Tales of Zestiria the X – 23
「風になる」 (Kaze ni naru)
“Be like the Wind”
Laugh, cry, hold the head in complete confusion? I’m not sure which emotion best summarizes Zestiria at this point. After last week’s sprint through the story scenery, the show apparently decided we needed a breather before the big fight, throwing some more Berseria snippets at us alongside some Dezel development. Curious choice to flesh these aspects out now, but no one said Zesteria ever played by the rules.
Normally I would have serious gripes with how Zestiria has largely fallen apart of late, but like last week I just got a kick out of the majority of things here. The Lord of Calamity in particular got a laugh out of me, just upping and leaving with nary a word said because, you know, telling the Shepherd of your evil plans is what all the lame villains do. That or the guy is simply lonely and wants some company while visiting his flaming mountain retreat. Then there was Lunarre who actually did die, having accomplished, well, nothing. It was Alisha’s knights and Alisha/Sorey which made Lunarre’s death hilarious though, just looking him over all confused while burying him and speaking as though they were in on the joke. And don’t even get me started on the bloody cooking again.
The big event, however, of course lies with Dezel and his noble sacrifice. Dezel’s death proves at the minimum that Zestiria can yield emotions at the right time, although for me a good chunk of the impact was lost from Dezel being largely developmentally ignored up until now. While significantly better compared to Alisha’s earlier brush with suffering, this scene really needed some form of audience attachment–specifically for anime-only viewers–to maximize its effect. Nevertheless though by being the hero, Dezel provided Sorey his first casualty in his “never kill” mantra, a critical piece of development for testing Sorey’s adherence to his beliefs. If he wants to abide by his pledge, Sorey must accept losses to succeed, but if he abandons it in favour of saving everyone, he’ll be reneging on the key part of himself. It’s an interesting conundrum, and one which likely won’t be explored further because guess what, we only have one episode left! Probably. I don’t even want to think about how Sorey purifying the Lord of Calamity will work when it’s been explicitly stated the Lord cannot be purified. At this point I can probably chalk everything up to the power of friendship solving all and I wouldn’t be that far from the mark. After all, Dezel did magically purify Symonne.
With one episode left in this season, we are likely looking at one hell of a rush job next week, or some seriously well-concealed sequel announcement. I honestly have no idea what to expect, between the obvious hints regarding some further Berseria tease to whether the Lord of Calamity will even perish at Sorey’s hand. Even at this stage Zestiria has a lot of unresolved plot elements and not much time to answer them all. Nevertheless I am a simple man, so long as we get a meaty boss battle to send us off, I’m willing to overlook such minor details.