What threats lie for Velvet as she attempts to escape the prison island?
Unlike the Daisuki Sub reviews by a745, the Funimation Dub reviews will have a more episodic approach to the series and will not make as much spoiler references to the source material.
The episode starts with Velvet and Seres walking along the shoreline in search of a boat. We get a glimpse of the Praetor class Exorcist looking outside his window from the ship, and then we cut to a blonde witch in a pink & purple outfit flying around on some sort of hover board. The ship docks at the port as the Exorcists exit the ship one by one. Seres & Velvet are seen observing them from afar as Seres recognizes the Praetor class Exorcist as Oscar. She appears right in front the Exorcists, asking Oscar why would a Praetor class Exorcist would come to an island like this, to which he responds that he’s here because of the dangerous creatures about. He then expressed distaste that Seres would betray Lord Artorius. Velvet jumps down to join Seres, to which Oscar reacts by calling Velvet the Demon eater. After Velvet threatened to take their ship and kill Artorius, Oscar fires three bolts of lightning towards the two with his magic. The two survive the warning shots as Oscar introduces his Exorcism blade which was presented to him by Artorius himself. As he stated how he was going treat Velvet in combat since she’s a woman, Velvet grabs a stone and throws it with enough force at one of the Centurions, knocking him off the port (yes… This happened.). Oscar takes back what he said, introduces his full name Oscar Dragonia, and states that he’ll arrest Velvet under the order of Lord Artorius. The two engage in a fun combat sequence demonstrating Oscar’s speed and Velvet’s athleticism. It ends as Oscar used his magic to knock Velvet off the port, only for her to recover immediately.
Oscar advised Velvet to return to the prison and devour demons as he has no business with her here. Velvet then goes on about how she wants to kill Artorius, and that she only devours demons only because she had to—she had no choice in the matter. Oscar comments that no matter what, this is her role that she was given to maintain the world, only for Velvet to argue that it’s also the same world that her brother was sacrificed for. Oscar calmly agrees to this (cold), and goes on about the roles that we are given in this world under Lord Artorius’ order. Velvet retorts that this world was made at the cost of her brother’s life. While the Exorcists want to protect this world, her mission is to burn it down. Suddenly, a dragon appears from above. As they examine the beast in the skies, Oscar realized that the dragon was brought her because of Velvet. He orders the Exorcists to fire magic at the dragon, but it managed to dodge these shots and landed right in front of the Centurions, gobbling some of them up. Oscar identifies the dragon as a demon which Seres refuses to believe. He clarifies that it’s the manifestation of human malevolence. It’s the whole reason why Artorius wants to change this world. Seres asked if this was truly Artorius’ reasoning but he ignored as he was occupied with the dragon. He fired three lightning bolts which chased the beast, but the dragon avoids it by landing on top of one of their ships, completely demolishing it. The Exorcists fired magic at the beast once more as Oscar asked Seres if she can still rebel against Artorius even though he stands against creatures like this. Seres answers that she was under Artorius’ control for far too long and for now on, she will stick to her own path. Oscar mocks Seres’ statement as he jumps and dives sword first into the dragon’s arm.
Velvet (who is unamused by all of this), notices that there’s another ship for her to board behind the dragon. She is then suddenly greeted by the witch from the start of the episode, wondering why all of them here woke her up from her sleep. After seeing the dragon, she then goes on a complaint tirade about these events since she just escaped the prison. Velvet completely ignores the witch’s words and notices the Exorcists immobilizing the dragon with magic. She uses this opportunity to run toward the ship behind the dragon, stating out loud that she needs it to get to Artorius. Unfortunately, the Exorcists weren’t able to hold the magic up for long, and the dragon was able to kill the remaining Centurions, leaving Oscar behind. As Velvet was closing in on the ship, the dragon notices Velvet and begins to hunt her down. Velvet was able to escape the initial attack, but she was caught off guard by the dragon’s wind magic. This left her open to a head butt by the dragon itself. She collapses, spewing out blood, but her determination to kill Artorius keeps her alive. The dragon was about to finish Velvet off, only to be interrupted by Seres, who created a magic barrier around Velvet. Seres appears in front of her, encouraging her to continue pursuing her goal and states that she’ll wager her life for Velvet. The dragon was able to break the barrier and it fired large ice shards towards Velvet. We last see Seres shielding Velvet from these shards before the dragon used its breath to launch both of them through the depths of the prison behind them.
The dragon was about to pursue its prey until it was interrupted by a magic blast casted by the Pink Witch from before. She states that she’ll attempt to keep Velvet alive because she needs someone who can man the ship to escape the island. The Swordsman with the demonic eye from the previous episode also appears and attacks the dragon with a diving slash. He says he’ll help since he needs to get off the island too. The two introduce themselves to each other as Rokurou and the Mighty Sorceress Magikirika Merin Doudin Nolorundo (I tried.), Magilou for short. After their introductions, they prepare themselves to take down the dragon. We cut to the prison where we find Velvet waking up to Seres, who is covered in blood and is near death. Velvet wondered why she protected her, to which Seres states that it was because Velvet would stop at nothing to stop Artorius. She then offered to help Velvet if Velvet eats her before she dies. Velvet was still confused by all this, but Seres explains that she took an oath that provided her amazing power, and Velvet can acquire this power by eating her. Velvet, preparing to devour her, wondered why Seres would go through all of this. Seres responds that the answer is akin to an indistinguishable fire that lurks in the shadows of her heart, the same way that it flares in Velvet. She offers a comb which Velvet recognized was Laphi’s—her little brother. Velvet then grabs Seres head with her demonic claw, stating that she won’t offer no thanks nor apology, which Seres accepts. As her mask shatters, we see an image of a much younger Velvet and Laphi before Velvet successfully absorbs Seres’ life & power. In doing so, a ring floats right in front of her, which she grabs right away.
Back outside, Magilou & Rokurou were battling the dragon with their magic board and twin daggers (but not the HUGE SWORD ON YOUR BACK.) respectively, but the dragon swiped them away with its claw. They continued to struggle with the beast until Velvet appeared from the prison she was knocked into. She uses her claw, strengthened by Seres’ power, to blast the dragon with a fire spell. In witnessing this, Oscar realized Seres’ fate. Velvet uses her claw to grasp at the dragon’s throat, and brings it down to the ground. She screams as she digs her claw deeper into the dragon’s neck. Suddenly, a lightning bolt stabs Velvet from the back. She turns to Oscar, who states that he can’t let Velvet loose in the world because of how monstrous she’s become. She then demands Oscar to inform Artorius that Velvet Crowe will be coming for him, threatening that she’ll destroy all demons, Malakim, and Exorcists, since she is a Tierion. The dragon exploded upon defeat, and the scene fades to black.
We then cut to the morning shores and find Rokurou steering a ship in the seas. Magilou & Velvet are onboard too. As Velvet stared at the comb given by Seres, she looks to the skies and notices a crow flying about. This reminded her of a conversation she had about birds with her brother Laphi, who had green clothes and yellow hair. The flashback suddenly cuts to Laphi and a man with a blade standing beneath a red moon. Laphi was shown impaled on the man’s blade as they’re surrounded by a bunch of dead bodies, with Velvet witnessing all of this in the background. The man with the blade introduces himself as Artorius Collbrande, and that he’ll restore law and order to the world. Velvet, covered in blood, screams out to Artorius. He stands in front of the red moon as 6 other figures suddenly appear around him. The flashback ends when Velvet orders Rokurou to go to the Midgand region, where she has business to attend to at its capital. The episode closes off with the credits and the Tales of Berseria OP from the game.
Aside from the complaints I had in the previous episode (Which are still somewhat relevant here.), this episode was very action packed and it expanded on Velvet’s backstory. As a Tales of fan, it certainly did sell me on the game. I want to experience Velvet’s story, leading up to her eventual confrontation with Artorius. The fact that she would go through all the pain she’s sustained throughout these two episodes just to vow revenge for her brother is simple, yet effective. Sometimes less is more, and keeping it simple definitely made me care about the character. We also get small inklings of Rokurou & Magilou showing off their battle prowess, and while it’s a shame that we don’t learn much about their backstories, the name of the episode is telling enough as to what the focus of this episode is. If you want to know more, get the game. Other small positives include the Japanese track that played during the dragon fight. While it was a bit cliché, it did fit the mood with its tribal beat. The CG of the dragon meshed real well with the hand-drawn animation too.
It’s really hard to give much of a review to this episode since it’s only as a preview for the next game in the series, where the goal is to condense as much of the beginning of the story as possible to highlight the important parts only. I’ve given my perspective as a fan of the series, but to the average viewer this is still a bit jarring. Now that the two Tales of Berseria episodes are done, we’ll be going back to the main story, and one has to wonder how they’ll connect to the plot that these two episodes introduced—or if they’ll even come back to Tales of Berseria at all during this anime’s run. It’s like being fed two meals at the same time. You’re enjoying this delicious curry for a couple of minutes, but then the waiter takes it from you mid-meal and serves you another meal. While you were absorbed by the other dish, suddenly the waiter comes back to take away the second meal and you’re given back the portion from before. It’s practically a tease at this point. Maybe that was the reason why they went with this approach. They’re trusting the viewers who managed to stick to this point to consider whether they’ll want to purchase Tales of Berseria or not. Going with risks like this can definitely scare off some people (as I’ve mentioned in my previous summary.) but who knows? Maybe the game might benefit off of this in the end. Either or, I personally hope that they don’t do this for any other Tales of anime shows but since we’re already this far, I guess those who are still watching up to this point are used to the fact that it could jump back and forth. I wouldn’t be surprised if the shifts don’t maintain the masses though.
Regarding the Dub/Translation: I’ve gotten used to Velvet’s dubbed voice already. It fits the character fine, and she was given an opportunity to display her range when she was talking about her brother. I’ve no complaints with Magilou & Oscar’s voices either. Erica Lindbeck voices Magilou in this episode. I’ve never heard of her before but her performance seems to fit Magilou well.
- Velvet’s character and backstory.
- Action packed, including some fun battle sequences between Velvet & Oscar.
- The Japanese song, while clichéd, fits the scene it played in.
- The CG dragon meshed well with the hand drawn animation.
- Transitioning from the Tales of Berseria story to the main one may still be jarring for some.
Overall, the episode gets a 3/5 from me. Next episode, we’ll be going back to the main story of the series in Episode 07 – Each One’s Feelings