Tales of Zestiria the X
Episode 14

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 14 of
Tales of Zestiria the X (TV 2) ?

“Innocent” and “ignorant” are not synonymous terms, although they are at times used interchangeably. In the case of Sorey, he may be the former, but he's definitely not the latter – and it looks like he knows there's something suspicious about Rose. This episode opens with him watching her walk back to the Sparrowfeathers' base very early in the morning, and the expression on his face remains carefully blank, even when he casually mentions at breakfast that she's up early. He doesn't appear to put two and two together when Sergei shows up and lets it slip that a bishop has died during the night, but Rose had better start being more careful if she wants to keep Sorey in the dark about her position among the Scattered Bones. That's going to become more difficult by the end of the episode, when Dezel starts going all Wizard of Oz on the Cathedral, thinking he's carrying out Rose's wishes. If anything was going to tip Sorey and the gang off, this would be it.

Personally, I'm very glad to see Dezel begin to take a more active role in the story, because right now Rose's hesitation about the Seraphim is making it difficult for the story to include Mikleo, Lailah, and Edna. With Rose actively denying that she can hear them and unable to see them (she clearly doesn't share Alisha's curiosity), the Seraphim have been hanging back – and Mikleo and Edna aren't happy about it. (Lailah's previous experience with Shepherds appears to have given her a different outlook on human interactions.) From a storytelling point of view, this also negates a lot of the Sorey/Mikleo interactions that were so enjoyable in the first half of the series, since Sorey is too nice to ignore people and hold lengthy conversations with what appears to be thin air. Fortunately this week does indicate that it won't be a lasting issue, as a mysterious hole in the ground turns out to have been spawned by Malevolence. Since there's a water base to the problem, Mikleo accompanies Sorey to solve it along with Sergei, the knight who previously tried to arrest the Shepherd. He's actually turning out to be a pretty good character – willing to accept the Seraphim, attempting to make up for his mistakes with flowers and chocolate, and believing Sorey when he says that there's a problem. He's clearly going to be the counterpoint to the latest bad guy to rear his head, Groodman.

Apart from the fact that his name sends me into a fit of giggles, Groodman looks like he got lost on his way to a Shinsengumi revival, particularly from the shoulders up. He's definitely up to no good, or he's just trying to prevent a major scandal, since the Cathedral is saying that the bishop Rose killed died of a mysterious illness. If that's the case, he may not actually be in opposition to anyone, simply trying to prevent a panic. Rose is unlikely to see it that way, and this stands to create major friction between her and Sorey. The Shattered Bones' philosophy of killing the one to save the many is in direct opposition to Sorey's creed, which is to just save everyone, regardless of how deserving they appear to be. If Dezel is firmly on Rose's side, which he seems to be, this could also create a rift between the four Seraphim, which sounds like an invitation to a whole lot of Malevolence. Given that next week's episode is named after opposing philosophies, that looks like the direction we're headed. We may be about to find out which is stronger: innocence or revenge.

Rating: B+

Tales of Zestiria the X is currently streaming on Daisuki and Funimation.

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