Um… ruins, swords in stones, knights, and all the usual fantasy stuff. Okay, I am not yet invested enough to read what this show is going to be about and to be honest the first episode didn’t do a lot to rectify that.
Review Episode 0:
I don’t know why I didn’t like this. It’s a fantasy and the first episode has some great action and gives us lots of hints about things to come that should be really interesting but mostly I was bored. That’s when I wasn’t looking at the images of the city and the crowd being panned across, or the clouds or whatever and being distracted by the jarring disconnect between the way the characters are presented and the way the world is. Given so many people have commented on how pretty this anime is I’m thinking I’m in the minority but I found it really ugly and quite distracting. The other issue I had was why is this episode 0? You don’t get to do over your first episode because you want to do a prologue. This is our first impression of the series and really it feels like a game or movie prologue rather than a first episode.
Maybe I’m being nit-picky but I didn’t have any fun watching this. I kind of hope I get more invested during the next episode because I’d love a good fantasy anime this season but I was not particularly impressed with the first viewing of this.
Review Episode 1:
Somehow I think I would have been better off skipping the prologue. Okay, maybe some of the stuff that happened there will later become important, but this was a much more engaging episode. Part of this was helped by the focus shifting to three characters for most of the episode so you weren’t constantly wondering ‘who’s that’ as each new person showed up, had their name said once and then disappeared. I’m still having issues with the actual appearance of this anime.
No matter how I look at it, the characters just don’t seem to match their surroundings. They feel photo-shopped into gorgeous landscapes and as I said in the review of the prologue, the impact is at times jarring. Close ups of characters fare better but visually it isn’t really cohesive (though I am aware that some people will disagree).
I’m more engaged with this now and will definitely give it a few more episodes before I make a final decision, however if things continue like this episode, I’ll be sticking to this throughout the season. While it isn’t exactly wowing me, I am a sucker for a half-decent fantasy.
Tales of Zestiria is available on AnimeLab.