Tales of Zestiria the X 02 – 04

“Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone…”

spring15-irenesIt is in these last few episodes that  we get to basically cover what was left of the introduction of this tale and what was left to cover from the previously released OVA. While most of episode 2 was retread for me, I’m glad to say they improved much on the dialogue and action set pieces then there were in the original version. And episode 3…wow, just episode 3… Episode 4 was pretty good too, though still…episode 3


So, in summary, we learn basically what everyone has probably figured out already, and that’s that Sorey, our hero isn’t your average human being. Other than obviously being another “chosen one”, he’s sort of like a well adjusted Tarzan. Taken in by the angelic beings known as the Seraphs, he was raised without any human contact for the entirety of his young life until he meets Alisha for the first time. Having never seen a real human before, Sorey is both quite subdued and quite excited. That’s because for the most part the Seraphim are basically a lot like human beings in terms of personality and behavior. The only real difference seems to be their powerful abilities and probably their long life spans. Once again I kind of equate it to Tolkien elves in that they’re a lot like humans and yet much more.

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A human, a demon, and a tribe of angels all meet at a bar…

The world of Hyland is surrounded by a spirit world that is unseen and invisible to humans. Of these spirits that share this world, on one side, there are the powerful and benevolent Seraphim who have power over the elements and are beings of all that is light and good.  From what we can see so far, in the absence of a Shepherd, they completely stay to themselves leaving the world of men to well…men. And on the other side, there are spirits of darkness, malevolence, and chaos, and they are the Hellions. Our fox-faced assassin, our goth loli, and our blue, translucent dragon are these, and as of right now, the only thing they seem to desire is to make mischief and to cause fear, unrest, and destruction.

I like how they presented these two groups to us, with limited exposition,  but mostly showing us instead through the eyes of the characters what these peoples mean to each other. The Seraphim have power but are xenophobic towards humans, and the humans treat them like the mythical creatures they are: they have heard of them, but think of them like fairy tales (i.e. they don’t exist). I can understand that this disconnect in this particular world is causing some sort of magical mystical problem that will eventually cause Mother Earth of wreck havoc in retribution. But honestly, to me, having the two worlds stay separate wasn’t really the huge public issue that Sorey and Alisha seem to make it out to be.


A meeting of two worlds

Both groups of beings seem to be able to live very well independently of each other. They have no need to interact really, plus the malevolence that seems to only come from humanity so far, is actually a danger to the Seraphs. Neither species will be doomed if these two peoples don’t interact. I guess I’m just saying that other than that the series is forcing me to think it is, thanks to magical weird storms and hellions sprouting out everywhere, there is honestly no reason for these two peoples to really coexist. The Seraphim really don’t get anything out of the deal either way. They would still be living their same lives and they would have to stick their necks out to help idiot humans.


Power granted.

Anywhoo, so Sorey takes hold of Excalibur (I am NOT going to remember whatever is the real name of that sword, and if they want to go that far into Arthurian legend then I’m going to follow suit.) and he with the help of our newest Seraphim companion, lady of the lake, Lailah, becomes the new Shepherd as we all knew would happen. But what exactly does a Shepherd do? Well, honestly that’s really not clear, even though we had an entire episode on it. So far we can see that the Shepherd’s duty basically include taking out hellions, being an avatar of the Seraphim to talk to the rest of the humanity, and, well…being a chosen one. Yeah, we get some vague stuff regarding him trying to bring Seraphim and humans together, but that’s a pretty long term generations long goal. What can he exactly do during this lifetime?

Well, thankfully episode 4 does give us some clues. We of course have the uncanny weather patterns that have been going around destroying the world. It looks like Gaia and her Lifestream in FFVII have been giving Hyland’s world some pointers. We the people act up, and it shows them who’s boss by doing the most outlandish of “natural” disasters, and then perhaps unleash a deadly plague or two, and eventually either humanity will get the message or they will all die out–one or the other.

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Well, at least they’re showing you where all that money went.

We learn more about this world, and while it does seem a little generic, I’m interest some of the background political drama. I like Alisha alright, though she can be a little frustrating. I keep wanting to yell at her and tell her to get her head out of the clouds and to get a hold of her responsibilities. They keep trying to portray her as being this one girl against all the “bad guys” in her government body. However, honestly, I kind of get the feeling that despite how hard the writers are trying, she still seems like she’s sticking her head in the sand and hiding behind the legend of the Shepherd in order to pacify her people. So what your people don’t agree with your ideals? Welcome to politics. If she’s going to be a monarch then she has to exercise her authority and beat them at their own game.

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She should already know and be prepared for assassins. If she already knows that the council wants her powers, then there is a 98% chance that they are going to go through illegal means in order to do it. And on the other hand, you’re being much too staunch in your position, especially considering your country’s form of government. You’re people aren’t happy with your position on the coming war, your council isn’t either. You need to either give a little, or give them some reason to come over to your way of thinking other than that “we should all get along!”

As for our merchant/assassin girl (Arya?) and her traveling band, I’m interested in seeing what her point in this series is. She seems to be the most “video game” character in the story so far, and so I’m hoping we get to see more about her and her group. Who is the green-haired top hat-wearing gent next to her? I’m betting it’s our next seraphim! And what was up with that hidden sealed off room? What did Alisha’s family do and why? Will they ever let the princess know she’s got a mass grave underneath her palace? Who is this king of chaos or whatever? And who wants to bet that dragon isn’t a statue at all?


A hero, ready for the fellowship journey to begin.

So many questions, so little time.


Well, all in all, I’ve been enjoying the series so far, though the pacing could definitely be better. I’m guessing it’s going to take us the rest of the season just to run into all the characters that will be in our group according to the opening and convince them all the join Sorey on his travels. Ufotable is still doing wonders with the animation sequences and the action scenes are quite good with some excellent choreography and flash shock and awe. The do somewhat still smell a little too strongly of their rpg roots, with the fact that each action scene, especially in this latest episode, feel like they’ve all been “triggered”, and I almost feel like I’m supposed to begin combining my magic and elemental spells along with my weapon to take out the newest monster that popped up at this level. Let’s see where Sorey’s journey takes us and how our new Shepherd is going to form his new posse.



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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13 Responses to “Tales of Zestiria the X 02 – 04”

  1. zztop says:

    Episode 4 was pretty good too, though still…episode 3…

    You may want to hold on for Eps 5 & 6 in that case! 😀

    Those eps will apparently crossover with the plot of the upcoming Tales of Berseria game, set in Zestiria’s universe but in their ancient times.

    Eps 5-6 will be shown this August 7th and 14th, which coincides with the release of Tales of Berseria itself on August 18, 2016 in Japan (The West will have to wait until 2017).

  2. zztop says:

    “Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone…”

    “Listen, strange invisible girls hanging around in temples distributing swords is no basis for a system of heroship! The Sheperd’s status derives from a mandate from the masses, not some farcical temple ceremony!”

  3. skylion says:

    I’m afraid that my assessment of the series during the FI is ringing true. The less the show is about Alisha and her story (or I should say more to the point, the less Alisha-centered it is) the less interested I seem to be. It’s a beautiful show, yeah. But like you point out it’s hinging itself to much on familiar beats to set things up. Oh and now look, it’s doing vidya puzzles….::sigh::

    • IreneSharda says:

      I do think the Alisha’s story is more interesting than Sorey’s is, if they would take the time to concentrate on it. But it does look like we’re going to go more into video game territory the further and further we go on.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    Both the third and fourth episodes were great but the third more so for ufotable flaunting its animation prowess. Yep, it’s official that I’ll be getting a heaping helping of the word “Seraph” in this series.

    Amusing how you likened Sorey’s upbringing to that of Tarzan while at the same time, it gives something to pause on. Aside from having a little mischief in them, Sorey and Tarzan are pretty much the result of a human who’s never encountered humanity and therefore unexposed to the negativities of human nature. One can say they were made pure from that way of life.

    On the subject of the negativities of human nature, it doesn’t come as a shock with Bartlow scheming to seize Sorey after something powerful shows up. These ambitious idots who always seek to make what’s beyond their control and understanding into a weapon often meet an unpleasant demise, so his is merely a matter of time. Him aside, I wonder what’s in store for an imp like Lunarre. He’s creepy to the point he’s giving off Ferid Báthory vibes. They even have a similar appearance.

    If there’s anything to learn from Sorey, Mikleo and Lailah’s trip to the ruins is that the town’s Malevolence was building like a pressure pot while they just happened to arrive right at the boiling point. And all unconsciously caused by the townspeople. If the show’s trying to send a message across, I guess the message is “Humans are their own worst enemy”.

    So far, I’m fairly enjoying the way Tales of Zestiria the X is going. The characters are likable enough to help it along and the story intriguing enough to want to stick around. Given the steady pacing and how the rest of the group from the OP have yet to present themselves, odds are this is a planned split cour series.

    • IreneSharda says:

      Well, while both Tarzan and Sorey grew up without human interaction, Sorey definitely got the better half of the deal since the seraphim are basically just the same as humans but with powers and longer lifespans. Sorey ends up coming out of it simply naive, rather than feral like in most instances when a child grows up without human interaction.

      As for the evil group of advisers, there honestly should just be a school for evil advisers since they all act the exact same and could be traded out for one another. You see them in everything but especially fantasy stories.

  5. BlackBriar says:

    “Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone…”

    Since ufotable is the helming studio, should we expect a Noble Phantasm for the sword? 😉

  6. BlackBriar says:

    @IreneSharda: Check this out!

    Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura Dons Seraph of the End Cosplay

    Well, that had me laughing.

  7. SherrisLok says:

    When are your posts on 91 Days coming?

  8. Di Gi Kazune says:

    “Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone…”

    Shall be genderbent into a female and become one of the many Saberfaces. ‘Nuff said.

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