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.
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.
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
- 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.