The first day of TOF2019 set the stage for this year's art theme, also featuring some Rebirth newcomers and an unexpected secret guest.
Prior to the program start, Nobuyuki Hiyama (Veigue) and Mio Yasuda (Claire) delivered some in-character announcements. Likewise with Misato Fukuen (Edna) and Kenjiro Tsuda (Zaveid).
The program started off with Masaya Onosaka (Zelos) showing off the new brush-shaped glow stick for this year's Festival. He goes as far as to name each color present in the stick in near perfect English.
And then the day's skit began, with the title "Dream and Creation - The City of Art, The Festival in Yokohama".
The skit's mood kind of switched around a good bit from serious to light-hearted, featuring extremely serious scenes with Velvet and Artorius (the special guest), and things like the Normin Dance (with an actual Normin going onstage and dancing along as Edna sang) in order to restore the town to normal after the skit's major events. Some of the voice actors also didn't seem to realize that the song that Edna sang was the ending theme song for Tales of HR.
The skit starts off with Ludger searching for Elle, who had ran of on her own in her excitement over the festival. He eventually runs into Claire and Velvet in his search. A choice ala X2 pops up with regard to who he should ask, and the audience voted with their penlight for Velvet. There was an amusing part where Ludger was trying to search for the page where his next line is, so that took up a bit of skit time as he asked everyone to wait for a bit. Bandannas were also being given away at the festival, with a rumor that it contains the power to make dreams come true.
The pigtailed girl that Velvet ends up describing turns out to be a certain money-loving person (as a shadowed outline of Anise is displayed on the monitor) but is nonetheless not the person Ludger is looking for. Later on, Elle gives Ludger a call on his GHS, upset that he forgot to call her.
There was also Veigue and Zelos helping out with the festival, and looking at a list of exhibitors for the festival. Zelos at one point in time approached one of the audience members to ask who she came here for. She said "Zelos", but Zelos commented that it's probably a lie since she was wearing a Ludger t-shirt.
Asch's and Victor's appearances were rather brief, but they did count! Shortly after rescuing some of the cast (as Asch is won't to do), they meet up with Luke and there was some rapid fire arguing between Asch and Luke... who are voiced by the same person.
Victor and Elle had some really cute papa and daughter moments too. Likewise with Asch, Victor swooped in to save Elle, as the venue had monsters popping out here and there. Victor left Elle a present which makes a reappearance later in the skit, to be used in a pinch. Through Elle's power (and the audience), the downed cast was revived, and Velvet used Impulse Desire to defeat Artorius.
Also, turns out the monster issue was caused by the bandanna, since it turns dreams into reality and if you imagine monsters, they will come forth.
There was also some talk about Annie and the heavy rain that day, given her Force is the Force of Rain. Zaveid's entrance was also marred by Elle calling him names, much to everyone's amusement.
During the talk show, the Rebirth ladies expressed a bit of their nervousness as it was their first time participating in TalesFes. It was a little noticeable as Mio Yasuda (Claire) was kind of stiff in her lines during the skit, while Akiko Yajima (Annie) explicitly forgot what she was going to say during her introduction. Yajima commented on how the penlights look like fireworks, though admittedly it was too early in the season for them. Everyone lit their glow sticks up accordingly to create some beautiful lights around the venue.
Ryota Oosaka (Mikleo) kept shouting "don't call me Meebo!" whenever the audience called him "Meebo". It was fun.
Chihiro Suzuki (Luke), in honor of reiwa, has revised his token meme line from "ore wa warukunee" to "orei wa warukunee", much to everyone's amusement.
Kenyu Horiuchi (Artorius) opened his introduction by going "ore wa warui", causing Luke to march over and get everyone to shout "ore wa warui", warukunee style.
Kenjiro Tsuda (Zaveid) really capitalized on his "Namaste Osu" meme from last year, saying that he hails from a game called "Tales of Namaste Osu".
Rina Satou (Velvet) was happy to have Artorius joining them that TalesFes... which amused some of the cast and caused them to remark on that, as it's a strange thing to hear from Velvet if it were in-character.
Also, Horiuchi kept standing frequently during the talk show, and most of the cast have at least told him to sit down once, including Sato. Velvet's VA seemed very amused about the whole thing.
The special content for Day 1 was a review of some famous scenes. This year, it was Rebirth, Xillia 2, and Berseria that was featured.
The two scenes were featured for Rebirth. First was Annie's trial with Wontiga, while the second one was Agarte's appeal.
For Xillia 2, it was the battle against Victor, and for Berseria, it was the final battle against Artorius.
All of the scenes had a portion of them read live by the seiyuu that were present in the event. Veigue's "KUREAAA" scream certainly wasn't half-hearted, by any means. People were moved by the Hymn of Proof and Elle's emotions when it came up in the Victor battle. And the Artorius battle was rather reminiscent of the skit that just happened.
Next up was news about various Tales of titles. If you want more details regarding them, please check our news roundup:
- Meet Tales of Arise’s Hero and Heroine, New Extended Trailer from Tales of Festival 2019
- New Tales of Crestoria Mystic Artes English Trailer from Tales of Festival 2019
- Tales of the Rays, Tales of Asteria and Other News From Tales of Festival 2019
Perhaps of note with regard to above is the fact that Yui Ishikawa (Misella's seiyuu) was present to promote the game. Kanata's seiyuu was also there in spirit with a video. He was practically bouncing in that video, with quite a lot of energy to say the least of it. He also wanted to make a meme out of the game quote, aka "<insert phrase here>, even if it's a sin".
The DEEN live performance came up next, with the following songs played:
- Yume de Aru Youni (Tales of Destiny OP)
- Eien no Ashita (Tales of Hearts OP)
- Kimi sae Ireba (Chuka Ichiban OP)
- Hitori janai (Dragonball GT OP)
- Mirai kara no Hikari (Tales of the Rays: Fairy's Requiem OP)
It was fun to hear them live, to say the least of it. I especially liked their Mirai Kara no Hikari performance and their Yume de Aru Youni performance was extremely moving.
And then the closing remarks followed, with Velvet and Artorius doing the post curtain call announcements. Again, it was quite serious in contrast to the usual in-character announcements, featuring a seemingly featuring a younger Velvet and Artorius.
The performances and program lineup for Day 1, though entertaining, were a little on the lowkey side. However, the announcements for the newest games in the series certainly did much to generate hype. It was definitely exciting to be there for the name and official art reveals, as well as listening to their voice actors for the first time.
In any case, please stay tuned for our Day 2 highlight report! For now, please enjoy these pictures of the stands around the venue!