Tears to Tiara


#1

###Tears to Tiara

Genres: adventure, comedy, drama, fantasy, romance
Themes: bishounen, medieval, war, war-medieval
Number of episodes: 26
Vintage: 2009-04-05 to 2009-09-27

Plot Summary: Set in a fictitious land during a medieval-like era of magic and fantasy, Tears to Tiara unfolds with the Divine Empire’s rise to power as it conquers and rules lands far and wide. On the island of Erin, still ruled by the Ancient Kingdom, the Goidelic people are attempting to sacrifice priestess Riannon to revive protagonist and demon king Arawn to lead the resistance against the Empire. Although the ritual fails and Riannon survives, the seal imprisoning the demon king is broken and Arawn is resurrected. Armed with mysterious and devastating powers and a human’s demeanour, Arawn joins Riannon, her brother and battalion commander, Arthur, as well as their team of fighters comprising a swordsman, an archer and a quintet of magical pixies, in the epic struggle against the Divine Empire.

ANN Info Page


#2

Can’t wait to buy this.


#3

Same here. I’ve heard some great things about it, and I can’t wait to finally watch it.

This is another show they should stream on TAN ahead of the DVD releases hint, hint :slight_smile:


#4

Went ahead and ordered the first set while the sale is going on at RSI.
http://www.theanimenetwork.com/component/option,com_kunena/Itemid,65/catid,4/func,view/id,11434/

Hopefully I get out my funk and start watching again by the time this is ships.


#5

Was looking at a couple of screen captures of this series and it looks phenomenal. I may have to blind buy this one.


#6

I got the first set of this a few days back, and I just finished watching the first disc. It’s pretty good so far. It’s fairly typical fantasy anime fare, but it executes everything quite well. The animation is crisp, polished, and brightly colored. The video quality on the release is very good. The subtitles are excellent, and I only noticed two errors of note through the first seven episodes. One may have been a simple translation error or typo. One of the girls was given instructions on how to milk a cow, and she was told to “play” her fingers on the utter, when it appears it should have been placed. The other was a line that Morgan spoke, and it appears a word was double upped by mistake. Other than those, the subtitles are well done and free of misspellings or errors.

The Japanese performances are quite good, and the music is excellent. The opening is a bit funny, as it is one of those Japanese songs that likes to randomly through English phrases in the middle that don’t quite fit, but it’s still a very nice song. I think I actually prefer the ED though. My only real complaint is the audio. Sadly, this show is presented in Japanese 2.0 (like most subtitled releases), which is a shame, as it could really benefit from directionality in the audio. I found myself cranking up the volume a bit more than normal, until I remembered that my receiver has a function that splits the audio channels and does an amazing job simulating Dolby Surround.

As for the show itself,

you have a lot of the standard anime/RPG characters. You have the orphans who lead their tribe, the Gael, including the innocent maiden Riannon and her protective brother Arthur. These two are the primary characters, along with the recently resurrected Demon Lord Arawn. Arawn is surprisingly laid back and level headed for a Demon Lord who was awoken to destroy humanity. But he’s had a 1000 year+ nap, so he probably feels quite refreshed.
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You also have a lot of archetypes, such as the constantly hungry and drunken female warrior Morgan, who is craving Arthur’s position as “First Warrior”. There is the old and wise mystic Ogam, who knows much about the history of their land of Arawn. And of course, you have fun and cute maids, Limwris and Ermin. On the enemies side, the most notable character so far is the beautiful warrior Octavia, who is bound by honor and duty, and who you’re willing to bet will realize at some point that she’s on the wrong side. (Or die a tragic death honoring her duty.) It’s always one or the other in these types of shows.

The characters are quite sympathetic and likable. I even found myself liking several of the characters on the side of Divine Empire (the bad guys). All of the major characters seem to have some significant depth to them and a rich back story, something many shows in this genre often skip out on. Though it’s still quite early in the show, and whether or not these characters become fully developed and are allowed to grow remains to be seen, but they are full of potential. My only gripe so far, is that with the sheer number of characters in the show, that sometimes background information is literally dropped in your lap, with little pretense for it. For instance, when you find out that Arthur and Riannon was in fact murdered by spirit, and that Arthur was the one who found his body. It was brought up quite suddenly and did feel a bit out of place.

The episodes so far are rather self contained, though there is the presence of a broader plot line ever present. Even in episodes where little is done to advance the larger story line, you do get a quick glimpse of something important at the end of each episode. (Think of some of the filler episodes on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.) The pacing so far is rather brisk and keeps you interested. The larger, flowing story line that is slowly building up seems interesting and full of potential. I can’t wait to see where they go with it.

So far, this has been a pretty good show. It’s much better than most RPG and game based anime series, though it does loose some points for falling back on so many stereotypical characters and plot devices (i.e. all the bad warriors suck, and it seems they can never kill any of the good guys. Yet, all the good guys seem to be able to kill dozens of enemies.) However, Tears does make up for it with excellent animation, execution, and overall very likable characters. It also gets a lot of points to taking some time to develop it’s characters, and not immediately jumping straight into the battles. I’m not saying there isn’t any action, as there is quite a bit in these first episodes. What Tears didn’t do, is immediately jump into massive battles and start killing off characters. You’re given time to know and understand the characters, and develop sympathy for people on both sides of the fence.

Tears to Tiara may not be groundbreaking so far, but it’s a beautifully told story with well crafted and likable characters. The show is quite enjoyable so far, and I highly recommend it. If you like shows like Utawarerumono, or perhaps Fate Stay Night, then you should enjoy it.

My grade so far: Solid B, Maybe B+ (depending on the rest of Part 1)


#7

I’ve been itching for a real fantasy series lately. I need to get this DVD asap. I want to watch it on my TV and not the OP.


#8

It’s definitely worth watching on a TV. The animation is great, and the video quality on the discs are quite good. I don’t think you will be disappointed with it!


#9

I just finished up all of Collection 1, and I have to say I’m very impressed. The show does have some occasional weaknesses, such as plot elements being thrown in just a bit too casually, one of the Imperial soldiers switches sides with very little effort, though you are given a pretty compelling reason for it, and some of the minor characters needed a bit more development before their story lines closed. Overall though, it’s a rather good anime, and for a series based on a game, it’s exceptional.

If you haven’t tried this show yet, I really suggest you pick it up. If you like shows like Record of Lodoss War, Utawarerumono, or Soul Hunter, you should really enjoy Tears. This is definitely one of the better series to come out this year.

And BTW, Octavia has probably become my favorite character, and she really kicks ass!


#10

Right Stuf’s Black Friday sale ends today at 11:59pm. This is your last chance to get Tears to Tiara Part 1 for $20. Don’t miss out on it! Trust me, this is a great price for good show. You won’t regret the purchase.

http://www.rightstuf.com/1-800-338-6827/catalogmgr/JFxrS2wzqNWVWIfiPP/browse/item/85133/4/0/0


#11

Episode 1 -

[details=Spoiler]I already know I am going to love this series! The first episode really grabbed my attention right away and ended with a bit of a cliffhanger.
*
Riannon is an Oracle Priestess and a descendant of the Elf King. Drwc of the Divine Empire wants to sacrifice her to revive the Demon King because elf blood is needed in order to do this. When Riannon threatens to kill herself rather than help Drwc, he in turn threatens to kill two of the village children. In order to save the children, she gives in to Drwc.
*
When her brother, Arthur, the First Warrior returns, the children tell him what happened and he vows to save his sister. He and a small group go to the place where the Demon King will be revived, but only Arthur makes it all the way in. However, he may be too late, as the Demon King, Arawn, has already been revived. Since Arawn is supposed to destroy the world, it is Drwc’s plan to make a deal with him and he offers Riannon to Arawn.
*
As the Demon King descends the stairs, he takes on a human form, which was a really great scene. But will he accept the life of Riannon? Will Arthur reach her in time? Will Arawn make a deal with Drwc? I have a feeling that he will take Drwc’s life instead. In many shows and movies, most of the greedy people that try to make a deal with the forces of evil end up becoming the sacrifice themselves, so why shouldn’t Drwc? Besides, I like Riannon better![/details]


#12

Ep. 1

Love fantasy so sure I will love this series.

Also sure Drwc will end up being the sacrifice.


#13

Glad we agree! :wink:


#14

As expected…

Arawn takes Drwc’s life instead of Rhiannon’s (like that was a leap). What really interested me, though, was the fact that Arawn helped Rhiannon out of her ‘dark place’ and back to real life (and clothing).
*
Arthur still wants to kill Arawn, but Rhiannon throws a scarf around his neck (Arawn calls it a ‘rag’) and proclaims him the new chieftain. (Rhiannon did note that the scarf matched her girdle!) This whole scene was like some sort of mad skit. But I guess it got the job done. A short skirmish ensued where Arthur tried to fight, but Arawn just dodged around.
*
Then they all had to join forces to kill the skeletons revived by the same spell that awoke Arawn. For all his worrying, Arthur rushed off and left Rhiannon behind with Arawn, who took her hand and protected her against the skeletons. Also, I noticed that Arthur forgot all about going back for his friend buried in the rubble. What the heck is with this guy anyway?
*
They fight past the skeletons and meet up with Ogam, who apparently knows both Arthur AND Arawn. Hmmm, curiouser and curiouser. Then, MORE skeletons show up, MORE fighting ensues and finally they get out of the crypt. They meet up with Arthur’s associates (including Ladu, the guy that was trapped in the rubble) and they all head back to their village.
*
Arthur then makes a speech to all the people to get them all ready for the upcoming battle with the Empire (sounds like Star Wars).
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Meanwhile, somewhere in the Empire, a soldier reports to General Gaius of the Imperial Army that Drwc awakened the Demon King, instead of sealing him. He also reports about the Gaels rebellion. Gaius decides he must now go and crush the Gaels.
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A few last comments… Arthur = Inuyasha And… am I stupid here? Is this supposed to be the Romans crushing everyone? I guess I’m just not getting Roman out of some of these names… Drwc, there are no vowels in that name. Is that Roman? Gaius, I get. I also understand Erin Island is Ireland; did the Romans go north that far? Am I trying to make this too historical?

Someone help me!!


#15

I think they are using references from King Arthur and other fantasies. There are several Roman names, but they show is not really tied to Roman history. Octavia is a nice name, and you will see why I claimed her in that one thread.


#16

Arthur is just that - Arthur, as in King Arthur and the round table. Remember all those revisionist movies on King Arthur a few years back where he was pretty much a representation of the old ways - i.e. religion, customs, traditions, etc. - where he was fighting against the spread of the Holy Roman Empire and Christianity.
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That’s pretty much what ‘TtT’ is about in a nutshell. Thou of course not emphasizing the religion part as much, but more a clash of beliefs, ideals, and what not.
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Throw in some Celtic, Welsh, Druid, and other European mythologies/characters and there u have it.
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Don’t forget that Tears is based off a eroge rpg and…yup that’s about it.


#17

Slowhand -

Spoiler

Yes, historically the Romans did reach many of the Celtic tribes and wiped them out. Drwc is most likely a Welsh name. Of the Celtic languages, that language uses the fewest to no vowels at all. I think the story will be very loosely based on King Arthur. A popular theory is that he came from Wales. So far, I can see Ogam as Merlin and I like the originality of this version.

Episode 2 -

[details=Spoiler]As daughter of the late Chieftain of the Gael Clan, whomever Riannon marries will become the new Chieftain of the tribe. But, once Riannon told Drwc her true name, she became powerless. Accepting her fate, she willingly gives herself to Arawn. Instead, Arawn saves her and takes Drwc’s life. I was happy that Arawn chose Riannon over Drwc. This Demon King reminds me of the demon tribe in Kyo Kara Maoh. I don’t think he’s evil at all.
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Trying to save Riannon, Arthur attacks Arawn, but Riannon in turn, saves his life and gives him the mantle of the Chieftain as a promise to marry him. Arthur is against it, but Riannon is adamant. The siblings quibble, but are interrupted by an army of the dead. It seems that Arawn was not the only one revived. They escape, only to find the exit blocked.
*
Someone named Ogam steps out of the shadows to help them. He is known to Arthur, but also seems to know Arawn quite well. As Ogam leads the group out of the caves, they are attacked again by more of the dead. As Arthur defends them, Ogam and Arawn make a comment that it may be “him”. Does this mean that Arthur has some kind of foretold destiny? As in the “once and future king”?
*
Arawn makes a comment about his weak body and Ogam tells him that he was revived too early, so now his body is incomplete and just like any average human. I really like the mix of excitement and humor in this episode. They finally make it safely outside and their comrades are there to meet them, but Ogam warns them that battle with the Empire is inevitable. Later that night, Arthur readies the clan for battle. He spoke so passionately that I was ready to fight too!
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There is one more scene of someone named Gaius receiving a report that the Gael Clan is in revolt. Although he doesn’t seem to think much of the divinity of the Empire, he says that the clan must be slaughtered for the protection of the Empire. The excitement builds![/details]


#18

I too picked up “Arthur” and the sword stuff to point in what direction it’s based on. Although I’m not expecting them to pack up a round table before they burn the villiage in the next episode, as seen in the preview.

I wasn’t sure what to expect on this one, I went in totally cold on it. But it’s great, what I’ve seen so far, looks like it’s going to be an interesting adventure and a good take on a classic tale.


#19

Love the humor in the second episode and look forward to seeing more of this series.


#20

Episode 3 -

[details=Spoiler]Arthur talks to the villagers about going to Albion. Arawn stands on a bluff overlooking the village when he hears an arrow coming at him from behind. He quickly turns and catches the arrow in his hand, breaking it. Then a girl appears from the trees and wants to fight him. He easily defeats her, but before he can question her, Arthur and Riannon come looking for him and Arthur knows the girl, calling her Morgan.
*
In Arawn’s tent, Morgan confesses that the ships were captured by the Empire. According to clan law, failure must be punished, but since Arthur gave Morgan her orders, he takes responsibility and offers Arawn his life. Morgan offers her head instead, but Arawn says killing them won’t bring the ships back, so instead they should plan their next move. Arthur says that they must obey the law and set an example. Arawn says that since Morgan fought a duel with him and lost, he will claim rights as the victor and take Morgan as his own. I think Morgan is a very comical character. She grabs Arawn around the waist and thanks him, promising to serve him “morning, day and night”. Then she says “I’ll be your second wife”. Only on the third episode and the Demon King already has two wives! He works pretty fast!
*
They go to recapture the ships, but they are well guarded and the sea gate is closed. Arawn says that he will take care of the sea gate and will take Arthur with him. Riannon wants to go too and he gives his permission. Then Morgan says she wants to go too since she promised to stay by his side and because she is his second wife. But she is so loud and boisterous, I wonder how the guards didn’t hear her. Arawn says she can go too and leaves the ships to Ogam. Ogam seems a bit miffed that Arawn is only taking young people and doesn’t seem need him – an old man, but he says he’ll get the ships. He warns Arawn to be careful because of his human body.
*
The fights were very exciting and the ships are retaken. Arawn gets the sea gate open and says that they should head back to the ships, but Gaius shows up. He introduces himself as the commander of the great Imperial Albion Expedition Unit and Arawn says that because of a “mistake”, he is the clan’s Chieftain. Arthur is offended by this, but Arawn tells them to go to the ships and he will handle Gaius. After they leave, Gaius asks Arawn if he is the Demon King that will “destroy the world” and Arawn responds that people see him as they want to. Gaius throws a dagger at him and Arawn deflects it with magic, sending it flying back at him and it gets embedded in the stone rampart near him. Gaius asks what Arawn wants and he answers “Regius – the star of the king who shines in the heavens”. Gaius assumes he means the throne of the Empire, but Arawn says he wants “the right to rule”. Gaius questions the difference and with a dramatic leap backwards onto the passing ship, Arawn says that when he knows the true meaning of the words, it will be the death of him. They get away and Gaius chooses not to pursue them. Looking at the glowing dagger embedded in stone, Gaius says that Arawn really is the Demon King.
*
On board the ship, there’s a funny scene of the great First Warrior being seasick. Arawn makes fun of him and an annoyed Arthur grabs him. Riannon intervenes and notices a wound on Arawn’s hand. He says that he is weak against precious metals and says that it’s just a scratch, but Riannon takes him below to treat his wound. Morgan is in the room and as Riannon tends to his hand, it won’t stop bleeding. Morgan wants to lick it, but Riannon won’t let her and tries to lick it instead. Arawn pulls his hand away, but the girls are persistent and Ogam walks in on a very funny scene. A relieved Arawn says that he will let Ogam treat him. Ogam says that the girls will have to leave so he can concentrate and a very dejected Riannon and Morgan leave the room. As Riannon walks out, she says “I wasn’t good enough” and Morgan gives the best line when she says “this blows”.
*
Ogam examines Arawn’s hand and says the wound was caused by electrum. He uses magic to heal the wound and Arawn says it’s just a scratch, but Ogam reminds him that a wound caused by electrum killed him in the past. Arawn speaks of Gaius and wants to know what the Empire is. Ogam gives him a short history of Albion and the Divine Empire. From what Ogam says about Albion (which is an ancient word for Britain) I think he’s really talking about Avalon of Arthurian legend. Anyway, Arawn seems upset that the enemies are humans “this time” and Ogam says that the “time may be ripe”. Arawn says that it may be “time long before the dawn” and Ogam mentions Arawn’s father.
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Later, Arawn is on the deck of the ship, looking at the night sky, when Arthur approaches him to fight. He doesn’t want to, but Arthur tosses him his sword. Arawn sighs and unsheathes it. As they fight, everyone is asleep below. Riannon wakes, goes up to the deck and sees the fight, but Ogam stops her before she can intervene. Of course, Arawn wins. Arthur apologizes to him, explaining that he is the First Warrior, but he is also Riannon’s brother. He promises to fulfill his role as First Warrior if Arawn will promise to make Riannon happy and Arawn agrees.
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In the early morning fog, Morgan is looking out from the top of the ship and sees an island. Her calls wake everyone and bring them out to the deck. Arthur calls out “Albion!”
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One thing I really like about this series is the fact that, so far, the end of an episode always leaves me wanting more. Each episode just flies by too quickly![/details]