OP Sequence:

OP: “Karma” 「カルマ」 by BUMP OF CHICKEN
Watch the OP!: Mirror 1, Mirror 2, Show Streaming ▼

ED Sequence:

ED: “Bouken Suisei” 「冒険彗星」 by Enomoto Kurumi (榎本 くるみ)
Watch the ED!: Mirror 1, Mirror 2, Show Streaming ▼

「預言の世界」 (Sukoa no Sekai)
“The World of the Score”

First Glance:
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.


Notable Cast:
(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)


  1. Look good. If not much of the rest of the animes in this season interest me, then I might pick up this one to watch.

    But I still hate the main dude’s costume… (Not a big fan of a male character costume that exposes belly)

  2. ano… i know it’s selfish of my to ask, but is it possible for you to post a place to dl a .avi of the OP or link me to one? ^^; i really want one coz i really love it T_T! it’s okay if it isn’t possible or too time consuming xD

  3. aw – they should hav put the guitar solo at the beginning, like in the japanese game opening, not starting direct with the lyrics.
    now it seems so aprupt and some scenes don’t fit…nvm. it’s the story that counts!

  4. maybe i should have watched the episode before posting, w/e no complains from me. 🙂

    is it going to follow the manga or the game ?

    i played the game but didn’t read the manga, and so far i can tell it isn’t following the game, at least not exactly…well, it’s something new for me.

  5. @tommykyn: It follows the game, which is good because the manga is supposed to follow the game.
    @nutsy: They couldn’t use the game animation for the OP because that was done by Production I.G. — and this is Sunrise.

    I’m so glad I don’t have to do more work outside of designing the karaoke for this episode. I actually get to enjoy it! XD;;
    I honestly have no qualms about the adaptaion so far as the game, it follows it closely but puts in enough fresh material to keep my attention on it. I love the OP (duh) and ED, and the music used within the episode actually has that feel of the music within the game.

  6. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of Suzuki Chihiro playing Luke though…

    Agreed. So agreed. I know he’s supposed to whine a lot, but… he sounds like a little girl at times.

    Also, this is what I liked most about the first episode. It’s just such a sweet picture. 😉

  7. Woa, C.C.’s voice is here (as Tear Grants)? Sunrise had better not turn this into another Code Geass or something (at least Luke doesn’t have Lelouch’s voice – that would have driven me up the wall).

    Sailor Enlil
  8. It is the japanese spelling, it was changed in the NA version. It’s also written in romaji on the anime official site iirc 😮
    I understand their reasons for changing it but personally I like Regret better (Legretta reminds me of Allegretto lol, not very fitting of the character XD)

  9. lol, you were somewhat put off by Luke already? Mwhahahahahahaha. You haven’t seen anything yet. I think Tales of the Abyss was a really fun game, but the first half was really brutal to play. Luke is/was one of the biggest jerks I have ever seen in anime. Probably got another 10-12 episodes of him acting like crap. xD

  10. I am so glad they are sticking to the main storyline. It makes me so happy. I really doubt they will be able to get through the whole game this way though. Anyway, I hope you choose to blog this. It looks really good! ^_^

  11. please continue blogging this! your screenshots are the best on the internetz, and few people would be able to come up with detailed episode recaps on top of that – i’m one of those people who actually read your posts on geass before and after watching an episode to make sure i didn’t miss anything. >___>

    that said, two things as a gamer i feel compelled to point out – i actually have issues with the animation here as opposed to in the game – iirc it was madhouse that did animation for the game’s opening, ending, and ‘fmvs’, and the quality i got used to expecting just wasn’t there this round. it’s also not all that boring to watch it, even having already played the game twice, because there are quite a few changes made to the sequence of events and the pacing is quite different – lots of references to sidequests buried deep towards the end of the game in this episode, for instance.

  12. @ animus

    Divine replied to someone whose comment was similar to yours on the first page – the guitar part is there, but “(it) takes place during the narration in the beginning, so I ended up cutting it out.”

  13. @yandera: It was Production I.G. that did the in-game videos, the same for every other entry in the series. Please don’t credit Madhouse, I’ll go beserk. (I agree on continuing to blog Abyss more~)

    @animus: That was slightly unsettling, but the reality is that they use the guitar as a lead up near the end of the beginning monologue, so it’s still there. The youtuber just didn’t include it.

    @daiox: At my huge raw of gigantic proportions (killing my hard drive), I have to say it’s very much HD. I only have one or two problems, but they’re minor overall.

  14. Fonon not Fonim…..(or at least that that was in the English game, could be different)

    C.C. as Tear = WIN (didn’t know this beforehand even when playing the game)!

    If I’m not mistaken, the voice cast is the same as the game…only difference I see in story is they introduced Natalia so early on as well as Luke’s and Natalia’s promise

  15. @miken-chan

    i really can’t remember after two years and couldn’t be arsed to fact check – at least i didn’t credit kyoani? the whole point was, sunrise -is- capable of good quality animation, though, it’s just not showing here, eg asch looking like rooster in the OP, and traditionally first episodes are better-animated than the rest, etc.

  16. @Midou

    That it is, to us who played the game. But pointing it out means others will look at it, and probably notice what it is that’s spoilers.

    Either way, I request that the VA list is removed and no longer included for this.

  17. @divine

    So what shows did Omni pick out divine? My favorites shows this season are…

    1. Gundam 00 Second Season

    2. GA-REI -zero-


    4. Kuroshitsuji

    5. Casshern Sins

    6. Tentai Senshi Sunred

    7. Linebarrels of Iron


    9. Vampire Knight Guilty

    10. To Aru Majutsu no Index

    Thats all the shows i like from this season. I just want to say keep up the work, and i hope you blog shows that the fans will like. Talk to you soon Omni and divine! 😀

    Highschool Debut
  18. actually, you might think that, if you’ve played the game you don’t mind luke’s behavior BUT no matter how often i see his attitude, and know that Show Spoiler ▼

    , i just can’t take it.
    he is such an eyesore and is freaking out my mind…luckly near the end Show Spoiler ▼

    and as a result he became my favorite character – next to jade of course. ^^

    tear x luke 🙂

  19. Dude, I seriously wish that the U.S. version got that opening, cuz I would’ve much prefered this over just that guitar. And I don’t mind the opening animation of this either, though I do prefer the game version better.

    I really like the fact that they’re adding some scenes that weren’t included in the original game (namely the scenes involving Natalia). It makes me excited for if they’re going to do that in future episodes.

    Also, I’m kinda glad that Sunrise is picking it up instead of maybe like Gonzo (not that I have anything wrong with Gonzo, it’s just some of their stuff is hit or miss, and their anime have streches where it can get really boring).

    Also the fact that Yukana does the voice of Tear made me lol slightly and I seriously can only think of C.C. when I hear her voice.

    From a person who played the game, ToA definitely looks promising, and I’m so glad that it is such. Thanks for blogging it divine. ^_^

  20. what a bunch of crap . bullshit. the past 3 shows are really boring. what a waste of time ! i want to see gundam 00 , soul eater, ten no haoh (why not a post about ten no haoh ? its a good show).. i just cant wait to see alleluja haptism again ! hes the best kid around, kinda like trowa barton. all that girlish anime i just cant stand it ! gimme some mecha and blood shed ! _divine_ are you a girl or a boy? no offense but i just would like to know 🙂

  21. divine:
    well, ahum, okay no ten no haoh then, i gotta live with that i think. too bad but it can be helped :)( not even the 1st episode..? have you seen it actually?) 🙁 well i m not gonna pressure you or sometin.
    for the gender question, uf, i hate guessin , but i got a 5o per cent chance right. so with my instinct, i think you are a girl , or no are you maybe genderless like chrona? 😛 (1/3 chance)

  22. *addition* Urgh, just checked with airing schedule. Silly MBS aired it back to back…*sigh* Sorry for the above comment, it happens way too much with a lot of shonen shows nowadays that I get really jumpy whenever I see a comment like that. ^-^””

  23. I LOVE TOA~!!! YESSSSSS!~~~~
    But ive already played the game (omg it was LONG!!!) But the plot was good, although,TOS’s plot was amazing compared to TOA.
    TOS is going to get OWNED by TOA anime! SUNRISE!!!! YES! COGE GEASS!

    Oh! I love the opening! BUMP of Chicken’s Karma is good!
    and and……..ARGH I DONT WANT TO GET MEMORIES OF A LONG GAME (whaa, it was painful…a total headkiller, fun, but long) thats why i hope they kind of change the anime…(oh wait, yea, im looking for something new…i wish i didnt play the game..now i know the end..)

  24. @silver: The one who I was addressing the comment to was P3 — but apparantly MBS decided to air episode 2 back-to-back with the premier. That means episode 2 of this anime is actually already out. I just didn’t believe it before checking the airing times.

  25. The voice for Luke is terrible. Awful, beyond redemption.

    But the rest looks nice enough, so I´ll probably watch it. After Macross Frontier, I need some eyecandy to tide me over.

  26. Yay, it’s Tales of the Abyss! I’ve played the game like five times through and I’ve been waiting for the anime. Luke is supposed to be a real jerk the first 1/3 of the story but he seems nicer this episode. I don’t know… I guess not much can be told from just one episode huh?

  27. @Magnus
    The game has the same VA.
    Luke is supposed to sound like a spoiled brat and act like an asshole.
    Of course there is a reason for why he acts like that, but I don’t want to spoil anything yet. He’ll get better later on.

  28. sailor dude yukana the cc va is the same as game in japanese version no suprise to see doin the voice for the anime ..anyway im hopin this one will have a proper ending unlike the game counterpart left with open ending imo that is

  29. I think I’m one of the few who Show Spoiler ▼

    Production-wise, it looks nice. And Tales of the Abyss was the only Tales game I actually liked enough to finish the entire game, so probably going to stick with this one.

  30. One thing to praise is the attention to little details from the game:

    – The episode title is displayed the same way as the “location title” in the game (you know, with those bands and sparkles)

    – In the ED, when it switches to the next episode preview, the transition is the same as the battle transition

    – The last scene of the ED (which is after the next episode preview) shows Mieu using the savepoint. That’s pretty clever, considering the episode end is sort of a “save point” to be resumed a week later.

    As for Tear having the same voice actress as CC – I see it the way around. Tales of the Abyss was produced earlier than Code Gears, and I also played it before Code Gears aired, so it was always the way around for me – I always thought “CC sounds like Tear” rather than vice versa.

    As for Luke’s whiny voice – well there’s a certain reason for that choice of voice actor. Whoever played the game knows it, my hint is only: he doesn’t only voice Luke.

    As for Luke being whiny in general: I thought that was one of the best-written parts of the original game. Luke was being made to be unlikeable in the beginning, but not without a reason, and not without a traumatic experience later on. I won’t say anything more, as it would be a spoiler for those who haven’t played the game.


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