‘Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike‘ is a Japanese anime film directed by Kanta Kamei and based on a video game from Namco. The screenplay was written by Reiko Yoshida for Production I.G, Bandai Visual, and distributor Kadokawa Pictures.
In the world of Terca Lumireis, the people use Apatheia, also known as aer, a magical resource used for powering defensive shields, devices, healing, medicine, and attacks. Yuri Lowell (Troy Baker) and Flynn Scifo (Sam Riegal) are two rookie knights in the Niren Corps, which protects the kingdom. They are stationed in the rural city of Shizontania under the command of Captain Niren (Christopher Sabat) and are partnered with twin sisters Hisca (Trina Nishimura) and Chastel (Leah Clark). The city is under siege by monsters who seem to be overloaded with aer, which manifests in red instead of the normal green. Niren sends Flynn to the capital for reinforcements while Yuri grows closer to a puppy dog named Repede and starts to appreciate Nirem’s concern. When the Captain sense something evil coming from an abandoned castle, he turns to strategist Garista (J. Michael Tatum) for assistance, but he tries to dissuade the Captain. As monster attacks increase, the Niren Corp find themselves in a desperate situation as the forest surrounding the town grows even more dangerous.
I will be honest here, I have never played the game so I cannot compare it in that sense. I was informed that it is a sort of prequel to the game. With this in mind, I can only review it as a film and not as an adaptation of the video game.
The animation is decent. I mean, I was not totally blown away, but I thought it was competent for the type of movie it was. The action sequences were decent and the character and monster designs were well done.
The story I thought was decent. It was somewhat slowly paced, but I still thought it was a decent plot with interesting characters who were trying to save the people that they care about. I especially liked the two protagonists and how their interactions worked within the plot.
Apparently, its target audience disagreed with me. The movie was poorly received in theaters, though it did decent in home video releases. I spoke with someone who had played the game and their big complaint was that it kind of danced around the game instead of serving as a decent prequel. That is a fair criticism.
Bottom line, I found Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike to be a bit slow, but I still thought the characters were interesting and the plot compelling. It had its flaws but was still entertaining.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Fantasy violence, Some minor language
FAVORITE QUOTE: I guess being a jerk is the one thing you’re good at.
Check out the trailer below:
This review is based on the dub.
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This article has been updated from a previous version.