Tales of the Abyss #26 — Energy Blast!

March 27th, 2009

 

Wait… what?

How about that Air Force/Michigan game? Ouch. Chew on that, Wolverines. And now Miami’s up too? Too sweet.

Impressions:

Good god, was the music at the start of this episode irritating as all hell. I GET IT. IT’S VAN. Now shut off the blaring organ. Please. He’s not even playing one this time. I especially liked how Jade followed up a piddly little Energy Blast with Indignation. Honestly… Energy Blast? Against Van? Would that even do damage? I guess it was a decent fight, but last week’s was more impressive… so… *shrug* Tear hacking Lorelei was just as cheesy here as it was in the game, but at least in the game, you still got to keep fighting instead of Van collapsing.

The rest progressed pretty much as anybody would have expected, with Luke sacrificing himself and a little epilogue before he shows up again. I was rather disappointed that the final scene was pretty much frame for frame identical to the game’s already anime cutscene, but Sunrise has been lazy as hell with this production for quite some time now so it’s not really that surprising. Would it killed them to have a kiss? Or even just a hug? Well, whatever. Disappointment has become par for the course here.

Final thoughts at the bottom.

Final ED

Final Thoughts:

Well, it started well, and did a pretty good job of cutting about 50% of the terrible overwrought nonsense that infested the game. Unfortunately, as the technobabble nonsense continued, adding angst and depression on top of it, they started making cuts to the action so as to fit in more exposition and technobabble. Around the eighteenth time we saw that diagram of the planet’s Sephiroths, I was ready to throw a brick through the screen.

The biggest problem is that the story is really nonsensical to begin with and continually contradicts itself. Beyond that, the central cast remained as weak as they were in the game. Tear has no personality, and both Luke and Asch are so self-absorbed from the very start, and while their tunes may change from spoiled to a martyr complex, it’s really hard to care about either. Thankfully, the side characters remained their strong selves, especially Jade and Guy, but they’re just the sideshow to the Luke/Asch inferiority complex hour.

When you minimize the action and rely on the relatively horrible story and mediocre central cast, it shouldn’t be surprising that the plot overall turns out pretty badly. I’m sure having played through the game a couple times colors my views on this quite a bit, but I’m not really sure if that helped or hurt it. While I appreciated skipping all the backtracking and Sephiroth visiting, sitting through the boring dialogue for about the fourth time really wore me down pretty fast. There have certainly been worse adaptations, but this has been a pretty soulless and by the books affair all around, especially when we had UFOTable’s excellent Symphonia adaptation just before (and apparently, after as well, now that they’re finishing up Rakkyo.)

All in all, I don’t think it’s strong enough to satisfy people that aren’t fans of the game already, but at the same time, it doesn’t really show off the best parts of the game either. I’ll stick with ‘disappointing’ as my final one word thought.

Posted in Tales of the Abyss | 17 Comments »

17 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • Anonymous says:

    The tales game I’m looking forward to an adaptation of is Vesperia. It’s cast of characters are much stronger than many of the other games, which I would think would make for an easier adaptation.

    Though I dont want to jinx anything…

  • Aroduc says:

    I don’t really have high hopes for Vesperia just because it’s a single film. Unless it’s a very long film, they just won’t have the time to cover much of anything.

  • Hinano says:

    Holy shit that was like….a tracing of the original game! God damn that sucked. I hate Sunrise *burns their office building

  • kiryuu says:

    well there is the 2nd half of Symphonia as well that hasn’t gotten started yet.. assuming you liked the first half.

    haven’t seen the ep yet, but will probably find myself just as annoyed with that ending scene as I was when I played ToTA when it came out :/

  • Kaisos says:

    Hey, I loved TotA, but I’m used to liking stuff Aroduc hates.

    Loved Abyss’s story but preferred Vesperia’s characters… hard to choose.

    Sad that Vesperia only gets a film though. Don’t see how they can possibly tell everything important in that short an amount of time.

  • SageSoren says:

    I didn’t think Symphonia’s anime was a heckuva lot better. It was pretty, but the over-drama made me go “D:” a lot.

    While a lot of Abyss’s anime was very “wtf”, it had some excellent scenes considering, and I’m glad they gave it the attempt.

  • Sniperk says:

    Overall, Abyss gets the same rotulation as all adaptations of the Tales series. Overrated at first and disappointing at the end, when has one.

  • I’d say Abyss has probably been the best Tales game adaptation to date, but that’s primarily because of how unmitgatedly bad the others were (if people think the pacing in this series could get awkward then they’ve seen nothing until they’ve checked out Tales of Phantasia The Animation) and that I didn’t have retardedly high expectations or shipping desires for this like others seem to have had. Anyway if you ask me pairings have become way to focused on when it comes to looking at anime as of late and this is especially a problem for shows where it should be evident that it is not a critical concern, but the show gets bashed for not delivering some sort of confirmed pairing anyway.

    That bit of unfortunate business aside, what can I say really, it followed the game for the most part, did what it had to do with it’s time and while it wasn’t perfect and could have benefited from a little more focus on some key areas that it neglected I don’t think that makes it a piece of crap like some would like to have me believe. I just think some people are entirely unpleasable these days and go looking for things to nitpick (ESPECIALLY when it’s a Sunrise shows and blogging, which mix about as well as oil and water for the most part) and I have to say, if your only reason for watching a show is for some preferred pairing to get confirmed (fanboy/fangirl realization?) and it doesn’t happen such that you are left with nothing, I have to ask who’s fault that really is? Simple solution, don’t go watching shows for only one reason and putting all your eggs in one basket or else you have only yourself to blame when you end up disappointed when that reason doesn’t pan out. Bloody fanboys/fangirls……swear to god they are their own worst enemies.

    Well whatever, not really holding this series to any impossible standards on my front though I’d say it was a satisfactory adaptation IMO. It followed the game, told it’s story and finished things off. That’s honestly about what I expected going in. Tales of the Abyss the game is still certainly funner to play then the anime is too watch though.

  • tachi says:

    Duc, the movie adaptation aside, what did you think of Vesperia by itself as a game?

  • miken-chan says:

    I agree with Kaioshin completely. I was very pleased overall with the Tales of the Abyss adaptation. Sure, I do nitpick about the reuse of animation sequences and some horrible-quality scenes, but that’s all just tiny stuff in terms of the big picture.

    The fangirl/fanboy syndrome as of late has been a problem too. I never really did care for either Luke or Tear, so I didn’t rage when they didn’t get an explicit ending for themselves in either the game or the anime. Pairings are trivial, and they really shouldn’t be the centerpiece of a show that isn’t even trying to be a romance. Tales of the Abyss is a journey of realizing self-worth, and worth shouldn’t be measured by whether or not Luke gets the girl or not.

    And why isn’t anyone raging over how Natalia got the bad end for her romance? Tear gets the semi-ending with “Luke” (though I still stand by my conviction that it is both Luke and Asch as one) while Natalia gets to be single not long after reuniting with her true childhood love only to have him get the bloodiest death in the show.

    The animation managed to pack in the best parts of the game while making them work together somehow despite major cut-outs from the story. While I do agree with some people that scene changes do get a little awkward (traveling across the globe in the matter of one frame), it was a price well paid in order to get what we did in the animation.

  • Aroduc says:

    Engine:
    Loved the Fatal Strike system. Didn’t really like the changes to the OL system or the somewhat forced grinding to make certain Artes useful. The skill system could have also used a pretty drastic overhaul, or just cutting out around half of them. Also didn’t like how slowly every character attacked. Made it far too easy to just lock down an enemy until they OLed, even with AI controlled people. Still fun, but significantly easier than Abyss and a lot less flashy without the FoF additions and your party spamming their Mystic Artes too. Synthesis menu could have also used some form of “ignore this recipe from now on” button badly.

    Story:
    *shrug* Same Tales racism/speciesism plot as always. The secondary characters were a bit weaker than normal, as were the antagonists. Raven, Judith, and Estelle were all okay, but Karol was just… ugh, and Repede really had no point except to take up space and be a gimmick. I was disappointed that while they seemed to take pains to point out Yuri’s hypocrisy to the audience, nobody in the game ever so much as noticed it. The whole “let’s start a guild” subplot was also just plain poorly presented and yet consumed much of the game. While Yuri was something of a badass, he just never seemed to really care about practically anything except rubbing things in Flynn’s face. Still better than Abyss, but I’d say that Symphonia and Eternia had it beat cold.

  • It does occur to me that if one never enjoyed the story for Tales of The Abyss in the first place that this series is kind of dead in the water. I know it seems almost unheard of in this day and age, but I’ve gotta give Sunrise’s team for this show some credit (Gasp) for sticking to the games story if nothing else for the moment. Yeah it makes things predictable if you’ve already played the game several times, but for the most part that is the aim of the game when it comes to adaptations.

  • Aroduc says:

    Or they could have massaged the bad parts to make them not so bad. It wouldn’t have taken much, just cut down on the incessant technobabble and make Luke less self-centered.

  • Never said there wasn’t room for improvement. :P

    Though from my experience some people tend to get really bitchy when changes are made in an adaptation regardless of whether they were made for the better or not. I get the sense they were playing it safe with this one. Perhaps a little too safe.

  • gremodin says:

    Screw them. Why for God’s sake didn’t they just use the PS2 ending? Especially the great sound and therefore the feelings are completely gone.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxCXnsUAEm4&feature=related

  • sync says:

    Definitely have to agree with everything you said kaioshin. The game was better, but the anime wasn’t bad. Definitely glad they stuck to the story and dialogue of the game, for the most part. My favorite lines in the anime were the ones that Sunrise DIDN’T change from the game. Also glad they didn’t suck up to all the love-story-psychos who wanted some conclusion between Luke/Tear/Asch/Natalia. But still…my biased preference goes toward the game for making Sync the second-to-last to die.

  • Nadya Irena Habib says:

    I like some moment in the anime and some moment in the game, but.. well, i’m still thinking the game is still the best