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31 of ? chapters read
The art and plot is good, but lacks character development, action and it fails to bring me to awe.
The plot is not too original, but it is executed well. The ancient Golem, in many aspects, is not a super prototype, which is a plus for me. In fact, both primary kingdoms in the story are developing newer golems as fast as they can.
As for the reasons for war, that isn't explained until a little later. Won't spoil it, I'm telling you there is a logical reason so that you won't think that the higher-ups are just blood-thirsty freaks.
The art is not disappointing, but more detail and contrast could be made in the background. It is a world that mostly desolate flatland, but some vibrance would be nice.
You won't see a lot of detail inside the flying mech parts either, but that's because quartz tubes makes up the ligaments of the present-day golems, not a traditional network of wires. There isn't a large variety of mecha, though the kingdoms are making new ones. This is not Gundam though, where there's a bunch of unique supers and ace customs along with mass reproductions. Those make up most of Break Blade.
The ancient golem compensates both.
As for character designs, it seems biased: some of the (usually male) antagonists look evil, and sometimes uglier. Their mecha look cooler though, and they do not look like devils. The newer models look more like angels, and if you read it, you'll find out why.
The biggest let down is the action. If you want to see the mecha fight, it is MUCH MORE enjoyable to view the animated version. Fight scenes are confusing. The panels don't help you imagine how they are moving in coordination with their surroundings. At times you may wonder who is the pilot. People take so many panels to cry about death it's irritating. Battles start and end so damn fast even though they feel slow paced.
This series sucks in terms of portraying warfare. A lot of attention is paid to strategy. The commanders are decisive always thinking what the other side is thinking. They're supposed to be brilliant minds, but you will see mostly one-and-one fights with interruptions or mooks getting stomped on. Talking about the movements of anyone other than the main crew is obsolete if you don't see enough top views or zoom outs.
The biggest highlight in Break Blade for me is that there really is no true villain. Although Lygatto's the protagonist, a lot of people on the opposing side can be sympathized with. The motivations of most characters are also well-intentioned and most of them have something to lose besides their life and kingdom. The talks both sides have after a fight are usually heartwarming and just makes it hard to hate any of them. The only ones I can hate are the psychopaths, abnormals and Lygatto! A major problem here is that people die pretty often in this series, even shortly after their introduction. One by one, people who don't look like mooks at all suddenly die just to make someone on their side cry. Pretty damn cruel, but realistic and disheartening since you didn't get to know batshit about them and their relationship.
Most characters are realistic and rational, especially the generals, but people like Lygatto have their moments. At least he breaks the mold of protagonists by **spoiler:wanting to learn to get used to killing early**.
There is a problem with misunderstandings though. Which don't happen often but have devastating effects.
As far as ethics go, you won't see any decent Aesops or revelations. It's is either avoided by characters, used for drama or curtly spoken about by someone mature. People really need a psychologist here, as the people in this series who aren't at Jedi-level lose their rationality once emotions or ethics are involved.
One complaint is the melodramatic shock most people have concerning the ancient golem. Same thing goes for "legendary generals and pilots". It gets tiring after the second time. That golem is not even that great, nor is Lygatto an ace.
The characters are good to being with, but you don't seem them growing together.
Meanwhile, romance is just a device for drama, comedy (to lighten up the fact that it's about war) and loyalty in this series. It's a static side-story, with very little romantic development between ANY two characters.Saying somebody "loves" someone else in this series is the same as saying he or she cares about that person's physical welfare. Now there should be development in later chapters, and I could make a list of possible pairings, but it's pointless for this series. Plus, Lygatto is freakin' dense but at least he doesn't have a harem and his density is somewhat rational.
The character back-story is pretty lame, though. It connects a few of the characters, but the flashbacks hold little character development. Dialogue in the present either suggests it or already delivered the point of the flashback. It's overused for Lygatto, and nearly non-existent for others where a flashback would hep a lot. They could have been utilized more efficiently.
There is a lot of potential for back-story regarding the ancients that built the golem. There are MANY questions. And not just about the golem.
Despite all this, I have enjoyed reading this manga. It has its flaws, but it should become better after further developments in the plot. I recommend this to those who read for mecha but NOT psychological conflict (a.k.a. metagames). Impatient readers could also be excluded. read more