Awesome. Nearly an entire episode dedicated to Regal and Presea, my two favourite characters of the game. It was a bit cheesy, sure, but I don’t care! This is the episode I’ve been anticipating ever since the Tales of Symphonia anime got announced. After more than four years of waiting this episode was SO worth it.
It’s awesome to see that in an adaptation of a game that shined because of its side characters, the creators indeed intend to give all of them ample time to show themselves, especially considering the limited time that this OVA has to deal with. The characters didn’t end up travelling to Ozette or Regal’s company, and the point about the rotting corpse of Presea’s father was also omitted, but instead Regal immediately recognized Presea, and didn’t keep his past secret, wanting to settle it immediately. That works too.
A bit surprise was also that Presea’s character is completely different from the game. In the game, when she recovered, she still remained quiet: she only said something when necessary, and she remained introvert. Here however, she’s much more outspoken. Her voice actress also gives a very different dimension to her character compared to her English voice actress from the game. I actually liked this difference quite a bit, to see such a different interpretation of her character like this.
Adapting a game is probably the most difficult kinds of adaptations that you can get. With mangas and light novels, you can pretty much copy and paste the scenario from start to finish. With games however, you can’t just do that: there are so many things that just can’t be translated to the animated medium: random battles, quick-saves, the battle system, having to slowly travel around the world and talk to random people. You really have to think outside the box to make these work. And again, I’ve got to applaud Ufo Table for actually pulling off a pretty good attempt here.
This episode did have its nitpicks again, though. The biggest wut of this episode came at the beginning, when Yggdrasil showed off a skill that not only he never had, but also introduces quite a bit of plotholes. When he has the ability to stop time, then how the heck can it be expected to beat him? In all the battles he can just stop time and kill everyone before they can do anything. In the games, he was just ridiculously strong and used that to beat everyone. He could have easily used that here too.
Also, the flashbacks. In the games, we never saw an actual flashback of the moment at which Lloyd’s father killed his mother, people only talked about it. It’s quite reasonable, since Lloyd shouldn’t remember anything about it. It was pretty much a big question mark at this point. In the anime however… yeah. Is there anyone who hasn’t played the games and does still now know what’s up with Lloyd’s father? Great subtlety, guys.
Overall, Lloyd and Collette were the least interesting characters of the games, and that again pretty much shows here. It’s very refreshing to see an entire episode without Collette, while Lloyd felt like he had a bad case of constipation in this episode. The rest of the cast was wonderful, though. Zelos’ jokes were a lot funnier than in the games, and the chemistry between him and Genius worked surprisingly well.
I expect the next episode to again kick a lot of ass. The final episode… well… in the games it was a standard climax. It definitely wasn’t among the best parts.
Rating: *** (Awesome)