Thanasis is a writer, professional geek, and assistant editor at MANGA.TOKYO. He started watching anime with the mecha shows of the 70s and hasn't stopped since. He loves JRPGs.
There is a certain way you can get away with shameless self-promotion: if you do it like ufotable does it. Tales of Berseria was released in August 18 in Japan and the animation company is in charge of the cutscenes. What better way to promote the company’s work and the videogame by creating an amazing episode that showcases their skills?
The episode is a continuation of the previous one. Our heroine, Velvet Crow, is the main protagonist of the less-than-a-week new Tales of Berseria game which takes place in the same in-game universe as Tales of Zestiria albeit in its very distant past. Velvet is a daemon, a human imbued with demonic powers that has the ability to consume supernatural beings. She was enslaved by Artorius, a high-level exorcist who has assumed control of the world and wants to be its savior. Velvet is rescued by an angel-like being, Ceres, who wants to avenge Artorius as much as Velvet does.
They are confronted by one of Artorius strongest guardians, praetor exorcist Oscar Dragonia (you have to love the ingenuity of Japanese anime names in fantasy settings) and in the middle of their exciting battle they are attacked by a huge dragon.
Since the whole episode seems like a prequel to Tales of Berseria, much like the first episodes of the series were like a sequel to Tales of Zestiria, we get to know all the members of the starting party, the sorceress Magilou and the half-daemon Rokurou, the first of the main antagonists, Oscar Dragonia, and a bit of backstory regarding Velvet’s motives for going after Artorius.
Blood Moon: The blood moon has been widely used as a symbol of war and prophesy. I remember that in UFO Grendizer, Fleed said that a red moon meant that the aliens were attacking the Earth, and in The Lord of the Rings it meant that blood had been spilled. There is also the blood moon prophecy, a series of apocalyptic beliefs promoted by Christian ministers John Hagee and Mark Biltz, which state that a tetrad (a series of four consecutive lunar eclipses—coinciding on Jewish holidays—with six full moons in between, and no intervening partial lunar eclipses) which began with the April 2014 lunar eclipse is a sign of the end times. I don’t know if I believe any kind of prophesy, but I sure know that a blood moon looks amazing.
Ending Theme Song: The song that plays in the credits is Tale of Berseria’s theme song, ‘Burn’ by Flow.
I don’t know what to say about this episode. It was half a testament by ufotable saying “this is what I can do, bitches. Buy the game, the cutscenes will be awesome” and half a reassurance by Bandai Namco that the story of the new Tales is going to have the same quality as the previous games. The reasons that the two-episode promotion was part of the Tales of Zestiria anime are that, first, the story of Berseria is set in the distant past of the same world as Zestiria’s, and second, the release of the game was in August 18. Shameless promotion? Maybe. Does it matter? Heck, no. The episode was awesome, the story was incredible, and the heroine was cool. I was watching the outro (which is the intro from the game? I have no idea. The theme song is certainly from the game) and I thought “I would watch this anime”.
The CG parts of the series are always amazing (unlike a certain anime called Berserk) and they blend well with the 2D drawn characters, but this time ufotable really outdone themselves. The dragon was a work of art. Sometimes the animation of the surrounding areas felt choppy, but to pull this kind of feat you must be ready to encounter a few drawbacks. When our Japanese RPG party finally got together to start their adventure, they boarded a ship; the moment I saw the CG sea I gasped in awe. It must be the most amazing sea I have even seen in an anime scene.
Am I going to play Tales of Berseria? Of course I am. I would have played it even before seeing this episode, but with ufotable’s awesomeness still fresh in my mind, I’m just that much more excited. Heck, I am even going to recommend the game without having played a minute. According to the preview, this is all we get from Berseria. Maybe next time we go back to Sorey?
How about you? Have you played Tales of Zestiria? Are you excited about Tales of Berseria? What did you think of the episode?
NEXT TIME: Their Respective Thoughts, #07 Sorezore no omoi (#07 それぞれの想い)
Official Site http://toz-thex-anime.tales-ch.jp/en/