“But moving past what happened isn’t a sin. I want you to remember that.”
This review contains spoilers for Berseria and Legendia.
I think this is the first main story chapter that I have a lot of gripes about. I usually have gripes with side stories or event stories, but this is the first time I’ve felt conflicted with a main story chapter. I don’t hate it; it’s an interesting take on the story, but there are many aspects I just don’t really vibe with.
I’m not a big fan of how the story tries to humanize Cody. I know that whether he is humanized is up to the player, but I just don’t really like how Kanata starts feeling guilty over killing his father because someone had loved him like he once did, especially if that someone is a sister he had no idea existed until now. Like with how Penelope’s mom got humanized last chapter despite being a physical abuser, I don’t understand why the writers are trying to do this. Why paint abusive and horrible parents as good just because someone loved them? That’s no excuse to hit them or to sell children that aren’t your own.
And then there’s the encounter with the twins. It’s obvious from the get-go that they are strangers. Kanata and the others should be more wary of them. Kanata even wondered if they should conceal their identity, which they all agree, but they all talk in a way that the twins could easily eavesdrop on them. It’s obvious they already knew who they were, but to keep blabbing on about them being transgressors, guilt, sins, and Sonia when they are in the vicinity was poor writing. I was frustrating with the last portions of the chapter. I was vehemently yelling for them to stop blabbing because the twins were suspicious and they just backstab them and take Sonia away. Speaking of which, WHERE WERE THE DAMN VILLAGERS? STRANGE MEN ARE KIDNAPPING A LITTLE GIRL AND NO ONE IS DOING ANYTHING! WHAT IS THIS?
Sonia’s inclusion to the story felt sudden, but I welcome it. It gives Kanata a conflict that he thought he would never think about until now. The revelation to her being Kanata’s younger sister was also quite shocking, but it was obvious due to their similar appearances. The only question I have is if Sonia is Kanata’s only sibling or if there are more. Gosh, I hope there aren’t more. I also find it strange that Cody kept their identities a secret until now. Why did he never say anything about Kanata having siblings? Is there a deeper meaning behind this? Did Cody really love Sonia or was he just wearing a mask? If there are more siblings out there, did Cody act the same towards them? Remember that Cody was gentle to Kanata before the big twist happened—almost as gentle as he was to Sonia (in her perspective). Sonia’s situation was also like Kanata’s, where she was left in a place to be raised without him. This brings up more questions regarding Cody. Just what was he doing by leaving his kids all alone?
This also gives Kanata a rather intriguing development. He had already resolved to destroy the Vision Orb system and to not let people be condemned anymore. He always thought about the things around him, but never about his own actions. This chapter showed an important factor in Kanata’s character: his lack of empathy. I’m not saying that it’s a good thing; it’s actually a flaw he has. With the way he’s telling Velvet to not kill Milla due to the “revenge is bad” reason, he actually doesn’t truly understand her or what it really means to live with guilt. He never felt guilty for killing people he deemed evil until he realized that it could have affected someone’s life more than he had realized. It’s best shown during his discussions with Misella, Yuna and Aegis back around section 4 and then with Velvet and Misella during section 10. In section 4, Kanata’s discussion with his friends about Velvet’s past makes it seem like he actually doesn’t understand what she’s going through; this was before finding out Sonia is his sister. Yuna and Aegis were able to come to a conclusion on why Velvet is looking for incarnations despite her ire against Milla while Kanata could only come up with emotional responses. He gave out emotional responses again after his revelation as a murderer, but Velvet snaps back at him with how he’s unable to truly comprehend he had done despite being nice about her grief. Kanata’s kind, yes, but kindness isn’t a factor to alleviate your misdeeds. This chapter and this arc is helping Kanata be more understanding of the consequences of his actions. I hope it's a positive development.
Velvet’s backstory in this universe is like an abridged version of her backstory in Berseria but it doesn’t involve Artorius. In fact, is Artorius even her brother-in-law in this universe? Anyways, unlike Berseria, Milla is the one that kills Laphicet (Laphi) and the one that cuts off Velvet’s arm. Because Milla has to destroy incarnations as her goal, Velvet decides to do the same so that killing her would be faster. To be honest, this backstory is just…confusing. I don’t know why Crestoria is making Milla be a villain to Velvet. I mean, I get that Milla has the dutiful persona, but it seems very extreme in this sense. I also don’t really understand why there’s so much emphasis on Velvet wanting to kill Milla when it’s not going to happen in the end. I know that Yuna already explained it with how Velvet just wants someone to blame for the ordeal, but it seems very convoluted when thinking about it as a whole. However, I understand that this was written in a way to make both of them have significance in the story, but I am just not buying the execution. It could’ve been better, and I have to deal with that.
My favorite portion of the chapter has to be Senel’s interaction with Velvet. He tells her a very important life lesson: moving past what happened is never a bad thing and no one will ever blame you for doing so. Remember that he’s seventeen years old while Velvet’s nineteen. Wisdom doesn’t apply age-wise in this universe as long as you have experience and empathy. In fact, Senel’s entire screentime was a merit. He helped Kanata and the others reach the second continent and escorted them to the nearby village. He also empathizes with Velvet and gives her advice because he knows what it’s like having a sibling. Although he and Shirley aren’t blood related (RIP Stella, you’re dead once again), he understands that if Shirley died the same way as Laphi, he too would behave the same way. I may be a bit biased, but since Senel is one of my favorite Tales characters, I really liked his portrayal here.
Rita is the only person who manages to decipher the Vision Orb’s system. It makes me wonder if the Vision Orbs are man-made. Speaking of which, how are these things manifested into the world? Are people born with it or does it manifest after a person’s birth? But given that incarnations had existed before Vision Orbs came to be means that Vision Orbs had to be created at some point. When were they created? How did Kasque create them? There are a lot of questions about these things and they aren’t going to be answered anytime soon.
Regarding the party, I do think that Vicious is doing a somewhat good job on giving Kanata advice on how to move past his sins. Kanata can’t appease everyone, and he has to deal with that. Vicious doesn’t care if people hate him; he just does what he does because he wants to. Yuna and Aegis take a backseat in this chapter, but I did like how they have a good discussion on Velvet’s backstory and make assumptions on her true motives. I also like how Yuna was the one that made Velvet talk when she is usually so secretive about herself. It shows that they have more awareness than Kanata when it comes to understanding guilt.
Misella is the one character I’m worried about, honestly. She’s not utilized well in the story other than being comic relief and the Kanata stan. She always says that she wants to protect Kanata’s righteousness, but she never takes action upon her declarations. Although she was a factor for Kanata to kill Cody and she had killed Nash’s sister, this chapter is mainly focusing on Kanata’s guilt and not much on Misella. I hope she gets a prominent arc in the story because the more she appears, the less I like her and I don’t want that.
Ivis is mentioned in this chapter as the person who took care of Sonia, but is away right now. Just what sort of person is Ivis? Why is Sonia always abandoned?
Forte and Assid first appeared in Chapter 3 as collaborators of King Gadel. They get more screentime here, with their names finally revealed. It's obvious from the start that they are suspicious, but I do like how they have different personalities, moles and hairstyles to how that they have their own distinction other than being the resident evil twin villain trope used in JRPGs. I feel kind of bad for Assid though. That's an unfortunate name he has. I do wonder if their names were derived from the words fortuitous (happening by accident or chance; often can be used for fortunate happenings) and assiduous (showing great care and perseverance). I think these two have good designs and interesting role in the story as cultists (I assume they are?). They look to be a recurring conflict and I hope that they don't die next chapter; it's a waste to off them now.
I wonder what will happen to Sonia now. Will Kanata’s feelings of guilt be concluded next chapter? How long will this arc in the story take? Looking back, I feel like I have less gripes than I initially assumed; that’s a good thing, I assume?