Though perhaps not as popular as franchises like Final Fantasy or even Dragon Quest, the Mana game series is still a venerable and successful brand in its own right. For that reason, it’s receiving an anime adaptation in the form of the upcoming show Legend of Mana: The Teardrop Crystal. The name of this new anime should sound quite familiar to fans of the video games.
Seemingly named after PlayStation game Legend of Mana, the show’s title is not a mere coincidence. This begs the question of how close to the game the anime will be, as well as if fans or newcomers will enjoy it the most. Given how previous anime adaptations have been handled, a bit of trepidation is to be expected.
Square Enix’s Legend of Mana Video Game Had Several Sprawling Storylines
The setting of the PlayStation game Legend of Mana was the world of Fa’Diel, which existed at a time when the Great Mana Tree had long since been burned down due to a warring between the world’s various races. These included humans, faeries, demons and the Jumi, a species known for the jewels held within their chests. The protagonist was a purely blank slate, with their history and character development being the result of player actions.
This non-linearity to storytelling was matched by the plot itself. Arguably bearing more of a resemblance to Western RPGs, Legend of Mana doesn’t have a clear-cut, overarching storyline. Instead, there were three main arcs or paths, each focusing on different characters. The first of these was centered on Elazul and Pearl, some of the few surviving members of the Jumi species. After all of these paths are completed, the player entered the final storyline, “Legend of Mana.” Given that the disjointed storytelling was a major criticism of the game, it seems logical that the anime would take a different approach entirely.
The Legend of Mana Anime Will Accurately Adapt One Arc of the Game
The Legend of Mana anime, Teardrop Crystal, is animated by Graphinica and Yokohama Animation Laboratory, though it’s produced by Warner Bros. Japan. In fact, it was a WB Japan employee who pitched the idea to Mana series producer Masaru Oyamada. The idea was to do a faithful adaptation of the Legend of Mana video game, though its storytelling may have presented some issues. Nevertheless, the direction of the series seems to focused on at least one major aspect of the game’s storyline.
The Teardrop Crystal will adapt the Jumi-based arc in Legend of Mana‘s plot, with Elazul and Pearl being major characters in the show. Shiloh is also the main character from the game, finally given an official title but bearing the same design. Given the impassioned pitch that birthed the series and the level of fandom behind its creation — not to mention the fact that it’s based on a now fairly old game — the series will hopefully be anything but a cheap cash grab.
From its promising trailers, Teardrop Crystal is definitely going to be a beautiful and somewhat relaxing fantasy adventure series that draws in both fans of the game and those who’ve never played it. As for its fidelity to the source material, fans will find out how deep it goes when the show premieres on October 8, 2022. The Crunchyroll streaming service will be simulcasting Legend of Mana: The Teardrop Crystal for those outside of Japan.