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Tales of Zestiria the X – 07 »« Tales of Zestiria the X – 05

Tales of Zestiria the X – 06

OP3 Sequence

OP3: 「BURN」 by FLOW

「ベルベット・クラウ」 (Velvet Crowe)
“Velvet Crowe”

That was another solid episode, but I can’t help but wonder what purpose this one and the last served the anime. Of course, I know what the intention was: this was an advertisement for the Tales of Berseria game at an opportune moment where new viewers of the Zestiria story can be easily swayed. That part I understand, but what concerns me more is what purpose this mini-introduction serves to the Tales of Zestiria anime. With both episodes now complete, I think it’s fair to say the answer is: very little. What could have been a neat flashback story ended up feeling like an obvious insert purely for promotional purposes. It makes complete sense from the marketing standpoint – and I’m sure plenty of viewers will be swayed into purchasing Berseria after this episode – but regardless, it compromises the consistency of the anime in an unfortunate way.

I’d still recommend people check out these two episodes if catching up or marathoning, but I’d also tell them not to get attached to these characters or their story because it doesn’t matter unless you’re willing to pay that extra. Maybe Tales of Berseria will get its own anime for real one day, but for now we essentially have a 48-minute ad slotted where it perhaps shouldn’t have been. If this were an OVA released with the blu-rays then I’d have no problems, but to label these episodes as 05 and 06 and have this content instead of focusing on the actual characters that matter leaves me feeling dissatisfied.

Promotional purposes aside, this was another fun, albeit predictable, watch. As many pointed out – but the show telegraphed poorly last episode – the boy at the end last week was not Artorius but rather Oscar Dragonia (Maeno Tomoaki), who effectively feels like the first boss encounter of the game (followed by a massive 3D dragon). We also got a lazier introduction to Magilou (Sato Satomi), a witch-like sorceress who pops up for no good reason and tags along because… why the hell not? She provided some comic relief and good reaction faces, but I’d hope her arrival is done better in the game because her introduction was as unnatural as can be. At the very least, these two characters are intriguing enough that if they were to make a proper Berseria anime, I would likely enjoy seeing more of them onscreen. For now, however, I find it hard to care all that much since this is likely all we’ll ever see of them.

As always, the action was good this week, but the 3D dragon stood out more than ufotable usually manage. The mix of 2D and 3D is usually seamless, yet here it was obvious where the two diverged; there were moments where the fight against the dragon looked convincing – mainly from far away shots that didn’t rely on the details – but overall I think some more polish would have gone a long way in making this battle a little more believable and exciting. It still provided some of the best action we’ve seen from this whole season (or at least from what I’ve been keeping up with), but that’s not yet enough to sustain my enjoyment for the Zestiria anime. At the very least we’re going back to the original story next week. I’m looking forward to seeing Sorey, Mikleo, and Alisha, and the others we’ve yet to be introduced to. Velvet Crowe’s story seems interesting, but it was lodged in here in such a hamfisted manner that I can’t appreciate it fully – especially when it does so little to aid the main story going forward.

 

Preview

August 15, 2016 at 6:11 pm
51 comments »
  • August 15, 2016 at 6:31 pmKabble

    Ultimately the purpose this insert will serve can only be fully determined if this series has plot points that tie back to the circumstances and implications of these two episodes.
    I’m honestly finding an easy time ignoring that these two episodes happened in such an awkward placement for now.
    I’m just curious as to what comes now.

    • August 16, 2016 at 4:19 amSmokex365

      Given the openings it really seems like they intend to bring the two stories together in some way; how remains a mystery.

  • August 15, 2016 at 7:07 pmLin

    You wasted the whole review with these complains about how it doesn’t fit the overall narrative and such. You have a point, I know, but it would still have been much better if you actually focused on this episode.

    • August 16, 2016 at 3:39 amSamu

      One of the main reasons why I didn’t go further into this episode (other than it already being fairly straightforward) is because I don’t think the characters/details of this little advertisement matter in the grand scheme of things. I have no interest in purchasing the Berseria game and would rather watch the Zestiria the X anime, so unless this ties back at some point I can’t get invested in anything that’s happening.

      • August 16, 2016 at 8:43 amLin

        Even if it didn’t matter for the series as a whole, I’d say whether it was a good episode matters in and of itself.

  • August 15, 2016 at 7:09 pmSilentcrab

    I don’t think this is the end of Berseria in Zestiria though. There are 3 more “playable” main characters which the anime has yet to reveal, and at least 1 of them has very close links to 1 of the main “playable” cast in Zestiria. But then again I think this is it for Berseria, otherwise there won’t be enough screen time for Zestiria to complete its plot (+ hopefully a new epilogue by Ufotable)

    • August 15, 2016 at 7:45 pmzztop

      Isn’t Zestiria the X getting another cour in Winter 2017? At least that’s what some French anime site said.

      • August 16, 2016 at 3:40 amSamu

        It’s not been officially confirmed, but sources have indicated this is getting a 2nd cour in Winter.

  • August 15, 2016 at 7:11 pmemptybox

    I don’t know the Zestiria story, so I actually thought this was a reverse side story about the villains POV (kinda like Golden Sun:Lost Age)

  • August 15, 2016 at 7:11 pmLord Nayrael

    I feel like I’m the only one who gives the producers some trust with this. While there is no doubt that Velvet’s role here is to be an ad, I do believe that it will eventually connect to Zestiria’s storyline down the road, with a shocking reveal or development that connects the two stories together (which will also be present in the Berseria game, and by this time most people will have finished it). I also wouldn’t be surprised if there is one or two more of Velvet episodes though.

  • August 15, 2016 at 7:27 pmdefunkt_bots

  • August 15, 2016 at 7:38 pmFlappy

    Tales of Berseria’s characters at this point look a lot more interesting than the characters from Tales of Zestiria.

    • August 15, 2016 at 7:40 pmTori

      Boisterous personalities always tend to look more interesting than mellower ones though.
      I’m more curious as to what the narration will turn the characters into rather than what we’ve got now.

    • August 15, 2016 at 8:18 pmion42

      Well, to be honest, Sorey is pretty much just yaoi fuel. Look up rule 34 for the game and it will be filled with him getting it on with Mikleo or Zaveed.

      • August 16, 2016 at 12:40 pmSeya-chan

        To ion42:

        Give us proofs.

  • August 15, 2016 at 7:41 pmzztop

    A reminder that Berseria releases this 18th August in Japan, with a Western release for early 2017. No doubt Berseria will contain all the necessary tie-ins to Zestiria’s plot and characters, although Zestiria the X’s true worth will be if and how they incorporate Berseria’s plotline into the anime’s story.
    Otherwise, I’m sure Japanese-fluent gamers will be posting up spoilers in due time.

    As far as marketing strategies go, I’d be very surprised if it failed to gain the interest of the target Tales fanbase.

    • August 16, 2016 at 6:14 pmfrubam

      I disagree =01. It’s true worth will be how well the narrative manages to flow than the original game, and whether or not they can expand on certain plot points(won’t mentions them as they are spoilers). I’ve heard the anime has received very well in Japan, as well as by Tales fans elsewhere, due to the great cohesion and pacing of the series. I think even if they didn’t tie in Berseria directly(ie. leaving a loose plot thread) I don’t think it’ll affect the overall reception of the series.

  • August 15, 2016 at 8:00 pmGoodwill Wright

    Am I the only one who got a few Ergo Proxy vibes from this episode?

    Also:
    Seres – “devour me”
    Hell yes.

    Sorry, but Tales of Berseria female characters are drawn unusually attractive for a Tales game.

    • August 16, 2016 at 10:15 amMagnus Tancred

      Seres – “devour me”
      Hell yes.

      It becomes hilarious when one realizes that Seres is voiced by Satomi Arai (Railgun’s Kuroko) and Velvet by Rina Satou (Misaka Mikoto).

  • August 15, 2016 at 8:16 pmDorian S.

    Yup. After seeing picture 31 (and the rest of this episode), it all ties together as to why this ties into Zestiria. Guessing, I’ll admit, but 31 pretty much seals it for me.

    • August 16, 2016 at 6:49 amNishizawa Mihashi

      Hmm, screenshot 31? I don’t really get it though, why’d ya think so? :/

      • August 16, 2016 at 11:10 amSamu

        If not speculation then it’s probably spoilers.

        If it is, please use the tags.

      • August 16, 2016 at 12:49 pmDorian S.

        I’m entirely guessing on this, Samu and Nishi. This (Zestiria) is one of the very few Tales games I haven’t played, so I’ve got no idea about the story after where we are at. So my guess is only a spoiler if I nail it right. I’m still spoilering just in case. I’ll do the whole thing just because.

        Show Spoiler ▼

        My conjecture though is strictly that. However, it would tie everything together nicely. Like I said in my previous post on Episode 5. At least I think I still made that post that I wanted to on Episode 5 about this.

      • August 16, 2016 at 8:49 pmNishizawa Mihashi

        Muy interesante, muy interesante. I suppose that’s plausible. Well, I mean it could be but yeah, I never would’ve thought of that in 12,000 years. All I know is that I’m watching a show lol

  • August 15, 2016 at 9:14 pmBerriesOk

    “We also got a lazier introduction to Magilou (Sato Satomi), a witch-like sorceress who pops up for no good reason and tags along because… why the hell not?”

    @7:52 When the dragon crushes one of the ships she is asleep inside, she is also seen atop her flying rug (of sorts) before the actual battle, most likely searching for a ship to leave the island. Seeing there are other inmates trying to escape the most logical decision is aiding them because as she said herself she can’t use a ship on her own.

  • August 15, 2016 at 9:28 pmPurpleBomber

    I’m not going to try and parse if the last 2 episodes had any point other than to promote the game, but as I’m a regular Tales game player I’m totally okay with that either way. We won’t be getting Berseria in English until early 2017, but this animated prologue certainly has made me more engaged in waiting for the release than the Zestiria anime on its own has been.

    • August 16, 2016 at 3:45 amSamu

      It’s a shame that you (and many others by the sounds of it) are already enjoying the Berseria story than the the Zestiria one. At the very least we can assume this adaption will improve upon the foundations of the game. It seems every past episode has had players of the game praising the changes so let’s hope that keeps up.

      • August 16, 2016 at 10:36 amPurpleBomber

        Well, I definitely hope the Zestiria anime continues to be as sharp as it has been up to the start of this 2-week aside. It’s just… hm. There are several reasons why these last 2 episodes excited me more, some I can say and some I can’t. I guess in most general terms, I was hoping Berseria was going to be at least different thematically from Zestiria, and that’s definitely looking like the case after the 2 prologue episodes. Even if ufotable polishes the rest of this series into an absolute gem, Sorey’s just never going to be my favorite Tales main character. XD

      • August 16, 2016 at 11:09 amSamu

        That’s fair enough. By the looks of it the two are likely to be very different stories with leads that you can’t really compare to one another. Let’s just see if ufotable keep up the good work with this adaptation.

  • August 15, 2016 at 10:04 pmdaikama

    Let’s just call it what it is – a two episode advertisement for the upcoming Berseria game. Like the show in general, this episode looked good. Frankly, this episode I think was one of the better looking episodes to date. Bit too much standing around for my tastes, but battles were certainly on par if not even a bit better than Tales of Z so far. Characters are pretty interesting and perhaps even “cool”. Better IMO than Tales of Z. Sorry, but introducing Velvet is not doing Sorey any favors. Story looks good as well (classic revenge plot). Frankly, there’s a lot to like here IMO. So as an advertisement, I’d think it worked well.

    However, uh, you just shoved a two episode ad (complete with all new spammed terms of art/jargon) into your anime adaptation which is totally jarring. It’s a prequel from what? 400 years ago? More? Yeah, there’s some connection between the two stories (same setting), but yeesh is it tenuous so far. Right now, I’m not seeing any meaningful connection. Maybe Tales of Z puts one in later, but hard to imagine that any of this is necessary to the Tales of Z story. From a Tales of Z standpoint, all it did was interrupt any momentum… and that’s not all.

    The other problem for me ties into the first paragraph. Umm… can I have a Tales of Berseria anime instead of Tales of Zestiria? Seriously, to me Tales of Z now looks worse by comparison which doesn’t exactly help my motivation when next week “we now return to our regularly scheduled program”. So “congrats” I guess? Good job advertising your upcoming game but you also undermined your Tales of Z anime adaptation.

    • August 15, 2016 at 10:09 pmdaikama

      Forgot to mention this.

      @Samu: Agree about Magilou’s introduction. I also thought it was jarring – a too sudden and not well timed shift from serious to comedy when she showed up. OTOH, she might be a fun character to have around in the game.

      • August 16, 2016 at 3:41 amSamu

        The sudden shift in the music when she popped up was jarring as well. I agree that she’d likely be a nice addition to the game too, but the anime didn’t do her any justice.

    • August 16, 2016 at 7:00 amGoodwill Wright

      Personally, I’m preferring the Zesteria half because it has a bit more of a mystery while Berseria’s mystery hasn’t quite been established.

      In Zesteria, I look forward to seeing some more of the “villains” that appeared in the prologue episode. Plus seeing the rest of the cast assemble. I can’t ask too much of Berseria at the moment as the game hasn’t even come out yet.

      • August 17, 2016 at 7:49 amdaikama

        @Goodwill Wright: Fair enough. To each his/her own, etc. Personally, both stories seem pretty straightforward to me. Borrowing from Namegen’s comment below, I get a more “seinen” vibe from Berseria which I like. Also, in general I like the characters better. That makes a difference.

        As for your reply to Namegen below: “Personally, I think Berseria, is trying to be edgy for the sake of being edgy. It hasn’t offered anything new to the genre and reminds me strikingly like Final Fantasy XIII.”, perhaps, but I do not see how Zestiria adds anything new to the genre either. More like the other way around. Zestiria’s been describe by others besides me as a “classic” type of story down to borrowing heavily from King Arthur legend.

  • August 16, 2016 at 12:12 amWorldwidedepp

    well, the only connection i can see right now between Berseria and Zestiria are…

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • August 16, 2016 at 1:38 amMiamiNights

    What a joke…..I’ve nearly forgotten what the Zestria anime is about and the character names…Dropped.

  • August 16, 2016 at 1:49 ambassgs435

    I think any future connection beetween Berseria and Zestiria’s stories in the anime will come in the 2nd cour (batch of 12/13 episodes) in winter if it ever comes. While Namco don’t want to spoil their newest title before it even omes out, Berseria will have been out for months already by the time this show’s 2nd cour starts, so showing Berseria spoilers may be allowed to the anime by that point, allowing Ufo to fully connect the two.
    I say this because the show isn’t named Tales of Zestiria. It’s named Tales of Zestiria the X (“X” is read as “Cross” from “Crossover”) and Velvet herself showed up in the OP the show’s been using before these 2 latest episodes

    • August 16, 2016 at 3:43 amSamu

      It would make sense that the connections would come further down the line when the Berseria game has been out for several months, but that does little to justify these past two episodes. Maybe in the grand scheme of things it will work out, but in the short term it’s hard to appreciate what we’re getting as much as I’d like.

  • August 16, 2016 at 4:48 amSantino

    I personally didn’t think anyone but Seres were interesting in these two episodes. If the whole berseria game is about Velvet her revenge it is going to be quite boring.

    Worst thing of the episode was Magilou, her personality ruined the mood for me. I think she would do better with the Zestiria crew as they have shown more relaxed and goofy moments, especially in the preview skits.

    Anyway, I am looking forward to go back to sorey and the gang.

    • August 16, 2016 at 6:57 amGoodwill Wright

      Well, I guess Tales needs it’s token goofy mage/spellcaster. I actually didn’t mind her as much as I thought I would. But that may be me being optimistic.

  • August 16, 2016 at 9:56 amNamegen

    I liked the adventures of Sorey, but after watching the latest two episodes, now I want Tales of Berseria instead of Zestiria.
    The reason is pretty simple. In Tales of Z they just thrown us a vague crisis, with kinda goofy “villains” (I mean, one of them is a fox guy, the other is a loli waifu material), and Sorey is just coincidentally happens to be the bland good guy who is able save the whole world with the power of friendship. Not bad, but I just can’t take it seriously.
    In comparison Berseria every named character so far had some kind of charm, especially in the ending credits (Well, not sure about Seres tho), the plot is simple, but effective, and they don’t win because of the power of friendship, love and rainbows, but because they are strong.
    Well, in the end Berseria just looks more mature, therefore more appealing to me.

    • August 16, 2016 at 11:17 amGoodwill Wright

      Personally, I think Berseria, is trying to be edgy for the sake of being edgy. It hasn’t offered anything new to the genre and reminds me strikingly like Final Fantasy XIII. Edgy female protagonist who doesn’t care for anyone else outside of family. Laid-back handsome man. Eventually will be token little brother who will soften up the female lead. They are on the run from the current established law and society. Majority of them are a being that is hunted by said establishment due to being harbingers of calamity. Sheesh, I only realized how similar the two are after typing this.

      I have yet to see a situation in Zestiria where they won because of the power of friendship or love. Unless you’ve seen the whole anime then please correct me. Only real victory the group had was with the Lady of the Lake part which is, lo and behold, nearly the exact same way Velvet Crowe won against the dragon. They both absorbed a seraph of fire which gave them an uber power up and proceeded to curbstomp the monster of the week.

      Not saying I’m disliking Berseria. It’s Tales and I’m enjoying it. But I won’t objectively say it’s better than Zestiria when it suffers from just as much problems as it. Right now, it’s pretty subjective as to which one you will like better depending on which character archetypes you like more.

      • August 16, 2016 at 1:48 pmNamegen

        “Only real victory the group had was with the Lady of the Lake part which is, lo and behold, nearly the exact same way Velvet Crowe won against the dragon”
        Yeah, the context is pretty much the same, and I was pretty annoyed by that dragon just appearing for the plot’s sake (even if it’s intentionally the same in Berseria). In both cases they kinda messed up with this because in Tales B the dragon was completely unnecessary and in Tales Z they just went bonkers with the dragon, the hero and the sword conveniently just in the right place at the right time.
        And I get that “power of friendship” part from the openings, maybe I’m wrong, but don’t tell me you’re not getting the “last minute power up because of friendship” vibes.

      • August 16, 2016 at 9:27 pmGoodwill Wright

        How could I NOT get Power of Friendship vibe from a Tales game? It’s one of those things that comes with the package for better or worse. I will admit that Zestiria at the least isn’t one of the strongest Tales titles. But I do believe they have some good concepts that can work well if executed right. I’m also eager to see how Berseria will play out. Will the game mirror events of Zestiria? Or is that just a one off thing?

  • August 16, 2016 at 1:06 pmDorian S.

    I think the reason why Berseria’s characters work better is that they have more troubled flaws than Zestiria’s cast. Berseria’s group is a bunch of misfits who aren’t really hero material. They have much more growth potential. Zestiria’s group aren’t going to grow.

    The biggest problem is also the leads. Sorey will likely change, but you can tell what types of changes will likely occur. With Velvet, she’s entirely broken so there’s many different ways she can go and become. Some of that may be good, some of it bad. Even I’m more drawn towards Velvet than Sorey.

    That does present a challenge though, as you have so much room to play with in growing Velvet that you can entirely screw up and have the audience go “you could have done so much more” and then everyone goes “yeah, Sorey’s better”.

  • August 16, 2016 at 2:10 pmyoloalchemist

    Well if anything concerning the anime itself and not the game, these past 2 episodes did set up for when (if at all) Velvet shows up in the current timeline of Zesteria, assuming her showing up in the original OP is a solid hint, so that’s at least cool. And it wouldn’t have to explain why she would oppose the current party from the very beginning as a little air of mystery wouldn’t hurt, but it should explain it little by little along the way.

    I was already prepared for the prospect that Tales of Zersteria the X was gonna be mostly a beautiful looking action anime, and it pleases me with that so far. So even if the story is nothing to write home about, it’s not gonna turn out to be below my expectations as a whole. Though Zesteria’s story is intriguing at least.

  • August 16, 2016 at 6:17 pmion42

    Already better than Zestiria.

    Seriously, Tales has always followed the formula of a team of good guys set out to saving the world. Berseria seems like a fresh change to the pace. Not about doing what’s right, but getting payback.

  • August 16, 2016 at 9:56 pmJason D Isenberg

    Sorry falls short? I was too busy enjoying the absolute godly budget of this episode lol. Velvet is my absolute favourite. She doesn’t give a damn and when you think it’s the end of her run she gets another tank and floors it. I enjoyed the HELL out of this episode my god lol

  • August 17, 2016 at 1:56 amtheirs

    I enjoyed the episode quite a bit. Though it is interesting seeing random sorceress appear for only one episode (Doubt she’ll reappear in future episodes based on the preview). As the episode title suggests, this is about Velvet Crowe. I must say, I’ll shed a tear if Sorey finally kills her. Though hopefully she’ll have peace by then.

    It’s funny how only the female characters are quite interesting so far. They really need to expand Sorey’s back-story in future episodes. He’s the only male character I’ve seen in this series that might have an interesting back-story.

    Speculation about the crossover, I wonder what that comb is about? It seems important. It might also survive long enough till Sorey’s timeline. I know it belongs to a party member in Berseria, but translating his character description is still a pain for my level of Japanese.

    I also can’t help but notice, while Sorey temporarly fuses with the Seraphs/Tenzoku/Malak/Seirei to gain their powers, Velvet has to eat them. Will be interesting to see them meet.

    Hoping they’ll animate Berseria in the future. Seems like the Fate Zero to Zestiria.

    • August 17, 2016 at 3:16 amWorldwidedepp

      Perhaps Velvet want to give Sorey her own “Black Card” (Claymore fans know this meaning) here in Tales of Zesteria the X

  • August 17, 2016 at 8:41 amthe dragon

    maybe this is the story of the 3d dragon hahaha