Sorey is a human youth who grew up among the seraphim, spiritual beings not visible to humans. Sorey believes in the folklore that says "long ago, every human was able to see the seraphim" and dreams of unraveling the ancient mystery to make the world a place where people and seraphim can live together in peace.
One day, Sorey visits the human capital for the very first time. He becomes embroiled in an incident during which he pulls out a holy sword embedded in a rock and ends up becoming a Shepherd, one who casts away calamity from the world. He begins to realize the gravity of his mission, and his dream of coexistence between mankind and the seraphim becomes more intense—
And thus, the Shepherd embarks on an amazing journey with his companions.
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. read more
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.read more
Tales of Zestiria the X was an anime that I, well not only me but most people were 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 either, nor seen the play-through of it, so it was an entirely new series for me.
But... when its first 3 to 4 episodes got aired, honestly i however at first was very let down by it. The art/animation was perfect, the battle animation, the landscapes, they were very realistic... tht i had to hand down to them, it was truly majestic to my eyes and the story line was simple and quite interesting ...but the story itself at the beginning was a very low 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 a certain episode which made me really confused and out of it. Nevertheless, Tales of Berseria still was a really enjoyable one although short.
More over anything i knowingly found the characters in tales of zestiria a little too what you call shallow or geeky in comparison to berseria, i was pretty annoyed by it.
However... As the story continued past -aside the tales of berseria, they kept on introducing new characters one after another at a great pace and tht seemingly slow start started to cover up but still not known about anything. The animation was the same; flawless. But the story finally started to dig in to me as it went on, somehow i eventually got costumed to the shallow character, 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 they came to its end.
Overall knowing this season was/is maybe an introduction to its sequels, i must say it was a pretty good one and worth the time.
......Now hoping to get the story plot to set to its main stage in the next season. And 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.