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Tales of Vesperia: First Strike ~Review~
Tales of Vesperia: First Strike ~Review~
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Review based on the English bluray dub version, may contain spoliers
Released: 2009 JPN
Theme: Action, Adventure, Magic
Length: 110 minutes
Disc: Bluray or DVD
The movie is made by Namco Studios along with Production I.G.
Story *May contain spoliers
I was hoping the story would keep me entertained throughout the movie. Instead, I found myself thinking about how average the story feel. Granted the story is alot better than most movies or tv shows but it felt weird at certain parts. For example during a conversation about eating at a resrurant, Flynn decided to walk away from the party but later shows up to eat. There was a transition of black suggesting that it could have been another day of time; however it felt lazy for not talking about it at all. It could have been that it was not needed; nevertheless it felt a bit out of place flow wise.
The main conflict of the movie is obviously the monsters that appeared near the forest of Shinzontania. Digging deeper in the story would suggesst that the other conflicts or problems, was between Yuri and Flynn over morals and Flynn's Father. In fact you see much of this tension throughout the movie build up until they fight each other over the most stupid thing. They later make up in due time to be told that they need to help find the source of the monsters.
Moving along, I prefer Yuri over Flynn as a main character. Yuri is more outgoing and read to kick ass. Flynn on the other hand, feels uptight and sad over his father's death. He does begin to stop harboring bad feelings about his father's death and comes to terms with his past which I applaud the movie for having character development for once. Yuri too comes to terms with certain events that happen in the movie and decided to no longer work for the imperial knights. All in all, each character showed some form of growth but I still prefer Yuri cause he is a badass and way less of an uptight jerk like Flynn.
Moreover, there were other characters in the movie besides Flynn and Yuri. Some of these characters were from the original video game such as Estelle, Raven & Rutee that appeared briefly. For the most part though, Estelle, Raven & Rutee didn't really add much to the plot and likely in the movie because of fan service to gamers. On the other hand, Niren who is not in the video game left a strong impression on me. He was the type of character that you would love to have a leader. He is kind, thoughtful, funny, and wise beyond his years. Finally, I really loved Repede as a puppy, I wish that there was a plushie of him. Repede being a puppy does suggest the plot-line of the movie being somewhere between 6 months to 2 years before the main story-line of the video game.
Comedy is very much evident in the movie. However, the funny scenes are light-hearted at best  and don't interfere wit the main conflict and relating plot-points. So, it was excellent for them to not overstep their boundaries by not making this movie a comedy. After all, the movie was meant to be an action/adventure type of movie.
In conclusion, the story felt very average for a movie and could have been done better.
*Spolier for the ending of the movie*
Niren's death really didn't leave that much of an impact on me emotionally. Niren died trying to protect the other knights but why was it not more epic for his death? I mean come on, the man is about to die and they didn't have the balls to add blood or even try to make it more dramatic? This very disappointing, shame on Namco and Production I.G for not making the scenes more interesting.
I did really enjoy the twist though at the end of the movie. I certainly did not foresaw that the blonde strategist was the villain in the end. It really blew my mind about that and shows that everyone is not always what they seem. There were other clues in the movie to suggest that he could have made the experiment, although there was no way to connect the dots unless you paid extra attention to detail.
Production I.G has handled many of series video games animation (anime scenes and other work) and had done really well this time around. In fact, some of the scenes where the food was being placed on the table or the scene where the characters were eating the food made me really hungry. The movie is really good quality wise on a HD TV and has really good colors. Also, the opening scene demonstrated how Flynn and Yuri made their journey to the city; therefore it was an excellent choice in animation storyboarding.
There were just a few things I thought were bad relating to the animated scenes. For instance, many of the battle scenes felt lack luster. True the colors and blood was really great still it didn't leave me feeling satisfied. Additionally, they didn't fully draw out character faces or certain details during some of the scenes. Production I.G also made some weird angles at times that felt out of place.
In conclusion, the animation was really great. They only need to improve scene quality for their future projects. It could always be worse though, here hoping that it doesn't get worse.
For the most part I listened to the English Dub version of the movie. All of the voice actors fit perfectly with each character personality. Also, I believe all the voice actors for the video game characters such as Yuri, Flynn, Estelle, Rutee and Raven had their original voice actor. Therefore, they stay true to the video game in terms of voice actors and made the voices interesting.
The music played throughout the movie felt average. There were not many soundtracks that I particular liked about the movie. I did enjoy the opening music and ending music a whole lot. Besides that, I did notice some scenes without music and simple ambience with just the characters talking, felt like the sound was well executed because of this.
Once again, it felt average and nothing new.
Story: 3/5
Animation: 4/5
Sound: 3/5
Overall score: 3.5 out of 5. In terms of enjoyment I would probably rate this movie the same enjoyment as I did with full metal alchemist milos star which means average. It added nothing really new to the overall story, probably could have been better. I do realize that you only have a short amount of time to tell a story. It just  I felt sad that they didn't do good. On a side note, if you played the video game then you would really enjoy the movie and my review would have been a 4.5/5 as a fanboy.
Where to buy: Click link. Tales of Vesperia First strike Movie 
Anime recommendations:
Full metal Alcehmist Milos star: better story, music and comedy than the tales movie.
Tales of the abyss:  story based on a tales game and similar comedy that was displayed in the movie.
Castle in the sky - more of an adventure movie, therefore not much comedy but has an interesting twist similar to the tales movie.
Other updates
It took me a very long time to do this review since I am a you know. Anyway, other anime on my list to review are the following:
  • Kaze no Yojimbo
  • Irresponible captain tylor
  • Master Keaton
  • Mushishi
  • Beck
  • Darker than Black
I might review some manga as well but I'm not so sure about that cause I would have to re-read many of the chapters. On the other hand, I re-watch the movie at least 6-7 times and rewrote the review 15-16 times. 
Moving forward, my future game reviews are the following:
  • Tales of Xillia (may take me. until August 28th to finish review because I need more than 100 hours clocked into the game and other things.)
  • Tales of Legendia
  • Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
  • Resonance of Fate
  • Final Fantasy 13 sometime in the next afterlife.
  • Nier
  • Disagea 4
  • Persona 3: Fes
  • Persona 4 (golden?)
  • Gungrave video game
  • Orphen
  • Star Ocean The last hope
Now I might be doing some opinionated/news related articles about the anime industry and game industry in the near future. Also, happy day to anime watcher everywhere.
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    Yea, it's a downside to manually featuring a series. I may look into fixing that when I get a proper system for featuring. It's featured again though.
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    Well its interesting to know that if you edit a blog post you no longer become featured. Anyway, I agreed with on that one theawesome. This movie is very much enjoyable to those of the Tales series games. I always did think Production I.G did awesome animation work, I'm just curious as to who I should blame for certain scenes of the movie. =P
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    I'll probably skip this one. I rarely buy anything unless it meets what I like. As you said this lacks depth in it's story so I may lose interest.
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    It may be worth a look. I'm normally a fan of anything production I.G. is involved in. They do a really good job with animation. The only concern I have with them is that their biggest advantage is also their biggest flaw. They tend to stick to one animation style. While it's very well done it also doesn't make the company stand out much. But if you want consistent quality Production I.G. is one of the best. FYI, I went ahead and featured this one. Very well written. :D
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