What started as a promotion anime for a recent video game, managed to become one of the most exciting anime of the season. Ufotable can be proud of Tales of Zestiria the X, and we are all very excited about the recently announced second season. I don’t think it was in their plans when they started the series, but it definitely became a possibility after the warm fan reception.
Japanese Title: 災禍の顕主
Sorey confronts the Lord of Calamity, a powerful human hellion that feeds on the malevolence created by the pain and suffering of war. He arrived along with his Dark Goth Lolita servant, Synomme, and he toys a little with Sorey and the Seraphs before leaving the battlefield. His last words reminded me a little of Junko Enoshima and her take on the struggle between hope and despair. The only reason the Lord of Calamity spares Sorey is that he can become the hope of humanity so that the evil hellion can crush Sorey and bring even more despair to the world. We all know that this is not the way it usually goes, but don’t tell the bad guys. They always hope for the best. Or despair for the worst. At some point, Sorey even saw Lord’s true human form, but I don’t know if his face was someone we already know or just a confirmation that he is human.
You purify for the sake of humans, but this Malevolence was born out of man
Sorey, always in perfect ouch with his ideals, works together with the Seraphs to purify the battlefield from malevolence. The second bit of battle we get, is right before the final scenes of the episode, where Landon has turned into a hellion. The scene felt a little out of place. There was a really good flow up until that moment (a trademark of the series) that was interrupted for a reminder that Sorey has matured as the Shepherd and he is no longer slave of his negative emotions. A good reminder, but in an unnecessary scene.
On other news: Alisha didn’t die of her wounds. She made a pact with Sorey in one of the most beautiful scenes of the series. Rose sticks with the group of a little while longer. We have the Seraph of Wind joining the gang. I think that’s pretty much it.
Wallpaper Moments: There were so many of them for yet another episode. Sorey fighting until dusk. Sorey under the moon. The backgrounds are beautiful, memorable, and there is an admirable attention to details.
Sorey and Alisha: Both scenes featuring our lovely couple were quite emotional. In the first scene, Sorey is brought to her side as Alisha is dying from her wounds. He is sitting there, under the night sky as Alisha recounts their moments together in the voice of the narrator. As the voice of Alisha continues to tell their story, we suddenly see Sorey’s eyes shine. The scene shifts and we see Alisha alive, looking straight into Sorey’s eyes. Amazing.
The second scene finds Alisha making a squire’s pact with Sorey. The scene itself was quite astonishing. Sorey had to give Alisha a name in the ancient language and went with Melphis Amekia which means ‘Smiling Alisha.’ How sweet. But the greatest part of this scene was the tears of joy Alisha shed after being able to see the Seraphs. I could really feel how happy she was, how important this was to her.
Themes & Trivia
War: Alisha’s goal was fulfilled. The conflict was stopped and innocent lives were saved. After the incident, Alisha wants to return to Ladylake, to the real arena. She believes that the fight worth fighting is not the one on the battlefield, but the one in the political arena. It’s always better to prevent a war than to win it.
The problem with this episode was not in its visuals: they were incredible. It was not in the writing: most of the times the conversations were great and on topic. It wasn’t even in the music: I really enjoyed it. The problem with this episode was the same problem that persisted during the whole season: it felt more like an introduction to the world than a complete narrative. At first I didn’t mind, because I was convinced that the show was just promotion for the videogame. I could drool all I wanted to the amazing ufotable animation, and if I wanted to delve more into the characters I could always play the game. But since the second season was announced, I felt that I wanted more character development. The big bad Lord of Calamity came too late in the series to even care, and the wind seraph… well, yeah, who even cared about him? If you count out the moment he lifted the skirt of Rose, Marilyn Monroe style, he was uninteresting and a bit out of place.
In that sense, Tales of Zestiria was definitely one of the most interesting series of the season, BUT it felt better when I was content with the way it looked and the way it sounded. Now, that the first season is over, I wish they didn’t include those Tales of Berseria episodes, and instead focused on building the characters of Zestiria. Nevertheless, it was lots of fun, and at least we have a main antagonist and a set path to wait for.
And the rating is…
I am generally generous with my last episode ratings. This time, I didn’t have to be. Tales of Zestiria the X deserved every single praise I gave it throughout the course of this season. It wasn’t incredible in terms of story, but it was decent enough, and the incredible animation work of ufotable along with the awesome voice-acting took care of the rest.
I can’t wait for the second season. How about you?
NEXT TIME: Second Season in 2017! Manga.Tokyo will bring you all the latest news!
Official Site http://toz-thex-anime.tales-ch.jp/en/