Friday, 30 July 2010

Break Blade

To be honest, I had no real intention of watching Break Blade, let alone 'blogging about it, but sometimes I like to be spontaneous and pick something up just for the sake of it even if I know nothing about it, and this is one of those occasions. Of course, it's easier to be spontaneous about something when it's available in 1080p too...

Anyhow, this first instalment of Break Blade gives us a pretty good idea of what one of its key tenets is early on, thanks to some good old giant robot action. However, this clearly isn't your typical kind of mecha show, as we see these robots making use of what appear to be pretty weak weaponry and moving under the power of their pilot. It's from here that we're introduced to Cruzon, a land rich in quartz and where the general populace can control this quartz to varying degrees; an ability that is invaluable when it comes to powering machinery, weapons and the like, and something which I would imagine would be a pain in the ass when it comes to wearing a wristwatch.

Anyhow, with that piece of back story set, we're quickly introduced to the one in a million guy who breaks those rules - Ryugart Arrow, a man with no ability to control quartz whatsoever. We first meet Ryugart collapsed in the middle of nowhere, but before we know it he's been whisked off to meet a king and queen, Hodr and Sigyn respectively, where it transpires that he was friends with both of them as students before the pair became married, with the latter marrying into royalty.

However, Ryugart hasn't been invited along just for some pleasantries - Instead, Hodr is hoping that he can shed some light on an ancient "Golem" (for that is what their giant robots are called) that has been discovered; a machine which seemingly refuses to react when anyone who can control quartz is behind its proverbial steering wheel. With his country facing an impending invasion from Athens (which of course prominently features another old friend of both Hodr and Ryugart), this ancient machine could be their last hope of preventing such an attack from succeeding.

You can probably guess the rest from here - Ryugart proves to be the only person who can control this ancient mecha (which just as predictably he learns of by accident), and thus the future of his friends and his country are left firmly in his hands going forward into future instalments.

I suppose I have to give Break Blade some credit for introducing a world where giant robots aren't uber-powerful, but instead actually prove to be both rather lightweight in terms of firepower and also heavily reliant on the power and ability of the pilot rather than the mecha itself. On the other hand, this state of affairs does at times leave this whole affair feeling a little like Code Geass with pea shooters, and to be honest it's difficult to get too excited about the action in general. That aside, as an opening gambit goes this proves to be a pretty solid one for Break Blade - It is, as I mentioned, generally rather predictable, but it does its job of setting the scene and leaving room for whatever twists and turns are to come without ever becoming too dull or bogged down in flashbacks. In terms of animation this instalment is also solid rather than spectacular - to be honest some of the animation actually looks downright weird from time to time, which threatens to detract from whatever is going on but never quite breaks down entirely, but at least the voice acting is decent and the whole thing ticks along with more positives than negatives.

I certainly can't pretend that I'm jumping out of my seat with excitement having sat through this first instalment of Break Blade, but it was good enough for me to want to see more and leave me curious as to how it might progress, so I guess that counts as mission accomplished. There are certainly worse ways to spend fifty minutes... by watching two episode of Allison to Lillia, for example.


JW said...

It's a subpar season for anime. I don't blame you for getting bored. I, however, have no intention of watching this show.

Anonymous said...

i somewhat liked the BreakBlade Manga - although i have to admit that i am not really a great fan of Mecha-stuff.

Its been quite some while, since i read it, but as far as i can remember i liked the charakters a lot.

Thanks for your on-a-whim-coverage of this anime. I guess i will watch a few episodes to see, whether it can live up to my memories ^^