Well, I do enjoy playing the series, mostly because of it’s combat system. My question is, does it have enough of a story to have much of a punch as an anime. Let’s find out.
Unfortunately, Tales’ glaring weakness is how utterly cliched the beginnning of every game is. The beginning of the anime follows the pattern. We’ve got the cocky teenager, named Luke, who’s been sheltered all his life and is annoying as sin. He doesn’t really know how to function in society, other than knowing his position is higher than most other people’s. He suffers from amnesia because of some past kidnapping. He has no problem killing monsters but he comes to a halt when it comes to human life. And so on.
And that’s just one character, the cliches run throughout. We’ve got the cold sorceress with her secret love of cute things, the uber general who gets his massive powers sealed away, the hyperactive teenage girl, and the dapper best friend that comes out of abso-freaking-lutely nowhere to save the day. All the characters end up coming together from opposing sides, due to a freak accident called a “resonance,” in order to try and prevent a massive war from breaking out, which is backed by one of the factions of the “religion” of the world. And naturally, most of the plot points are explained by these characters to us, through Luke, because he has absolutely no idea what’s going on in the world. I could go on, but you get the idea.
I can’t help but think I’ve seen the series to this point, several times over. But knowing from playing the other games, the story and character development generally starts to pick up about a quarter of the way through, so for now, it’s forgiven. Let’s focus on other parts, something I don’t normally do in these reviews. The art is good, I like the character designs and the fight animation is solid. That’s important to me since, being based off an RPG, fighting is going to happen early and often. I really liked seeing Indignation come so early in the series. The music, while not terribly original, fits the mood of the scenes well. As for the voices, I like all of them, except Luke, because his voice grates just like his personality. However, seeing as that’s kind of the point, I’ll accept that. And since I am a BUMP OF CHICKEN fan, I really like the OP.
The verdict then, is there is none. I can’t really judge this series yet knowing that things start off slow. It is, however, entertaining. If you like the franchise or the game at all, then you know what to expect, and you’re probably already watching it right now. If you’re a fan of the more fantastical side of adventure, give it a shot, you’ll enjoy the ride. If you’re looking for story, hang in there for a bit, it’s almost undoubtably coming if you’re patient.
Episode score: 7/10 Cheagles
Objectionable content: Lots of blood. Monsters get cut asunder frequently, humans pretty much just take a slash or gash and die.