Monday, May 16, 2011

Anime Review: The Sacred Blacksmith

Well this is slightly embarrassing, I actually watched this show over the course of a week or two back in February or so and completely forgot about it until relatively recently when it popped up on the Shelf Life column on ANN. I believe that says something about my opinion of the show right off the bat (if it had been really good or really bad surely I would have remembered to review it!) or maybe it just makes it really clear that this just wasn't a show that was made with my interests in mind.

The Sacred Blacksmith

Summary: Cecily Campbell is a knight of the city of Housman where she helps keep the peace, something that is becoming increasingly difficult with more and more people making demon contracts and going on rampages. During one of these rampages she is saved by passing blacksmith, Luke Ainsworth, and she is so impressed by his sword that afterwords she keeps showing up at his store and bothering him about making one of her own.  

The Good: Didn't put it in the above summary but there are several characters who are swords who can turn into humans (think Soul Eater but reversed) and it was nice to see these characters questioning their purpose in life throughout the series, not just in dramatic situations to make things harder for everyone else. There's not much else to note about the show that is exceptionally good, it's a solid show without any large plot holes or inconsistencies but it really does follow standard RPG tropes so there's not a lot of innovation in the series either. Which again isn't a bad thing, the show works and is entertaining, it just manages to do so without doing anything new.

 The Bad: The series ends in a rather strange place, it honestly feels as if the anime is missing a 13th episode and it really doesn't make sense that the series doesn't have one. Another bad point, and if it's not truly bad then it's at least strange, is that Cecily really isn't that much of the action girl and the series tries to portray her as one. Apparently she is much more of an action girl in the original light novels and in the manga adaptation (of the novels) so why that was changed for the anime, which would be the best of all three mediums to show off said action, is a bit bizarre.

The Art: The show is rather colorful (just look at the character designs up above) which makes it nice to watch, although the fanservice is much more male oriented than female oriented (so expect Cecily's breastplate to break several times, yes it's specially shaped to fit around both of her breasts, and not nearly as many pretty boys as there are pretty girls).

 The Music: There are points when the upbeat ending song just feels out of place, sung by the Japanese VA for Lisa, but thankfully the also energetic opening song doesn't have this problem. The Japanese voice acting is solid and, based on the dub clips posted on youtube, the dub seems to work equally well so problems there.

There's not much else to say about this series (and next time hopefully I'll remember to review it sooner, honestly I just don't have anything else to stick in the animation spot this week), it worked but it just wasn't for me. I prefer my fantasy to deal more with the setting/conflict than just the characters and this series did the opposite. Also, after seeing the umpteenth boob joke I was really wishing there had been more fanservice for the ladies in the show, would have been nice to balance it out after all....

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