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A six episode Original Video Animation series from The Nineties and an early example of a Darker and Edgier Magical Girl. It takes one of the oldest Anime character tropes, the Cute Witch, stops off at Magical Girl Warrior, and then heads directly into Psychological Horror territory and never looks back. While it is a Shojo narrative at heart, focused on relationships and personal growth, it caters to the male Periphery Demographic so well that it ceases to seem peripheral. Let's just say that the fight scenes are impressive and the Fan Service is plentiful.
The titular shamanic princess and heroine of the story, Tiara, is a remarkably capable (and remarkably Stripperiffic) Cute Witch who works as a special agent for her Magical Land, the Guardian World. Her mission: go to Earth under cover as an Ordinary High School Student (in a French Boarding School, no less) to recover the Throne of Yord, a mystical artifact that's been stolen from the Guardian World. Of course, there are complications. It turns out that there's a terrible secret surrounding the artifact. And that some of Tiara's friends and colleagues from her magical world are willing to fight her to keep her from retrieving it. And that the Throne of Yord is no mere MacGuffin...
Those who know Shamanic Princess know it for its Mind Screwery and its slightly infamous non-linear storytelling, which drops the view into the action with little explanation, and then shows the circumstances that caused it all to occur as a 2 episode flashback after the conclusion.
This series contains examples of:
- Abuse Is Okay When It Is Female On Male: Tiara and Graham's relationship is possibly the most twisted situation in the story, and that's really saying something. Her treatment of him is pretty much a textbook cycle of abuse and reward.
- Action Girl: Tiara isn't just a magic user. She's a Full-Contact Magic User.
- All Love Is Unrequited: There's a lot of UST, and it either stays that way or shifts to angst. Depending on your definition, there could be one happy couple to come out of this show, but it's a Crack Pairing - Sara and the Throne of Yord.
- As You Know: The In Medias Res storytelling makes Info Dumping difficult to avoid. It mainly takes the form of Japolo telling an indignant Tiara things she already knows.
- Bait and Switch Credits: The OP video is fluffy, luminous and Moe. The series itself is much darker. The closest to the actual tone of the series would be the scene where a naked Sara is seen bound in black bandages.
- Big Brother Instinct: Kagetsu's driving force is releasing his sister Sara from the Throne.
- Blood From the Mouth: Leon, when one of his transformations goes awry.
- Bodyguard Crush: Afflicts 2 of the show's 3 Partners. Leon stoically adores Lena from afar, and Graham...Graham's got it bad for Tiara.
- Cain and Abel: At home, Tiara and Lena are friends. Now, they are enemies.
- After everything's fixed, they become friends again.
- Cleavage Window: Tiara is a big winner in the Superpower Lottery, and her payout includes Boobs of Steel. Her Stripperific primary costume uses this trope to show it off.
- Cute Witch: The heroines hail from a magical world, and they are cute. Tiara is a Hotter and Sexier Cute Witch.
- Fantastic Caste System: Suggestions of this trope with the way Partners are treated. They are Familiars that border on a Servant Race - sapient beings that aren't given the same amount of social worth as the magic users that summon them. In fact, they're highly expendable.
- Florence Nightingale Effect: Subverted when Tiara tends to Graham's injuries. He goes in for the kiss, but is ultimately denied.
- Fusion Dance: The final Super Mode - a combination of Tiara, Lena, and Sara that annihilates itself to set everything right.
- Gratuitous English: The Japanese voices say "Gaadiaan Warudo (Guardian World)" instead of "Kōken'nin no sekai
- Gray and Gray Morality: Tiara doesn't really have any real enemies, more like friends with differing goals at different times
- Does the Throne of Yord count as an actual enemy?
- Homoerotic Subtext: Tiara's Muggle friends suggest that the attention she pays to Lena is the result of romantic longing.
- I Have the High Ground: Oh, does this series love this trope. The heroines can actually generate their own tall, thin objects to stand on while fighting.
- Intertwined Fingers: Tiara and Sara do this at one point. Except it wasn't Sara — it was the Throne of Yord.
- It Amused Me: The reason why the Throne of Yord does anything.
- Love Makes You Crazy: Graham.
- Magical Girl: Most of them.
- Magical Incantation: There are a variety, with transformation spells being the longest.
- Marked Change: Tiara, Lena, and Leon all get facial markings when they shift into their Super Mode.
- Mirror Match: On two occasions, the Throne of Yord manifests as a duplicate of Tiara to fight her. Once in her normal form, and again in her Super Mode.
- Mind Screw: The Throne of Yord likes doing this.
- Ms. Fanservice: Tiara Gainaxes, gets a Shower Scene, gets Clothing Damage, gets to zip herself up, has a miniskirt and thigh-high boots...
- Names to Know In Anime
- Nightmare Face: Once, when Sara's face splits open, leaving a black gash running from forehead to...uh, ground...and a vertically oriented eye appears in the gulf.
- Again, when Tiara smashes her Doppelganger's face.
- Orphean Rescue: Subverted. All the characters fail to rescue Sara from the Throne of Yord. She cannot be saved and does not need saving.
- Painful Transformation: Transformations appear to cause physical pain by default.
- Platonic Cave: The cave is Tiara's perception of her friends. As the show gets into exploring the nature of the "true self," and it becomes increasingly difficult to tell who is an illusion, who is under outside influence, who's being forced to try to kill her, and who is "genuine". There are multiple exchanges that go more or less like this:
Tiara: "Are you the real character name here?"
Other character: "I am me."
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Tiara (red) and Lena (blue).
- Scenery Porn: The highly detailed watercolor backgrounds throughout the show.
- Screw Yourself: While Tiara, as a child, is trying to tame Graham, her great power manifests as a red-skinned (and naked) version of her powered-up form as an adult. It proceeds to grab her and give her a deep kiss.
- Snow Means Love: It's snowing in Tiara's memories of when she and Kagetsu were together.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: The scene in which Sara curb stomps Japolo is accompanied by a sort of lullaby, whose bilingual French/Japanese lyrics read like a Yandere love poem.
- Tears of Blood: Lena cries a bucket-load of blood when she loses her transformation in episode 3.
- Before that, in that same episode, Leon shed a few.
- Time Stands Still: Partners have the ability to freeze time so their masters can engage in magical battles without attracting Muggle attention.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tiara is strident, Lena is refined; alternatively Tiara is aggressive and Sara is gentle.
- Weird Moon: It's selectively huge, of course. Better yet, it appears to change phases from crescent to full when Tiara transforms in episode 1.