「浄化」 (Jouka)

Well who knew, looks like Zestiria can actually wrap things up by the end of the season. With Alisha’s arc now finished and the end boss—alright, the end boss’ adjutant—showing up after seven episodes, we are finally entering the home stretch here. With live dragon purification now a thing, all Sorey really needs to eliminate the Lord of Calamity is one more good power-up, which can easily be found in an episode or two. Couple that with a pair of decent Spirit Bomb Malevolence absorbers in Rose and Alisha, and a good chunk of otherwise necessary game events can be conveniently skipped over. Might even have room to see Edna’s wish realized.

Besides the textbook example of “my ability is stronger than yours”, the main focus of this episode—once again—was on morality. Sorey looks to have completed his development, given his open acceptance of everyone possessing Malevolence in different forms and strengths. Considering this conclusion was foreshadowed since the start, it’s nice actually having Sorey follow through given how naïve he was last season. While a little tacky that it all essentially boils down to being stronger than the previous Shepherd, at least Sorey has a firm moral basis to stand on. The same, however, cannot be said of Alisha.

While both Sorey and Alisha carry the “cannot kill” mantra, Alisha’s thinking was particularly annoying this week. Part of the issue for me likely centers on Alisha’s emotions, or in this case, lack of emotions. You would imagine if your father was cut down before you that you would feel shock, grief, rage, but apparently not in Alisha’s case. No cliché scream, no barely controlled anger, just a quick fall on the dead dad before regaining composure and affirming the “I won’t kill you” pledge. No matter the person, events like this regicide are more than enough to shatter anyone’s stoic face, including our little princess. Of course Zestiria could have been pressed for time with the dragon purification and all, but it’s still hard not laughing at this little bit of absurdity. Also does not help when Alisha shows more emotion at Bartlow’s later suicide. Pretty sure there is some psychoanalysis argument to be made here, but I’m too lazy for such things.

For Zestiria’s benefit, however, the tedious parts of Alisha’s development are now through and she can largely revert back to being Sorey’s squire. Considering the focus now will probably be on the Lord of Calamity and defeating him, not much more should need saying on the moral ambiguity and personal ideals of our main characters. The sides have been set, the characters now placed, it’s time to get down and dirty with the final fight of the show. Plenty of time left for Zestiria to mess up of course, but I have some optimism this show will make the most of its drawn out start.




  1. Part of the issue for me likely centers on Alisha’s emotions, or in this case, lack of emotions.

    I think implicit in the king’s comments on Alisha experiencing “much hardship” due to her mother being a commoner whom he married in his old age is the fact that their relationship is strained- perhaps even to the point of bitter mutual resentment. Such that Alisha the daughter hates her father, or is at least emotionally indifferent towards him- though Alisha the noble knight is still loyal to him, and respects him as her lord and liege. Which makes her relative apathy towards his death understandable- she doesn’t cry for him because she’s never seen him as a father- yet she berates the treasonous Lord Bartlow out of her sense of duty to her King as a knight.

    This doesn’t excuse the critical narrative flaw that you’ve pointed out, however. Not at all. Alisha’s reaction to her father’s death appears emotionally implausible because it lacks narrative foundation. A single three second line suggesting a troubled childhood/strained relationship, and (perhaps) vague allusions throughout the show that Alisha was essentially raised by Maltran alone, with her father being completely absent, is grossly insufficient. Such things need to be explicitly shown– to ensure the audience understands why when it comes time for an emotional payoff which may seem, on the surface, completely implausible, contrary to common human emotional instinct. An extra backstory/childhood episode for Alisha would’ve easily done the trick. But time constraints, I guess? Who knows…

    1. Might I add, by the way, that the Principle of Charity is operative in my above comments. In reality, there’s a good chance that nothing of the sort was even contemplated by Zestiria’s writers…

    2. Alisha was keep in a Golden Cage, and Baltrow surly put both far away. Perhaps she do not saw many her father that often, because of politics.

      The emotional bond was not that deep, but her father sacrificed himself to protect his daughter. Its like in Bladerunner der Villian save the detective in his last seconds?

    3. You’ve succinctly highlighted the problem I had here. By itself, Alisha’s personality makes sense, she was raised isolated from her father, and trained to place the public ahead of private concerns (as Maltran pointed out). The problem was none of this came up before so we had no basis via which to relate Alisha’s actions to the events. Rushing through the scene only accentuated the problem, especially Alisha’s notable response to Baltrow’s death.

      The whole thing could have worked, but it needed better development beforehand.

      1. I guess it boils down to time constraints.

        If it makes you feel better you can view it on a slightly more positive light of Alisya knowing that the fight isn’t over yet and holding it all in until everything was over and so she let it out. It would have worked a bit better if they had at least moistened her eyes or something.

      1. That makes sense. For a few seconds in the show I thought “Ohhh maybe the King was the source, the one who created the tornado and the dragon!”. The minister didn’t have malevolence, so maybe he was only doing those things on the King’s orders.

        However the girl at the end put the theory to rest. And ofcourse the fact that the King got killed a couple seconds later.

  2. Alisha is a veteran knight and now a squire. She’s seen more than anyone else, remember episode 0? Personally, I would’ve found it cliche and out of character if she did break down. As demonstrated in the episode and even lampshaded by Maltran, she puts her duty over her own personal feelings which she has also demonstrated throughout the series. I believe her reaction, or lack of is very consistent with her character.

    1. eeehhh, i dont really think that’s a good excuse. She didnt have to breakdown; she didnt have to cry. She just needed to act human; to act in a way that says something interesting about her character; to react in a way that says something interesting about her emotionally. The bottom line is that alisha is not that interesting or compelling. She’s as bland as this entire season (and last season for that matter) with little dimension in her character or any semblance of an actual character arc. A good writer would have used maltran lampshading earlier in the episode to show that alisha is still a young and aspiring princess and that she has chinks in her emotional armor but “naaaaaahhhh, that would make too much sense”. How the critical events involving alisha didnt have to be cliche, they didnt to have some sort of pathos and it didnt. And no its not that consistent because with her character because at least in season 1 we saw how hurt alisha would get from not being able to help people.

      1. How you perceive humans should act is quite frankly not how all humans act. Not saying you’re completely wrong, but you can’t project the same trait across all humans or characters. Also if you find her bland, that’s your opinion. I don’t, that’s my opinion.

    2. She didn’t need to break down or freak out I agree, but I was expecting something more of a reaction considering the circumstances. Even for a princess adhering to noblesse oblige, seeing your father murdered before your eyes would be upsetting, especially when you yourself are threatened with death. For me the scene probably would have worked better if prolonged because Alisha’s turnaround between grief and stoic determination was too fast here for my suspension of disbelief.

  3. This ending is going to be so rushed… or is that just me?

    One or two episodes to get strong enough, one or two to learn who the Lord of Calamity is and why he’s so strong(unless those don’t matter anymore) and one to take him out? It looks good enough on paper, but with how this show loves to drag its heels…

    I worry…

  4. Things here that were not in the game:
    -This entire Alisha arc
    -Alisha meeting Zaveid
    -The King
    -Bart never talked once after Sorey left Ladylake
    -Lunarre talking to other people
    -Purifying a dragon

    Actually, probably easier to say that most of the season has been original in most ways. And they changed three major things from the game that lead to a different outcome for sub-plots.

    The main thing about “episodes left” worry is that most of the game after this point is just dungeons and trials. All gameplay stuff that can be skipped.

    1. what now is left is the road to the End Boss (i do not know if they should play the secret card here)

      my thoughts:
      i wonder if we get an epilogue episode where the Princess united both lands under Peace, and Rose uphold the Law, where Sorey is the spiritual leader (not Pope) or “run away” to explore ruins again

  5. https://randomc.net/image/Tales%20of%20Zestiria%20the%20X/Tales%20of%20Zestiria%20the%20X%20-%2020%20-%20Large%2019.jpg
    if I was a soldier, even I would get the “idea” when I see an unarmed princess, a dead king, and the sword that has the king’s blood.
    It’s always convenient for Evil to destroy your own enemies.
    I was wondering when would that “Anya Alstreim” looking character would show up. Do wonder if she was cultivating an orange farm when off screen.

  6. Purifying a live dragon is uh… wow. I’m starting to get the feeling that the end is going to bring back that “the X” part of the anime, i.e. the crossover with Berseria.

    Show Spoiler ▼

  7. I know what they were trying to go for and while the ideas can be done right, the anime iteself didn’t really do it properly.

    Bartlow has and always was a bit player. Manipulated by those who knew his hatred of Alisha would help their cause. Even the idea him killing himself could have worked if it had been some twisted result of him being overwhelmed by his own malevolence, plus I find it laughable him lasting more than a second against Alisha in a fight.

    The purifying dragon idea is totwlly something they can do, but they botched it horribly, because there’s an explanation from Berseria and the tool that’s in Zestiria that’s required that could work to do it. Dragons naturally produce so much malevolence it’s not naturally possible to purify them even if you did it as a group.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Also don’t know why they are saying a 100/1000 types of Malevolence when there’s only eight, which are based on the sins of Buddhism I believe.

  8. Sorey accomplishes so much in the game but, by the end he can do nothing against a dragon.
    He still havent done much in the show, hell he didnt even form a contract with Dezel or Zaveid yet but he is strong enough to purify a dragon?
    That’s bullshit.


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