OP Sequence

OP: 「共鳴のTrue Force」 (Kyoumei no True Force) by Harada Hitomi

「剣と学院と火猫少女」 (Ken to Gakuin to Hineko Shoujo)
“The Sword, the School, and the Fire Cat-Girl”

Is it action? Is it ecchi? Is it harem? A little of all three. It has the potential to be one of the better action-fantasy harem series, and the first episode has neither confirmed nor destroyed said potential.

Prologue Battle

I liked the prologue battle. Perhaps this is in reaction to the I-still-don’t-know-how-to-feel-about-it premiere of Tokyo ESP, but the prologue here worked not only because it showed the Blade Dance, but it also showed a bunch of the soon-to-be main characters all watching it, hinting at their reasons or inspiration for wanting to compete. It said a lot without saying much, which piqued my interest.

Right Into the Thick of Things

From the introduction of main character Kazehaya Kamito (Furukawa Makoto) and pettanko tsundere elementalist Claire Rouge (Kido Ibuki), I only have one complaint, and that was how abruptly they met. I’m fine with the story starting where it did – in fact, I like that it jumped right into the thick of things. I just wish they had introduced us to Kamito 30 seconds beforehand and let us see him walk up and stumble upon Claire, because as is I was disoriented for a few minutes while I figured out what was going on. Okay, two complaints – some of the animation seemed a bit lazy. Not the action, but the fanservice, which makes me think this is more of a fantasy-action series than an ecchi-harem one, though it’s still too early to tell be far.

Other than that, the opening scenes between Kamito and Claire were an excellent example of how to smoothly throw out a lot of exposition and make it work. They introduced the idea of elementalists, shrine princesses, how there are no male spirit contractors (except for the ancient Demon Lord Sulaiman), and it was all done so naturally that it didn’t feel like an information dump. For example, take the revelation that there are no male elementalists. That needed to be said to give Kamito’s contract the appropriate weight, but instead of just throwing it out there randomly (or saying it after the fact), because the weapon was the Demon Slayer that naturally led to mentioning the Demon Lord, which naturally lead to the male elementalist thing.

To put it more simply, the underlying story of Blade Dance seems to be put together well. That’s encouraging, because if it can expound on those strengths then it could be a stronger version of Infinite Stratos, where the lone-male-in-a-school-of-girls is important for reasons other than novelty. That feels more like Ichiban Ushiro no Daimou than Infinite Stratos, if anyone else remembers that show.

Bad Boy Main Character

If a harem this is to be, it will live or die by its weakest link, and that’s almost never the girls. And in Kamito we have some encouraging signs. In some ways he’s typical; he gets dragged around, fought over, and blamed for perverted incidents that are not his fault. But how many main characters tease their tsundere haremettes right back? A main character who is neither completely oblivious nor in over his head, but instead actually teases his haremettes? Might be a recipe for a Nice Boat, but it should at least be fun!

On the other hand, so far Kamito’s fledgling haremettes are only okay. Claire Rouge, Ellis Fahrengart (Ishigami Shizuka), and Rinslet Laurenfrost (Yuuki Kana) are all just stereotypes, and that’s even before we get to the dojikko meido. Could this actually be a harem series where the main male lead is more interesting than the girls? Eh, it’s way too early to tell.

Looking Ahead

So far, Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance is only a slightly above par fantasy-action harem show. As someone who has watched plenty and blogged a few of those series, I’ll definitely be watching it, but it’s not screaming “genre defying” so far. I don’t plan to blog this, but I will be watching it, so check in with me on Twitter if you want to chat about it. Oh, and it just might appear on RandomC in some form or another soon. Stay tuned…

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – A good introduction to the world & its main character, but it hasn’t differentiated itself yet. I’ll give it some time #blade_anime 01

Random thoughts:

  • I thought the imagery here was really cool. Very evocative, and makes me wonder about that character all the more.
  • Why do all anime characters think that small breasts automatically = young? And I wouldn’t call these that small, though I do realize they change size to suit the studio’s needs.
  • Why are these two already fighting over him? I understand Claire, she has a good reason, but Rinslet putting her bow in the ring was so abrupt. The curse of the lone male character in a school full of girls, I suppose.

Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Starting off with a bang, & why you shouldn’t, Writer, author, full-time author, Disorganized ≠ creative, and Don’t make customers regret their purchase.

I’m looking for an artist for some commission work. If you’re a talented illustrator, email me at stiltsoutloud(at)gmail(dot)com with some samples. If I like what I see, I’ll explain what the job entails. (Or if you’re just really curious.) And yes, this is a paying gig.

Full-length images: 07, 10, 15, 24, 26, 32.




    1. Its probably the new post format that Zephyr did for Persona 4 The Golden Animation and Zankyou no Terror, with series rundown info, episode summary and episode quote as a sidebar.

      Other stuff that could be possible would be:
      —>a mini-rating poll for each episode just like MAL; (eg love it, like it, its ok, hate it,)
      —>GIF files work in the comments.
      —>pictures other than the episode screenshots are viewable in the comments.
      —>fanart of the week highlight? (as an alternative to the occasional episode endcards in some anime)
      —>share this post on facebook feature. That’s lol material (; ̄Д ̄)

  1. Any word of a new blogger? you guys post that “hiring new blogger” post some weeks ago. i was wondering if you guys found one yet?

    P.S. Divine does not count at all

    1. I also liked the lead, but after Machine Doll I learned even a likeable lead can turn into boring shonen lead at any time.

      The elemental waifus were the usual archetypes. I am shocked Rie Kugimiya is not voicing
      Claire Rouge.

  2. I thought the premiere was fairly well done, but it highlights a problem that the LN had … imo the LN only really gets interesting when the MC and his harem reach the Blade Dance.

    I also agree that, for the most part, this is a rare series where the MC is usually more interesting than his harem.

  3. I agree with ecani, but it probably won’t even get to the actual Blade Dance. I can see a 1-cour finishing with Jio, and everything up to there is pretty generic.

    Stilts, as far as Rinslet throwing herself at Kamito, her reasons will probably come up next episode.

  4. It’s about what I expected, based on the LN. Claire, and just about everyone else is really annoying at first, but things get better over time.

    I kind of wish there would be a moratorium on the use of the overly-psychotic and violent “tsundere” (psychodere? no, wait, there’s not even a dere side >_<) heroines out there. Reacting to every little thing that anime dudes do with extreme violence and lots of shrieking is starting to get old.

    I'm firmly in Urqui's camp now. Anime needs more big sister character types. (Like Aoi Kimi.)

    1. @s_w: “I kind of wish there would be a moratorium on the use of the overly-psychotic and violent “tsundere” (psychodere? no, wait, there’s not even a dere side >_<) heroines out there. Reacting to every little thing that anime dudes do with extreme violence and lots of shrieking is starting to get old.


      1. @Mincemaker:

        Nope, not really. Claire’s one-of-a-kind in Seirei Tsukai.

        Also, with respect to Restia; can’t say what she is like, of course, but she is most certainly not like Claire. I’ll guarantee you that much.

        Ryan Ashfyre
  5. So far so “meh+”. The MC is certainly a step up from the generic, oblivious, idiot pervert which does help, but as Stilts noted, IMO the girls so far and kind of generic bland for me thus far. Claire Rouge totally reminds me of Louise from ZnT (Zero no Tsukaima) with her red hair, short pettan figure, quick tempered tsuntsuntsundere act, “comedy” physical abuse and slave this slave that. Just needs to start calling him a dog and the copy is complete. TBH, I’m burned out on that character type so “meh-” for me. OTOH, ZnT Louise fans will probably like her quite a bit.

    Still, overall Blade Dance EP 01 was good enough for me to watch at least another one or two episodes. I’ve tried the manga and LN, but never kept up with them. Perhaps the anime will be different.



    “Why are these two already fighting over him? I understand Claire, she has a good reason, but Rinslet putting her bow in the ring was so abrupt.”

    Agree, though I figured it has something to do with taking possession of the super powerful “demon sword” spirit the ML contracted. Either that or this is another flat-chested vs. well-endowed rivalry.

    “The curse of the lone male character in a school full of girls, I suppose.”

    Curse? Frankly I can see an upside to it 😛

    “That feels more like Ichiban Ushiro no Daimou than Infinite Stratos, if anyone else remembers that show.”

    *raises hand* Hai, hai! I do! 😀 I kind of see your point, but from what I’ve read, I never thought there was much overall similarity between this and Ichiban Daimaou. However, on the point of the ML actually being fairly intelligent and quite capable, then yeah, I’d say Blade Dance is more like Ichiban Daimou than IS (especially IS Season 2 >_>).

    1. Curse? Frankly I can see an upside to it 😛

      We can, but since these males never take advantage of it, all that happens is they just end up being beaten up by a dozen girls and never receiving any of the benefits of the attention, aside from some occasional fanservice (for which they will quickly be beaten up some more).

    2. @daikama

      I reminded me of Daimou more because the main male character had a justified dangerous angle. The one in Daimou was much more pronounced though. They don’t seem to be mining his similarities to the Demon Lord for much tension so far.

  6. Could this actually be a harem series where the main male lead is more interesting than the girls? Eh, it’s way too early to tell.
    —>Well, I’ve read the translated LNs until Vol 12, that was a few months ago though,
    but I can say Kamito is a much much better MC than Ichika could ever be.

    On another note…seiyuu of Tada Banri and Oka Chinami from Golden Time are Kamito and Claire in this series? That just makes the bickering fun.(⌒▽⌒)

    Hikasa Yoko as Restia? https://randomc.net/image/Seirei%20Tsukai%20no%20Blade%20Dance/Seirei%20Tsukai%20no%20Blade%20Dance%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2004.jpg
    There’s a certain charm to that…though I keep picturing her previous role Yusa Emi instead..

  7. I can’t say all that much about the relative quality of this premiere, seeing as I haven’t watched many shows in this genre. I’m pretty much an amateur.

    With that said, I smiled a whole lot throughout this episode, and that’s usually a pretty good sign. I liked the art style, and I especially liked the MC. He’s self-aware, he’s not afraid to tease back, and he’s generally fun to watch.

    I’ll definitely be watching this. Woop, another show to look forward to on Mondays.

    1. In that case, jump all in my friend! It doesn’t look like a bad one, it’s only long experience that makes me judge it as I do. If I were starting out this would be a show that excited me as well. Tis an enviable position in many ways!

  8. Blade Dance is good fun. It isn’t amazing, brilliant, or original — but, the material is solid. It has a great MC with an interesting backstory in Kamito, it has a good cast (though heavily archetyped) that becomes increasingly interesting as more about them is revealed and they become more involved with Kamito. The girls are also surprisingly self-aware. It has standout side characters. Lastly, the overall story gets more and more interesting and complex as time goes on, delving into both the past and the truths of their world(s) — and even in the LNs we’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg.

    Having said all that, it really isn’t anything special and it could easily be passed off as a generic magic-action-harem tale. I’m cautiously hopeful that they won’t take that route after this episode — but, we’ll see.

  9. Well, you’re kinder to it than I was, Stilts. Because while watching this episode I had three thoughts spinning around in my mind;

    – You could make a drinking game out of spotting the cliché’s. A clumsy, busty girl is running down the stairs. What will happen?! Really now?

    – It reminds me of bottom-of-the-barrel harem shows instead of the good ones, which is well, not very promising.

    – I’m getting Magical Warfare flashbacks.

    Admittedly, our main hero is more interesting than most of his ilk and it doesn’t feel like shoving exposition in our face constantly, but I was thoroughly unimpressed with this. It kind of feels like it’s phoning it in. Especially in a promising season such as this one I don’t have the patience to figure out where this one’s gonna go.

  10. Looks like the characters are element/color coded by their names. I can’t see it as coincidence since Claire is a fire user and her surname is Rouge, and the ice using Rinslet has Frost in hers. Restia is surrounded by blackness, which the Ash in her name probably symbolizes. If we go with that train of thought, the Kaze and Kami in Kamito’s name might mean something. I still have no idea what Ellis’s specialty is, unless Fahrengart means something related to cooking. This is all just guessing as I never read the LN.

      1. I stand corrected there. It’s definitely not an element or color, but Ellis was constantly mentioning marinate, stew, and sauteed so I got caught in the moment. But yeah, that pic clears up what her specialty element is.

  11. -the male MC can think! and fight back! wow…

    -until the teasing scene in the hallway i felt i was watching IS.

    -i wanna know more about Restia!

    -that reaction he had to the strongest dancer was odd. mebe she stole Restia from him? (in the opening she was using a black sword and Restia’s color seems to be black) .. also makes sense that now he got a “white” (the OP shows the spirit in the sword he got is a white haired spirit) spirit … white vrs black? male vrs female? feeling im missing something … mebe the link/clue is in this hand… under a black (cus of Restia) glove … ok need more episodes.

    -meh this show made me miss Tatenashi (Katana) Sarashiki 8( … mmm Neko Tatenashi!

  12. That felt incredibly rushed to me. I agree that they did a good job getting a lot of information across in a short time, but it seemed like each scene needed another 3 seconds to let it ‘breathe’ – it seemed like as a viewer I was just being jerked here and there.

    btw, I’m annoyed how they feel the need to initially call them by their full name. I don’t know if it’s just lazy writing or if that’s just how fast they need to get that information out there. Freezing did the exact same thing, although many of them were actual introductions of people they didn’t know, not people in their same classroom.

    1. On the full name thing–

      I generally agree. I thought a lot of them were okay here. For instance, when the Twilight Witch was calling Ellis’ full name, it felt like she was making it known that she was serious, in the same way a mother might say her child’s full name (first, middle, and last) when said child is in trouble. Other times were suspect to be sure, though.

  13. Okay, million-dollar question. How do you take a generic harem series and make it entertaining, perhaps even worthy of a second season?

    Well, let’s just get the obvious out of the way. Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance is a generic harem series; no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Anyone who’s followed the original light novel series can attest to that.

    Now, that’s not to say that I dislike harem series, generic or otherwise. I’m actually quite fond of them (it’s harem or bust, damn it!). My main problem with them has been with the often half-assed approach that so many adaptations seem prone to, often seeing fit to tease its viewers with a few episodes dedicated to one female love interest and then moving right onto the next, essentially telling us to go check out the original material – by which they mean open your wallet *wink* *wink *nudge* *nudge* – if you want to know more (Ex: See every Key adaptation ever).

    So, color me a pleased little sadist when I saw that Studio TNK was in charge of Seirei Tsukai. Now while some of their more well-known series may not be your particular brand of vodka (Akane Iro ni Somaru Saka, High School DxD and the vile sinspawn of anime that shall not be nam… oh, is that a nice boat I see over yonder?); if nothing else, it’s clear that this is a studio that knows how to push the proverbial envelope and, for better or worse, capture its audience’s attention when it wants to.

    That said, what captured my attention from the start were the character designs. Clear and polished, they’re very easy on the eyes, but more importantly they take the height of what one’s seen in either the light novel or the manga and strive to go beyond that, and the animation itself is straightforward and easy to follow. Granted it seems a bit shoddy at first, particularly with the battle scenes, but it only seemed to get better as the episode went along

    My main concern was with the cast, boasting an almost entire roster of fresh talent with the exception of Yoko Hikasa, particularly Makoto Furukawa as Kamito. Now after having heard him in Golden Time, he didn’t strike me as a bad seiyuu by any means, but I wasn’t sure he was fit for the role. Much to my pleasant surprise though, he actually plays the role of the calm and cool-headed protagonist rather well, and the same can be said for the rest of the cast. No one voice feels out of place, and even if the actors themselves are still green in some respects, the performances overall are solid.

    Finally, the plot. Spoilers aside, Seirei Tsukai is, obviously, not in any way groundbreaking. You have your male protagonist with awesome powers in a school filled with only beautiful girls that are obviously going to be all over him from day one simply by virtue of him being the main character.


    Okay, I take that back… eh, somewhat. As I said, I’m not predisposed to hating generic harem series or even a generic plot for that matter. That’s all fine, as long as they don’t do the one thing that pisses me off EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

    Do not insult the viewer’s intelligence by giving us a love story that is completely and utterly unbelievable. Do not give us a protagonist that wins over countless hearts simply by virtue of him being the main character or, heaven forbid, because he’s nice (I’m looking at you, Haruto Kirishima >__<).

    Kamito is not the towering inferno of masculinity that is Kamina nor is he the devilish, but kind-hearted anti-hero that is Lelouch vi Britannia. What he is is a brave young man who knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to go after it, whatever suffering or despair may be awaiting him along the way. And if you were to tell me that a young girl had fallen in love with him, I would believe you.

    And that’s all I wanted, really.

    And that’s how you make a generic harem series work. As long as they don’t screw it up from here on out, that is. Fingers crossed, everyone.

    Ryan Ashfyre
  14. This one left me with kind of mixed feelings. I agree with Stilts, the exposition scenes were good, and the initial premise, while standard, isn’t bad. The MC is pretty fun too and I really want to like the series for these reasons.
    My enjoyment is really hampered down by my least liked anime cliche, the academy of pure, innocent maidens where every male is branded pervert for looking at a girl longer than a millisecond, though. That and the girls weren’t very interesting.

    P.S. Thanks for the hint on Daimaou stilts, I think I’ll check it out. It seems interesting.

  15. While I will agree with you that the first episode was not telling about the series’ potential, Stilts, I do have to point out something this episode did that’s been something a lot of series nowadays are falling victim to. Proper episodic pacing.

    It seems like more and more shows are failing to adhere to telling the story in a manner that fits the episodic format. This episode in particular had good exposition that got me interested in the universe of Blade Dance, but that is basically all it had. I felt like the episode just ended after the exposition of an hour long episodic, or even a movie. I’ve noticed that shows that fall victim to this are usually light novel adaptations likeTo Aru Hikuushi e no Koiuta. That show in particular honestly felt like it was a long movie cut into 20 minute snippets where some episodes just abruptly ended mid, music cue with something about to happen. Blade Dance left me with that impression since the episode just ended at a point where I felt the story was about to move somewhere, and then the credits started rolling…

    I have a feeling not much is being spent on screenwriting nowadays in anime, since this has been happening a lot more recently. You don’t really get left with the feeling that you really watched an episode, but more of a movie that just puts “to be continued” at a random point in the story and kicks you out of the theater.

    P.S. I totally agree with the Daimaou sentiments. Except the girls in that show were a lot better. Hopefully our heroines stop being generic in the coming “episodes”.

    1. I wouldn’t call doing that a bad thing. Not every series has to follow the “each episode a story” pattern. This may be OK for anime like Akame ga Kill, which seems to be this season’s “monster of the week” series, but that’s not the only option and doing things different way is far from being improper. Ending series with cliffhangers has good points, also this kind of construction allows serving more complicated stories with more varied storytelling.

      It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

    2. I think what Annyms is saying is that all stories have…seams, for lack of a better word. Natural places where an episode would end to make each one feel “complete”, while still remaining part of the larger whole.

      The problem when going from manga (or light novel) –> anime is that most of them are not designed with these seams in the right places. I like to point to Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood as one which always seemed to have the seam in the right place – it was almost like it was made to be adapted into an anime. Then take Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya, which I love, but which still has the occasional pacing oddity due to the translation from manga to anime.

      Prisma Illya still makes each episode feel like an “episode” though (usually), whereas other shows (Koiuta is a better example) do not. They really do feel like movies that were chopped up because someone said they had to. That’s not an ideal way to go about it.

      1. Yes, that’s exactly what I was going for. Not necessarily a “contained story” per episode, but having proper pacing to give us some sort of finality to an episode as a viewer.

  16. pretty generic so far but with a fairly likable protagonist. with so many facepalm series last season, i would really love a decent addition to my surprisingly anime free watch list

    1. talk to a “strange girl”. You dont gona make it, please be careful. He is doing that as if they know this Girls for how many time long. But they just meet?

      Oh well, i have to save this Girl… A hidden cavalier?

  17. Now that I’ve watched the episode…

    Claire is cute, if rather standard. So far the other girls haven’t really left an impression beyond “behold the stereotype I represent!” That said, I found the episode to be a fair bit more interesting than I would have expected, probably thanks to the protagonist being more capable of standing up for himself when dealing with the girls than the standard.

    I’ll keep an eye on this for a few episodes at least to see how it’s turning out.

  18. Personally, I’m really not seeing much potential in this :c. I mean, I think everyone predicted that when he shielded Claire in the beginning he was going to land with one hand squishing a boob (Trope!) and the end scene with him cupping another feel lol. But yeah, hope the female harem get to break out of their stereotypes, else it’ll be a little bit “meh” with only the male lead showing any character potential.

    Hope it gets better.

  19. Meh, the animation wasn’t disappointing, but it wasn’t remarkable either. It’s a good series, but it will take time before the story picks up. They might not even animate the good parts.

    But we are talking about an anime adaption of an LN. With what I saw in the past I am hoping they would skip the filler parts so we can quickly get to the better sides of the story and concentrate there. There’s some nice fight scenes so I’d wish they try to animate it without going down in quality.

    Stilts please blog this.

  20. The first minute of the anime made it look like it had potential. But then it all vanished afterwards. *sigh*

    Don’t you hate it when anime does that? Sometimes you’ll get tempted with how it could possibly be great and then it just starts throwing cliche after cliche at yah. I think they do it on purpose honestly. I got the same feeling from Dragonar which turned out to be a HUGE disappointment. It seems like harem shows suffer the most from being uninspiring and generic in nature. I do like the MC though. He’s competent with a humorous personality but he really needs to pick his words and actions better. He’s at a school filled with girls who are pretty weary of him so he thinks pushing one up against the wall and faking a kiss would be a good idea??!!!! Baka.

    1. >] “Don’t you hate it when anime does that? Sometimes you’ll get tempted with how it could possibly be great and then it just starts throwing cliche after cliche at yah.”

      Can’t really say I agree with that. Seirei Tsukai is a generic harem series after all, so some cliches are inevitable; no sense in being surprised or disappointed, IMO.

      >] “He’s at a school filled with girls who are pretty weary of him so he thinks pushing one up against the wall and faking a kiss would be a good idea??!!!! Baka.

      Lol. Well, when you consider the alternative is him being manhandled and tossed around as if that were all he knew how to do (I’m looking at you, Yuuki Rito), I’ll take him acting like a “baka” any day of the week and walk away with a smile.

      Ryan Ashfyre

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