Tales of Zestiria the X Episodes 16-17 Review

Well, if you’re wondering when these reviews come out, I’ll try to do these weekly.

 

Contains spoilers for the game and minor Berseria spoilers.

Episode 16 starts off with Sorey noticing a lit room. It’s Rose’s room and she’s currently lost in thought before Eguille knocks and comes into her room. Eguille then tells her about them finding the location of Prince Konan. Rose’s eyes protrude in shock as Eguille tells her that their time of revenge draws near.

I remember when I first watched this episode, I gasped because it answered two of my questions that I had about Rose’s backstory when I played the game:

  1. Was Prince Konan actually dead?
  2. Why was Rose betrothed to him?

Did the anime answer my questions perfectly? Yes, in a way. There were a lot of mysteries regarding Rose’s backstory, but the anime finally addressed them.

The answer to the second question is said in both episodes. She was betrothed to Konan as some sort of deal between him and Brad. This also pegs the question: Why? Why would Brad give Rose to Konan? I know that some might say that he wanted Rose to live a better life if she were to be married to a prince, but I think that Brad isn’t as ‘good’ as Rose and Dezel perceive him to be.

She looks really nice in that dress.

He has good ideals with the way Dezel described him back in episode 15, but the Windriders’ creed was “Forget unreachable ideals, get justice that’s within sight.” Since he was a fan of the underdog, it’s obvious that’s the creed the Scattered Bones use when killing.

Be prepared to hear this line multiple times throughout these two episodes.

The answer to the first question is shown in episode 16 where Eguille tells Rose about Konan’s location. I always wondered if he was actually dead because him dying wasn’t actually shown. In episode 16, he is the one responsible for distributing the fake elixir to people. I don’t remember if the culprit of the elixir was mentioned in the game, but I think it’s a nice touch?

May Maotelus inflict his wrath upon you.

Episode 17 gives us so much of Rose’s backstory.

Her village was raided and destroyed by bandits. She was the only survivor. They were about to abduct her and use her for sex trafficking until Brad and the Windriders saved her. Rose, without a home to return to, decided to stay with Brad. With Brad, she learned how to wield knives and eventually learned how to kill as Dezel explains in episode 16. Many years later, Konan decides to ask the Windriders for their help in a war. Brad seals the deal by offering Rose to him for marriage. After Konan wins, he betrays them. Many Windriders died; Brad was among one of them. Because he died, Rose took on his will and became the leader of the newly formed Scattered Bones and Sparrowfeathers (or as Dezel states in episode 17, she becomes his 'puppet' of sorts).  She continuously killed, believing she was right, until she met Sorey; after failing to kill Konan, she realizes the errors of her ways.

What Rose and Brad's life once was.

I think it’s a sad transition from “This is what I’ve done my whole life, so what I’m doing is right” to “Oh my goodness, I’ve been wrong this whole time.” The dialogue between Rose and Sorey at the end of episode 17 show that transition perfectly. Also, I loved how Rose is finally wavering in her convictions when she never did so in the game.

I think the names for the guilds fit perfectly with the leaders.

For Windriders, Brad was like the wind, appearing like a sudden breeze and Rose flew with it like a sparrow. For Sparrowfeathers, Rose is like a sparrow. I looked up the symbolic meaning of a sparrow, and all of them fit Rose perfectly. Sparrows move in clusters; Rose move with her cluster—her merchant/assassin group. Sparrows are vigilant in their goals; Rose is the same. Sparrows also represent inclusion and partnership, which Rose does in the first season where she includes herself into Alisha’s battle to stop the war. This also fits with her inclusion and partnership with Sorey now that she’s ultimately his ally.

These two episodes also show the similarities and differences between Sorey and Rose. If you played the game, Sorey’s backstory is quite similar to Rose’s. He lost his home (he wasn’t even born when it was destroyed and his mother, Selene, died while he was still in her womb) and was one of the only survivors alongside Mikleo and his mother, Muse. They both lost their homes, but found a new place to call home.

Sorey and Rose both care about their ideals, but they have a different way of showing it. Sorey’s pacifistic ideals clashes with Rose’s violent ones. He believes people should be saved and not be killed while Rose believes bad people should be killed because they deserve to die.

The strong differences between the two are their beliefs. Sorey knows about malevolence, so he’s trying to prevent things from transitioning into bad to worse. Rose doesn’t care about that. It’s evident that she doesn’t believe in seraphim, despite having a strong resonance to hear them.

I think that episode 17 thoroughly explains why Rose hasn’t turned into a hellion despite killing so many people throughout her life. Sorey tells her that people reject the malevolence inside them because they don’t believe such a thing exists or that they reject the ‘bad’ in their hearts. Rose, despite rejecting the whole concept of malevolence and seraphim mumbo-jumbo, knows she’s doing a bad thing and accepts it. That’s why she’s a pure-hearted assassin. She knows killing is wrong and that she believes she’s right—she accepts that fact. It’s like Sorey who knows that there are things he can and can’t do and accepts that fact.

She knows that what she is doing is wrong, but stops her negativity with the fact that she’s doing it for the greater good. Even Sorey says that suppressing those feelings and turning them into pure intentions must’ve been hard for her.

It was hard for me to understand Rose when I played the game, so the anime does a good job helping me understand her more.

Overall, I think these two episodes did a wonderful job of expanding on Rose’s character that the game failed to do due to her abrupt inclusion into the party.

Hey, it's like the ending of Season 1!

Now for minor things that I liked and made me speculate things.

If Konan is the prince of Rolance, then is he descended from Percival and the Asgard family? If so, I feel bad for Prince Percival for having such a shit descendant. Then again, he could be a descendant of one of Percival’s siblings because the Asgard family (minus Percival) is described to be horrible people. I feel bad for him regardless.

Konan

I think the conflicts in Rolance, or the people that show up, are quite similar to Hyland. Konan is like Bartlow in the sense that they are corrupt political figures willing to dispose anyone. Gouldman (ponytail dude) is a bit like Landon, but less corrupt and arrogant. Sergei is somewhat of a Rolance version of Alisha. Gouldman doesn’t care much for wars, and only cares about victory, which is something Sergei opposes because he believes in dignified victories. Pendrago has never-ending rain like how Marlind has a decaying village full of terrible weather.

The guy on the right is Gouldman.

Episode 16 also gives Mikleo and Edna a bit more focus….well, more Edna than Mikleo. Edna tells Dezel that no one deserves to die in episode 16. I think that Edna, who is a bit jaded but still hopeful regarding Eizen and purification, has some development with that line alone. At first, she’s a bit cynical regarding Sorey and his idealism, but it’s good to know that she adheres to his ideals as well.

The advantages of being a seraph: eavesdropping whenever you please.

I like how the telepathy mentioned in the previous episodes also applies to seraphim and Shepherd and not just squire and Shepherd.

What I don’t like is that Mikleo doesn’t have much characterization aside from being loyal to Sorey. He’s just sort of a yes-man to him and it kind of frustrates me. In the games, he serves as a balance to Sorey’s energetic self by being calm and collected. Here…he’s just “I’m Mikleo and I say “Sorey” at least five times in each episode!” Ufotable, why do you do this to Mikleo?

Aside from the negativity I have with Mikleo’s characterization, another thing I like in these two episodes is that the seraphim have more interaction with each other. I feel as if the seraphim only interact with Sorey as of recently. In Season 1 episode 7, there was a nice conversation between Mikleo and Lailah, but that’s it. Season 2 gives us more seraphim interaction and it makes me happy to see what they are like without Sorey. Since all of the seraphim have different personalities, it’s nice to see how they interact with each other.

The four seraphim having a conversation

Episode 16 shows that Dezel doesn’t have any negativity towards Mikleo and Edna but they do not see the same view. Dezel is also quick to tell Mikleo and Edna about Rose’s assassination mission even though he knows that they’re going to report this to Sorey. It shows that Dezel isn’t a bad person, or someone who is willing to hide crucial information from someone who needs it.

Dezel's not that bad.

Episode 17 affirms it. All four seraphim are pretty friendly towards each other. They talk without holding any negativity. (Also, this episode confirms that yes, Dezel is using Rose as a vessel).

Dezel and Edna’s belief of who should and shouldn’t die parallels Rose and Sorey respectively. I think that human ideals also affect seraphim in a way, but that’s probably just my imagination.

What do I expect in future episodes? Well, for one, the wind armatization. There are two wind seraphs. Ufotable has yet to show the wind armatus. I think it’ll be like the game mechanics where you can switch your seraphim when necessary? Or will Rose just armatize with Dezel and Sorey will armatize with Zaveid?

Also, more Berseria exposition. Velvet is in the opening, so there should be incoming Berseria exposition. I just hope they don’t shove it in the final episode.

I also want more Sparrowfeathers to talk. We only get Eguille and Felice speaking throughout this whole season. (Fun fact: Felice and Eleanor share the same seiyuu, Ami Koshimizu) I know they’re minor characters, but still! Let Rosch and Talfryn speak once or twice!

Also, the music is really nice. I loved the calm yet somber music that’s playing when the seraphim talk in the rain and also the music playing when Sorey and the Sparrowfeathers are running through the forest.

One last thing: do I like game!Rose more or anime!Rose? It’s still both, though the anime has helped me appreciate her in the game a lot more now (I still have sour memories of wasting at least five life bottles in each battle for Rose because she dies every five seconds; once, I almost wasted my whole stash just to revive Rose until I decided “Just let her armatize, so she can be instantly resurrected.”).

(Also, both preview skits are funny. Mikleo and Sorey are making ice cream and not wanting to eat it in the end and the one where Dezel reads the wind is funny and a nice callback to the victory quote where they all talk about Dezel reading the wind)

It's unfortunate that this never happened.
Sorey and Mikleo were like "So cool!"

That’s all for this review. I hope you enjoyed it!

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.
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  • Simon Low

    In the game, the story about the distribution of the fake elixir is bit different. In the game, the missing Rolance Pope was the one who distributed the fake Elixir. The Fake Elixir contains high addictive Vermillion ore, which are mined in Gododdin. The pope wanted to thank the civilians living there and gave them a way to do business eventhough the method is bad.

    • Ah, I remember now! Thank you very much!