Playing: Tears of Themis

“Emotions and law, desire and righteousness…

In the midst of disorder, will you be able to stand by your choices?”

Tears of Themis

When I was mindlessly flipping through Instagram, Junichi Suwabe’s soft, silky low voice captured my heart and attention from a short Tears of Themis advertisement. Once I later discovered that Yuki Kaji, Jun Fukuyama and Kaito Ishikawa were voicing the other love interests, there was no going back for me.

At that moment, I knew that I was deep in MiHoYo hell.

From Left to Right: Artem Wing, Luke Pearce, Vyn Richter and marius von hagen)

To explain MiHoYo’s Tears of Themis in a really long sentence: it’s a mobile joseimuke game mixed with card gatcha hell, beautiful artwork, awesome music and voice work, and detective work à la Phoenix Wright (without any consequences for wrong answers).

You play the role of a rookie lawyer working on interesting cases at Themis Law firm in Stellis (a really high-tech city), searching for clues by inspecting crime scenes and interrogating suspects to uncover the truth. Unfortunately, crime lurks behind the scenes in Stellis and you’re soon recruited to working as an agent of NXX, a team of individuals working to serve justice using a large information network, the X-Note.

The stories written for Tears of Themis are interesting and varied in nature, which can involve missing persons, murder and/or mental illness cases. After playing Tears of Themis for about two weeks or so, I think that MiHoYo did well in balancing the fun of analyzing clues to reach the case’s conclusion with the romance aspect (where the male leads are doing their best to seduce you in their respective storylines made available by levelling up character cards and during the current special event, Mysteries of the Lost Gold.)

To win cases, you recruit the help of the four love interests in debates or card battles against an opponent. There are three types of cards: Logic (in blue), Empathy (in pink) and Intuition (in green). Logic wins over Empathy, Empathy wins over Intuition and Intuition wins over Logic.

On the screen, the opponent will present three statements of any particular colour, which are used to attack the player’s health. To combat the opponent, the player will choose the appropriate colour to destroy their opponent’s argument. The first person to deplete the health bar of their opponent before the number of turns are done is the winner.

Cards are assigned three different rarities (“R” being common, SR and “SSR” being ultra rare). These designations not only determine a card’s stats but how aesthetically pleasing the card’s artwork and its graphic effects are. The nice thing about the battle system is how it’s fully automated, allowing me to play both Tears of Themis and Genshin Impact at the same time.

There is so much to do in Tears of Themis after completing the fourth chapter of its main story when most of its features are unlocked. After tapping upon a cell phone screen for a good three hours straight to learn more about the game’s main story, the game offers resources like level-up materials and gold behind time-locked events, through debates and court trials, along with a system to boost your cards’ strength and defense via the NXX app.

One of the great things about Tears of Themis is how most of its dialogue is voiced over. The cast hired to bring the story to life are fantastic. Suwabe (as Artem Wing) and Fukuyama (as Vyn Richter) skillfully melt my heart voicing the older men in the quartet and Kaji’s anime protagonist-like voice and energy makes the main character’s childhood friend, Luke Pearce, so endearing. 

However, Ishikawa is the person who surprised me the most in terms of how he’s able to transform his voice to suit the role of Marius von Hagen. Most performances I’ve heard him voice intense/passionate characters like Tobio Kageyama (Haikyuu!) and Tenya Iida (My Hero Academia) who both yell loudly at times. Ishikawa switches between the two facets of Marius’ personality, the flirtatious, mischievous rich kid and the composed, intelligent president of the Pax Group, by changing the pitch and the weight of his voice. 

Created by MiHoYo, Tears of Themis is a free to play romance, detective mobile game with a gatcha system. It was released on Google Play on July 27th, 2021 and is available on both Android and i0s. The game currently has five chapters in its main storyline (with the fifth chapter spilt into three parts) and an ongoing event running until September 27th, 2021.

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