Yes yes, I am behind on Tales of the Abyss. Went through a bit of a lull, so I’m trying to catch up with it and Kannagi. This and the next episode will be primarily for set-up purposes, as we finally get rid of an idiot and replace him with what should be a proper hero. Also, Mieu deserves more respect now, “desu no~” annoyances aside.
(This is late and my memory is fuzzy O_o;;)
Luke, by virtue of his isofonim connection to Asch, sees everything Asch is willing to show him. Tear struggles to figure out what to do, while Natalia is torn with the knowledge that the Luke she loved for so long was not the real Luke, with whom she was engaged to. After consultation with Tear’s grandfather Teodoro, who administrates Yulia City, and with exception of Mieu and Tear, the remainder of the Azkeriuth group board the serviceable Tartarus and use the memory particles of the Sephiroth Tree and return to the Outer Lands.
Asch leads them to a lab in Belkend that Van often visited. There they are received by Spinoza, who had helped with the kidnapping and replication of Luke. Spinoza confronts Jade, the true pioneer of fomicry, and Jade does not deny his allegations, but continues to question Spinoza. Van’s efforts at the lab, according to him, were for preservation efforts only. However, he escapes through a sealed door, and Jade does not give pursuit, finding all he needs in a document Spinoza leaves behind.
Outside of the lab, Guy takes his leave of the group to go wait for Luke’s eventual return to the Outer World. Natalia, still struggling with new knowledge, calls Asch ‘Luke’ and considers stopping Guy, but Asch angrily demands she never call him by that name. In the evening aboard the Tartarus, Asch flashbacks to his kidnapping, escape, and return to the mansion grounds only to find another Luke had taken his place. After awakening from his dream, he goes to the deck, where he speaks with Jade and absolves him of his crimes in the past.
The Tartarus makes it way to the Ortion Caverns, where they find a huge lab facility, ostensibly to study fomicry. One of the screens shows the lost island of Hod, and Asch surmises that the facility is meant to create a replacement Hod. The lab is racked by an earthquake, and some machinery falls towards Natalia, and Asch move quickly to save her life. The earthquake was a direct result of the destroyed Sephiroth tree, and Jade thinks Van is trying to collapse the Outer Lands. The next target is the city of St. Binah, which Asch shares with Luke before cutting him off.
Luke shudders awake back in Yulia City with an ever vigilant Mieu beside him. Outside, Tear is in the garden singing. Luke quickly decides to go back to the Outer Lands to try and save St. Binah, but Tear brings him back to reality by asking what he would do to save the city. Tear shows Luke that he is simply a person being affected by other people’s words instead of trying to understand the situation for himself. She also expresses doubts about his ability to change with the weight of an entire colony on his shoulders. Luke believes he would die to save Azkeriuth, but knows that isn’t possible anymore, and is content with doing what he is capable of. With Tear still doubtful, Luke borrows a knife and cuts his hair, a symbolic gesture of his farewell to a previous self. Luke asks Tear to watch him as he tries to change.
- Natalia just become the most confused female character in this series, while Tear continues to impress with her general level-headedness. That, and the fact that Tear is still the most adorable character in this series.
- Was there a discontinuity between last episode and this one? I can’t remember, been a while.
- They really need to work on the pacing. Everybody extricated themselves out of Yulia City so quickly, and it was oh-so-convenient too. Then we’re stuck with a port city, a lab, and back to Yulia City, all with a bunch of dialogue. I guess I couldn’t expect a lot of action in a set-up episode.
- Delineation of good and evil makes the series unique. Asch is a much more favorable character this time around. In other news, Luke is finally kicked out of “I’m a douchebag” mode. Now we won’t have to listen to his incessant whining. Yay!
Luke grows a pair.