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.

    ALERT ! SPOILERS FROM THE GAME AND FROM THE OVAS !!!

    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.

    END SPOILERS !!

    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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  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:10 AM)
    Seeing Hoffman in before the devil knows your dead and his character being dependent on drugs, that was another thing that hit me a bit knowing the circumstances of his death. Watching most wanted man I could also see that he was wearing out physically.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:00 AM)
    This is not Anno bitching about otakus jacking off to his characters and turning around and selling Rei panties, this isn’t the idiots at Shaft throwing around meaningless camera angles and the oh-so-symbolic teeth brushing scenes, this is a human being looking you in the eye with fear and telling you that he’s dying; morbid, honest, moving and remarkable.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:55 AM)
    Given my rants regarding Birdman it should be clear that I’m a sucker for these rare instances where the line between movie and reality get blurred- when an actor looks at a camera and just bares their heart out. This is the realism that reality tv tried but could never capture. this is art in one of its most sincere forms.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:50 AM)
    Oh yeah Hoffman was a massive talent and a beloved actor, so I don’t take it lightly when I call Synecdoche his greatest role ever. Given his death and knowing the circumstances of his life at the time imbues this performance with a chilling sincerity that just breaks your heart and leaves you in awe.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:42 AM)
    Oh Andrew Niccol, oh how the mighty have fallen.
    Hoffman showed up in Capote and most wanted man, the latter which I especially love and there need to be more thrillers of that vein coming out.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:37 AM)
    It’s funny how they also each have a Nicolas Cage movie. Kaufman has Adaptation and Niccol has Lord of War. Although despite the usual Cage antics neither of those movies is really that bad.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:33 AM)
    Eternal Sunshine and The Truman Show are the two roles where Jim Carrey really demonstrated his acting chops well outside of his usual comfort zone. But Kaufman moved forward from Sunshine with the superior Synecdoche, while Andrew Niccol went from doing Truman Show and Gattaca to doing young adult garbage like The Host *wretches*
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:28 AM)
    @Emma: yeah you’ll most likely enjoy it. On the surreàl scale it lies somewhere between Birdman and Holy Mountain, so although it’s peppered with symbolic imagery and thematic shots it’s still a personal story about a man’s struggle when faced with his own demise. Although a lofty statement, this is in my onion philip seymour hoffman’s best performance, and his untimely death adds another incredibly rich level of nuance to this movie.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:20 AM)
    @Bam: Adaption, Nicholas Cage =< a guilty pleasure actor to watch for the most part and little more.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:12 AM)
    @Bam: The more you mentiom Synecdoche, the more interested I get. Malcovich was a creative idea for a film and Eternal sunshine was a good spin on the romance genre which gave Jim Carrey a film worth acting in.
    Riki-oh if anything is just a heck of alot of fun.

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