Review: Tales of Zestiria the X – Season 1 Blu-Ray Release

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In Tales of Zestiria, legends speak of the Shepherd, a savior who will bring peace to the seraphim and human worlds. Sorey has spent his life studying ancient books and exploring ruins to learn more about the legendary savior. When he and his seraphim companion Mikleo encounter a mysterious girl in the ruins, the stories of the Shephard become Sorey’s reality. Is he strong enough to take on the evil Lord of Calamity?

The Review

Tales of Zestiria the X is the anime telling of the popular video game series ‘Tales Of’ latest installment Zestiria. The story follows a young boy and his friend who set off on a journey to save the world from malevolence. Sorey is a human raised in the world of Seraphim. Most humans cannot see Seraphim which makes Sorey special. Mikleo is Sorey’s childhood friend and companion. He is also a seraphim.

The job of seraphim was to keep nature in balance. The legend of the Shepard was that of a human who was able to pull a sacred sword from a stone. Once this happens the Shepard has the ability to purify hellions and keep the malevolence of the world at bay. Sorey has always loved to search ancient ruins and loved the stories of the Shepard. Turns out he ended up being able to pull out the sword, and so his journey began.

The series takes a lot of familiar mythology and ties it into the story. The sword from the stone of course rings bells of the Excalibur legend. Even the name of the city it is in, Lady Lake, calls back to the Arthur legend. The anime adaptation of the video game series does at times come across as process driven much like a linear video game is. However, for the most part it is enjoyably fun and interesting. We meet a lot of of characters both human and seraphim alike.

The series does a decent job of distinguishing each character with unique abilities or personalities; while giving you a backstory that keeps you interested in each. My favorite characters in season 1 were Mikleo and Dezel. Mikleo had a comedic streak that was fun to watch. Dezel was a much darker character but he grows on you with time. UFOtable is the studio behind the series and it shows in the animation quality. The most redeeming thing about Tales of Zestiria the X is the animation and score. The fight scenes are especially well done and beautiful to watch.

The story itself is fairly simple when you look at it as a whole. However, the interesting world that Tales has setup is compelling enough that you want to see more. Season 1 ends with a satisfying finish to the first arc, and sets you up for the second season and the climax of the story. The voice cast for the dub were good. I like that we got some fresh voices for this series. Robbie Daymond as Sorey and Philip Lamont as Mikleo. Funny thing is Philip Lamont is a pen name for Michael Johnston who voices Mikleo. You might remember him most recently as Corey on MTV’s Teen Wolf.

Fans of the Tales of Berseria series will also find an interesting episode in season 1 that takes us back in time to meet Velvet Crowe. We get to see how her events tie into the current events of Tales of Zestiria. Overall we would give the first season an A-. We recommend picking up the first season and once you are caught up get over to Funimation and watch season 2.

Special Features & Bonus Content

Tales of Zestiria the X comes with the first 13 episodes of the series on blu-ray and dvd. Both the standard and limited editions also include episode commentary, unaired previews of episode 0 and a season 2 trailer.

The Limited Edition includes:

  • Chipboard box with specialty print
  • 4-panel digipak with specialty print featuring character art, including Velvet Crowe from Tales of Berseria
  • 4 art cards featuring character art

 

You can pickup either the standard edition or limited edition of the series over at Amazon and Rightstuf.

Robert Prentice