Yay! It’s finally here! Let me first say that it was well worth the wait!
Lloyd somehow turned less stubborn than in the game. He’s also way closer with Collette as well, which is quite interesting. Genius turned a bit clumsier, though, and in the game he was quite a bit smarter and down-to-earth. I liked the changes with Rain, she really looks like an evil teacher now. I can’t wait to see her go in her infamous “Ruin-mode”. ^^; Kratos was a bit disappointing, though. The creators dropped a few way too obvious hints about his real identity, something which came as a shock when he finally revealed it.
Anyway, about the anime. I had to get used a bit to the new character-designs, as they’re a bit different from the ones used in the game. After a bit, this turned out all-right. Seeing actual locations from the game return really accurate was really nice, though. Locations like the school, Lloyd’s and Genuis’s house really brought back memories.
One thing that I wasn’t enthusiastic about, though, was that Marble was left out. Right now, it seems that Lloyd’s decision to start his journey really has been dumbed down a bit. Originally, the Desians never attacked Collette in the first place, but this was done by people who dress like Desians. The people from the village of Iselia have made a treaty with the Desians: if they stay away from the human ranch, owned by the Desians, the Desians would stay away from the village. When it seems that a friend of Genius (Marble), who lived in the Desian-human ranch was getting into trouble there, Lloyd decided that the treaty was already broken and he interfered with these Desians to protect her. Because of this, the Desians set fire on the village, since they never broke the treaty in the first place. To make things even worse, they turn Marble into a monster, causing Lloyd and Genius to kill her. Heck, that’s why Genius gets his own exphere. It could have easily been included if less time was spent on introduction, and it would have been so much better than Lloyd’s mother interfering.
Still, overall, I loved it, mostly for nostalgic purposes. It’s been a while since I played the game, but I loved seeing everyone back again. Still, I do have to say that its predecessor was better. Tales of Phantasia was so great because it just skipped the introductions, and still remained understandable. Cless saying: “you had to burn our village, just for this?!”, combined with the context in which she said it, was enough to make us understand the grievances and motivations of the characters. I was secretly hoping for Tales of Symphonia to do the same, but they really decided to start with the beginning.
The next episodes, though, should promise to become even better, since now that episode one covered such a relative small part of the game, they really have to fasten up the pacing in order to be able to finish in time. I think the most plausible way for the episodes would be the following:
Episode 2: the journey through Sylvarant
Episode 3: the journey through Tethe’Alla, until the giant tree gets saved.
Episode 4: the conclusion, up till the destruction of Yggdrasil.
That means that in two episodes, my favourite characters will arrive: Presea and Regal. I can’t wait! For the next episode, it’s probably impossible to include every major event, though I do hope that the issues of the city of Palmacosta are addressed. For the later episodes, I really do hope we get to see Rain’s mother. Even though she just was in a side-quest, it really made clear why she and her brother lived their lives the way they did.