Posted by psgels on 18 April 2006 with categories: Anime Reviews, Tales of Phantasia

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Tales of Phantasia is a small OVA, consisting of four episode and based on the RPG with the same name which came out about ten years ago. I truly recommend this to everyone who’s looking for something interesting to watch.

People might claim that this anime is only worth it if you played the game as well. That is absolutely not true. I didn’t play the game either and I totally loved this. Okay, in the beginning, you’ll see a lot of inexplainable thing happen. But don’t see that as a reason to quit this anime, see it as a reason to use your own head for a bit. Try to figure out what happened before. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy this OVA even more.

The graphics in this anime are totally amazing. Perhaps they even stand above the extreme quality of Tsubasa Chronicle Torikago no Kuni no Himegimi. In any case, they belong in the category of top-5 best graphics ever. The CG is just brilliant to see. There’s just so many attention put into the details, and don’t forget the incredible way the creators integrated these with the rest of the graphics. The character designs are also one of the very few today that really are unique. Each and every one of them stick to your mind like superglue. It doesn’t really plan to come off too soon. They look just too awesome, my favourites are Arche and Klarth. The music also is a masterpiece. Ranging from the OP to the ED, from the quiet moments to the dramatic moments to the battles, everything just perfectly fitted.

The characters themselves are also greatly developed. Especially if you consider that this OVA just takes a mere two hours to tell its story. I know some anime which couldn’t even come close to achieving this much character development in four times the same amount of time. I also liked the fact that every personality has something unique, which at the same time really characterizes that particular character. The way each character interacts with the other is also just amazing.

The story itself isn’t too complex. This, however, is greatly made up in the way it’s told. The creators somehow manage to make each second of this anime count. As the tale to be told is huge, and there are only hours available, the pace of storytelling is high. There are some rushed parts, but these take in no way at all away the power of these scenes.

There’s just one thing I don’t like about this anime. It’s just too damn short! I would have loved to see each of the characters fleshed out even more. I would have loved to see even more character developments, backgrounds, stories, et cetera. Maybe four episodes was a bit too little for such an awesome series. Still, I’m glad I was able to see this.

Final Rating: 95/100

4 Responses

  1. Zanz says:

    Great review!
    Yes, it was too damn short. As a fan of the ‘Tales’ series (and an even bigger fan of Kosuke Fujishima) I was a little disappointed with how they handled Suzu Fujibyashi – IMO, one of the more complicated backstories. But, hearing Klarth say various summons and Arche shouting “indignation” made up for it.

  2. psgels psgels says:

    Hmm, I never knew Suzu had such a complicated backstory. It’s indeed the drawback of having just four episodes. I’m also finding it a bit strange that I’m the only one in the anime-blogging community who’s noticed this series, as I never saw any review of any of the episodes at all. Anyay, thanks for the comments. ^_^

  3. Andrej says:

    Wow I totally agree with your review..just finished watching it and I have to admit, it’s one of the most satisfying endings in anime I’ve ever seen. Same complaint though…tooooo short :*(

  4. Firechick says:

    I just finished this series earlier this morning and I loved it! But not to a point where it’s going on my top 20. But I loved it nonetheless! And even I didn’t even play the game (along with Tales of Symphonia and Abyss).

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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 10:44 AM)
    In a world where Urotsukidoji gets 3 series of OVAs there is nothing you want to make that is too risqué or edgy that nobody would want to pick up. I get a small startup trying to push their fist film out, but most big Kickstarters are ran by bigname talents that already have a string of hits on their resume. C’mon, just have some faith in your work, it’s just crazy to ask for money upfront.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 10:37 AM)
    SuperMario: I assume you mean Charlie Kaufman’s new film, in which case he already did pretty much whatever he wanted. Have you seen Synecdoche, New York and Adaptation? Now I’m a big ran of the man, but this creative control card gets a bit overplayed. The Under the Dog producers claim the same thing, but looking at their trailer it doesn’t look like anything that Japanese studios don’t already greenlight.
  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 09:01 AM)
    for me though, I only pay for projects that I’m certain to watch (and have to pay for it eventually), so I don’t see the point not to “helping” them out. It’s all the same for me.
  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:58 AM)
    @Bam I think the core concept is 1) with Kickstarter, many projects that otherwise never could have made is get supported here and 2) creators have more artistic control over their project. Take Amonalisa for example, big studios was very hesitate to fund the film, because of the commercial failure of his first film, but he insisted to get crowdfund and we have one of the more creative animation output last year.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:53 AM)
    A lot of the tech stuff is things you will never use twice; like a smartphone microscope attachment. they’re usually pretty shifty with it too. Yeah I’m sure it takes the price of a house to make a video series about sexism in videogames- right? And it takes almost a million dollars to make a 4 level indie game with three guys- seems legit. Must be pretty nice to basically do business with zero chance of failure.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:47 AM)
    I just don’t get the core concept of why I should pay for someone else’s business endeavors? They’re going to reap the benefits, they usually have money, let them pay for it. I get it if it’s research, or some strange art project for the sake of the art, but movies, games and anime that are going to get a commercial release? I swear people are so easily bamboozled.
  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:21 AM)
    @Kaiser:I have been supporting Kickstarter for a while, but not for games or movies, but for animation projects. I think it’s worth it. But like Bam, Aiden and K-Off said, sometimes it gets a bit muddy. For movies for example there are a lot of projects that was just ideas… and ideas alone are not enough.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:08 AM)
    Ah but that would frustrate me in muv-luv, I’d be the one suffering as a result of having to wait for the characters suffering to start.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:06 AM)
    I’ve heard kickstarter being used for crowdfunding indie films, honestly as a film buff I really should get on that and start supporting.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 07:41 AM)
    I generally don’t pre-order unless its a gift for someone else, so I can guarantee for 100% sure I can get it for them and it won’t sell out.

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