Snapshot: Tales of the Abyss – 01
「預言の世界」 (Sukoa no Sekai)
“The World of the Score”
From Namco‘s “Tales” video game franchise comes another anime adaptation, except this time, the folks over at Sunrise are in charge of the production. With a single season TV series and two OVAs before it, Tales of the Abyss marks the first time that a full two-season, 26 episode, TV series will be produced. Given the length of the series, there should be ample time to cover a lot of material, which fans of the role playing game should appreciate. Almost the entire cast from the video game has returned as well, plus they’ve opted to use the same “Karma” opening theme. Being a Sunrise production, the quality is certainly noticeable throughout, with a couple of nuances I really liked this episode being the addition of a random encounter and an item exchange for a ride, both of which really gave off that RPG-feel. Being a longtime fan of RPGs ever since I laid my hands on the original Final Fantasy, I really enjoy fantasy settings like those seen in the Tales series. As of late though, my time and interest in RPGs (and video games in general) have dwindled, so I admittedly haven’t played Tales of the Abyss myself. Because of this, I may not be the best person to make comparisons between the game and the anime, but from what I can tell based on the introductory episode, this adaptation does follow the original story.
Set in the world of Auldrant where six elements known as “Fonim” exist — Shadow, Earth, Wind, Water, Fire, and Light — the discovery of a Seventh Fonim throws the world into chaos due to its ability to predict the future. In the past, a Seventh Fonim user named Yulia Jue outlined a prophecy for the world known as the “Score“, which is documented in stone fragments that are now scattered across the world. As foretold in the Score, the nations of Kimuelasca Lanvaldear and Malkuth have fought against one another in long war, while a religious group known as the Order of Lorelei attempted to maintain peace and uphold the prophecies in expectation of the prosperity that’s to come. The story follows Luke fone Fabre, the son of Duke Fabre of the Kimuelasca Lanvaldear, and his soon-to-be comrades as they get thrown into the conflict caused by the Score. Luke also has a shadowy past with no recollection of anything prior to his kidnapping seven years ago — the importance of which should become more prevalent as the story progresses.
While every indication points towards the same story as the game, this may come off as a blessing to fans wanting to see the original story in an animated form, or as a needless repeat to those wanting to watch something new. As such, your mileage will vary if you’ve played the game, but for the rest of us, the series actually looks quite promising thus far. The cast is also full of talent with Yukana (C.C. in CODE GEASS) as the lead heroine Tear Grants, Koyasu Takehito (Mu La Flaga in Gundam SEED) as the Malkuth officer Jade Curtiss, Momoi Haruko (Seto Sun in Seto no Hanayome) as the doll-using Lorelei guardian Anise Tatlin, Matsumoto Yasunori (Gourry Gabriev in Slayers) as Luke’s servant and best friend Guy Cecil, and Neya Michiko (Mellisa Mao in Full Metal Panic!) as Luke’s fiancée Natalia Luzu Kimuelasca Lanvaldear. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of Suzuki Chihiro playing Luke though, but I was somewhat put off by his spoiled character anyway. Music-wise, I wasn’t particularly drawn to the opening or the ending song, but did notice that both sequences mixed in current/next episode scenes respectively — something you don’t see very often due to the extra work involved every week.
With that said, if you’re looking for a good fantasy anime this season, you really don’t have much of a choice outside of Tales of the Abyss. Luckily though, the series started off on a good foot and looks like it might turn out pretty well. Between this and Linebarrels of Iron on Fridays, I would say that Tales is the better bet this season if their first episodes have shown us anything.
(Using the Japanese spelling of character names)
- Luke fone Fabre (ルーク・フォン・ファブレ) : Suzuki Chihiro (鈴木 千尋)
- Tear Grants (ティア・グランツ) : Yukana (ゆかな)
- Jade Curtiss (ジェイド・カーティス) : Koyasu Takehito (子安 武人)
- Anise Tatlin (アニス・タトリン) : Momoi Haruko (桃井 はるこ)
- Guy Cecil (ガイ・セシル) : Matsumoto Yasunori (松本 保典)
- Natalia Luzu Kimuelasca Lanvaldear (ナタリア・ルツ・キムラスカ・ランバルディア) : Neya Michiko (根谷 美智子)
- Mieu (ミュウ) : Maruyama Miki (丸山 美紀)
- Van Grants (ヴァン・グランツ) : Nakata Jouji (中田 譲治)
- Lorelei (ローレライ) : Hayami Shou (速水 奨)
- Ion (イオン) : Kobayashi Yumiko (小林 由美子)
Six God-Generals (六神将):
- Asch (アッシュ) : Suzuki Chihiro (鈴木 千尋)
- Regret (リグレット) : Itou Miki (伊藤 美紀)
- Arietta (アリエッタ) : Yukino Satsuki (雪野 五月)
- Dist (ディスト) : Yao Kazuki (矢尾 一樹)
- Synch (シンク) : Kobayashi Yumiko (小林 由美子)
- Largo (ラルゴ) : Genda Tesshou (玄田 哲章)