Phantasy Star Online 2: Oracle Episodes is a series that premiered in Japan on October 7, 2019. It’s an anime based on the mmo, Phantasy Star Online 2 or PSO2. Sega went all out and hired the studio, Gonzo; best known for Rosario to Vampire, Hellsing, Afro Samurai, Basilisk, and Trinity Blood. With Funimation acquiring the rights to simulcast the episodes with English subtitles to the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Ireland audiences.
The plot is simple; The colony fleet called Oracle travels space in search of a habitable planet. The odyssey is organized by a large explorer organization called ARKS, whom are intent on seeking out and destroying the evil and destructive abominations that lurk within the stars, known as Falspawn (Darkers in the original Japanese version, so I shall call them as such), so that the universe may someday realize peace.
This anime foretells the events of the first 3 episodes in the game, also known as episode Oracle, which is being expanded into 25 episodes. Gonzo hired the original voice actors (VA) from the game, to reprise their roles for the anime.
The episodes can get summed up as such; Ash, the protagonist, is just starting out as a rookie hunter in ARKS and goes on his first mission with other rookies. On the way to the planet Naverius, he meets an elf and fellow rookie Afin, who insists on calling Ash partner.
During the mission, Ash keeps on having dreams of a woman that speaks of fate. Later on, the group gets attacked by Darkers. In the anime, the Darkers appear to be more of a threat, by wiping out the entire team; leaving only Ash and Alfin alive.
Then a girl named Matoi falls from the sky and asks Ash to kill her; with an even more mysterious masked man intending to kill them both. As a game that you play as the main protagonist, they gave Ash a decent personality; being plagued by memories of the past and a strange woman.
They made the Darkers feel more of a threat compared to the game as they completely kill off most of the rookie team and ARKS members go insane due to the F-factor overlord.
The mystery surrounding Arks true motives, the Dark Falze, 10 years ago, and Matoi all seem to be a really good start and I can’t wait to see how the anime will play out. I’ll do I full review as soon as all the episodes release, but for now, it’s really good. The pacing could use some work, otherwise, I highly recommend this anime and the game for anyone who hasn’t played it.
On March 2020 a NA port for the game will be released for western audiences and I can’t wait.