Review: Tales of Zestiria the X, Episode 1: Capital of Seraphim

Review:

This episode begins with more original content, as Alisha stumbles upon some ruins after somehow escaping from the scene at the end of the first episode. While it would have been nice to see those events played out, it is understandable that we might not get to see every little detail; after all, the show is apparently slated for just 13 episodes, with the game being at least 40+ hours of content. Honestly, I can’t see the story concluding in just 13 episodes, unless the story is rushed, minor events are completely removed, or the 13 episodes will only comprise a “first season”. Regardless, let’s look at this episode for now.

Those who have played the game will recognize that a Normin is introduced in this episode, although the show doesn’t identify the creature. This is where us gamers have an edge, because we understand why Alisha isn’t reacting to its presence, even as it defends her from a horde of bugs, whose role I hope is explained later, because they seemed to be coming after her with a purpose. Whatever the case, we now know how she ended up unconscious in the ruins, where we first meet her in the game. This may have also been mentioned within the narrative of the video game, but if it was then I don’t recall. This new content is also intermingled with a new introduction to Sorey and Mikleo, as well. At first I thought they completely changed this portion of the story, but then Sorey discovers the ruins where we first meet him in the game. All of this was greatly enjoyable because it not only gave new information not provided by the game, it also helped ease this gamer into the anime without feeling like I was just watching the same stuff over again. Now that we are in the proper story of the game, this may change, but I am still eager to see how they adapt things.

The art retains its excellent quality from the introductory episode, and the anime continues to utilize background music from the game at the appropriate points, which I still maintain is a nice detail. Some areas appear to be more fleshed out (for example, the interiors of Sorey’s and the Elder’s homes appeared larger in the anime than they do in the game), which helps to better fit the transition from game to show. Overall, I am very pleased with how this adaptation has started and I can’t wait to see how it will progress.

A Christian Perspective:

Okay, I am going to claim some gamer privilege here and utilize knowledge that hasn’t been presented in the anime yet. Forgive me if this is overstepping my bounds.

Early in the episode, we see Alisha stumble into some ruins, where a strange creature is seen hanging around her. Though not named in the episode, this creature is known as a “Normin”, and it is a spiritual being, like the Seraphim who are mentioned later. As the context of the scene suggests, Alisha cannot see the Normin,and as you will find out if you haven’t played the game, the majority of people are unable to see or sense spiritual beings in the world of Zestiria, whether Seraphim or Normin. If I recall correctly, it is basically due to unbelief, though I believe some people are also more attuned to seeing them than others. Nevertheless, this is reminiscent of the world in which we currently live, where so many people are numb to the spiritual forces around us due to their unbelief. Even worse, some seek out the wrong spiritual forces through demonic practices, such as Tarot cards, Ouija boards, seances, etc. I guess this isn’t strictly a “Christian” perspective, but as we know the only spiritual force worth knowing is God through His Son, Jesus Christ, for He is the only source of good in the universe. All other spiritual forces (angels notwithstanding, though we don’t seek to know them, and to do so could constitute idolatry) are evil and seek to lead us astray from God, so while we should be aware of them (for our own protection and for the sake of discernment so we know from what to flee), we should not seek to know them; however, many people would deny their very existence right along with God’s, opening themselves up to manipulation by demonic forces while simultaneously rejecting the only One who could save them.

Content Guide:

Spiritual Content: Characters use magical Artes; there is discussion about an “era of the gods”, as well as the beings known as Seraphim who would receive worship from humans and bless them in exchange

Language: None

Alcohol/Drug Use: Dezel and Zexceed may be drinking alcohol in the closing credits

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: None

Violence: A Normin fights off some bugs; characters are thrown around by lightning

Blood/Gore: None

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