Tales of Symphonia: Ratatosk no Kishi

… was the most recent anime I marathoned. Oh, wait, it’s not an anime isn’t it? Well, but my mode of experiencing it totally was that of an anime. I watched a fellow named rrw32 played the game from start to finish at Nico Nico Douga. The list of movies he uploaded contains 78 episodes of about 20 minutes of gameplay, cut scenes, and skits. Took me about 3 days to finish the whole thing.

While I cannot say whether ToSR, as the Japanese abbreviate it, is a good game or not, I can say that it’s quite entertaining as an anime. Here are some reasons:

The old crew: With the exception of Kratos, the whole ToS crew and their idiosyncracies are back. Colette’s naivity and lucky clumsiness. Refill’s ruin mania mode. Genius’s going gaa gaa over Presea. Zelos’s sexual harassing Sheena and getting beaten to a pulp. It felt almost like watching the Prince of Darkness where the good old characters poped up one by one and reminded you how fun the original series was.

Tenebrae: The most hilarious character of them all. He’s good at making fun of people and situation; for example, when Emil says Sheena looks like a mother, he adds that Emil must be thinking about Sheena’s breasts, the assets that pronounce her motherhood. But the more hilarious moments are those when he gets picked on like getting call “wan-chan” by Collette or being called “elderly” by the rest of the cast.

Marta: The tsundere female protagonist though I have to say that she’s a lot more dere than tsun. Marta is awesome because she’s voiced by Kugimiya Rie, who makes her moe beyond description. While the typical tsundere lines like “this doesn’t mean I like you or anything” are getting old for me, saccharine dere lines like “will you come save me when I’m in danger again?” made me went all kugyuuuuuuuuuu.

Alice and Decus: They start out as comedic reliefs, turn out to be unforgivably cruel and misleading, and meet their ends in a tragic way. God, Decus is a REAL MAN. Alice is an example of people who love themselves way too much and deserves to be hated, but the way she professes her love for Decus in the end makes it so sad they have to die.

Jokes: In the skits, there are a lot of jokes about ages, which I enjoy quite a lot; for examples, Regal’s getting offended when Emil tells him he looks like a father, word plays on ‚ÄĚkareru” (to wither, to age) and “kareruu” (curry roux), and a research note that claims that there is a Centurian that acts like an old guy. The situation comedy ones are great as well. The one I like the most is when Colette tells the gang that she thinks Richter is a good guy because, when he tried to take the Cruxius Sphere from her and caused her to run away, stumbled, and made a big hole on somebody’s house’s wall, he ended up apologizing the house owner with Colette, paying for the repair cost, and letting her go. Colette finishes the conversation theorizing that Richter must be a “miko-mania.”

References: These skits made my day.

Zelos: What about this office building? It’s more like a fort to me. Don’t tell me Lezareno make all these dangerous things?
Colette: There’s no way Regal would make something dangerous. It must be something fun.
Zelos: What? Isn’t this intruder prevention system way too extreme?
Colette: Hmm… I got it! It’s for spy training.
Emil: Spy?
Colette: Yes. Regal would train a lot of industry spies who would hide under cardboard boxes and steal confidential information from other companies.
Marta: Wh, why cardboard boxes?

(FIY, Regal is voiced by Akio Otsuka, the voice of MGS’s Snake.)

Emil: What other good luck charms did you made?
Presea: Podekonchou, Fusafusaekisu, Kokuraresou, Kekkongambou…
Emil: Ah, that’s the one Aunt Furoru bought…! What else?
Presea: A silk shirt that reveals your belly, but when you wear it your stomach will never get hurt and enemies will never hit your belly: the Loni-Kyle-Luke costume.
Emil: Ah, I have heard about that. The one that became very popular and the boom died down in just a blink of an eye, right?
Presea: Unfortunately, it would seem that it was quite hard to get the good quality across.
Emil: What else? What else?
Presea: The mysterious mask that seems to hide your face but actually does not, but nobody knows your identity nonetheless: the Judas Mask.
Emil: I don’t know that one.
Presea: It was stolen while in development. So the project was cancelled… It was one of my better products, so that was quite a pity…
Emil: Wow, this many… Presea, you’re amazing.

So, all in all, I was quite happy with this anime. While the plot is not stellar and the execution is not superb like games in the Final Fantasy series, the characters and the skits make up for them in my opinion. Tales of Symphonia: Ratatosk no Kishi is a solid, good waste of time to watch.

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