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.