[Disclosure: Anime Consortium Japan (ACJ), the owner of Anime Now!, is an investor in Tales of Zestiria the X. Moreover, Bandai Namco Holdings, the parent company of the creator of the original Tales of Zestiria game, is a major shareholder in ACJ.]
[Note: This article may contain minor spoilers for the story of Tales of Zestiria the X.]
Way back on New Years Eve 2014, a TV special anime program titled Tales of Zestiria: Dawn of the Shepherd (Tales of Zestiria: Dōshi no Yoake) aired on Japanese television to celebrate the release of the PlayStation 3 video game Tales of Zestiria. While fans were amazed by the beautiful animation and intrigued by the anime–which served as a prologue to the game–some other fans were utterly amused when a certain character was killed off, only to have his death forgotten the next scene.
At the beginning of the story in both the game and the prologue anime, seraphim and Izuchi resident Maisen is only pointed out to us by name–and we never get any time to really get to know him. When Lunarre attacks, Maisen is his first victim. It’s quite a gruesome scene, with the poor Maisen being eaten by the demonic man. Having lost a precious member of their family, surely Sorey and Gramps and the others would mourn the loss of their comrade. At least a few seraphim would shed some tears, right?
In the anime prologue, the moment after they find him dead, they’re laughing and cheering and blasting fireworks up in the air to make their guest Alisha feel at ease. It was so sudden that fans were laughing all around the world. Fans from abroad started posting meme images about Maisen mourning his (insignificant) death, with one fan even starting a “He Ate Maisen” Tumblr blog. “a blog dedicated to shitposting about zestiria,” the grammatically incorrect description of the blog reads, “this blog is also dedicated to find out why no one gave a heck about maisen being eaten alive.”
This made episode two of Tales of the Zestiria the X all the more hilarious when the unexpected happened… Maisen lived. I had the pleasure of attending the screening of the first four episodes of the anime, and I almost burst out laughing when Maisen got up good as new after his encounter with Lunarre. I wasn’t alone though; I could hear Japanese patrons here and there giggling when Tales of Zestiria‘s equivalent of Dragon Ball Z‘s Yamcha actually managed to live in some form of media.
And that’s what makes Tales of Zestiria the X so much fun. It doesn’t directly adapt the game and it doesn’t feel like it has to follow the standards of the TV special the preceded it; it lives and breathes on its own. And as an added bonus, Maisen gets to live and breathe as well. Great to see you alive and well, buddy.
Image Copyright © BNEI/TOZ-X