I was enamored with Tearmoon Empire from the first episode, as it offered a quasi-historical spin on the conventional reincarnation premise that I found irresistible. While our heroine Princess Karen Tearmoon isn’t a literal analogue to famous monarchs like Marie Antoinette, the movie isn’t subtle about the parallels it’s making when depicts the sad state of the empire at the end of the monarchy’s reign, not to mention Karen’s tryst with Madame Guillotine that sets her journey of rebirth in motion. Nowadays, I don’t know if I could care less about Potato-kun randomly being reincarnated into some generic RPG fantasy land. However, if you give me a flawed but determined oligarch who is determined to use her second chance to avoid being beheaded along with the collapse of her empire, then you will attract My attention for at least a few more episodes.
What I love most about the first chapters of Karen’s story is how flawed she is. For instance, unlike the “Reincarnated as a Dating Game Villain” type of show, Karen is not a generally likable woman who has taken on the body and identity of a villain. previously present. Karen is the villain of the Tearmoon Empire’s revolution, and she doesn’t suddenly become a completely new person when she returns to her teenage body. As her interactions with Ludwig, Sion, and Tiona humorously remind us, Karen is very capable of returning to her previous haughty, vain, and spiteful ways. After all, her main motivation is still protecting herself. Just a few years locked up in prison before being brutally executed by her subjects gave Karen some much-needed perspective. It turns out that sometimes, the best way to keep your mind intact is simply to be kind and sympathetic to the needs of others. You know, the old Social Contract and all that.
Later, a running joke was that Karen’s sudden ability to say a little more shit about the normal people around her transformed and shocked even her old enemies. now convinced that she is in fact a saint, a goddess of justice and mercy brought to earth to right the wrongs of the Empire with her own loving hands. Fortunately, this is a very funny joke, because whenever the likes of Ludwig, Anne, Tiona or others are stunned into silence by their growing fondness for the wonderful young princess At this point, we as the audience can see that Karen is mostly just scared. Mrs. Guillotine.
Okay, scenes like Karen’s cute interactions with Anne’s sister, who wrote the fairy tale that kept Karen sane during her time in prison, proved that Karen is capable of being a friend and a really good leader. She just needs to escape a lifetime and a half of aristocratic brain rot before she’s ready to lead her Empire to true prosperity on her own two feet. Until then, at least she has a large group of loving friends supporting her, not to mention the help of that nifty time-travel diary. If all else fails to help her change her ways for good, there’s always the looming ghost of Madame Guillotine to remind Karen that she’d better fake it until she makes it.
Tearmoon Empire is now streaming on Crunchyroll.
James is a writer with many thoughts and feelings about anime and other pop culture, which you can also find on Twitter his blog and his podcast.