Tales of Zestiria the X 2nd Season Review - May the Shepherd Guide His Flock

May the Shepherd Guide His Flock

  • Episodes : 13
  • Genre : Action, Adventure, Fantasy
  • Airing Date : Jan,2017 – Apr, 2017
  • Studios : Ufotable

Contains Spoilers


Tales of Zestiria the X 2nd Season Introduction and Story (Spoilers)

After the events of the Glaivend Basin battle, Soray (the Shepherd) and company continue their journey to rid the world of malevolence. Meanwhile, Sergei Strelka is ordered to hunt down the Shepherd with his platinum knights. Upon finding the Shepherd, Sergei realizes that Soray had his reasons for crossing the battlefield. Just when Sergei starts to calm down, Rose starts acting really weird, and seems to have an ulterior motive. Meanwhile, Princess Alisha is still considered a traitor by her own people, and is continuously assaulted. Soray starts to notice the malevolence isn't completely gone from Lady Lake. Can Soray make it in time to save Alisha, Lady Lake, and take out the Lord of Calamity?

Soray's journey leads him from one place to another. His dreams of uniting the seraphim, and humans seem dismal. If people can't learn to get along with each other, how can they hope to get along with seraphim? Soray's battles become harder and harder for him to take. The Battle-weary Soray, must find a way to take some of the burden off of himself, or he is certain to die. Rose reveals herself to be the leader of the Scattered Bones, a band of assassins. She wants to become Soray’s 2nd squire, so she can act as a vessel to help purify malevolence. Now, with Soray able to distribute the malevolence efficiently, they are ready to face the final battle.

What We Liked About Tales of Zestiria the X 2nd Season

Many people will recognize Tales of Zestiria as a role playing game that was released in 2015. Those who have played the game know that it has smooth animation, great voice acting, and an awesome musical score, we love those things. With that said, regardless of whether you've played the game or not, the show is most definitely a spectacle for the senses. Tales of Zestiria the X Season 2 is just as well done as the first season, in terms of animation. It's also a bit better than season 1 regarding character development.

Characters like Rose, will now have more of a prominent role, instead of just being a side character. Season 2 is also a few shades darker than season 1, because everything is coming to a climax in the story. It explores complicated questions and themes. Can someone still be redeemed if they hate someone enough to kill? Can the malevolence inside of people truly be quelled, or does humanity need it to survive? Season 2 makes you put on your thinking cap, while it bombards you with philosophy. We think it's cool that the audience gets to be involved in such thought.

Watching season 2 also makes it very clear that Tales of Berseria takes place many years before the events of Zestiria (very cool). There is a direct connection between the two stories, and how Velvet (the main character in Berseria) was involved in shaping Zestiria's current world. If you're one of those people that like to play games and watch things chronologically, watch/play Tales of Berseria first. While you don't have to watch it that way, things may make a bit more sense later in Zestiria, when they talk about Velvet. We live in a world that loves to make prequels! Even though Tales of Zestiria was released first, Berseria (the prequel) provides an added background for it.

Discussion Time

After watching season 2, it's safe to say that there is far more action than season 1, and that's a good thing. We get to see more explosions, fights, and pretty light-shows! Soray is back and everyone has grown in character since the first season's defining battle at Glaivend. The story, however, is nothing new. It explores things like humanity needing to be saved from their evil desires.

The characters are full of personality, and even the background characters help fill this world with life! Some characters have even been brought to the front of the line as main characters since season 1. In fact, there are so many main characters it may actually make your head spin. According to “myanimelist.net” there are 7 main characters now in the second season. With that said, the number of characters in general may become too much for some people to follow. Tales of Zestiria makes up for its flaws, however, and manages to create some of the best fight scenes we've ever seen in anime. Some of the production values are remarkably high!

Why You Should Watch Tales of Zestiria the X 2nd Season

Tales of Zestiria provides the viewers with a grandiose setting, and each set piece has it's own soundtrack. Though Season 2 is darker, the landscapes still remain very charming and calming. The fight scenes become an enormous fireworks show, and a visceral feast for the soul. Fight sequences done this well in anime, are seldom seen. Ufotable has done an outstanding job! When Lailah charges up a fireball, Dezel creates a tornado, or Soray performs “armatization” and fights, we are treated with a visual feast. We've found it nearly impossible to look away from the pretty glowing fights in Zestiria.

The “Tales of” series is a long running series of games. Its popularity has spawned many well-known titles to date, and is in league with franchises like Final Fantasy. Fans of the Tales series will no doubt love the work that was put into the show. So, if you're a fan, and somehow haven't checked this show out, do it now! You've got to love the concept of Soray and his squires being the only ones who can really see the seraphim. The fact that they're the only ones who can see them forces his other friends to have faith in forces they cannot see. But when Soray's friends see the changes in the world after he expels malevolence from a place, it's hard not to believe.

Soray's relationships with his friends are mostly all heartwarming. Mikleo, a water seraphim and Soray's childhood friend, have a brotherly bond. Rose, Princess Alisha, Lailah, Enda, Zaveid, and many more, are also friends with Soray! We don't think we've seen a protagonist this well liked in a story before (outside of harem anime). Soray is a likable guy and carries an extremely heavy burden. Soray's destiny seems dire, but with this much support, how can you fail? Some of us wish we had that many friends!

1. Armitization and spells

One of the best things about the show, hands down, is the ability to merge with the seraphim and create the “armatus”. Each seraphim has an element like earth, wind, fire, and water. When they merge with Soray, they create a hybrid form that is a feast to the eyes. Depending on who he decides to merge with, “armitization”, will grant him various abilities. When the characters aren't merged, they cast spells. Lailah, in particular, casts a fireball in the 2nd season that sets our eye candy explosion standard very high. Dezel can create some seriously awesome tornadoes too.

2. Beautiful landscapes

It may be true that some of the landscapes in this show are meant to be destroyed, it's almost a shame. Each landscape is beautifully crafted, and full of life! When you watch certain shows, they fail to take you to another world because all that seems to exist are the main characters. Tales of Zestiria doesn't have that issue, and everything from the wide-open spaces, starry nights, and backdrops of towns scream “explore me”. It makes us want to pick up the game again and run through those fields and towns!

3. Smart Characters

The character development is way better in season 2! I suppose when you're characters aren't written like they can't see the obvious, they can make smart choices, and become main characters! Rose starts as a supporting character in season 1, and ends up in a main role for season 2. Several supporting characters have larger roles. Based off of the evidence at hand, some make choices to disobey orders. Sergei is a good example of this. He is sent out to capture Soray, and you think he's just going to be this dumb guy who follows orders no matter what. Sergei, instead, is able to discern that he was sent on a mission to try and stop the world’s best hope, and joins with Soray.

Why You Should Skip Tales of Zestiria the X 2nd Season

There could be many reasons why someone wouldn’t like something. We do like Tales of Zestiria, but it isn't without its flaws. Some parts of the story drag a lot, it seems like a large advertisement for two of the “Tales” games, and in reality, probably is. It worked on some of us, though, because we bought both Zestiria, and Berseria games (they're fun). The 2nd season has a lot going on, and for people who are first time viewers, it can be confusing.

The characters are beautifully designed and written. Rose and Sergei go from side characters to being more relevant in the story. There is a sense of impending doom in Zestiria, and people must put old conflicts aside if they wish to save the world. After killing a Bishop, Rose is faced with the truth that killing someone she hates won't heal wounds of the past. Rose then turns to Soray for answers, and eventually joins him as his second squire. Sergei realizes that his orders to capture Soray are ripe with conspiracy, and doesn't follow through. They deal with some pretty complicated circumstances. However, the main story is over-saturated with side stories.

1. You've already played the game

Tales of Zestiria the X is extremely faithful to the game, and pretty much follows the game verbatim. Those who have played the game already know what the anime is all about, and vice versa. So, while the second season continues the beautiful standard that made the previous season so entertaining, to some people it's nothing new. You may still find the show entertaining and have played the game, however, we know people who would pass it up because of that.

2. The plot isn't anything new

Now let’s be honest with the plot, the whole “people need a savior” concept has been done before. There are some major contrasts between the Shepherd, and certain religious figures. Season two explores the sacrifice and resurrection concepts a tad bit more. Some of us can't help but feel like we've experienced this story elsewhere. Getting rid of the hate and malevolence inside of people is also a stark contrast to sin. People who are bored of these types of stories may not find much here. While it's nothing new, the story is still pitched well enough to keep it from being too boring.

3. Too many characters

With 7 main characters, and even more supporting characters, season 2 can be a bit hard to follow for some people. Character development was better, but there are too many cooks in the kitchen. We had friends over watching the show with us. People confused the story of Dezel and Zaveid. They also forgot what Edna was around for (poor Edna). When it came down to villains like Bartlow, people just gave up figuring out who he was and rooted for Alisha. People also seemed to forget about Alisha's father (the king). With so many things to follow, it can seem like a daunting task to get to know the characters, and that isn't good for newcomers. The many stories may have worked for the game, but sometimes didn't translate as well for the show.


Final Thoughts

We enjoyed Tales of Zestiria the X as a whole, and the 2nd season brings it to a fitting conclusion. It really was a joy to watch, and no matter how confusing it was to follow for our friends, they were never bored. It's just a wonderful barrage of eye candy! We're sure that there are people out there who have no trouble following the character story arcs, and have never touched the game! Soray and his band of traveling friends are out to save the world, that's all you really need to know about the characters. Like we've said before, it isn't without flaws, but really, what is? Sit back, and enjoy the colorful explosions!

What did you think about our review? Did you have any additional input you would like to add? We would love to hear from you below!

Samuel Mackey

Writer

Author: Samuel Mackey

I was born in Colorado Springs. I found myself around friends who liked to play video games and watch anime. The first anime I saw was 'The Slayers' original TV series on VHS. I will be going for a bachelor's degree in 'Health Information Management' starting August 1, 2017. Recently, I moved to Washington State and I am in a town that has less than 2000 people.

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