Today I will cover Tales of the Abyss. I have never played any of the Tales games, but I did know going into this series that it was based on a game
In all, I feel like someone trolled me when they recommended this one. It was VERY hard to finish for me. As I have said many times before, adventure fantasy/sci-fi is probably my favorite genre of anime, and they can usually be pretty mediocre and I can finish them.... but TotA really tried my patience. The animation was above average, and the story was decent enough (in a way). That's about it for the things I liked.
I have a feeling this followed the game quite closely because it felt like I was watching a JRPG. The going back and forth (like 50 times) between 3 city-states, the support characters casting spells to give the MC time to attack, etc. If you were into that kinda thing, I think you might enjoy those little parts. To me, I found it distracting and it did more harm than good where telling a story was concerned.
The characters were where I was let down the most. Luke, our MC starts out as a whiny sheltered child. There is a good reason for this.... but even when he has an epiphany and changes his outlook on the world and the person he aspires to be..... he was still a little bit of a wuss. The other 15 or so characters were amazingly shallow feeling even though they all had well laid out back stories, a case of character-overload and lack of screen time possibly.
Then there was the pacing. This show was 26 episods, but probably should have been 16 or so. A victim of the anime system? I'm not so sure, there weren't really any filler episodes. There were 3 places they could have ended the story, but it kept having a "but wait, there's more" event. This is why I had such a hard time getting through it all.
Edited by Muinarc - 4/10/14 at 1:30pm