Legend of Mana: The Teardrop Crystal

Alt title: Seiken Densetsu: Legend of Mana - The Teardrop Crystal

TV (12 eps)
Fall 2022
2.677 out of 5 from 349 votes
Rank #16,918

Not far from the town of Domina lives Shiloh, a boy who keeps hearing a voice in his dreams about a mission he must fulfill. But what mission could he be needed for remains unknown. That all changes when he meets two Jumi, a race that’s hunted for their unique gemstones, as a sudden outbreak of attacks against the Jumi occurs. His dream, his quest, becomes clear—help the Jumi and their gemstones!

Source: Netflix

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3S Review no. 75 (short, simple and salty/sweet/spicy) I am absolutely baffled by the decision to make this into an anime. You see the game has a weird structure, relatively pioneering for its time. There are three story arcs, and a final arc. You choose how you go about it, which one goes first and you could even get into the final arc only by completing one of the arcs. So it is not your typical storytelling. After watching the show I assume they gonna adapt all 3 arcs into different seasons, with the first one being the arc with the Jumi, the gem people. Which is the worst arc of the three. So, story follows our young and kind jrpg protagonist that meets two Jumi, people that evolved from gems, and have their core, or their hard on their chest as a gem, and decides to help them find more of their kind. Then Sandra appears, a thief that kills Jumi to steal their gems cause those are very valuable and our protagonist wants to protect the Jumi, that is about it, its not really complex, it is not really mature, it is an arc from a psx era jrpg, what did you expect? So, I do not really now if this done on purpose or it is just bad and lazy writing and directing, but the result is the same, this feels like a game, not like a show, and video game narrative works for video games, it doesn’t really work for anime. Storytelling feels clunky, awkward and unexciting. But this video game thing also does some good stuff about the show, you see, story follows a young lad who lives in fantasy world. The thing is, before the show starts, said young lad was living already there, so we just see the world, we see a bunch of characters with everyone looking wackier than the other and the protagonist casually interacting with them, cause it is natural to him, no matter how strange or unknown everything seems to us. We learn and assume what we can through his interactions, and find about new things that are also new to him. I’m not saying here that this show is perfect example of showing and telling, I’m just saying that this is how it should be, but with all these damn isekais nowadays we have really forgotten about it. That is the convenience of a person getting transferred into a completely new world, everything is new for the hero while being new to us, so we get infodumping and exposition with no remorse. Anyway, that is not really relevant so lets get on with it, storytelling is not great, is is slow, it is clunky, it is very videogamey and it is not exciting at all, the only reason it works, if it even works, is because of nostalgia. Characters are… well… I was gonna say that they are like NPCs but… you see… in this case they are exactly that. At least you know, no fan servicing thots, no clowns for comedic relief and most importantly no broken overpowered protagonist. In fact he gets his ass beaten usually, once he got whooped so bad he even got a fever, no joke. There are also some nice twists and turns, and you know, being NPC looking, really is a good cover. Animation is not really great and that really saddens me, cause artistically, visually the video game was spectacular. Character designs are really over the top, cause you know, that’s 90s square for you. So, they tried to keep the really unique aesthetics, but it is really hard to animate properly and smoothly with all that detail, the studio obviously didn’t have the resources to do it properly so all the movement feels clunky and robotic, the scenery looks really cheap and barebones when it should be amazing judging on what they had to work with. We even have some weird cheap looking cgi at momments, now, that could be intentional for the video game feeling, but it is probably laziness, incompetence and low budget. So, visually this show should be crème de la crème, it owes that much to the source, yet it is really mediocre, if even that. Sound though, sound is spectacular, done by none other than the beloved Yoko Shimomoura, composer of the original game as well, as well as many many other splendid works. You simply can’t complain about this level of music, cause if you, something is wrong with you, what I didn’t like though was the volume the of music, felt like it was constantly lower than it should. Voice acting is fine as well. So, is it worth a watch? Nah, the story did not translate well at all from the game, the characters are nothing great, the animation really does not live up to artistry of the source and the sound as great as it is, it is not enough to make the show watchable. The only reason one would have to watch this show is for nostalgia from the game, but then again, even if you loved the game a lot this show has very little to offer to you. End of season update: Well, i perhaps have been a bit too harsh on the story of the show, and while everything that i have said above is true and storytelling is very problematic, still it is better than the majority of modern shows' stories, so i will just bump it up a bit, still though i wouldn't recommend for any reason other than being a fan of the game and feeling extremely nostalgic.

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