A man is spotted by a stream and suspected of being a spy. The town is about to be invaded by the imperial army, and a unit of soldiers encounter this man outside his home as he is being escorted by the young Alicia.
It was only last fall that I played the PS3 game and …so far I like what I see.
I think it would have been nice to have a general introduction to the current situation like in the game. They do have a male voice that establishes the ancient history, so maybe two in a row would have been overkill. The spy stalking at the start of the episode is well played with dramatic music and overacting.
Only Alicia, Isara and Welkin are introduced so far and they look and sound just fine. All of them retain their seiyuu from the game. I don’t even mind Alicia’s ahoge.
All around there is strong support from the Valkryia soundtrack. The BGM and Alicia’s quivering eyes made the unveiling of the tank more dramatic than I’d expected. The opening is just generic J-pop. The ending on the other hand is outstanding. It features some jazz/ska styled pop with hypersynthed vocals. The vocals reminded me of GLaDOS or some other Vocaloid. I would like to hear pe’zmoku in more anime themes.
I can tell from the aforementioned gunshot and the house being torn up by tanks that they can do the action right. Also, they have captured the visual style of the game through watercolor hatching on clothing and such. It was critical to the presentation to have the texture right, and while it’s not as heavily used as on the PS3 it hits the mark.
I have two small gripes. The first is when Isara shoots a soldier once and he hits the ground. That had better have been a headshot with a sniper rifle! This is just a game technicality, but I hope they feature some sick strategies in action when it’s time to battle. The other is that they changed the two town guards into kids. It’s trivial, but I don’t like that they look such a liberty so early. It was not needed in the least. Oh well.
Overall, it was a slow start but one that demonstrates they know what they are doing when it counts. I give the first episode a 3/5.
I’m anticipating the battling next time! As a 13 episode show the pacing should be right on.
A somewhat accurate portrayal of myself prior to release…
Unlike kaki here, I had no experience with the game so everything is new to me. In addition, soured by how Tales of the Abyss turned out, I was holding back on expectations. After all, most game adaptations wind up being average series with nothing worth noting.
Despite the slow start with the spy accusation, I found myself drawn into the story. Or rather, into Alicia and Isara. But before I go crazy over how much I adore them, the bad news first. Alicia’s eyes… Some parts seemed rushed in animation. A bit too big and sometimes off centered.
As seen here…
Other than those 3-4 scenes, I was more than pleased by how it turned out. Alicia has the tough dutiful exterior but a certain moment in the bushes proves that she’s still a girl. As for Isara, such a loving sister. I wish I had one… instead of a grouchy younger brother…
As for the music, I enjoyed the OP but mostly for the scenes. The song doesn’t stand out but it’s not particularly bad. The ED isn’t impressive but that’s just me. The combination of vocals and images had the opposite effect on me. As for the background music, powerful and fitting. No complaints there.
Overall, a very nice start and I hope it becomes a permanent fixture in my viewing schedule. Unless it turns utterly generic, chances of me watching this is good… if only for Alicia and Isara :)