Tales of Zestiria the X Episode 11&12: [Final Impressions]
Episode 11: The War
The whole crew goes to the battlefield. Alisha’s plan is to stop the two enemy armies to clash and thus, to avoid war. On their way they meet with a girl named Ian, who is as useless as unbearable, she wants to hold the hand of the shepherd, only seeing the Shepherd in Sorey, and not the human being that is behind the function. I guess it follows the idea that now, Sorey might be overwhelmed by his duty, the burden of the Shepherd becoming to heavy for one person to carry.
Everyone worries about Sorey and wonder how he will be able to handle this conflict. Mikleo also feels Sorey’s duty as a shepherd is starting to become a very heavy burden and tries to ease his mind by reminding him of the good old times in Elysia. He also offers him to go exploring ruins again with him, after all this shit is over.
Now that war has finally begun, malevolence everywhere. Therefore Sorey tries desperately to stop them but ends up being affected by the malevolence. He manages to purify everyone in the battlefield but sadly the war isn’t over and there’s still some fights all around the place. Then, Sorey and the Seraphs see a human hellion who Lailah calls the lord of calamity.
In the meantime, Alisha tries to discuss the situation with the general but he refuses to stop war (as expected) and tries to capture her. With Rose they fight against the soldiers, but Alisha refuses to kill anyone and gets stab. They are about to get killed but are saved by some magical wind, work of a wind Seraph. OHOHOHO Finally I want to say, too bad there’s only one episode left heh.
So this episode had nice visuals during the war scenes, the battle scene was clearly my favorite one in this episode. The succession of bloody images in close ups and transitions with that distortion effect, made the scene quite oppressing and depressing at the same time. However, The downside of the episode is clearly the animation which although, remains great was sometimes a bit inconsistent. It also looked like they sometimes used some 3D images since it’s cheaper during some sequences, without any warning so it caught me off guard. It’s like the whole budget of the episode went in the battle scene or for the final episode, and if so, I cannot blame them about it.
Ep 12: The Lord of Calamity
Sorey decides to go and confront the Lord of Calamity, of course he’s too strong and rekts Sorey. But why is the Lord of Calamity evil you may ask? Well, for the moment, we don’t really know, he did not talk much. He had only one argument, which was: “Men are the source of malevolence so purifying them is useless, you can’t save them, so better kill everyone”. Whereas Sorey responds, with: “No I will save them., cuz this ain’t the way things work, I will save everyone”. Basically the bad guy’s only line of dialogue was : “ooooou feel the malevolence, oouh, I’m very evil and bad, ooouu” and then he goes away. That’s it, yup, nothing else, that was almost just a cameo… Like Fox guy, the foxy fox that attacked the Seraph village in the first episodes… he came to say one line he went away, a bit useless if you ask me.
Rose comes to get Sorey cuz Alisha is supposedly dying. They have a little talk telling each other that they are happy they’ve met. And then, they do a squire contract because… I-I-I don’t know… they want to be together? Maybe they should explain how a human can become the Shepherd quire? Also I thought Alisha was hurt and about to die? How is she miraculously cured? Also, why did the war stopped? A messenger came to say something and the war suddenly stopped? Why? I don’t know, maybe they’ve explained it, but I forgot, it doesn’t seem clear to me…
But anyway so now she can see the Seraphs… I don’t know what else being Sorey’s squire brings her but heh… Everything seems fine until the General who wanted to kill Alisha and who is now a hellion, comes and wants to kill her again. So Sorey goes all yandere mode cuz this dude is not going to touch his grill. He’s about to lose it but magically manages to purify the general because… I don’t know, let’s say he came back to his senses hearing his friends’ voices, at least that’s how it works in YU-GI-OH!
Rose asks Sorey to come to Rolance with her and he accepts, so now they’re heading to Rolance with Dezel, whose name hasn’t been pronounced even once if I’m not mistaken… that is some good character introduction… He just appeared last episode, did some magical things, enough for us to understand that he is Rose’s personal stalker. Other than that… Nothing… cool.
I don’t really know how I feel about this episode, the whole second part of the episode felt a bit pointless to me, and to be completely honest, the first part too. To me, the show could have ended when Sorey and his cool gang encountered the Lord of Calamity. They also could have killed Alisha, giving Sorey more reasons to become tainted by malevolence. But nope, they chose the easy way and ended on a generic ” OUR ADVENTURES CONTINUE IN SEASON 2!”. They just saw a war, thought on a battlefield, just witnessed Sorey becoming bananas but no one is worried? I’m not saying they aren’t concerned by that and maybe they’ll show how the war affected them in the second season, but that was a clumsy way to end this season.
Final Impression :
Tales of Zestiria the X was along, with D.Gray-man my most anticipated show for the Summer 2016 seasons. I am by no means a Tales of fan since the only opus I know is Tales of Zestiria. So coming to this show, I was just hoping to witness a pleasing adaptation of a game that I quite liked.
Starting by the positives, the show is beautiful, in every aspect. The animation is stellar and the soundtrack is like honey to my ears. The little fight scenes we got were nicely choreographed and thrilling. The characters are attaching and I find their character design appealing. As for the story, I especially liked how the show focused more on Sorey and on his dilemma as a Shepherd during the last episodes.
However, like mentioned earlier, I had some problems with the last couple of episodes, that went a bit crazy. It’s like Zestiria has no real plot and is just a succession of scenes, about different things happening in this fucked up world, giving almost the impression of an episodic type of show. Of course the thing about the bad guy not being brought up earlier is also present in the game but I do believe it is a flaw. Not every game can be well adapted on screen but hopefully Tales of Zestiria the X isn’t a bad anime. At least not as bad as Ace Attorney, oh boi, this one was horrible.
Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yeah! The true villain of the show is introduced in the last episode and we only heard his name once. Furthermore, Sorey’s goal to make humans and Seraph live together was abandoned during the most part of the show and only brought in the final episode to give Sorey some determination. Finally, the war drama was back again just before the end, and it wasn’t enough for me to get involved in the war and to clearly see and understand the points the anime was trying to made. And it’s the same thing for that “final battle” between the Lord of Calamity and Sorey. Because everyone basically forgot about the Lord of Calamatiy, nobody was expecting him to be on this field, thus, there was no tension, I wasn’t thrilled nor excited about this fight, nor was I waiting for it. So not only I was disappointed but I also did not give many fucks about it.
As for the characters, like I expected, I liked them all, but only because I already knew them from the game. The only characters that I felt had a real connection in the anime were Sorey and Mikleo, and maybe Sorey and Alisha. The rest of the cast was a bit bland and even their interactions did not make me believe those guys were “friends” or even getting along. Which is a shame, since in a team, chemistry between all the members is important. Even Rose and Alisha, did not seem close to me, or at least, I just couldn’t believe that they could be such good friends in such a short time, and after what happened between them.
Also, I did not get much Mikleo during the last couple of episodes… I’m disappointed… I’m really disappointed, where’s my Meebo? Nah, I’m joking, however I’m quite angry Dezel did not get any proper introduction, he just appears and that’s it. It’s like the show assumes you already know who he is. Of course, not everyone knows who he is, since not everyone played the game. The fact the show is produced by Ufotable gives it enough hype and fame for non game players to be interested in it. Therefore, you have to explain things. And that’s another problem of Tozx. Little things were truly explained. Sorry to bring that up again but the Amartization thing? They’ve never explained what it was. It’s just Sorey merging with the Seraphs because… he can?
So overall Tales of Zestiria the X remained a bit generic and was flawed with his pacing, plot and sub plots getting out of hand. However, the animation, sound and characters did save the show for me. It was a pleasure to listening to those beautiful soundtracks and watch the show in 1080P. As for the characters, I just can’t help but to like them, especially Mikleo. So of course I came to this show knowing I would be biased but heh, as much as I’d like to be objectivity’s spokesman, we are influenced by our personal experiences and in my case, by the game. Since I already knew the cast and was attached to it, I had no problem getting in the story and loving the shepherd crew.
TOZX is by no means a bad show.
To me it is just a bit clumsy and like it or not, a bit generic.
The idea to make Sorey becoming more and more tainted by Malevolence is a really good one, so I sincerely hope they will develop this in the second Season.