Another two-episode recap of Tales of the Abyss. Gotta say, Episode 20 was kind of depressing…but then they follow it up with a fat lot of NOTHING in 21. Only 4 more episodes to go after this, and it still feels like the story is moving at a snail’s pace. Really odd, considering they’re warping between continents most of the time. I guess I’ll reserve final judgment when all is said and done.
Confused and concerned over what Asch might’ve found out from Spinoza, the group departs from Daath Cathedral and head for Mt. Roneal. Although Luke tells Anise she can stay behind, she refuses, believing that Ion would have wanted her to go with the others. Before they can leave, however, Arietta arrives with a challenge to Anise, whom she believes has killed Ion. Anise accepts, and Arietta promises to send her information later on. As the group treks to Mt. Roneal, they realize that if Arietta had survived the avalanche that Jade had caused, the otheres must be alive as well. Out of the corner of his eye, Luke notices a pendant lock sitting in the snow, with inscriptions marking the birth of a girl named Meryl. Luke thinks he understands what it is, but moves forward before he is left behind by the others.
Inside the Sephiroth Tree, the group meets Asch, who is obviously angered by Luke’s inability to acquire the Jewel of Lorelei. He also informs the others that, contrary to popular belief, Van is very much alive, having absorbed the power of Lorelei (and hence living up to his name, Vandelsca, “he who would seize glory”). With him in the mix again, the Seventh Fonons have dwindled, the Planet Storm activity has been increasing, and miasma is seeping back into the world. The only way to fix things would be to use the Key of Lorelei, which is a combination of the Sword and…the Jewel that Luke seemed to have misplaced. Asch leaves to go look for the Jewel, and Jade suggests the team focus their efforts on reducing the miasma.
Investigation leads the group to an uncharted island, which Guy recognizes as the Island of Feres, the forgotten island destroyed by the tidal wave produced through Hod’s destruction. Anise also realizes that Feres is Arietta’s home, and recounts how Arietta was brought up by ligers, only to be returned to civilization by Van and the real Fon Master Ion. Feres also houses another secret – the fomicry machine that is churning out replicas. Jade proceeds to destroy it, prompting Mohs to ask a nearby Dist to show them the power of a Fon Master. Dist’s places a focus on his forehead, and Mohs is transformed into a humongous, if not somewhat bulbous, monster. Mohs wipes out the Island of Feres in one shot, and raises Eldrant, aka Hod 2.0, to the skies above.
While Mohs goes nuts and battleships try to take down the Planet Storm-shielded Eldrant, Anise receives her challenge from Arietta. Together with her friends, Anise enters the forest, where Arietta and Largo, acting witness, await. Together with her friends, however, Anise wipes out the ligers and Arietta falls, still believing that Anise had killed the real Ion. As she passes away, Largo vows that the next time he meets Luke’s group, it will be their demise.
The Ancient Tower
Largo rejoins the God-Generals and quickly butts heads with Dist over Arietta’s death, sending Dist away in anger. Legretta is not amused by Mohs still hanging around, but Sync convinces her to leave him be. After all, they all joined with Van with very different motives. Largo looks down and realizes that a certain locket is missing, and Sync reveals that Van, for all his strength, is having hell trying to deal with Lorelei.
Luke and the others return to Kimlasca territory, where King Ingobert promises to work with Malkuth to try and put down Eldrant. Luke sends Natalia and Tear to cheer Anise up, and with only Guy, Jade, and Mieu listening, Luke asks King Ingobert if he recognizes the picture in the locket. Sure enough, the Meryl in the picture is none other than Natalia, meaning that Largo, one of the God-Generals, is Natalia’s father. King Ingobert, ashamed of his fears that not telling Natalia would distance her from him, resolves to look into the matter himself. Shortly after their meeting, Asch uses his telepathic skills to contact Luke, but Luke convinces him to go to the Fabre mansion first.
Asch returns to the house he thought he’d never see again, and the Fabres are reunited for the first time in seven years. Meanwhile, outside, Jade finds that the replicas who did not make it onto Hod are gathering at a certain old tower. Before long, though, Asch returns outside, angered that Luke is meddling in things that are not his business. Jade questions Asch as to his purpose in calling them out; although Asch simply responds he’s curious of how Kimlasca and Malkuth are dealing with Eldrant, Jade gets a no-response after asking about his physical condition. With Asch returning to the Baticul proper, he is overcome with sickness, and murmurs that there is no time left for him.
Returning to Belkend, the group receives somber news from Spinoza, who tells of the miasma engulfing the world. The only way of neutralizing the miasma now is through the hyperresonance Luke once performed at a certain mining facility. However, they’d require 10,000 Seventh Fonists to cleanse the world, and the strain would certainly destroy Luke. Asch, listening in, realizes that he can use the replicas, and heads for the Tower of Rem; soon after realizing Asch was listening in, Luke and the others head to the tower as well.
- Arietta’s death was the most dramatic point in the series in…well, the entire series. That says something regarding quality, doesn’t it? That it took 20 episodes before something shook me loose? Ridiculous. But after painting her backstory, it’s really sad how she died to protect a deception. Ignorance IS bliss, I guess.
- With that said, I nearly fell asleep in the first half of Ep. 20. I mean, seriously, Mohs, shut up and move along, please. Get to the good part (i.e. Mystic Arte finish!). Plus, I can’t get over his new “Jabba with spider legs” look. Good lord, whoever thought of that one needs to be shot.
- Luke, self-proclaimed sacrificial lamb. Blargh, stupid tower and stupid hyperresonance. LOL at Asch’s return home, though. That might take the cake as the most AWKWARD homecoming ever.
Go Luke! Take one for the team!