I was in the mood to watch the Eternia anime and it was a wild ride. This is my second time watching it after watching it years ago as a teen.
Please note that all my knowledge of Eternia comes from watching LP’s of the game and watching skit compilations on Youtube. I’m not an expert in Eternia lore and such.
Anyways, I remember watching this anime long ago and I wanted to try rewatching it again and see how it was a second time around. All I can say is that this anime is entertainingly weird. Unlike the other anime adaptations, this one has a completely original story with original conflicts and characters. It’s like the Zestiria anime, but the entire Eternia anime is anime filler in a sense.
(Warning: This review contains spoilers for both anime and game)
This takes place sometime before the group travels to Mt. Farose to travel onto the Bridge of Light to get to Celestia. The group already have three of the Craymels in their possession. Because Reid got kidnapped, the group had to take a detour to where he was taken, Belkanu, a secret island filled with people that look like Celestians but without the Elara. While they decide to stay in the island for the time being, they realize that the island is filled with secrets that they all get caught up in.
The overall plot of this anime is pretty bizarre. None of these make any sense yet. Celestians living in a secluded portion in Inferia? If this was a thing, why wasn’t it a thing in the game? 60% of the episode was dedicated to fun shenanigans the group faces like a beach episode, trying to earn money for a boat, finding a hot spring, etc. 10% was buildup of the plot with instances like Keele and Reid trying to scout ruins for clues. The rest of the 30% was the plot itself.
To be honest, the filler, non-plot related episodes were the best. I loved the comedy. My favorite was the Dark Wings episode—Episode 7. It was nonsensical and had no purpose to the story, but I had a fun time laughing and such.
Out of all the Tales animes, this one is the most anime of them all. We’ve got a beach episode, a hot spring episode, and ecchi moments where Corrina uses her crotch to land on Reid’s face. Yeah, don’t ask. That happened in the first episode. The studio that made this anime was Xebec. They did the To Love-Ru anime, which makes sense (they’re now closed due to bankruptcy).
Honestly, this anime made our four heroes extremely out of character. Reid became a harem protagonist, unwillingly. While he’s still the same personality wise, he’s more lazy and less cynical. I feel like they took one aspect of Reid’s character—the lazy side of him and amped it up to the point that he is seen as a dunce in the anime.
In fact, it seems that Farah inherited all of Reid’s negative qualities shown in the game. She was argumentative and did not want to stay on the island for long as she was more focused on leaving for their journey. She was a super stick-in-the-mud in the early episodes before mellowing out. The fact that she starts having a huge crush on Reid seems out of character too for she was enamored with Ras and her feelings for Reid did not start until they got to Celestia.
Keele got the least amount of screen time of the four, unfortunately. While he does move the plot with his knowledge and such, he’s not such a cynic and a realist like he was in the game. He’s a lot nicer here and not much of a tsundere canonically. I think the weirdest thing about Keele in this anime is the fact that he’s taller than Reid. He’s 174 cm (5’8) while Reid is 178 cm (5’10). Why does Keele look like he’s six feet tall? It’s jarring given that canonically, Keele is very out of shape and is very picky so he shouldn’t even be tall without the proper nutrients. He’s also super underweight at about 112 lbs. How is it even possible for him to be taller than Reid who is healthier in every aspect?
Meredy is still the same cheery girl, but I feel like they infantilized her a lot. She’s also very stupid in terms of combat because she keeps using Undine against sea creatures. Fringing does not apply in this anime, it seems. There are some significance for her regarding her heritage as a Celestian and her friendship with Corrina. Other than that, she’s mainly there to be cute.
It seems like Quickie and the Craymels are the only ones in-character. That’s saying something…
Because this is an original story, there are original characters that go along with the plot. I have a lot to say about them, so let’s go with the most important original character first. I have mixed feelings about Marone Bluecarno. She’s cool. She’s tall. She’s tough. She wields a sword. She can use martial arts. She rides a drake named Barossa (the best character in this anime). She has it all. She was cool at first but when the plot twist of her origins was revealed, she felt like a Mary-sue in a way. What’s the plot twist? She’s half-Celestian. “But Ecarg, how can she be half-Celestian when she doesn’t have an Elara?” Hey, don’t look at me. It just somehow appeared in Episode 11. How she managed to hide it on her forehead was never explained. For being mixed, Marone is strangely pale. Meredy is half-Inferian, so her skin tone is much lighter than pure Celestians, which is normal. I don’t hate her but I wish these plot twists were explained better.
Corrina is also another original character. If I am allowed to be honest in my own review, she’s super annoying. She’s cute and all but she does not really contribute much to the story until later on. When she does become plot relevant, oh boy, it’s very confusing. Apparently, Corrina has the ability to manipulate spirits…and this never gets explained further. Excia finds Corrina on the beach, sees that she has the ability to manipulate spirits and IT NEVER GETS ELABORATED AGAIN! NO ONE EVER MENTIONS THIS AGAIN! THEY JUST GO “OH, CORRINA CAN MANIPULATE SPIRITS” AND THAT’S ABOUT IT. WHAT IS SHE? WHY DOES SHE HAVE THIS POWER? WHAT ABOUT HER ORIGINS???? Oh boy, they did her dirty.
Excia is not as great of a villain as Shizel. I mean, Excia always seemed suspicious from the start and she never really got the spotlight until the last few episodes. The Excia that was mainly seen in the anime turned out to be the vengeful spirit of the real Excia, who is actually a little girl. I feel like Corrina and Excia’s mother and daughter bond was meant to be a foil to Meredy and Shizel’s, but that’s just my assumption. The only cool thing about Excia was that she has the same voice actress as Sailor Moon. Yes, Sailor Moon is the villain in this anime.
Platia and Minima are good side characters, but they are underutilized, sadly.
Animation & OST
The anime style isn’t so bad, but it does look off putting occasionally. The designers also forgot a lot of things with the character designs. Reid has two bangles on each bicep, but the anime only gives him one. Farah’s hair isn’t turquoise as it is shown in the games. Keele is way too tall. Meredy’s skin is a lot darker in some scenes when she’s technically lighter than normal Celestians due to her mixed lineage.
I think Episode 10 was the worst offender in terms of animation quality as the characters’ eyes became a bit too wide in movement. Reid also becomes bit too pale in some scenes.
However, I do give props for making the anime original characters have some unique designs. Marone has a banging design.
The music was alright. The opening and ending songs were catchy as heck, but the soundtrack used in the episodes aren’t as ear-popping.
For Tales fans, I recommend that you watch this anime when you’re bored and have nothing else to watch. It’s not a good anime overall, but it’s entertaining if you just want escapism. If you want to watch a Tales anime and have a good time without worrying too much about story accuracy, this is the right one. It’s a weird anime overall, but it’s entertainingly weird.
If you have watched this anime, let me know your thoughts!