It is not every day a video game gets a full-blown anime series, let alone one with as much production value as Tales of Zestiria the X. Based on the Tales of Zestiria JRPG title released on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows back in the winter of 2015, this anime series will basically supplement those who have completed the game. The anime is licensed by FUNimation Studios and made by the ufotable animation studio.
Synopsis (From MyAnimeList)
Sorey is a human youth who grew up among the seraphim, spiritual beings not visible to humans. Sorey believes in the folklore that says “long ago, every human was able to see the seraphim” and dreams of unraveling the ancient mystery to make the world a place where people and seraphim can live together in peace.
One day, Sorey visits the human capital for the very first time. He becomes embroiled in an incident during which he pulls out a holy sword embedded in a rock and ends up becoming a Shepherd, one who casts away calamity from the world. He begins to realize the gravity of his mission, and his dream of coexistence between mankind and the seraphim becomes more intense—
And thus, the Shepherd embarks on an amazing journey with his companions.
For Tales Fans Only
As a fan of the Tales series in general, I did enjoy my time with the Tales of Zestiria title. Though not my favorite one in the series (Tales of Xillia is currently No. 1 in my book), I personally had a lot of fun finishing the game. Plus, I liked it enough that I would be interested in watching the Tales of Zestiria the X anime.
But with this in mind, I think Tales of Zestiria the X is a very niche series from the get-go. As in, I would not recommend this title to anyone who has not played the game or has no prior knowledge of the source material.
The debut episode begins with a prologue called “Age of Chaos.” Immediately, I can tell the anime is going to assume you know who any important character is without any detailed explanation. And the same goes with the plot devices. Because I already beat the game, I know what will drive the plot and what the characters are talking about, but how would a random viewer know?
The anime’s main draw also acts as its own deterrent. Of course, anyone could just play the game and find out for themselves…
At the very least, I can say the production values for this series are wonderful based on the initial episode. Being a title from the ufotable studio, I expect nothing short of high-quality animation. After all, this is the studio responsible for such anime titles like Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works and the Kara no Kyoukai movies.
So visually, the anime is pleasant to the eye. The animations are smooth, plus the action scenes are fast-paced and full of impact. The special effects are all technically excellent by all means. It makes me feel like I am just watching long cinematics from the actual game itself, which is a good thing.
Play the Game First
All in all, Tales of Zestiria the X is passable as an anime adaption. But again, it definitely caters more for fans of the original game. As a standalone anime, I do not think it would garner the same kind of effect for a non-Tales fan.
Tales of Zestiria belongs to Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc (BNEI). Anime images belong to ufotable. The anime is licensed by FUNimation Studios.