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Umineko no Naku Koro ni – 18 »« Seitokai no Ichizon – 02

The Sacred Blacksmith – 02

「悪魔契約 -Valbanill-」 (Akuma Keiyaku -Valbanill-)
“The Devil’s Contract -Valbanill-”

So it turns out Cecily was actually fighting while we were mesmerized with Luke’s on-the-fly katana forging. At least that’s what they’ll have us believe by showing us her shattered sword and armor afterward.

More importantly, we were given an opening monologue about the Devil’s Contract War that took place 44 years ago, which should serve as the fundamental back-story/premise for the series. As it turns out, those in the know are concerned about this devil’s impending resurrection and the subsequent destruction of the world. From last time, we saw how humans who make a contract with him become monsters. Known by others as anything from a beast to a god, this “Valbanill” can only be defeated with a legendary sword it seems. Because of this, I couldn’t help but get Seiken Densetsu (a.k.a. Secret of Mana) vibes from this “Seiken no Blacksmith” story.

Speaking of story, watching Luke finish off the monster and hearing Lisa talk about not losing your weapon in battle felt like this series was written by a katana fanatic. While I myself find katanas to be ridiculously well-crafted swords, that bit was coming off as a promotion for ancient Japanese blacksmith techniques wrapped in a westernized fantasy setting. Luckily, that doesn’t appear to be the case with the introduction of Aria (Toyoguchi Megumi) at the end of the episode. As hinted by Hugo Housman (Inoue Kazuhiko of Naruto-fame), Aria’s the “invaluable goods” they were transporting. Judging from her container and the opening sequence, it shouldn’t come off as too much of a surprise that she transforms into a rapier for Cecily, who is now responsible for protecting her. So with a rapier, it’s not all about katanas I guess.

To my pleasant surprise, this second showing had the glimpses of comedy I was hoping for after watching the first episode. By glimpses, this partially means the scene with Cecily’s armor falling off for Luke’s eyes to bask in, but more so the part with Cecily’s emphatic apology followed by Luke’s sexy face. That, plus the scene with Luke being a jerk over money (after he finally agreed to craft Cecily a sword) changes gears by lightening up the mood — something I felt Tales of the Abyss sorely lacked later on. In Tales’ case, it seemed like they were more concerned about progressing the story by visiting all the areas RPG-style than making the damn thing entertaining to watch. It’s still too early to say if this series will avoid that pitfall, but so far things seem to be taking a step in the right direction. I just need to see more Toyoguchi Megumi as Aria now.

 

* I’m filling in for Omni for this series this week. We’re not entirely sure how we’ll continue going forward just yet.
* There don’t appear to be any previews for this show, at least not on AT-X’s broadcast.

October 11, 2009 at 8:14 pm
24 comments »
  • October 11, 2009 at 8:26 pmChaos

    I was thinking he’ll only get a black eye when he saw Cecily’s good, but that was more than what I expected XD

  • October 11, 2009 at 8:28 pmAnonymous

    katanah?

  • October 11, 2009 at 8:29 pmMearex

    hum, that girl keep looking at her…. “upper body” i wish i have a sister like that…. it would be fun.

  • October 11, 2009 at 8:38 pmSailor Enlil

    Perhaps Cecily should wear a bra from now on? (thats assuming she can’t get something more durable for her, breastplate, if you know what I mean; but this being anime clothing damage is the norm, right?) XD

  • October 11, 2009 at 8:57 pmMegas

    Ugh, its getting boring already. BTW, I hate slapstick comedy – or anything or the sort. There’s no place for slapstick in this mess. They avoided that in the first episode – the awkward moments were just a little funny but this episode was hardly funny at all except for Cecily’s breastplate crumbling off – why in the hell she wouldn’t wear anything under it blows my mind.

    …And speaking of Cecily, she’s a clone of Ayano from Kaze no Stigma & I’m not talking about just the seiyu either. They’re both loutish bitches with no skill, sex appeal, or real experience in whatever they have to do in there respective anime. They also are both loud as hell, prideful with nothing to back it up, & have tons of potential with no hope to achieve any of it because they’re both terribly outclassed by their male counterparts. But Cecily is much more preachy than Ayano while being way less entertaining & way more annoying. While she’s a copy character, she’s still unique in the sense that you don’t find to many hopeless baka characters like her floating around super-strong males.

    I really don’t want to talk about Luke but he’s just asking for it. He’s cold as hell and all but he’s a cookie cutter. He’s strong and all but his attitude & character sucks. He’s so immature characterwise that it doesn’t nearly match his skill (Layfon Alseif). I’m completely uninterested in him as a character. He obviously has some sort of scarred past, blah, blah, blah. But half of his attitude is like his namesake & the other half is close to Kazuma from KnS – if that ain’t fucked up I don’t know what is.

    I had some hopes for this show but now its just medicore – but it’s still better than alot of the crap on this season so I guess I’m stuck with it.

  • October 11, 2009 at 9:09 pmIn-n-Out-Nowhere

    I’m still wondering what exactly Lisa is and that whole transforming weapon is reminding me of Soul Eater.

  • October 11, 2009 at 9:24 pmSplash

    Of the new series that have premeired so far this fall I think this might be the one I like the most. I also really like Railgun, Letter Bee, 11 Eyes, and Darker then Black. Its just your typical action/advernture/comedy series similar to Tears to Tiara. It doesnt have any deep hidden meaning. Just a fun way to spend 25 minutes.

  • October 11, 2009 at 9:31 pmAli

    This season is really blah across the board. This show is also about as generic fantasy as you can get. Its looks like luke is gonna remain cold much of this show until I guess near the end when if he finally loosens up. It would been better the character had just dropped the cold act from the beginning.

    SPOILER ABOUT WHO LISA IS:

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • October 11, 2009 at 9:39 pmbanzemanga

    I agree with you DIVINE. I felt something was missing in Tales of Abyss but did not know what. Now that you mention it, it is true. I am sure that in the game they included comedic moments too but they did not put them on the anime.

  • October 11, 2009 at 10:35 pmRuby

    ahahaha it was so funny when her breastplate fell off

  • October 11, 2009 at 11:55 pmavexmode

    WTB Enchant Melee Weapon:Fiery Weapon

    Btw, how can you have a breast plate that precisely fits her boobs.

  • October 11, 2009 at 11:55 pmNinja Penguin

    The fights in these 2 episodes of Blacksmith have been so slooooooooow that it makes Kampfer fights look positively action packed. The cool forging sequence last episode was totally wasted by following up with this unimpressive monster battle. Understandably – to use a RPG comparison – you don’t use your biggest attacks on weak random monsters, but still…

    Strangely the highlight for me was watching the main characters interact with each other, it doesn’t advance the plot, but you get to know them better. These 2 episodes have clearly been setting things out, now that the 4th main character has joined things had better pick up quickly if Sacred Blacksmith is to escape from mediocrity.

  • October 12, 2009 at 2:27 amSeinime

    Lucy is jealous…

  • October 12, 2009 at 1:32 pmHJK

    I’m so glad RC’s going to continue blogging thes series. Tenka Seiha completly trashed this episode.

  • October 12, 2009 at 4:50 pmmatrixrunsonwindows

  • October 12, 2009 at 6:08 pmpaulrenzo

    Haha, so this guy can avoid ice projectiles but not the punch of an embarrassed person?

  • October 12, 2009 at 8:41 pmMegas

    @paulrenzo

    My thoughts exactly. He probably just wanted to be hit so he could bitch about it later – which is even sadder. But its kinda hard to be a tsundere when the target doesn’t openly accept the abuse (Ayano-Kazuma).

  • October 12, 2009 at 8:47 pmdivine

    In anime, when it comes to a girl that wants to kick your ass after you got to see her “goods”, not even superhuman abilities can save you.

  • October 13, 2009 at 4:33 amEnglish Dubbed Anime

    lol I love coming here. I always see new Anime to watch. This, and Fairy Tail, so far. Thanks!

  • October 13, 2009 at 5:52 pmSacchi

    I’m not really going to follow this show, doesn’t attract me as much as I thought it would.

  • October 14, 2009 at 3:16 amtreble89

    i hate those metal bra, so annoying!!!!can’t they design a better outfit???

  • October 14, 2009 at 6:00 amDrago

    Btw,,, take note at the city scape. North = Mountain (Genbu), East = River (SeiRyu), South = Plain/Sea (Suzaku), West, Plain/ Hill (Byakko). So,, it’s not only the katana things.
    It seems the story was written by a mixture of Japanese tradition with Western Theme after all.

  • October 14, 2009 at 4:28 pmsimonsays

    @treble89
    just look at the link from matrixrunsonwindows
    its a breastplate – literally ;-p

  • October 14, 2009 at 5:17 pmdivine

    Drago:
    The Four Symbols huh? Kudos to picking up on these details. =)