Tales of Zestiria the X – 01

Dr. Henry Jones Jr. would have been proud.

spring15-irenesIn this episode, we actually officially begin the series, and what a cinematic opening it is! Honestly, ufotable is pulling out all the stops in trying to make this as grand as they possibly can, without betraying any of their video game roots.


I have to say that I really enjoyed the adaptation of this first episode and how it was able to accomplish for the most part what the OVA failed to do. And that was to make me think of this as a story in and of itself, not just an edited together version of the VG cutscenes. The reworked dialogue and the addition, expansion and reworking of scenes made everything feel more natural and work together so well.

The animation continues to be some of the best of the season, and it’s gotten to the point that we’ve just come to expect that from this studio. There are a couple of scenes were the CGI stands out more than it should, but it wasn’t completely distracting. But even more than the animation, I thought the sound design and the score was the real stand out, It gave some real power to what could have been some average, cliche scenes, and to a story that in all honesty, hasn’t really gotten up off the ground yet.


Last episode, we were introduced to the world that this story is taking place in and getting a good idea of what the conflict of the plot just might be. We were introduced to our main female character, Princess Alisha, and a bunch of Soldier ‘A’s that also happened to be wearing their Red Shirts under their armor that day, so in the end Alisha finds herself all alone with no way to get home and at the whims of a lot of magical chaos that she can’t quite understand. By chance she happens upon some ruins that leads her to an old temple that may possibly hold the key to the salvation of her land.


Enter: The Hero

That salvation comes in the form of a young teenage boy named Sorey, and he just so happen to be the true main character of this series and the answer to our princess’ prayers. Sorey is an interesting one. The previous interpretation that I had seen of him, had made him seem very naive, simple, and boring hero material that was as vanilla as you could possibly make him. Yet, somehow here, he seems a little more three dimensional than before, thanks much to a change in dialogue and some added small developments. Now, he reminds me more of a mix between early Luke Skywalker and Indiana Jones, his love of artifacts and adventure, mixed with that of a kid who is a little wet behind the ears and hasn’t seen much of the world that you know he is destined to save.


Besides Sorey, we also meet his wingman and basically adopted brother, Mikleo. Seeing them together, you can see the camaraderie between the two that treat each other as family, and yet, you can also see quite the gaping differences as well. The white-haired Mikleo almost seems to have a different air about him, a natural grace and power that Sorey doesn’t posses. He also has some pretty fancy water abilities as well, that easily shows him as being beyond human. Sorey has already been called a human, so what is Mikleo and his grandfather? Well, if you pay attention to the exposition given in this episode, you can probably give a pretty good guess. (though for those who haven’t figured it out yet, I’m not going to spoil it. 😉 )


So, in all we reestablish one main character and meet two more as the begin to lay out the plot of the series and what it is that our heroes are setting out to do. We all know simply from the opening that Sorey will indeed be this next in this long line of legendary figures known as Shepherds, who act as mediators between the world of humans and the world of the Seraphim, and through that, are able to bring order to the chaos and peace to the land. Who are the Seraphim?  Well, what we’re given on them is pretty vague, only telling us that they’re some sort of divine-like beings that brought light to the world when it was consumed by darkness. They blessed the humans, and in return the Seraphs were worshiped and given prayers. All this stuff about chosen ones who act as mediators between worlds and beings with powers is giving me slight Avatar: TLA vibes. I’m sure that we’re going to get even more about the nature of the Seraphs in the next couple of episodes, but right now we don’t have time for that!


It seems that everything in this episode is trying to kill Alisha, from hordes of disgusting bugs, to freak unnatural lightning storms, to the very darkness itself is out to get her! But thanks to all that, along with Sorey and Mikleo being the disobedient, adventurous, teenage scamps that they are, our princess and our heroes inevitably cross paths and thus a new legend is put into motion and it will change all of their lives forever…


You guys would not believe the day I just had.


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Not being much of a video game player, I’m often the video game watcher, and I really didn’t want to get that feeling from the anime series that I’m watching. However, if Zestiria continues on the path that they’re on, we shouldn’t have that problem. They did a very good job with this episode, and believe me, a lot of things could have gone wrong. Sorey is much better character than when I’ve seen him before, while Mikleo and Alisha still seemed a bit dry. With Alisha, considering all she’s been through, I can forgive her at this point. Mikleo has just been introduced and he’s kind of stuck behind Sorey’s shadow right now, so I’ll be interested in seeing him become his own character in time. I loved that tiny little plushie thing that fought to protect Alisha, even if she couldn’t see it. I have no idea what that is, but it IS in the opening hanging upside down from the loli character’s umbrella, so perhaps we’ll see her soon?

So we’ve actually reached the start point now, so let’s see where this “Cross” road will take us!


Collect them all!


A Chicagoan biochemist, teacher, and an aspiring virologist, with a love for science only rivaled by my love for movies, animation, and anime. Both a lover of action/adventure and romance, I'm a girl who walks the entire spectrum. Mecha, Sci-Fi, Psychological Thriller, Romantic Period Piece, if it's has a good story, I'm there.
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12 Responses to “Tales of Zestiria the X – 01”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    A pretty unfair contrast in character positioning if I do say so myself. While Sorey and Mikleo are having fun with their already dissuaded adventure, Alisha’s getting a nightmarish experience going deeper into place she knows nothing about.

    What’s tense on Alisha’s end is the more she went into the temple, you feel the lesser chance she’d ever get out. Not to mention all the hazards made contact with. I wonder what her state of mind would’ve been had she not seen those two after waking up. Then again, she might not have woken up ever again if that thing had its way.

    As for the boys, rescues are all well and fine but disobedience still beckons retribution. Who knows what punishment the grandfather has in store for them after going against a direct order.

    • IreneSharda says:

      I wouldn’t expect a huge punishment since Gramps has to know these two boys and what they would do when he told them know in the first place. But he will probably lay down the law. Stern talking to, and grounded for a week or something.

      Poor Alisha, everything just not going her way the last few days. I wonder why it is that the temple has it in for her?

  2. zztop says:

    In somewhat related news, longtime Tales character designer Fujishima Kousuke announced he’s getting married to a 20 year old cosplayer (who is also pregnant).


    PS. Fujishima designed Sorey, illustrator Inomata Mutsumi designed Mikleo.

  3. zztop says:

    Speaking of game to anime adaptations, which Japanese game series do you think deserves an anime?
    For example, I’m still surprised they’ve never made a Legend of Zelda anime, given its popularity in Japan and a few manga adaptations of some titles (there’s a Twilight Princess manga currently ongoing).

    • skylion says:

      They probably want to control the IP to a great extent. One of the unintended consequences of multimedia is that many fans will fix on one form of it, usually the TV/Film version, over others. I know plenty of fans of the Marvel characters that wouldn’t ever consider picking up the comics…not even on a dare, they’ll just wait for the next movie. The numbers are actually quite odd, as many Marvel comics only sell in the 10s of 1000s, while the film version kill the bank, merch kills the bank.

      Also, they might not be able to find a studio/producer they trust/want to work with. The common regard is that since the horrible Super Mario film from so long ago still effects the adaptation vision.

      Or they could just see it as fan pandering and they don’t want to do that…or not, they do licensee cereal, don’t they?

    • Highway says:

      We can even see this hesitance in the current Warcraft movie. To be honest, the movie wasn’t that bad, but the reception from the people who really don’t play Warcraft was pretty universally “eh, whatever”. That’s the most popular MMO ever, by a longshot, and you could tell that they faced this big dilemma: Do we make this a movie for everyone, or do we make this a movie for the people who are invested in our world? They ultimately went with the people who are invested in the story and the world, and I think it worked well from that perspective. But that left out just about everyone else, who were left thinking “What the heck is this story? Why is anything happening?” Now, Warcraft has a horribly convoluted story anyway, with something like 14 different major plot lines going on at the same time. But even limiting themselves to one plot line, there was so much background and associated stuff that you almost need to know to make sense of it that it was hard to fit in a movie.

      So I don’t know if any game ‘deserves’ an anime or a movie. It’s hardly different from any other adaptation, maybe even more difficult because there’s almost too much room for interpretation.

      • skylion says:

        Now, Warcraft has a horribly convoluted story anyway

        …well, I suppose we should never make historical films then?

        • BlackBriar says:

          Then what do we make of the one based on the Spartans’ fight against the Persians? 😉

          • skylion says:

            I can’t tell you what “we” are supposed to make of it; good gravy I don’t want that responsibility. What I make of it is: a deluge of over stylized over any substance weak tea testosterone from a vague historical hose combined with outright lies and even going so far as to omitting actual more interesting ways of telling the story.

    • IreneSharda says:

      I’ll say it once, I’ll say it twice, I’ll say it until they do it. I want a FFVII anime adaptation! Not an OVA. Not some other FF side story. A FFVII anime series. That’s all I want. -_-

  4. Highway says:

    So I got a new 4K TV, and I wanted to see how it did with anime, so I gave this a try (even though it isn’t 4K). And this episode was ridiculous. I mean, absolutely unbelievable. The detail in the mist below the waterfall, the detail in the backgrounds, The whole thing was gorgeous. If you want to watch a beautiful show, this is certainly the one. I don’t even know if I’d call it ‘animation’, as much as just the backgrounds, the animation was certainly high detail, but it sometimes didn’t really fit in. But yeah, find the best display you have (and unless you have one of those Dell high resolution monsters, it’s probably not your computer monitor) and give this one a look.

    The story? That’s a big meh so far. It hasn’t done anything. But that includes not doing anything too bad (except for knock off all the expendable crewmembers in the ‘prologue’- “We’ll call it a “prologue” so we can kill off all the characters right away!”). The characters? About the same. The only decision any character made was Sorey deciding to blow off the old guy’s warning. Everything else has been “When a door opens in front of you, you walk through it.”

    • IreneSharda says:

      They indeed have been doing so really great work over there at ufotable. The beauty of the series was what drew me to it in the first place.

      As for the story, yeah it really hasn’t done anything yet. It’s introduced people and some parts of the plot, but nothing has really happened. We’ll have to see how well they do next time.

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