Tears to Tiara
"Cutting off your own head won't solve anything."
From the creators of Utawarerumono comes a somewhat similar story. In a fantasy world somewhat resembling Arthurian legend, the "Holy Empire" has taken it upon itself to crush all resistance. Against them is the Demon Lord Arawn (in human form) who inadvertently becomes the leader of a tribe fighting for survival. As such, this is a tale of war, sacrifice and beautiful women.
Based off the PC Visual Novel by Leaf. Later re-released for the PlayStation 3 with art and technical upgrades. The Anime aired in 2009 and is now available in North America by Sentai.
Along with the announcement of Utawarerumono's sequel in 2011, Leaf also confirmed that a Tears to Tiara 2 is on the works, scheduled as a Play Station 3 release details are scarce, much like Utawarerumono 2 the only thing confirmed is that Tears to Tiara 2 is set in the same universe as the original, it's unknown if there will be any returning characters.
- Accidental Marriage: Arawn to his harem girls (though reduced to three in the anime). At least Hakuoro was just a Chick Magnet.
- Achilles in His Tent: Or running through the woods like a dumbass.
- All Myths Are True
- Anguished Declaration of Love: Given by Octavia to Lidia after she kills her.
- The Archer: Morgan, though Arawn's a pretty good shot himself.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: Arawn and Arthur in the opening while eating an apple. Also Episode 2.
- Another example is Octavia and Morgan, on a fairly regular basis.
- Author Appeal: Ermin has more than twice the amount of H-scenes compared to any other girl in the visual novel, including Rhiannon. She's also the most childlike, which can be a little... awkward.
- Badass Army: The Rubrum, also doubling as Elite Mooks.
- Bare Your Midriff: Morgan. Rathty and Arthur as well.
- Bash Brothers: Arthur and Arawn; previously, Pwyll and Arawn.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: Subverted by Gaius and Lidia, the former of whom is rugged yet a Worthy Opponent in the end; the latter is beautiful but... not so good. And then there's Lector, who is an angel and appropriately beautiful, but...
- Berserk Button: The otherwise snarky Arawn hates it when people are willing to die or enslave themselves for immaterial concepts like chivalry and honor. This is likely due to how his creator/father Angel sacrificed himself to give humans a chance for freedom that, thanks to the Angels, the previous races of the world never had.
- Big Bad: The Angel Lector.
- Big Brother Mentor: A rare case where the mentor is Arawn himself. Crosses over with Stealth Mentor since Arthur seems unaware of Arawn's plans to raise him as a worthy king.
- Big Eater: Arthur, Morgan and Octavia. In one scene in the game, Arthur and Morgan both make themselves sick trying to out-eat Octavia, who just wants to eat in peace.
- Big Good: Arawn, who, in a twist, is also The Hero.
- Bleached Underpants
- Bokukko: Rathty.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Arthur in episode 15.
- Call Back: Arawn is known as the "Great Demon King", presumably because he's a Fallen Angel. Then a Flash Back reveals that while Arawn was "dying" the first time, Pwyll utters the words: "...My friend. My Great King.".
- Canon Foreigner: Lidia, an Imperial general introduced only in the Play Station 3 remake. Becomes a full Canon Immigrant come the anime.
- Cavalier Consumption: The characters pass around an apple while swordfighting in the Title Sequence.
- Cherubic Choir: The Song of Creation which Myrrdin uses to change the Ice Age into spring. Taliesin later uses it to stop a blizzard.
- Colony Drop: The Dragons' Gotterdammerung happened when the Angels dropped the Earth's second moon on their city.
- Cross-Dressing Voices: Rathty is voiced by Greg Ayres in the Sentai Englsih dub.Except Rathty's a girl all along.
- Conspicuous CG: The revived skeletons in Episode 2.
- Cool Old Guy: Ogam, hands down. He gets even cooler when he's revealed to be the last Dragon.
- Council of Angels: The Twelve Angels who are of the Knight Templar variety -- all except Arawn, who's hated by his kin for advocating freedom for all the "lower" races.
- Cute Bruiser: Rathty -- Little elf, BIG hammer.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Some extent to Octavia.
- And Gaius's lieutenant, Decimus; though in the anime he's clearly ready to kill them (or die trying, anyway) after Gaius is mortally wounded, Decimus obeys his commander's final order: defect to Arawn's side and help him create a better world.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Arawn.
- Contrast with Light Is Not Good -- the Holy Empire, though it's obviously corrupt from the start and thus not ever really light; they've got nothing on the Angels themselves, of course.
- Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: The holy element Electrum burns Arawn on contact (getting shot full of it was what killed him the first time). In-game, any equipment made of Electrum doesn't enhance the stats of any elves, dragons, or demons it is given to. In human hands, however, they're the most powerful things available at the store.
- De-Power: What happens to Arawn after High Priest Drwc resurrects him too early. As a result, the legendary Demon King is only slightly stronger than a normal human and actually hurts himself a little when he punches a skeleton so hard it shatters.
- In the game he instead rips Drwc apart with a sweep of his hand as if his fingers were solid claws. Again, he has some minor complains about it afterwards.
- The Fair Folk: Subverted. When the boat first lands on Albion, Ogam mentions that they best be careful because of the "Good Folk". They actually turn out to be very friendly. It also helps that they adore Arawn.
- Fallen Angel: Arawn -- simply because he was hated by his fellow Angels for advocating equal rights for all races.
- Fan Translation: Released in December 2008, right around the time when the anime spinoff began airing.
- Fastball Special: RATHTY MISSILE!
- Final Speech: Combines with Almost-Dead Guy during Gaius' last moments in the anime for an impressive amount of time; it would almost have been ludicrous had the character not been so Badass that one could buy Gaius' willpower holding out long enough to make that speech.
- Gainaxing: Morgan and Lyre.
- Genki Girl: Morgan. The original game shows this a bit; the anime takes it Up to Eleven and adds a touch of Hard-Drinking Party Girl.
- Genre Savvy: Rafty in the anime.
"My mommy told me never to trust a man dressed all in black."
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Arawn does this to Arthur when they lost against the Rubrum.
- Giant Enemy Crab: A bunch of them appear in Episode 4, and are reduced off-screen to crab hotpot.
- Girl in a Box: Octavia
- Glacier Waif: Rathty. Also a cute one.
- Gratuitous English: "Apple Pie". When your city's name is a throwback to the fact that its orchard is full of apple trees, it only makes sense that this gets made... often.
- Harem Hero: Arawn. Played with in the anime, where only Rhiannon does express romantic interest in him, while the other girls follow him out of either hero-worship or gratitude.
- Heroic Albino: Arawn
- Heroic Sacrifice: [[spoiler:Taliesin, who was in turn inspired by Myrrdin's own sacrifice.
- Happily Ever After
- Honest John: Epona, and Rusty's Split Personality Thraty.
- Honor Before Reason: Many of the Gael Tribe, but Arthur takes it up a notch. When told to duel a wounded foe, he dislocates his own arm to even the field. Arawn frequently remarks that Arthur's stubborn insistence on rules and oaths can do more harm than good, especially when dealing with human lives.
- In the game, there is a law that punishes adultery with a dislocated arm, so Arthur runs away with this and casually asks Morgan (who has declared herself married to Arawn) if her breasts get in her way when fighting before grabbing them just in time for Rhiannon to see the act.
- Hot-Blooded: Arthur. A significant part of the plot revolves around the whole cast just trying to stop him from going overboard. Following Character Development though, he's definitely more matured and composed by the end of the series.
- Identical Descendant: Arthur looks like his ancestor Pwyll with a different outfit and hairstyle. Justified, as Arthur is a Reincarnation of Pwyll.
- The same can be said of Rhiannon, who looks like an adult Primula, Pwyll's human wife.
- Not surprising, considering that in the very beginning of the game, she tells Arawn that her true name is Primula.
- The same can be said of Rhiannon, who looks like an adult Primula, Pwyll's human wife.
- Idiot Hero: Arthur to some extent. Comes to a head when he throws Arawn's caution to the wind and leads reckless charge against the Rubrum, nearly losing all him men. This is frequently lampshaded in the game.
- Lady of War: Octavia. Her self-proclaimed rival Lidia is more of an Ax Crazy Knight Templar.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Arthur is worse off than Oboro in this, but at least he gets a clue quickly enough.
- Lethal Chef: Subverted in the game. While Octavia and Morgan's cooking looks something like slop (they just ground up all the ingredients and threw them into a boiling pot), it actually tastes pretty good.
- Light Is Not Good: Lector is a bastard and the only other people who seems capable of using Light based magic are clerics for the Empire. On the other hand, light is not outright bad, either. It's the only thing capable of getting rid of advanced undead and the angels are implied to have more lost their way without God around rather than being outright For the Evulz.
- Limited Wardrobe: Lampshaded the hell out of in one scene in the Visual Novel.
- Load-Bearing Boss: Merkadis
- Lovely Angels: Octavia and Morgan (or is that a Battle Couple?), Rathty and Llyr.
- Manly Tears: Pwyll does this well.
- Meaningful Name: Arthur. Really, given the setting and host of other meaningful names, what else could he have become?
- Meido: Lymwris and Ermin.
- Mighty Glacier: Rathty.
- Million Mook March: The Golmes, to the extent that Taliesin first mistakes the army for terrain where the snow has receded, describing it as "70% black, 30% snow".
- Minor Injury Overreaction: In Episode 25, Lector goes completely off his rocker after getting a cut on his cheek now that his "perfection" has been ruined by a human being. Doubles as Lector's Villainous Breakdown.
- Mind Control Eyes: Rhiannon, after being forced to give up her true name.
- Mistaken for Pregnant: Apparently, for Arawn, the idea that Llyr successfully milked a cow is more unlikely to come to mind than that he got her pregnant.
- Naughty Tentacles: The uh... magical elf cookbook from Epona's shop. It supposedly tenderizes elf meat by arousing them.
- Noble Demon: Arawn plays this straight.
- Not Quite Dead: Taliesin
- Nothing Can Save Us Now: Taken to absurd levels after the defeat of Merkadis, where the gang is trapped inside the crumbling tower. After they give up on getting out, the ladies start asking Arawn to marry them when they get reincarnated. Cue Tailesin, very much alive and well, fresh out of his Heroic Sacrifice.
- Ominous Pipe Organ: Plays during every scene featuring The Emperor and White Angel.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Lidia's view of Octavia. Taken to... interesting levels.
- Our Angels Are Different: The Twelve Angels are responsible for the various Ages that end in near-total annihilation: when the dominant race of that Age fails to meet their incredibly high standards (as in keeping the races from developing enough such that they equal or even surpass the Angels in their "perfection"), they wipe them out and start over. The only good Angels are Myrrdin and his son Arawn/Lucifer, who would replace Myrrdin as the Twelfth Angel, and the latter would earn his kin's ire for believing in allowing the "inferior" races to develop.
- Even their God Watos isn't on their side anymore (Merkadis is defeated by a prayer that invokes an powerful ray of light from the heavens, and Lector is pretty much doomed when Watos doesn't answer his pleas for help). It is also hinted that the Angels do not know the true will of Watos and that Arawn/Lucifer was specifically created by Watos to free the world from his kin's control before they find another reason to trigger apocalypse.
- The Other Darrin: There was a massive re-casting effort between the PC and Play Station 3 versions, replacing the original cast with a more high-profile one (which carried over to the anime). To wit:
Arawn: Kojirou > Tohru Ookawa
Rhiannon: Ran Tonoo > Yūko Gotō
Arthur: Kotsuo Kishijima > Makoto Ishii
Morgan: Rie Tomigawa > Mai Nakahara
Octavia: Kaoru Imai > Rie Tanaka
Limwris: Ayaka Kimura > Ami Koshimizu
Ermin: Mai Akizuki > Ai Shimizu
Ogam: Gansezu > Yosuke Akimoto
Epona: Yurika Hokuto > Kiyomi Asai
Llyr: Yuka Takana > Kaori Nazuka
Rathy: Yuka Misaki > Kana Ueda
Tailesin: Rei Takatori > Tomohiro Tsuboi
Gaius: Ken Akiresu > Kenji Hamada
- Although anyone with a good ear and half familiar with the Japanese CV scene can tell who was really recasted, and who had just used an alias for the original PC version
- Our Dragons Are Different: Ogam
- Our Elves Are Better: More like different. House Elves, Seal Elves, Miner Elves, Merchant Elves, and others, each with their own (literal, except for Ermin) Hat. Also, unlike most elves, they lack the standard pointy ears.
- Although note that Mine Elves represent the more typical fantasy depiction of dwarves, minus body hair and such. The one we meet is even money-hungry like Discworld dwarves.
- Palette Swap
- Pettanko: Epona, especially conscious about her size to the point of being so embarrassed as to having to resort to a Love Potion just to bed Arawn. Yes, she even rambles about it during her H-scene. See Red String of Fate below.
- Precursors: Before the Humans of the Iron Age, there were the Elves of the Bronze Age; before the Elves, there were the Giants of the Silver Age; before the Giants there were the Dragons of the Golden Age. All three previous Ages met a tragic end no thanks to the Angels.
- Prestige Class: Musician, Paladin, Sage, Hunter, Seer, etc.
- Real Time Strategy: The core gameplay mechanic of the game, or to be more specific, semi-RTS combined with JRPG.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Morgan (Red) and Octavia (Blue).
- Red String of Fate: One of these is for sale at Epona's shop for 99999. It has a Love Potion effect that she uses to get Arawn to "marry" her.
- Said red string becomes a Magic Feather, however, as Epona tied it to the wrong finger. The magic only kicks in when you tie it to your pinky.
- Reincarnation: Pwyll as Arthur, and his wife Primula as Rhiannon.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Arawn, Arthur, Rhiannon and Taliesin believe in Authority Equals Asskicking.
- Samus Is a Girl: Rathty -- and it was also a twist in the game. Epona apparently knew, but apparently kept mum about it.
- Satan Is Good: Arawn's true name is "Lucifer". The very beginning of the game shows a hint, as Rhiannon almost blurts his true name after figuring out that he is "Akaboshi" -- the Japanese name of Venus as the "morning star". Lucifer is also known as "Light-Bearer" and is attributed to Venus
- She's a Man In Japan: Both Animax Asia and Sentai dubs mistakenly call Rathty a boy.
- She's All Grown Up: We see an adult Primula, now Pwyll's wife, in a flashback in Episode 14.
- Ship Tease: Taliesin and Epona.
- Shout-Out: Epona sells red shoes at her shop, which she claims increases speed threefold. It bestows a Fragile Speedster effect on whoever wears them. In the PC version, the AI takes control of whoever is wearing those pair of shoes.
- In Episode 14, they raid Arawn's tomb. Much insinuations ensue.
- Sixth Ranger: Taliesin.
- The Slow Walk
- Spiritual Successor: to Utawarerumono, except with an Arthurian feel.
- Spoony Bard: Taliesin. It's even the name of his class. The prestige classes like Hunter, Seer, and Druid also qualify.
- Stripperiffic: Morgan can't seem to wear anything but a tube-bra, sleeveless short jacket, and a loincloth that doesn't even try to hide her panties -- even at a breakfast meeting.
- Super Move Portrait Attack: Prevalent in the PS3 version.
- The PC game has it too for every super move. All four of them.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Arawn feels this way. He later extends this by saying that humans are such idiots for obsessing over chivalry and honor at the expense of freedom -- freedom he once sacrificed his own Angelhood for.
- Talking the Monster to Death: Arthur in Episode 2. More like shouting it down.
- To Be Lawful or Good: Arthur faces this dilemma often. He's keen on upholding the laws of his tribe (which are not always good and tend to advocate death as solution to every problem), but he's also a good person. Other characters are more willing to bend the rules if they are to stay alive, and halfway through the series Arawn convinces him to follow his conscience.
- Trojan Prisoner: Octavia tries this out with Morgan in order to sneak the two of them into Avalon, which is under siege by the Empire. It would have worked were it not for the fact that the unit she associates herself with is a unit that had been sent back to the mainland long ago. They get to fight their way inside instead.
- The Unfavorite: Arawn to the other Angels. Likewise he feels the same hatred to his kin, as evidenced by his own face in a mural on his tomb being scratched out.
- Tsurime Eyes: Lidia. This is also notable in flashbacks where she and Octavia were friends she didn't have these.
- Video Will: Arawn leaves one of these in a prison located inside Mt. Corus, and a thousand years later, Taliesin is led to it by a baby dragon.
- War Is Hell: Ogam points it out to Arthur when the two meet after Arthur runs off for attacking Arawn while under Lector's mind control.
- Warrior Monk: The Holy Empire employs Church Knights, Bishops, and Priests in combat, amongst others.
- Worthy Opponent: Gaius; likely a Father to His Men as well.
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: The Gael characters in the English dub, but they keep slipping.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Taliesin spends his life running away from his prophesied fate as chief of Brigantes. In the end, he decides to embrace it in a Heroic Sacrifice... only to survive unscathed.
- There's a little twist to this tale, as mentioned on the PC version of Taliesin's part of the ending: He is phropesied also to be killed by a terrible beast. He befriended a dragon cub.
- You Killed My Father: In Episode 15, seeing Arawn use the power of Light reminded Arthur of the Angel who killed his father and calling himself "Arawn". In a fit of rage he tries to run him through even when Rhiannon gets in the way, forcing Arawn to shove her and take the sword to his gut. Only then does Arthur calm down and realize what he's done. He apparently forgot that Arawn was asleep for the last 1,000 years and couldn't possibly have killed his father. Then it turns out that he was brainwashed by the true killer -- Lector.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Octavia.