A Day at the Atelier

A review for Atelier Escha and Logy: Alchemist of the Dusk Sky anime

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I’m an Alchemist
15th title of Gust’s popular niche Atelier series, Atelier Escha and Logy: Alchemist of the Dusk Sky got an anime convert a little while back. I’m not aware of prior anime made for this series, but since I too am fan of this line of RPGs, interest quickly perked. I have not played the title, however, so no comparison will me made between the anime and the game.

The Spring in Which We Parted
Atelier Escha and Logy is the second game in the Dusk Trilogy Atelier. The previous game, Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk Sky, did not get an anime production, and this introduces us to a little bit of problem: continuity (more on this later). The game itself takes place in a little village called Colseit, where a young girl from the line of Malier alchemist, Escha, begins her time in the R&D division of the town’s governmental branch. Another alchemist, Logix ‘Logy’ Friscario starts out the same day as her. Among the bountiful land of Colseit is a barren land like most parts of the world, the ‘Land of Dusk’ which had been exhausted generations earlier. The fall of ancient civilization where alchemy reigned, the mysterious ruins floating in the sky, the struggle to make the land once again fertile… Despite these problems lurking beneath the peaceful village, there would always be a warm apple pie in the atelier…

Escha and Logy

Escha and Logy

A Breezy Day Today Too at the Atelier
Atelier Escha and Logy boasts nice soundtracks as expected from Gust’s Sound Team, and both opening and ending set the right tone for the series. Haruka Shimotsuki is amazing as always. The graphics will not astound anyone familiar to larger titles, but don’t disappoint either. Places are beautiful and every now and then there’d be CGs thrown in.

Then we get to the plot and pacing and things start to get…messy. The Atelier series of RPG are focused less on battle and saving the world but more on exploration, synthesis, and interaction with another characters. Given episode constraint, it’s understandable that the first two are not allotted much screentime. However, there are almost no foraging, therefore wasted chance to show off the setting, and all you can see for the actual alchemy is the few times Escha drops every ingredients to the cauldron and mixes them. Fans might like testing their knowledge on the ingredients, but ordinary viewers would be lost figuring out how alchemy works in this world. Logy’s alchemy, dealing more with weaponry like Felt in Atelier Iris II, doesn’t even seem like alchemy at all could stir confusion, for example. Then there’s the whole Spirits thing.

As for character interaction, the anime tries to shine on this. There’s cheery Escha, kindhearted Logy with a secret or two, competent Marion who ends up doing jobs in remote branch for reason unknown, scatterbrained swordswoman Linca, ditzy witch Wilbell and her companion demure Nio, and much, much more…

Each episode, following the spirit of the source game, is lighthearted depictions of Escha’s daily life with her bubbly circle of friends, like .Hack//Legend of the Twilight Bracelet. There’s a semblance of actual story thrown in, but most episode can even be watched out of order without any problem. Despite the title, this is more Escha’s story than Logy’s.

But how if you want to know more about a certain character or event? Well… since there’s quite a lot of characters and we simply don’t have time for all, those aside of Escha are only given cursory glance. One episode at most. Even Logy suffers this fate. The world and the characters are not fleshed out properly despite the potential, and the cast manages to mention quite a lot noodle incidents, some even major to the story. Reyfer and Linca knowing each other? Nio and Wilbell’s search for Nio’s sister? The reason Marion ends up where she is? The name Keithgriff mentioned by Threia?

They actually have explanations…in Atelier Ayesha. I hope you have a PS3…

Thank You For Coming!
Here’s the bottom line: fans would find Atelier Escha and Logy a nice series to wind up on a lazy Sunday evening, and those who like spice-of-life with a hint of fantasy might enjoy this as well. However, if adventure is your call and you’re hoping to find something like the Tales anime(s), this might end up a disappointment.

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