0 Items | £0.00

VIEW BASKET

Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike

Monday 3rd December 2012

Helen McCarthy on the story that’s more than just a game

Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike

Game-based anime succeed or fail depending on how successfully they move from the kill-opponent-acquire-item matrix towards powerful, engaging characters and plotline. The Tales of Vesperia game, released in Japan and the USA in 2008, made enough impact to get a theatrical movie released in October 2009. Funimation believed in its potential strongly enough to acquire the full spectrum of rights – home entertainment, broadcast, theatrical, digital and merchandising – in Spring 2011. So how does their purchase stack up?

Director Kanta Kamei was a visual supervisor on the Kill Bill anime segment The Origin of O-Ren Ishii before helming the Digimon movie Diaboromon Strikes Back. Screenwriter Reiko Yoshida has written for many anime shows, and Akira Senju has made a name for sweeping, heroic music to support tales of high adventure. Production IG's name alone is a guarantee of top-notch animation.

Tales of Vesperia: The First StrikeThe movie itself is a prequel to the Namco Bandai XBox 360 game Tales of Vesperia, itself the tenth in the “Tales series” of games. Ten years after a great war, the people of the planet Terca Lumieris use a powerful and mysterious substance called aer to help them fight off monsters and maintain human life. Yuri and Flynn, childhood acquaintances who have just joined up as knights, are taken under the wing of their corps leader Niren. Under his guidance their rookie enthusiasm is tempered and their friendship matures.

The plot is basic enough that any experienced gamer of fantasy reader will be able to predict it, but engaging and energetic enough to keep most entertained. Those who have played the Tales of Vesperia game will meet a number of new characters in the anime, though most, it must be said, are not extensively developed.

Production IG have done their usual excellent job. Their excellence would be almost monotonous if the results were not so utterly bewitching every time. The images are crisp, fluid and gorgeous. The character and background design carries echoes of Studio Ghibli, enhanced by the European feel of many of the buildings and settings, although here the influence is Spanish, rather than the North European cities loved by Hayao Miyazaki.

The pacing, too, carries echoes of some Ghibli movies – it's leisurely, letting its scenarios evolve. Action sequences are well handled, but the overall feeling is one of evolving the storyline rather than rushing from one set piece fight to another. Fans of the game will find plenty to enjoy, but so will those who aren't.

Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike is out on UK Blu-ray and DVD from Manga Entertainment.

Buy it now

Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike

MANGA UK GOSSIP

Tales Of Vesperia: The First Strike

£17.99
sale_tag
was £19.99
BASED ON THE BEST-SELLING RPG. CREATED BY PRODUCTION IG (GHOST IN THE SHELL)
BROTHERS IN ARMS. UNITED IN ADVENTURE.
In a mythical kingdom, the mighty Imperial Knights harness a magical substance known as Aer to power their weapons and protect humanity from the monsters of the forest. But something strange is afoot. The Aer is somehow changing, causing the wilderness to waste away and stirring the woodland beasts to attack with greater frequency. As danger creeps steadily closer to civilization, two young recruits - Flynn, the rigid son of a fallen hero, and the rebellious and brash Yuri - must ride with their fellow Imperial Knights to distant ruins in hopes of uncovering the truth behind the transforming Aer.
Some will not survive the thrilling journey. Some will be betrayed. If Flynn and Yuri cannot overcome their differences and learn to fight together, all will be lost for the people of the realm.

FEATURED RELEASE

RELATED BLOG ARTICLES

Tales of Vesperia Cosplay: Yuri Lowell

Paul Jacques finds an Imperial Knight at the Birmingham Comic Con
Melissa Joy dresses as Yuri Lowell, the Imperial Knight from Tales of Vesperia. Justice!

RECENT FEATURED POSTS

Chinese Zodiac

Jonathan Clements on Jackie Chan and the Garden of Gardens
Jackie Chan’s films have often smuggled in the odd political nudge and wink behind the tomfoolery, but Chinese Zodiac puts it all front and centre. Rather nobly, it shies away from issues of race or one-sided nationalism, making greed itself the great unifier – ensuring that Europeans and Chinese can be found on both sides of the battle.

The magnificent 47 Ronin

Stephen Turnbull asks what (if anything) went wrong with the 47 Ronin?
When T. H. White’s great Arthurian fantasy The Once and Future King was first published the New York Times described it as “a glorious dream of the Middle Ages as they never were but as they should have been.” A very similar comment would not be inappropriate to describe the strange world of old Japan conjured up in the movie 47 Ronin.

Blue Exorcist: the Movie

Melissa Francis on the hell-spawn creature-feature
If we look back at the 25 episodes of the TV series, Blue Exorcist: The Movie seemed more cohesive in comparison – there were certainly less of those ‘for the hell of it’ moments (no pun intended) and more well-connected, relevant events.

Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist

Akira Koieyama (Goken) on the latest entry in the franchise

One Piece Music: The Babystars

Tom Smith on the band behind the third opening
Babystars may want to change their name; Two of the remaining members are now pushing towards 40-years of age, making them more middle-aged than babies. As for being stars, a lot has changed since their debut back in 2002…

Blood C: The Last Dark

Director Naoyoshi Shiotani on getting the darkness right
“In every theatre you have different light, so you can never be sure what it’s going to look like. So you have to think; will this be okay, will you lose details in that kind of darkness? It was hard to calculate all that.”

Attack on Titan: The Interview

Katsuhiko Kitada, Ryotaro Makihara and George Wada talk Titans
The cheering shakes the roof of the ExCel Centre. It’s October 2013, we’re at MCM London Comic Con, and the audience at the Attack on Titan panel has just been asked if they’d like a second season.
Contact Us   |   Refund Policy   |   Delivery Times   |   Privacy statement   |   Terms & Conditions
Please note your card statement will show billing by MVM. Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike from the UK's best Anime Blog.