Tales of Symphonia: A Long Time Ago Vol.1

テイルズ オブ シンフォニア - A long time ago 第1巻

Company: Frontierworks 
Based on: Game
Released: 2004.07.23

Tales of Symphonia is one of my favorite games of all time, and I've been meaning to listen to the drama CD's for ages now. And here it is! The review for the first vol!

In total there are 3 volumes for A Long Time Ago, and each CD has two stories that deal with the past of a character. The first CD has stories for Regal Bryan and Fujibayashi Sheena. The stories are told as flashbacks, so while the drama CD's are chronologically after the game, the stories themselves are from before the game starts. Am I still making sense?

Interestingly enough, the prologue has nothing to do with the two stories. In the prologue we hear how Lloyd (CV: Konishi Katsuyuki) and Collette (CV: Mizuki Nana), are traveling to find all remaining exspheres. While the entire party from the game may now be split up, everyone is working towards the same goal in their own way (due to spoiler reasons, I'll refrain from any details ;)

Switch to Regal his story. While riding a coach to somewhere Regal (Ootsuka Akio) remembers a scene from his childhood with his father. Regal his father is a rather cold-hearted man who thinks only of their family company. Unintended Regal follows in his footsteps. However all of this begins to change when one of the maids one day puts a single white flower on display in his room.

Interested in the flower Regal asks her what the name of is the day after, and so she begins to bring a new one everyday. Through this they slowly become acquainted, and Regal begins to act much less cold in every aspect of life. However his butler George sees the growing love between a Noble, not to mention the president of a large company and a simple maid as unfit, and tears the two apart...

The second story is about Sheena (CV: Okimura Akemi), who receives a job offer from Zelos (CV: Onosaka Masaya). Due to it being a job with many responsibilities she initially want to refuse it. Involuntarily, this makes her think of when she was still working at the Elemental Research Lab in Meltokio.

During her time there she one day meets a man made elemental spirit named Corrinne. Feeling sorry for Corrinne because it is used in all kinds of experiments, she decides to set it free. Corrinne however stays with Sheena, and becomes a sort of moral support to her.

In short, these are the stories of how Regal met Alicia and how Sheena met Corrinne. If you've played the game, there is no really new information in this drama CD. It just gives further details to a past that we already knew. That doesn't make it any less interesting though. Especially in Regal his case, because I always had the feeling that he just missed a lot of screentime in the actual game (because he is the last person to join your party).

(I just realized I could have written a summary of only one sentence, doh)

In the bonustrack both Ootsuka Akio and Okamura Akemi give a short comment about their story. Maybe due to being so short it felt rather... lacking though. I really hoped for a cast comment with everyone involved, but alas.

Because these CDs technically take place after the game, and therefore assume you know about every spoiler there is, it is probably best to listen to this only if you've (almost) finished the game. For those who are interested in the backstories of the characters this drama CD  is the right thing. Even if it is just a more detailed version of a story we already know.

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