Break Blade (Movies 1-3)
Mimi: A war has broken out between two kingdoms called Krisna and Athens, and a special boy must pilot a mech for the first time and fight against his close friend in battle. Sound familiar? Probably does. The story is ridiculously common and riddled with clichés. Then again, I really like this movie series because it has been showing steady signs of improvement as well as potential. Break Blade might not have the most refreshing premise ever, but it is unique in other aspects which make this very interesting.
The male protagonist, Rygart Arrow, is pretty much your average guy who hates hurting people and seeing others get hurt. However, he was born an “un-sorcerer,” someone who can’t use magic. In this world, that is extremely rare, as most people depend on magic to move machinery by controlling quartz. Growing up isn’t easy for him, but he manages too pull through and attend a military school. There, he meets Zess, the ‘close friend’ and enemy, and Hodr, who becomes the king of Krisna. Years later, Athens declares war on Krisna, and the people fight in mecha called “Golems.” Rygart’s destiny is to help defend Krisna by piloting an ancient Golem that can only be used by an un-sorcerer. Interestingly, Rygart isn’t gifted in the sense that he has some godly power that no one else has, but rather that his normalcy turns out to be greatly advantageous.
Thankfully, Rygart doesn’t jump into the cockpit like Kira Yamato with his face fallen in a trance-like state as he goes into full God-mode power. In fact, his first battle is rather uneventful because he can hardly move the machine. He has to practice and learn how all the gadgets work, so it takes a while until he can pull off impressive maneuvers that aren’t just due to the power of the Golem. And the Golems aren’t colorful, shiny, perfect-looking Mobile Gundam Suit models either. They look very dirty and worn-out, as they’re covered in dents and scratches with many pieces torn off. This really gives a realistic feel to the series, as that is how they should appear after they’ve been exposed to attacks; they don’t suddenly get repaired to look brand-new overnight like in other mecha series.
The rest of the characters aren’t exactly spectacular, but they’re fairly likeable and interesting. They’re all adults (except for a 12-year old girl who has the body of a woman), and they actually handle situations like adults. For example, Rygart doesn’t angst like a depressed teenager after his first battle, and the characters maintain a sense of maturity. I’m not saying that none of the characters have issues like with team cooperation, but we’re not watching a high-school drama here. Since we’re only at the third movie, the characters are still lacking something special, but they have promise.
A big selling point of this series is definitely the animation by Production IG. The battles are highly detailed and simply look fantastic. I must also say that the music is very fitting, especially the OP song which I have taken care to download. Overall, Break Blade is a good mecha series that dips into politics and issues of discrimination, and the battles are enjoyable to watch, but it really needs to pull off something amazing to be memorable enough.
Mimi’s Score: 7 Meeps out of 10 (Good)