It was only recently that I finished watching the Legend of Mana: The Teardrop Crystal anime, and I was very surprised by how under-the-radar it was. You can actually watch the whole series OFFICIALLY on YouTube, haha!
So. Let me tell you the top reasons why you should watch this anime, especially if you’re a long-time fan of the Legend of Mana video game!
1. Spotting All the Legend of Mana Characters
One of the best reasons to watch this anime is that you’ll be able to spot SO MANY of your favorite characters from the Square Enix title. Though Legend of Mana: The Teardrop Crystal focuses more on the Jumi arc, meaning the game’s hero hangs around Elazul and Pearl more, you’ll still see the other NPCs in their respective settings.
The main character of the anime is the male version of the player, but you’ll also meet the female heroine later on. As the series moves forward, you’ll meet more characters from different story arcs and locations. For example, the hero meets Basket Fish and the imperial soldier in Polpota Harbor, David the penguin in the SS Buccaneer, and more! What I like the most is that they each play their own part in the anime, just like they do in the game!
I really liked seeing these characters being voiced and animated. It pays so much respect to the character design and development of Legend of Mana. 🙂 My favorite moments always involved seeing Duelle, the Onion Knight, in action, because I totally adored him in the game!
2. Nostalgic Nod to Story Quests & Iconic Locations
Like I mentioned before, Legend of Mana: The Teardrop Crystal’s story mainly centers around the game’s Jumi arc. In the video game, it is considered one of the biggest story arcs. But what I really liked is that the production company still inserted some of the RPG’s different quests and their locations that are not necessarily related to the Jumi arc.
An example of this is when you’re tasked to find Esmeralda’s sisters. In the game, you’ll only do this within the city of Geo, but the anime made it so that the characters went out of the city and into other locations in the game. This highlighted the RPG’s different areas alongside the NPCs that you can only meet in these areas, even for just a short amount of time.
So even though some scenes were only added into the anime and not part of the game’s canon, the flow still made a lot of sense, haha!
3. Small Highlights to Gameplay Features & Elements
Legend of Mana is an action RPG with a lot of diverse gameplay elements. While having to manage your homestead, raise monsters, plant crops, and even forge your own weapons, you also have to complete side quests and figure out the best way to place your artifacts on the game’s map. So, I was wondering how this would be reflected in the anime.
I was really surprised by how the anime was still able to smartly add them in. At the beginning of the series, viewers get a brief peek at what the hero’s day-to-day life is like. The hero tends to their backyard garden and even feeds creatures in the monster corral.
I especially liked how they incorporated the Artifacts into the main story! In the game, when players complete certain quests or talk to NPCs, they can receive Artifacts that lead to new locations in the world map. This feature can also be found in the anime, though the treatment has been tweaked to make it fit into the series’ lore.
From something as simple as showcasing the main character’s home base, to something as big as seeing the boss fights animated just like in the game, there was a real sense of joy at seeing these brief scenes. It felt like a real reminder of just how much I loved, and still love, Legend of Mana.
4. Sound Trips Down Memory Lane
One of the things I love the most about Legend of Mana is its totally amazing soundtrack. How can you not love music made by Yoko Shimomura?! If you didn’t know, she’s the BAMF lady responsible for A LOT of iconic video game music. Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy XV ring a bell? HAHAHA.
Anyway, the Legend of Mana anime also used Yoko Shimomura’s work from the video game. And it was really nice to listen to them again! Especially when the main character gets into boss fights, then the boss theme starts playing, and boy, just the goosebumps!
I mean, even if the animation is not as top-notch as others in today’s industry, the soundtrack of the series alone is more than enough reason to give this anime a try, HAHA! (Or I’m just really biased, LOL.)
5. Fantastic Summary of Legend of Mana with Some Extras
Though I watched Legend of Mana: The Teardrop Crystal through the lens of an avid fan of the game, I like that it still provided a great summary to those who may not be familiar with it. I don’t think it was alienating, and it provided enough lore and storytelling for newbies to still understand what is going on.
The anime added some new elements and characters to tie together some loopholes in the game, too. So, it was interesting to see a perspective that was not part of the RPG. These little extra things made the series make more sense, especially since there can be so many confusing factors involved in Legend of Mana.
Of course, I think that those who played Legend of Mana will definitely appreciate the animated series more, but I don’t think that anime lovers will feel out-of-place when they decide to watch it. XD
And, there you go! I would rate this anime probably an 8/10, mainly because I am biased for anything related to Legend of Mana, HAHA.
There are some issues with animation being a little clunky, and the official subtitles have some wrong grammar here and there. But hopefully you can look beyond that because it is a great introduction as to why Legend of Mana players are really such big fans of the video game. XD
You can watch the full anime on the Muse Asia YouTube channel!