「復讐」 (Fukushuu)

Well it only took four episodes, but we finally got something definitive in Zestiria. I always expected Rose’s assassination moonlighting to come out into the open eventually, but I did not anticipate it being this quickly. In a way though it makes sense, Sorey is incredibly naïve regarding certain things and willing (usually) to take anyone at face value. If Rose walks and talks like a merchant, she must only be a merchant in his eyes. Here, however, Sorey’s curiosity/concern finally gets the best of him, sending Edna Mikleo off on a fact finding mission that reveals far more than they ever anticipated.

Although surprising, having Zestiria’s moral dichotomy theme being tested between Sorey and Rose is welcome because it’s the first conflict in a show where not much has happened thus far. We can see how far Rose is willing to go for her form of justice, while catch of glimpse of Sorey’s maturing idealism. My primary annoyance is how impulsive Sorey is here. He goes full white knight, attempting to save Rose from a situation he does not fully comprehend and lacks complete information about. Sorey’s refusal to even consider the validity of Rose’s actions and his brash desire to preemptively stop her is the stereotypical form of justice which many a main character possess. It’s particularly aggravating in this instance given Sorey has previously shown a willingness to learn and identify the existence of morally grey situations. You would imagine this newfound openness would have Sorey try taking stock of the situation before confronting Rose, but I guess that was not meant to be.

On the other side, thankfully Rose lacks the annoying traits and sticks nicely to her development. Although Prince Konan and the history of betrayal came out of nowhere, at least it fleshes out the remaining holes in Rose’s backstory and gives reason for her actions. How she reconciles her past with Sorey will be interesting, particularly if Sorey grows out of his current “must never kill” mantra. If Sorey manages to find some decent character development from the experience, all might be forgiven. My only concern is what it will provide in the long run. For all that I like this theme exploration, Zestiria has been noticeably lacking on plot development, with no movement whatsoever on the fight against the Lord of Calamity. If this wasn’t a two cour show I wouldn’t be worried, but there are only eight episodes remaining—seven if next week is entirely a Sorey-Rose reconciliation—and a significant amount (from what I understand) of story left to adapt. I really hope the show doesn’t finish up with an annoying cliff hanger or anime original ending, but if Zestiria continues at the current pace, it’s hard seeing any other end. Unless a third season is in the cards of course, you never know.

Next Time: It’s all about Edna

While I dislike Sorey’s current state, I will be very disheartened if he managed to stop Rose from killing Konan. Hopefully that cliff hanger ends the right way so we can get Sorey’s first true taste of moral ambiguity and return to the most important thing: Edna. Well, that and the main plot, but you cannot go wrong with more Edna.




  1. https://randomc.net/image/Tales%20of%20Zestiria%20the%20X/Tales%20of%20Zestiria%20the%20X%20-%2016%20-%20Large%2032.jpg
    Dezel represents most of the audience towards Sorey. Honestly I HATE how main characters that put unnecessary effort to try to stop people who go after the people, who try to kill the villains, rather than the villains themselves. I can’t remember how many idiot main characters preached worthless platitudes like “taking revenge is wrong” or “it’s wrong to hurt others even it is to defend yourself.” People, like Rose, are maybe the more ideal type of main character as they have the realistic notion that “there are People worth saving and people not worth saving.” If a moronic naiveté ignorantly saves a villain, and that villain causes more sufferings to others, then that idiot is just as responsible for crimes done.

    Even a fool like Suzaku (code geass) had the same idea where “hating someone so much, to the point where you want to kill them, is Unacceptable. And, unless you follow the rules (which, in his own words, is the Rules of the Tyrants that oppress the people) then killing someone is just murder.” Then that idiot realized

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Fundamentally, Sorey is just another fool who keeps preaching idiotic things when he himself doesn’t understand how much hatred Rose has towards someone that stole her happiness. When characters, like Sorey, goes through the same experience then they realize just how revenge is something that should be perfectly justified.

    If Sorey tries to stop an angry mob, from trying to kill a tyrant who greatly oppressed his people, and gets beat up in the end then my thoughts would be “you, a sheltered moron, had it coming for not understanding just how much people suffered from the rule of a tyrant.”

    1. “Devil begins with froth on the lips of an angel entering battle for a holy and just cause. Everything turns to dust: people, ideologies, — but eternal is the spirit of hatred in a righteous struggle, and that’s why evil on earth has no end.”

      Grigory Pomerants

      Hate leads only to more hate.

    2. No. Dezel is an idiot who probably deserves to end up turned into a dragon.

      Necessary evil can be a point to make in our world. It can be a point to make in a lot of worlds and stories. But not in that world. In that world taking a pragmatic route turns people into monsters and spirits into murderous dragons. Oh good, you took out a corrupt person. Oh what that lead to you turning into a dragon and murdering thousands? Well that might be a problem.

      As frustrating as the idealistic path can be at times. Sorey is absolutely right. Rose killing that guy won’t make the world a better place, it will just pile up the bodies. Idealism isn’t wrong when the world literally becomes worse through any act of evil. Be interesting if they carried on through and had Rose turn into a dangerous monster as a result of this. Give Dezel a moment of “what the heck did I do??”

      Rose’s feelings are understandable, but make her actions no less stupid in this situation.

    3. For me the problem is not that Sorey has this “must save everyone” mentality, it’s that the mentality just now decided to pop up. The first third of this season has been leading Sorey beyond such simplistic thinking, so having Sorey renege on three episodes worth of development is pretty surprising/frustrating. As FlareKnight mentions, depending on desired outcome Sorey is in the right given that Rose’s actions will not actually fix a problem, and could potentially aggravate a later situation. The issue is that Sorey’s actions here are the wrong way to support such idealism, they are abrupt at best and annoying at worst.

  2. Berseria shows very nicely how quickly Necessary Evil becomes a bad thing, considering its how Velvet turned out the way she did, and that such mentality is toxic. Not to mention how easily they can get tricked into killing innocents, or even killing said folks for “the Greater Good”. The only reason Alisha survived the assassination attempts was that she could fight back and make Rose realize she was mistaken to listen to a greedy man like Bartlow. Plus malevolence can easily spread from whispers of assassinated folks.

    Edna herself dislikes the mentality since it can be used to justify killing her brother instead of trying to help find a cure for his dragon state.

    Rose and them likely don’t know as much as they think happened, because if you notice the blue flames that appeared and swallowed Brad are the same ones shown when dealing with malevolence…

    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. pure naivety can also become very toxic; they are both perspectives that lead to ruin if they are pushed too far. Berseria was an example of it going too far, not a criticism of the idea itself

      1. Alisha is the one who falls under pure idealism.

        Rose and her gang try to pretend their personal vendetta isn’t motivated solely by vengeance. Is the guy they are trying to target a corrupt person? Yes, but trying to pesent it as anything else is arrogant of them.

        And Berseria very much presents Necessary Evil as bad, though unlike Rose or the duties of the Shephred Velvet’s Crew don’t pretend to be heroes fighting for the common man and are typically motivated by personal vendetta’s. They fight, kill, and even argue with each other over the emotions involved. Eleanor herself even admits the actions of the Necessary Evil are wrong, but the ideals behind them are what not’s wrong.

  3. It seems Sorey is being portrayed as the positive side, so I would bet Sorey will have something else rather than “growing out of” his naive ideal. Afterall, the mission of the Shepherd to cleanse the world is an idealisitc job rather than a realistic one. There may not be any clear cut answer at the end, but it would be interesting to see which route is it going to take because TOZX doesn’t seem to be that much out of reality. I heard in the game, Show Spoiler ▼

    I wish it isn’t like that in anime.

    Sorey’s journey so far have been dealing with problems of different scale and layer, as a part of his growth as the Shepherd. It’s not about the hero fighting a demon lord, but a search for an ambiguous answer. How is he going to face the Lord of Calamity if he can’t even fight a dragon? And even facing Lord of Calamity is just a part of his mission. Rose’s revelation is most likely just the convergence point where he get a catch of what malevolence is and trying to deal with its source.

    1. I’m hoping personally that this episode serves as Sorey’s convergence point because it would give reason to his actions while supporting all his previous moral musings. There are a few interesting ways to take Sorey’s development that I hope are explored because it would immediately transform Zestiria from standard fantasy into something quite intriguing.

  4. Uh, so it’s safe to say this Rose is now completely different from Game Rose. She at never point reached a bloodboil level, and the guy she’s trying to kill appears in like a flashback unrelated to her directly.

    Your worry about an anime original ending might actually be in the positive because other than the eventual goal of beating the lord of calamity, season 2 has been very standalone. I’m not talking adaptive-condense-game, I mean characters-entirely-rewritten.

    Rose and Sorey have never fought ever in the game. Dezel was aloof, but there was never this much constant infighting and like I mentioned before, Rose straight up can go super saiyan like Sorey at this point.

    As someone that’s just played Berseria and see how the anime version turned out much differently than the preview in season 1, I’m interested in how much the studio has creative freedom over the writing because they clearly have full autonomy at this point.

    1. I’m guessing Bandai knew of the game’s story weaknesses and decided to rectify that through the adaptation. It would make sense considering the show is more for publicity and generating excitement than standing on its own. Completely reworking the story would enable a better adaptation while encouraging those interested to explore the game. It’s actually a good approach all things considered given how well the characters (at least for me) are working out here.

  5. Interesting. Frankly, I cannot for the life of me care much for Sorey and his mind. I never will and so does the universe. Existence is in itself inherently violent. Everything from the first beginnings of organic life on this tiny little planet all the way to the most unimaginably massive of black holes and supernovas. I just accept that as a part of my connection to everything. Even so called evil exists from ideals of various strange and peculiar shapes and forms.

    In the end, you do what must be done. And come on fellow homo sapiens, most animus display a strange kind of kiddy mentality about a whole myriad of things. As for me man, I just roll my eyes and don’t cling to any one ideal too strongly and just observe and adapt, observe and adapt.

    Aaaaaaaaaaaanyway, I wonder how far they’re gonna take this angle and what kinda peculiar ideas they’re gonna use to reinforce the mindset of Sorey and his little gang. Perhaps by then, there’d be some additional material that would pop up to give enough relevance to the ‘X’ in the title.

    Nishizawa Mihashi
  6. ep 17:

    This Episode is epic on emotions, you should watch it with enough time to let sink it a bit into you.

    Also very good screen of an flower, as if she is behind an glass waiting for you to touch her (i mean a real flower)

    more when the episode is online


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