Tears To Tiara

March 27, 2010

Though RPG genre animes are not my usual cup of tea, but when I briefly skimmed through the synopsis of Tears To Tiara that this is a harem RPG, I thought it would be a little good thing to try and watch this series. Maybe not. So I was thinking since this is an RPG-like theme, perhaps there is this single main guy and his party, a bevy of beautiful babes, going on some whatever mythical and epic quest, slaying dragons and monsters along their way and at the end of their arduous journey, obtain the thing that they’ve been looking for. Add in some fanservice and catfights, meow… So okay, it did not really happened like the way I hoped it would be.
 
Based on the 2005 adult PC game of the same name, there are a few fanservice here albeit not much and it is not the main factor here. Ecchi fans will be glad to look elsewhere. Those who are in for a fantasy-like adventure should give this series a try. Though I am not familiar nor have seen much of this kind of genre, a rookie like me would say this is rather okay. Not that it totally sucks or is it that great that it could match Hollywood’s Harry Potter series or the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but you know me, for instance fantasy-like names and places, sometimes they just sound odd to me and some are just hard to pronounce or remember. Though this series does not amount to tough tongue twisting names, it took me a few episodes before I could remember the names and terms. Even though they are single names and averagely 6-8 characters. Shame on me.
 
Okay to start things off in the first episode, the setting is your fantasy-like and medieval-like era. As narrated at the start, several Ages have passed which include Age of Gold, Age of Giants and so forth. Currently is the Age of Iron which is also currently known as the Age of Humans. And you know when humans rise to power, they can get pretty corrupted and such. For instance the all powerful Holy Empire has conquered the lands as far and wide as they could reach. On Erin Island, a tribe of Gael people live a peaceful life until well, some fat evil priest, Drwc and his imperial army, invade the village seeking a Gael Priestess, Riannon. All the men are away hunting while Riannon who foresaw this incident has the women and children escaped. Drwc finds out that these people are the direct descendant of the Elf King Pwyll and so he plans to make Riannon a living sacrifice to revive the Demon Lord Arawn so that he could lead a rebellion and overthrow the Emperor of the Holy Empire and be the new ruler. Fat dreams he’s got. Riannon has her lips sealed tight and willing to die if not for the soldiers holding 2 innocent children at hostage did Riannon gave in. When the Gale men has returned and those children told their First Warrior, Arthur, about what happened, he embarks on a rescue mission to save his sister. By that time, Drwc is in the process of reviving Arawn at a tomb though Arthur and the rest are making their headway deep inside. Drwc revives Arawn as the latter takes a form of a human and approaches Riannon.
 
In episode 2 as Arthur battles Drwc, Riannon is floating in her sub-consciousness and as she hears the voice of Arawn. He tells her to open her eyes and though reluctant at first, she manages to do so and sets herself free. Drwc is happy that Arawn is revived and orders him to kill Arthur but in a twist of event, Arawn kills Drwc instead. With that fatty gone, Arthur still doesn’t trust the Demon Lord and is going to kill him. Riannon’s pleas to let her saviour go fell on deaf ears and to prevent further bloodshed, Riannon wraps her red scarf around Arawn and proclaims to be his first wife! Yeah, woman number one. Arthur is devastated because he thought that he was supposed to be the one to marry her. Well, another thing in this Gael custom is that whoever marries her will be the next chief of the tribe. So much for that, Arthur. Yeah, with Arawn reluctantly being made the boss, Arthur too has to reluctantly serve under him. And you thought the guys have a say in this. Anyway the trio have to get out of the tomb fast because a rising number of undead skeleton zombies are surrounding them. As they hack and slash their way through, they meet a legendary sage and wise they both know, Ogam, who guides them out. Once they are reunited with their tribe, they know that the events will invoke the wrath of the Empire. So Arthur gathers his men to prepare and fight against the Empire. Back at the Empire, the general of the imperial army, Gaius (man, how big and heavy his sword is), learns about Dwrc’s fate and feels the Gaels has to be eliminated.
 
In episode 3, the Gaels are preparing to leave Erin for their original hometown in Albion. Arawn is attacked by a female archer/ranger, Morgan (you wonder if her bottom half clothing is enough to make a handkerchief…). However she got restrained by him and we learn she is also part of the Gael tribe and had failed in her mission to get a ship for their journey. To make things worse, the ship got confiscated by the Empire. So in order to take responsibility of her failure, she decided to die an honourable death by fighting Arawn. Not wanting to make a bad example, Arawn decides to take custody of her. And yeah, Morgan announces that she becomes second wife. Wow. Is this guy good or what? So Arawn and the rest plan to seize their ship from the Empire and make their getaway. The plan is a success after making a surprise attack on the imperial guards. However Gaius is there and a short duel ensue. So we learn that Arawn isn’t really a Demon Lord and it’s just some name people came up and gave to him. Now does this answer our questions why he’s got the stuff which heroes are made of? Gaius throws a dagger made of electrum at him though he blocks it and gets a little injured (that element was known to have almost killed Arawn the last time around). Gaius asks Arawn’s goals so the latter replies he is not after the kingship but the King’s Road, Regulus. Though Gaius doesn’t understand, Arawn says he will when he is about to die. The Gaels make their great escape and sail towards Albion. Ogam heals Arawn’s wounds and tells about some power struggle which split the kingdom during his absence after his friend Pwyll’s lineage ended. Soon Arthur comes in seeking for a rematch and this time he lost. He admits that he’s fighting as Riannon’s brother and not First Warrior as he wants to make certain himself if Riannon chose the right guy to be her husband (letting go of his sister fetish?). Arawn assures him that he’ll take care of her.
 
They arrive at Albion in episode 4 and head straight towards the castle Avalon. As Arawn opens the gates, he is greeted by 2 house elves, Limwris and Ermin, who have been taking care of this huge kingdom ever since. Must be one heck of a full time job. The duo are delighted to learn that Arthur and Riannon are descendants of Pwyll. And since Ermin is in awe of who Arawn is, she decides to be his third wife. Uh huh. So far, this guy is having girls automatically being his wife. And he doesn’t even have a say in it. After giving them a tour of the place and how this place was created by angels, Arthur gets upset because his father was killed by an angel. Arthur and Arawn visit the armoury but got into a magic trap set by another house elf, Epona. She humbly apologizes after finding out the real identity of those ‘thieves’. Later everyone goes hunting (including reluctant Arawn since it’s the tribe’s tradition that the chief has to lead the hunt) but the only creatures they could hunt are giant crabs. Kill or be killed! While everyone is having crab meat feast, Arawn sees Riannon praying at a cliff. They talk about a God named Myrddin who gave humans of this world fire and as a result was punished. But Arawn assures her that Myrddin isn’t suffering and has somewhat become part of this world. Meanwhile Gaius is leading his huge army towards Albion.
 
With Gaius deciding to head to a bustling city called Londinium first in episode 5, Arthur drags Arawn into another hunt. However they realized that this hunting ground belongs to another tribe so they go look elsewhere. While resting in the forest, Morgan gets drunk and challenges Arthur to a duel, in which Arawn permits. The fight stops when they hear someone playing a harp approaching. He is Taliesin, a wondering minstrel. After sharing delicious mushrooms with them and playing a beautiful tune for them in return, he indicates he knows that they are the Gael tribe and that they are on the Brigantes tribe territory. He leaves without revealing anything further. Arawn and co pay Londinium a visit as they hid themselves via robes and cloaks. It would be very bad if their presence is known. That night, they decide to ambush and steal the carriages of goods being delivered by the imperial guards. Though they are successful, they later realized it’s a trap because the crates are filled with nothing but sand. Knowing Gaius is on their tail, they abandon it and retreat. I guess without any other food, the only way is to hunt more crabs, eh? Are we sick of eating crabs day in day out? Morning comes and yeah, another crab hunt but this time they see a female rising out of the water and towards them. And no, she’s not a crab, mind you.
 
She turns out to be a Sea Elf named Llyr (pronounced as Sui-r. I don’t know. Don’t ask me). In episode 6, she is sent by her people to serve Arawn after learning of his revival but she arrived too early and decided to take a nap. I don’t know how long she was sleeping but by that time the tides washed her away. Yeah, something like that. After hunting and feasting on the crabs, Arawn finds a seal skin and uses it as extra fire fuel. Then they learn Llyr is missing something very important to her and it turned out to be the seal skin. So what does this mean? Without it, she can’t return to her homeland and according to their customs if a man takes the seal skin and is unable to return it, they become engaged. You guessed it, Arawn’s fourth wife. He’s sure amassing wives and at this rate, who knows he’ll end up with how many at the end of the series. Everyone welcomes Llyr back to Avalon and she tries to help out with simple chores like washing and cooking but is a total klutz. At least she’s good in her combat skills. That’s because soon after another high ranking officer of the Empire, Buburuks, and his second-in-command knight, Octavia, are on a recon mission. But you know that guy became too greedy and thinks of this as a chance to rise in the ranks and orders an ambush on the Gael tribe. But the Gaels anticipated this and turned the tables on them. Lots of imperial soldiers died due to his selfishness so Octavia has no choice to give the retreat order. Buburuks shows he is just a coward by not even caring about his own men when fleeing for his own safety. He even pins the blame on her back at the barracks! A$$hole!
 
Arawn and co pays Londinium another visit in episode 7. They go watch a gladiator match while Morgan is interested in finding an important family heirloom in a form of a red branch. Epona seems to also be a merchant, selling weird stuffs. Perhaps that’s where they get their money. Anyway the first gladiator match sees a little Miner Elf, Rathty against a giant ogre. It’s like David vs Goliath. Just like in that biblical story, Rathty beats the ogre with her super huge hammer. How does she manage it anyway? However the mayor of Londinium, Creon, decides to kick Rathty out because she’s a kid and there goes her hopes for obtaining the first prize which is some rare silver steel. And since it turned out so, Arthur offers Rathty to join them but she refuses. The next match sees Octavia taking on Buburuks. That guy obviously isn’t happy and is going to settle the score even though everything is his fault. He even cheats by using archers on chariots since Octavia is too much to handle (she’s not even fighting him at her full strength. Just useless). Morgan can’t stand this one-sided battle and jumps in without second thought. They win and knock Buburuks out. Octavia is grateful to Morgan so the latter accidentally tells her she is of the Gael tribe before rushing off. As everyone leaves, they notice Rathty tailing from behind as she begs to join their group after realizing who Arawn is. Though Arawn wants Rathty to make weapons for them, she much prefers to make pots and pans instead. Yeah, make peace/food and not war.
 
Arawn sees a book drawn by Ermin about Arawn and Pwyll in episode 8. I know the drawing is horrible and each story page has them slashing and kicking butt. Some picture story book. Gaius finds out that some security force of the senate, Rublum, led by its commander Lidia who seems to hate Octavia, is to take charge of Gael’s elimination. Morgan spots the Rublum forces’ ships from afar and judging by their distance, they will arrive at night. They prepare an ambush then however these forces are no ordinary soldiers as they can easily spot the traps the Gaels made. Arawn then confronts Lidia but Arthur starts charging. Soon he learns that Rublum are a level above them and are forced to retreat. Lidia decides not to pursue them. Back at Avalon, the injuries are high and morale low as Arthur blames himself but Arawn slaps some sense into him as doing so won’t change a thing. Meanwhile Octavia is shocked to find human corpses in the warehouse crates but gets knocked out by a guard.
 
So Octavia has been bound and gagged in a crate in episode 9. Seems Lidia is still holding a grudge over a match between them that Octavia won. Crazy Lidia would very much like to see her suffer. Elsewhere, Arawn and co are digging underground to infiltrate an imperial guard base as suggested by Rathty. They too are surprised that the crates contain human corpses and couldn’t understand why the Empire needed them. Arawn opens a crate that Octavia is in but doesn’t let the others know. Their presence is alerted as the imperial guards swarm the place so the Gaels set fire on the warehouse after taking crates that are filled with food. They pass by Lidia on their way out and indicate to her that it was payback. Back at Avalon, the gang are relishing their fine catch but notes an empty crate (the one Octavia was in). Later Arawn goes to see her and since she is still loyal to the Empire, tries to fight him. However Arawn realizes she is injured and puts away his sword. She then collapses.
 
Octavia wakes up from a nightmare that her brother had been killed in episode 10. She is being treated by Riannon. However Arthur isn’t pleased that an imperial soldier is here and thinks she is a spy. Arawn tells him to find out more about her first before doing anything hasty. Octavia wanders around Avalon and observes some of the Gaels. She and Morgan become close friends. Also, she notices a pair of kids, Elyr and Conul, following so she volunteers to teach them the basics of swordsmanship, delighting them. Arthur learns that Octavia’s family was murdered by the Empire so she decided to join the imperial army to change things from within. Later Octavia helps the Gaels with the number identification of the crates as Morgan notices a crate having a red coral resembling the red branch though she claims that isn’t it. Octavia later tells her that Morgan may have some illness when she was young so her granddad knowing the medical qualities of the red branch, used half to treat her and the other half to pay the doctor in order to save her. Morgan is thankful that she knows the truth. However Arthur still intends to duel her to find out her true nature. In the end, Arthur accepts her so Octavia denounces her loyalty to the Empire and joins the Gael tribe and their struggles. A good thing (or bad depending on how you look at it): Octavia did not become Arthur’s fifth wife. Stopping at four, eh?
 
Rublum has discovered Avalon’s position in episode 11 and a report about Octavia being seen talking to the imperial guards has Morgan refusing to believe that Octavia had betrayed them. She goes to ascertain it herself and true enough sees Octavia talking to them in the forest at night. Morgan confronts Octavia but Elyr and Conul say that they were just talking her to pick mushrooms. Though Octavia made them promise not to go out of the castle walls, they go out just to find the mushroom but Elyr got kidnapped by an imperial soldier. They use Elyr as bait to draw Octavia out. Morgan decides to trust Octavia as they both set out to rescue Elyr. Seems that Octavia’s earlier meeting with them was that they want Octavia to help them betray the Gael but she refused. Octavia comes face to face with Lidia as we learn Lidia’s hatred for her is that Octavia didn’t finish her off in their duel, leaving her to live in shame rather than die in honour. Morgan jumps in to save Elyr and soon the entire Gael tribe appear to help them out. While both sides duke it out, Octavia and Lidia have their rematch. Octavia claims that it was Lidia who left her in shame and didn’t finish her off first. Lidia was just a strike away from finishing Octavia but hesitated so Octavia felt humiliated and that’s how the fight ended in Octavia’s favour and she letting Lidia lived. Though Lidia refuses to believe it, as they continue fighting, they remember how they both grew up quite closely and happily together. In the final blow, Lidia lost as she breathes her last breath in Octavia’s arms. They confess that they both loved each other and back then, they didn’t want each other to die. Too bad it has turned out this way.
 
Riannon is captured by Gaius in episode 12 while she’s putting wreaths for the fallen soldiers. Arthur desperately wants to go save her but Arawn feels they need to wait for more information first. While Riannon is at Gaius’ base (she isn’t treated as a prisoner and is free to roam around), she helps to heal wounded soldiers and even make delicious Gael stew for them. Gaius then shows Riannon his massive troops and that her tribe won’t stand a chance but she is optimistic that her side won’t lose because they have hope, will and determination in their hearts. Arawn decides to meditate to find Riannon since their hearts are connected. That night, Riannon is surprised to see Taliesin entertaining the troops with his music. Then she hears Arawn’s voice and follows it. A guard spots her and yells out to stop her but she doesn’t listen. He fires an arrow but Taliesin takes the hit. Gaius decides to let Riannon go after Taliesin hands the arrow back to him. Riannon reunites with Arawn and the search party in the forest and is delighted to see each other. Too bad Riannon said how she only heard Arawn’s voice and not Arthur’s, hurting his pride. Probably that guy has been shouting her name aloud that half of the world could even hear it. Noisy guy.
 
Arawn feels the need to form an alliance feeling that Gaius may make his move soon. In episode 13, Arawn suggests to make an alliance with a neighbouring tribe, Brigantes. Ogam reveals that the Brigantes and Gaels may be blood related seeing that they were from the same lineage but the Gales migrated to Erin. The gang arrive at Brigantes territory and to their surprise are being surrounded by Brigantes warriors and Taliesin. Seems he is from their tribe. They request to see the Brigantes chief but Taliesin says he is dead and refuses to let them pass. The tribe has no chief fearing of its curse of whoever becomes one, will die. Arawn suggests that both sides send a representative warrior to settle the deadlock. Arthur represents the Gael while Taliesin stands for Brigantes. However noting that Taliesin is injured, Arthur is reluctant to fight him. He goes off for a while before coming back to fight. During the fight, Taliesin overwhelms Arthur. Then they notice that Arthur dislocated his shoulder just to make this fight fair even though Taliesin was faking his injury. Beats me why he did that. Arthur earnest words like how he realized they’re both alike and that no Gael person would want to steal victory from the weak soon has the entire Brigantes their full support. The match is considered a tie. As for Arthur’s dislocated shoulder, the girls put it back in no time. The painful way. Taliesin having a liking for Epona? Is he just teasing or what?
 
You know having a war means needing massive funds, right? Same case even if though this is an anime. So Arawn takes the gang to his tomb for treasures in episode 14. After a few episodes of fighting human soldiers, I’m beginning to forget that this is an RPG anime. Yeah, the party take out robots and a large menacing ogre before securing the treasure. They see a mural with one of the character’s face been scratched off. Riannon sees a short vision of Pwyll’s past and a girl named Primula visiting Arawn’s tomb. Though Ogam reveals that this used to be Myrddin’s monument, Arawn had wanted to be close to his coffin. Though the mural represents the absolute God, Watos, and His 12 Spirits, they counted that there are 13 so Arawn notes that one of them is a failure. Arthur remembers how an angel resembling closely to one of them killed his father. Meanwhile Gaius is having an audience with the senate and is pleading for more reinforcements to attack Gael which has fallen on deaf ears. However the senate isn’t amused, laughing it off and turned the tables on him as they think Gaius is planning a rebellion to overthrow the Empire and accusing him of treason. A report from their spy indicates that Arawn is no big threat and is only seen hunting and getting drunk at night. Gaius thinks that this might have been Arawn’s doing all along so he intends to gather his own army.
 
Riannon wakes up from a vision of Arawn in the past with Primula in episode 15. Soon the Gael tribe set out to make their first move by attacking the Empire. As they trek through the forest, those who are elves feel that they are getting weaker and that their magic are being sapped by a spell called Gravitas. Then they reach a swamp area and hordes of undead corpses appear in their way. No turning back either since a huge tree fell to block their path. They are reluctant to fight because those undead warriors are slain Gael warriors. Even if they eventually have to fight them, they are still able to move and continue their attack. So physical weapons are basically useless. Arawn decides to use his magic powers to save them. Calling it Candid, the powerful ray from the sky wipes out the enemies and as a result, Arawn turns white and this triggers Arthur’s memories that he was the one who killed his father right before his eyes. Arthur is determined to avenge his father’s death. Riannon tries protects Arawn but Arthur is filled with too much hatred to see what’s going on. Arthur charges and stabs his sword into Arawn. Arthur realized what he has done but it is too late. However Arawn doesn’t blame him. Arthur runs away in guilt and shame. When word of this gets to Gaius and though Arawn escaped injured, he prepares his troops for attack.
 
Gaius starts his attack on Avalon in episode 16. With Arawn in coma while confused Arthur who knows where he’s running too, Riannon takes charge of the command. Not bad for a lady herself. Arthur arrives at a ruin and finds Ogam there. Ogam reveals that his true form is a dragon and the reason why he fights. Seems long ago, his home was destroyed when the second moon fell onto it. Thus he still fights for those he blames are responsible for it. Arthur thinks of going back to help his pals but Ogam reminds him that he has ran away and if he’s seeking the truth, go to Gorsedd Arawn (Arawn’s Throne). I guess they stayed too long so boar-like enemies appear so they both fight them. Arthur realized how Arawn had called him a friend all the while. Then a giant mechanical golem appears so Ogam transforms into a dragon to fight it. I’m not sure if Ogam meant that this is the one responsible for his home’s destruction. Arthur lets Ogam do his battle and leaves. Meanwhile Morgan and Octavia try to sneak back into Avalon (earlier on, the Gaels are divided into 2 groups to defend the castle) by causing a commotion in the enemy’s camps before rushing back from the front gate. Llyr had a mischievous idea by throwing Rathty into the fray so that she could temporarily take out the army with her hammer shockwave and in good timing, allowing them to slip back into the safety of the castle walls. Though they are safe for the time being, a huge battering ram is on the way here.
 
Arawn sees a vision of Myrddin, Pwyll and Primula in episode 17, reminding him of the past and urging him to wake up. Night falls and both sides retire for the night. Gaius in his tent, tells his loyal subordinate Decimus, that he plans to overthrow the Empire and be the next ruler once he achieves this victory. He thinks he can create a better country than it is now so Decimus reiterates his loyalty to follow him. Gaius then immediately kills the senate’s spy hiding behind the tent. Arthur has reached the Brigantes’ territory and Taliesin notes how he is a changed man. Arthur realized he was naive and followed blindly all those laws and customs and has learned how his people are irreplaceable friends. With that, the Brigantes rally behind Arthur as he leads them back to Avalon. Better hurry because Gaius ahs unleashed his battering ram and is gradually successful in breaking down the heavily armoured front gate so much so Riannon has to order her people to retreat back into the inner walls. Good thing that there are a few of those tough gates to buy them some time.
 
As Gaius is a few moments from breaking the final gate, Arthur comes rushing back with his Brigantes backup in episode 18. With Arthur back, everyone’s morale gets a further boost with Arawn’s awakening. Yup, he’s back with a bang. Literally, he blasts the final gate open. Erm… Is that necessary? But in the process, it took out the battering ram. Gaius charges at Arawn but the latter leaves it to Arthur to deal with him. As Gaius fights Arthur, he began to realize Arawn’s earlier words. Since Regulus could also mean little king, he realized that Arawn’s goal is to make Arthur as the next king. So Gaius fully concentrates on defeating Arthur. However Arthur lands the killing blow on him. Before he dies, he orders Decimus for their troops to surrender and pleads for them to spare the lives of his soldiers. He also wishes for Arthur to make this a better country to live in and calls him king. Meanwhile a man in white, Lector, is seen appearing before the senate. He informs the shocked council that the Emperor is already dead and proceeds to burn all of them. They deserved it anyway.
 
The Gaels start rebuilding Avalon in the aftermath in episode 19. Decimus reports the murder of the senate council so Arawn and Ogam think that the 12 Spirits are making their move. There have been reports of a massive dark force and they think the culprit is the Cauldron of Resurrection in which corpses are used to create an army of undead. They plan to cause some avalanche to wipe them out but may need the help of some giants. That night, Taliesin wants Riannon to read his future since he admits he is afraid of his known fate. Though she reads his fate as inevitable hardships, she feels fate can be changed. After Riannon leaves, Epona appears so Taliesin teases her again. He tells his story when he was young, he heard a beautiful elf melody and that’s when he decided to become a minstrel. After he walks away, Epona starts singing so this prompts Taliesin to realize that she was that elf back then. The next day as everyone set out their journey across the mountain, Taliesin gets separated and finds himself in a dragon graveyard. Not totally a graveyard since a dragon egg hatched nearby. The baby dragon quickly got acquainted with Taliesin. He hears and follows a voice to a room. That voice, introducing himself as Lucifer, prepares to tell him the true past of this world and place.
 
The flashback in episode 20 sees Arawn being made the 13th Spirit and Myrddin treating him as his son. Myrddin taught Arawn, whose real name is Lucifer, many things about the world and the workings of the 12 Spirits. Like how they deemed numbers 13 or 11 to be bad luck and though Lucifer wanted so much to be part of the 12 Spirit, Myrddin assures him he will because there will be 11 Spirits soon. So we also learn that these same Spirits were the ones who created the world and humans based on their perceptions of a perfect world. However it wasn’t so and there’s some facility that is imprisoning them to make sure that they are extinct. Why don’t just wipe them out with a snap of a finger? Myrddin and Lucifer visit one of those facilities and to Lucifer’s surprise sees a little girl (Primula) surviving under all these intense cold conditions. Myrddin explains how the 12 Spirits’ influence does not exist in this world and they need to create a better place. However Lucifer’s eyes are clouded and his thinking still inclined to that of the 12 Spirits. To make him open his eyes, Myrddin freezes Lucifer so that he could watch him do a forbidden deed by teaching the girl how to make fire. He then sings the Song of Origin which causes him his life.
 
Lucifer has been made as the 12 Spirit as Myrddin’s replacement in episode 21. Though he finds the world now filled with warmth and flowers, he finds the remaining humans without free will and being programmed to praise the 12 Spirits as long as they lived. Having realized that this isn’t the ideal world Myrddin had wanted, he decided to leave the 12 Spirits and in the process got cursed by them. Though Lucifer managed to free the humans, he lost his powers as a 12 Spirit. Back in the present, Taliesin now understood everything rejoins the group in the midst of their plan of causing an avalanche with the giants. However a sudden blizzard is making things hard so Taliesin tells Arawn that he is going to sing the Song of Origin to make the avalanche, even if it costs him his life. Though Arawn is against it, Taliesin says that 1 life is enough since Arawn can’t do it because of the curse. Arawn understands and leaves it to him. Taliesin sings the Song of Origin and successfully bring the avalanche to crush the enemies. I don’t know, I just find that song funny. A choir of men singing… Anyway in the aftermath, everyone mourns Taliesin’s death especially Arthur. Epona sings a final song for him.
 
Arthur and the ladies head to Gorsedd Arawn in episode 22 while Arawn, Ogam and the other Gael warriors head to Palladium for the final battle. At Gorsedd Arawn, it’s like the sword in the stone as Arthur finds Excalibur. Just kidding. It’s named Dyrnwyn instead. As he touches it, he receives memories of the time Lucifer and Primula first met Pwyll. Pwyll was trying to save Primula from whom he thought Lucifer was preying on. Lucifer throws him his Dyrnwyn sword and challenges him. He continues to taunt him about the facilities holding the humans but Pwyll felt he couldn’t do anything. After more inspiring speeches to open his eyes, Pwyll realizes who Lucifer is and that’s when their friendship began. They fought a battle to severe their connection with the Heavens and create their own perfect world called Annwn. In the final battle, Arawn got injured when he used himself as a decoy so much so he has to go into a long slumber to heal his wounds. So he and Pwyll enact a protective barrier around the world and Dyrnwyn in the stone. With the barrier weakening through time, it won’t be long before the Heavens start another attack. Arthur pulls Dyrnwyn out of the stone and at the same time, the majestic aura of the sword disintegrates the enemies that are approaching them. Don’t play play with this sword, said to be capable of killing a god! Now to reunite with Arawn and the rest.
 
The gang head into the giant tower at Palladium in episode 23 after Arthur uses his Dyrnwyn to undo the magic barrier locking the front gate. They approach an obelisk but lava soon surrounds them. Somehow they are saved as they are being teleported away but are separated into different groups. Morgan and Octavia find themselves in an arena ring and it seems Creon, a servant for the 12 Sprits too, is bent on making them fight endless hordes of enemies. Up for a challenge? Llyr and Rathty arrive at the Cauldron of Resurrection and plan to destroy it while Arthur, Riannon, Arawn and Ogam face a resurrected Drwc. He activates the obelisk which gives out the Gravitas effect so Arawn and Ogam hurry to the room to destroy the tip of the obelisk while Arthur and Riannon have their grudge match with the undead priest. However Drwc unleashes a spell which inflicts injury on Riannon every time Arthur slashes him. Riannon gets a vision of Primula as the latter tells her not to give up. With renewed determination and free from Drwc’s spell, they are prepared to take on Drwc.
 
Llyr and Rathty are having their hands full with the hordes of enemies coming their way in episode 24. Same case with Morgan and Octavia but they’re rather enjoying the fight. Drwc binds Arthur in a spell and is ready to impale him but Riannon uses her space altering magic to shift the attack back to Drwc. Drwc then pleads for more power as he suddenly turns into a monster much scarier than any alien creature I’ve ever seen. It’s bloody fast too! Ogam transforms into a dragon to take out the obelisk though it may cause him his life, he assures Arawn that he isn’t planning to die yet. With Arawn and Arthur’s swords resonating, Ogam is able to destroy the obelisk and Arthur defeating the monster. With Gravitas gone, Rathty and Llyr easily take out the Cauldron of Resurrection and send all the undead armies dropping lifeless like flies. With that, Morgan and Octavia set their target on Creon and kill him. The gang are reunited in a huge room filled with white flowers. They see a dead body in the centre as Lector appears to tell them that he is the Empire’s Emperor and is already dead.
 
In episode 25, they learn Lector is one of the 12 Spirits and was the one responsible in killing Arthur’s father. He framed Arawn for it and the reason for his father’s murder was because he refused to tell where Arawn’s resting place is so that he could put Arawn to sleep for good. The whole place then turns into a rotting place with bones. Lector plans to annihilate this world so the rest fight him but couldn’t even touch him. Lector unleashes his skeleton army and continues taunting their imperfect race. I guess he got too cocky and when Arthur managed to just scratched his cheek, he becomes shocked and crazy that this shouldn’t have happened. He’s going to destroy the world as he unleashes Merkadis, some giant monster and chariot to destroy the world. This was the creature that almost took Arawn’s life in the last war and he thought he had destroyed it. Well, he was wrong. Lector lets Merkadis devour him to obtain full power. The entire room soon crumbles as Merkadis becomes more powerful. As the floor collapses, everyone falls to their doom. Fortunately, they are saved by Taliesin and his army of dragons. Woah! That guy is still alive! Don’t care how just glad he’s back. But no time for that, they’ve got apocalypse to deal with first.
 
As hideous and large Merkadis has turned to in episode 26, his electrum spewing blasts are not to be taken lightly. Yeah, it can annihilate an entire mountain! Now we know the possible cause of the world’s end. But Ogam says there’s a way to seal that monster. An incantation known as Words of Power in the Book of Poems will do the trick but he notes only Riannon can recite those verses. However Riannon doesn’t know so Arawn and Arthur will buy enough time to attack Merkadis till Riannon remembers. Arawn gets injured a little and Riannon’s healing is of no effect because of the electrum element. For once Arthur gives Arawn the lecturing so he gets back on his feet. Riannon enters a vision whereby she sees herself and everyone. Then Primula appears and this prompts her to remember the Words of Power. She had it in her all along, just that she was afraid of its powers and thought it was the cause of her loneliness. Back in reality, Riannon recites the words and holy sh*t! It’s so damn powerful that not only it disintegrates Merkadis but disbursed the surrounding darkness and turned it into a bright sunny day! Lector emerging from Merkadis couldn’t believe mere mortals are doing this to him and before he could ask Watos for help, Arthur comes swooping down and finishes the job by stabbing that coward right in the chest with Dyrnwyn. Good riddens. That night back at Avalon, Arawn sees a vision of Pwyll who wishes for him to continue guiding Arthur. The next day, a ceremony is held to crown Arthur as the Crown Prince of Albion Kingdom with the crown Pendragon. Everyone rejoices with the beginning of a new era. In the aftermath, we see Ermin still continuing to sketch her picture book, Octavia training Elyr and Conul but runs away when Morgan calls her to accompany her for a hunt, Taliesin teasing Epona, Rathty doing her blacksmith stuff while Llyr is still a klutz. Lastly, Arawn prays at Myrddin’s grave with Arthur and Riannon.
 
Even though I don’t see enough RPG genre animes, I guess the ending is pretty okay. Not bad. What more do you expect? Though the road to Annwn is just beginning and may be long and arduous, but the main evil force has been defeated (for now) and the good guys won. Yeah, the 12 Spirits are dwindling in numbers if you think about it. Probably if they ever made a sequel, perhaps they’ll come down with a full invasion force. Or maybe they should sit quietly and watch how the beings they create go on living their happy lives. That would be better. Why need God then? So called perfect beings they are, really. Initially it bugged me that Taliesin’s sudden ‘revival’ was left unexplained but after thinking about it, he didn’t really die from the avalanche because (not because it was the last episode, okay) he was just flushed and covered with snow. Soft landing, right? Right.
 
Thinking back, the harem factor was probably never the issue here. Yeah, Arawn’s got 4 wives now but it is amazing that all of them got along so fine and well. See, no bickering and arguing. So friendly and nice to each other. Is this really a harem anime in the first place? Unfortunately in the real world most can’t even get along even with just 1 spouse ;p. Anyway it still bugged me that Octavia and Rathty didn’t become part of Arawn’s harem. I did a little research and found that in the PC game, Octavia did become Arawn’s wife after some understanding. Maybe 5 is considered to be a crowd, here? Maybe he needs to spare some chics for others too, you know. That guy sure has got whatever to get the girls to become his bride. And you thought it was supposed to be a guy’s job to do the proposing. At first glance, I noticed the art and drawing from the anime is much different than the PC game. The anime version is of course your standard bishonen and bishoujo feel while I find the PC version leaning more towards kiddie-like. Since I didn’t play the game, I’m not sure the amount of blood and gore but the anime does have its fair share. All the hack, slash and arrow penetrating action do contribute to some of the bloodshed. Not to mention cutting off limbs of creatures and such. Gory.
 
The character development is nothing much to shout about and even if there was, it probably revolves mainly around Arthur, Riannon and Arawn. Definitely Arthur has matured and grown from a blind Gael-custom follower into a person who is able to carve destiny and fate with his own hands and lead his people to freedom. Riannon may not possess much fighting skills but she is no damsel in distress either. She can pull it off whenever the need calls to. Arawn and Ogam’s wise words and thinking make them likeable characters. So I guess people calling him the Demon Lord in the first place don’t really understand him well or just downright jealousy. It’s just a name. The rest are of course ‘stagnant’ like Llyr’s pessimism, Morgan’s brashness (has she ever thought of covering up a little? Guess not) and Octavia’s no nonsense and steadfast character. As mentioned before, I might not have seen many of this kind of genres so I find some of the character design and costumes to be quite well down. For instance I like the costume design for Pwyll and the way Llyr engages her trident to shoot magic shots during battle.
 
Later as I found out that most of the character names are taken and based from Celtic or Welsh myth origins. Furthermore, the storyline is closely based on Britannia during the Dark Ages and the Roman Empire. On a trivial note, each of the episode titles is short, usually reflecting that episode’s particular subject or topic like a place or action. The opening theme by Suara, Free And Dream, is a lively and upbeat tune befitting RPG genres. I find it funny a part whereby Arthur and Arawn were fighting side by side, taking down hordes of incoming enemies while taking turns throwing an apple and taking a bite from it. No time to stop for a bite, eh? The first ending theme by Aira Yuki is Blue Sky True Sky and the animation features Primula running around. I guess it’s a place where she gets more screen time seeing that she is only featured in flashbacks or Riannon’s inner heart. The second ending also by Aira Yuki is Weeping Alone sounds slower though I still consider it to be a pop piece.
 
After watching this series, it’s not that I garnered any interest in watching RPG genre animes. If they add in bishoujos and the harem factor yeah, maybe I would consider. But you know this kind of genres is more or less the same thing. A band of good guys saving the world. Do we really need to be in this sort of predicament in order to save the world? Hopefully not. We should save Earth while we can though it’s not going to take magic and sorcery to do so. On the other hand, maybe I need to let word go round and earn myself a Demon Lord reputation and draw in the babes… What’s wrong with that? Just a theory of mine that opposite attracts. Hope I won’t turn into an evil last stage boss instead. Worse still, they may get disappointed after getting to know the real otaku me. Can that be enough for me to be called a Demon Lord?
 

Tears To Tiara