The Celestial Records speak of the existence of the "Seraphim," a race of divine beings who give blessings to humanity and are offered prayers by them in return. Those who are anointed with the ability to interact with these spirits are known as "Shepherds." Hailed as heroes for their prompt appearances in times of crisis, while also being feared for their power, the Shepherds are imprinted in common folklore along with the Seraphim.
Sorey is a young human who has spent his entire life living in harmony alongside the Seraphim in the village of Elysia. Fascinated by the myths of the Celestial Records, he explores some nearby ruins with Mikleo—his childhood Seraphim companion—hoping to enlighten himself about the Seraphims' history with mankind.
Unfortunately, they become trapped in the depths of the historical site during their investigation. While searching for an exit, they come across a mysterious girl who desperately seeks the help of a Shepherd to save the world, which is on the brink of being consumed by darkness. Despite Mikleo's warning about making contact with other humans, Sorey decides to help the stranger, which unknowingly leads him closer to the dream of peaceful coexistence between man and Seraphim.
Tales of Zestiria the Cross is an animated television series adaptation of the Japanese role-playing game, Tales of Zestiria, which is the fifteenth main entry in the Tales series. The game was developed by Bandai Namco Studios and tri-Crescendo, and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. It released in January 2015 in Japan on the Playstation 3, and the Playstation 4 version was subsequently released in July 2016 in Japan.
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.
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.