「疫病の街」 (Ekibyou no Machi)
“The Plagued City”
Is it just me or did not a lot happen in this episode? It certainly wasn’t bad, but by the time the 16 minute mark came up (because I checked out of curiosity) I thought: “Wait… the episode is almost over?”. For whatever reason, every scene this week felt like it served to transition from one place to another rather than show or tell us anything more about these characters or the world they inhabit. The campfire scene was informative, but other than that it felt like this episode had been done before – or at the very least, it seemed as though this episode consisted of many individual moments that we’ve already seen before.
At least we got to learn the difference between Drakes and Dragons, and got to see more of Sorey in his epic form, though I’m beginning to wonder when he will fight an opponent who actually tests him mentally and physically. Fighting big monsters is fun and all, but there’s not much intelligence behind their attacks, and I’m beginning to feel like I’ve seen all of this before. Maybe it’s because this is adapted from a video game, but I get that same feeling you get when you spam a special move so many times that it doesn’t seem so special anymore. Edna didn’t even get to do much this week, even after that scene where it seemed to set her up for some action – but that led nowhere. I have to be honest and say the Sorey/Lailah/Edna part of the episode was the most boring for me if only because I felt it didn’t add anything we hadn’t experienced before.
Thankfully, Mikleo and Alisha had a little more to do this week. Mikleo happened upon a cute little Normin Tenzoku (Ehara Yuri), who has an adorable design and an infectious personality that contrasts well with Mikleo. I presume he’s going to stick around and join the main group now that everyone is re-uniting again, and if that’s the case then I’m all for some more cuteness and comic relief. This was never going to reach the darkness of Tales of Berseria, but I like the upbeat tone and colourful characters that Zestiria is offering. Though in saying that, Alisha isn’t feeling too positive about her situation. I don’t have the source material to compare to, but this does seem like the staff are writing more scenes for her, which I appreciate. Even if she’s failing at helping the sickly, it was nice to see her back with Sorey (and what an adorable wave that was).
And that’s it really, unless I missed some crucial details hidden in plain sight. At least the cast is grouping up again, so that should take the story in a more interesting direction. We’ve still got a few more characters to see, and we’re about to enter the double digits, so I hope the pace picks up and next week offers something a little different from the norm. Sorey fighting off dragons is a spectacle to watch, but if that’s the main draw here then I may be slightly concerned going forward.