These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Angst? What Angst?: Kyle's father was killed in front of him and his mother was crippled. He's sad about it, but doesn't seem to mind too much even when he remembers. Averted with Loni, who does remember and is upset about it, and with Harold and Judas, who both lose loved ones but just don't show their sadness too openly- Certain skits do show they're still pretty sad about their losses.
Complete Monster: Barbatos Goetia was a former member of the Er'ther Army, who sold out his people to the Aetherians during the Aeth'er Wars so that he could be on the winning side. Due to the scale of the atrocities he committed, Barbatos's name was removed from history altogether. Following his resurrection by Elraine, Barbatos acts as her personal assassin, going after the heroes who saved the world from the resurrection of the Aethersphere and the superweapon Belcrant. In order to kill two of these heroes, Stahn and Rutee, Babartos uses a little boy as a hostage and threatens to kill him unless they drop their weapons. After they do so, Barbatos kills Stahn and cripples Rutee. Barbatos then tries to kill High Priestess Philia Felice and King Garr Kelvin of Phandaria, the latter of which he attempts to kill after crashing an airship into the royal castle as a distraction. When he returns with Elraine to the past, Barbatos encounters Dymlos, the old enemy who had killed him, and, in revenge, kidnaps a girl who's in love with Dymlos to use her as a hostage to force the weakened Dymlos to duel him. And then, he taunts Harold about not being able to save her brother's life if she doesn't change the past. Utterly self-centered, Barbatos's ultimate goal and obsession is to force history to recognize him as a hero, even as he commits every evil deed imaginable and has no comprehension of what true heroism is.
Crazy Awesome: Harold borders on this. During one skit, she offers Loni some home-cooked food. Loni (correctly) guesses that she's spiked the food with paralysing powder so that she can drag his body off for experimentation, and eats some of Nanaly's food instead. Turns out, Harold knew he'd come to that conclusion and switched the plates.
The full version of her last Mystic Arte, Crazy Comet, is this as well as a Game Breaker.
Designated Villain: It's hard to deny that Fortuna wants to make a better world for people, or that Kyle wasn't trying to see the good in her argument, even if he didn't have to agree with it. On the other hand, Fortuna's not very sympathetic, and saying humans are helpless and that history should be destroyed isn't a very good approach to the discussion.
Nanaly Fletch may also be a minor version of this, appearing/announced for spinoff games first before Kyle even appears/get announced. She even appeared overseas first out of all the cast. (She appeared as a cameo boss in Tales of the Abyss.)
Game Breaker: All magic in this game is overpowered compared to melee (according to Word of God, to encourage cooperative play), but Harold's full Crazy Comet spell is so insanely powerful the full version has to be showcased on bosses because the usual enemies won't survive long enough for the whole thing. The last stage heals your party after dealing high thousands of points of damage. It's only balanced by requiring a lot of TP to use (you're guaranteed to have to use a TP restoring item on her to use it) and only being unlockable on the second playthrough of the game. In later games, the spell is turned into a proper Mystic Arte, requiring you to be in overlimit to activate it.
Growing the Beard: Despite some mixed reactions to some story elements, this game is the first to introduce two of the franchise's staples- Grade and the Grade Shop for use on a New Game+. It also included a polished (though still slightly unusual) Mystic Arte system.
Inferred Holocaust: With Elraine creating several Bad Futures, including one spanning a thousand years in length with only three surviving cities, millions of people would have been erased from existence. This is retconned in the end, but it doesn't make it any less horrific.
It Was His Sled: The fact that it is obviously Leon beneath that mask has been lampshaded and parodied quite a bit. Here are afewexamples.
Heck, some dramas treat this as a Paper-Thin Disguise. one good one was when Stahn saw Leon (as Judas) and greeted him as Leon.
Love to Hate: Barbatos Goetia. He's a horrific villain, but also a very over-the-top and entertaining Large Ham, especially in skits, and Dangerously Genre Savvy. People don't soften the evil things he's done, but love him for his vileness and intelligence.
That One Boss: Damn you, your freezing aura and your 100% deflect ability, Elraine. You only really have Loni for healing and it doesn't help that his AI tends to run in and get knocked back. Any time you close in on her, she'll freeze your combos dead on track.
Barbatos, the second and third time you fight him. Especially frustrating in the latter, because at around half-health he starts countering any offensive spells with one of his own, which is the only really effective way to damage bosses in the game.
Fortuna could also be considered this, simply because her fight takes so long.
Harold may be a minor example, as she only joins the party late in the game and her arc ends fairly abruptly with her brother's death. She does get a few skits afterwards (and one is a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming), but for the most part afterwards she only serves for exposition and comedic purposes. And to have a full-out mage.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Many plot threads, especially near the end of the game, are quickly glossed over, such as the budding friendship between Harold and Judas over similar ruthless ideals and losses of people close to them, the revelation that Stahn was Dead All Along, with Kyle witnessing his father's death, Phillia possibly recognizing Judas, the Stable Time Loop created by Chaltier's sacrifice (which causes some timey wimeyFridge Logic with the game's ending taken into account) and anything to do with Nanaly and Loni that didn't involve each other to instead focus on Kyle and Reala's relationship. While the development was good to avoid any string strangling that some Tales games suffer with official couples, that's a lot of glossed over material.
Tier-Induced Scrappy: Nanaly. Only one mystic arte, primarily focused on attacking, in a game where magic is considerably more buffed compared to others...people tend to ditch her when Harold comes along. A rather odd example, since Nanaly is actually beloved character-wise.
Uncanny Valley: Reala is a stick figure. Even with this game's art style, she looks weird. Her dress also makes her legs look much longer than they actually are and her torso look much smaller than it should be. This extends to even cameo appearances where she looks out of place, especially in her cameo for Tales of Graces where she looks like a ten year old girl. There's also the issue of her skin tone being oddly pale with dark lips. She's supposed to be an example of Raven Hair, Ivory Skin but comes off as more of an Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette combined with the obvious thinness.