Posted by psgels on 29 January 2012 with categories: OVA Impressions, Tales of Symphonia

Apologies for the lateness. I thought that this was one of the earlier OVAs.

In any case, with this we’re continuing with the Tales of Symphonia Story again, and this definitely was an interesting episode here. Again it had things that it did better than the game, things that it did worse, and things that are completely different.

The big difference really is that the creators cut out the entire storyline for the second half of the games. Seriously, from what I remember the games had this epic storyline that involved firing this giant mana cannon and an out of control world tree. All of that was cut out here in favor of the characters. An interesting decision here.

This episode was about the half-elves of the story: Genis, Raine and Yggdrassil. This however is one point where previous design decisions come back to bite this series, because from out of nowhere it suddenly introduces the themes of racism that were prevalent through the entire game. So yeah, the creators had to catch up to a lot of building up here in just forty minutes. And speaking of build-up: with all of the hints at Zelos’ betrayal, I thought that he’d get much more airtime in this episode, but he showed up just at the end of this episode. My guess is that the final episode will focus a lot of time on him.

Zelos’ betrayal was really well done by the way. And with this, the creators also neatly avoided the single biggest face-palm of the game (seriously, there were two paths in the games: one where he betrays the party, and one where he doesn’t; the latter reveals that with one heck of a Deus ex Machina). In the game, the small version of Mithos was also acting really weird. I mean, he’s acting really weird here, but there he did the strangest stuff, and nobody really questioned this. Here, his actions make much more sense. This episode was a tad too angsty for my tastes, but they did flesh out this guy pretty neatly and explained why he ended up as the main villain for this series.
OVA Episode Rating: 8.25/10

4 Responses

  1. Mikoto says:

    I dunno. It wasn’t really a deus ex machina if the Tales series writers explain it clearly in side materials and built Zelos up as a chess master when it comes to playing people for fools. Plus, if you see a particular hidden scene in the game right before the aforementioned betrayal, it’s revealed that whether or not Lloyd trusts him affects whether or not he decides to carry out with his suicidal plans.

    As for the build up to his betrayal, I thought his screen time was sufficient enough for it. All of his scenes in this were adapted from skits and scenes that fleshed out his character in the game and showed the players roughly what kind of confusion went on in his head before carrying it out (although the conversation with Lloyd actually happened AFTER he comes back to the party in the game, but it was a nice way to cement his friendship with Lloyd and his inner feelings).

  2. Brandon says:

    I think Zelos has a multi-dimensional personality, especially being the Chosen One from Tales of Symphonia. He’s a flirt, has strong convictions of protecting his sister and would travel to the ends of the earth just to make sure she’s safe, and he can really be empathetic in given situations.

    I think a lot of what’s emphasized in this Tales series is simply characters having many responsibilities and blemishes that they have to acknowledge, and knowing that sometimes it’s best to validate their worth towards the people they care for. Especially for Kratos Aurion, having a traumatic past with the death of his wife, and his relationship with Lloyd, along with being a trail of Mithos’ ambition to save the two worlds, he certainly has more pressure and conflicts than any other Tales of Symphonia character (in my opinion).

    Especially living for thousands of year with the Cruxis, having the motivation to still keep himself alive and balancing his devotion to his friend Mithos, his son, and others makes him an enticing role model to fans.

    Thanks for offering your impression on the Tales of Symphonia Story!

    • Brandon says:

      And I also believe Mithos himself was an interesting character, especially when he shifted from child to adult. It’s like he was trying to battle and seek balance with his psyche, going through waves of naivete and acting out the role of a god.

      I think he’s the person Lloyd would turn into if he couldn’t have found a reasonable way to resolve conflict between the two worlds. Because Mithos had an innocent demeanor when he was younger, and his adult self that’s more serious, cynical, and even apathetic towards most people, he’s just a recipe for disaster. There’s just so much complexity with these characters in the Tales series that makes me love the stories, OVAs, and the games as well.

  3. Firechick says:

    All the episodes of United World are out.

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 05:18 AM)
    Oh, awesome, dark horse is releasing volume 10 of black lagoon in April, its been nearly five years since the last complete volume…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 03:56 AM)
    @Aidan: I think theres something seriously wrong when theres the actually possibility of there being a good PA works anime but we all have our opinions =P
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 03:13 AM)
    @Raggers, I will go into detail when I review it. But I think something is seriously wrong when I get a far more satisfying ending out of shirobako than Death parade.
    Looking forward to writing a review of shirobako too.
  • Raggers
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 02:56 AM)
    @Aidan: it wasn’t bad though. I think it suffered from too high expectations and lack of focus (or overreaching).
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 02:29 AM)
    Well. Death parades ending was quite underwhelming.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 11:21 PM)
    Waiting between releases for this will be a good thing, its the sort of manga you pick up and put down, then go back to with breaks in between.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 11:13 PM)
    13 volumes into dorohedero, I’ve found it good enough to buy now that I’ve caught up with the official English releases. While the plot meaders and is kind of messy, isn’t up to much, I love how crazy the gory action is, the gritty artstyle/world and the black comedy more than well make up for it. It works best when focused on those masked gangster magician guys and also the main character, the others are only alright.
  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 02:19 AM)
    @Aidan: true, but I don’t think the level is anywhere close to a true shounen. And once the basic rules are established it’s strategising and straight out fighting.
    I’d be more inclined to call it seinen with shounen elements than actually shounen.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 09:59 PM)
    Good all action finale to cap off Garo there, went out with a bang, though thing is I have no idea where their going to go with this when the movie, second season comes along, this seems like a pretty good point to finish.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:35 PM)
    I think that just about all the manga serialized in ultra jump feel less seinen than those serialized in other seinen magazines.

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