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.
This show is slowly ruining my positive attitude to dragons. I am still in favor of their majestic, noble interpretations, but damn, Tales of Zestiria is doing a good job making me see their evil side as well. Not that there weren’t evil dragons in the rest of popular culture, but these are especially malevolent.
Japanese Title: 疫病の街
There wasn’t much of a plot in this episode. Mikleo is on his way home (that means back to Sorey) after finding that cool-looking bow he was searching for. On his way he meets a cute little bear-thingy wearing a cool helmet that might be a reference to something but I have no idea to what (I am a reference freak, in case you haven’t noticed until now). His name is Atakk (which rhymes too conveniently with the English word, attack) and he is, essentially, a chibi Seraph. His role in the party, because we are still in a videogame in case you forgot, is that of the buffer: he can augment a party member’s abilities. Useful stuff. I remember from my World of Warcraft days how important a buffer is and I could totally relate to Mikleo’s astonishment as he blasts a hellion across an entire forest. This little guy is strong.
Alisha is on her way to Marlind, where she manages to get after crossing a couple of destroyed bridges. Either she is one unlucky princess or someone didn’t want her to get to Marlind. Without any strong evidence to suggest the latter, I must conclude that broken bridges are her jinx. When she reaches the disease-ridden town, she also changes her outfit, a move that screams ‘HEY WE HAVE DIFFERENT OUTFITS IN THE GAME AS WELL’. I don’t know if they do, since I have yet to play it, but I would bet on it. It was a nice outfit though and it made the character even sexier. Alisha is my type: a strong and sexy princess who doesn’t conform to the status quo. When she sees Sorey again, she is able to talk to the Seraphs without any need to join hands with him because of Sorey’s power growth. During their journey to Marlind, Sorey discovered that the reason of the increased Malevolence in the area is a baby dragon (or a dragon puppy as they call him in the anime) that hasn’t yet transformed into a fully grown dragon. That means that Sorey has a chance to purify him and return him to his human form.
Atakk: Atakk is small and funny. He reminds me of Puck from Berserk. He is the comic relief, the funny faces, the occasional silly comment. But he is also the one who imbues the characters with extra strength, so I guess that laughter is power? Weird connection, but it works for me.
New Transformations: Sometimes I feel like Sorey is like a cool twisted version of Captain Planet. Of course there are countless other nature-themed super-power cartoon I could have related Sorey to, but this is the one that came to my mind first. Sorry. The Edna transformation was cool but short. The Mikleo transformation on the other hand was incredible. Mikleo came at just the right moment to make it as dramatic as possible and my eyes were as starry and bog as Atakk’s. I am a huge sucker for henshin sequences, and this was really cool. The double voice effect during their union reminded me of a very old anime imbued with real toy sequences that I don’t remember its name. I made a GIF out of it (the anime is really old so I hope we don’t get sued for this. Never post pictures you don’t have the rights for. It’s bad practice). If you know the anime please comment below!
Godzilla Moment: When the dragon puppy attacked Ouroboros, it felt like I watching a Godzilla or Ultraman scene. Needless to say that after the episode ended, I watched the newest episode of Ultraman Orb.
Holy Text: Sorey is treating the Celestial Records as Christians regard the Scriptures or any religion for that matter treats their own holy texts. He meticulously studies the text every day, reading for the time when Seraphs and humans lived together in harmony, learning about the dragons, the Seraphs, and the Shepherd.
Purification: Dragons are humans who are consumed by Malevolence. As thus, there is a chance for a way to exist that can bring them back in their human form. Purification alludes to forgiveness and redemption. Even when you are consumed by hate and anger, there is a possibility that you can correct your erroneous ways through the kindness of others, in this case, of the Shepherd.
Ouroboros: The first thing that came to my mind was the Uroboros album by Japanese band Dir en Grey. The ouroboros or oroboros comes from the ancient Greek word οὐροβόρος ὄφις which means tail-devouring snake. It’s an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail. The snake in the series wasn’t doing that, but still that’s where the reference came from.
With its current pace, it seems that the anime plot serves as an introduction to the game. That was to be expected. Many anime that are not original stories are actually promotional material for the medium they are adapted from, this time for the videogame. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. This anime is gorgeous and well animated. I don’t know if the end justifies the means, but if the means have the quality of Tales of Zestiria then bring them on.
I feel like the whole episode was just building on the moment of the Sorey-Mikleo transformation. I feel content, just by that one single scene. I am looking forward to more transformations. Yoshi!
NEXT TIME: Alisha Diefda (アリーシャ・ディフダ)
Official Site http://toz-thex-anime.tales-ch.jp/en/