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!