Spring 2009 Anime Impressions – Tears to Tiara

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By my count, I only have seven more spring shows that still need a first impressions post written after this one and I think this is the last fantasy hack-n-slash anime for the season. 🙂 Tears to Tiara is a visual novel adaptation with the source material created by the same people that did Utawarerumono (or Underwater Ray Romano as I remember it).

Rating: episode 1 – 6/12B
Rating: episode 2 – 7/12B
Anticipation Level: medium

The story follows Riannon, the tribe’s priestess and oracle, and her brother Arthur, the tribe’s top warrior. One day when Arthur and the guys are out hunting, a representative of the kingdom shows up in the village looking for Riannon. Turns out this guy wants to summon a super-powerful demon and needs a sacrifice in the person of Riannon for the summoning to work. The demon gets summoned but it doesn’t go according to plan and Riannon ends up making the demon her fiancé.

One of the things that I’ve noticed once I started blogging and watching a lot more anime is how anime that’s 12/13 episodes long is paced much quicker then shows that run 24/26 episodes long. Since the majority of anime seems to be at most 13 episodes long nowadays, when a longer series comes out, I find myself sometimes bored at the “slower” pacing. I mention this because Tears to Tiara is ~26 episodes long and I wasn’t particularly impressed with how much was accomplished in the first 2 episodes. The previous paragraph covers two whole episodes without leaving anything important out and I think even I could have combined the two episodes together and only take one episode to do it.

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However, I’m not writing off the show yet. I liked the idea of the demon, once summoned, taking a human form and accepting Riannon’s offer to marry. It’s different and opens the way for interesting character development. For one, with Arthur being an overprotective older brother, he’s probably going to look for ways to stop Riannon’s marriage with the demon. Also, Riannon is a likeable main character, maybe not in the same league as Saki from East of Eden, but she’s miles better when compared to some of the other female characters in the various other shows this season. Another plus for this show is the above average animation, it never hurts a series to look nice.

So, while I’d’ve liked the show to paced a little quicker, the show hasn’t done anything wrong yet and has been fairly enjoyable so far.Judging from the opening, there’s still a ton of characters still to be introduced so at this point it’s really hard to exactly pin down how good Tears to Tiara will be in the future but I’m cautiously optimistic that when all is said and done, Tears to Tiara will have been a pretty decent series.

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It’s really easy to get roped into marriage, you just need a scarf wrapped around you.

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3 thoughts on “Spring 2009 Anime Impressions – Tears to Tiara”

  1. what u said about the pacing is totally true but its to be expected………i dont really mind most of the time but sometimes the pacing is just really slow……..i havent gotten to this particular series yet but i do plan on picking it up……im just waiting till its on ep 5-6 so i can just marathon it…….

    steel as far as ur first impressions go u should totally do cross game next

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  2. If you think the pacing is slow for a 26 episode series, try Legend of Galactic Heroes which rates in at more than 100, but less than 300 episodes.

    That’s not even mentioning the DBZ fillers, Bleach fillers, and Naruto fillers.

    Saki seems more of a vulnerable air head while Rhianno has an aura of dignity around her that contrasts with the damsel in distress motiff.

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  3. I finally did it. After a long, long time, I’ve completed the visual novel Tears to Tiara and I’ve finished watching the last 6 or so episodes of the anime. It’s been a rough journey but well worth it in retrospect.

    Tears to Tiara has certain advantages and disadvantages vis a vis the VN. For one thing, the VN couldn’t seem to be able to decide whether it was a serious story telling of epic fantasy and humanism, or whether it was an eroge entertainment romp. A lot of the resources was thus cleaved between various goals, such as the rpg gameplay, the scenarios, the character progression, the over arching story, etc. Thus the resulting mystique and atmosphere was never as complete as Utawarerumono and completely missed out on several favorite scenes from the anime, adding to the distortion and confusion. They remade the game on the PS3, removing the adult scenes and adding in character scenarios. Those were the various side stories we saw from episode 4-12 in ToT, such as Morgan + Octavia fighting together. That relationship was present in the VN, but it wasn’t quite fleshed out as well given the time devoted to other things. The anime thus presented me a good chunk of the story I missed, playing the PC game, which is unusual for a VN adaptation.

    The disadvantages of the anime is that they ran short on time and decided to rush certain critical plot scenes. Thus making them very much incomprehensible essentially given the overall impact, subtlety, and emotionalism of the source material. They did not change it, a sin committed by other companies when it comes to shortening plots for their anime shows, but they did compress it so much that crucial details and contexts were being lost. Especially on the backstory of the main character. The great thing about seeing them on the anime first, and I am glad I obeyed that instinct when I decided to stop watching the anime when it started getting close to the ending, is that the characterization, development, and emotional drama for those scenes were on Utawarerumono levels (near perfect) on the PC visual novel. The dialogue was pretty much the same, but the pacing, the atmosphere, the emotional heightening, were all superior across the board on the VN. It really had the touch of the original writer to it.

    It’s unfortunate that the anime did take out one of the critical songs in the VN that I thought was a really good mood setter, even though they repeated it for a couple of scenes. Pretty much like the ending scene via Lia to Clannad’s story scene with the winter drifting snow upon the young couple on the scale of emotional impact.

    I believe visual novel eroge demographic markets back then were leery and very hesitant about taking a bet on a “main character” being the male protagonist, and not the female love interest, and thus attempted to cover both sides of the gate at once. But the scenario writers of Tears to Tiara and Utawarerumono showed how well people loved, absolutely loved, a strong, commanding, and charismatic male lead that was also the crucial lynch pin of the plot and world setting itself.

    In the end view, I got very different experiences from the anime and VN, but I cannot say that one was inherently superior to the other. Modern VN adaptations have become better and better. Hopefully the trend continues.

    If Steel or anyone else want an explanation of some of the less explained things in Tears to Tiara, contact me on the blog, post a comment in one of the newer posts here, or link me your own blog article, etc.

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