Posted by psgels on 12 August 2007 with categories: Tales of Symphonia

Ah, this episode was much better than the previous one. It didn’t come without flaws, though. I’m especially critical because Tales of Phantasia probably is my most favourite OVA ever, so this series has a lot to live up to. Unfortunately, Tales of Symphonia won’t be taking over that title, though it’s definitely fun to watch.

The most obvious bad point for this episode has to be the ending: they have yet to reach Tethe’Alla, which means less time for my two favourite characters, Presea and Regal. Their cases had better receive enough time in the final two episodes. And especially now tat Lloyd and Colette are getting so much development, I just WANT to see Genis and Presea together.

My second point of critique was about the stuff that was left out. In this area, where Tales of Phantasia succeeded, Tales of Symphonia fails. The great thing about Tales of Phantasia was that it allowed the viewer to fantasize for himself about what happened during the parts that weren’t shown, without it feeling incomplete. The best example has to be the line “and you had to burn our villages for that?!” It gives just enough information to perfectly explain that situation, and leave the rest up to the imagination of the viewers.

Tales of Symphonia acts like the left-out pars never happened. Take Marble, for example. Her case is essential to explain why Lloyd and Genis embarked on their journey in the first place. In this episode, it seems that the Renegades have been completely left out as well, which were supposd to be the explanation of why Lloyd and Colette managed to rejoin with each other. The explanation the anime used is just bad. I mean, how often do you run into each other, in the middle of the DESERT?! The Expheres have also been left out for both Genis and Raine. The reason why they can use magic is also beyond me.

Palmacosta was also left out, but that was inevitable,, as it had absolutely nothing to do with the main story. It is a pity to see the destruction of the town of Luin missing, which was supposed to have given Sheena some valuable character-development. Either that, or that’s going to happen in the next episode. It would be really bad if she’d just ended up joining Lloyd, just because he spared her life.

Which brings me to my third point of criticism: Lloyd. His translation into anime just didn’t go well, and he ended up looking like all other carefree, ambitious shounen-heroes out there. Again, Tales of Phantasia also managed to avoid this with Cless. The guy is determined, he knows what he wants, he’s struggling inside, and he doesn’t try to be a hero in front of others, only to fail horribly.

Okay, enough with the bad points, now the good points. Apart from Lloyd, all other characters were AWESOME in this episode. While Tales of Phantasia put more emphasis on its story, Tales of Symphonia is definitely about the characters. I loved how the creators managed to keep in Rain’s ruin-mode and seasickness, and her and Genis’s reaction when Lloyd started bashing the half-elves also was really interesting.

Colette, while I hated her in the game, also turned out really cute. I like how she broke some clichés throughout the episode, when she indeed didn’t have to fight much, and didn’t get to save Lloyd at the last possible moments. Kratos also was much better than he was in the game, where he sometimes was like a wimp. He’s much more mature, and he really shows his strength this time. Thanks to him, the fights are also interesting, with the tactics inserted. The highlight was his fight against Sheena.

It’s a bit of a shame that Sheena’s entry at the Ossa Trail was left out, but apart from that, she looked awesome in this episode. Zelos surprised me. He’s not the lovable idiot I remember from the game, but I think we’ll get to know that side in the next episode.

Another thing that really took a turn for the better in this episode: the music. I think that this is the only part where Tales of Symphonia can call itself equal to Tales of Phantasia, as they sound really beautiful, and they give the perfect mood to the entire episode.

Overall, this episode really was fanboy-worthy, though again, it’ll never beat Tales of Phantasia. I’ll never forget Klarth’s triumphant laugh after he slaughtered the army full of flying beasts.

6 Responses

  1. miken-chan says:

    I also loved the scene where Colette got her wings, it almost directly resembled the anime cutscene (found only in the PS2 version).

    And dont forget Raine/Refill’s bad cooking abilities, that was vaguely referenced in one of the fast-forward scenes…

    I also share your views for Colette as well as the other characters and the music~

  2. Scott says:

    I agree with most of your criticisms and highlights, and you’ve made me want to watch the ToP OVA. I would like to ask if you saw a subbed version of the second episode in the Tales of Symphonia OVA, because I’ve only seen the raw Japanese version and would like to see an English-subbed version (I’m sure they’ll be abundant soon.) Or do you understand Japanese?
    Thanks for your thoughts and any help you can be. :)

  3. psgels psgels says:

    The torrent should still be there on Tokyo Toshokan, though I’m not sure if it still has seeders.

  4. Scott says:

    Thanks psgels.

  5. Windspirit says:

    In my humble opinion, the OAVs will only cover the Sylvarant storyline. Kinda sad, since the Sylvarant storyline is VERY cliché, almost stupid : travel across the world, go to different temples and restore peace to the world. Where the hell have I seen that already ?

    The real storyline of ToS is definitely within the Tethe’alla arc, where all the clichédness built in the first arc collapses. This is, in my opinion, the REAL storyline of ToS.

    Then I told myself : “Wait a little bit. Zelos is a pretty popular character in Japan : Namco is mocking her fans by giving them this piece of crap, but they have to satisfy them at least.”

    Heck, they found a way to give Zelos screentime WITHOUT even going to Tethe’alla : making him come to Sylvarant with Sheena. Even though it doesn’t make sense, who gives a damn ? The fans will see their beloved Zelos animated.

    (By the way, I LOVE Zelos. I think it’s one of the only characters in the game who has personnal story AND personnality.)

    Theses OVAs seem to be nothing more than goodies for the fans. Just look at the second episode : I don’t think someone who didn’t play the game would get anything anyway. Where are the characters ? Who knows. Those who pplayed the game may recognize some backgrounds from the game to understand what’s going on, for example, Palmacosta’s architectural art. I mean, no clear explanation is given. AT ALL.

    Furthermore, they choose to change some major parts of the storyline. And these part became very stupid. For example, colette losing her humanity.


    In the game, Colette regains her humanity when Pronyma steals her necklace made in Lloyd. Kinda funny, I’d even say cheesy.

    But in the anime… Colette loses her humanity JUST by using an “Angel’s Feather” spell (which she uses constantly in the game, “human” or not), but she actually gets HEALED by Raine by a stupid “Heal” spell ! She places her hand over Colette’s chest, energy flow. Genis : “Daijôbu, Coretto ?” ; Colette : “Hai ! Daijôbu desu ! =D ”

    Give me a break, I beg you.


    Being a huge fan of action, I expected from this OVA to AT LEAST satisfy me in terms of fighting. But fights against BOSSES are just finished within 30 secondes. There is no strategy at all, even though Kratos howls what some MAY cal a strategy. For me, it more sounded like : “Raine, you stay in backlines, you protect Colette (even though she won’t get a single hit) and you heal us (even though we won’t get a single scratch) ; Genis, you cast a spell (only one, even though this single spell is only to impress the viewer and won’t do a single scratch to the enemy, heck, it can even easily miss) ; Lloyd, you stay with me. Let’s run like idiots (the enemy will have a golden opportunity to BBQ us, but he won’t, don’t worry, he’s too impressed by Genis’s spell) and kill him in a single hit !”

    For me, this is a complete dissapointment. I’m a fan of the game (who had his flaws, indeed, but remained very good with its anti-clichés, especially during the Tethe’alla part), but I can’t even understand how people can enjoy this…

  6. psgels psgels says:

    Whoa… that is one long comment. :D

    Anyway, the reason why I enjoyed this is because I’m a fan of storytelling, and I see action as merely a tool of this storytelling. The first installment of the OVA already showed that the fights wouldn’t take priority, so the ones in this episode shouldn’t surprise anyone.

    Also, I think that the fact that Collette’s story was changed has been done in order to write Pronyma out of the story. She’s just a minor villain anyway, and spending time on her would take time away from the major characters. In the same way Yuan has been written away. This isn’t indeed the best solution, and I’d rather have that the creators would solve this in the same way as Tales of Phantasia did, but then again, there’s only so much you can do in four episodes.

    I do agree with you that this OVA is mostly for the ones who played the game, unlike ToP.

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  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 02:36 AM)
    @Masky: lots of game designers aspire for realism. Now this can be done for cosmetic purposes like face textures and lighting, practical with physic engines and movement, or contextual like believable character reactions and dialogue. Now some games thrive in being ridiculous and fantastic, but some want to create a realistic setting to further the emotional impact. Nothing wrong with that.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 02:32 AM)
    @ratsgnoF: and happy Thanksgiving to you as well.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:43 PM)
    Anyway seriously though, I’d say it does actually make sense in context xD Since none of monsters are actually that threatening.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:42 PM)
    .-. I have no words, mainly because whenever anyone uses word “Realism” in context of video game, I want to say rude words xD
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:40 PM)
    I think he gave it a passing glance and felt it wasn’t his thing, I remember he also felt that he thought the idea of sparing the monsters wasn’t believable or realistic given that he felt if you were realistically placed in that situation yourself, the real thing to do would be to fight back out of fear.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:37 PM)
    Did he actually play the game though? I mean, did he actually discover it himself or did he just heard the spoilers?
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:35 PM)
    I had a talk with a friend about undertale and he wasn’t a fan, he prefers other types of rpgs, the choice element also made him uncomfortable and that he felt the game was too punishing.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:34 PM)
    @Kaiser: Puzzle elements, outside of sparing everyone, seem to be mainly just parodying video game puzzles. Like, only place where you actually have to solve actual puzzles is in Hotland, before that pretty much every puzzle is automatically solved, really easy or has some silly twist to it. Like the puzzle you can skip by pressing a switch in tree trunk. Can’t say I’m too fond of puzzles either, but I liked how game was making fun of them
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:32 PM)
    Speaking of awful sense of humor and things that dorks like, just wanted to say that turns out I was right about Jitsu wa watashi wa in that main couple does get together before chapter 100(forgot what exactly, some where in 80-90 range I think). But they are such huge dorks that they do everything ridiculously slowly because they are that embarrassed, so they have had like just one date(in chapter 100). Not that I expect anyone to remember what the heck I’m talking about xD
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:32 PM)
    The battle system grew on me a bit, but I didn’t like the puzzle elements it offered, the actual gameplay looked kind of dull also. Some of the characters were likeable enough, Papyrus, Asogore, the flower guy being my favourite though the plot didn’t really get interesting until the end.

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