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Tales of Zestiria the X – 04

「導師のさだま」 (Doushi no Sadame )
“The Shepherd’s Destiny”

Zestiria is playing by the book, but it’s hard to knock a production this strong and appealing to the eye. It may not be the most original fantasy out there, but it’s plenty of fun and remarkably easy to watch. I do get the feeling that if were done by a lesser studio then I would have dropped this by now and labelled it as generic or average, but ufotable’s skills and affection for this somewhat mediocre story have elevated it to another level. The characters aren’t anything to write home about, but the way they’ve fleshed them out and explored more of the world they inhabit has made each episode of Zestiria all the more interesting.

This is truly getting the best adaptation possible, which is even more obvious when fans of the franchise are all on board with the changes. Compare that to the horribly paced and shoddily directed Berserk anime and it’s like night and day. This is how you improve upon the source material by either cutting out the bad parts, inserting interesting details, or simply putting more effort and budget into the aesthetic and appeal of the show.

Alisha was my early favourite of the cast, mainly because of my love for narratives that focus on determined princesses. Lunarre then cemented himself as the most fun character to watch on-screen (and I’m glad he made an appearance this week), but I’ve grown to like Sorey recently. At first I thought he was too cookie-cutter for my liking, but then I remembered I much prefer this easygoing, ambitious, likeable main character to the gloomy anti-hero. Both can be done well, but both have their fair share that are boring or just plain annoying. Thankfully Sorey is endearing enough in his interactions with the rest of the cast that I can’t help but root for him. His journey to ‘save the world’ may be as typical as they come, but I can live with that – that’s the story we’ve got here, and only time will tell if ufotable will continue to improve upon the source material and provide us with a more nuanced and layered story to match the production.

As always, the action sequences were great, Alisha’s political struggles are a fine addition, and the relationship between the humans and gods of this world is one I’m looking forward to be broken down in future episodes. For the time being Alisha can only speak with the seraphim when Sorey blocks all his senses in an awkward and amusing fashion, and for as funny as that scene was, I look forward to the time where the main cast can properly interact with one another. We’re still in the early stages of this story – especially since this is rumoured to be 2-cours – so I’m willing to wait and see what else is on offer in the weeks to come. I expect more of the same, but I’m willing to be surprised with more changes and improvements to the game.

 

Preview

July 31, 2016 at 4:10 pm
22 comments »
  • July 31, 2016 at 4:46 pmShahir

  • July 31, 2016 at 4:47 pmSilivious

    I’m really hoping this goes to 2 cours. The game was pretty damn long, all things considered, and stuffing it all into 12 episodes would be one hell of a stretch.

    • July 31, 2016 at 4:51 pmLyfe

      Its a two cour series lol. The second part airs Jan 2017.

  • July 31, 2016 at 6:03 pmPurpleBomber

    That was a very coy episode preview for next week, lol. Looks like we may be getting that crossover with Berseria sooner rather than later after all, with the game coming out in just a matter of weeks in Japan.

  • July 31, 2016 at 6:54 pmBlue

    So I haven’t played the game, but can anyone explain exactly what can and cannot be seen by the muggles?

    Take the last episode:
    -They CAN’T see the Hellion
    -They CAN see the destruction.
    -They CAN see Sorey

    That leaves:
    Can they see the attacks of either the Hellions or the Gods?
    Can they see Fire-Sorey, or do they just see regular Sorey, swinging a sword at nothing?

    Basically, I’m wondering if the Shephard basically looks like a lunatic/terrorist because dem muggles can’t see what he sees.

    • July 31, 2016 at 7:06 pmRae

      Sorey is a human. At the temple, they probably saw Sorey swinging the sword as a normal human but giant wind destruction happens.

    • July 31, 2016 at 10:44 pmhaseo0408

      Tales of Berseria is a prequel that is coming out in a few weeks, in the it will be explain that several thousands of years before the story of Sorey and all the other Shepherds before him the humans could see and interact with the Seraphim could also see the Helions. I belive the game will also explain how the humans lost the ability to percive this supernatural beings and the origin not only of the Lord of Calamity but the Cycle of the Shepherds as well.

    • July 31, 2016 at 11:31 pmBlahto

      There are some instances where Sorey sees a Helion but to others it looks like a normal human…..

      • August 1, 2016 at 6:28 pmhaseo0408

        To be exact they can only see the weakest of the hellions, at the begining of the game a goblin hellion stole a purse but the victim saw him as a child thief; later a town being attack by wolf hellion and the town guards saw them as wild wolfs. The only exceptions are Dragons and the Lord of Calamity, those abominations are so danm powerful the human brain register them no matter what.

    • August 1, 2016 at 1:56 pmLibélula

      “muggles” XD Those muggles always see Sorey as human. They can not see him being fused with a seraph.
      They cant see the hellions, they appear to them as gray clouds, storms, etc. Same goes for the attacks, it’s somewhat “reinterpreted” by them.

    • August 2, 2016 at 9:35 amiron2000

      From a Tales Of wikia:

      “They cannot be seen by normal human eyes, and humans and animals possessed by the malevolence appear to them as if they were normal. Seraphim and humans with high spiritual energy are able to see hellions, which can take on a variety of forms, such as slimes and human-animal hybrids.”

      http://aselia.wikia.com/wiki/Hellion

  • July 31, 2016 at 10:33 pmAlec

    I wonder how Lailah’s new voice actress handle the things Lailah does due to her oath from her on out?

    I saw the preview, and she just couldn’t capture it the way the previous voice actress did. She’s kinda soft spoken

  • July 31, 2016 at 10:52 pmhaseo0408

    When I first saw the opening (which is amazing!) I was very surprised to see Velvet (the protagonist of the soon to be released prequel Tales of Berseria) but I didn´t what to think since the story of Berseria is set several thousands of years before Zestiria but I think they´sre going to show it to us next week, maybe as some kind of to promote the incoming game with this crossover, telling two very conected sories at the same time. There are several rumors that this adaptations is going to be a 2 cour, the nexxt due to be released in January and I hope that´s true because there is no way they could even adapt half of 2 games in just 13 episodes! Espicailly becuse they´s taking their time and so far i has been agreat adaptation.

    • August 1, 2016 at 8:04 amAniBEE

      At the pace they’re going, it would have to be 2 cour.

      Can I hope for a Tales of Destiny anime….. Talking Swords / sentient weapons is nice to see it again on a Tales series.

  • August 1, 2016 at 2:23 amMurasaki Hiruza

    What I look forward the most every week turns out to be the next episode preview. It’s funny and interesting.

    But the main story is also enjoyable too haha

  • August 1, 2016 at 6:44 amdaikama

    Pretty much same impression as before. Overall visual quality is still good, but again I thought it noticeably dipped here and there on top of some scenes being too dark. I get “atmosphere”, but at times it was too hard to make out some of the details.

    True, the story is very “by-the-book”, but that’s pretty much established by now. It can still work well enough IMO. I thought pacing was pretty good this episode. Not rushed, but things did move along. Actually, that’s been one of the stronger points of the show in general. I like the fact that Alisha has a good grasp about what’s going on with the council. Nice to have an astute character.

    Personally, the action/battles are a bit of mixed bag. Again, in general visual quality is good, but the fight(s) this episode were kind of perfunctory. To be fair, I guess the bats were on a cannon fodder level, but still not the best stuff for this show. Hoping we’ll get some better fights/action later on.

    Nothing new on the character front either really. Still like Alisha the best. The rest are still OK. Sorey’s functional in his role. Super nice/pure good guy which is what he needs to be as Sheppard. I did like Mikleo’s “What a fluke” line when conveniently forgot to return dagger proved convenient. I took that as the anime being a bit self-aware.

    So steady as she goes. Thus far, for me the show is “pretty good”/”OK+” rather than anything flat out “good”. That’s not a dig on the adaptation quality (separate issue IMO). From game player comments and just general impression, this does seem to be getting a good adaptation. Obviously better than Berserk this season, but that’s not exactly a high bar either. MAL has this listed for a 12 episode, 1-cour run, but from comments this presumably is a split cour show? Didn’t expect that, but if the game is as long as one poster commented, then 2-cour (total) is probably for the best.

  • August 1, 2016 at 8:11 amFabio

  • August 1, 2016 at 9:08 ambelatkuro

  • August 2, 2016 at 9:31 amiron2000

    Somehow that big tornado feels like the element used to change things in this adaptation.
    Don’t know how far the anime will stray from the game story at this point.
    Will it be used to simplify things?

    From the game I can’t see how a horse carriage can exit/enter the nobles district of Ladylake :P

    Another original dungeon, quite for the sake of the original mega tornado.
    I think I saw the dragon thing in the Crucible descending animation in the game.

    Don’t think the Lord of Calamity show up this soon in the game.
    Will Velvet come out of the tornado? lol

  • August 2, 2016 at 11:42 amtheirs

    http://randomc.net/image/Tales%20of%20Zestiria%20the%20X/Tales%20of%20Zestiria%20the%20X%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2003.jpg
    This really shows that only one of them can see the other. I really thought it was the way it was animated that gave this impression. They sure put in a lot of meaningful details.

    Sorey and Alisha seem to complement each other in the story. One is simple while the other is in a very complicated situation. I’m liking the contrast between them.

  • August 2, 2016 at 4:01 pmcyberscott

    I hope that Alisha gets more of a solid role in the anime. I enjoyed her character in the game and was disappointed that she regulated to a rarely seen support character halfway through the game.

  • August 3, 2016 at 2:51 pmdrzero7

    When ufotable does a better job with this story then the ACTUAL game source material of Tales game… you know this anime is doing something right lol. (like Alicia actually doing something)

    Anyway, that’s how I feel.