Trauma of the Tales of Series panel critque.

Started by keyblademaster333, June 26, 2018, 03:14:29 PM

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Moved this post here since I realized it fits better here.

This post is certainly a month late, I am aware of that. However, I wanted to try and figure out my thoughts on the panel as a member of the audicene.

From the start, I'm a huge fan of the Tales of Series. Tales of the Abyss is one of my five favorite games period, and my first game was Vesperia. I have a huge love for the series, so I attended the panel because I was surprised to see someone discussing the Tales of Series at a panel.

From the outset, I thought the panel would be discussing the characters and how the series portrays grief, tragedy, and how characters deal with loss. After all, the panel description implied it would be about such a thing.

Now, I want to make this clear; what the host of the panel described happened to her is awful, and there is no denying of how horrible experiencing things like that can be. The point of my post is what I thought about the panel itself, not about the hosts personality or history. I think the panel had good idea, but bad execution. Instead of critically analyzing characters, events, or plot lines, the panel was the host using her own experience to tell the audience how she felt while playing. While this would be fine if it was to describe the scene, than offer her own interpretation, the way the panel was scripted was not what the game factually did, but what she felt about the scenes or characters. This is a problem because instead of discussing or debating, the audience was effectively preached too about how they were supposed to feel.

For example, when discussing Tales of Berseria, the host complained about a scene where the character Eleanor tried to rationalize the main actions of the main antagonist to herself, as Eleanor was formerly a member of the antagonists side but was unaware of the truth. Her character arc is about understanding how wrong she was, and its a pretty solid arc. However, the host criticized this scene as "we can't have Eleanor be called out because she has to be "pure" of heart". This ignores a sidequest that shows Eleanor nearly falling into hatred as well, but being stopped by the group as they recognize she isn't someone who can handle being the same kind of cruel hearted nature as some of them are. The host spins it by comparing it to a real life event that she had happened, which again is horrible that it happened, but is grossly different from what happened in game. It wasn't a critical analysis of Elenaor's character arc, but instead a disgruntled rant about not liking a story point, which was done already when discussing Tales of Zestiria, though her point there started off strong but ended up being the same issue. I was honestly wanting to debating her on it, as I thought that time would be allowed for questions or debating, but the entire time was used and no questions were allowed. Of course I don't want to sound like I'm trying to educate her on a fictional character, but debating it would of been a nice way to make the panel feel fun and interesting.

The problem I'm getting at was that the panel was less of a analysis, discussion, or debate about the writing of the series, and instead was half ranting about the plot points she didn't like, and using in game events to preach at us about her "cosplay help group". I don't think the group was a bad idea, but it was a bit jarring. Honestly, I think this panel was a let down as a fan of the series, and I don't really like the idea of being preached at about how horrible someone's life was at an anime convention. Unless the panel is about that, it feels out of place. I wanted to see mention of Luke from Tales of the Abyss and how his character arc was done, or discuss how the series portrays real world issues. Instead I got a lecture of sorts, and to me, that isn't fun to sit through.

Again, no disrespect towards the host. I just feel some constructive criticism was needed to maybe make the panel going forward be more interesting.


I didn't attend this panel, however the situation you described is one of the reasons I stopped going to fan panels many years ago.  Either discussion/interaction was severely limited, or at least in the case of panels on topics I'm interested in, I often found myself more knowledgeable on the topic than the individual putting on the panel.
FanimeCon attended: 17 times
1999 - 2001
2006 - 2019
2022 -


I usually don't go to fan-panels at Fanime as a lot of them seem to be growing around the talk of politics and that entire cluster fuck of opinions. I only went to this one because it was for a series I liked, and I feel as though it was not a good use of time.