Follow TV Tropes


Anime / The Epic of Zektbach

Go To
Top: Lien, L'erisia, Joah, ∑ (Sigma)
Middle: Hannes, Nox, Shamshir
Bottom: Matin

If the thing called 'Word' is a kind of unlimited resource,then it is not only meaningless to choose words,but also impossible to create the epic poetry.

An anthology of songs from Konami's BEMANI series that all take place in the world of Area Te'Lari. Originally, "Zektbach" was Tomosuke Funaki's pseudonym for producing fantasy-themed music mixed with electronica. The story behind the individual songs have since been combined to form an overarching narrative. The first song was released for beatmania IIDX 13: DistorteD in 2006, and the series continued until its premature end in 2014, leaving Chapters 7 and 8 largely unfinished.

Once, Aria Te'Laria was inhabited by the Eight Ancient Races. These peoples discovered the Ristaccia, a collection of eight gemstones that granted them sentience, emotions, and knowledge. Those who wielded the Ristaccia were gifted with miracles, and in their greed the Eight Ancient Races warred with each other over them until only two races remained: the Humina and Rufina.

The Rufina, wanting to further research the Ristaccia, created a "memeplex" named ∑ (Sigma) and mysteriously disappeared. Meanwhile, the remaining Humina continued fighting over the Ristaccia, resulting in the establishment of two dueling countries: the Holy Kingdom of Noigllado and the Kingdom of Azuelgatt.

Chapters 1-5 each focus on different characters in different locations and different points in time, exploring the problems they face and the Ristaccia's influence on them. Chapters 6-8 bring the earlier chapters together for a cohesive conclusion.

    Music Videos in Story Order & Synopses 
  • ???: L'erisia ~Primal Logic~ (MV, Full Version)
    A crimson angel awakens.
  • Prologue: Ristaccia ~Overture~ (MV, Full Version)
  • Chapter 1: Shamshir Dance (MV, Full Version)
    Shamshir Zamouk, general of the Azuelgatt army, must protect her country from Noigllado's invading forces. As the wielder of the Ristaccia sword, la Colada d'El Cid, she may be her people's only hope.
  • Chapter 2: ZETA ~The World of Prime Numbers and the Transcendental Being~ (MV, Full Version)
    Lien Clewing finds a note left by his Disappeared Dad telling him to go to Olivie Ruins. There he meets Sigma, and learns how to perceive the ultimate truth of the world.
  • Chapter 3: Blind Justice ~Torn Souls, Hurt Faiths~ (MV, Full Version)
    Empress Matin Catorce of Noigllado learns that she has a long-lost twin brother named Nox. As she searches for him, she begins to uncover a Government Conspiracy that Nox is leading La Résistance against. As the wielder of Trisagion, she naturally opposes Nox, the wielder of Tyrfing, and must decide between her people and her brother.
  • Chapter 4: Apocalypse ~Dirge of Swans~ (MV, Full Version)
    The people of the island of Fallarien was saved from a Mind Virus by drinking water from the miraculous Spring of Lourdes. When Hannes Farrugia is born from a virgin who drank from the Spring, she's hailed as a saint. Loved by everyone, her life should be idyllic. However, she has been plagued by troubled dreams about the Spring and a strange sword that waits at the bottom...
  • Chapter 5 Side Story: Kagachi (MV, Full Version)
    In the slums of Jakotsu, Masinowa, lives a boy named Gijiri. He is a Kagachi-jin, a child of Kagachi the Snake God, considered less than trash in the social hierarchy. Across the river is Konohana, where the upper-class Yamaji-jin, children of Yamaji the Mountain Goddess, live. One day, a Yamaji-jin girl named Misakuya visits Jakotsu. Taken by her beauty, Gijiri resolves to better himself so that she might accept him.
  • Chapter 5: Turii ~Panta Rhei~ (MV, Full Version)
    On the island of Turii live the Star Children, a race that were never exposed to the Ristaccia and therefore have no individual consciousnesses. They maintain the balance of the world by healing the damage done by the Ristaccia War. Only 10 Star Children exist at any given time: for a new Child to be born, the eldest, Malchut, must sacrifice herself. However, her death is prevented by Kukaru, a member of the Sazaragi Agency, an organization that explores the world to learn its history. Kukaru takes Malchut back to his homeland, Masinowa, not knowing that his interference has damaged the cosmic balance.
  • Chapter 6: Raison d'etre ~Crossing Fates~ (MV, Full Version)
    Following the destruction of Masinowa, Malchut is guided by a mysterious voice to the Ruins of Ouroboros Ark. There, she learns about the true nature of the Ristaccia by meeting the God of Chaos L'erisia.
  • Chapter 7: A'milia and the Milian Tribe (No MV)
    A wandering tribe discover a gigantic, glowing lotus flower. They believe this flower to be "The Sealer" of legend and dedicate themselves to tending to and protecting it. After 600 years, it finally blooms.
  • Chapter 8: Apocalypse ~Memento Mori~ (MV, No Full Version)
    A man is finally freed of the curse of immortality. Others are freed from the curse of Ristaccia. However, there's one person who can't be saved. A small group assembles, soldiers of the God of Order brought together to vanquish L'erisia.
  • Epilogue: (No MV)
    People resembling Shamshir, Matin, and Hannes stand together, wearing contemporary clothes.

Music CD's:

Drama CD's:

  • Fragments of Aria Te'Laria (2010)
  • Blind Justice (2010)
  • Masinowa (2012)


  • Shamshir Dance OVA (2011)
  • Official Guidebook (2013)
  • Miscellaneous story guides and booklets included with CD's.

Tropes used in their works

  • Adaptation Expansion
    • The drama CD's expand on Chapter 3 (Blind Justice), Chapter 4 (Fragments of Aria Te'Laria) and Chapter 5 (Masinowa).
    • The Shamshir Dance OVA expands on Chapter 1.
  • All There in the Manual: The Official Guidebook contains key details, explanations, and lore for characters, events, and locations that won't be found anywhere else. Supplementary booklets that came with CD sales also supplement the associated story.
  • Ambiguous Ending: The series concludes with L'erisia and A'milia defeating each other. With the two governing powers of the world weakened and dormant, reality is reset to a "neutral" state as instinctive nature reasserts itself. What becomes of humanity after this is left unknown, and creator commentary invites the viewer to decide for themselves whether vanquishing Ristaccia and the self-awareness it granted was the right thing to do.
  • Anachronic Order:
    • Chapters 1-3 are in chronological order, while Chapter 4 happens at the same time as Chapter 3. Chapters 5-6 are set 600 years before Chapter 1. Chapters 7 starts after Chapter 6, and then advances through time until it catches up to Chapters 1-4. Chapter 8 continues after Chapter 4.
    • Songs were largely released out of story order. "Apocalypse ~Dirge of Swans~" was the first to appear, via beatmania IIDX 13. "Shamshir Dance" came out soon after, via Pop'n Music 14. Following a year later was "Blind Justice ~Torn Souls, Hurt Faiths" for beatmania IIDX 14.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification:
    • Ristaccia is depicted as a young girl in a plain dress. This is L'erisia, the consciousness behind the Ristaccia. She herself is a personification of human sentience, emotions, culture, change, and chaos.
    • A'milia becomes the personification of nature, instinct, and order.
  • Art Shift: Art style of videos depend on the artist working on them (compare Apocalypse, Ristaccia, and Shamshir Dance).
  • Arc Symbol: Representations of infinity, such as the figure-eight symbol (∞) or Ouroboros, recur throughout the series. This is in reference to the endless cycle of prosperity and ruin that the Ristaccia governs.
  • Assimilation Plot:
    • The Rufina did it to themselves to form ∑ (Sigma). They uploaded their consciousnesses into a computer program, bringing all their people into one entity.
    • This is also what the original humans of Earth did, as existing as a static database representation would allow humanity to live forever, in a way. This resulted in the Ouroboros Ark. However, this backfired because Joah was included as part of the Ark. Dissatisfied with this existence, he unleashed L'erisia and created Aria Te'Laria.
  • Author Avatar: There were a couple for the now-defunct official website and the guidebook. A hooded, bearded old man named Zektbach and his companions, a Funny Animal cat named Nyoah and a Talking Animal dove named Ostinus, were the scribes that were recording the events of The Epic of Zektbach and communicating them to the audience. In the guidebook, they're classified as "meta-characters" and don't actually exist in-universe. They answered audience questions and provided worldbuilding elements in lieu of the actual author.
    • However, Tomosuke Funaki does provide his own creator commentary in the guidebook, distinct from Zektbach's. Funaki's comments tended to be more technical and related from within the story. Zektbach's commentary was that of an Omniscient Narrator.
  • Born Winner: The Rufina were genetically gifted with high intelligence and their genes being mixed with Huminas would encourage the birth of Transcendental Beings. Lien lucked out by being born as a Half-Human Hybrid, and was further given the Rufina gene strains by Sigma, which he used to create the Catorce twins.
  • Combat Clairvoyance: The Ristaccia give its wielders the ability to see the world as formulas and processes. The impulses in muscles, vectors, force, potential energy before it's released: they can see the foundational building blocks of the world and use this information to predict attacks and identify weak points. For example, this ability lets Shamshir be a One-Woman Army and defeat half of the Noigllado army on her own.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus:
    • The Holy Empire of Noigllado's worship of the Ristaccia is reminiscent of the Roman Catholic Church. The name of the kingdom brings to mind the Holy Roman Empire, and their tradition of monarchy brings to mind the Holy Roman Emperor. Its soldiers are known as Holy Knights, and the war against Azuelgatt clearly draws inspiration from The Crusades.
    • The worship of the Spring of Lourdes has some Christian and Catholic flavors. Drinking from it cured an incurable Mind Virus and made a virgin pregnant. The daughter of the virgin, Hannes Farrugia, is worshiped as a saint.
  • Deus est Machina: L'erisia is an AI created from a database containing all the mental and cultural processes that define human consciousness. She is the functional god of Aria Te'Laria. To a lesser extent, Sigma counts as well.
  • The Empire: The Holy Kingdom of Noigladdo, a power-hungry nation that tries to gain more territory through military might.
  • Empty Shell:
    • Those afflicted by the Dorukuma illness eventually turn into this in its final stages.
    • Downplayed with the Star Children. They have no emotions, no individuality, and no history, due to never being exposed to the Ristaccia. However, they seem to be able to function all right and they find togetherness and companionship with each other due to being a Hive Mind. When Kukaru takes Malchut from Turii, no one tries to stop him despite the danger this poses to the cosmic balance because they have no way of caring.
  • E = MC Hammer: To visually represent the understanding Ristaccia grants on its wielders, random math and science equations are thrown across the screen.
  • Fantastic Ghetto: Jakotsu, Masinowa, is a very poor village with soils so rough, there are only a few patch of flourishing field and they have no living livestock.
  • Fantastic Racism: In Masinowa, the Kagachi-jin are persecuted by the Yamaji-jin for being descendants of the Snake God and considered "unclean". This led to segregation, where the Kagachi-jin live in the Fantastic Ghetto of Jakotsu while the Yamaji-jin live across the river in Konohana, a huge and flourishing plantation. The one time the Yamaji-jin crossed to Jakotsu, the entire village bowed down as their faces should not be seen.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: With some Culture Chop Suey mixed in.
    • The Holy Empire of Noigllado has a mix of English, French, Spanish, and Italian influences.
    • The Kingdom of Azuelgatt has a mix of Qurac and "Arabian Nights" Days.
    • Wenkamui and Masinowa are Far East representations.
  • Formulaic Magic: Ristaccia wielders are granted the ability to see and understand the fundamental building blocks of reality, represented as mathematical equations, as a form of Combat Clairvoyance. Lien Clewing's advanced comprehension of math actually allows him to transcend the Ristaccia and comprehend the ultimate truth of the world. This is because the reality of Aria Te'Laria is determined by a computer AI, so these equations really do form the nature of existence. However, it's not the only form of existence, as Transcendental Beings are able to learn.
  • Garden of Eden: The island of Turii is full of allusions to Eden. The Star Children who live there were never corrupted by the Ristaccia's knowledge, making them "innocent". It's only when Malchut is taken from Turii (i.e., leaves the Garden of Eden) does she gain individuality, emotions, and the realization that she is a woman (much like how Adam and Eve realized and became ashamed of their nakedness). The one who takes her from Turii is Kukaru, a descendant of the Serpent God.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language:
    • Gratuitous English: "Blind Justice ~Torn Soul, Hurt Faiths~" is sung in non-grammatical English. "No can make my faith illusion", indeed. "Apocalypse ~Dirge of Swans~" is also sung in English, with better grammar.
    • Gratuitous Italian: "Ristaccia ~Overture~" is sung in Italian, maybe in reference to Italian opera styles.
  • Great Offscreen War: The Great Ristaccia War that destroyed most of the Eight Ancient Races, which forms the series' backstory. Other smaller conflicts, like the Ancient Sacred Treasure War, are sometimes alluded to.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Lien Clewing and his descendants, Matin and Nox Catorce, are part-Humina and part-Rufina. Sigma intentionally introduced Rufina gene strains in Humina (how is unknown) to try fostering Transcedental Beings.
  • He Knows Too Much: Transcendental Beings are a threat to L'erisia because they can see past her illusions and perceive the world as it really is, so she sends Shamshir to kill them. Lien is one such victim.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Many of the main characters wield a sword with a Ristaccia piece affixed.
  • Hive Mind: The Star Children, due to their lack of sentience and individuality.
  • Left Hanging: The series' abrupt ending resolved the main plot but left certain subplots dangling. What happens to the characters, in particular the non-transcended Hannes and the memeplex Sigma, after the world is reset isn't elaborated on. There's also the Epilogue, which only shows Shamshir, Matin, and Hannes together wearing contemporary clothes. Did a new world arise after the reset, one very similar to real life? Or was reality restored to that of Earth's? Was Aria Te'Laria even real, or was it a simulation created by L'erisia inside the Ouroboros Ark? Is the trio of women the characters we know them as, reincarnations, or their original selves from before humanity uploaded themselves into the Ark? These questions will likely never receive answers.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • A shamshir is a type of curved sabre, much like the Ristaccia sword Shamshir uses.
    • La Colada d'El Cid is named after the Colada, the sword wielded by El Cid Campeador, a mercenary and warlord from Medieval Spain. It's believed he fought alongside Christians and Muslims during his time, though he's mostly remembered as a Christian knight and a Spanish national hero.
    • Lien is French for "link" and a clewing is a ball of yarn. This reflects his ability to link together pieces of information to solve any mystery and is a pun on String Theory.
    • Sigma notation in mathematics uses Σ to mean "sum up". Sigma is indeed the sum of the Rufina race.
    • The dimension that Sigma resides in, Zeta Lane, is likely named after the Euler-Riemann zeta function, a math function that involves prime numbers. Prime numbers are a significant aspect of Chapter 2.
    • Matin is French for "morning" and Nox is Latin for "night", giving the twins a Family Theme Naming and Opposites Theme Naming. Their surname, Catorce, is Spanish for "fourteen", which is how old they are during Chapter 3.
    • "Turii ~Panta Rhei~" is named after the Greek philosophy of panta rhei, literally translating to "everything flows." It focuses on the impermanence of life and cyclical change.
  • Mind Hive:
    • ∑ (Sigma), who has the accumulated knowledge of all the Rufina.
    • L'erisia is the same, being formed from the accumulated knowledge of the original humans.
  • Mind Virus:
    • Dorukuma, an illness that causes physical deterioration, Sanity Slippage, reduced mental capabilities, amnesia, and eventually makes the patient an Empty Shell. At one point, an epidemic occurred in Noigllado, which the Emperor at the time dealt with by putting all the patients on a boat and shipping them out to sea to die. By luck, they landed on the island that would become Fallarien and were cured by drinking from the Spring of Lourdes.
    • The Ristaccia's corruption functions like this, such as Shamshir being Forced into Evil, Hannes becoming Brainwashed and Crazy, and manifesting as a Hate Plague for Nox.
    • Human sentience itself turns out to be a mind virus, granted and manipulated by the Ristaccia.
  • Mineral MacGuffin: There were 8 pieces of the Ristaccia, each given to each race. They bring great prosperity and an equal amount of ruin. During the Great Ristaccia War, each were affixed in one sword of each race, which would empower their wielders.
  • Mystical Pregnancy:
    • Lien passed on the Rufina genes "to a child in gestation", implying that he didn't have children the traditional way and instead supernaturally influenced someone else's.
    • Hannes's mother became pregnant with her after drinking water from the Spring of Lourdes.
  • Named Weapons: Each of the Ristaccia swords are named. Only five out of eight appear in the story.
    • Shamshir wields la Colada d'El Cid.
    • Matin wields Trisagion.
    • Nox wields Tyrfing.
    • Hannes wields Apocalypse.
    • Gijiri wields Ame no Hoakari.
  • No Biological Sex: The Star Children have no sex or concept of gender. After she's taken from Turii, Malchut is gifted the "forbidden knowledge" of the Ristaccia and becomes female.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: People under the control of Ristaccia have eyes that glow red.
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming:
    • Hannes is a short form of Johannes, which is a variation of John. Her Ristaccia sword is named Apocalypse. The Apostle John is traditionally considered the author of the final book of the Christian Bible, known in Greek as Apocalypse.
    • Malchut and the other Star Children are named after the Sephiroth of the Kabbalah's tree of life.
    • Trisagion is named after a concept regarding the Christian Holy Trinity.
    • Tyrfing is named for a cursed sword from Norse mythology.
    • Ame no Hoakari is named after a Shinto deity.
    • Joah is named after the biblical Noah, who famously built an ark to save his family and the world's animals from a divine flood.
  • Self-Sacrifice Scheme: Only 10 Star Children can exist at a time. When the oldest becomes 14/15-years-old, they must ritualistically drown themselves so that the next Star Child can be born. This is essential to balancing the power of Ristaccia, which Kukaru unknowingly disrupted by saving Malchut.
  • Semi-Divine: Transcendental Beings are people who can see the ultimate truth of the world, thus allowing them to choose their own fate by escaping L'erisia's influence. They may also rebel against her, if they so choose. In a sense, they're like demi-gods.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story:
    • Shamshir spends the her entire chapter saving her country from invaders, only to become its executioner.
    • Gijiri spends his side story bettering himself in hopes of winning over Misakuya, only for her to reject him anyways due to her prejudices.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Chapter 2 is very minor in the grand scheme of things, with Lien being killed and Sigma permanently disappearing afterwards. However, it's due to Chapter 2 that Chapter 3 happens at all.
  • Taking the Bullet:
    • Happens twice to the same person in Chapter 3. First, Falo shields Matin from Nox, which fatally injures him. Then he shields Nox from Carla, which is what kills him.
    • In Chapter 5, Kukaru protects Malchut from Gijiri and is killed.
  • Throw-Away Country: Azuelgatt is only relevant for one chapter and then is destroyed at the end of the same chapter. It becomes a background detail in Chapter 3, in which its destruction is what allowed the Agiona to stage a coup on the Emperor. Otherwise, it's never mentioned again.
  • Where I Was Born and Razed:
    • Under the Ristaccia's influence, Shamshir and Hannes are forced to kill everyone in their hometown. In Shamshir's case, she destroyed her entire country.
    • Gijiri burned down his hometown of his own volition. After all, he can't be persecuted if his heritage doesn't exist.
  • Unluckily Lucky: The Ristaccia oversees a cycle of prosperity and ruin. Anyone who wields it will receive joy and despair in equal measure. For example, it allowed Shamshir to save her country and then condemned her to destroy it. The Ristaccia in the Spring of Lourdes saved the people of Fallarien, only to condemn them through Hannes.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • Misakuya's disdain for Gijiri ultimately results in a "Shaggy Dog" Story that leads Gijiri to burn Jakotsu down, so that he may be freed of his heritage.
    • Kukaru saved Malchut from drowning without understanding that the Star Children's Self-Sacrifice Scheme is how balance is maintained in Aria Te'Laria. His actions cause chaos to begin erupting around the world and his eventual death.