Tales of the Abyss – 04
After Tear wakes back up, she heals her own arm and apologizes to Luke for not protecting him since he’s a civilian and she’s a soldier. The group then finds out via a letter from Anise that she’s reached the Naval Port of Kaitzur near the Malkuth-Kimlasca border. Guy knows that if they go there, they can meet up with Van, and so the group makes haste. They kill many monsters along the way, and even Luke participates in the battles. When they reach Kaitzur, they find Anise trying to plead her way through the border crossing, but she gets turned back. With Anise back in the group, their problem is now a lack of passports, and that problem is solved when Van appears. Tear initially raises her weapon against him, but Van and Jade convince her to back down for the time being until things can get sorted out. Tear accuses her brother of sending the six God-Generals, but Van explains that although those six are technically his subordinates, they are allied with Mohs’s faction and probably acted under Mohs’s orders.
Tear refuses to believe this and thinks instead that Mohs wants peace. She starts to point out how Mohs had her searching for something, but she stops mid-sentence as she realizes what he was having her do. Van figures out that Tear was supposed to look for the Seventh Fonstone, and Luke turns out to be the only person who doesn’t know what that is. The others thus have to explain to him that 2000 years ago, Yulia Jue recited a Score (prophecy) for the future of the world. This Score was so long that the fonstones it was recorded in were huge, and over time, they broke. Part of them became the ring of fonstones around the planet, and part fell to the planet. Malkuth and Kimlasca fought over the ones that fell to the planet because possession of them means being able to know the future of the world. The Seventh, however, is one that Yulia hid, and many people have been searching for it. In any case, with things cleared up now, the group passes through the border crossing and into the port with Van. Unfortunately, right as they arrive, the port comes under attack by Arietta. Although she reveals to Van that Asch is making her do this, Arietta nevertheless kidnaps the maintenance chief and demands that Luke and Ion go to Choral Castle if they want him back.
Van’s decision is to not go save the maintenance chief because he doesn’t want to endanger Luke or Ion, and he leaves to go deal with Arietta himself. Ion and the others, however, decide to go to Choral Castle anyway after two of the maintenance chief’s subordinates beg them to go save the man. Guy is also interested in Choral Castle because it’s where Luke was found seven years ago after being kidnapped, and so the group makes their way to the castle. Once outside, Luke wonders if the six God-Generals are here, and he questions who they are, so Jade explains that there are six of them: Legretta the Quick, Arietta the Wild, Largo the Black Lion, Sync the Tempest, Dist the Reaper, and Asch the Bloody. The group then makes their way inside, and when Anise pretends to be frightened by a rat and tries to hug Luke, she accidentally grabs Guy instead. This triggers a painful memory inside of Guy of a woman falling towards him, and he throws Anise off before returning back to normal. Because of this, Guy reveals that he wasn’t always afraid of women and that he’s missing a very specific part of his memory: the memories of when his family died.
The conversation about Guy is cut short when one of Arietta’s monsters suddenly appears and kidnaps Luke, and Arietta herself prevents the others from saving him. Arietta has a grudge against Anise for taking Ion away from her and a grudge against everyone else for killing her mother. The mother she’s referring to is the liger queen that the group had killed back in the Cheagle Woods, and Ion explains that Arietta was raised by monsters after losing her parents in the previous war. Despite this, Jade, Guy, and Anise show no mercy towards her monster allies, and they soon capture her as well. Luke meanwhile has been put in a machine that Dist and Sync are attending to, and both receive special disks from it. Dist gets away, but Sync is attacked by and loses his disk to Guy. Guy also manages to take off Sync’s mask, but Sync then flees. In the aftermath, Jade seems to recognize the machine that Luke was put in, and Guy gives Jade the disk. They then return to port with the maintenance chief and Arietta, and they’re once again reunited with Van for the journey back to Luke’s home.
In what’s sure to become an every-single-episode sort of thing, this week again had me thinking how RPG-like this series is. I almost even yelled “SIDEQUEST” when the two guys appeared to as Ion to help get the maintenance chief back. Actually, Choral Castle turned out to be a relatively important place considering all the stuff that happened there, so it wasn’t really a sidequest at all. What ended up bothering me about it is how quickly the group got there, with virtually no transition from the port to the castle or information on where the castle is situated. As I mentioned last week, Sunrise needs to do a better job of transitions so that successive scenes like this don’t feel so unconnected. At least the trip to Kaitzur included the slaughtering of many monsters, probably to represent some point in the game where you had to slosh through a lot of them. I realize they can’t do that for every time the group goes to a different location, but normally either the group is shown traveling or the scene changes to a different place to put the focus elsewhere while the heroes are implied to be making the journey.
The final shot of this episode also made me laugh because it’s as if they were announcing “This is the adventure group as it stands right now.” For a story that’s turning out to be fairly strong, this was a very uninteresting way to end the episode. Surely there’s some spot around this point that could have been made into a cliffhanger instead of just having a goofy cover-art-like image of all the characters. Having said all that though, I still enjoyed this episode as a whole. Sunrise continues to do a good job with all the battles, and Anise is turning out to be a very fun character with all of her personality/mood swings – kudos to Momoi Haruko for how well she voices the role. The look on Anise’s face in the preview – reacting to what I assume is Natalia welcoming Luke back – is priceless as well.