OP: 「風ノ唄」 (Kaze no Uta) by FLOW
「災厄の時代」 (Saiyaku no Jidai)
“Age of Chaos”
I’m never all too sure what to make of an ‘Episode 00’. They’re sometimes prologue episodes, sometimes omake episodes, and rarely justifying the weird numbering. If it’s the first episode chronologically, it’ll do plenty well as episode 01, thank you very much, prologue or not. The 00 is most appropriate, I think, for an offbeat introductory episode, like Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu‘s brilliant pilot. So, what is Tales of Zestiria the X doing with theirs? Unfortunately, I can’t really tell you, and I think most anime-only viewers will be similarly unsure. I haven’t played Tales of Zestiria the videogame, and I come into this anime mostly fresh. Outside of preview material (I hear there’s a site that does excellent ones), the only context I have for this episode is that which it provides itself.
So, let’s assume that I am a viewer of the most ignorant sort, only having stumbled into Tales of Zestiria X while surfing TV channels or browsing around the internet. What’s the setting of this anime? Is it real world, or fictional. There are dragons, but also astronomy; is this a fantasy world, and what kind? They’re waiting for some chump to pull some sword out of some rock, so is this fantasy Britain? Fantasy Britain with youkai? Or, are the elves awaiting the true king to reclaim the sword that was broken because the dwarves dug too greedily, too deep and awakened Smaug? I’m all for derivative fantasy, but at this point, it’s hard to tell from what. It’s even hard to tell what Tales of Zestiria the X is going to be about, because we can only guess at what is important and what is not. Lots of proper nouns are mentioned, but we of course do not know what they mean, and certain strange phenomena are displayed, but we don’t even know whether magic is supposed to be weird, let alone anything else. Things aren’t confusing, I suppose, just undeveloped, a whole heap of ideas without much linking them together.
Usually, an episode ends up like this when there’s a lack of exposition—which I don’t usually mind, because there’s no need to explain everything straight away—but in Tales of Zestiria‘s case I think it’s actually a matter of too much exposition, and not enough development of the drama. Consider how they treated the story of Alisha, Princess of Somewhere (Kayano Ai) and her merry entourage. She mostly just goes from place to place introducing key concepts. Look, old stuff! A fancy book! Blue stuff! A fancy sword! She is much more a vehicle than a character for many portions of the story, and we only have a vague feel for the motivations that drive the events. Why does she get attacked by strange monster people, other than to give us a fight scene, and to show us she can fight? Same with the light show; I suppose they look like probably bad guys, so they do probably bad things. And so when Alisha’s retainers are swallowed up and all she holds dear destroyed it’s unfortunate, even sad, but not exactly moving as all this was more akin to a natural disaster detailed in the logbook of Alisha’s life, rather than a personable tragedy. Don’t worry, she’ll be alright, she’s in the OP.
There’s much worse ways to do exposition, of course; at least they didn’t spend all their time talking, and what we got was rather pretty and filled with effects. This was not a ‘bad’ episode of anime—great popcorn fare at times, even. But I don’t think we needed all this information and backstory (assuming it’s backstory) in one go right now. While ’00’ implies that we should watch this before ’01’, is there a real need to start from the very beginning? I would never, ever recommend anyone start with The Silmarillion before The Hobbit. I imagine that a lot of what we saw this episode could have been shown at a later point, and be more valuable with the extra context. Perhaps there’s no extra context to have; maybe Tales of Zestiria is targeted at those who have already played the game. I suspect, though, that with episode 01 the story will start properly, all we’ve seen here will start falling into place, and then it could be smooth sailing from there.
As is our custom now, Random Curiosity won’t be settling on which shows its writers will be picking up full time until the waters have been tested a few weeks into the season. If you have any particular views about coverage of Tales of Zestiria the X, please be sure to let us know in the comments.
As a game player, I can say with certainty the the plot is generic. But, after watching what ufotable did with it, I’m assured that it would be better in the anime. Because, they simply borrowed the plot from the game and improved shitload of it. I won’t go into details though, simply too lazy to explain it. But this episode 00 is a good sign to come, a sign that ufotable intends to go all out like they did with Fate.
For example, most characters in this episode are anime original, only a couple of them actually appeared in the game. Ufotable is very serious, they’ve added lots of story not in the game, for the sake of improving the experience of watching it. But yeah, it had to be said that this episode 00 is way too ambiguous.
To get a better understanding of it, i recommend people to watch the prequel OVA Doushi no Yoake. That OVA gave anime only viewer some image of what’s to come. I don’t know what to expect from the anime, but this episode 00 gave me reason to be optimistic about it.
let not get our Hope high, this here is some sort of Prolog if you follow the Game Story line. But yes. i wonder if this Anime are allowed to create its own Story line, and only have some anchors from the game story
^ has played the Tales of Zestiria game with her DLC
Well thanks for that yo! I’ve only ever played the first Xillia myself so I barely know anything about Zestiria’s plot or world save that Berseria’s like a long-lost chapter in Zestiria’s history, but regardless I’ll watch this cuz it seems interesting enough without having to get through the game, especially since you’re saying that they’re making attempts at improving the story.
Also Passerby, perhaps your radar’s a bit on high alert. I doubt that this episode 0’s like Rokka’s episode 1 cuz oh boy… Now THAT is what I call an expo dump.
I’m hopeful as well that ufotable is going to improve Zestiria’s story compared to the game, although I don’t particularly expect a miracle to happen. For all the complaints levied against the game, IMO the storytelling is one of the most valid ones so there’s a lot of work to be done. Hopefully the tie-ins to Berseria will prove interesting… though granted I’ll be able to stomach a lot if the show’s going to be animated as good at this. XD
You half correct for King Arthur and his Knights…
Show Spoiler ▼
That’s not a Spoiler, they mentioned that the one that pull the sword will be called shepard
This first episode was okay, but it was clearly aimed at people who already played the game. Which also explains why it’s called Episode 00, because the entire episode was set before the events of the game.
Regardless of how this anime turns out, it is certainly one of the most brave adaptations considering the almost universal hate the japanese have for the game.
Well, lets see if this “Hate” you mentioned, can be solved with the Story line of the Anime.
Let us see, i give this Anime “Tales of Zestiria THE X” a fresh start, hope they fix the error they done in the game story line
i try also to hold back even hidden spoilers for Passerby’s sake 🙂
I don’t know why you put the word hate in quotation marks when it was the lowest rating game in the Tales of main series, is the lowest rating and the most returned game in japan in 2015 and even has an entire japanese wiki dedicated to its shortcomings.
Due to some stupid behaviour by the producer, Hideo Baba, including outright lying to the fans (not the first time he did this either), when people were already pretty pissed by the game itself, the situation escalated to the point that the producer and some other people on the team received death threats and a terrorism threat at the Tales Festival.
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I tried to keep this as spoiler free as possible and I think it should be safe to read, but put spoiler tags around it to be sure.
well, lets see for what this “THE X” stands for
The character is essentially the symbol for the majority of the problems the game has.
Wait, it’s Alisha who is face/symbol of all problems with a game, not Rose who is reason behind them…
not Rose who is reason behind them…
not Rose who may be reason behind them*
Zing! Controversy! Jen jen jen! So what’s the deal? Got any juicy intel? ( ^ o ^ )
I just hope Alisha here in “the X” get more interaction and “powers” that we missed in the Game Story line, that is my base idea of this “alternative storytelling” from this Anime
But there are still 2/3 episodes
Show Spoiler ▼
It takes me some time to understand what happened with his head (first looked at the ponytail).
Even though I’ve played the game I honestly only have small grasp of whats going on here. This is obviously a prequel to how things started in the game but I think this anime will end up going in a different direction which is fine by me. It’ll keep me on my toes more. Having said that there was a crap ton of exposition in this episode. Almost to much imo. Not saying it was boring since it talks about stuff the game didn’t cover but my mind felt a little overloaded. That’s what I get for taking such a long break from anime I guess =/.
Things I’ll point out for fun:
1. So uhhhhh why did the fox looking guy just leave Alisha there? Isn’t she his target? He even says that she was his prey. Yet he awkwardly just leaves her when she was vulnerable. Why? o_O. Plot armor? I think it was plot armor……..literally. And what kind of roids was her horse on? It was able to run faster with two people on it while her comrades somehow ended up sucked into the tornado even though they weren’t that far behind.
2. They REALLY want Alisha to have dead friends huh? I don’t think even one of them survived (researcher dude probably died but that’s not a fact yet). They got the “we’re here to not have enough screentime for the viewer to care about and serve as a tragic event for a MC” treatment. Don’t you hate it when that happens? =/.
3. The animation in this anime is badass. Even during the swooping CGI shot I was blown away. Of course whenever I say that the animation tends to start slipping later on. It’s like clockwork I tells ya. Hoping they can keep things consistent. Please don’t give it the God Eater treatment either! 😛
4. Speaking of God eater it appears we have another character with “a gentle breeze would realistically cause my tits be exposed in this wonky outfit”. But the purple haired chick doesn’t have breasts so it would be ok right? 😛
5. So according the ED Tales of Berseria (newest tales game coming out in August) will be involved with this story somehow. Show Spoiler ▼
I’ll offer my views 😛
1) I suppose Lunarre went rogue when he hellionized and does not follow the job taken by Scattered Bones.
2) Don’t know. Maybe they want to give Alisha more depth or something? What was she doing when she met Sorey I can’t remember to link it to the anime.
3) Urgh God Eater…
4) No comments 😛
5) Toki wo kakeru Velvet? 😛 Or did she gain immortality at the end of ToB? She coming in means the “Cross” in the title? Crossover?
Have to agree there, played the game twice and only have a vague idea of what’s going on, especially in the second half, or more precisely I do not understand the motivation for some of these events. Random characters from the game show up to do random things and randomly lose interest and disappear. WTF is Symonne even doing here? The animation is nice but the plot so far is a bit meh.
But for better or worse I think this anime will eventually be judged mostly on whether Alisha’s story gets a better treatment than in the game. Which isn’t that hard to do as literally anything would be better than what happened in the game, but a proper treatment would require some major plot deviation. But yea, make it happen please 🙂
I’m still playing through Zestiria, but if there’s one thing that always felt a little off for me, it’s that for a world that’s so seemingly consumed by darkness and death, it never quite comes across as that. Things are bad and lots of people are dying, of course, but there just isn’t that sense of overarching despair that makes one feel as if the world itself is falling apart.
This right here? It comes a helluva lot closer to that feeling than the game ever has, and kudos to ufotable for making that happen. Still, Passerby’s got a point in that, exposition-wise, there wasn’t much to see here. The target audience here couldn’t be much clearer.
Still, there’s a lot to like in Zestiria’s world and the potential for a great story if it’s handled right. I’m looking forward to where we go from here. 🙂
I second that. For an “Age of Chaos”, it never looked all that chaotic. A couple of burned houses here and there don’t leave much of an impression. There was a bit of a disconnect between anime cutscenes and gameplay. The most glaring example would be a boss that looked absolutely huge and terrifying in the cutscene, but when it switched to gampeplay he looked a heck lot smaller. Which was doubly surprising, since that game knew how to throw really large foes at you.
Guys, this Anime Intro in the Game.. was made from ufotable… So this is not an big surprise for them making this anime
Also, please keep the Game story “spoiler” under control for the fresh anime fans, or if you really want to tell use spoiler tags
Let’s not take Passerby the curiosity of this anime. i mean if someone want to spoil himself, there are many cutscenes and stuff on YT
Visual stunning – definitely one of the best looking anime this year. They must have spent an equivalent of a small country’s GDP on the animation.
I haven’t played the game at all but the episode has gotten me interested in watching more. I’m loving Alisha’s character so far, princesses who can kick ass are always cool.
Ill give this a go. You guys seem to have abandoned Kuromukuro and that’s a pretty good series, better than half the stuff on this site…
“Usually, an episode ends up like this when there’s a lack of exposition—which I don’t usually mind, because there’s no need to explain everything straight away—but in Tales of Zestiria‘s case I think it’s actually a matter of too much exposition”
Thanks. Now I know not to watch this anime. Fantasy setting+strange terms+too much exposition=always a bad thing.
Maybe it’s the fact that this is an “Episode 00,” but it reminded me of the recent FSN adaptation. At first I figured it was an ufotable thing and somebody there really likes prologues, but as far as I can tell there is no big staff link that could explain this decision.
What’s really weird is that there honestly isn’t much point to it. Sure Alisha gets a tragic backstory, but she really doesn’t need more tragedy in her life to make her anymore sympathetic. Sure we see some important looking characters doing ominous stuff, but they are known far more for what they will do later in the story than whatever it is they do here (although we do get a little more context for the fox guy than the beginning of the game gives us).
If you are interested to see a pretty faithful depiction of how the game actually began, check out the OVA ufotable did a little while back, Tales of Zestiria: Doushi no Yoake. On the other hand, maybe that will be the subject of episode 1.
I surprised to see, or rather not see, the mention of the quality of animation for this episode. I found it simply amazing. Really well done. Given that it was ufutable, I had high expectations already, but they surpassed it. Soundtrack/BGM I really enjoyed as well.
As an anime-only viewer, I must agree that I was completely lost as well. There was basically little story to be seen, but lots of information. Passerby said something that were my thoughts exactly too, “…certain strange phenomena are displayed, but we don’t even know whether magic is supposed to be weird…”. But this being ep 00 (which I assume is just a bit of a show off episode of what’s to come), I don’t mind not understanding at all. If anything, I got high hopes for episode 1 now, expecting things to start making sense then.
Don’t worry, many of us game players are kind of lost as well right now. The next few episodes should introduce the actual main cast though and then things should become more orthodox (hopefully).
Animation is definitely what you’d expect from Ufotable. Good to see them doing something more “normal” in comparison to God Eater (not sure if done by same team?). CGI could use some work but I guess that probably comes down to rendering time. Not sure if Ufotable have arrays of rendering farms in their office, but we know they can do much better CG like they do in their Tales openings animation. Maybe the blurays will look better? Either way, doesn’t fuss me too much, still looked great. Definitely looking forward to this anime.
I’ve also haven’t played the game. So hearing the opinions of players who have, and the comparisons between anime and game would be interesting to hear (when relevant).
Haven’t played the game but I followed its release + the Tales’ fans reactions about it. I believe episode 0 is meant to be a ‘pretty’ episode which serves to only showcase Ufotable’s animation prowess.
PS: not really sure if this is considered a spoiler but Alisha isn’t the titular main character of this series so one shouldn’t really judge anything about this anime from this episode.
In any event, episode 0 has exceeded my expectations (at least the fight scenes so far) based on what I have heard about the game. The fantasy plot is pretty cliche, but it seems that this is going to be a visually stunning show and a pretty good adaptation of the game, so do watch it if you are into swords and magic!
I’m coming into this with zero knowledge of the game (really the franchise at large), and this episode turned out better than I thought it might. The biggest thing that stands out is the overall visual quality. Agree with others that the CGI is better in some parts than others, but after watching Berserk, it’s night and day difference. I’ll gladly take this. Fight scenes reminded me a bit of UBW which is definitely a plus there.
Frankly, I don’t think there was “too much” exposition – certainly not from an anime-only stand point. Granted a show can’t (nor should) try to explain everything at the outset, but IMO we got more bare minimum of world building and setup rather than the other way around – at least if one hasn’t played the game. Right now, this strikes me as targeted towards the “core franchise” (i.e. those who play the game(s) and thus have background knowledge). That’s fine, certainly understandable. Still, hopefully this will be “anime only” friendly as well.
I did like the Alisha (FL?). Granted she checks off the princess trope box, but she’s not bitchy, overly tsundere or stupid, and can hold her own in a fight. All positives for me. The rest I guess don’t matter since I assume most, if not all, got killed in the tornado of doom (FYI – skipped OP/ED and any clues there). The young grape farmer girl (presumably) dying was a bit ham-fisted for a “feels” moment, but not a huge deal. Other than that, eh, looks mostly standard fantasy fare to me given magic, “demons” (supernatural beings at least), dragons, and
Excalibura “holy sword”. Not the most original stuff, but still can work fine depending upon the rest of the story and execution.
Definitely in for at least one more episode.
I’ll watch this mainly because I’m a fan of UFOTABLE and what they’re capable of animation wise.
I finished the game and I frankly had no idea what was going on (other than knowing who all the characters were which didn’t help me much)
From what I heard, the anime is going to be original aka not fixated on the game’s plot.
I didn’t quite get the forward-backward time skips, but the animations and visuals are on point. That OP by FLOW was also really good.
I remember this game. THis is the heavily hinted gay MC (but never blatantly shown) game. I would have perfered they do Ludger story as the Story for Zesteria was never even finished in the game itself…
Surely he can’t possibly be gayer than Asbel and Richard from Tales of Graces?
That was Richard attraction to Asbel, not the other way around. Asbel love da pussy, hence Cherie and Sophia.
Alright, since throughout the month before this episode came out I was wasted, like, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasted as fug, I’m gonna binge watch both this episode and the BD special later tonight. Haven’t slept since well… yesterday due to reasons. Anyways, I’ll probably pitch in on my understanding of what we’re all getting into once I’m done with those. Hopefully no one’s deserted this post… YET.
Now why can’t Berserk receive this type of animation…
The game’s story was such a mess. First they added a new character late into production simply because the producer wanted to bone the VA. Next they dropped two other characters; a girl who occupied the new character’s role, and a man who was deeply involved to the girl’s story because he served as a counterpoint (as well as every plot thread that involved the two of them). Then they added all these last-minute skits where the cast does a 180 and say bad things about the girl, just so they can puff up the importance of the new character.
Add to that they didn’t do a good job of hiding it, because you can still find the girl’s final weapons IN THE FINAL DUNGEON.
Wai whu-? Come on man, come on man, tell me more about these juicy details. I wanna know em, I wanna know em ( ^ o ^ )
Light spoilers: Show Spoiler ▼
TL;DR: Haters + conspiracy theories. Nothing out of the usual.
As to what you’re explaining to me… I assume that:
Show Spoiler ▼
I was ready to leave this alone and let Nishizawa Mihashi watch it unimpeded, but RegalStar just irked me.
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This excludes the sloppiness of the game in general, like how you can get stuck on random geometry during combat (or worse, behind the final boss, where you can’t dodge or defend his attacks); terrible camera (which also gets stuck on random geometry); the inane design of the skill system (seriously, who thought this was a good idea?); the weird difficulty balance Show Spoiler ▼
; and the bland open world (the monsters are far and few between).
Here’s the Japanese wiki that chronicles the scandals of the game.
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There was no nasty stuff in the game skits and there definitely isn’t any hatred (even this guy didn’t say anything about Baba hating Kayano Ai). I’ll leave it at that.
If you’re curious about how much sense this all makes, why not try playing the game and form your own opinions? After all, despite all the vocal protests/hatred the game sold fairly well and had generally positive scores both with reviewers and players.
Woah woah woah bruh, chillax yo. I was just tryin to piece together the info man. Also, I did not say anything about the producer hating on the VA herself but specifically the character, and even then that was based on me asking questions and trying to clarify with you dudes again man. Mamma mia…
I didn’t know about that, but even without any knowlegde, I had the feeling that there was an original plot where large chunks were just ripped out. The game felt rushed beyond belief (unlike other Tale-Games) and the story didn’t make any sense at all. Things just simply happened, like with the dragon at the end.
Since the dragon appeared in the opening, I always had the feeling it would play a major role. But then … nothing or at least there was no development leading to the point.
I don’t think too much exposition is bad: for example, Fate/Zero first episode was full of character and concept introductions and it helped me, as a newcorner to the Fate series, to get what was going on. Both series were done by ufotable.
I think this was basically an apology for the fans for the Alisha issue. Giving Alisha more development that she had in the game and a past story, as well as trying to explain a few things that were not properly explained in the game, not only for newcorners but also for people who have already played the game. And also helped to introduce some future characters. What am worried is that they revealed the identity of a certain character too soon but well, it was a bit obvious in the game if you connect dots.
Probably next episode will be a condensed version of the special that aired last year, when we can probably see Sorey (MC-kun). As for the opening, I’m curious on how Velvet (chick with long black hair) plays into the whole setting considering she seems to be fighting Sorey in the opening and she is from Tales of Berseria and Show Spoiler ▼
Anyway, this was a good first episode, I really liked it! Not only for the good animation and music (I was happy they included the Ladylake theme!) but also helped make Alisha have some background and develop some useful core concepts.
Tales of Berseria connection with the OP? You know this Shepard here is not the first, before him was many others. Perhaps we see just an flashback of a history with an shepard lookalike our MC now
it is an possibility
Okay so, I’ve watched both the OVA and episode 0, and needless to say that the problem with overt references is just that, overt references. And that is definitely representative of the dilemma facing creators in regards to what are important and how to convey them. My recommendation is that to refer things indirectly. Yeah, just that. Repeating the name of the book that is continuously referenced is one thing, but what I noticed is that creators tend to grind the pace of a scene to a halt at times with the way certain things are referenced in which every single thing is explained in a context that doesn’t require the explanations at the moment, in addition to depicting certain scenes too long or too uncreatively to generate interest. This highly uninspired editing and direction style in regards to these aspects just need to be done away with. Period. But most importantly, trust that the audience can get it. Though I’m saying that with… reservations.
Now, in regards to the ‘timeskips’ in episode 0 or more accurately the ‘flashbacks’ in that episode, it comes down to how each sequence is transitioned and the color palette used to depict those transitions. Though how those scenes were edited to form an intelligible sequence was like I mentioned previously, uninspired. Just basic. What caused the confusion is that they introduced two flashbacks that are not edited together to form a flashback sequence but dispersed them along an extended sequence of the journey to Griel. What we saw in the beginning up until the encounter with the malicious wind is essentially the group already heading towards Cremm’s location. Indeed, an amateur mistake.
Other than that, the only parts in episode 0 that I couldn’t comprehend were at the end of the ambush scene, the rather far-fetched escape from the tornado scene, and the finale where suddenly the tornado appeared and swallowed up the little girl. These 3 aspects of episode 0 are downright the most bizarre and illogical parts of the episode, so if anything, I’d like other people’s input on it. Onegai shimasu.
And now as for the OVA, uuuuuuh, not bad I guess. Once again some of the things I mentioned about overt explanations still carries through, but overall the OVA did a relatively good job of helping to immerse us in the setting of Zestiria. Based on the chronological sequencing, I shall say that episode 0 is where the journey begins while the OVA is where the plot finally kicks off. So episode 0 FIRST and OVA SECOND, which would leave episode 1 to be either a condensed version of the OVA or a continuation of it, of which we can’t confirm until episode 1 actually airs.
Finally, the only thing that leaves me wondering is why on earth does the primary protagonist of Berseria appear in the OP sequence? The game’s not even released in English yet, so just what kind of bearing could she possibly have to the current plot of Zestiria and why on earth does she appear to be fighting against Sorey? Makes not a lick of sense to me but hopefully the creators actually manage to come up with some logical and plausible explanations for that.
Anyway that’s the end of my text wall and hopefully some of you guys were finally able to piece together certain parts of the story through this posting of mine. Cheers, I’mma head to SLEEP!
do you really want an detail explanation after 1 Episode? or are you trying to compare this all with the Game storyline and this here?
I see, the rage for the “fail” game story is still there. But i want to give this here an fresh start, some important anchors from the game, but other way of the story… i would like to go more in detail but then i would spoil the fun for the others
so, my advice? keep calm, wait 2 more episodes, and then try it again
What? Naaaaaah, you misinterpreted my post amigo. I actually like the fact that Zestiria’s getting some kinda adaptation and that I’ve been relatively enjoying my viewing experience, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some baffling things happening on screen. Chillax bruh, this isn’t HaiFuri man.
no worries, i am chilling. i do not wanted any harm, just nice discussion here
I love your writing style and I really enjoy reading your reviews. But this felt a bit forced.
There was something old, yeah, but I don’t see the point there. The book and the painting on the wall imo also wasn’t something that strained someone’s cognitive capacities. And the mix of dragons and knights with “Yokai” (which might as well be called “demons” to not create a non-existing Japanese-reference) – I honestly don’t get where the problem lies. This is fantasy, Record of Lodoss War was just like that, demons, elves, knights,…
And as you yourself noticed, Alisha was the main focus (-losing friends). She was seen on one single journey, and I felt the episode made a point in characterizing her as naive and innocent. I never felt she was just there for the plot.
I didn’t especially like the game and the story, and of course, this was all new to me too. But I won’t criticize just for the sake of ciritcizing. And I honestly can’t comprehend the arguments here. Apart from the weird flashbacks, I think it was a perfectly fine episode.
Ah, it seems you have played the game, whereas I have no, which is an important distinction. On my part, I felt like this episode was trying to give me a lot of information—about old ruins, about old swords, about old books and about Suddenly Youkai (fine, ‘fox demon’) that I couldn’t do anything with, and it chose to give me this information before other pertinent knowledge about, say, the protagonist or the setting. Sure, you would know that this setting was fantasy if you had played the game, but how is an anime-original viewer supposed to? They could perhaps guess at the details, but when the episode uses magic-as-conflict before actually establishing the level of magic in the setting i.e. whether it is fantasy, let alone what kind of fantasy, it becomes harder to figure out how we should react to each development. And in the end I couldn’t get as invested into Alisha’s story as I would have liked, for I am holding onto all these facts without enough context, and her story is but another set of facts to throw onto the pile.
Mind you, it’s not like I found the episode unenjoyable, per se. I simply consider the episode 00 to be a bit of a clunky storytelling decision, perhaps intended for fans of the game rather than the anime-only crowd like myself.
Have you read what I wrote Passerby? Perhaps what I detailed in that post of mine might be able to help in further solidifying our thoughts on what’s wrong with the directorial and editing choices present in episode 0. Hopefully it helps.
I did read it. I haven’t watched the OVA, I’m afraid. As for just this episode, I didn’t find anything incomprehensible per se, and am okay with things left unexplained, but I did find it a bit clunky, and you’ve noted some pacing issues yourself. All can be forgiven if episode 01 gets the story started and fits the the exposition into place.
Felt the familiarity when the Ladylake theme played.
But this episode is really the unseen beginning.
A few new disposable characters, villages not in the game.
But I like how they expand the story, showing us more.
So everything began at I suppose Glaivend Basin?
Played the game once but only have vague memories.
A reanimated stone dragon?
Not a corrupted seraph? Or was it one that was sealed and revived by the miasma?
Explained the meeting of Symonne and Lunarre.
Lunarre seem so at ease with his powers already was that his first hellion transform?
Ok the time span wasn’t explicitly stated.
Wonder if Symonne is already a lackey of big kitty then.
The game didn’t really say when the main bad guys turn bad, if I remember correctly.
So Alisha had already went through so much before she met Sorey and Mikleo.
So will they reuse the OVA as the first ep?
I’m also guessing that this Anime is almost an apology / sales device for the Tales of Berseria comming out, which is why your going to see flash backs for the lead of the new game Velvet Crowe …. yeah Tales of Berseria is a prequel to the same world.
Anime only viewer here. I must say, comparison with ufotable’s FSN:UBW is spot on. Not the most coherent episode and it makes me wish that Alisha is the main character instead of whoever pulls that sword. Of course, unlike Rin, all I know of Alisha is what was presented in this episode. So, I’ll reserve judgement until later.
Not sure what the point of the episode is, but from the comments here, it seems to be fanservice for the game players. Unlike FSN’s episode 00 which was targeted at audiences like me, this episode wasn’t. I can only tell whether it adds anything if I finish watching this series. I guess waiting for episode 01 to make a decision is what I’ll be doing.
Inquiry: If you use the three episode rule to decide if an anime’s worth watching, does this episode count?
I don’t think the storytelling of this episode is particularly strong (the plot progression felt like a little rushed) but as an anime only viewer, I agree that some of Passer by’s criticism/complaint is forced.
It’s obvious that the anime setting is a fictional fantasy world (see the dragon, the youkai-like assassin). Yes, there is astronomy. But It does not obscure the fact that the setting is a fictional fantasy world, since there is nothing strange that there is astronomy in some fictional fantasy worlds (just as there are doctors, books, teachers, farmers etc, in many fantasy worlds).
And there is no underdevelopment with a fancy book, blue stuff and a fancy sword. All of them are shown in order to imply that the princess takes an age old hero mythology somewhat seriously (strongly suggesting that she thinks “the ancient hero mythology might be really true, who knows ??? “), and in turn the age old hero mythology will play an important role in plot (probably related to overcoming a disaster – Saiyaku – which will strike a kingdom).
Except for the assassins, most of the rest is straightforward: It says “Hey, a massive disaster is going to strike a kingdom soon (likely related to an evil dragon), and there has been even an bad omen of it. Since a princess heard of the bad omen, she went to the spot where the bad omen appeared in order to investigate into it. And as expected, so bad accident/trouble/disaster happened to her and her retainers. But you saw that she was so interested in an age old HERE mythology (seems to take it rather seriously). So the mythology and the hero will definitely play a crucial role in overcoming her crisis and the disaster later.”
This Anime adaption of the game is doing fine for me…
But it all depends on some Girl’s story…
also, the scene at the beging reminds me of old “Indiana Jones” scenes…