Posted on 18 April 2006 with categories: Anime Reviews, Tales of Phantasia

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Tales of Phantasia is a small OVA, consisting of four episode and based on the RPG with the same name which came out about ten years ago. I truly recommend this to everyone who’s looking for something interesting to watch.

People might claim that this anime is only worth it if you played the game as well. That is absolutely not true. I didn’t play the game either and I totally loved this. Okay, in the beginning, you’ll see a lot of inexplainable thing happen. But don’t see that as a reason to quit this anime, see it as a reason to use your own head for a bit. Try to figure out what happened before. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy this OVA even more.

The graphics in this anime are totally amazing. Perhaps they even stand above the extreme quality of Tsubasa Chronicle Torikago no Kuni no Himegimi. In any case, they belong in the category of top-5 best graphics ever. The CG is just brilliant to see. There’s just so many attention put into the details, and don’t forget the incredible way the creators integrated these with the rest of the graphics. The character designs are also one of the very few today that really are unique. Each and every one of them stick to your mind like superglue. It doesn’t really plan to come off too soon. They look just too awesome, my favourites are Arche and Klarth. The music also is a masterpiece. Ranging from the OP to the ED, from the quiet moments to the dramatic moments to the battles, everything just perfectly fitted.

The characters themselves are also greatly developed. Especially if you consider that this OVA just takes a mere two hours to tell its story. I know some anime which couldn’t even come close to achieving this much character development in four times the same amount of time. I also liked the fact that every personality has something unique, which at the same time really characterizes that particular character. The way each character interacts with the other is also just amazing.

The story itself isn’t too complex. This, however, is greatly made up in the way it’s told. The creators somehow manage to make each second of this anime count. As the tale to be told is huge, and there are only hours available, the pace of storytelling is high. There are some rushed parts, but these take in no way at all away the power of these scenes.

There’s just one thing I don’t like about this anime. It’s just too damn short! I would have loved to see each of the characters fleshed out even more. I would have loved to see even more character developments, backgrounds, stories, et cetera. Maybe four episodes was a bit too little for such an awesome series. Still, I’m glad I was able to see this.

Final Rating: 95/100

Posted on with categories: Tales of Phantasia

Oh my… god. This episode was just utterly, utterly incredible. A worthy ending of an awesome anime.

We start of with the prologue of the great battle against Dhaos. We first see the representatives of a couple of races gather in the middle of the rain and place their trust into our heroes. Still, the soldiers are gloomy about the upcoming battle. Then, we switch back to our main party, who appears to have split up into three groups. It starts snowing, meanwhile (some of the best snow ever to be seen in anime, by the way. Muchas creditos to the animators). Cless and Mint come out of a café, and start acting nostalgic. Arche and Chester meanwhile get closer and closer to each other (figuratively, that is). Klarth meanwhile tries in the middle of the snow to talk some sense into Origin. It appears that Origin is not much of a talker, but Klarth still manages to find out that Dhaos did the things he did because he wanted to protect Iggdrasil (if I’m not mistaken, that was the giant tree from episode two). If you combine these three with each other, then the results get amazing. Even though they’re incredibly simple, they’re done in such incredible atmospheres, you can’t help but like it.

Then, the creators try to be smart and make good use of the time which was originally meant for the OP to roll in, because during the OP-tunes, the usual video-material has been replaced with our heroes combining the ring, Origin and the two swords in order to make Dhaos’ castle show up and enter it. This really shows that they make use of every single second available to them and use it as optimal as possible in order to provide as much storytelling as possible. I think that there should be more series who should attempt this.

Anyway, once in the castle, the group gets assaulted by Dhaos’ minions. A great thing to see about these fights were the actual strategy-elements which were inserted. They were especially focused on the importance of teamwork, with some terrific results. We then switch to outside the castle, where Suzu appears. Right next to her, several other ninja’s appear, apparently hostile. Suzu won’t let them pass, but before we get to see their fight, we switch back to Cless&co again. This time, the assaulting monsters get a ‘bit’ bigger and meaner, resulting in Cless getting separated from the others. He then ends up in a large mass of water, in which Dhaos tries for a final time to try and stop him with words. That doesn’t really work, even though Dhaos is partially right.

We then switch back to Suzu, who managed to finish off every enemy ninja, except for the leader (the one who appeared at the previous episode as well). That just shows how awesome Suzu can be. Anyway, it then appears that this ninja-leader is nobody else but her own father. To make it even more awesome. Despite this fact, it really does become clear that she’s even prepared to fight her own father if she had to, which was just too sad to see. At the same time, though, it only added up to the awesomeness of the episode.

Cless and the others, still separated, make their way through the castle. They’re getting pretty heavily beaten up, especially Cless, as he doesn’t have Mint with him. He then finally manages to make his way through to Dhaos’ chamber. In there, probably one of the best anime-end-boss-fights begins. Not only because it isn’t just a duel between the main protagonist and antagonist, as the rest of the team joins Cless soon, but also the way he is eventually defeated. It makes sense, sort of. In most cases in other anime, both parties try to attack with all of their powers, and finally one side ends up losing, mostly the antagonist. Variations include the antagonist winning, or both parties losing and dying at the same time. Still, it mostly ends up with a bunch of characters throwing a bunch of flashes to each other. This time, however, only one party charges to its full power, while the other clearly has trouble trying to survive. This ends in a very enjoyable climax. It’s predictable, of course, but I somehow feel the creators knew this and tried to make the best out of it. In my opinion, they succeeded.

The ending itself might be debatable, but I loved it. After all, the goal of this anime was defeating Dhaos, with the side-goal of Suzu defeating her own father. These are exactly the two scenes we get to see before the credits roll, including with two sentences explaining why Dhaos did what he did, a bit more in-depth than at the beginning of the episode. Afterwards, the episode ends. Most anime try to involve risking the life of some main character at this point, this anime doesn’t. I just loved it.

Posted on 2 March 2006 with categories: Tales of Phantasia

Whoa… this anime seriously kicks ass. The story’s awesome. This episode, out heroes travel another 50 years to the furure, in order to stop Dhaos. In there, they head for the elves, in order to form a pact with the master of all summn spirits: Origin. I just loved the stubbornness of the elves. Suzu also looks awesome. But I think that’s the fact with every character in this anime. Every single character design is one of the most unique and memorable I’ve ever seen. And I may be wrong, but the CG in Tales of Phantasia has been done in some of the best ways ever, while still keeping balance with the normal drawings.

As this is an anime based on an RPG, you would expect the majority of the screentime to be filled with fighting. Well, it’s everything but that. This anime focuses mostly on drama and adventure, with a bit of fighting to back it up. The results are awesome.

When you compare this to the game “Tales of Symphonia”, you’ll be able to see a lot of similarities. The elven village, for example. We see a lot of names returning. The summon spirits are in both as well. In most cases, their designs differ on most parts, but in essence their designs are the same. The only exception is Origin, who seems to have got a total restyle.

Anyway, enough of me trying to look for words, I seriously recommend you to check this out. This really is the proof that video-game-based anime doesn’t neccesarily mean a bad series.

Posted on 25 November 2005 with categories: Tales of Phantasia

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I loved this episode. The art remains stunning and we get some nice life lessons. The dialogue has also been extremely well written, and I really liked the way the characters interacted. Even though this episode was just a prologe of the next episode, and an aftermath of the previous one, it didn’t matter.

*really wants to play the game now*

Posted on 23 November 2005 with categories: Tales of Phantasia

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Very interesting. I´ve never played the game, but this does make me want to play it. There´s been a lot of time spent on the characters, I especially like Arche and Klarth. The graphics are also the one of the best I´ve seen in anime, as they look amazing. I´ll be keeping an eye on this one.


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  • ninjarealist
    (Friday, Oct 9. 2015 02:09 AM)
    @Kaiser Sunny looks interesting but I’ll be honest, when I say Slice-of-Life I actually mean Cute-Girls-Doing-Cute-Things.
  • ninjarealist
    (Friday, Oct 9. 2015 02:07 AM)
    @Kaiser I actually haven’t seen Black Mass.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Oct 9. 2015 12:57 AM)
    These new Batman shorts called ‘Batman of Shanghai’ are pretty awesome:
    Props to Wolf Smoke Studios for the style and execution. I think this borrowed a lot from the Studio 4°C segment of the Batman: Gotham Knight anthology series. I haven’t been this entertained by a Batman cartoon since the original Batman: The Animated Series.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 11:09 PM)
    I have to finish the world is mine someday…and read all of Yamamoto Naoki’s works, looks like some good obscure seinen there.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 10:52 PM)
    @Realist: Slice of life fan, you’ll want to go off and read Taiyou matsumoto’s work, Sunny being one of them.
  • Kevin
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 10:50 PM)
    @ninjarealist Ha u that one nigga that jet lol nice way to sneak back, I missed you. Remember me?
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 10:48 PM)
    @Realist: I imagine you will be seeing black mass?
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 10:47 PM)
    @Realist: Oh by the way I remember ages ago you recommended Meserine to me, not the biggest gangster fan out there and this did suffer from the usual issues of the bipic format but some great action bits in it =) and Vincent Cassel doing what he does best.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 10:45 PM)
    @Realist: Whatever name you prefer is fine. Though its Kaiser now so we may as well use that.
  • ninjarealist
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 10:28 PM)
    @Kaiser/Emma (do you prefer to go by Kaiser now?) Punpun is the best, but I don’t see it getting adapted any time soon. As someone who personally loves slice-of-life, I love Dead Demons.

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