「それぞれの想い」 (Sorezore no Omoi)
“Their Respective Thoughts”
And now back to our regular scheduled programming…
I feel like I’m one of the few who was actually looking forward to seeing more of the Zestiria story than that of Berseria. Velvet Crowe may be a badass, and Sorey may not be the most exciting protagonist out there, but there’s something about the bright colours, lighter tone, and the cast that we already know that has me more invested in their quests to come. It may be a more traditional story of good vs evil – where Berseria seems to focus on morally ambiguous characters with thirsts for vengeance and shady endgames – but I get enough enjoyment from Sorey and company that I’m glad to have them back.
For better or worse, there’s not actually much new I can say about this episode. What action scenes we got were brimming with energy, the characters are fitting into their roles nicely, and the whole thing is so easy on the eyes. I would go as far as to say it’s gorgeous, but then I realise there’s not that much animation for majority of the scenes. That’s not an uncommon practice in anime, but at least when we do get those swift moments of action it looks stellar; and the background details and character artwork is consistent enough that there’s never a point where things looks actively bad. It’s up there as one of the best-looking shows this season, but then again I’d be cheating if I were to consider it for ‘Best Animation’ once the Best of 2016 post comes around. If we were talking purely about art direction, then it would be a different conversation, but no such category yet exists so it’s a shame.
Mikleo splitting off looked like it was going to create some drama, but in the end this episode was pretty easygoing. Even the opening scenes with the dragon were resolved quickly, and the dinner scene didn’t have as much tension as I’d expect. Knowing we’ve got a second cour coming in the Winter 2017 season, it’s clear we’re setting up for a longer story here. If this were only 12 or 13 episode then I’d be very worried, but we have the luxury of time and consistency here, so there’s very little I can complain about. Even if not much developed in terms of plot, I enjoyed this episode more than last week’s blatant advertisement.
Sorey’s “Chosen One” story may not be the most original or exciting for many, but I’m already sold and interested to see where ufotable are going with this admittedly rough source material. The parallel moments with Sorey and Mikleo were a nice finish to this episode – as well as the very cute flashback to when they were kids – but I expect they’ll be back in each other’s company before too long. We’ve still got plenty of characters from the OP to be introduced and fleshed out, so I expect the ball won’t get rolling until the end of this first season, though I would prefer if that moment came sooner rather than later.