Tales of Symphonia Tethe'alla is the 4 episode OVA that follows the four episodes of Tales of Symphonia, only it's set in another world, known as Tethe'alla. To start off, if you've seen the first four episodes, you'll be aware that the episodes in this anime are quite long, about 40 minutes long as opposed to the normal length for anime episodes, about 20 minutes. This doesn't bother me in the least; actually, I found it quite refreshing, not having to click on a new link as often to continue watching the show.
If you've played the game for this anime, you might be more familiar with the characters, plot, and overall universe, but as for me I had played it only briefly several years ago and didn't remember much when I started watching this. So don't think you need any background knowledge: I certainly didn't need it.
Tethe'alla is an amazing world, bespeckled with grand castles, interesting people, highly advanced technology and something that made me rather excited to see: dragons. I loved the storyline in this world. Lloyd's adventures to save Colette caused him to come across new enemies and allies, and everyone has their own unique story to tell. At some points the plot took real twists -I would blink in a surprised fashion as I stared at the screen and wonder why someone had done something, or how something had happened. In this way, it became so that I couldn't figure out what was going to happen next, and for me watching something with unexpected turns is a real treat.
Because Tethe'alla is a chapter only four episodes long, like the first chapter, things are going to be moving at a good speed to keep the plot rolling. There aren't any unnecessarily long scenes of reflection, and flashbacks are kept concise. Background information on characters is given to us, but we are shown only what we need to know to understand character motivation, so if you like seeing scenes that show more about the character's life I'm afraid you'll be disappointed. What I really liked was how there could be great action in one moment, and then, only a scene or two later, everything would slow down to give viewers some time to process what had happened while the characters recovered and figured out what to do next.
Lloyd is a fantastic main character. He's charismatic, determined, strong-willed, and he keeps everyone focussed towards the goal of freeing Colette. I feel like the other characters fill in all the standard group holes: Genis, the cheerful companion who still seems a bit too innocent. Rain, the instructor and sister to Genis, ready to help out where she can. Sheena, the woman who is at first a bit of a mystery, and seems cold and distant, but later she shows that she's got an amazing heart. All of these guys, and a few more, really come together and make the perfect team.
The music in this anime was definitely not what I was used to. It's got depth, layers, and it fits the scenes brilliantly, raising tension and setting the tone. If you're expecting to hear something catchy and memorable, no, it isn't. To be honest I can't remember one tune from the show. But that's what's different about it: it's wind instruments, drums, and so on, building up on emotion and just creating a great feel for the story. It didn't have to be catchy or memorable. The opening and ending themes were fantastic. They aren't the usual norm, either. If you're expecting classic J-Pop or J-Rock, no, you're not going to receive it. The songs are just beautiful. Entrancing. Delicate. ...And rather unprounceable. However, I enjoyed them, sincerely.
I don't know what to tell you that won't get into the finer details of what you're considering you might watch. I won't tell you about the twists, or the ending (although I will say that it ended on a note that left too many loose ends, I believe we're in for a third OVA to tie everything up). However, I will tell you that in my honest opinion it's definitely an anime to set aside time for. If it doesn't captivate you by the opening sequence or by the end of the opening theme, then this probably is not the genre or anime you're looking for, though I assume you watched through the first four episodes to get here, so why even consider whether you want to see the Tethe'alla chapter? If you enjoyed the first chapter, you'll enjoy this one, and though it's an often repeated line it's completely true. read more
With the first part of this game adaptation being rather lackluster, the second part is now upon us and it's time to re-ask the same question from the first part, how hard does this part fall over itself because of cut content?
The Short Version:
(+)Returning characters feel much more fleshed out.
(+)When the new characters are introduced with more or less the same level as with the returning cast.
(-)Core character downgraded to a plot device.
(-)There's more Houdini characters. (I.E. characters that appear then disappear)
The Story (8/10): With the carry on from part one, the story having layers stacked upon it now, the connections between the characters and the events surrounding them are becoming easier to tie lines between. The overall feel of the anime has improved as well, where as the first part felt like it was more about saving the world, this one is on a much more personal level, which is why I think that this story is better that part one; it's a lot more focused. For instance, in part one the show put emphasis on focusing how important the journey is to restore the diminishing world. Part two on the other hand is focused solely on restoring Colette, making the entire show all the more effective when aiming for the feels and there's a few of those moments spread throughout this part. The show does this while managing to keep the over-arching plot present, which is also another plus.
The Characters (7/10): With the majority of the cast returning from part one, they feel a lot more whole and more like proper characters, with the exception being Lloyd and Colette. I feel like he's falling into what I call the 'Classic angry protagonist' abyss, where the character is trying to do their best with the given situation, but they can't help but get angry every time they feeling like, "I can't do anything and that makes me angry and sad. (like for example, Eren from Shingeki no Kyojin.) It was annoying in part one, and it's still annoying now. Thankfully though, that does change after a while. On the side of Colette she has been demoted from Core Character that actually has a presence, to a plot device that is more of a background prop, bad move series. Bad move.
Aside from the returning cast we have several new characters, again I'm just going to stick with the main cast.
Sheena Fujibayashi: Enemy turned friend and is more vulnerable than she seems.
Zelos Wilder: The Child of Regeneration for Tethe'alla and the red head.
Presea Combatir: A failed by-product of the Exsphere experiments and female lumberjack.
Regal Bryant: The new character who gets the most development and a lolicon.
One thing they did well while developing the new characters is that, while they were developing one character, they were also detailing some of the other ones, going to the extent of even giving one of them an episode long backstory. Of the new characters it's definitely Zelos that's the most underdeveloped, all I know about his is that he's the Child of Regeneration and that's it, and he stands out like a sore thumb for that very reason.
The Art and Sound (7/10 & 6/10): The art hasn't really changed between the two entries, although you can start to see more of the famous animation quality from ufotable starting to seep it's way through, the 3D movement is again improved and the fight scenes feel like a much more basic version of the ones we saw in Unlimited Blade Works. Not exactly the kind of quality I expected from a company at the peak of their game.
The Sound on the other hand has taken a slight dip in my opinion. The OP and ED aren't as enjoyable as part one's and they put in what I call 'Jump-scare queues' When they suddenly just put in a very loud sound for dramatic effect. Then again, the show's quiet when it needs to be for the emotional weight of certain situations, and the rest of the musical section is about as good as part one.
What do you think of this anime?
I think that this second part, as a whole, is a vast improvement from the first. The characters are more fleshed out, the art is finding it's feet, and the story is getting better. I wouldn't say I'd buy this anime though still after all of its obvious flaws.
Would I recommend this anime?
If you've seen part one? Yes definitely. If you're just jumping in at part two for some reason? No, because you won't have the same experience as someone who has seen part one. (Thus I highly recommend you go watch part one, then come back to this entry.)
Goodbye my brethren, see you in the next one.read more
ok for one this 10 will only make sense if you have played the game
I have been a die hard fan of this game for a long time, and when i first saw the original series i felt rather, well disappointed, it skimmed through half the game in a an instant, then came along this second season and it put my skepticism to a rest, the Tethe'alla arc ended up not only meeting the quota of the game but it actually topped it by a longshot,
The 2 big changes that the anime did better in the anime appossed to the game for this were the big twist and actually making the romance between lloyd and collete a real romance, i wont spoil the twist but there is a big one concerning lloyd in the final epiosde, in the game it was pretty mindblowing at the time but it wasn't really placed right and it didnt feel very climactic, the way they do it in the anime was holy shit worthy for anyone who hasn't played the game, its climactic, makes sense, ad has a very badass fight because of it
and back to the romance thing, in the original game the romance was kinda just there and it had no conclusion it alowed you to pick another girl named sheena aswell but it wasn't really that good and doesn't make any sense whatsoever for him to do it, the game just felt like it hacked it on there just because but the anime kinda made it a huge driving force for lloyd and it made a few scenes very emotional, and heres the real kicker thta made me go 100% fangirl, they actually give a conclusion to the romance, keep in mind ive been supporting that ship or 9 years and i finally got something from it, im gonna fangirl like crazy, i honestly think when it happened my penis went back inside me and turned into a vagina, that's how fan-girl i got when it happened,
but thats not the full reason why i mentioned this, im mentioning it cause it all makes the show overall better, the romance while not HUGE it does take up a bit and really built lloyd and collete as characters, and we also in the anime get to finally meet up with the entire cast fully and they handle them very well, specifically zelos was handled perfectly in the anime version, hes stuck up, jokes around, got kinda of a ego but hes also someone you dont want to fuck with and is hiding something that may screw everyone over, he reacts great with the entire cats though the most entertaining are the ones between him and lloyd and him and sheena, they just work kinda well off each other
One thing that's just a nice little plus for this, these episodes include small little skits making fun of the anime with he characters themselves and they are very funny, they make fun of things like kratos not getting enough screen time, genis being useless, lloyd being a idiot ext. they are quite funny and a treat to TOS fans out there
if you have not played the game i do suggest watching the anime instead, though the final part is still to come out(will come out this fall)
the show has everything you might want
-and by god even Psychological at points
and do not be dissuaded by the length, even if these are only 10 episodes for both seasons keep in mind they are all longer than a normal show, the original season was 30 min per episode so it kinda ended up being a 10 episode length and this is only 4 episodes but it is the length of 2 normal shows episodes(20 min is normal length) of 40 min, so overall just these 2 season equal the length of a 18 episode series and with the finale on the way it may end up being a 24 episode length,
to summarize this if you'v played the game this will be a treat to watch and if you haven't its something that anyone can enjoy cause its got borderline something for everyoneread more
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