Tears to Tiara – 21, 22
Just like Myrddin had predicted, Lucifer was made one of the 12 Angels after Myrddin’s death. When he returned to see what kind of world Myrddin created, Lucifer found a springtime field of flowers, but he also discovered that the remaining humans, namely the young girl Myrddin had saved, had been programmed to robotically obey the Angels. Having realized that this wasn’t what Myrddin wanted, Lucifer decided to leave the Angels and got cursed in the process. He was thus able to return the humans back to normal, but he lost his powers as an Angel. Back in the present, Taliesin now understands what happened, and he leaves the cave to find a huge army approaching. Arawn meanwhile enacts his plan of starting an avalanche using the giants, but a sudden blizzard stops this from happening. Taliesin knows now that the way to continue the avalanche to wipe out the army is something that only he can do: the Song of Creation. Knowing that this will take his life, Taliesin and Arawn part as friends, and Taliesin then performs the Song of Creation, disappearing into the avalanche in the process. It successfully takes out the entire enemy army, and in the aftermath, everyone mourns him. Arthur in particular feels that he personally needs to know and understand about more things, and Epona sings for Taliesin one last time.
Since Arthur wants to know the truth of the world, Arawn decides to send him and the girls to Gorsedd Arawn while he and Ogam take the troops toward Palladium. At Gorsedd Arawn, Arthur finds the sword Dyrnwyn, and when he touches it, he gets a flashback of when Pwyll met Arawn. Back then, Arawn had pretended that Primula was his prey, and when Pwyll tried to save her, Arawn had thrown him the Dyrnwyn. Pwyll had taken the sword only after Arawn had agreed to hand over Primula, but afterward Arawn had proceeded to taunt Pwyll with the truth about the facility to hold humans. Pwyll had known that Arawn was right, but he didn’t feel like he could do anything, so Arawn had told him that their lives are their own. Upon seeing Primula act like a regular girl, Pwyll realized who Arawn really is, and Arawn proposed that they walk the same path, the Road of the Kings. The two had joined together as friends, even telling each other their true names, and they had fought together and succeeded in severing the world’s connection to the heavens. Arawn had used himself as a decoy during the final battle though and had gotten injured to the point where he had to rest for a long time. As his final act before sleeping, he and Pwyll had used Dyrnwyn to erect a protective shield around the world. Arthur realizes now that this protection has worn out, leading to another invasion from the heavens, and so he asks for the sword’s help as he pulls it out of the stone. This has the side effect of wiping out the enemies that Riannon and the others had been protecting him from while he was experiencing the flashback, and afterward, Arthur is ready to head to Palladium to join Arawn.
These were another two surprisingly good episodes of Tears to Tiara that fleshed out a lot of the backstory yet managed to stay fairly interesting. I think I enjoyed episode 21 a bit more than 22 though because I liked how they handled Taliesin’s apparent heroic death and its aftermath. I say “apparent” because they didn’t really show a body (and I’m still wary given the way deaths are handled in anime series, with the latest example being in Princess Lover), but after the nice ending with Epona’s song, I don’t think they’d bring him back or anything.
In any case, what would have made episode 22 better was if they had shown the climactic battle against the heavens that they skipped over. I’m sure it would have looked really cool given the studio’s track record with this show so far, and it would have better than just having them talk about it afterward. I imagine time or budget constraints were the reason they didn’t. Regardless, between these two episodes, I now finally feel like I understand everything that’s been hinted at in the OP animation, with the minor exception of the dragon stuff. It’s a good feeling to have as the story moves toward what I assume is the final battle.