In the continent of Cruzon, an impending war between the Kingdom of Krisna and the nation of Athens is brimming. The people of this land are able to use quartz for whatever purpose they desire. Yet one person, Rygart Arrow, is not. He is an "un-sorcerer," a person unable to use quartz. But this characteristic will enable him to pilot an ancient Golem, one strong enough to put up a fight against the invading army of Athens.
Titles do not usually hold much - if any - meaning. But in the case of Broken Blade, which is better known in Engrish as 'Break Blade' (BB), the title refers to the broken blades visible on the head and back of Rygart's (the lead & pilot) robot. The titular broken blades also - symbolically - link into Rygart's character. One of the two things they symbolise is how broken as a person he is in Break Blade's universe due to his "unsorcerer" (can not manipulate quartz / use technology) limitations. The other is how mentally broken he becomes as he goes from being pacifistic
to the extent he refuses to fight back when hit to killing in a war. What they SHOULD NOT also be able to symbolise is how its adaptation is so hopelessly broken that it is better to skip it ALMOST entirely. Never before has an anime title been quite so depressingly accurate...
A blank TV slot in 2014 for twelve episodes? Easy money wanted? THE SOLUTION: Copy & paste six OVA-movies from 2010-2011; splitting the 50 minute episodes into 20x2. To hell with there being no time to correct the anime original rushing / alterations from the movies that required a remake in the first place, much less fit in all of the content from the movies. JUST DO IT!... Insanity is said to be repeating the same actions and expecting different results. And the sad thing is, I would prefer this series to be an act of insanity. Or outright stupidity, even. Better that than laziness driven by greed.
Before anything else, let me make this clear: I, Aion, like BB. *A LOT*. In the same way that Evangelion stands out from the 'mecha' (neither Eva or BB are strictly MECHANICAL) crowd by being almost anti-mecha due to its psychological breakdown / post-traumatic stress disorder approach to piloting, so too does BB. It is not a series where a teenage boy has always dreamed of piloting a walking war machine and then learns some harsh lessons about war along the way. Instead, it is a series where an unwilling young adult, lacking in discipline and mental strength, as well as natural talent, forces himself to fight when he has no desire to do so. What follows the battles is never triumph; it is despair. The lead, Rygart, had been a farmer before discovering that only he - a social outcast due to a rare inability to manipulate quartz in world where 99.9% of people can - can control an ancient robot. The very reason he is an outcast with no loyalty to his nation proves to be the reason he ends up fighting in a war for his nation. A tragic irony that illustrates just what type of series BB is--a series that refuses to glorify or paint an heroic gloss over war. And I would not have it any other way... which is why it is a pity I can not say the same for this anime!
::Manga vs. Movies vs. TV::
Now, stay with me as I *TRY* to make sense of this for those in the dark, with as few spoilers as possible:
There is a fan favourite bishie-psycho character called Girge. He is CRITICAL to the eventual mental breakdown AND growth of Rygart; post-anime especially. In the movies, the best part of the series - a Girge 1 vs. 6 fight - was cut. Worse yet, what occurred immediately after was also cut. This created numerous issues with the series going forward, including even the end of anime fight, and not just in terms of how the fight played out (kicking intelligence vs. swinging shuriken). The meaning was changed to such an extent that the fight ends in the manga with people cheering for Rygart as he laughs in an insane manner... to silence and Rygart passing out in the movies. Other, even more problematic issues include the movies COMPLETELY removing the Krishna-Orlando political intrigue, as well as turning a LENGTHY siege where Krishna tried to hold out in their capital into a nonsensical last stand where Athens' army LITERALLY ran in a straight line and jumped over the walls in one attack. An elaborate faux betrayal 'lure them in' strategy was removed in favour of a time-saving CHARGE! and Rygart swinging a gigantic weapon around like an angry monkey. And, NATURALLY, the Orlando content is important if there is any hope for a sequel. Orlando did not even arrive to help! Practically everything from (roughly) ch35-51/52 in the manga got cut and/or butchered; dialogue replaced with rushed stupidity.
So, now we come to this 'TV version', some 3-4 YEARS after the movies, with the promise of putting right past mistakes. The 12 episode length should have been a warning. There was ZERO new content in episodes 1-9. Everything copy & pasted from the movies. NOTHING to identify the TV version as its own entity. Not even touch-ups or remixed music. Episode nine (where things NEEDED to start changing) ended with Rygart moronically charging after Girge during an ambush, just as he did in the movies. Even the fate of Rygart's village in the same episode was not altered. Episode ten *DID* add THE Girge fight.... however, episode nine had made it made it clear that any changes would be entirely superficial. And this proved to be the case: all that was added was the fight and a THIRD CANON event (in episode 11) that held no value whatsoever without changing the circumstances surrounding those events. You see, in the manga Girge and Rygart are captured immediately after the fight. And what plays out in this scene will forever haunt Rygart. In both the movie and TV versions, Rygart falls off a cliff and never learns what happens. The animation studio went for an easy fix, not wanting to fully re-animate, and failed to even paint over the cracks. A facepalm worthy accomplishment, for sure.
EVERYTHING else in the 'TV version' played out the same as in the clusterfuck movies 5-6's 'sprint to the end; THE HELL WITH DETAILS--CUT!' finale. Not surprising since more episodes and TOTALLY re-animating everything from Rygart's return to his village (ep9/movie5 onwards) was required, but still... Rygart relied on brute strength / luck in the climatic battle via swinging a yo-yo of doom, followed by his believed-to-be-dead-in-the-anime little brother JUST HAPPENING to walk up to him at the end, immediately after the climatic battle at the end of a war (not at all forced). Then, bizarrely, Rygart does what I assume was supposed to be the insane laughter from the manga; it coming across more like relief than a psychotic release due to the timing. And as a parting shot, the show even managed to rub salt in at the last by ending with 'Goodbye!' instead of 'See you again in season 2!'. I can not wait for the third attempt at a BB anime that MIGHT actually adapt the manga so there can be a sodding sequel. CAN. NOT. WAIT.
-- Rygart's Characterisation:
In the manga Rygart still does actions that can be described as stupid, but he also saves the people from his village AND learns enough from Girge to fight in the final battle using skill rather than brute force. In both anime, he disobeys orders to go save his village - failing to save anyone - and he fights brainlessly in the final battle--leaving viewers with the impression he risked lives without saving any and remained useless. There is no sense of 'Wow, he saved lives!' or 'HE IS GETTING BETTER!', and this leads to people hating the character, which is unfortunate given that he is one of the more interesting characters due to his struggles and how he starts to go off the deep end later.
-- The Girge Fight
The best part of the manga, which was skipped in the movies. It was added to the TV version. It is the ONE positive to come out of... this. But I was not impressed, OF COURSE. With no budget whatsoever having been spent in the 9.5 episodes that came before, I expected the entire budget to be dumped into this one fight. Maybe with a new epic piece of music to distinguish it from the rest of the action. Instead, I just got speed-lines and re-used music. So, rather than a reward for enduring, it came across more like a final insult. "We will spend ten minutes on the scene, dutifully, but we will treat it like just another scene." That is how it made me feel. And, maybe because of nostalgia and/or the disappointment, I felt NONE of the manga tingles I recall from when I read the fight in the manga and was left in awe... even though action is the weakest aspect of the manga due to it being hard to follow. It just left me indifferent.
-- The Opening: Junction Heart
Almost anyone that has heard the movie opening by Kokia (Fate) and watched the visuals it is paired with ends up emotionally moved. The song is beautiful, granted, but the real reason for this is that it gives an insight into what sort of series BB is, with an anti-war vibe given by the direction and the music giving a sense that the human condition is going to come under examination in the show. Junction Heart, on the other hand, as you might expect with such a generic name / HEART is... well, generic. The song is vaguely uplifting / exciting average action anime fair, while the visuals consist entirely of facial close-ups from the re-used OVA, a 'zoom through characters' part re-used from the Kokia opening... and brief bits from the ONE new fight scene. It is THAT lazy. And the ending 'animation'? One massive page of character stills panned from left to right. Not even worth mentioning. NO EFFORT.
-- 50-to-40 Scene Removal / Shortening
Honestly, this did not bother me TOO MUCH. But it was always a background issue. A second adaptation should never offer LESS; even more so when simply copying & pasting from the first adaptation. The earliest example I noticed was when Rygart talked to Narvi and they cut the dialogue from the scene; just briefly showing them interacting. That was the strategy: cut as many corners as humanly possible in order to make it fit. The one episode where it was really noticeable was the one where Rygart trained and Girge was introduced. It jumped around so much that it was confusing to see what happened to General True when it switched to him, having cut the first part. Many others commented on this particular episode.
Just to be CRYSTAL clear, this is NOT a 'purist hates anime adaptation; RAGE' review. How can it be when I rated the movies 8-8-8-7-7-6 and this 'TV version' is a slightly abridged version of those same movies? No, what this is is a 'Break Blade fan HATES anime inexplicably COPYING a flawed adaptation, which required a remake, 3-4 years later for an easy cash-grab' review. People new to BB, much like myself when I watched the movies, regard the series highly and will see my score as being 110% unfair. But they are not seeing the full picture: they did not watch this same content years ago, then read the manga and - after getting their hopes up - wait years to see logic defied by having the same mistakes repeated anew, with only 10-15 minutes of new content. Not re-drawn, not re-animated, not re-scored: just ONE fight and meaningless death added. Hopefully this is the first and last time I get to experience a 'second adaptation' (/having an editor copy from the OVA) that fits in even less content whilst not fixing any of the problems created by the first adaptation. It hurts my brain just thinking about the pointlessness. It is as if the animation studio were so incompetent that they attempted to fix the problems without having read the manga. That is the only conclusion I can draw from the way the scene in ep11 was... executed. And I can not decide if that is more offensive than simply copy & pasting the movies.
When an anime is low budget, creativity is often used to mask it. Break Blade 2014 had neither money nor effort applied to it. It is a recap movie delayed so long that no-one cares; when there is no hope of a sequel--a recap movie presented as a TV series that deceives those unaware of the movies. Watch the movies, YouTube the Girge fight and read the manga. Do not even bother with this. It looks pretty for a TV series, it has an epic yet emotional soundtrack... and yet, these positives belong to the original version: not this recap. STAY AWAY... especially if you go into it having watched the movies. Only those new to BB could get anything out of this, and even then it is better to just watch the movies since at least then you are not watching an abridged version of an abridged version!
Break Blade is one of those animes with a lot of potential. Unfortunately this is just a "12er" (only 12 episodes), and this is just not enough to develop a deep story and profound characters.
The strongest part of this anime however is, without a doubt, the art, animation and sound. It is just incredible. The highest quality you´ll probably ever see in a mecha anime. A lot of details, colours, special effects. The mechs are a 100% hand-drawn, yet they still look better than any other made with CGI.
The way the producers used the art in combination
with the sound of moving and clashing metal gives a (more) realistic feeling of super big and heavy machines moving and batteling...
...and this brings me to the next point, which makes me give this anime a straight 10/10: the batteling of the mechs. mother of god. i´ve seen gundam animes and what not, but this is just over the top deluxe mecha fighting like any boy or man dreams of. the fighting is so intense at one point that watching an entire episode seems like just 5 minutes passed. The enjoyment is fantastic
so... this is why you should definetly watch Break Blade if you like mecha animes. It won´t give you a super story and super characters like other ones, but it will blow you out of your socks with the animation and the mechs battleling the shit out each other.
Broken Blade it is then.Well in my opinion the specific anime is the most underrated of the past spring season.I will be more specific below.
Story:7--Its not nuclear science thats for sure but it solid nontheless.The 3 main protagonists(Zess rhygart and Hord) are connected with a deep friendship coming along the way from the past.The people of this continet(Cruzon) use quartz to move mechas except Rhygart, who gets to operate an ancient golem(aka mecha).Unexpectedly Rygart and Zess will confront each other in the battlefield serving different countries(even though rygart isnt a soldier)
Art:9. The art is simply fantastic.As a fun of mecha animes, i am a harsh
judge when it comes to art and battle implementation between mechas.Well in terms of meele battle this definitly one of the best animes with mechas around,they are just awesome and so fun to watch.
Sound 7:Decent sound and music soundtracks.The quartz weapons sound kinda strange though, but in general quite satisfied with the outcome
Character 8:I love the Characters,Rygart the protagonist its not the usuall super duper talent who gets to operate a machine for first time and starts to nail the battlefield.Nevertheless he is decent and it takes long time to get used to it, not to mention even at the important battles he doesnt manage to make the difference(something i really like personally). The character development of the other persons is very well balanced and solid aswell, and everyone gets some respective time.My fav is Baldr commander
Enjoyment 8. I have been enjoying the specific anime very much, maybe cause i really love that type of anime, but beyond thats its an anime worths seeing
Overall 8. I DEFINITLY reccomend the anime to mehca lovers, beyond thats its still a very good anime to watch, with decent plot and anime development, i kinda beileve the 7.57 its a bit harsh i think it deserves better, in my eyes its the second best anime after Mahouka rettousei this spring season, but thats a personall opinion!
Break Blade (Broken Blade ; ブレイクブレイド ) Is a TV adaptation of manga with the same title. Before TV series there was series of movies, and the thing is both of them are the same thing. It really is hard to point out difference between those two, more so TV series is fundamentally chopped movie without any will of redeeming ending for manga fans.
Art and animation is really enjoyable, combined with battle music can easily stun viewer. Manga is easily the best mecha comic you can read, and so Movie/TV series could become one of the best mecha production - Movie ended differently because
it overtook manga release, that was understandable at that time(manga release was and still is painfully slow). BUT TV series never bothered with straightening it up, like they never gave a f*ck.
If i had to evaluate TV/Movie (they are the same thing, just different opening/ending) then yes its strong 7/10 cuz of cheap ass rip off (for my personal score 9 out of 10 for a 1-3 parts of movie).
Do not believe anime viewers only - go and read manga, its probably THE best mecha manga you can get.
Put on your helmets and prepare for the explosions. This is a collection of the 20 best war anime from the thrilling 2D battlefield! So what exactly separates them from the rest? Explosions? Drama? Political intrigue? You name it, they've got it.