Sunday, 2 November 2014

Ys II: Castle in the Heavens

This is the anime adaptation of Ys II and i'm about to get really fangirly so.... yeah.

I'm baised... i love this series so much so of course i liked the anime adaptation... i think it actually does a better job of telling the story then the game... but it is an early 90s anime so the animation is a bit odd... still... this made me too happy.

Still i think i liked the adaptation for valid reasons so if you don't mind a bit of a rundown on the myth and fun ways to look at the series read on.
if you want someone calmly discussing an old anime... i am not that person.

This is not the only Falcom anime i own, I also own the adaptation of Ys I and i own the trails in the sky anime (which i wont watch till second chapter comes out.... so it's going to be on my shelf for a while longer) and if we ever get that webseries that has 3 min episodes on dvd i will own that too.

I personally really enjoy watching anime adaptations of video games cause they will either be really good concise telling of the important bits of plot (like this) or they will be a jumbled mess that only those who actually played the game will get (like the tales of phantasia adaptation which i also love but i understand that it is NOT a good adaptation) 

So i put the DVD in and much like the Ys I menu it looks like it was heavily inspired by the game interface which i love... Normally before i watch anything i quickly check the special features of a DVD just to see whats there.

"Ys 4 Preview"
wait..... wait what? a animated preview for Ys IV: Dawn of Ys?

So i click and we get this 3 min preview that looks really cool and now that i have played celceta i can see which pieces were taken from dawn on ys and then i can figure out what bits were probably inspired by the other Ys IV (cause heaven forbid that something in the falcom timeline make sense... so lets have 2 Ys IV) and it just looked great...
but i couldn't tell if it was an ad for the anime adaptation (which is what it looks like/it would make sense since for some unknown reason Ys 4 comes before Ys 3) or if it was an ad for the game.
I'm leaning towards ad for the game cause i can't find infor of this ANYWHERE... the internet doesn't know about it's existence.
Still i wish it was an anime adaptation, I would buy it so fast cause it actually looked really good. So yeah i had my hopes up and then immediately dashed before i even watched the show.

Then i started it up and oh boy, i couldn't stop grinning from ear to ear.

The show starts off with the Fight with Dark Fact, Spoilers for an old game that has been remade at least 15 times (if not more) but Adol wins and after reading the Book of Fact all 6 books from the priests glow and surround him and he is whisked off to the land of Ys.
He is found by Lilia, a young girl from the village of Lance who gets Adol out of the middle of a battle field and nursed him back to health.

Why this on it's own made me so incredibly happy.
1. Adol drops his sword when the books lift him up and the impact of falling into Ys destroys his armor... it is the perfect explination for why Adol starts as practically powerless at the start of Ys 2 despite having just taken on a being that could weild magic and winning.
2. It shows Dark Fact as being kinda pitiable, he's not a bad guy but he has been tainted with evil and his heart keeps getting influenced by that. (side note i like thinking that he's toal's descendant and not Hugo since the way Reah looks at Dark Fact in some of the promo art is just so darn cute)

Anyways so as we go we find out that monsters hold all the power and will constantly ask for human sacrifices but the number of sacrifices as of late has dramatically increased.
Lilia ends up getting picked as a sacrifice after she defends another girl.
Adol is not cool with just sitting back while the girl who saved him gets killed for no reason so he goes to stop it... after succeeding instead of being congratulated (like he is in the game) he is called the Devil by the towns people who then capture him and try to give him over to the enemy to curry favor with the monsters.

Here's where the fangirling starts... i am not sorry.
As i started to become a fan of the series i was curious about the myth it was based on (cause i love mythology) so i did a little research and while i wasn't able to find and read the myth myself here is the basic rundown.

Ys is a type of atlantis myth but it focuses more on Paris.

Ys is guarded by a woman named Dahut (i have seen a version with two women but we'll focus on this telling) who is the daughter of King Gradlon. Now Dahut is not a good guardian and all sorts of debauchery happens under her watch/by her order. The land is essentially cursed by god because it's just too unholy. One day a knight dressed in red seduces Dahut (it's not hard as she has a new partner every night whom she murders in the morning with a magical mask) and tricks her into either giving him the key that her father carries around his neck or opening the gates herself during a storm.
Well this is bad news cause the man dressed in red is apparently the devil and this act makes Ys sink, killing everyone there.
Paris was built as a sort of replacement (par - Is meaning "like Ys")
the final part of the myth sais that when Paris falls Ys will Rise.

Thanks to this myth i always loved the idea that what if Adol really is the devil in the games.
Think about it.
In every game what is the basic plot?
Adol arrives in a new place, Kills something that could be akin to a godlike being. If there is magic in the world he tends to destroy the ability to use it... and then he leaves having ruined everyones day... he even makes ys fall (though into land instead of into the sea)
I just thought it was a fun alternate way of looking at the series but this anime actually explores it...
EVERYONE calls him the devil... the people who fear him, the monsters who want to bring more evil into his heart and even the big bad that wants to make Adol the avatar of the destruction of the world and rule over it with him.
of course, Adol being the kind hearted knight that he is doesn't fall to evil but i LOVE that they actually explored this "what if"

Not to mention that is actually gives more importance to Lilia's participation in the story and makes her a much bigger part then in the game.
I wish this was longer then 4 episodes... i was just having too much fun
i want anime adaptations of all the Ys games now.

The anime is also a very accurate representation on how to play Ys 2
Adol gets magic in the second game... and you almost never use the sword anymore cause why would you... you can have homing balls of fire take out enemies instead.
so in the anime Adol doesn't have a sword (or if her gets one it doesn't last long) for most of the episodes... and when he does get the Cleria sword they focus on the fact that Cleria is what made monsters (and magic and the evil in mans heart) to begin with and how it's slowly poisoning his mind as he seeks revenge.
sure i would have loved to see Roo adol but only 4 episodes... i'll let it slide.

that last thing i'll talk about has nothing to do with the show but made me laugh.

I started watching this Friday night since i finished Devil Survivor 2 the day before and some of the voices i recognized a little but nothing jumped out at me.
Saturday though when i watched Lilia's voice was suddenly Extremely familiar... i knew that voice... but honestly i shouldn't.... in 92 i wasn't watching anything with subs... i would have been 4-5... and i actualyl don't watch a lot of old anime in general, it's not easy to find and it's almost always expensive.
so what had changed between friday nigth and Saturday night.
I had watched the new episode of sailor moon crystal.
Sailor moon crystal has the voice actor for Usagi reprise her role.
Sailor moon is one of the only old (and from the 90s to boot) anime i own and watch fully every few years in japanese.
So i grabbed my vita which charges right by my bed and check and yep... same voice actor... i laughed.
she sounds exactly the same... even though it has been so long between Ys 2 and Sailor moon crystal.

but yeah... i loved this adaptation.
it's even better then the game cause it goes so much more into the things i love about this series.
makes me so happy and fangirl so much but i'm not sorry.
also i needed this... what you don't know is i have a huge rant about Xillia 2 all types up that wont be posted till i beat or chuck the game out the window (whichever happens first) and i hate being negative but this show just brought me so much joy.

however if you are not as much of a fan of the series as me it may not do it for you... it works well as a stand alone and i think it makes perfect sense (though you'll need to watch the Ys I adaptation as well) and it's also pretty cheap, i think i payed around 20 bucks for both Series.

i still want the rest of the games to get adaptations... that would make me so happy words wouldn't even begin to describe.

also (this is a bit of a giveaway) but the music in this show is so good. some lovely arrangements of the games music.
still... thats enough fangirling for one day.
and again i am really biased so if you don't like it then i completely understand.
Still you should go check it out if you can!

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