「穢れなき世界」 (Kegarenaki sekai)
“World Without Malevolence”

Ah Zestiria. For a fantasy series the first season of this Tales adaptation was certainly a satisfying—if a little dry—ride, but easily met all the requirements for an entertaining fantasy story. For one who has never played the game, I certainly enjoyed it. Coming into this season I fully expected no serious changes, and indeed this opening episode confirmed that expectation. Slowing things down after last season’s climactic battle, this episode largely serves as a refresher for (re)introducing us to most of the main cast. Rose (Komatsu Mikako) functioned as the central character this week, with her business operations and personality being further fleshed out. Sniffing out crime, chatting up producers, protecting an ignorant Sorey (Kimura Ryouhei)? Just part of the job for this girl, alongside some devious attempts at turning Sorey into a magician. Of course things wouldn’t be complete without reminding us Rose also serves as an assassin, which the execution of Bishop Reno provides in spades.

The focus on Rose though also serves an important bit for Zestiria’s story. It is through Rose where the storyteller Mayvin is introduced to Sorey and via which General Sergei of the Platinum Knights also enters the picture. Mayvin in particular subtly alludes to where the story is heading, what with the focus on ancient artifacts and Sorey’s questioning about dragons. The big hint of course concerns the flashbacks involving the previous Shepherd Michael—and a noticeably present Lailah (Shitaya Noriko)—with a good deal of emphasis on the acts of right and wrong. Zestiria’s theme this time around likely will be the blurred separation of good and evil, bluntly stated by Michael’s belief in all men possessing a tainted heart. Is it wrong to kill an evil man? Is it right to sacrifice one to save the many? These are questions Sorey in particular never had to confront previously, who otherwise fought in the belief an act of good could never be construed as wrong. Lailah and Mikleo (Osaka Ryota) certainly understand Sorey’s ignorance, which is what their training is ultimately trying to do: awaken Sorey to a world not as black and white as he believes. How Sorey ends approaching this problem will likely prove important, especially given—as both Mayvin and Sergei note—there is no one true answer. It’s pretty clear how Rose chooses to tackle the conundrum (and why Dezel currently keeps it secret from a “pure” Sorey), so seeing Sorey’s response will certainly be interesting.

With basic introductions out the way, it looks like next week shifts attention to Dezel and his past. I’m still personally waiting on Alisha’s return and finding out why she is not with Sorey, but I guess that bit is for later. Also intriguing is the hint towards additional Berseria material popping up this season, which if true could either be another interesting interlude or incredibly confusing mini-arc. Either way stay tuned for more boys and girls, Zestiria is back and it’s only just getting started.


OP Sequence

OP: 「illuminate」 by Minami



  1. I’m still personally waiting on Alisha’s return and finding out why she is not Sorey

    Do you perhaps mean not with Sorey? Some word is missing there, anyway.

    Assuming that’s what you meant, didn’t she go off to do political stuff at the end of the last season?

    1. yeap. Sorey are in this case here the Shepard, where Alisha will become the political leader… She needs time and space to prepare for that, and all this political talk.. is this worth of screentime? there is no action, just words. But they are weight. Empty words are useless, it must be words what she can guarantee

    2. Gah my proofreading sucks, yeah definitely missed the “with” there lol
      And after reviewing the previous season’s finale yeah she did, all I remembered was Alisha=new squire so that’s where my confusion sprang from.

      1. Show Spoiler ▼

  2. I was waiting in eager anticipation for Part 2 to come out and I actually really enjoyed watching episode 13. I wonder how things will go on from this episode onwards. It seems that they’re pretty dedicated towards making sure that they don’t make the same narrative mistakes as in the game so yeah, I’m gonna put my faith in these guys. Well at least that’s one show to look forward too each week.

    Oh btw, I’ve been looking at MAL’s seasonal statistics and general viewership numbers for various anime post-Winter 2013 and I have noticed that viewership numbers have been steadily dwindling with many sharp dips along with average ratings. Only several shows within a single year managed to even break past 200,000 viewers since that particular season. Overall however the number of shows that have 100,000 viewers or less are much more than average. With general trends in variation and variety in anime produced being more constricted than before as well. There are still super smash out hits (rating 8.5+/viewership 200,000+) here and there though, but I sincerely believe that the majority of those super smash out hits are mindbogglingly over-rated. But that’s just me btw and I apologize for this tangent in my comment; it’s just something that I’ve noticed throughout the recent years and was thinking of recording my thoughts. Oh well…

    Nishizawa Mihashi
  3. tales of zestiria’s game (and storytelling) was underwhelming, although it had some bright spots with indications of potential to be a great narrative (which i like to see in stories). Honestly, the anime doesnt really draw out that potential but it fixes some of the narrative pacing issues that were in the game. If anything, this premiere ep established for me how much personality rose had and how fun the character dynamics became once she became prominent in the story. In a vanilla story with a good portion of the cast being two-dimensional and not all that interesting to follow along, rose was a jolt of life in the narrative (regardless of the toxic opinions of fans)

  4. It’s sooooo good to see Sorey and friends back again! I was missing them! Still, it feels kinda weird watching it in Japanese after getting so used to the English voices, as someone who just started playing the game (Yay! I finally own it and can play it!). I do wish the seraphim got to be a little more involved, though. Mikleo is adorable like usual, Sorey also. God, I’ve gotten so deep into this fandom. I even wrote several ToZ fan fics already! I prefer the English voices. Seriously, Robbie Daymond just IS Sorey, no matter what.

  5. As someone who is actually playing the game right now (50+hours) I am very satisfied with anime.
    Yes, it did fix pacing issue, and I honestly love that they made this Rose-centric episode.
    But it’s also great that they managed to introduced Sergei and Mayvin into one episode. But I am still waiting for Sergei to get more spotlight too. He is great.

    New opening is fantastic, to be honest.

    I expected Michael at one point, but honestly, didn’t expect to see him now.

    Overall, I am very happy with the adaptation so far.

    I am just sad that they didn’t put the “we’re married” scene with Sergei as his introduction. I am gonna miss it. If you are interested go watch it, it’s priceless part in the game. It’s when you first enter Lastonbell 😀


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