Tears to Tiara is an anime series that was developed from a game which is based on a mishmash of Celtic legends, none of which I plan to talk about in this post. I’m going to talk about what happens in the series, and any resemblance to Celtic legend is accidental.
The story has three main characters and a host of lesser characters. The three main characters are Arawn, a demon lord, and Riannon and Arthur, a sister and brother. Arthur leads their Gael tribe and Riannon is the tribe’s priestess. The story begins with Riannon being kidnapped by a priest of the Empire to serve as a human sacrifice and used to raise the sleeping demon lord, Arawn. Only Arawn doesn’t cooperate since Riannon turns out to be a descendant of the elf-king Pwyll, who was Arawn’s friend. Arawn is raised, but then he kills the kidnapper-priest and frees Riannon. Arthur, who is rushing to his sister's rescue, sees only a bad, demon-lord-figure and attacks, so Riannon throws her scarf around Arawn’s neck, symbolically marrying him and making him chief of their tribe. Arthur's not happy, but he and Arawn then fight together to get out of the place the three are trapped.
From this point on, the rest of the series is essentially these three working to lead the tribe, meeting various people along the way and fighting off people from the Empire that want to take them over. Along the way they collect a group of comrades to fight alongside them, who make up the rest of the cast of characters. While running from their enemies they are also searching for a place for the tribe to live in peace. They find a kingdom/castle where Arawn used to live and begin living there.
At one point during their running from the Empire and finding new friends, Arawn must use his powers which leaves him weak and white looking, which causes Arthur to believe that Arawn was once a White Spirit who killed Arthur’s father. Arthur attacks and stabs Arawn, leaving him for dead and running away full of guilt and grief. Arawn falls into a coma and although his body heals, he stays in the coma. Arthur essentially grows up after leaving the group and meets up again with Taliesen the minstrel and his people. Taliesen has defeated him in a duel previously. Arthur succeeds in making Taliesen and his people into allies and returns with them to the castle where Arawn-tachi are, just as it’s being attacked by the bad guys. Arawn wakes up and he and Arthur are reconciled.
Once they’re friends again and everyone has gathered and have defeated their attackers, we learn more of Arawn’s history. He was once one of thirteen white spirits, who had a falling out with his fellow white spirits when he took the side of humans. He and his current companions make a quest to the land of the ice giants in order to defeat the remaining white spirits. Arthur recovers a magic sword which he pulls free from a stone, which is a match for Arawn’s sword and capable of killing white spirits. Arawn uses his matching sword and together they work to defeat these beings and free the world’s people from their influence. In the end it takes the combined power of everyone in battle to defeat the bad guys, but they manage to do it with several last minute saves by people appearing and gaining powers, etc. Everyone lives happily ever after.
As usual, this is a bare bones plot line, without going into any side stories or character interactions, of which there are many. It also barely skims Arawn’s history and background with Pwyll the elf king. The warriors who join them along the way include Morgan, from the Gael tribe, Octavia from the Empire, Llyr, the sea elf maid, and Rathty, the mining elf. Other characters include two elf girls from the castle, Limwris and Ermin, Ogam the sorcerer/mage, and many enemies from the Empire. All these characters have stories that cover how they join Arawn’s group or why they’re fighting Arawn’s group.
I began watching this series because Arawn’s character intrigued me, even though in general I don’t like game-derived anime series. He was like the voice of calm reason amidst a multitude of emotional, hyperactive peoples. At times the plot of this series seemed more convoluted than it needed to be, as if the producers were trying to get all the legends they could into the series, or perhaps trying to cover all the quests available in the game. Also, I’m really not fond of best-friend/best-enemy sequences, which is really what happened when Arthur tried to kill Arawn. But the plot was interesting enough to keep me watching and the animation style is nice. In addition there are a good number of likable characters in this series. And the biggest plus, the music from this series is really awesome. It’s high up there on my list of favorite music. I would say the series is worth watching.
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