Tales of Zestiria the X Final Episode (25): Ships have sailed

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Wow, so much time has passed since we last saw this series that everyone’s hair grew longer. Anyway, given the general trend of the episodes leading up to this ending, I’m not particularly surprised that I found it disappointing. The battle against Heldalf was depressingly quick and what we got was effectively an extended epilogue. I think I would have been fine with waiting for a month just to see a full epilogue episode, but the series basically left on a cliffhanger and then immediately resolved it upon returning.

Now, I’m just going to list a few other things in the ending that didn’t sit well with me with no real point. First off, I find it really strange that Heldalf is purified off-screen. I didn’t think he was fully to blame for becoming the Lord of Calamity given the curse that was placed on him, so I think he deserved to have a decent death (though it doesn’t seem like he dies in the anime). Secondly, what the heck is up with the happy endings in the epilogue? Maltran and Eizen both get drastically different endings in the anime and yet Dezel has to die right at the end. That seems unfair. Who even cares about Maltran?

Finally, and most importantly, what did Sorey accomplish in this series? His goal was to allow humans and seraphim to coexist, but at the end of the day, humans and seraphim remain isolated from each other. What has changed? Was it the point of the ending to show that Sorey’s return is supposed to be the start of that journey?

Sorey can’t even move properly in this form and Heldalf is just…standing there.

Ooh…pretty colors. I get that Sorey is combining the elements and everything, but is it weird that I preferred the parts where he goes into melee range?

Heck, this energy blast doesn’t even look like it’s coming from Heldalf’s mouth. It’s slightly off-center.

Since we know that Sorey doesn’t take this armatization form in the game, is this sword a reference to the Exorcist swords from Berseria? I’m just going by the flat tip.

Wait, I don’t understand. Is the malevolence sentient? Why is it reviving the Lord of Calamity? This honestly feels like a convenient way to gather the world’s malevolence in one spot for Sorey to purify.

Is Sorey casually ignoring what Rose just said? If he dies, Rose and Alisha will also die. This seems like a really strange response to a really important question.

Wait…what? What does that even mean? Also, given that this is the last time we see Maotelus, I have to say this. This series came out after Berseria was released and we’ve already seen that this series has no problem integrating pieces of Berseria’s story into the story of Zestiria. So why do Maotelus and Zaveid never once acknowledge one another? It’s possible that Zaveid doesn’t know who Maotelus is, but Maotelus absolutely knows who Zaveid is.

Peace! Honestly, this Rolance and Hyland thing has been the main political struggle of this series, but it has felt incredibly unimportant overall…

Is this the previous Shepherd? Or a new one? The hair color’s not right to be Sorey.

Feed Edna more apples.

Oh ho…so that’s the ending they’re getting.

Bromance ending confirmed.

Final Score: 6/10

Tales of Zestiria the X Episode 24: With our powers combined

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This episode went better than I expected. Once again, Michael makes for a more interesting Shepherd than Sorey and we got some decent fight scenes against the Lord of Calamity. However, I was kinda expecting this episode to be the last one and it looks like the final episode will not be airing for another month. So…see you in a while?

I have one final note about Sorey this week. While it’s cool that he got his Avatar mode and everything, didn’t he just make Rose and Alisha more useless? I mean sure, they mentioned that they can siphon off the malevolence again, but I thought we were past keeping them around as glorified siphons.

Well, I disagree with you, Rose, but I can’t say I’m surprised by this statement. I’m happy they at least acknowledged the fact that Sorey forced Dezel to do this.

Oh hey Maotelus. I remember you from Berseria. I didn’t know you had a role in Zestiria…especially not a spoken role. Maotelus doesn’t exactly have the most impressive voice.

You’re going to have to explain this line to me. Is Heldalf saying that power allows one side to overpower the other side and therefore eliminate one of the contradicting ideals? Not sure I get this one.

I’ve liked the appearances of the previous Shepherd so far in this story…let’s see how this flashback goes.

I’m struggling with this revelation. On the one hand, I think Heldalf might be more interesting if he was a good person turned evil because of a mistake, but that’s probably a bit generic. This series of events probably makes more sense because instead Heldalf is someone who did some bad things, but certainly didn’t deserve the punishment he received for his actions. And I think that parallels well with the idea of “eternal torment”, something I think no person truly deserves.

I really want to give Michael the benefit of the doubt here and say that he was only willing to make this sacrifice because the baby was already dead, but that doesn’t make sense if we take the words of his curse literally. Why would he be offering the life of the infant if it didn’t have life? And don’t try to tell me that he was offering the baby’s soul because that’s even worse.

Wait, so Heldalf tried to kill himself and failed? That means the immortality of the Lord of Calamity is Michael’s fault.

This fight’s pretty awesome.

I know it’s different in the game, but they made a big deal about the trouble Alisha had to go through to synchronize with Edna enough to armatize with her, so I have a bit of an issue with her armatizing with Mikleo here instead.

Oh, and this conversation technically counts as power of friendship.

Man, I really hate scripted boss fights.

Let’s just throw this in because we never got around to it earlier.

Combine to form the Megazord!

Words cannot describe how sad I am that these skits are taking themselves so seriously now. And this is probably the last one since there’s no need for a preview in the last episode.

Tales of Zestiria the X Episode 23: Feels pretty bad

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I will admit that this episode kept the focus a lot more than other recent episodes, but as such, the overall judgment of the episode probably hinges on how you felt about one or two key factors. I’m mostly neutral, I’d say.

I can’t really do a comparison for Dezel’s death, but my overall impression of the anime version is that Dezel dropped so many hints in this episode that I was going “get it over with” by the end of it all. The scene overall was also a bit confusing. The main thing I can’t explain is why no one else in the party helped out when he jumped in with Rose. Everyone is saying things like “I’ll help you out”, but when the fight starts, no one moves. I know that Dezel said they should conserve their strength to fight the Lord of Calamity, but they seemed to be protesting that. Not sure what happened there.

I think the big sticking point in this episode for me was Sorey. This episode reminded me of something that I hadn’t been thinking about for a while now. Sorey started this entire journey because he wanted humans and seraphim to coexist. How exactly has he made progress towards that goal in this series? And more to the point, think about Dezel’s final moments a little bit. It seems to me like Sorey pretty much killed him. He was going to fight off the dragons with Siegfried, but because Sorey forced him to give up the gun and instead aim to purify the dragons, he was forced to use a different style of attack. Really turning out to be a great hero, Sorey.

You’re talking to the Lord of Calamity about honor? Not really a strong moment for you, Sorey.

Dezel, you have one heck of a death wish. I really can’t tell how you’re going to turn out at this rate. Also, obsession with Rose aside, is the world’s malevolence really concentrated here? Isn’t that a bit too convenient? I’ll grant you that it’s probably the only way to end the series with the remaining two episodes, but that doesn’t make it okay.

Oh hey, Grimoire. Was she in Zestiria? Because I remember her from Berseria. In fact, I’m curious whether this entire town is a Berseria cameo or just events from Zestiria.

I don’t particularly mind this one. It makes sense that Velvet is chronicled in history as a villain, the source of calamity, but Sorey seems to separate himself by asking whether the person who forced her down that path is also somewhat responsible.

I can’t help making the Red vs. Blue reference here…”hey, ever wonder why we’re here?” is so appropriate here.

Rose is not amused.

I thought I was done with this question…make it stop.

I understand that Sorey never intended to use the army (that’s why he didn’t recruit heavily or whatever), but this scene is still a bit silly.

Really asking for it, aren’t you Dezel?

Can’t disagree there.

Hmm, I legitimately thought they were going to keep Dezel alive in this story…until the start of this epiosde, of course. I guess they just wanted to give him a different story. Hard to judge on this one since I don’t know the full context of the game version.

Aww man…these skits used to be cool.

Tales of Zestiria the X Episode 22: Did not expect those characters to get so much focus

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This episode felt like a scattered mess. Symonne and Lunarre are thrown in for no reason, so their fates aren’t really impactful in any way. Heck, armatization in this episode even felt tacked on…and short-lived. I think the most annoying part of the episode is that this final battle seems to be exactly the same as the end of the first season, with the only difference being that the Lord of Calamity fight will probably end differently.

And probably the most disappointing thing about this episode is that the skit at the end didn’t really have anything.

That’s an excellent question, Dezel…still wondering what Symonne is doing here. Also, given what happened in the game, of course it’s Dezel that talks with Symonne.

I’m considering how these lines would sound without context to the people at the front of the carriage. It’s probably worse because they can only hear Rose.

But anyway, if they’re practicing like this, then they’re definitely going to make armatization a thing for the final battle.

Crap…I never pay attention to recipes in the game, so I have no idea if this is a clever reference.

This is funny and all, but do we really have time for this given how much explanation was ignored in the last episode?

Well…that’s one way to introduce the earthpulses.

Oh yeah…after all of that build up of Lunarre’s indecision, we get this. Wait, there wasn’t any build up for that? What the heck is he doing here then?

Remember in season 1 when Sorey purifies a human for the first time and experiences the burden of that process? Then he immediately walks into a war zone and purifies multiple humans with no problem. They’re literally doing the same thing in the second season with dragons.

After all of that frustration and exposition, this was way too easy.

Alisha gets a transformation sequence because the fans demand it!

Really, Rose? She was never-

Hey! That’s my line!

Someone explain to me what this character has done to deserve such a dramatic death scene.

That’s…kind of convenient.

Tales of Zestiria the X Episode 21: Onward to victory!

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So uh…I guess we’re suddenly making preparations for the final battle. This episode felt like the series suddenly realized that it’s almost the end of the season and fast-forwarded to get close to the ending of the story. It’s kind of a bummer because it made certain aspects, like the reconciliation between Rolance and Hyland and the addition of Zaveid, feel trivialized.

But hey…if they give Alisha the ability to use armatization, all will be forgiven because that’s what everyone hated about the game, right?

I love how casual Sorey is being about this when it’s completely his fault that Alisha and Rose are still out.

Morning!

Thanks? We really needed to be told that?

Has she really been hanging around for nine days? What exactly is she doing here? This was also kind of a random shift in tone for the episode.

I feel like this is one of those scenes that’s simple to interpret when you don’t know the Berseria story, but difficult when you do. It’s technically true, since Velvet is the beginning of calamity, as the chapter title indicates, but it feels like it would be easy to misconstrue.

So which side are you on? Using different costumes for your characters or just using the base costumes? These are very important topics being introduced in the anime.

Wait…that’s not supposed to happen.

I think this line is important. Mikleo captures exactly my problem with this entire setup. What exactly is this mission? Why are people from Hyland getting recruited to come along? It sounds a lot like they’re preparing for one final battle against the Lord of Calamity, but the atmosphere really doesn’t feel like that’s what this mission is. It feels too light-hearted.

Why does this entire set of scenes feel like major game events are being combined together into a single montage? Also, no particular reason for using this scene to make my point…no reason at all.

Also, am I the only one really annoyed by how easily Zaveid joined the group? There was no real buildup or interaction other than showing up to help Alisha and a brief conversation with Edna. But hey! He’s one of us now!

Screw you, Lailah. We need these two squires to have a function that’s more active than being a siphon for malevolence. Let them try armatization!

As long as they don’t insist that it’s impossible, I have no problem with a series of scenes to get them combat ready.

Poor Zaveid is always bullied…

Tales of Zestiria the X Episode 20: Share the load

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Well, that resolution was a bit…fast, don’t you think? I get that there was supposed to be a sense of urgency, but I felt like sticking Bartlow and the dragon in the same episode made the entire thing seem like skimping. Heck, I’m not even convinced Bartlow is dead given that we hear no thud when he falls over the railing and we never get to see what Alisha sees when she looks over. He might have just been gone. And the fact that he declares that he won in the end is never really explored…it doesn’t even make sense.

But let’s talk about the dragon. Wasn’t this supposed to be a big deal? We just see a few of the seraphim taking out minions and then it cuts to Sorey taking the dragon down in one shot. That’s not even my biggest complaint. In the game, Rose is basically a second Sorey, allowing the party to better utilize the seraphim in battle through her. In the anime, she’s apparently reduced to being the girl that gets malevolence sent over when Sorey can’t handle it. It’s kind of a bummer…

Dang it, Alisha…you were giving your speech and everyone noticed you.

Finally doing something? It’s about time.

This is a nice one. I still would have preferred to have seen more of the thought process from Alisha last week, but it makes things interesting that they used the obvious trope of saving her mentor as a decoy.

Is now really the time for this? Is this information even useful? All we really needed to know what that a dragon was behind the tornado, which you can somewhat infer anyway.

I feel like this scene would have worked better if we had a better idea of Alisha’s relationship with her father. Based on the brief conversation the king had with Bartlow and the fact that Alisha and the king greet each other with something like “long time no see”, it seems like appealing to the king shouldn’t work.

It took me a second to realize this guy’s probably a hellion or something…because there was no way he was secretly holding a weapon.

Are you serious, old man?

Given what Bartlow said earlier about propaganda being strategy, I respect the restraint shown here. Alisha could have very easily quipped with “no, this is real strategy” when revealing her ploy to get Bartlow’s followers to hear his confession.

The dragon’s here to ruin the moment, I guess.

Okay, I’m going to take this moment to say that the insert song playing here is nice. But back to the actual point, the dragon that they’ve been hyping up for a while now goes down in a single armatized shot. Really?

It’s really hard to make a dramatic scene when the action consists of three characters trying to resist “evil energy” flowing into them. The seraphim could have at least tried to run some interference in the background while this was happening.

Is this leading into a fight next week? Or is she here just to gloat a bit and then run off?

Haha this is the Zestiria version of “my dad could beat your dad in a fight”.