OP Sequence

OP: 「Fate」 by KOKIA
Watch the OP!: Download, Streaming ▼

「覚醒ノ刻」 (Kakusei no Koku)
“Time of Awakening”

Known as “Broken Blade” in English, Yoshinaga Yunosuke’s manga saw the start of its six-part adaptation in late May of this year. What’s unique about this one is that it’s a joint production between Production I.G. and XEBEC and of the movie variety. Three of the six 50-minute movies have already been scheduled for this year, with the first two already having premiered in theaters within a month of one another. While dates for movies four to six have yet to be announced, the first has already made it to DVD/BD release and the second is on the way at the end of this month (8/27). Being a movie production with Production I.G. on board, Break Blade’s quality is top notch and has me wishing that every anime series looked as amazing as this. I gather most budgets and deadlines won’t allow for this level of quality in the near future, but feel the industry is rapidly moving towards it. The shift to high definition has paved way for a dramatic improvement in series today compared to those two years ago, and animation studios have shown that they’re more than capable, so it’ll be interesting to see where things stand two years from now. The 1080p screen captures speak for themselves as far as Break Blade is concerned, but what I really like about this series is that it has a very Escaflowne-like feel to it, crossing a fantasy series about kingdoms of knights and magic with a mecha one involving gigantic mechanical robots known as Golems. The cast is nothing to scoff at either, since there’s a plethora of big names, most of which have had their fair share of starring roles.

The story revolves around 25-year-old Rygart Arrow (Hoshi Souichirou) in a world where everyone can manipulate quartz using a magic-like ability they’re born with. However, he and his younger brother are extremely rare exceptions to that norm and are classified as “un-sorcerers” because of it. Without this fundamental ability that children at the age of two even possess, Rygart still manages to do well in military school until he’s eventually forced to drop out due to his family’s lack of money. During his time there, he forms a close relationship with the future king of the Kingdom of Krisna, Hodr (Nakamura Yuuichi), his future queen Sigyn (Saitou Chiwa), and the younger brother of the military commander of the Athens Commonwealth, Zess (Kamiya Hiroshi). In present day, Rygart is caught in the middle of a war between his friends as the powerful Athens Commonwealth attempts to invade the much weaker Kingdom of Krisna, where his inability to control quartz makes him the only one able to pilot an ancient Golem that isn’t restricted by abilities of person riding in it. Before long, Rygart reluctantly becomes a key factor in the war and tries to stop his friends from killing one another, as per his mediator type role in the past. It’s not an easy task either, as Athens has demanded the unconditional surrender of Krisna, the dissolution of all nobility, and the execution of the Krisna royal family, which includes both Hodr and Sigyn. Needless to say, Rygart isn’t very fond of the idea after he figured surrendering would be the best way of going about it.

That’s the short version of the premise, but things get much more involved than that with all the other characters added to the mix. This includes some of Zess’ subordinates, Cleo (Hanazawa Kana) and Lee (Kaida Yuuko), in addition to Hodr’s knights, General Baldr (Sugawara Masashi), Narvi (Inoue Marina), and her older brother Nile (Shiraishi Minoru), to name a handful with notable seiyuu. There’s also plenty of indication that Sigyn is actually interested in Rygart despite having married Hodr, further emphasizing that the pasts of the four main characters will be a key aspect to the story. Upon seeing the cast, I couldn’t help but think of a mecha spin on the seiyuu, as we basically have Kira Yamato from Gundam SEED, Alto Saotome from Macross Frontier, Louise Halevy from Gundam 00, and Tieria Erde also from Gundam 00. The difference is, Golems are a lot clunkier than Gundams and Valkyries, with the ancient Golem nicknamed “Break Blade” depicted as the forefront of what they’re capable of. What’s more, the agility of the Golem and the size of bullets it can fire is directly proportional to the prowess of the pilot in manipulating quartz via a control orb, as all their functions are designed solely around that inherent ability. Rygart on the other hand gets to control things old school style with throttles and pedals, letting the machine do the work for him. He still lacks any proper control over Break Blade, but once he busts out the SEED Mode in his Generation Unsubdued Nuclear Drive Assault Module (GUNDAM) there will be hell to pay from Mr. Veda and his Trans-Am! Oh wait, wrong series. Sadly, it’s actually quite the opposite here since Zess has been shown to be a pilot prodigy in the military whereas Rygart’s been living on a farm for the past while.

Incidentally, it’s this lack of overly advanced technology in light of the commonality of magic in the world that piques my interest a lot. To approach that angle, Sigyn happens to be a bookworm of sorts and a key researcher even as the kingdom’s queen. She serves as our portal for delving into the mysteries behind the Break Blade and its seemingly hasty construction, which the preview hints at being part of some bigger purpose — fighting against fate. While that sort of becomes an overarching plot to encompass the story as a whole, there’s the more pressing matter at hand with the ongoing war that keeps my interest from waning. Consequently, what I’m most interested in right now is not the war itself, but Sigyn’s past with Rygart and Hodr and her relationship with them. At times, this first movie felt a bit slow and seemed to drag out some scenes longer than needed, but the fact that it’s only the first of six leaves me eagerly looking forward to things when they pick up. In terms of theme songs, the opening “Fate” by KOKIA has a very nice and surreal sound to it much like most of her songs do (e.g. Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~‘s OP1 and ED2), whereas the ending “SERIOUS-AGE” by Faylan is a bit too upbeat but not a bad song the more I listen to it.

Anyway, I actually stumbled upon this series not too long ago when I was considering including a list of OVAs and movies in the next season preview and was totally sold by what I saw on the official site. The second movie has already premiered in theaters back on June 26th and will be available on DVD/BD at the end of this month. Unfortunately, the third one won’t be premiering until September 25th, meaning the yet to be scheduled home release is even farther away. The only consolidation is that it’s still closer than Gundam Unicorn episode two, which won’t be coming out until October 30th. In any case, this series is definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already. My plan is to continue covering future movies, hence the category I created for the series.

* In case you didn’t already notice from the Sigyn link above, I went and made a full-length image of her, which only pales in comparison to her sleep attire, or lack thereof.


ED Sequence

ED: 「SERIOUS-AGE」 by 飛蘭 (Faylan)
Watch the ED!: Download, Streaming ▼



  1. Awesome movie, but everything is much brighter than I imagined reading the manga. Sigyn, Narvi and Cleo are all awesome, big breasted trio. =P

    I like how there is absolutely no love triangle though. Hodr knows Sigyn loves Rygart and so neither of them wear their rings. Only Rygart is the typically dense male protagonist.

    Also, yeah, Rygart seriously needs some SEED mode power. He just sucks too much.

  2. It does seem open for romantic complications with both the king and queen choosing not to wear their marriage rings. And she does seem to be alone in bed of course. Her sleeping posture does look a bit painful 🙂

  3. didn’t even finish the ep yet “too many blaze sessions” but from what i saw ,COOOOOOL!! LOVE the concept with the QUARTZ CONTROL; sooo original “as far as i know” and the way the projectiles are fired is very different and adds its own dimension to things, cant wait to see the rest!

    BROOKLYN otaku
  4. lol @seed mode comments!
    I thought it was a bit too slow paced especially for a movie. If you’ve read the manga you’ll know that it’s only around 1 tankoubon.

    Love how fast it was released on DVD unlike Itsuwari no Utahime. What in the world is taking it so long??? How EVIL.

  5. Hm I actually like the fact Rygart’s lack of piloting experiance shows as he’s randomly trying out the controls. It’s refreshing to see someone actually have to learn their skills rather than randomly become the most awesome pilot like Kira-Jesus-Yamato.

  6. Only stumbling upon the manga by chance and what a gem it is. It is the first manga that gets me back into the whole mecha genre (with the exception of code geass anime). I am so excited that it is made into movies, and the first episode doesnt disappoint me one bit. I just love the way Sigyn acts. All the characters seems to behave rationally. And there is no emo teenagers showing up yet. Hope it can keep up the momentum. I really want to know why Hodr and Sign married even though they know that they didnt love each others.

  7. The real trouble with this series (and the sorts of adaption) is that the original manga is not going to get concluded in the near future. So what happens if the movie catches up?

    From past experience, the production company tends to come up with some original script which either sucks or creates some continuity problems with the manga or both. But from what I can see here, they are fairly faithful to the manga.

    1. The series actually started off as a light novel series of 6 books which have already been completed, and both the anime and manga is based on that, so there’s no problem there.

      1. It’s the other way around actually. There are eight volumes of the manga to date, six of which were already out when the anime was announced in July of last year. The manga started in October 2006, whereas the light novel only started in April of this year. The movies seem to be covering a volume each at the moment.

        To date, the eight manga volumes have sold over a million copies.

  8. OH wow you blogged this on the day I decided to watch it lol. Too bad the Blu Ray kept crashing my laptop (+ overheating) and could only get as far as 40 minutes :'(
    But wow, the whole breaking out of ice scene simple shouted at to me: BLU RAY WAS SO WORTH IT.

  9. I’m kinda disappointed that this is being released as an OVA/Movie series. For one we haven’t had a decent mecha anime for ages and its killing me constantly and the premise of this story is quite interesting as it’s not only with the invasion of athens and the other country that we have to contend with, but they can go with the liberation of the commonwealth country as well.

    1. Agreed. We’re sorely lacking mecha lately. We only have two to look forward to, and both are OVA/Movie an hour long each. And I still remember what one of the directors for Gundam Unicorn said: “I don’t really know how long it will take, but the second would be around Autumn. If we follow that rate it would take two more years to finish” lol

      1. Be prepared for the 25-year-old woman who looks like a 12-year-old girl that will come along later on, then. Interestingly enough she’s also from Athens, like Cleo. 😛

  10. Thought it was kinda cool that these mechs actually get damaged. I’m used to seeing mechs that still look perfect no matter how many blasts and bullets they take… until they’re ready to be ‘defeated.’ These ones get trashed as they’re getting shot.

    I’m thinking I like Sigyn better than Cleo. Needs purple hair though.

  11. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and by the time it got to the end I didn’t want it to stop. The production value, animation, and art were all top notch and easily the best I’ve seen all year aside from Evangelion Rebuild, as is to be expected of a movie budget. I’m not too sure about the industry heading in this direction like you said Divine, at least certainly not within the next two years. If the technology ever manages to get to the point where production studios would be able to generate this kind of quality on a weekly basis while still being cost efficient, I’d be extremely pleased and impressed.

    In terms of story, I haven’t read the manga yet and have only skimmed a couple of character bios, so coming into this I didn’t know what to expect. My only criticism so far is that I feel the creators didn’t focus enough on character background and story background in general, which made the movie come off as rushed just a bit because by the end I didn’t really feel like I understood what was going on and what the motivations of each side were. I’m assuming that they will show some more in-depth flashbacks in the future, so I’ll hold my tongue on that critique for now.

    After watching this movie I might start reading the manga. From what I understand scanlations are at chapter 31 right now, so I should have a good feel for the story by the time the second movie is released.

    1. Actually it won’t. The first 6 “movies” are basically the first 6 volumes of the book. The book is still on going and there might be another series.

      Rygart will hardly come close even close to that in the series. Show Spoiler ▼

      Sora no Kaze
      1. Its explained in this episode even. Zess have been told that Hodr have been offered reasonable terms for surrender so Zess is trying to make him accept them. But the terms included an extra clause with involved executing Sigyn, which is unacceptable to Hodr. So Zess is trying to inflict casualties to force Hodr to surrender expecting it to require fairly small losses, but Hodr will fight to the bitter end and thus the casualties will mount unless someone does something. Its a pretty smart move by Zess superiors as they get someone who dislikes war to fight a war for them. On the other hand so are they stupid as Hodr would have surrendered if the terms have been less harsh.

  12. It’s a great anime adaption of the first volume, I say. The scans aren’t yet caught up to the release in japan, so there’s still a bit to go until you know what happens after reading the Wiki page, lol.

  13. So many people are making Seed references >_>… People, there will be no Kira Yamato Hi-Mat Action. There will be Amuro shooting down 14 Rick Dom action!

    Everyone missing out the fact that the Mecha that Rygart pilots is stronger then most Mecha out on the field. There are also limitations to the Mecha, but you’ll see that later on. Of course you can account some of it to piloting skills, but at that instance, Mecha capabilities made the difference. If anything, the better comparison about his skills would be to Amuro Ray and Gundam RX-78-2.

    Sora no Kaze
  14. Wow, haven’t watched a mecha in a long time. Everything was schoolgirls this and that. xD Glad to see something totally different. 😀 The last mecha show I watched was Eureka 7 I think…? ..or Xenoglossia. Dx Can’t remember anything after that.

    Anyhow, really looking forward to this one. I’ll wait till the end of the month to start watching it though. :]

  15. Wowee! instead of the typical Anime love triangle melodrama we get…. realistic woman married to man she doesn’t love and still in love with his best friend ACTUAL drama. Finally some adult relationships. If only we could somehow get to see all 6 movies before we all enter retirement. Only thing that rubs me the wrong way is how completely infallible Hodr is, out of the 206 bones in his body, it’d be nice if at least one of them was bad.

  16. Well, i spoiled myself a little and read the Manga (btw, Onemanga is closed).
    And i hope the OVA will cover the Storyline only of Zess. Because Show Spoiler ▼

  17. Enjoyable review, just got a copy of this to watch soon, when I find sometime since I’m playing catch up with Naruto Shipuuden and WoW haha! Seems an interesting set up, and in movie style too….so the quality should be top notch I hope!

  18. Drat, looks like although the second movie (“The Split Path”) released on June 26, the DVD won’t be released until August 27 (Amazon.com source). The third movie doesn’t even release in theaters until September 25. Much like with the Hellsing Ultimate OVAs, we may be waiting a long time for the conclusion to this series.

  19. I kept thinking about Gundam while watching this anime ! I really like the drawings,music etc and watching it on high definition is a must. I’ve all the 3 episode until now and the only negative thing i have to say is that its far too slow paced.


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