Tales of Zelda". There is exactly one plot twist, and it serves to pad out the game by another twenty hours before being resolved due to the final party member having just the right Macguffin to resolve the plot. How convenient!
Because its an adaptation, Tales of Zestiria the X, is stuck with with this stupid plot, though it deserves a 6 for at least trying. It cuts out some of the dumber elements of the game, like the scene where Sorey and Mikleo casually stand and watch as a hellion eats Mason, or when the townsmen panic when their beloved Shepherd uses his powers to help them, or when the group so brilliantly leaves the plotters of a coup attempt in power before sending the princess back to them. It's a credit to the writers that they made this bad plot watchable, if not unique or enthralling.
If you are watching the anime for any reason, its this. The anime uses its material's liberal use of magic to create some absolutely breathtaking displays of art. Monsters, such as dragons are beyond comparison to their looks in other studios. The fight scenes are incredibly dynamic, from the fluid movements to the dynamic camera angles, when action actually happens all complaints about the plot disappear until after it is over.
Tales of Zestiria the X contains a number of different soundtracks, many of which are remixes of tracks in the game. However, they all seem to fit the mood well. The music encapsulates all manner of emotion but the best tracks of all are the bombastic ones that occur when the group is in danger. They really make action scenes feel intense. My only complaint is their aren't enough lighthearted tracks, as the pause in music when things are calm seem kind of awkward.
Its hard to completely judge this, since character is really dependent on a full viewing of the plot in order to gauge it properly but judging by what I've seen, its not impressive. Much of character development has a very shonen feel. If I had a dollar for every time a character said "I want to get stronger" I would buy Ufotable and make them animate better material. Two of the characters are very naive and there doesn't seem to be a story line that focuses on these characteristics. What's worse is that Ufotable removed the one redeeming quality about the characters in the game. In the game, the characters are at least funny. Here, they replaced it with angst, which seems like better fuel for character development but they don't do anything with it. The anime spends 9 episodes with characters that all have the same ideals, creating a sort of echo chamber that is begging for conflict. It seems to be getting out of this rut with the introduction of Zavied and Edna, but less patient viewers might lose interest with the shows lack of humor or conflict before this point.
Tales of Zestiria the X is kind of a mixed bag for me. After playing the game, I was ready to hate the anime. However, it isn't bad by any means. Its just not spectacular. If you want to gaze at wonderful art designs and great action scenes, Tales of Zestiria the X has enough to make you come back for more, while its characters and plot are tolerable enough to watch the context without being bored.
Tales of Zestiria the X is a good show made by a spectacular studio. This comparison leads to an obvious dip in quality that may trick viewers into thinking the show is bad. However, Tales of Zestiria's production value should not be underestimated, as this show is truly breathtaking. I only hope next time Ufotable actually checks what they are adapting next time, so they don't make the same mistake of attempting to spin something bad into something that's great and getting something that's a bit above average as a result of their hard work.
I learned two things while I was watching Tales of Zestiria the X.
1: Ufotable is one of the few studios in the world who can adapt a video game properly and with extreme care
2: Their visuals and animation never ceases to amaze me.
Tales of Zestiria doesn't really have the best story out there. It's nothing innovative, it's nothing new and it's been done before. I played the game and I wasn't really impressed with the game's story and it's the same case here. It wasn't shit or anything. The story was just decent, at best. It's just a story of "Good vs
Evil" and the evil masterlord (Lord of Calamity) is going to eradicate the world and a certain someone becomes the hero that everyone needs (The Sheppard) and he will save the world from evil and darkness. There's also the "two races that can't live side by side" and all that other crap. I basically just summarize the whole story for you.
The story may not be that impressive (It wasn't shit either) but I was really impressed with the show's eyegasmic visuals and animation. The action scenes was really smooth and very appealing to watch. Whoever's the Animation Director clearly knew when to place the shots to make the fighting scenes a lot more amazing than your usual regular anime fights. Also, the action scenes' Animation Style felt really similar to another one of ufotable's works "Unlimited Blade Works". It's not like I'm complaining or anything since I love UBW's action scenes and I don't really care if they use their style in Tales of Zestiria. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is what I'd like to say about UBW's and Zestiria's similar Animation style. The rest of my impressions towards Zestiria's animation will be on the "Art/Animation" section.
The show moves at an extremely slow paced so I'd understand if some people ended up dropping Zestiria because the first couple of episodes can get really boring and some parts later on in the show can also get boring. Do I consider this one of the show's flaws? Ehh, not really. Due to the show's slow pacing, I was able to understand all of the information that they were throwing at me and it was easier for me to get connected with the characters and their purpose/motivations. I also prefer slow pacing so that's one of the reasons why I didn't get bored at the show.
One thing that I found really annoying in Zestiria is how they decided to abruptly stop Zestiria's story just to put in a Tales of Berseria advert-- I mean.. a "special flashback". I admit that based on the two episodes that was focused on Berseria and its characters, it was a helluva lot more interesting than what we have right now in Zestiria. The MC in Berseria "Velvet" is, in my opinion, a lot better than Sorey. Sorey is just an adventurous type of person and Velvet's motivation for revenge is more exciting to watch. They could have made this into an OVA but what's done is done, I suppose.
Seeing as how there's a Berseria advertisement in-between Zestiria, it looks like Bandai Namco funded this series solely just to advertise Berseria. Then again, why would ufotable go through all these trouble just to try and change the original game's storyline into something good. Hell, they even gave Alisha a lot more character in the anime compared to the game plus the anime is getting a 2nd Season. So I think this adaptation is a little bit of both. Advertising and they (most likely) wanted to do Zestiria justice in terms of its story and characters because the game suffered from both aspects, more so in the characters department *ahem Alisha in the game sucks major ass ahem*.
After watching Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works, I thought ufotable has reached their peak in terms of what they can do with the Animation. I thought that they already reached the ceiling since improving the Animation even further might turn their future series from 2D Animation to 3D Animation. I guess I was wrong. As of this writing, Tales of Zestiria the X has better Animation than any anime I've seen that was released in the past 5 or more years. Everything from their outstanding visuals, impressive character designs, very smooth action scenes and their almost-perfect utilization of CGI into 2D Animation. Just watching Episode 0 alone, I thought I was watching a fucking anime movie. That's how perfect Zestiria's Animation was.
I am SO GLAD that ufotable decided to keep the game's OST in the anime adaptation. The game's OST was beautiful (right up there with Final Fantasy's OST, if I say so myself) and hearing the OST in the anime version (Sorey's theme, anyone?) made me glad that they kept it in the adaptation. It felt like I was playing the game all over again except this time, I wasn't controlling Sorey or any of my party members and I don't have to go through those boring-ass dungeons. Man, I can't wait till the 2nd Season reaches to "that" point where the "Rising Up" song plays. It's going to be fucking hype if they actually use that song in the 2nd Season but that's all I'm going to say.
The OP theme song is "Kaze no Uta" by FLOW. I'm going to piss off a lot of fans here (probably) but I love the anime's OP way more than the game's OP. Don't get me wrong, I also like "White Light" but Kaze no Uta is just a whole lot better for me. The chorus, the buildup to the chorus, the first few sec. of the OP that sounds like some hymn from a church, and FLOW is why I love this song and this is also in my Top 3 Anime OP this year.
The ED theme song is "calling" by fhana. I actually heard fhana's performance first in HaruChika's OP and that song sounded really good so I couldn't wait to hear her performance here in Zestiria. Once again, she delivered. I really love her high notes and her beautiful voice.
I played the game in English so it would make perfect sense for me to watch the show in English Dub so I did. I'm honestly surprised that FUNimation managed to get all the cast from the game back since most of the VA's don't even live in Texas and while Funi said that the original VA for Mikleo didn't return, I'm willing to bet my life that he did because his voice in the anime sounds EXACTLY like him. I'm pretty sure the original VA for Mikleo used a pseudonym because he's part of the union. Finally, as expected from FUNi's dubs, their voice acting was really good.
[Skip the first paragraph if you don't want to read my rant about Alisha's role in the game]
I really appreciate what ufotable is doing to Alisha in this anime adaptation. In the game, she's supposed to be the main heroine of the series. In the trailers and even the advertisements, they portrayed her as the main heroine. You know, as someone who's going to be important in the Zestiria storyline. Then I played the game.....Yea....I was disappointed with what they did to Alisha. Appearantly, whoever's the director of the game had some fucking gripe with Alisha that he didn't bother giving Alisha that much development in the 1st half of the game and later on, she left and never came back. They even released an "Alisha DLC" as a sort of apology to the fans but I was even more disappointed with the DLC. The only saving grace of that DLC was me being able to control Alisha but every part of that DLC sucks. (Don't even get me started on that long, tedious boring-ass dungeon that took me over an hour to get through)
So going back to my point, I'm glad that ufotable did Alisha, in this adaptation, justice. She got a helluva lot more screentime and character development in the anime compared to the game. Hell, Episode 0 (which was anime original) tells me that ufotable is doing everything they can to show the viewers (and the fans of the game) that she's the main heroine of Zestiria. Not Rose and not Mikleo (Don't even ask me "Isn't Mikleo a guy?" because that's the joke). Alisha in the game came off as "that character" who I didn't give a shit about and Alisha in the anime version came off as an independent badass princess who'll do anything to achieve her ideals and I actually cared more about Alisha while I was watching Zestiria than playing Zestiria.
As for the protagonist of the series. Sorey, as the MC, is not that impressive. Sorey is just a pure-hearted person who is an adventurous type of person but after learning about the relationship between Humans and Seraphims and after he became the Sheppard, he vowed to saved the world from the Lord of Calamity and to also restore the relationship between both races. Like I haven't seen his type before. Velvet, the MC of Tales of Berseria, is already better than Sorey just by watching the two episode special. Her goals and motivations are more intriguing than Sorey. Moving on, Sorey got a decent amount of character development in this season but he'll get more focus in the 2nd Season but he doesn't get any better.
For the rest of the characters, you know how when you play an RPG, your party expands the more you play the game? It's the same case here. Throughout the series, they each join Sorey's party because they have the same goals and ideals or Sorey offers to help solve their problem. They don't really get that much character development though. The only reason why I like them are their personalities.
One minor aspect that I didn't like was how ufotable removed and/or skipped most of the funny side of the characters. Yes, I know that they made up for it by showing the characters' funny side in the post-credit "Skit" scene but to me, that wasn't really enough. For example, Edna wasn't being "Edna: best girl" (In the game, she was fucking hilarious) after she got introduced. However, in the post-credit scene, that's when Edna (sort-of) truly shines and shows off why she's the best girl.
Despite the decent-but-not-so-impressive storyline, I still enjoyed Zestiria because of its breathtaking and visually appealing animation. Watching the show just for its characters and the animation was enough for me.
I'm amazed at how how ufotable handled the adaptation. They managed to adapt a video game-series that I didn't like that much, in terms of its story and some characters, and turned it into a good video game adaptation. They also handled Alisha better than how the game handled her and honestly, I can finally say that Alisha is better than Rose. Edna is still the best girl though :P. The anime also gave off that "I'm playing an RPG" vibe and it's very rare for a video game adaptation to give off that vibe for me. Now the wait for the 2nd Season begins
+A very rare, good video game adaptation
+Alisha is handled better in the anime version than the game
+Re-use of awesome soundtracks from the game
+Outstanding and Visually Appealing Animation
+Impressive utilization of CGI into 2D Animation
+Action scenes gives off multiple but pleasant "Eyegasms"
-Sorey, as the MC, is meh
-Not a lot of character development for most of the main characters.
(Before i start reviewing this show, i will clear out something, my english is not perfect, so if i commit mistakes, i'm sorry).
Well, i started this show because i LOVE the Tales series, and i finished the game a week before this came out and getting kinda dissapointed with it, and after knowing that this will be different than the game's plot, i decided to give it a chance.
Well, the story from the beginning is kinda clitche, Sorey (MC) becomes the sheperd and goes on a adventure with his seraph friends to save the world, i liked that they made the world actually
looking like it's going to be destroyed soon if Sorey doesn't do something (Something that the game doesn't do), and liked how the story connects with Berseria
There's also 2 episodes that tells the beginning of Berseria, the problem here is that they're 2 full episodes of filler, as they're not important in any way to the plot.
And here's the big problem with the show, the pasing is REALLY slow for no apparent reason, the characters keep talking about things that doesn't matter to the plot, and i know, it's to develop the characters, but sometimes this long exposition really doesn't go anywhere, and feels like it's just there to make time, if you remove all this scenes, the show could have been a lot better.
Come on, it's Ufotable. It's obvious that everything that they made looks beatiful, the only reason i don't give it a 10 it's because Fate which came before, looks a bit better.
I'm not a professional on this aspect, but i think it's fine. But a problem i noticed is that sometimes the show decides to use music from the game, and feels a bit out of place sometimes.
The problem with the characters, is that they're extremely plain, Sorey is the tipical goodie two shoes that wants to save the world, Mikleo is your tipical tsundere who can't be 2 feet separated from Sorey, Alisha i just simply hate her because how boring she is, and the rest of the characters don't get enough screen time or develop to really care about them.
As a fan of the series, i enjoyed the series. But if you're not a fan or don't like slow pased shows, just avoid this show, because it's not for you.
It's better than the game, at least.
Tales of zestiria the X is in my opinion an average anime........for some the story might be a little boring and i am one of them they kinda failed to make moments from which we expect great hype and brilliance to be up to our expectations although it was improved later on in the season 2....
It made me hoked to it because of great animation quality...No doubt Ufotable makes one of the best animations.... The plot was improved greatly afterwards not be afraid it was not that boring it simply failed to express that epicness which we were expecting !!!
It has some interesting characters
with proper back story although i cant say much about the ships though they were a total fail lol (you will understand what i am trying to say after you watch it)
It was a nice concept the plot had very much potential but it didn't came up to our expectations they simply failed to make it epic.....
The story was about Sorey who is a human but lives with seraphim, spiritual beings not visible to humans......He dreams to make seraphim live with humans again a Princess name Alisha visits the village where Sorey lives and invites him for a contest to to find the shepherd Sorey ends up as a shepherd and so he begins his quest to cleanse the world and make his dream come true........
What did you expect? it's made my Ufotable so Of course its animation would be amazing!!!
Not the best sound tracks you will listen but not bad too !!
As i said before this anime failed to get us hyped there were no epic moments which would give you goosebumps they tried really hard to make it a good action anime but don't expect it to be up to expectations
It was fine a decent anime with just right amount of material to make your boredom go away.....If you have nothing to watch you can surely watch this anime you will not regret ....The ending was also great
i'll give it a rating of 7.5/10
Short review: This anime has awesome graphics and shit story.
Detailed review: I have been offended by many anime but never has an anime made me so angry. When it started, I thought to myself this anime might be just amazing. Oh boy was I wrong. It probably has one of the best graphics out there and they just go to waste as the story seems to be written by a teenager who is full of his own shit. I think the main audience for this show were stupid teenagers? But that's still no excuse for such horrible plot and story writing. The anime tries
to be very philosophical but then it explains itself how the ideologies of the main characters is fucking bullshit. They try to add action in their anti-war philosophy and it's ridiculous. The action itself is awesome and entertaining. But it has the least amount of screen time and it doesn't fit well with the perspective of the story. Mostly the anime is filled with exposition scenes and even they are done horribly. And how characters interact seems so forced and fake that it gets on my nerves. And the overall plot is very predictable for first episodes. They meet new characters; the generic characters you'd except to join the group. You think to yourself that I bet they'll join the group and they do. Not to mention in the most ridiculous way. "You should leave this place." "Well I was thinking about that. Where are you going?" "I am going to find my friend." "O lovely stranger, that I met 2 minutes ago, I want to come with you like we're the bestest friends. Also fist me daddy." (The character didn't necessarily say that but I am sure the scene would be on the same level of ridiculousness if that was said.) This shit is fucking awful. To be honest it might not be so bad but the thing is I REALLY HATE THE FACT THEY PUT SO MUCH WORK INTO THIS SHIT. THE ART AND ACTION ARE SO AMAZING AND THE PLOT JUST MAKES YOU WANT TO BASH YOUR HEAD IN THE WALL. It's just very frustrating. And I forgot to mention the fact that the show is very terrible at trying to make us feel for the characters. They get a problem and it's treated to be unsolvable. You see the characters try again and then boom, they did it. They finally removed the great obstacle that they were having a lot of difficulty solving before. I mean HOW? HOW?? YOU LITERALLY FAILED DOING THE SAME SHIT A MINUTE AGO. HOW IS IT WORKING NOW?
And the protagonist. He is a great charmer. He preaches peace and harmony and has to rid the world of malevolence. Humans create malevolence and when it becomes in excess it turns to demons. He "purifies" the demons and is against killing them. But they don't tell how killing them is different than purifying them or what purifying really is. As in purifying he is also hitting them with his sword and basically slaughtering them. One of the characters asks him, what he means by purifying. And he's like idk. SERIOUSLY WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THIS SHIT. HOW LAZY OF A WRITER CAN YOU BE TO WRITE THIS SHIT AND THEN EVEN MAKE AN ANIME ON IT WITH SUCH HIGH BUDGET. This is plainly ridiculous. And that it folks. That was my review on Tales of Zestiria the anime that shouldn't have been made
Note: I watched the show first, played the game, and then rewatched some episodes afterwards. Therefore, most of my commentary is going to be based on how well the adaptation conveyed information with respect to in-game elements (skits, townsmen info, etc.).
The biggest concern I had with this show is with the pacing, since I didn't know how much of the game this first season would cover and with 2/12 episodes dedicated to Tales of Berseria. S1 barely covers the first few hours of the game; Sorey does not have his "full party" yet, and has only learned of the main antagonist towards the ending. I'm
not sure how many more seasons Zestiria the X will have, but they did completely change some game events (not only for the reduction of battle or exploration game time) and mixed in information learned later in game with some semi-angsty/dramatic flashbacks upon the arrival of a new character. Hopefully that will help convert some dense game time into a few 20-minute episodes, but even prior to playing to the game, everything from information to changes of scenery seemed a little rushed.
Despite of this fast pacing, the anime managed to flesh out the characters in a way that the game hasn't. One big example is Alisha, the Knight-Princess who has two countries worth of problems and then some. At the ending of S1 she barely joins the party, but in game Sorey and company have on and off encounters with her prior to that, which doesn't give much game or screen time for the viewer/player to get a feel of her character past being an honest person with a sense of duty. The anime made her much more proactive by showing scenes from her point of view, something the game can't achieve as well since it's mostly Sorey's POV, limited to the player's choice of interaction, and most character-building is through skits and a few cutscenes.
On the other hand, overall character personalities have taken a bit of a hit from the fast pacing because they come off as more serious. Yes the situations they deal with aren't very pleasant to begin with, but since very little to none of the side skits aren't integrated into the anime-- so far, at least-- all the camaraderie seen in game (of almost everyone ragging on everyone else in the group, consciously or not) hasn't been conveyed as well. At most Sorey's and Mikleo's friendship was given the most screentime to develop and conveyed their deep childhood friendship, but even then it went from the game's overly-protective-and-teasing-friendship to melodramatic scenes and cradle-holding. However, like I said, S1 only covers so little of the first few hours of the game, so maybe S2 will change that.
Cliche hero with a heart pure of gold who's an archaeology geek/history buff. Personally I like pure-hearted protags, and Sorey earns more points because I like dead things too. Also, it's not said within this season, but that pure heart of his plays a large factor in later events. The episode explaining what it really means to purify humans-turned-hyouma as a Shepherd is a bit of a preview of many struggles to come. As previously mentioned, also like how the anime adds a bit of depth to characters in comparison to how the game handled them, but it might not be as great for viewers who have only or who are only planning on watching the anime.
Everything is gorgeous. Everyone is gorgeous. Even the CGI monsters were pretty great. 11/10 for you, Ufotable.
It's pretty good, I guess. Like the utilization of various zone/battle music from the game in the scenes.
Mostly suffered from pacing. I also didn't like how 2 Berseria episodes were stuck in the middle of the season, no matter how good their story is. That would've stuck out like a sore thumb especially if I had been watching Zestiria the X on a weekly basis.
This show is basically a huge advertisement for the Zestiria and Berseria games. It did pretty damn well with that goal in mind.
Had to write a review on this one because it came from such a greatly respected studio...
Visuals - 9/10
As expected from Ufotable the visuals are absolutely stunning. They are easily one of the top 3 studios for quality visuals. The only reason thing that could have been improved visually was the CGI dragons which felt a bit odd most of the time. Obviously this is ridiculously hard to get right though.
Music was pretty generic and is more suited to a game, reminded me greatly of Dark Souls III wouldn't be surprised if it was the same composer(s). I enjoy this sort of music but
a lot of people don't so it's a love it or hate it sort of deal.
Characters, Story, everything else 4/10
With all the awesome visuals in the world you can't make a boring story with boring character much less... boring.
I gave this anime a chance as I usually do when I hear something is mediocre, and more so because of Ufotable.
However, with the story they had to work with I don't think they had much hope for success with this. The story is so generic, with generic characters and generic story progression. There isn't much that stands out sadly.
Of course this was based on a game and I guess it follows that story so it can't stray too far from the source material which is it's major downfall. This story just isn't meant for this medium, it's meant for games where you can feel the progression. If they had rewritten the story to work well with anime I think it would have had potential.
This anime looks absolutely breathtaking as expected of Ufotable. However, the story is bland and generic, with characters just as generic and has nothing that grabs you, and makes you want to keep watching.
First of all although i have played the game that serves as the source material for the anime i haven't completed it. Additionally the anime expands a lot of what was only shown and mentioned in the game and diverges a lot from it so at this point whether or not i finished it is a bit mute.
The main story of Tales of Zestiria revolves around the story of the Shepard and more precisely the story of the newest Shepard who in this is the main character Sorey. The Shepard is supposed to a powerful figure that has the power to interact with
a spirit race called the seraphim and in conjunction protect the world by ridding it of malevolence and defeat the one responsible for causing them which is the lord of calamity.
The story follows the journey of Sorey as he explores the land and meeting the lands many people while at the same time cleansing them of Malevolence. At the same time Sorey and co find themselves tied to the fate of the kingdom that they currently travel in.
Sorey is the main character of the series and though in the beginning he was a rather plain character that was always willing to explore new areas this changed when he become the Shepard. In the beginning Sorey was honest, kind and loved to explore the old ruins that were located near his home. As the only human within the seraphim settlement that he lived in he was able to see the normally invisible race and establish a kinship with them. Sorey had since he was little looked up to and respected the race thanks to a ancient book that he had read and continues to read and believes that despite past events the seraphims and humanity would once again work together once more like they did in the past.
Once Sorey becomes the Shepard his personality underwents some changes. Although still positive and kind Sorey becomes determined to end the malevolence that plagues the land to protect the weak and the helpless from it. Although Sorey still has a lot to learn about being a Shepard he tries to learn all he can and think though things before committing to an action.
Sorey can be stubborn at times but often this to to help a friend or people that need help. One aspect that i like about Sorey is his restraint in that he understands that killing would create more malevolence and in turn create more hatred meaning that no matter how much someone deserves it Sorey shouldn't kill him. In the anime there were instances where Sorey could have ended these people there but instead held back and only purified them something that i respect him for.
Mikleo is Soreys best friend and is a seraphim from the village that Sorey grew up in. Unlike Sorey Mikleo is calm and collected and not given to rash action. He's usually the voice of caution within the party. In the beginning Mikleo was the sole spirit user in the group and advised Sorey on everything and was especially wary of humans due to limited contact with them. He was also wary of the role of a Shepard and did not wish for Sorey to become one.
However this misgiving changed when he saw how Sorey excelled at being one. In the beginning Mikleo's spirit power was relatively weak and therefore could only provide limited support to Sorey. This was a fact that bothered him a lot that he managed to solve by finding an ancient artifact that was suggested by Lailah that boosted his powers a lot. Mikleo's interactions with Edna a fellow seraph was pretty funny though.
Alisha is one of the main characters of the show and is the princess of the kingdom of Hyland. Alisha is kind, caring, intelligent and detests war and the suffering that it brings. She is loyal to her country and strives to protect its people. As a member of the royal family Alisha often find's herself having to
deal with the countries politicians in the ruling of the country especially among the warmongers. Because she detests war she does not advocate starting wars or fighting them. Alisha can be stubborn at times especially
when she tries to help people a trait that i admire about her.
Despite being a princess Alisha is also a fully trained knight and is a capable combatant with her spear able to fight members of the assassin guild that was hired to kill her on even terms.
Alisha believes wholeheartedly in the existence of the seraphs and their eventual return to help Humanity in their hour of need. As such Alisha has a good relationship with Sorey and believes in him and respects his
Alisha is portrayed by veteran seiyuu Ai Kayano who is one of my top ten fav seiyuu's of all time. Her performance here was just as amazing as always.
Lailah is a fire spirit and a seraph that acted as the guardian for the sword that people must pull out if they wished to become a Shepard. Wise, kind and beautiful Lailah despite being centuries old still looks to be someone in early adulthood. Within the story Lailah acts as one of Sorey's main advisers
and teaches him on the duties of a Shepard and whats involved. Despite this she is patient with this and teaches Sorey slowly so as to not overload him with info.
When Lailah doesn't want to talk about something she
abruptly changes topic while smiling something that i find quite funny.
As a fire spirit she attacks with pages from a book that she wields that incorporates flames in their attacks.
Within the anime Lailah was voiced by veteran seiyuu Noriko Shitaya who replaced the seiyuu that played her in the game Miyu Matsuki who sadly passed away before the anime started. Within the anime Lailah along with Alisha is one of my fav characters largely due to their respective seiyuu's. Here Noriko Shitaya of Fate stay night fame did a fantastic job portraying Lailah whether being the witty and calm Lailah outside of battle or the serious and wise one during battle she truly excelled.
Edna is a seraph and is aligned with the power of Earth. Appearance wise Edna is pretty and petite on the outside but in the inside she detests humans. However this changes somewhat after she meets Sorey because he was different.
Personality wise Edna can be cold and merciless at times but to friends and people that she respects she can be warm to them. Her character has some interesting interactions with Mikleo. Although Edna was skeptical of Sorey
like a lot of people she does eventually warm up to him after seeing his determination and courage.
Rose is a main character and a human being. Appearance wise Rose is a teenage girl of average height and short red hair and appears to be a merchant or at least part of a company that does that. However this is not actually the case. Rose is a interesting character in that she actually has two persona's that she presents depending on her role. In normal form she is polite,devious and sneaky at times. In her alternate form she is serious, logical and lethal with her weapons. In this season Rose wasn't given much of a large role and as such its difficult to judge her character.
Zaveid and Dezel are two seraph's that Sorey and co meet during the course of the anime. Zaveid and Dezel are both wind users though they have different personalities. Zaveid's personality is more like a trickster as he isn't loyal to anyone compared to the other seraphs. Within the anime
Sorey and co meet Zaveid at the same time that they meet Edna as both were engaged with a dragon that they both knew. And both had reasons to face it. In this season neither was give much of role and its difficult to see and judge their characters with regards to the story.
Animation as expected of Ufotable the makers of the fate stay night series is top notch and clear with the fight scenes being the most impressive. Art style was pretty good overall and i felt that the character
designs were well designed and were largely faithful to the source material.
Music was generally good across the anime with scene to scene music being appropriate. Opening and ending themes i felt were especially good.
Overall Tales of Zestiria was a great anime that had top notch animation, great story, interesting characters and stellar voice acting from a talented cast. I was overjoyed to hear that there will be a season 2 to this anime.
Tales of Zestiria the X ... When I found out they're making an anime based on the game I really liked , naturally I got pretty excited although I wasn't expecting anything phenomenal but the anime was better than what I expected . Of course it doesn't live up to the game but it is pretty good by itself . Let's talk about the anime , the story covers almost half of the game which is expected since they confirmed second season's production . It's consisted of 3 episodes about the upcoming Tales of Berseria and other 9 episodes are based on the Tales Of
Zestiria . The story narration is far from perfect as it skips through most stuff happened in the game but is pretty good if you consider it's based on a game :/ . The fighting scenes are made with a lot of consideration and contain lots of drama but the relation between characters isn't how it should be and it's because of the 9 episodes they had which isn't much to work on . The characters themselves are pretty good but again they don't have much time to work on the relation in between and some scenes feel a bit awkward esp. introducing Edna which was so hasty that you don't get any feelings toward her . There is the sound which is really good not only the opening and ending but the background music and sound esp. in fighting scenes are praiseworthy . Then there is the art and it is absolutely STUNNING . It is by far the best one I've seen , every detail is considered in the art and it feels really perfect the colorings esp. are really good . The show is quite enjoyable contrary to what I expected and is worth your time :)
I need to play the game to see the anime? Absolutely, NO! Even if you played, they did the anime so marvelous that players and non-players get a new experience without drop of the plot! Even you gonna have a demo in anime of the next game!
Let's start talking about the story, this is a Tales of story, a story with certain characteristics of RPGs based in a world of magic, swords and warriors, if you are familiar with the games or the animations, you will be like in home, as I said, the anime has another path to follow taking the important parts with
it, but if you played the game, at the start gonna be like "That really happens like that?", that is bad?, no, full contrary, the animation tell you the story in a smooth, powerful and brilliant pace, so players and no players gonna be enjoyed every second.
The characters are very particular, every one having a role and different stereotypes that give the spice of the story and its flow, the principal, gonna be our hero, a hero full of justice and good will with his comrades, like the old formula, but well, retro is in fashion!
The CG and scenarios are beautiful, based on the game, they did a good work giving a touch of 2D and 3D in all the areas and buildings, gettings you exactly as how the game is, even with bonuses and Visual Novel talking at the end of every chapter just like the game.
Sound is full taken out of its game, even the opening of the game and the future one, so nostalgia for players and good new repertory for the ear for new fans,with heroic and good light music and BGM.
A little part of the anime gonna take you to some story in other time in the same lands, this is part of the next game, and a good part to see if you wanna play it, it only make you wishing its release!
I think I should stop here, really it's a good story so try it out, these guys, if you know them, you know how they put a game/VN in anime with honors and chariots.
If you reach this point of the review and find it useful or maybe nothing at all, anyway thank you so much for take your time reading. I wish you a happy anime and may the malevolence don't obscure your way!
Ufotable. The name of the production company has an army of fans in its wake from the kind of quality that their adaptations have been able to produce. From story to soundtrack to the oh so god-like animation with a seemingly unlimited budget for just how well produced is looks, very little can be said about Ufo that hasn't already been said before. And so, we come to their newest project, Tales of Zestiria the X, a game adaptation from one of the "Tales of" games about a boy's journey to purge the world of malevolence.
Story: The world of Zestiria is plagued
by great malevolence created from the negative and depressing emotions that come from all sources such as nature and people that taints the world and things that live in them to become hellions, demonized versions of the various beings'. It is here where we in this world populated by people and mythical beings known as Seraphim that we follow Sorey, the Shepherd better known as the one who will purge the world from the malevolence.
Zestiria's story...isn't all that exciting admittedly. With only 12 episodes to try and tell the story or at least part of the story of a game that's ~100 hours (because lol, JRPGs) the actual content in the show doesn't really go that far into the series. Very few things of significance actually happen over the course of the story, and the majority of the runtime involves a lot of talking and lore/world building as Sorey adapts to his new role as the 'Shepherd'. As a result of that, Zestiria severely lacks a story that progresses at an even pace since the whole span of the series is pretty much a slow but detailed crawl to the planned stopping point.
In addition to that, the middle of the series takes a really strange turn that apparently has a reason for doing it, but I think it would've been better to not do it in the first place. Anyway, the strange turn comes in the form of two of the middle two episodes in the series where the show switches GAMES and spends some time on another Tales of game, Tales of Berseria. As to why they did this, I have no idea, but personally, I would've preferred if they didn't do it in the first place and spent that runtime doing something with the main story rather than using it for something that to someone that doesn't know much about the series, doesn't really make all that sense.
All in all, the story of Zestiria is pretty basic. Sure you have some good lore elements and world-building that many fantasy shows can only dream of, but the trade-off to that is the fact that the series doesn't really go far enough to have anything significant happen. The journey of Sorey and his Seraphim companions is just barely past the starting line by the time we finish the last episode, which does hamper the series because it really doesn't feel like we got anywhere aside from the expositional chapter.
+ Interesting world building and lore
- Weird Berseria insert that felt out of place
- Pretty basic story and premise all around
Characters: The characters that we're introduced to in Zestiria vary pretty wildly from being almost non-existent to being part of the main cast without really much to say about them.
First we have Sorey, the new Shepherd and main protagonist of the series. Sorey's vision and overall character revolves around the ideal of bringing Seraphim and humans together. As your stereotypical, noble hero who wishes nothing but good in the world, Sorey is a pretty innocent and all-around generic hero character. Sure he gets development later in the series when he finally sees what his duties as a Shepherd are, but it's not so heavily put that it severely alters his character in any way.
Then there're the Seraphim companions that Sorey meets along his journey, starting with his friend (and possibly most popular ship partner) Mikleo, the delusional and adorable Lailah, and the kuudere loli of the group, Edna. To be honest, there's not much to say about any of these three since they're all about the same in terms of development. They're Sorey's companions and both add quips and exposition to the story as needed.
Finally, we have the princess of the town of Ladylake, Alisha. With a strong sense of duty and a responsibility to take care of the people as the princess, Alisha is rarely used in the series. She becomes the first human that Sorey interacts with, and there're some nice moments involving the two characters, but as a character, Alisha doesn't actually do much.
Frankly, none of these characters really do anything. Trust me, there is a plot to this series, but the fact of the matter is that the show doesn't truly have anything to create any form of character development for any of the characters. The side characters are pretty minimal and since the entire series is just basically the tutorial part of the game before you just get into the meat of it with every party member and every mechanic unlocked, there's really nothing that can be said for these characters.
+/- Characters are interesting, but are all pretty minimal.
Art: Ok, so uh...I swear the 10/10 thing in the art rating isn't a mistake. As expected, Ufotable pulled out all of the stops to make this series look goddamn amazing. And you know what? It DOES look goddamn amazing. The series looks similar to the style of animation that they gave Fate: UBW (compared to what they did to God Eater), and fluently meshes the bright and varied color palette with the mixture of CGI and handdrawn animation that's a work of art. (There's even a town scene with several thousand tiny people walking with more than just 2 two cycling frames. That's dedication if I've ever seen it.)
Also, as expected, the fight scenes look amazing. They're fluent, they're engaging, and they have amazing effects that go along with Sorey's armantization forms that are beyond beautiful to look at. Hell, the animation alone made me forget about all of the other aspects of the show.
+ Ufotable's artwork. (Nothing else is needed here.)
Sound: Kaze no Uta by Flow, the OP for Zestiria, is by far my favorite track in the entirety of the Summer 2016 season. The adventurous and fantasy tone of the series was captured and has that kind of energy that makes you want to pick up a sword and defeat the Lord of Calamity yourself. It's an invigorating piece that perfectly encapsulates the feel of the series and is an addicting song that'll probably on repeat for a few hours. On the other hand, you have fhana's 'Calling', a song that's more mellow than its OP counterpart. It's pretty standard fare for the singer and her band, so there's not really much to say for it, especially when you compare it to its OP partner.
The voice acting is admittedly average at best. It's good, but there's not really much to say for it or anything that needs special mention.
+ KAZE NO UTA!
+/- Rest of the soundtrack was ok
Personal Enjoyment: Despite the show's flaws, this was definitely one of the more enjoyable series that I've seen all season. Don't get me wrong, the fact that the story basically goes nowhere and the fact that nothing major actually happens throughout its runtime isn't a good thing, but damn, if you can make someone look forward to seeing more exposition and only a tiny inch towards the end, than you're...probably doing something right.
Did I like this series?
Oh yes. I probably enjoyed it far more than I should've but hey, no matter its flaws, enjoying a show is still enjoying a show. That being said, I'd probably lean towards the armatizations and other aspects of the fight scenes more to be my favorite parts of the series. Oh, and the preview scenes that happen after the credits. Those were pretty fun to watch.
What didn't I like about this series?
Honestly, despite its numerous flaws, there's not really much of anything I hate. Critically, the show has a lot of things that aren't so well-executed, but from the enjoyment side of things, this show was way more fun than it had any right to be. (Especially the weird cut-in with the Berseria part.)
Would I recommend this series?
If you want some good artwork, and you've already seen every other one of Ufotable's work, than Tales of Zestiria is a good choice to go for. Personally, I'd say it's worth to consider its series purely for the art and the series's aesthetics. They're so well made that you'll probably forget that the series only went to two towns and a mountain rather than any huge stretch of the adventure. Actually though, in my opinion, this series is a ton of fun to watch.
The more time passes, the harder it gets to create an anime that truly stand out in their genre and most of them end up being very similar to their predecessors, only less memorable. With that in mind, Tales of Zestiria doesn't even try to set itself apart from all the other fantasy anime and ends up being a story that has been done 1000 times before and 1000 times better.
Let's start with the story. Firstly, the setting couldn't be more generic. At first, it seemed interesting, because it was a village where these mythical beings known as Seraphim live and had some mystical ruins
that revealed an ancient prophecy. But then the characters travel to a city that you feel like you've seen before, and after that to various locations with no personality (mostly wastelands and forests) that don't feel like they have any significance to the world or story.
The pacing it too slow for an anime like this, and that wouldn't be a problem if the time in between fights wasn't filled with completely uninteresting dialogue that doesn't presentany interesting ideas and just exists so that there wouldn't be silence all the time.
Overall the story is all over the place and doesn't go in any direction. The characters would just travel to random locations and get rid of minor villains in order to make the world better. That might sound interesting to the casual viewer, but to me it's nothing that i haven't heard before. I never felt like there was a huge threat that needs to be defeated or a huge goal that needs to be achieved, and that is something indispensable in a great fantasy series. the conflict needs to feel epic and have a massive scale, i want to feel like the fate of the world is in the hands of these characters. They do talk about a war, which will probably happen in the nex season, but i never felt the urgency of this conflict approaching.
Regarding the characters, where should i even start? Our main character is a typical righteous guy who becomes "The chosen one" and strives to make the world a better place, without having any personality beyond that. Does that motivation sound interesting? Because to me, it doesn't. It is so vague and overused that it's become obnoxious. I can't care for him if he doesn't have a grand goal in his life. Naruto wants to be hokage, Luffy wants to find One Piece, Ed and Al want their bodies back, Guts wants revenge on Griffith and to bring Casca back to normal, why couldn't they give something like that to Sorey?
At first, he seemed like an acceptable character, but only until he dropped the line "We don't have to kill them" (referring to people that turned into evil monsters). That's when i almost lost all hope for this charaacter and realised he's just another righteous MC who tries to save everyone and doesn't understand that victory cannot come without sacrifice. This type of character can be done right, for example in shows like Fate/zero and Magi, by killing an important character and making the MC realise how delusional he was, thus helping with his development. But surprise, surprise, nobody dies in this anime because of the almighty plot armor.
The supporting cast is even less memorable, because they have no personality at all and they are limited to their interactions and relationswith Sorey. They barely express any emotion and even when they do, it doesn't feel real because i don't care about them.
Not to mention the villains are forgettable and not menacing a all, because there is no build-up before any confrontation and they are defeated with ease and no casualties on the side of the good guys.
I have to give some credit to the action scenes. They were beautifully animated, with lots of particles flying around and giving a surreal feeling to the fights, and were mildly enjoyable throughout. However, i couldn't feel any tension during the fights or care too much about them, for reasons that i've mentioned above. I just didn't feel the weight of the situation or the stakes involved.
Undoubtedly the strongest point of this anime was its art style. Not only did it fit the setting, giving it that ethereal aspect of a fantasy world, but it was also detailed and colorful without feeling saturated. The character and costume designs were impressively unique. Ever character was instantly recognisable just from their looks and clothing.
As for the soundtrack, it was fitting and immersive, contributing a lot to the overall atmosphere, but no track really stood out to me. All of the songs could have been used in any other fantasy anime and wouldn't be easily recognisable, unlike the dramatic choirs of Attack on Titan, the oriental music of Magi or the epic guitar riffs mixed with traditional japanese flute from Naruto.
Overall, i found this anime as more of a weekly chore than an enjoyable watch, and i wouldn't recommend it, because for everything that it does, another anime does it better. You want an immersive and fascinating world with unique settings creatures? Watch Magi. You want great characters that can turn even a simple story into an amazing experience? Watch Rage of Bahamut. You want epic and beautifully animated fight scenes? Watch the Fate series. You want all of those in one? Watch FMA: Brotherhood. There are so many alternatives that i don't see why you would watch this instead.
I've talked about Namco's Tales franchise twice before. With reviews of the Phantasia and Symphonia anime. Zestiria is one of the more recent games and the first series of its anime ran late last year. It was brought to us by Ufotable. You may recall them as the same studio that worked on the Symphonia OVA I looked at, and Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight. How did they do with the first series of Zestiria? Let's have a look. Please note, this review includes the one episode prequel: Saiyaku no Jidai.
We open with Princess Alisha sending a soldier to investigate a strange cloud overshadowing a city
under her kingdom's jurisdiction. Just one of many calamitous events. Alisha and others are hoping for the legendary Shepherd to appear. All while preparations for a sword festival are taking place and Chancellor Bartlow is making preparations for a war that she's trying to prevent. As to why she can't pull royal rank on him and put him in a position where he has no power, I have no idea. She doesn't even have to go full Princess Usako and send him to “prison island.” In any case, time passes. She doesn't hear from the soldier she sent. So she takes several soldiers and goes to investigate herself. This eventually results in her finding her way to a strange land called Elysia where, supposedly, seraphim live. But all she can see are a bunch of buildings and a human boy about her age named Sorey. Sorey wants humans and seraphim to go back to living side by side and seems to see something in Elysia that Alisha can't.
The biggest issue with this series is just that a lot of the plot points are pretty predictable. Of course, the boy who can see the seraphim goes to the sword festival and turns out to be the Shepherd. But that's not the extent of it. Nearly every plot point that they resolve in the first series goes exactly where you'd think it would. There's all of one moment where the narrative might surprise you. And even if that moment does, it's a very safe surprise. The series seems very hesitant to deviate too far from the conventional, generic path. The politics of the world are kind of unclear too. Now, in all fairness, the game does explain why the monarchy doesn't wield much power or respect and Bartlow can just be a dick towards the princess, but the anime never really addresses it. The problem being that it's kind of an important detail for understanding the story. Then we have the Velvet Crowe episodes. They aren't bad episodes by any metric but they are very much out of place. Basically, we get part of a completely different story inserted into this one for seemingly no reason. Unless the second series decides to have the two plot lines intersect, but that seems unlikely since Velvet is from a different game entirely.
The ending is a bit mixed. On one hand, it has some strong moments for the series and it does do a good job of giving some resolution while opening things up for a second series. However, it also suffers from having one of those “the antagonist has a chance to end the threat presented by the protagonist but decides not to bother for flimsy reasons” moments. And those only really work in media for children. Not so much in something like this that's aimed at teens.
On the positive side, the series does do a good job at introducing enough plot elements to keep you invested in what's going on. The random Berseria episodes aside, it is well paced. I will also give them credit for having well executed plot points, even if they are obvious. I also do like the allusions to Arthurian legend.
The characters are pretty decent. The issue that holds them back from being really good is that the main cast is only a step or two above archetypes, at least by the time the series ends. It's entirely possible that the second series of Zestiria will further develop their characters and make them more interesting. They certainly develop a bit in this one. They have conflicts, motivations and some pretty strong relationships. Particularly betwixt Sorey and Mikleo. The antagonists are just bland with no real sense of personality.
The artwork in this is really good. The action sequences are really well done. The backgrounds are nicely detailed. The character designs can be silly in that JRPG aesthetic but they don't look bad. About the worst you get are the dumb feathers randomly clipped to Sorey's ears. In general, the worst thing I can say for the art is that it does feature some highly conspicuous CG moments. Which can be distracting.
The cast in this is really good. Kayano Ai, Koyasu Takehito, Satou Rina, Osaka Ryota & Shitaya Noriko all do really well in their roles. And there aren't any weak performances. The music is quite good.
There's not a whole lot. The series has the occasional scene that reads a tiny bit like homo-erotic subtext. Usually involving Alisha.
that's the first series of Tales of Zestiria the X. It has its strong moments. It has the basics down very well with the sound and art. The story, however, suffers from multiple bizarre decisions. Having a part of Berseria randomly inserted into the narrative. Not explaining the details you need to understand Alisha's circumstances. The series also really hasn't done enough to develop its characters at this juncture. Maybe if they'd done that instead of showing us a part of a completely different narrative for no reason. Still, it's a decent start and I am curious about the second series. I'll probably review that at some point after it's finished airing. But, for this one, I give it a 6/10. If you're a fan of the Tales franchise or even just fantasy works in general, give it a try. Next Week I'll look at Futari wa Precure Splash Star.
I've was patient with this series. I really was. But after everything, the show still didn't have a clear plot or direction. It didn't even have an atmosphere, something that the equally poorly paced God Eater (also produced by ufotable) at least had.
What pisses me off the most is that the rules of this world seem to be written by a six year old: "So there's these ruins, and then there's this hero who can see spirits but only he can, and then there's this princess who really likes him. And then he goes off to kill dragons and stuff." There's not much behind
the motivations of the characters. None of them even have much character outside of the trope slots that they occupy. The most interesting thing about them is their appearance, for which there is no rhyme or reason.
All throughout, I was waiting for the plot to truly open up. I was bored out of my mind to the point of anger, and in the end I got nothing for my troubles.
(This is a spoiler-free review adapted for this site)
[Synopsis]: Tales of Zestiria takes place in a world where long ago, humans and supernatural beings called seraphim lived alongside one another. Over the years, humanity lost the ability to perceive the seraphim and they grew scarce as the negative emotions of humanity, a corrupting force called ‘malevolence,’ took root in the land. Legends speak of ancient saviors called Shepherds who would bridge the gap between the two beings however none have appeared and the world grows darker by the day. The story begins when Alisha Diphda (Kayano Ai), princess of the Highland Empire, encounters a young
man named Sorey (Kimura Ryouhei) who is able to perceive the seraphim and who may be the world’s only hope of purifying the world’s proliferating malevolence.
As one might expect given the show’s RPG roots, Tales of Zestiria centers around Sorey and his party of friends consisting of both seraphim and humans. The show has a moderately sized supporting cast but they are mostly there for the main group of characters to bounce off of and don’t receive much in the way of characterization themselves. Even the majority of Sorey’s companions are fairly one-dimensional, typically sporting a pretty clear-cut personality and not much else. Alisha at the very least represents a controversial, pacifistic ideology which both drives her actions as well as the narrative near the end of the show. The cast is lightly entertaining but there isn’t much in the way of depth to speak of.
Sorey himself is about as bland as protagonists come. He’s upbeat, kindhearted, and his idealistic aspirations of the seraphim and humanity once again coexisting alongside each other paint him as a self-sacrificing, good-guy. There is a genuine sense of comradery between him and his close friend Mikleo however beyond this bond his interactions with others are pretty generically amicable. There isn’t anything that sets him apart from other characters and his painfully straightforward, good-nature just further homogenizes him.
Outside of the cast’s straightforward personalities and Sorey’s own uninspired characterization, the thing that is most lacking in regards to the cast is good, character-exploring dialogue. Tales of Zestiria has plenty of scenes about world-building, politics, and the supernatural elements that populate its world however there’s hardly any time where the characters take a moment to flesh each other out. This wouldn’t be so dearly missed if the show didn’t revolve around a tight, party of friends. Their exchanges are amicable and everyone gets along but the vast majority of their dialogue is just spent on the exposition of what it means to be a Shepard and continuously reiterating the importance of Sorey’s quest.
Undoubtedly, it is in Tale of Zestiria’s visual presentation where it best succeeds. The visual effects are marvelous and possess a grand sense of scale that really accentuates the fantastic world the characters live in and the magic present in each of the show’s story elements. The background settings are gorgeous though sometimes they don’t blend as well as they could with the characters, leading to an awkward effect where they look slightly out of place in juxtaposition to the vast and colorful backdrop behind them. This is infrequent and very minor however.
The city the cast stays in for a time felt alive and bustling – shop owners stood outside their stalls and stores, people gathered and passed each other in the streets, and they really brought the setting to life. The show’s action scenes were well-animated, fluid, and exciting. As a whole, Tales of Zestiria is a great-looking show. It’s grandiose and vibrant presentation did well in executing the feel of a fantasy world and though the characters were lacking in appeal, it remained exceedingly pretty to watch. Whether or not these fantastic visuals and great production are enough to fully carry one’s interest in the show will depend on the viewer.
While Tale of Zestiria’s cast of characters aren’t as compelling as they could have been, the most significant blow to the show’s quality stems from its horrible pacing. The epilogue drops the viewer into a a dark and sinister fantasy world full of ancient ruins, political intrigue, and a sinister, looming mist on the horizon. It’s very light on exposition and the characters go about their tasks as they normally would though the viewer isn’t really clued into the implications of what is happening – what the mist means, why the kingdom is in the state that it is, who the characters are, etc. The first episode then delves a bit further into the mythology behind Tales of Zestiria mentioned in the epilogue and doesn’t do much to explain the previous events though it introduces us to Sorey and Mikleo. With Sorey’s introduction, a critical issue arises.
From the very beginning, it is painfully obvious that Sorey will become the Shepard of legend. His good-nature, belief in the legends of the Shepard, ability to see the seraphim, and dream of humans and seraphim coexisting once again all point directly at this. With that knowledge in mind, the show then proceeds to take 4 entire episodes (or 5 if you count the prologue) to finally unveil him as such when he takes up the sacred blade. Tales of Zestiria drags its feet in the extreme after introducing its characters and takes far too long to magnificently affirm for the viewer what they already knew. Just as the show finally arrives at the starting point of Sorey’s epic quest to cleanse the malevolence from the land and save the world, we are launched into a two-episode side-story.
The midsection of the show presents a brief, two-episode flashback concerning the characters and events of a different game in the Tales franchise – Tales of Berseria, which takes place many, many years before the events of the current show in the same world. Just like the epilogue, the viewer is tossed into an unfamiliar setting full of new monster types, magic powers, world rules, classifications, histories, and implications. It unapologetically immerses the viewer in this new, darker story and the show never bothers to connect it to the overarching show the viewer is familiar with which leads to it feeling pretty much purely promotional.
Perhaps the worst part of this is that Velvet Crowe, the protagonist of this two-episode interlude, is far and away more interesting than Sorey. Her story as well as the setting is grim and dark compared to the cheery and colorful aesthetic of Tales of Zestiria. Between what characterization she receives and her dramatic quest for revenge, Velvet and the story of Berseria are far more enticing than the story at large and despite our complete inability to understand a lot of the terminology being bandied about, it’s more immediately interesting than the show it interrupted. It has a sense of purpose and direction that up until that point, Zestiria wasn’t able to deliver on.
Finally, with the advent of episode 8 and the end of the flashback, Sorey and his companions at last embark on a journey. Even then the direction of the story is a bit vague in what Sorey is actually supposed to be doing and how he is going to cleanse the world of malevolence but at least they leave the capital city and start fighting monsters and dragons. So to reiterate, the key issue with Tales of Zestiria is that it takes 5 episodes to tell the viewer what they already knew, takes 2 episode off to explore a completely different story, and then features one final episode of bustling around before it can finally develop the sense of adventure that the premise of the show initially promises. While it has a second cour waiting in the wings, this is no excuse for how painfully drawn out Tales of Zestiria’s storytelling is and how underdeveloped its characters are.
While not distinctly memorable, the music is grand and adventurous like the show’s visuals and is well situated to the narrative. It’s hard to recall any part of the soundtrack individually but its a good deal of fun and supports Tale of Zestiria’s visual presentation very well.
[Final Thoughts and Rating]:
Tales of Zestiria is kind of a mixed bag in that, while it’s characters are enjoyable, they are also very plain – especially in the case of Sorey. Though the world, aesthetic, and overarching plot of the show might be interesting, the narrative dawdles and needlessly draws out what should take a far shorter time to explore. It’s gorgeous to look at, wonderfully animated, and exhibits some really exciting action scenes however it never fully steps beyond the realm of ‘eye candy’ in its attempt to drum up a compelling story.
I gave Tales of Zestiria a 6 primarily because of its fantastic visuals but also due to its moderately entertaining characters and narrative. While it doesn’t present the most engaging of stories and it takes far too long to arrive at its adventurous core, the show was entertaining to watch. Hopefully the subsequent installment of the series can better flesh out what the first season found lacking and really begin to develop a stronger narrative overall.
If you’ve enjoyed other game adaptations and enjoy that kind of ‘party-dynamic’ that the main cast represents, you’re likely to enjoy Tales of Zestieria. Anybody looking for a visually stunning, very straightforward action, adventure show won’t be disappointed with the show’s subject matter. Tales of Zestiria is pretty much what it promises to be and so anyone intrigued by its premise or genre will likely find what they go looking for.
After 12 long weeks, Tales of Zestiria the X finally came to an end, or rather unfortunately, because it was fantastic. Even before the start of the Summer 2016 season I knew that I could expect much of an Ufotable fantasy, action and adventure anime. I did not play the game so I won't be able to tell you which one was better, the game or the anime adaptation. But what I can do for sure is write my impressions and thoughts on the anime in this review. I know I am a week late with it but I hope you still enjoy!
PLOT AND STORY
As mentioned in the intro, Tales of Zestiria the X (ToZX) is an action, adventure and fantasy anime made by one of my favorite production studios-ufotable. Even before the anime started airing in July, 2016 I knew I'd love it because I've been waiting for so long for an anime like this. I wanted a good, action rich, fantastic, magical anime with a lot of legend and prophecies and stuff like that and ToZX delivers all of that. In addition to that, ToZX has a thrilling, uncommon and catchy story you just don't wanna miss.
The anime follows Sorey, a human boy that lived his whole life with seraphim, spiritual beings that are not visible to humans. He strongly believes in the folk tale that says "long ago, every human was able to see the seraphim" and so his greatest wish is to find out a way how to make humans and seraphim live together in peace again. In his first visit to the capital, Sorey gets involved in an accident during which he pulls out the legendary sword of Ladylake from a rock and becomes the Shepherd-one who casts away calamity from the world. Even tough that is the main plot there is one more important story line trough out the anime. It is the story of Alisha Diphda, the princess of the Highland empire. She also believes the Seraphim folk tale and so finds a lot trust and support from Sorey and it soon becomes clear that they follow one and the same dream. While Sorey sets of on a journey to learn what it really means to be a Shepherd, Alisha fights for peace and stability in her own empire.
The first thing that made my watch and later on love the anime was definitely the story. I was always a fan of anime that based their story on ancient legends, prophecies and myths. The legends about the seraphim caught me right form the beginning. It's a pitty that they didn't continue more with the legends from the ancient ruins that Sorey explored together with his seraph friend Mikelio in the beginning.
Moreover, ToZX delivers a lot of epic fights nad breathtaking action scenes. It is so magical and so amazing to see the seraphim Lailah, Mikelio and Edna fight calamity with Sorey. Besides, the powers of the three seraphim are based on the power of the four elements fire, water, earth and I think we'll meet an air seraphim in the second season. I've always loved this kind of magic and powers and I think every magic and fantasy fan will. The thing I found the most interesting in the anime is one more side-story that appears somewhere in the middle of the anime with Crowe as the main character. It kinda came out of nowhere and with no connection to Sorey and Alisha at all. I am sure that they'll meet later in the anime and I actually just can't wait to see what will happen then.
Now if you ask whether Tales of Zestiria the X has a moral or a deeper meaning in the story, I'd say Yes, it does. The whole seraphim/human story is not the actual moral, but more the part with the calamity. War, fights, corruption and so on result in calamity or easier said: we create the demons that destroy our world and that's exactly what ToZX wants to show. The anime keeps you on tenterhooks the whole time and I personally just couldn't wait for next Sunday just to watch the new episode. Unfortunately, the first season of Tales of Zestiria the X came to an end last Sunday. Still, the anime was a huge success so I think it is not wrong to expect another season soon. *fingers crossed*
Truth is I loved Tales of Zestiria the X a lot, but it is still not a perfect 10/10. Unfortunately the characters lack in originality. Firstly you have Sorey who is the average main character. He is the hero of every situation and his actions are mainly predictable. Gladly, he is not the annoying type of main character because that could have ruined the anime in many ways. Also the female protagonist of the story, Alisha is a common character you've seen in other anime too. She is a brave and independent character that always fights for justice. I've always loved strong and independent female characters but to be honest, they became boring over time. I loved Erza, Yona, Kallen, Akame etc. but now I am more a fan of arrogant villains such as Gilgamesh from Fate/ UBW. The only character that I though had more depth in her personality was Clowe. She is presented as the "bad guy" in the story but I think there is much more to it. Even tough we could see her in only 3 episodes (i think) I got the feeling that she is an extremely strong yet caring character with a thug past. I hope we'll get to see more of her in the next season.
ANIMATION AND STYLE
What to say? I mean, it's an unfotable production. The production studio with the best animation of all. The animation of Tales of Zestiria the X is just fantastic, amazing, marvelous, magical, incredible, stunning, wonderful...I think you understand now how good it is. There is not a single flaw in the animation or the anime style. The style is also very unique and beautiful. The thing where you really get to see how good both, the animation and the style, are are the action scenes and the backgrounds. You just cannot believe how good it is. It is like a fantasy for your eyes. You cannot but enjoy it. Lastly, I think I have the right to say that this is the best animation I have ever seen in my life.
To conclude this review, Tales of Zestiria the X was a huge success. With a unique and intriguing story and an ufotable animation this anime could not but be amazing. And true the characters lack in originality but I think we can forgive the makers because they did everything else incredibly good. I haven't watched a lot anime form the Summer 2016 season but I am sure that Tales of Zestiria the X was among the better ones.
One of the most intriguing topic is human nature, for me. Thus, this anime series is unexpectedly good. I thought this will only consist of a normal adventure-action anime tag along with a loli character, a bishounen, you get what my point is. But it is perfect. It has a great combination of reality and fantasy. It contains of deeper views of human emotions, how they think, how they react, how fragile they can be. How a simple misunderstanding can lead to such agony and pain. How weak humans are when it comes to
their feelings, their greed which is making the decisions for them. That very thing, that weakness, is what this anime makes into reality. How it can change the world, and can destroy the human itself. This series is interesting. I think it was first release as a game, though I still haven't try it.
Girl characters in an adventure anime is very rare. It became a norm that once a girl takes a role in such genre, they must be protected and looked into. But this series breaks it. No girl needs attention. No girl needs protection. Sometimes, it is great to see a main character who decides for what she really wants with head held high, a brave spirit which make others follow her. Not that Alisha (Heroine) is the only interesting character in the series. It is all, actually. All of them have that strong spirit in them which allow them to step forward even there are struggles ahead. Well, who said there needs to be a weak ones in a story always? Some of them needs development, yes. It is to grow, to make them more real. But it is not a disadvantage. It is what makes them human.
ANIMATION AND SOUND: 10/10
There's no doubt that the animation of this series is great. Every emotion is well expressed and every characters animation is close to perfect. The action scenes are also suspenseful and every bit of it looks way too cool. In line with the songs, I don't know but I've always have a goosebumps watching it. It feels like the song is perfectly match up on the animation of it. The way the characters action in that certain song is really awesome it gives me goosebumps.
If it is enjoyment, there's no way I deny it. Though I've taken too much time to finished this since there not much time, every episode is worth the watch. I forgot how many screenshots I've made for this one. It is not heartwarmimg or anything like that, if described, it is more like an eye opener if it was watched thoroughly.
I don't know if I'm just overreacting rating this anime as perfect, but it is for me. Though I know that there are questions that been kept hanging at the end of this season 1, I think that it has ended satisfyingly. It is not your normal ending in any action anime, as well as it is also not that overly done. It is quite simple, yet, you will know it is not the end. It can easily be accepted and you will crave for more.