I am trying to imagine a typical staff meeting at ufotable about Tales of Zestiria the X close to the start of the season: ‘Ok guys, so we have about enough money to have 20 minutes of awesome CG battles. Do we spread it or do we have an amazing last episode? And how are we going to deal with the rest of the episodes?’ I think their conclusion’s pretty obvious by now: Let’s keep the series boring as hell in order to have amazing vistas, great 10-second battles, and maybe some cool dragons close to the end.
Japanese Title: 北の大地 Northern land
Humans are so inconvenient
Episode 22 of Tales of Zestiria was as de-fragmented as the rest of the series. I’m so confused by the scene progression that I find myself having a headache even thinking about the plot. I was so confused by the story and so perplexed by the obvious plot holes that when the dragons came into the picture, I decided it was easier to let them go and focus on the action. Just let them go; they don’t matter anymore. What are Earthpulses? Let it go. It doesn’t matter. Why is Lailah acting like a mother-figure? Let it go. It doesn’t matter. What the frak happened between Symonne and the Lord of Calamity? Let it go…who cares… Why did Lunarre turn from a cold-blooded assassin to a hero? Have we ever heard his name in the series? Is he a hellion? Wait, I remember in the prologue that he was kil…Let it go, it doesn’t matter. Who the frak is the Lord of Calamity? Why am I still watching this series? WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE? DRAGONS? Dragons? Dragons… draaagoooons.
Also: Mikleo discovers mousse.
Normins: I can’t wait to see how Normins are going to enhance our heroes’ abilities during the final battle. It’s clear from Mikleo and Attak’s attack that the little stuffed creatures are buffs. They are also very cute and probably perfect for stuffed toys merchandise. Nothing beats tribbles though.
Dragon Valley: A valley full of dragons? Awesome. I’m going to pass unnecessary plot holes like how the frak are dealing with so many dragons when just one purification took Rose and Alisha 9 days to recover from. Unless they are not purifying them. Are they killing them? Am I missing something here? Nevertheless, ufotable once more delivers on the CG. The dragons look amazing.
Armatization: The armatization process is so cool that I found myself interested in the series for the few seconds in which it happened. Rose’s hair turn blonde and long and shines green, Bezel’s color. Alisha had a semi-proper transformation sequence on a form that we have seen already with Sorey. I would have preferred the henshin on Rose instead. I am going to pass petty details like how the frak they managed to become proficient in the process when a few scenes before they were failing miserably.
Themes & Trivia
Henshin: Think Power Rangers, Ultraman, Sailor Moon. Every hero that has a transformation sequence is part of an elite group that is characterized by the word henshin, the Japanese word that means ‘transformation’ or ‘metamorphosis.’ Unlike Superman or the X-men, henshin heroes only have powers (most of the times) in their transformed form. They usually use a catchphrase, a special item, or a combination of both in order to transform, and that transformation usually involves either a change in appearance or an armor of some kind.
Superfluous dialogue: The series is plagued by dialogue that is uninteresting, provides no value to the plot, or is superficial without any emotional or thematic depth. The lack of meaningful conversation kept the characters stuck and devoid of any serious personal development. After years of sharing a life, Bezel and Rose’s exchange before their first armatization was very stiff:
Sorry if I die.
If you die, you won’t be able to say sorry
(Thank you Captain Obvious) That’s why I’m apologizing before I die
And then Lord of Calamity’s response to Symonne’s pleas:
Symonne, why are you shouting so much? Did you bring the Shepherd?
Dragons. If there was anything that saved this episode from being another boring, stiff, but visually appealing episode, it was the dragons. And the armatization transformations. And Sorey kicking some dragon ass. In general, everything that the series should have focused on from the beginning.
Lord of Calamity: Round 1
Since we are two episodes away from the conclusion (?) of the series, I guess that we’ll get a two-part final battle against the Lord of Calamity. Making assumptions is part of the fun of doing the reviews for Tales of Zestiria the X, because I am always hoping for something that I never get. It’s always a delight to see how the series is going to prove me wrong in the next episode. Nevertheless, I wish for a grand battle. Nothing else matters. Let everyone die, I don’t care. Just let them die fighting.
Did you like Episode 22 of Tales of Zestiria the X? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to check the rest of our episodic reviews for Winter 2017! You should also complete our new survey that lets you take part in our most recent anime giveaway! More info in the article below: