I’m quite disappointed and a little bit baffled by how little love Broken Blade is getting. It doesn’t do anything particularly new, I’ll give it that. But it achieves what it sets out to do with an extra shine that other shows of similar ilk fail to achieve. The detail gone into the world construction is clearly well thought out and the intricacy and sheen to the mecha battles far outdoes any other mecha series I’ve seen, even Evangelion. We have characters that aren’t stereotypes and have realistic character development that don’t annoy the audience but also aren’t rushed for the sake of appealing to the audience. Most of all, it’s ambitious. It’s set its stall out to become an epic and hasn’t yet tripped over itself in any way yet.
So yeah, you guys suck. Broken Blade is awesome.
“No way, I can handle it. And don’t you dare say the word ‘conpensating’, got it?”
Interesting looking back at the episode was how most of it occurred in a very short space of time. Think about the time difference between when Zess and his crew were spying on the town through their teeny weeny telescope while hiding in the mountains and the end of Rygart’s fight against the suicidal mecha pilot Lee. It was sunset when that fight ended so when Rygart delivered his message to Zess, it must have been only a few hours before. It was all one continuous battle of mechas, or golems as we should be calling them. I always like it when an episode is as self-contained as that. It makes the escalation of events feel more real when you’ve gone through all the same details at the same rate the characters themselves has gone through.
Zess was the standout character this time around. Queen Shiny Bum didn’t get much in the way of eye-catching fanservice this time around, of even any screentime in which she did anything particularly useful, so instead I had to awaken my inner fujioshi side that grew inside me after watching 70-odd episodes of Hetalia. While Rygart, Hodr and Queen Shiny Bum got their introductions in the last episode, Zess was still a bit of a mystery figure in the friendship so it was nice to get his character fleshed out a bit. There’s a great dynamic to the three men, and you can feel the presence of the third person when only two of them are actually in picture. They fill up each other’s thoughts in that same way most fujioshi pairings seem to occur from. To use our favourite sushi chef’s iconic, squee inducing phrase, they have a complex about each other. Well, not quite, but I’m sure it doesn’t stop fujioshi from shipping them in threesomes.
Queen Sigyn really didn’t do a whole lot in this episode, which is a shame because she’s fucking hot err, an interesting character. She was reduced to panicked observer in classic anime female role style. But that’s not really a problem when the battlefield is littered with more than enough other female warriors. It’s a rather nice change to see as many female pilots in this series, often just as odd-bit characters who spout a few lines and are only seen every now and then going ‘oh no, look what’s happening’ etc. Normally there’s one female pilot who’s given a lot of attention because she’s the female. Admittedly they all fit into typical soldier female archetypes so far. There’s the busty loli, the crazed, battle hungry scary bitch, the stern older women with a sallow face and the black girl who I can’t fit into an archetype, although that’s simply because we haven’t seen her do anything as of yet.
I could spaz out and write all day about the mecha battles in Broken Blade, although most of my thought would look something like gjoldfskb ovk onsakn sbibv iwa;orghb winjgin and so on and so forth. But they really are the best done mecha battles I’ve ever seen. I do hold a little grudge against perfect flying of overpowered mecha as they dodge in and out of lasers that they couldn’t possibly dodge because nothing can dodge bloody laser beams. None of that rubbish in Broken Blade. These mecha are clunky. They’re ungainly. Each move take effort and willpower to shove it through the motions, getting thrown off balance when a hit is blocked. The instead of lasers that seem to do any sort of damage the writers feel like sticking in, these bullets do noticeable damage with every hit. If your massive Claymore sword gets hit by a bullet, there’s a noticeable mark left. The only other anime I can remember that has such clunky, uncertain movements in Evangelion, and even that doesn’t come close to Broken Blade’s level of intricacy which each movement. It might seem like an odd thing to spaz out over but it’s what gets my blood pumping.
Rygart’s pacifism being shoved back in his face was probably my highlight of the episode though. He didn’t do any sort of big speach to convince the guy not to shoot. He just tried to get him to stop, but as soon as he tried to search for a reason he was being so pacifistic, it was instantly shoved in his face when the guy got shot. In turn, the following scene, in which he tried to convince himself that was a once off, his pacifism is shoved in his face once again with the girl shooting herself. Never once was all of this said out loud. Never once did Rygart say he blamed himself. It was all implied and all left up to us to work out for ourselves. Thank you Broken Blade for having faith in our intelligence as an audience.
And so Rygart returns, gets an overpowered, over armoured mecha and the war begins for real. I can’t follow the politics of the anime at all. It really doesn’t help that I don’t know which country is what on that map they keep showing. Thankfully the character dynamics between the 3 blokes and Queen Luminous Bottom is more than enough to keep my interest. 4 movies left but I am starting to wonder what on earth do they plan to do with this. The manga is still ongoing so I guess it will be an anime original ending. They clearly haven’t shoved this much budget into 6 theatre releases just to be an advertisement for a manga. We’ll see I suppose. The next episode I think is out sometime in November. ’til then~