Long ago, two neighboring nations, Inferia and Celestia, were at war with each other. After the war, there was no communication between the nations for thousands of years. Now, a phenomenon that is somehow tied to the two nations known as The Grand Fall threatens to destroy everything. In order to save the world, four kids named Rid, Farah, Keel, and Meredy go on a journey to stop The Grand Fall. During their journey, they land on the island of Belcarnu: a mysterious place that holds many secrets. What is the connection between this island and The Great Fall, and will our heroes be able to uncover the mystery and save the world?
summary by Keitaro
Highs: Great fight scenes; excellent animation; good pacing
Lows: Feels too much like an RPG; not enough background info given; too much filler
Tales of Eternia is a very fun anime based on the Playstation game of the same name. Don’t let the fact that it’s based on a video game scare you, though. As far as game-to-anime conversions go, Tales of Eternia is wonderfully done and by far exceeded my expectations… although my expectations weren’t very high from the start.
The first thing I noticed was the beautiful music and wonderful art. I was immediately immersed in the fantasy world of Inferia; the whole thing really came to life. So much imagination is put into the monsters and the world. I was also impressed with not only the battles, but also how good the pacing was. The action wasn’t overwhelming, but there was no shortage of it. There was just the right amount and it always occurred at the right time.
My biggest complaint is how Tales of Eternia tries too hard to retain an RPG feel to it. Just the way the characters interacted and summoned spells made it feel like I was watching someone play a game. Speaking of the RPG, another big problem is how it is assumed that you have already played the game. If you haven’t you will really miss out. The characters aren’t introduced well, and no background is given. This will leave many people disappointed. One more gripe I had was how much filler there was, especially considering this is only a thirteen episode series. Over half of the episodes had nothing to do with the main story.
Overall, Tales of Eternia is a well-rounded anime. You won’t hate it, but it will not be winning any awards. If you are a fan of the genre or the game, I suggest that you give the anime a chance. It certainly will not be a waste of your time.
Highs: A boatload of fun all around; decent fight animation
Lows: Relies on the game to fill in the blanks; merely a side quest
I’ve never played the game (called Tales of Destiny II in the US), but after watching Tales of Eternia, I will admit that I’d like to take a shot at the roleplaying game.
My interest is spurred by just how much fun this anime is. The characters have their own unique quirks and personalities; while I was expecting the standard Dungeons & Dragons cookie-cutter characters (sorceress, amazon, paladin, etc.), this anime proved me wrong. The story isn’t overtly simple, but it isn’t decidedly complex, either. It goes along at its own steady pace while still allowing you to relax and enjoy everything that it offers. The action segments of the story always makes room for some joking around and never gets too serious while incorporating fights to unravel without any hesitations or odd timing. Speaking of which, the fight animation is done pretty well. In general, the animation is definitely a treat to watch, but when a fight occurs, there are no shortcut animation tricks being pulled at all.
At the same time, you need to actually play the game in order to understand everything that’s going on in Tales of Eternia. The anime never lets on that Reid, Farah and Keele are childhood friends or that Meredy got to Inferia by crashlanding in a ship. On top of that, the entire series is just one big side quest taken from a larger story revolving around the Great Fall. The ending is as conclusive as infinity, and in short, you’ll be forced to play the game if you want to see how the overall story is played out.
Despite (or because of) a disappointing ending, Tales of Eternia will cause you to have a deep hankering for the game. It sold me, and while this anime isn’t as complete as it could have been, it’s still a lot of fun.