The most recent adaptation of a very popular and ongoing series of Tales of Zestiria, is Tales of Zestiria the X. This action packed fantasy/adventure story is easy to follow and amazing from beginning to end. I really have to hand it to Ufotable because unlimited budget works. They always do an outstanding job of animation and really bring such detail to the worlds. Also, since I haven’t played any of the games I can safely say that you don’t need to because I found it very easy to read and follow. Story telling and progression is very straight forward series and you can just sit down and relax when watching it.
As mentioned earlier, this series is based of the franchise known as Tales of Zestiria. In this story, the plot revolves around and builds the supernatural world and malevolence. Malevolence is something akin to negative feelings and in this world they manifest into beings. Which are capable to think for themselves with a motive to spread and plague the world. Much like a plague, there is a cure and that cure has been told through legend and it is known as the Shepherd. A being with the capacity to purify malevolence.
Its really a high magical fantasy story with everything you wanted. Spirits, nature, demons, kings, armies, dragons and beasts. Along with its high paced action, this series kinda feels like the other Ufotable anime’s but I’ll talk about this more in the animation part.
Oh and before I forget, this series also includes a few episodes for another game in the same universe which is called Tales of Berseria. Because its in the same universe, expect only a change in setting and main character. While everything stays the same, the atmosphere and goals change drastically. We go from a Shepherd with the goal to purify the world to a main character that wants vengeance for her family. Even though we only get a small glimpse of the Tales of Berseria, there is enough done so we could understand the characters backgrounds.
Anyways, here’s the PV.
Nothing really impressive with this story in terms of outstanding characters. They are really generic and don’t have a lot of depth to them. This could be just a problem with there only being 12 episodes for the initial part of the story. Which from what I read was kinda rushed but its not like its a bad thing. I mean yes many of the characters are simple;Some are good and some are bad. Still, they are unique in their own respective and have some decent character development.
Before I talk more about the a bit about the characters let me first explain what a the Seraphim and Malevolence. Seraphim, think of them as elves or beings that are working to be one with nature. Because they are somewhat in tune to nature they can feel Malevolence that exists around people or the world. They also have the ability to draw power from nature so to speak, and can use the elements like water, fire, wind and ice. As for Malevolence, they are somewhat similar to Seraphim because just like them they can also directly impact nature. For example, they can corrupt or poison the lands.
Continue of characters.
Of the five main characters in Tales of Zestiria I will only talk about three of them. First lets talk about the two humans, Sorey and Alisha. Sorey is an easy going young boy that loves to explore ruins with his childhood friend. He learned from old scriptures about the Shepherd and this serves as his biggest motivator for exploring ruins because he wants to learn more about the legends of the past. Always intrigued at how the buildings were made and by whom. A very true and classic adventurer. Meanwhile, Alisha is a knight and princess to her kingdom. She loves her people and will do anything in her power to keep the peace between her people because she believes in peace.
Now for the Seraphim, Sorey’s childhood friend, Mikleo. He is a very good friend to Sorey but unlike him, Mikleo has a much more serious tone. They have known each other for years and have a rival-ish friendship bond going on. While they both compete often, they still care for each other and more so than their rivalry.
Alright before I get started let me say that Tales of Zestiria is a 2d/3d animated show. Ufotable just loves to not disappoint because their series really shines from beginning to end with its amazing world design and motions. For example, take a look at the waterfall gif above. The scenery is 10/10 and the use of 2d for most of the background like the leaves are just great. With the mist and the flowers blowing ever so slightly makes you believe it is windy without noise. Even the ambience is great and the whole place although empty feels alive. Hell its so good you could probably get a few good wallpapers.
Next is the action scenes and magic/magical beasts. They went ahead and used 3d to animate the drakes and dragons in this series. You can see the gif below for a glimpse at what some of the drakes might look like. Keep in mind its mostly ethereal (which means delicate in light, or that light doesn’t bounce off it as much). As for the high action scenes. Very faced pace and the fluidity of motion is amazing. For example, each reaction not only just moves the characters physical body but also their clothing and hair. The physics presented in the world seem real enough and nothing they do is stupid(eg jumping from plane to plane without falling off).
I watched both the dubbed and subbed versions of this series. So let me go ahead and say that, they are both good. I’m glad Funimation is finally picking up their slack and getting voice actors that fit better with the characters and their personalities. Guess this is the benefit of never having to outbid Crunchyroll for their licenses to the shows since they both decided to just keep to one side(crunchy does subs, funi does dubs). Anyways, the dubbed was good but there was still an issue. Not sure if it was just me but the dubbed sounded a little mute from time to time. Felt really off at times but not a huge issue to me at least.
The subbed version was solid, amazing voice acting from the Japanese as always. They really know how to emulate the personality to fit the character better than us Americans. Maybe its a cultural thing? Not really sure why they do a better job.
Music and ambience in this show fit the high fantasy genre this series is. From the noises of horses moving to iron clad armor or flying magical beasts and spells. Really good stuff.
Tales of Zestiria the X really pulled through from beginning to end for me and I enjoyed every moment. From its fantasy world to its cast of characters beginning their adventure to save the wold. The story may not suit everyone’s tastes, but it’s still a great fantasy series. I especially enjoyed the parts of the Tales of Berseria and it peaked my interest in both games. Which is something I am considering playing at the moment. Seeing as its on the humble bundle and all. Speaking about the games, I’ll put the first 15 minute game play video I found by IGN.
Not a very good video but its the only first 15 minute game play video that didn’t have any voice overs or spoilers. Only thing it has is the game play with the audio and that’s all you want if you’re going to decide if you want to play the game or not. Oh and if you do decide to play, let me just tell you that its more of a classic RPG and by that I mean it takes longer than 8 hours to play unlike current RPG releases. It also has an amazing soundtrack and the action doesn’t look annoying or bothersome.