They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Aoi Umi no Tristia, Yuri Seijin Naoko-san, Minori Scramble!, and more!
7: Aoi Umi no Tristia
MAL Score: 5.65
An ocean city, Tristia.
Tristia used to be prospering playing an important role of the maritime trade, and it was as beautiful as to be praised as “marine jewelry”.
However, that was a long time ago.
The attack of the dragons deprived the city of their original brightness. The people in Tristia worked hard to reconstruct their city, but everything they did went wrong, and the city became desolated on the contrary.
At the end of their hope, they asked a Great Artisan for the recovery of the city, Prospero Flanka. Prospero was a legendary inventor who had revived cities that otherwise would have been ruined.
The long-awaited day came when the Great Artisan Prosper arrived in the city… However, it was only one girl who stood at the port of the city. Prospero sent his grand daughter, Nanoka, for him.
The plot for Tristia starts off simple enough, with a domestic Golem (mecha) competition. Yeah it’s what it sounds like, robots doing housework… exciting huh? Of course it soon turns into mecha battles between rivals Nanoca and Panavia. Panavia seems to be bent only because she finishes second in every inventor contest the two of them entered. There is a mysterious man seemingly behind Panavia who is after information about Nanoca’s mecha Tenzan. This might have proved to be an interesting plot element, except for the fact that there is no resolution to it! None, zero. So when the show is over it doesn’t really feel like it ever ended and leaves you with an unsatisfied feeling. Well that is if you could work up enough emotion to care about the story in the first place.
In addition to the bland unfinished story there is unrelated bath scenes, boob jiggle and other examples of pointless service. The action isn’t good enough to be noteworthy either. They aren’t exciting or interesting and the battles between the mechs have a feeling of been there, done that. The script is also pretty silly, with a lot of dialogue that will just make you wince. This could have been the translation, but call it intuition, I suspect it is equally cringe-worthy to native Japanese speakers over the age of 15.
The characters could best be described as bland. They are all stereotypes of personalities everyone has already seen many times over. While the girls are all cutely animated that’s about the most redeeming feature any of them have. We learn almost nothing about any of them, besides a little back story about why Panavia dislikes Nanoca and we get a little of her background mainly in passing. Honestly you will learn more about the characters and the town of Tristia by reading the plot summary than by actually watching the anime.
Animation is good but not great. The characters are cute looking and the backgrounds are pretty good but the fights and action aren’t spectacular. Despite having a couple of respected actresses, I would have to give low marks to all of them. Mostly due to the poor material they had to work with. I found the music, in particular the background sound to be really dreadful and cheesy.
In the end, Aoi Umi no Tristia has few redeeming qualities. There are a few laughs but overall it feels uncompleted and boring. It doesn’t have enough mecha action to appeal to fans of that genre nor is the fan service good or even plentiful enough to attract fans of that. Spend your time with something else.
Well there isn’t much to it, basically it has Nanoca (our young heroine) fighting battle after battle by way of her own huge mecha called Golems which she herself created, and at this point I was instantly reminded of Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh, but with robots! Which honestly, this series is basically a combination of. There really isn’t anything else to comment on about it, basically she must prove her skills as the best of her kind by defeating her rival who challenges her…..and that’s it! It can be said though, that if you love this kind of storyline (what with the one on one monster styled battles)then you will definitely be drawn into the story. I just wish they could have come up with something to give it a bit more distinction from the other titles like this, the Golems themselves just weren’t enough to do so. To be fair though, there were a few scenes in this title that made me think: Hmmmmm, I wonder how she will get out of this pickle? I also feel I should warn some of you that in episode 2, Nanoca and her friends are enjoying their time at the bath house, and the animators may animate their little female bodies a bit too much for some viewers, so just expect there to be a little light nudity.
The creativity that went into the animation is nice, the artwork is pretty good to look at, though no where near as sharp or colorful as other titles out there. But the style of clothing and characters themselves (while some may feel lean more towards the generic side) are well detailed and fun. All the ladies have distinct hair colors, which is good because its pretty much the only way you distinct some of them from each other, since they don’t play much of a part in the over story.
Honestly the only ones I got to really know as far as characters went, was Nanoca and her rival, all other supporting characters would stay in the background, and seemed to only pop up when necessary. Their personalities are fair, but again its the same kind we have seen before. (ie. the main girl who doesn’t have confidence in herself, the out spoken rival etc.) Their not bad, just lack style and substance.
The best part of the title for sure, it really gives you a sense of adventure and sea filled excitement. All done with large orchestral scores that fill the background for most of the two episodes. I swear, I was actually humming along to some parts! The opening and closing theme work well enough, but felt a bit out of place and seemed like they would have worked better with a romance dating title. (which this title contains none of) The character voices themselves were appropriate, but I never got a real thrill from them, as most sounded pretty basic and lacked an over all sense of excitement to them.
Bottom Line: 6/10
Aoi Umi no Tristia was a nice little experiment with the whole seaside theme and Golem style battles, it just never went to any length at being a better title than it could have been. I really wanted to love this series……..I really did. Its an alright watch if your looking for something cute yet action packed to fill your time with. It just doesn’t do any of it in a particularly memorable way. A descent enough watch though.
6: Yuri Seijin Naoko-san
MAL Score: 5.81
Naoko-san is an alien from the planet Yuri, who is plotting to conquer the Earth by yurifying it. Misuzu is a junior high girl and is always troubled by Naoko-san, who lives on the roof of her house. They hear rumors that a molester is wandering around in the area, so they decide to investigate.
Yuri Seijin Naoko-san is an evidence that the legacy of FLCL lives, whether it’s in the high speed gags, whether in the what-the-fuckism that goes along with the episode. The voices are very funny, and I was a little pissed to know that there wouldn’t be any more episodes of this (the stand-alones always depress me).
I truly recommend this to you, although the feeling of emptiness in the end may cut your genitals [spoiler!].
I’ve seen quite a few strange animes like Kanokon and Hen Zemi, but this is one that’s truely… Bizzare. I mean don’t get me wrong: Having a fox girl chasing around a little boy is weird enough, but having a tenticle producing, camra recording, trenchcoat wearing moelster alien chasing around a little boy seems to take the cake.
I mean, good god! This 6 minutes seems to make everyone say “WTF just happened?” It’s so strange and bizzare that you feel like you’ve entered a real-life twilight zone! So much so, that I’m still having a hard time figuring out what just happened.
Here’s what everyone should do: Watch the anime without looking at the sypnosis and form an opinion on it. This is something that can’t just be overlooked just because it’s 6 minutes long. It needs to be watched by as many people possible just so that we can figure out exactly what this anime is.
Is it good, bad, or something so bad it’s good? This anime is something that needs to be identifyed by all of us as an anime loving culture because it feels like there should be a place for it in our culture.
Now we, as a culture, have to decide where that place is and whether it’s a good one, or a bad one.
We open with a quick introduction, Naoki is an alien here to bring yuri to the world. She’s staying with Misuzu and there’s a groper on the loose. From there we get six minutes of hyperactive “comedy.”
That’s the big issue with this OVA. They throw out “jokes” very quickly and energetically, but they aren’t really funny. At best there might be a couple in there that almost get a chuckle but because they’re so keen on moving from one gag to the next and just throwing in as many jokes as possible, there’s no real time to build up the jokes properly or give them good pay offs. I kind of wonder if the manga is one of those four panel strip ones and ufotable just didn’t know how to translate that into an anime properly.
What you get for the characters is a vague schtick. Naoko loves girls and does hijinks. Misuzu is the “straight man” character. The little brother is the butt monkey who takes abuse for our theoretical entertainment. Mizuzu’s friend Hii-chan is the one who gets easily caught up in the craziness. In theory, I could see those character types working in a comedy. They just don’t execute it well with this one.
You might expect a studio to at least make a six minute OVA look really good. That’s not what we get, however. The art in this is pretty cheap and low effort. It’s like something a single person could animate for Youtube or one of those sites with Flash animations. It doesn’t look bad. It just doesn’t look like the product of a professional studio.
Speaking of things that seem amateurish, let’s talk about the acting. The line deliveries in this are all a bit awkward. Frankly, I blame the directing because I’ve heard Arai Satomi and Nonaka Ai give strong performances. I know they can act. But if this was my first time hearing them, I would have trouble believing that.
For an OVA about a yuri alien, there’s very little actual les-yay. We know Naoko likes girls and that’s pretty much it.
Areas of Improvement:
1. Pace your jokes better. Frankly, you could put half the jokes in this OVA and it would be much funnier. All you’d have to do is give them some proper build up and stronger pay off.
2. Better Animation. I don’t know what ufotable wanted with this OVA but when you only have six minutes to work with, you really need to make those six minutes look fantastic. Which they definitely didn’t do.
3. Better direction for the actors. Because the acting in this is really not
I’d hesitate to call this a bad OVA. It’s more that everything in it isn’t quite up to par. From the rapid fire jokes that never land to the characters to the art to the acting. Well, maybe the acting is actually bad. It’s all not properly realised. As such, I’m giving Yuri Seijin Naoko-san a 4/10. As for whether or not you should watch it, it’s only six minutes so if you’re curious, go for it. If it just sounds stupid, go ahead and skip it. Look at some Axelstation on Youtube or find another talented artist who does gag animations instead. You are liable to find something funnier that way.
5: Minori Scramble!
MAL Score: 6.23
Tamaki is an elementary school girl. Her father Dr. Yagiyama loves penguins and his excessive lectures about penguins makes Tamaki hate them. In order to get rid of her hatred of penguins, he engineers the penguin-roid “Minori”. Tamaki and Minori run about the neighborhood to solve troubles caused by her father.
My personal rating: 6/10
4: Yuri Seijin Naoko-san (2012)
MAL Score: 6.45
Naoko-san is an alien from the planet Yuri, who is plotting to conquer the Earth by yurifying it. Misuzu is a junior high girl and is always troubled by Naoko-san, who lives on the roof of her house.
There really isn’t any story to be had here. Misuzu’s sister left a while back and she’s been replaced by a perverted alien who goes by the name of Naoko. Craziness ensues. The focus is obviously on the rapid-fire gags which will be hit or miss. There’s one scene in which Misuzu dreams of her older sister which added a nice contrasting touch of nostalgia; it was very well done. Overall, it’s all over the place, but that’s the point.
It’s very well animated. Seeing how it’s only half an hour long or so, I would say watch it just for the pictures alone. It got me pumped up. The disconnected feel of the whole thing is both familiar and foreign–it’s perfect for setting and motif. It’s very denpa-kei.
BGM fits. OP and ED are awesome. If you like MOSAIC.WAV, watch it.
No depth. No development. Still, these characters are a pretty fun bunch and their interactions are lively.
I really liked this. It was very straightforward and it was a fun ride. Despite being little more than a half hour of gags, there’s a sense of cohesion and scope. There’s a sense of the ephemeral. When it isn’t pounding you with excitement, it feels like you’re drifting. Naoko-san can be summed up in the OP and ED. If anything, watch those.
If you have time to kill, watch it.
Story: It’s basically about an alien trying to conquer the earth by yurifying it. Not much else happens this this is an ova, but if you really wanted to get the whole thing I’d definitely recommend the manga.
Art: The animation is amazing, with maximum efficiency and minimal frames, from the brilliantly talented Tetsuya Takeuchi. You probably don’t know, but his animation style usually fits into that category. The art is light and colourful, maintaining quality all throughout both ova’s running time.
Sound: The show has a very retro feel to it, one that you would find on some of the old arcade machines and early 90’s home consoles. Overall it’s pretty enjoyable.
Character: Because this show is so short, there isn’t room for much character development at all, but you get the idea that Naoko is trying yurify everything, with Misuzu disapproving of everything like a regular person would. But of course there isn’t much room for character development, so once again I heavily recommend the manga.
Enjoyment: There were some pretty good moments all throughout the entire show, you’d think the entire thing would just be filled with lewd joke after lewd joke, which it is. However they are pretty funny throughout both ovas.
Overall: You can definitely tell Tetsuya Takeuchi cared about this, you can tell that he actually read the entire manga to get a feel of the characters and how they would react. And I definitely hope he gets more opportunities to show off his talent because I’d certainly watch whatever he makes.
8/10 They really need to make more of this
This was quite a surprise for an OVA with only two episodes (6 min. and 28 min.)
Story-wise, there’s not much that happens; in fact, the first episode sort of just drops you into the middle of everything and you don’t learn any back story until the second episode, so it relies more on its comedy and bizarre surrealistic sensibilities to hold your attention, both of which are almost always on-target. It isn’t technically a yuri title, but it does use that theme for a lot of its comedy, and as someone whose enjoys that kind of humor, I got quite a few laughs out of this anime. It also has a very deadpan style of humor that doesn’t need extreme character reactions to tell you that something was funny. All of the characters were really funny and also kind of endearing by the time the series was over.
With animation, however, there’s a lot more going. I absolutely adored the aesthetic that this anime carried with its barely-outlined character, striking character designs, and just barely muted color palette. The animation also had an extremely fluid and free moving style, another aesthetic that I really love seeing and wish I could see in more anime.
Most of this, of course, is due to Tetsuya Takeuchi’s heavy involvement with the series (director, script, storyboard, screenplay, key animation, character designs, AND animation director; plus he was also involved in End of Evangelion, R.O.D., Love Hina, and Nodame Cantabile). You can really tell that this guy has a truly unique vision and it comes through beautifully in this anime.
Oh by the way this was animated by ufotable. Yeah, THAT ufotable.
I also liked the editing style a lot as well. It’s a lot slower than the norm and not even close to being as spastic as more modern comedic series, and the longer takes and fewer cuts let the bizarre comedy and surrealism shine through without being interrupted by constant cutting, which I appreciated a lot.
Music was very minimal, but when it did show up, it added the perfect touch of strangeness to an already strange environment.
Overall, this is a highly underrated gem that I definitely recommend. It only takes about 35 minutes to get through both episodes, so time commitment is a non issue. Even if it was, I’d still recommend this series, and I hope to see more from this series and from Takeuchi in the future.
3: Tales of Symphonia The Animation: Sylvarant-hen
Japanese: テイルズオブシンフォニア THE ANIMATION シルヴァラント編
MAL Score: 7.17
Two worlds exist, both unaware of the existance of the other. In order for one world to flourish, the other will have to perish. On the perishing world, a Chosen one is sent on a journey to restore that world’s mana by awakening the Spirits and becoming an angel. Colette Brunel, the Chosen of Sylvarant, sets out on her journey accompanied by her best friends Lloyd Irving and Genis Sage. As they travel further they meet more friends and even more enemies, while they learn more and more about the truth behind the World Regeneration.
Well, this OVA of course comes from the video game Tales of Symphonia. So, the story is the same, however theres quite a few parts left out. However, I don’t think it is quite right to say that just because of that the story isn’t that good. This is the animation, not the game. Sure, it’s based on it, but it’s not gonna be an exact copy of it.
It starts really being a kind of ‘save the planet’ storyline, as a girl who is the Chosen One and her friends set out for a journey to a tower where she’ll become an angel and rescue the planet. However, after Lloyd (the main character) learns something serious about becoming an angel, the story takes a pretty big twist, which it pretty interesting. The OVA ends really like only about half-way through the game, so it does not give you a feeling of closure whatsoever, but that’s exactly why more episodes are supposed to be made at a later date.
The artwork is similar to the cut scenes from the video game. Which means it’s pretty good. Everything is nicely drawn, and the motions are pretty fluent. It’s more of a simplistic style, which is actually quite nice.
The voice acting really couldn’t have been better. The voices really fit the characters greatly. The background music isn’t spectacular, but serves its purpose and is fairly good. The OP, I feel, couldn’t have been better for this OVA. It, for some reason, just felt so perfect for the overall mood and tone of the show. The ED is actually a song that Collette, the Chosen One, sings in the series, so I guess it was a nice idea to have it as the ED.
The characters are all pretty cool, and each have a different personality, making them very likable. They didn’t really get too develop themselves very much, which is unfortunate and disappointing, but I don’t think it is fair to degrade the show for that, since it’s simply 4 episodes.
Enjoyment would have been a 9 if the battles were better. That’s really my biggest disappointment. The fights were very short and curt, and rarely involved a lot of intricacy or really just intensity, especially the battles against the seals. However, despite that, it’s still a pretty enjoyable watch since there’s a lot of emotion and, well, it’s really just fun to follow it along, even if you haven’t played the video game.
Art: If you’ve played the game, then you’ve seen the movie cut scenes that show up every now and then, and seeing as how Gainax produced those scenes, it’s understandable that it was high end animation. Although Gainax doesn’t produce the OVA, the quality stays. The characters are drawn well, and all the animation is smooth.
Sound: I assume sound means the soundtrack and voice acting, both of which I felt were okay. I enjoyed the voice acting more than I did the music, mainly because of a very good cast. You’ll recognize many of the voices, and I they fit the characters well. The soundtrack wasn’t bad, but nothing memorable, personally, i got kind of bored the OP, and ED.
Character: The characters never had a chance to progress, mainly because the series was so short. There was some progression, such as with Sheena and Lloyd, and change of character with someone else…, but there wasn’t much gradual change. The characters are fun to watch, there are many personalities, serious, nerdy, naive, kind, etc. with all of them complementing each other.
Enjoyment: Ever since I played the game a few years ago, I loved the movie cut scenes, and always said that they should make a series just from this, and now that they did, I had to watch. Although it did not nearly meet my expectations, I did enjoy it, in fact it had me wanting much much more. But as a person who has never played, I’d imagine that they would enjoy this series moderately, seeing as they’ll obviously notice plot gaps, and a pseudo-ending.
Overall: I give this series a 7 mainly because I thought it had an unimaginable amount of potential, but alas, this OVA series seems more like a promotional trailer for the game. And seeing as it is an OVA, it’s too short, making the creators progress the story too quickly. I’d recommend anyone to watch this, and it may even make you want to play the game.
The Short Version:
(+)The music is delightful.
(-)The entire thing feels rushed.
(-)The characters aren’t really fleshed out.
(-)You can tell they just want to get past the beginning of the game in the first episode.
(-)The art quality is below average for its time
The Story (6/10):The story is a simple thing to grasp in this show, one of the main characters is more or less chosen by ‘God’ to become the Child of Regeneration and save this world from it’s own destruction, basic ‘Save the world plot’. But there are points in the story that WILL throw up a “Dafuq?” flag in your brain. An early example is what would be the first boss battle in the game, where some “baddies” have appeared in the MC’s village and threaten the populace, the MC and head baddie duke it out, the hero wins, but then the show cuts to the villages salvaging their burnt down houses, this is the point where I thought, “Hang on, where the fuck did the rest of the baddies go? Did they die? Or did one of them just go, “Well I’m going home, whose coming with?” Then the rest of the lads followed him. There’re a couple of these moments throughout the OVAs but there’s not enough of them to leave you questioning the entire show, just a fair amount of it.
Another thing with the story is that it horrendously rushed, like someone on the development team just said, “Ok, I know we need to make this good, but let’s just get through all of the beginning of the game so we can get to the better stuff A.S.A.P.” If you’re not a fan of fast paced anime, this may very well throw you off, as the entire show for the most part, plays out in this format.
The Characters (6/10): Their are 5 Main Characters in this anime, to get these guys and their relation to each other out of the way for future reference:
Colette Brunel, The Child of Regeneration and childhood friend to Lloyd and Genis.
Lloyd Irving, Male lead and evident love-interest of Colette.
Genis Sage, Child mage and brains to Lloyd’s brawn.
Kratos Aurion, hired bodyguard of Colette and probably knows more about the situation then he’s letting on.
Refill (Raine) Sage, group healer and big sister of Genis.
The characters as a whole are a fine group, but individually they would not hold this show in the slightest. But as a group though, they hold it just enough to keep you going. The love exchanges between Lloyd and Colette are cute, Kratos fills the mandatory badass slot but he pulls it off without also being an asshole, Genis and Raine are there to help Lloyd and Colette along and almost nothing else.
After 4 OVA’s I feel that we know just enough about the characters that we get their emotions and motivations, but not enough to feel for them in any given situation, and another thing I noticed was that there are what I call ‘Houdini’ characters, characters that pop up for a couple minutes then disappear just the reappear later on.
Art and Sound (14/20): Now if you actually read the anime info off to the side, you’ll notice that this anime was in fact animated by ufotable. I’ll warn you right now, don’t expect their Kara no Kyoukai, UBW, level of animation, it isn’t here, but the animation that is there is good for the time, you’re looking at Fullmetal alchemist level of animation, not Brotherhood, just the original series, but with smoother edges. Special note that, even then, they had their 3D revolving on point.
The sound isn’t your everyday fare. The OP is actually rather calm compared to modern day anime and the ED is much the same, and the voice acting is standard but special note to Kratos’ VA, his voice is so good.
What do you think of this anime?
I won’t actively go out a look for a physical copy of this show, I wouldn’t even buy it if I just saw it at JB Hi-Fi and thought, “Yeah lets buy that one.” I would’ve seen this in the recommendations and just streamed it at home.
Would you recommend this anime?
Yeah I would, only for the last stretch of the show, so unless you pre-plan to watch all three parts, you might very well only watch this part but I implore you get watching, you’ll be pleased.
Goodbye my brethren, see you in the next.
2: Tales of Symphonia The Animation: Sekai Tougou-hen
Japanese: テイルズ オブ シンフォニア THE ANIMATION 世界統合編
MAL Score: 7.46
The third and final OVA series concluding the story of Tales of Symphonia: The Animation.
The Short Version:
(+)A satisfying end to the series.
(+)The characters come full circle
(+)Sound is again back to form
(-)Yet more Houdini characters (They appear then disappear)
The Story (8/10): This is the point were the overarching story that begun in part one and was in the background for the entirety of part two, reaches it’s ultimate climax and my god is it good. Having more modified than change the original objective, the span of the story has increased while somehow feeling as focused as it was in part two. Surprisingly, there is a theme within the story, and it’s a problem that still exists in our actual world. Prejudice. This question makes think for a little bit in-between all the drama and such, and it’s refreshing for this series, that previously didn’t really have a question or meaning at all, tackling a concept that is so prevalent and obvious in today’s society. (Although I have a problem with one scene that has really out of place humor)
The Characters (8/10): With the entire cast already having plenty of previous screen time, each of them individually feel like proper characters (In my review for part one I said, “None of these characters can hold the show by themselves.” I take that back for this part.) As for what comes with the conclusion of any given anime, revelations between characters are made, every secret is revealed, and the villains motives are brought to light, which in the case of this anime are actually rather grounded compared to other extreme examples (I’d compare the final goal to Lelouch’s from Code Geass). The villain himself though believes in ‘the ends justify the means’ approach to things.
The Art and Sound (8/10 & 7/10): The art just keeps getting better as this series wears on, it is much more standard for ufotable if still a bit downgraded, but it is an improvement from the previous entry. (I’m pretty sure this is because the upped their game with their lighting and shadows).
The sound is also an improvement from the last entry, the OP has again to the level of part ones but it’s more akin to modern day OP’s with the momentary rapid score then slowly down to a more steady pace before picking back up as the episode name pops up, the ED is still on the same level as the previous two though, just with up-tempo vocals this time. Everything else when it comes to sound is good enough to be considered standard but nothing really jumped out at me and made me say, “That one part was great.”
What do I think of this anime?
This was a fitting ending to the series, it’s just a shame that you have to go through two lackluster entries to get here. I can not suggest buying this series, it would be preferable to stream the entire show.
Would I recommend this anime?
Yes, without a doubt. I still highly recommend that you go back to the start and work your way back up to this point, but yes. Please watch this show. Just remember, since this is a threequel, you’ll have to watch the first two parts of it in order to get here, and they’re not really the best material to watch.
Goodbye my brethren, see you in the next one.
So, the story of Tales of Symphony focuses on a young man and a girl, who have been friends since childhood. The girl, Colette, needs to perform sacred rituals, for her world to be saved from the destruction. Her closest friends embark on a journey with her to help her complete the ritual and, of course, there will be people that will do everything to kidnap, kill, or even to somehow influence the restoration of the world. And that is the whole story and it will probably sound boring, also it might also look boring for you, when watching the first episodes. However, as the story continues, it becomes much more interesting, there are so many things going on and the most important part about it is that it all makes sense and is quite catchy overall.
Animation wise, the animation was done by Ufotable and whatever they do is always amazing. Action scenes and attacks are splendidly animated and the way the animators paid attention to so many details does make the TV series that enjoyable. OST and music wise, it is amazing how many great tracks this series has. The whole OST fits the series’ tone well and helps you to appreciate the series even more. And not only that! The Japanese voice actors also did one hell of a job voicing their characters, helping the viewer appreciate the series even more, because thanks to their work, the characters they voiced all looked real and quite enjoyable to follow.
As for the characters, they all have intriguing pasts and quite a development. There are so many characters, they are all different, they all have a story to tell and this is amazing. I did not quite appreciate one of the main characters, he is caring, but annoying at the same time. He is the only exception to the stereotype list, but you might even understand him and find him not as annoying as I did. Other than that, all heroes constantly discuss something, make fun of each other and find themselves in awkward situations. The viewer sees not only comedy scenes, but also some well-made melodrama that is not forced and is very enjoyable.
Overall, too bad the TV series did not get enough episodes to show enough development. If you played the game, you should know what I am trying to say. If you, however, know nothing about the game and like great adventures, I am more than sure you will find the anime quite enjoyable. Do give it a try, it is not that long.
Also: I’ll be posting the same review for all three seasons, since I made a general review for the series, not the seasons in separate.
Ok, so if you guys don’t know, Tales of Symphonia is one of my FAVORITE animes, along with the rest of the Tales of Series. After i finished ToS, me and a friend had found other animes in the series as well, which we both love to death.
So my friend said she found an old Gamecube game that her father owned called “Tales of Symphonia.” It was an anime RPG about a girl, Colette, was chosen to be an angel, and the Chosen to regenerate the world. A few days later, I saw she was an anime on YouTube, and it was a good thing a stopped her there, because that was when things got really sad and intense, and she probably wouldn’t have looked that happy in first period that day. But anyways, we started watching the series from episode 1, and we finished the series in a few weeks time. For a short anime, Tales of Symphonia is a very good anime, that is really worth watching and re-watching over and over again. I’ve only watched the series 3 or 4 times, but my friend said she’s seen it around 30, maybe 40 times.
Anyways, let’s get started on the review! Hope you all like it!
WARNING! THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!
Ok, so I’m sorry if I’m taking this not hard enough, but like I said before, I LOVED this series. It’s one of those short stories where you rewatch them over and over again. And only for 11 episodes, it surely brings out its potential.
Tales of Symphonia takes place in the kingdoms of Sylvarant and Tethe’alla. where three races of people lived; humans, elves, and half-elves. The half-elves believed that their race was treated unfairly, and formed a pact, called the Desians. The Desians were defeated long ago by the hero, Mithos, and the goddess Martel, but, over time, their power had weakened, and the Desians has risen once more. Meanwhile, Colette Brunel, a 16-year old high-school girl, has been chosen to become the Chosen Angel of Regeneration. Her friends, Lloyd Irving, Genis and Raine Sage, accompany on her journey of regeneration, only to find that out that her journey was more like a sacrifice, if you know what I mean. Now, the gang must try to get her back, while saving the world from hatred. Recruiting a new team of allys, Lloyd and his friends set off to save Colette. and the rest of the world.
Like I said before, this is a beautiful story. I’m not going to go much into detail, due to some really big and sad spoilers, but it’s a really good story to the anime, and I definitley give it a 10/10.
Again, I really feel like I’m being to easy on this anime, it’s just I love this anime a LOT. The art style is beautiful in this anime. The special effects, the battle scenes, the designs, EVERYTHING. And I gave it a 10 for art, because everything was beautiful. I’m sorry I’m giving everything on this a ten, I just really fell in love with this series as a whole, art, characters, everything.
Another thing I really like about the art is the character designs. My favorites are paticualry Sheena’s, Colette’s, and Presea’s. They’re very unique, compared to your typical combat skirt, or suit of armor. Like I said, maybe I’m being to easy on this anime, maybe I’m not. But anyways, another 10/10 for the art.
Ok, I really love the soundtrack to Tales of Symphonia. I have all three theme songs on my iPod and I listen to them ALL the time. It’s just you don’t want to listen to some of them too much, especially right after you finished the series. It kinda stirs up some of the sad scenes from the series (*cough cough* DEATHS *cough cough*) My friend says she hardly ever cries, but this was the first anime that was really hard to watch in public. Even so, there are some themes in the ToS soundtrack that make me smile, while others get me teary-eyed. Whether you see that as a good thing or not, I really enjoyed the soundtrack, even though it gets you in tears at times. So basically, I’m giving it a 9/10, not another 10 suprisingly.
Okay, so like I said before, I LOVED everything about this anime. The cast is AMAZING. Like, theyre the kind of cast that you grow attached to, no matter what kind of character they are. And by that, I mean your characters can range from the pervy and outgoing Zelos, to the quiet and strong Presea. And I’m going to admit, I love each and every one of them. It’s just one of those animes where I can’t choose just ONE favorite character. Like, this is one of those animes where you love ALL of the characters. So yeah, basically another 10 for Symphonia.
Yeah, I know, not really a big surprise here. I said this many a time before in this review, I LOVED this anime a lot, and there’s really no flaws that I saw in it, unlike the past couple of animes I had just given reviews on. And if you’re like me, and loved the series just as much as me, I’d reccomend trying the game if you can afford it, as well as others in the series, like Tales of the Abyss, Zestiria, and Vesperia. Yeah, what I’m trying to get at is that it’s a really good series, and I think at least everyone should at least try it before they bite it. It has a little of everything for everyone; drama, action, adventure, a little comedy and romance… Yeah. Anyways, yeah, a big One-O goes to this anime, its a great anime, and I highly reccomend it for anyone.
1: Tales of Symphonia The Animation: Tethe’alla-hen
Japanese: テイルズ オブ シンフォニア THE ANIMATION テセアラ編
MAL Score: 7.48
The second arc of Tales of Symphonia that takes place in the flourishing world of Tethe’alla. This OVA takes place up to two-thirds of the game, prior to the Derris-Kharlan arc.
If you’ve played the game for this anime, you might be more familiar with the characters, plot, and overall universe, but as for me I had played it only briefly several years ago and didn’t remember much when I started watching this. So don’t think you need any background knowledge: I certainly didn’t need it.
Tethe’alla is an amazing world, bespeckled with grand castles, interesting people, highly advanced technology and something that made me rather excited to see: dragons. I loved the storyline in this world. Lloyd’s adventures to save Colette caused him to come across new enemies and allies, and everyone has their own unique story to tell. At some points the plot took real twists -I would blink in a surprised fashion as I stared at the screen and wonder why someone had done something, or how something had happened. In this way, it became so that I couldn’t figure out what was going to happen next, and for me watching something with unexpected turns is a real treat.
Because Tethe’alla is a chapter only four episodes long, like the first chapter, things are going to be moving at a good speed to keep the plot rolling. There aren’t any unnecessarily long scenes of reflection, and flashbacks are kept concise. Background information on characters is given to us, but we are shown only what we need to know to understand character motivation, so if you like seeing scenes that show more about the character’s life I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. What I really liked was how there could be great action in one moment, and then, only a scene or two later, everything would slow down to give viewers some time to process what had happened while the characters recovered and figured out what to do next.
Lloyd is a fantastic main character. He’s charismatic, determined, strong-willed, and he keeps everyone focussed towards the goal of freeing Colette. I feel like the other characters fill in all the standard group holes: Genis, the cheerful companion who still seems a bit too innocent. Rain, the instructor and sister to Genis, ready to help out where she can. Sheena, the woman who is at first a bit of a mystery, and seems cold and distant, but later she shows that she’s got an amazing heart. All of these guys, and a few more, really come together and make the perfect team.
The music in this anime was definitely not what I was used to. It’s got depth, layers, and it fits the scenes brilliantly, raising tension and setting the tone. If you’re expecting to hear something catchy and memorable, no, it isn’t. To be honest I can’t remember one tune from the show. But that’s what’s different about it: it’s wind instruments, drums, and so on, building up on emotion and just creating a great feel for the story. It didn’t have to be catchy or memorable. The opening and ending themes were fantastic. They aren’t the usual norm, either. If you’re expecting classic J-Pop or J-Rock, no, you’re not going to receive it. The songs are just beautiful. Entrancing. Delicate. …And rather unprounceable. However, I enjoyed them, sincerely.
I don’t know what to tell you that won’t get into the finer details of what you’re considering you might watch. I won’t tell you about the twists, or the ending (although I will say that it ended on a note that left too many loose ends, I believe we’re in for a third OVA to tie everything up). However, I will tell you that in my honest opinion it’s definitely an anime to set aside time for. If it doesn’t captivate you by the opening sequence or by the end of the opening theme, then this probably is not the genre or anime you’re looking for, though I assume you watched through the first four episodes to get here, so why even consider whether you want to see the Tethe’alla chapter? If you enjoyed the first chapter, you’ll enjoy this one, and though it’s an often repeated line it’s completely true.
I have been a die hard fan of this game for a long time, and when i first saw the original series i felt rather, well disappointed, it skimmed through half the game in a an instant, then came along this second season and it put my skepticism to a rest, the Tethe’alla arc ended up not only meeting the quota of the game but it actually topped it by a longshot,
The 2 big changes that the anime did better in the anime appossed to the game for this were the big twist and actually making the romance between lloyd and collete a real romance, i wont spoil the twist but there is a big one concerning lloyd in the final epiosde, in the game it was pretty mindblowing at the time but it wasn’t really placed right and it didnt feel very climactic, the way they do it in the anime was holy shit worthy for anyone who hasn’t played the game, its climactic, makes sense, ad has a very badass fight because of it
and back to the romance thing, in the original game the romance was kinda just there and it had no conclusion it alowed you to pick another girl named sheena aswell but it wasn’t really that good and doesn’t make any sense whatsoever for him to do it, the game just felt like it hacked it on there just because but the anime kinda made it a huge driving force for lloyd and it made a few scenes very emotional, and heres the real kicker thta made me go 100% fangirl, they actually give a conclusion to the romance, keep in mind ive been supporting that ship or 9 years and i finally got something from it, im gonna fangirl like crazy, i honestly think when it happened my penis went back inside me and turned into a vagina, that’s how fan-girl i got when it happened,
but thats not the full reason why i mentioned this, im mentioning it cause it all makes the show overall better, the romance while not HUGE it does take up a bit and really built lloyd and collete as characters, and we also in the anime get to finally meet up with the entire cast fully and they handle them very well, specifically zelos was handled perfectly in the anime version, hes stuck up, jokes around, got kinda of a ego but hes also someone you dont want to fuck with and is hiding something that may screw everyone over, he reacts great with the entire cats though the most entertaining are the ones between him and lloyd and him and sheena, they just work kinda well off each other
One thing that’s just a nice little plus for this, these episodes include small little skits making fun of the anime with he characters themselves and they are very funny, they make fun of things like kratos not getting enough screen time, genis being useless, lloyd being a idiot ext. they are quite funny and a treat to TOS fans out there
if you have not played the game i do suggest watching the anime instead, though the final part is still to come out(will come out this fall)
the show has everything you might want
-and by god even Psychological at points
and do not be dissuaded by the length, even if these are only 10 episodes for both seasons keep in mind they are all longer than a normal show, the original season was 30 min per episode so it kinda ended up being a 10 episode length and this is only 4 episodes but it is the length of 2 normal shows episodes(20 min is normal length) of 40 min, so overall just these 2 season equal the length of a 18 episode series and with the finale on the way it may end up being a 24 episode length,
to summarize this if you’v played the game this will be a treat to watch and if you haven’t its something that anyone can enjoy cause its got borderline something for everyone
The Short Version:
(+)Returning characters feel much more fleshed out.
(+)When the new characters are introduced with more or less the same level as with the returning cast.
(-)Core character downgraded to a plot device.
(-)There’s more Houdini characters. (I.E. characters that appear then disappear)
The Story (8/10): With the carry on from part one, the story having layers stacked upon it now, the connections between the characters and the events surrounding them are becoming easier to tie lines between. The overall feel of the anime has improved as well, where as the first part felt like it was more about saving the world, this one is on a much more personal level, which is why I think that this story is better that part one; it’s a lot more focused. For instance, in part one the show put emphasis on focusing how important the journey is to restore the diminishing world. Part two on the other hand is focused solely on restoring Colette, making the entire show all the more effective when aiming for the feels and there’s a few of those moments spread throughout this part. The show does this while managing to keep the over-arching plot present, which is also another plus.
The Characters (7/10): With the majority of the cast returning from part one, they feel a lot more whole and more like proper characters, with the exception being Lloyd and Colette. I feel like he’s falling into what I call the ‘Classic angry protagonist’ abyss, where the character is trying to do their best with the given situation, but they can’t help but get angry every time they feeling like, “I can’t do anything and that makes me angry and sad. (like for example, Eren from Shingeki no Kyojin.) It was annoying in part one, and it’s still annoying now. Thankfully though, that does change after a while. On the side of Colette she has been demoted from Core Character that actually has a presence, to a plot device that is more of a background prop, bad move series. Bad move.
Aside from the returning cast we have several new characters, again I’m just going to stick with the main cast.
Sheena Fujibayashi: Enemy turned friend and is more vulnerable than she seems.
Zelos Wilder: The Child of Regeneration for Tethe’alla and the red head.
Presea Combatir: A failed by-product of the Exsphere experiments and female lumberjack.
Regal Bryant: The new character who gets the most development and a lolicon.
One thing they did well while developing the new characters is that, while they were developing one character, they were also detailing some of the other ones, going to the extent of even giving one of them an episode long backstory. Of the new characters it’s definitely Zelos that’s the most underdeveloped, all I know about his is that he’s the Child of Regeneration and that’s it, and he stands out like a sore thumb for that very reason.
The Art and Sound (7/10 & 6/10): The art hasn’t really changed between the two entries, although you can start to see more of the famous animation quality from ufotable starting to seep it’s way through, the 3D movement is again improved and the fight scenes feel like a much more basic version of the ones we saw in Unlimited Blade Works. Not exactly the kind of quality I expected from a company at the peak of their game.
The Sound on the other hand has taken a slight dip in my opinion. The OP and ED aren’t as enjoyable as part one’s and they put in what I call ‘Jump-scare queues’ When they suddenly just put in a very loud sound for dramatic effect. Then again, the show’s quiet when it needs to be for the emotional weight of certain situations, and the rest of the musical section is about as good as part one.
What do you think of this anime?
I think that this second part, as a whole, is a vast improvement from the first. The characters are more fleshed out, the art is finding it’s feet, and the story is getting better. I wouldn’t say I’d buy this anime though still after all of its obvious flaws.
Would I recommend this anime?
If you’ve seen part one? Yes definitely. If you’re just jumping in at part two for some reason? No, because you won’t have the same experience as someone who has seen part one. (Thus I highly recommend you go watch part one, then come back to this entry.)
Goodbye my brethren, see you in the next one.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Tales of Symphonia The Animation: Tethe’alla-hen
2. Tales of Symphonia The Animation: Sekai Tougou-hen
3. Tales of Symphonia The Animation: Sylvarant-hen
4. Yuri Seijin Naoko-san (2012)
5. Minori Scramble!
6. Yuri Seijin Naoko-san
7. Aoi Umi no Tristia