After we see Sorey and Mikleo working to purify Marlind’s water source, we get to meet the Seraph who was the drake from the previous episode. In this way, we find out how Seraphim can become corrupted by malevolence, as well as the original form and function of Seraphim within human society. Much of this information parallels the game, so if you’ve played Tales of Zestiria then this isn’t anything new. From here, the episode begins to set the stage for the first war that will take place in the narrative, with Alisha and Sorey discovering the plans while Alisha’s troops are ordered to mobilize. While Sorey wants to accompany her, Lailah does not believe it’s a good idea, and Sorey quickly learns why when he (conveniently) discovers a hellionized human for the first time. This is a huge shift from the game, in which you discover a hellion in the form of a child fairly early on (not to mention the Scattered Bones member who attacks Sorey’s village at the beginning of the game).
The whole system of the Shepherd’s purification seems to have been deepened with this adaptation. For starters, by purifying a human, the Shepherd seems to take the malevolence into himself. As far as I can remember, this was not the case in the game. Additionally, by purifying a human hellion, the Shepherd is able to see what caused the hellionization in the first place, and through this process we find out that Sorey can even purify the souls of the dead. All of this information was not in the game to the best of my memory, and while it does make the anime feel a little less like an adaptation and more like an alternate retelling, it does add to the overall weight of the Shepherd’s task, which is definitely a good change.
Other differences include Alisha and Rose’s meetings, both with Rose acting as a Sparrowfeather and as a Scattered Bones member. Again, as far as I can remember, the two don’t cross paths in the game until after Alisha has left the party and Rose has joined, but, again, this meeting sets the stage for a potentially deeper relationship–a good development, unless you want a completely pure adaptation. All in all, the stakes are being raised as we enter the last few episodes of the season, but fret not! A second season has been confirmed for 2017!
A Christian Perspective:
While Sorey’s party is discussing the corruption of Marlind with Rohan, the guardian Seraph of the village who had been a drake in the previous episode, Atakk mentions how he’s seen entire villages disappear, and that it always starts over a tiny thing. Now that Rohan is healed, Sorey’s party is asking him how Marlind reached such a state. While Rohan doesn’t remember, he believes it happened over something small, like the theft of a book. This is the basis for Atakk’s comment, and it is very reminiscent of how sin works in our lives. It starts out as something small–an innocent search on Google turns up an unexpected image, which sparks the desire to see more; a simple glance or accidental brush against a coworker sparks a flame that leads to infidelity; etc.
This was certainly the basis for King David’s affair with Bathsheba recorded in 2 Samuel 11. King David happened to catch a glimpse of Bathsheba bathing, which sparked lust within him, leading to adultery and then to David indirectly murdering Bathsheba’s husband. In the end, this leads to the death of David’s son, who he conceived with Bathsheba. One glance led to a multitude of sins and the loss of two lives. In Zestiria, the simple theft of a book led to the corruption and plaguing of a city. In both cases, something seemingly insignificant led to damage and destruction. We would be wise to monitor our personal lives and to deal with the “little” things as they crop up, rather than brushing them off as “no big deal.” One day, we might find ourselves in a miry situation that could have been easily avoided if we’d dealt with our wrongdoing at the very beginning.
Alcohol/Drug Use: None
Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Maltran cleavage
Violence: Sorey fights a hellion; Alisha squares off with the Scattered Bones
Blood/Gore: Blood beads out from a small wound on Alisha’s neck
The Bottom Line