Let the battle for peace begin. With only one more week to go we’re beginning the war that’s been brewing in recent weeks. But that’s not all, as we’ve got official confirmation of a second cour coming in 2017. This was previously leaked, so I’m not surprised by the news, though I expect viewers unaware were pleased to hear we’d get more next year. You can expect the second cour likely to air in Winter, which is similar to what ufotable have done before with the Fate series. It’s a common practice now in anime production, if only because it allows them to spread their time and effort evenly and prevents them from tripping up over themselves part-way into an unfinished second cour. With this, we can assume the high production quality will remain the same, even if we have to wait an extra few months for a proper resolution.
As for this episode, it was another solid watch. Not as personal or exciting as last week’s focus on Alisha (and Sorey as well). With the set-up out-of-the-way for the most part, we’re diving into the battle and seeing the political machinations unfold. It’s all fairly predictable, but my initial hopes that Zestiria would twist fantasy expectations proved to be unlikely early on. What we’re getting is typical and fun – which is more than enough. Alisha’s part of the story is my favourite, of course. She commands the screen when she appears, and her contrast with Rose makes her moral stance even more brave and baffling, especially when it nearly cost her her life by the end of this episode. Yet she is determined to seek peace and won’t even allow for Rose to injure the men that have betrayed her.
But is Alisha being too idealistic? Probably. But that’s what makes her so compelling – she’s proactive in her search for peace, and seeing her getting trip up makes the story more exciting. Should we revert back to her original purpose in the games and become a damsel in distress then I won’t be as positive, but so far things are looking promising for this storyline as Rose reveals she has similar powers to Sorey. I understand there is dodgy history with her character in the game, but perhaps this adaptation will improve upon her just like it did with Alisha?
Speaking of Sorey, he also has his own struggles, making him a more compelling lead. He shares the same goals as Alisha, but I like the fact that he will refuse to aid her should a genuine war break out. He sounds like he’s becoming a bystander, but his attempt to stop the fighting altogether is giving us enough action to keep him involved in the plot. What’s more curious, however, is his battle with the malevolence. Given what we’ve learned about the bad spirits and evil forces that surround people in this world, it makes sense that a battlefield would be the worst place of all. It highlights the ugliness of war and the oppressive fight for survival that everyone there has, and it fits nicely with the anti-war message that Tales of Zestiria is determined to drive forward.