Tales of Zestiria the X Episode 25 Review and Final Thoughts

Here’s the finale! Let’s see if the anime ends on a satisfactory note. I also included my final thoughts on the anime as a whole as well.

 

Contains spoilers; read at your own risk.

 

Mahou Shounen Sorey

Episode 25 starts off with Sorey fusing with all four seraphim to become the ultimate magical boy to become some sort of ultimate anime-original armatization (I’ll just call it the Ultimate Shepherd Form).

Kittybeard

 

The final battle was awesome! Sorey combines two seraphim’s powers to create combination attacks! He then uses a punch that is a bit of a nod to the opening where Sorey uses Lion’s Howl with the seraphim using it within him. The only difference was Dezel was in the opening. Here, it’s Zaveid. Then a giant sword appeared from Sorey’s hands and he purifies Heldalf…?

This is my favorite combination attack.
I WANNA BE THE WHITE WHITE LIGHT~!
LOOK AT THAT SWORD! IT'S HUGE!

Though the anime’s final battle was flashier and awesome, I liked the game’s a bit more. Heldfalf armatizes with Maotelus and you have to sacrifice your seraphim friends in order to sever the link between them. (It was so hard for me because I keep dying when I got to Edna. Her armatus attacks are a bit slow and hard for me to control).

Honestly, the ending of this anime is a lot different from what I initially expected. What I had expected was for him to go to sleep like in the game, but instead, he goes to purify Heldalf in a place further than the Earthpulse. I’m not sure how I feel, but it feels a bit…weird? This is supposed to be an action fantasy series (I think?) and we get an ending that’s common in Mahou Shoujo anime (Well, Sorey is a Mahou Shounen of sorts). The game (Zestiria and Berseria…?) never stated that such a realm existed. It feels like it’s either lazy writing or a cop-out to give a satisfactory ending. Because of his actions, Sorey isn’t considered dead, so Rose and Alisha get to live. The name of Shepherd isn’t passed down to the squire in this anime.

I'm...watching a Tales anime, right? This isn't a Mahou Shoujo anime, right?

Maotelus doesn’t even play a significant role in this episode. He’s just…there, I guess.

Hey, Maotelus, how does it feel to be shafted from importance?

Regarding the time skip, I’m not sure how many years have passed since Sorey left. Rose gets a new look. She reminds me of Luke. Her hair is longer and she is no longer modestly dressed.

Epilogue Rose is very pretty! I like the design, honestly.

Alisha is now queen of Hyland and wears her DLC outfit casually.

Queen Alisha Diphda
Queen Alisha Diphda (Casual Outfit)

Edna finally mellows out and stops being jaded. She waits the day Sorey returns so her brother will finally be purified. Eizen is slowly regaining his sanity.

Eizen slowly remembering Edna.

Zaveid is wandering around, but visits Edna.

Not really sure what Zaveid is doing.a

Lailah is guiding a new Shepherd who reminds me of Velvet.

Lailah and the new Shepherd

Mikleo is a wanderer.

Epilogue Mikleo

Honestly, I’m actually kind of happy every thing is at peace. The peaceful part was given in the game, but it was only a small portion. I like how everything is shown here. People are doing their best to pray to the Seraphim in order for the Malevolence to quell. Hyland and Rolance are finally at peace. Sorey and his predecessors’ tales live on as story books enjoyed by children and adults alike. Those who read it will dream of exploring all the ruins in the world (The scene where that one kid wanting to be a seraphim is cute, but it’s also sad because a human can be reborn into a seraphim, but they lose their memories of their past life).

The tale lives on.

Everybody gets their own happy ending. Rose and Alisha are shown to be quite intimate with each other as they read the Celestial Record.

Canon?

Mikleo is finally reunited with Sorey who is awake after an undetermined amount of years.

Let's give a round of applause for Mikleo finally getting that growth spurt he deserved.

Heldalf is alive too, but he’s starting anew in a different place. Sorey and Mikleo armatize and fly towards the sky and seems excited about exploring the world once again. I do like how he says: “This is the world!” like he did when he first left Elysia. It’s like a continuity nod and the start of a brand new chapter in Sorey’s life.

"This is the world!"

How do I feel about this ending? Honestly, I think it fits well with what the anime has been doing. It’s a bit lackluster considering I was anticipating something a bit more grandiose, but it’s satisfactory for my standards.

In the game, the ending was peaceful, but bittersweet because Sorey comes back from his slumber at least decades—or centuries—after the last battle. Rose and Alisha are most likely gone due to Rose’s grave shown in the epilogue. Sorey comes back and is heavily implied to have been reborn as a seraphim, which means that he would lose all memories of his past life—his childhood, his bond with his friends (and Mikleo), and the trials and tribulations he faced as a Shepherd—and becomes a different person. It’s bittersweet because he has to form all of his previous bonds again as a different person. Though the game ending was a bit similar in atmosphere to the anime because of the ‘the-start-of-a-new-chapter-in-Sorey’s-life’ type of ending. At least the anime took out the bittersweet portion and made Sorey come back as himself.

Though, the only thing I didn’t really like was all the questions I got from this episode. If Sorey is still the Shepherd, why is there a new Shepherd? Why does the new Shepherd have a hairstyle similar to Velvet? The ending is nice, but there just seems to be more questions in the end. Well, that is what video game to anime adaptations always does, so I’m not surprised.

Does this mean we're getting new Zestiria/Beseria content?

For my thoughts on the anime as a whole, I honestly think Season 1 was a bit enjoyable than Season 2, but that’s just because Season 2 was full on anime original. Season 2 was still enjoyable because of its unpredictability, so I liked that aspect of it. Both had their pros and cons. I’m not going to list them because it would take forever for me to do so.

The anime as a whole isn’t bad, but it would probably take a lot of patience to watch it because there are people out there who will give this anime flack for not sticking to the original content. It’s also really slow-paced, so I recommend that it should be binge-watched.

If I were to name one of the anime’s flaws, it would be the lack of focus on Sorey. Zestiria is his story, but he doesn’t get a lot of focus. The anime really likes to focus a lot on Alisha and/or Rose (and probably Velvet). It’s nice to give her the spotlight, but it’s too much when I remember Alisha’s scenes more than Sorey’s. When he does get focus, it’s for something that’s highly improbable like purifying the dragon that was said to be impossible or trying to stop Rose from killing people in order to prevent her from exuding Malevolence. The anime doesn’t even show Sorey’s mother, so an anime-only watcher would most likely wonder about Sorey’s origins. Out of all the flaws, I think this is the one that bothered me the most.

Did I like the fact that this anime transcends the original Zestiria by adding Berseria content? Well, it helped answer some questions regarding their connection, but I think Ufotable didn’t do a great job balancing it. If this had more episodes, then it would’ve been more fleshed out. That’s my opinion, though.

Anyways, I enjoyed reviewing this anime a lot. There are better Tales adaptations out there, but this one is still enjoyable in its own way. I recommend playing the game first before jumping into the anime or first-time viewers will get lost.

Tales of Zestiria the X
Tales of Zestiria the XThe Tales of Zestiria the X anime (read as "the Cross") is a TV series adaptation of Tales of Zestiria that was first announced during Tales of Festival 2015 as the "Tales of 20th Anniversary Animation". The animation is done by ufotable. The first season aired during Summer 2016, with a second season confirmed for 2017. Its tagline is "The Journeys of the Shepherd go beyond Zestiria," and shows hints of connections with Tales of Berseria

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About Grace 9 Articles
Grace is an aspiring novelist currently rewriting her novel for the umpteenth time. When not writing or playing Tales games, she stares at her laptop for hours, ruining her eyes in the process, and watching anime and Let's plays. She is also VERY scatterbrained.
Contact: Website
  • boi stian

    actually, rose was luke's long lost sister

    • Simon Low

      Exactly. And Eleanor is actually part of the family too. (you know, both can use "lost fon drive" XD)

  • Leonardo César Fonseca

    Eizen is alive? NICE!
    Also, in the game you MUST fight him or it is optional? Really can't remember...

    • Fran Guerrero

      You fight him but you don´t defeat him, when Edna is about to join you. Fighting him again is optional if I´m not wrong.

      • Leonardo César Fonseca

        I see! Thanks! It's nice if he can survive. After playing Berseria, it's difficult to see him die.

        • Simon Low

          You can fight him again in Zestiria near end game. A sidequest will open up after you sleep at the inn and watched a certain skit... Sorey will say that he decided how to deal with Eizen. Andd Zaveid will mention something about fulfilling his promise.
          Here is outcome after the battle with Eizen, (just putting it in case if you want to see) Eizen dies

          • Leonardo César Fonseca

            Thanks. But you know if this is optional?

          • Simon Low

            Yes. Like I said, it is a sidequest. In other words, it is optional.

  • Fran Guerrero

    What called my attention are those weird buildings when Sorey say "This is the world".
    Rose here proves to be Luke´s and Tear lost child xD

  • earth_worm_jim

    I think that TOZX's problem with implementing Berseria is that there was simply too much of Hyland and Alisha for Berseria to be properly implemented. The thing about Beseria and Zestiria and the entire world building as a whole is that Hyland is really, really, REALLY irrelevant. In the Zestiria game itself Hyland is barely just 4 hours of the game, most of the game is actually spent in Rolance, and the more you find out about the world, about Sorey and his origins the more you realize that Alisha really doesn't have an impact on the story, she's just kind of, there. Meanwhile the real meat of Berseria involves once again Rolance. Hyland doesn't have any real narrative significance in either game. Hell even Zestiria's main villain is from Rolance. This means that in order to properly explore the story and have both games cross over in a relatively natural way you'd have to first have the party move to a place that is narratively significant for both games. This means that we'd have of get out of Hyland as quickly as possible, possibly by episode 4 of the first season, to not only give Zestiria enough time to tell it's own story but also give time to implement Berseria in an actual meaningful way.

    In other words Ufotable's idea to cross over Zestiria and Berseria could have only worked if they dropped Hyland and therefore Alisha as quickly as possible. Out of everyone in the party Alisha is really the only character without any connections to Berseria, and she's also not important to Sorey's tale either, Sorey doesn't learn anything from her, he doesn't need her either, not only that but Alisha also has no real connection to Sorey's story either. She really is just a side character. Ufotable forcing Alisha in the spotlight just made her a nuisance to Sorey's story, Sorey's story could not not be told because the story was wasting too much time with something that was unconnected to it.

    Besides that there's someting that bothers me about Sorey's "solution", Hedalf is still cursed, even though he's now human he'll just end up turning back into the Lord of Calamity anyway, because the curse makes him incapable of having people by his side. The anime was trying to be more positive but ends up feeling fake, not just because their achievements are unearned but also because the gapping plot holes created by Ufotable attempting to erase any hardships that the characters would have gone through so that everything can be sunshine and rainbows at the end.

    Don't get me wrong, I love happy endings, I specifically prefer Brotherhood, and the FMA manga simply because the ending is happy. But with this anime I prefer the game's ending, not just because the game's final battle was better (the anime's battle was just embarrassingly bad) but also because the characters ultimately earned their happy end.

    • Um...

      I think you're complaining a bit too much there.

      • earth_worm_jim

        Do you expect me to just ignore the gaping wide problems with this anime? Tales of Zestiira the X is not a good show, it'd be one thing if it followed the game and shared it's problems, but it doesn't so I look at it as it's own thing, and it's just not a good anime.

        It's reasonable for me to point out that the anime failed to do what it set out to do and that's implement Berseria into Zestiria. It'd be one thing if it failed to do so, because it was the two stories really aren't connected, but in this case it as haphazard because the time that could have been spent on implementing it was wasted on pandering.

    • Simon Low

      I agree very much. Every important aspects in the story takes place in Rolance. But how about this idea of mine. Since they are going to anime route, how about just leave Hyland as early as possible and bring Alisha alongside so that she will gain more spotlight that she deserved.

      • earth_worm_jim

        But then why would a princess with no polticial backing travel to an enemy nation during a war? Especially when said princess is still trying to convince her country to sit down and begin peace talks.

        Alisha just really doesn't make sense as a party member which is why she doesn't stay one.

        • Simon Low

          Yeah, therefore, they have to somehow change the plot a bit for it to make sense. Maybe the first season could skip the war, and somehow create a a situation that would give a reason for Alisha to "Retreat" with Sorey temporarily before she is ready to return to Hyland. And in the second season, they could include the war and also the dragon Tiamat like in the game.

          • earth_worm_jim

            But then if you don't have the war as a motivator then Alisha's character itself becomes pointless, because the war is the sole reason her character exists in the narrativen, and makes her presence in the party simply there because she wants to play around which would be at odds with the motivations of the rest of the party.

            Besides that it's not the war sequence in Glaveind Basin that creates problem with Alisha being in the party. The problem with Alisha being a party member can be summed up into one word, obligation.

            Alisha's obligation is first and foremost to her country, running around with Sorey will not satisfy that obligation, also in order to change the minds of the nobles in Hyland she's required to actually be in Hyland. However, Hyland is really irrelevant to Sorey's journey and on top of that Sorey has zero obligation to Hyland as well, so he has no reason to put aside his own duties to make repeat stops in Hyland just so that Alisha can tick another box in her side quest, and that's not ignoring the fact that Sorey is trying to avoid getting into politics, which the world building agrees is a bad idea.

            It's not the plot that makes Alisha incompatible as a party but rather the very ideas behind her character. Sorey and Alisha's goals and duties are incompatible. Sorey's goals and duties require him to not be tied down but for Alisha it's the opposite.

            I think that people have this misconception of Alisha, they think that she's like Natalia, but really isn't. If anything she's more like Larsa from FFXII. The thing about the TOA group is that they were ambassadors so it made sense for Natalia to travel with them. But Sorey group isn't this, what Sorey is a traveling monk.

          • Cookie

            I'm trying to stay away from discussions like this, but just going to add this here: I agree. It's wrong to think the Zestiria group is like the Abyss/Vesperia groups for starters. Luke was from the royal family, it was his duty to go along with Natalia. Estelle didn't have an objective that tied her to her country. Sorey, on another note, is said to him very clearly that he shouldn't take any sides because the Shepherd is a respected force and if he takes sides the war can get worse.

            Besides, if he did join the war, Lailah said his actions would go against his natural judgement and malevolence would take him over. What the anime did changed the basic story, and also changed the characters' personalities and motivations. Sure, it's an adaptation, but I saw many fans of the game (they do exist, as much as some vocal people would like to say otherwise) saying that they couldn't recognize the characters anymore. It's like that meme on twitter that says "X is dead and was replaced by a look-alike"...

          • earth_worm_jim

            It actually was brought up in the first season that Sorey can't take sides conflict, as it would just cause more trouble, but the plot line was dropped for season 2, just like the plot line a about Sorey being effected by malevolence and the Lord of the land plots which were also set up in season 1.

          • Cookie

            Yeah, it's because of this that I said in my other comment up there that the second season was just.... weird.

  • Cookie

    This review is only my opinion and it's probably really unpopular, but I'm going to be honest, I didn't like the anime. However, this is mostly for the second season. The first season was pretty good, even if they changed many things. The episode with Edna's introduction was BEAUTIFUL. I also liked how they made Alisha and Rose be more friendly with each other and the animation was gorgeous. However, I played both Zestiria and Berseria, and while both of them had their problems in writing, the anime did a poor job at making a crossover. They only added some scenes with Velvet, but for me it was almost as if it was there only to show that Velvet existed. But we didn't have too much connection besides the anime-only plotline of Magilou. They could talk about the story in Heavenly Steppes, give us more of Maotelus and the other lords and other options, but they just choose to give small scenes. And they weren't afraid of putting spoilers there since they talked about endgame scenes for Berseria, so I wonder what they even thought about the word 'crossover'. Anyway, this was only a small problem that I found.

    I think my biggest problem with this adaptation was the characters' personalities. They changed a lot. They changed Sorey, Rose, Alisha, Dezel... and the other seraphim almost didn't talk in the second season. For the people who liked the original characters, that can be really annoying to watch. It bothers me, but I can understand why other people would like this adaptation. I heard we had a group of writers for the first season but only one person was writing the second, so this might explain why some things felt weird.

    In any case, I would recommend playing or watching the two games before watching the anime. It's not a complete bad thing, but it could have been better.

    Thank you very much for your reviews! I think the hairstyle being similar to Velvet is only a coincidence. Also, I know the anime didn't follow the lore of the game, but it is possible to have more than one Shepherd at the same time. The Iris Gems showed us Lailah with a group of them.

    I think we can decide how much time Sorey had to purify Heldalf there. We don't see Alisha or Rose after Mikleo in the epilogue, so I guess it's open to interpretation?