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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  • Bam
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 03:29 AM)
    @sonic: That just shows that they have budget issues and problems with asset management. Deen tends to hire a lot of commission contracts so the talen behind each work, and hence the quality, varies greatly.
  • sonicsenryaku
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 03:06 AM)
    Deen’s art has certainly improved and their cinematography has gotten a slight bump in refinement but their animation still could use some work and they still have trouble keeping their art and animation consistent through their series. All these critiques apoply to their tv series productions by the way; some of the movies they have worked on as well as they co-production works are pretty good
  • ninjarealist
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 11:49 PM)
    @Emma I think Deen makes some really good looking anime. People tend to give them crap for some of their mid-2000 stuff and justifiably, but their recent stuff and early stuff is really quite visually arresting.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 11:43 PM)
    Now granted,deens adaptation of sankarea had some pretty neat visuals behind it.
  • ninjarealist
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 11:14 PM)
    Granted that none of those manga had the type of mass appeal that Sankarea has, but they’re some pof the best manga I’ve read within their specific genre (sentimental ecchi comedies/romances). I love his art style too. It just works so well for sappy romantic stuff. Inu Neko Jump will always be one of my favorite manga.
  • ninjarealist
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 11:12 PM)
    On the subject of Sankarea, I’m about as big of a Hattori Mitsuru fanboy as anyone could be and I have to say that Sankarea is my least favorite manga of his. His strengths and weaknesses just don’t lend themselves very well to that type of horror/drama plot. Umisho, Inu Neko Jump, and Otogi no Machi no Rena even were all better manga.
  • k-off
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 08:47 PM)
    To be fair to the series though, I thought that the owl was pretty cool.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 06:18 PM)
    But I’ve heard complaints about the fanservice of rea not making sense considering her past/background and I’m inclined to agree.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 06:16 PM)
    Ha, and once again another shounen ruined by not being a seinen manga.
    @Aidan: Sometimes..sometimes I feel its the fans that should be writing these things instead…well the good ones =P
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 06:05 PM)
    @K-Off, Potentail for Rea to go berserk and starting a zombie apocalypse? Or at least enough to have her slowly lose her mind and chiro having to resort to more and more desperate measures to protect her and stop her from hurting others. There was plently of potentail in the premise, just that the author didn’t have the balls to take it that far.

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