Posted by psgels on 3 April 2010 with categories: Tales of Symphonia



Hell yeah, finally! Now that Ufo Table finally finished with Kara no Kyoukai, it’s finally time for them to finish off what they started with Tales of Symphonia. And as an added bonus, the episodes are forty minutes long instead!

Again, this episode did not follow the story of the games exactly. Presea is introduced in a different way (it was awesome to finally see her, by the way. She was my favourite character to play as in the game). Yggdrasil’s appearance at the end of this episode was also… random to say the least. In the game we saw that Kratos travelled around in Tethe’Alla as well (for reasons that will probably explained in one of the next episodes), but I can’t recall that Yggdrasil had anything to do with it.

In terms of the focus, it’s clear that the creators have chosen the stories of Collette, Kratos and Zelos to be the major focus of the series. It’s a bit of a shame, though. For me, the backstories of Genius and Raine was the best, followed by Presea’s. Instead, Genius hitting on Presea in this episode was a lot more annoying than that it was in the game.

Zelos in the meantime was a lot more interesting compared to the way he was in the game, and that’s something that the creators really intended to do. I must admit, I never got to play his entire story. It was one of the most difficult to get to, so I didn’t bother. While I’m a bit sad to see that the TV-series will not spend as much time on the issues of discrimination (the thing that I remember the most about this series, after playing it some five years ago), but at the same time, I’m interested in the themes that the creators did choose to focus on.

Like the first season, this TV-series really does certain things worse than the games, and at the same time it also has enough things that it does better than the games. And really, out of all the adaptations, game adaptations are the most difficult to pull off correctly. While with mangas or light novels, at least you have a continuous storyboard that you can be faithful to. Games however have quicksave functions: an easy reset button for if you screw up. There is no way in hell to translate this into animated form. On top of that, it’s also impossible to make animated random battles interesting. If you want to pull off a game adaptation right, you really need to have an inspired storyline and idea to base it around. And really, that’s what happened with this series. Game adaptations are often looked down upon, and I agree that the lesser ones indeed are really terrible, but the inspired ones can be really good.
Rating: ** (Excellent)
OP: Nice, though not as good as the first OP.
ED: The clay figures are back!

4 Responses

  1. Miken says:

    I loved watching this episode — less for its content and more for the fact that everyone’s back after so long since the last OVA with the added Tethe’allan team members. I haven’t played ToS in a while and the sequel was kinda meh-ish in quality, so it was nice seeing this back.

    ** MILD SPOILERS BELOW — SORRY D: **

    My favorite endings just so happen to be Colette, Kratos and Zelos, so I’m not at all disappointed in that facet of the OVA. It’s pretty obvious that they’ll have larger roles since Colette is the de facto romantic choice of the OVA and Kratos and Zelos figure in greatly with the story itself so their backstories would provide better insight. It’s a shame that it seems that they removed Seles from the picture though — her existence really motivated a ton of Zelos’ actions…As for the later Flanoir scene, I’m hoping it’ll turn out like how the manga approached it by pretty much having multiple chats (iirc, the manga was both Colette and Kratos). I also wonder what the heck they’re going to do with the ED since a certain being isn’t at Altessa’s house.

    Though I’m sure they’ll still touch upon Regal and Presea’s backstories. Personally, while their backstories were nice, those two still didn’t really figure into much after their little plots were over and done with. Also, I’m not sure if Raine and Genis will just get a hand-wave instead of a more fleshed out backstory. It’d be nice, but I don’t think the OVA will take a field trip to Exire.

    I also take it that they introduced Yggdrasill there in the mine to make up for the fact that they completely forgot to have him maul everyone at the Tower of Salvation. My guess is that he will do as such and then we’ll run through random stuff like Derris-Kharlan, Pacts, etc while touching upon backstories…until the plot reaches the tail end of the game and slows down [while taking a small break for the twist which probably won't be at Latheon Gorge after all].

    As for the lack of the discrimination facet of the story, I have to say that it’s a bit jarring too. It felt like half the game was spent addressing or exhibiting the half-elf issue while we haven’t really heard of it in the OVA.

  2. Pi says:

    I am SO bloody HAPPY to see ToS back! The music was exceedingly beautiful very captivating and so fitting! Some parts made me tear up and I can’t even recall when I was actually able to tear up while watching anime since Tokyo Magnitude 8.0!

    And I agree with you on several things concerning the characters; Genis is one of my favourite characters in the game and I’m really aggravated that they made him so childishly annoying in the anime–for one, Genis’ actually more mature in the game. Also, Zelos is so much more intriguing in the anime than in the game. Not that I should complain, I really like the Zelos in the anime. I find the relationship between Zelos and Sheena sems very lacking in the anime. I don’t recall much from the game but I remember their interactions were more amusing.

    I didn’t play any sidequest so that scene with Zelos’ past really shocked me. I love him more now though! I’m glad the anime didn’t annoy me with all the cliche and cheesy conversations like it the game did–or maybe the music distracted me or just won me over.

    Needless to say, I love this episode! If only Final Fantasy animation was able to pull it off as well as the Tales animation…

  3. Pi says:

    Also, I expected Yggdrasil to be more… oh, I don’t know… feminine?

  4. NaruWhaaat says:

    Anyone else notice that the first few seconds is almost exactly like one of the Naruto openings?

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  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:20 PM)
    We have reached the moment of truth and what we waited for in space brothers manga. The next chapters cannot come fast enough.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:16 PM)
    @Realist: Like that skull head guy a bit.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:15 PM)
    Apparently in bloodbourne they are upping the violence…I think.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:13 PM)
    @Bam: Scott Snyder at least…is one of them.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:11 PM)
    @Realist: I read that mahou tsukai no yome manga you mentioned, the two available volumes. After a few chapters I started getting more into it, but I’ll need more time/updates, looks like its doing a decent enough job setting up a fairly readable plot.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:10 PM)
    @Emma: also isn’t American Vampire written by two guys?
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:10 PM)
    @Emma: not only Amira but also Kaiser and Favaro’s dialogue and characterization was pretty weak. Their feud and reconciliation was forced as he’ll, and I just hate it when powerful demons uncharacteristically waste too much time talking to humans they could, and should, easily defeat.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:07 PM)
    @k-off: the series has some sombre and unconventional stories, it’s just that the story is told indirectly thru lore and subtlety. Demon’s Souls had a decent amount of narrative to the whole affair, albeit short and told mostly thru items and NPC encounters. But unfortunately the series moved forward on from cryptic to straight minimal storytelling. DS2 feels lazy although it has a few cool narratives, like Luciatel, but you have to play your cards right to even get to see that.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 11:55 AM)
    @K-off: Demon’s Souls brought it all tho. It introduced every single aspects that defined not only its own franchise but apparently also a whole new genre. The story and game mechanics were cryptic and for those who played it 1st was never imitated again. We didn’t know what we were playing and it challenged the shot out of us and blew our minds.
  • k-off
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 10:15 AM)
    Hell, my favorite game of all time is far superior to Dark Souls in every possible way, yet the only thing that keeps me playing is the atmosphere and charm the game has in its combat.

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