Once upon a time, there was a tragic war, in which the power of the devils was involved. After the war, the devils' power was banned and the world was restored to peace. Cecily Campbell is a knight, who has been looking for a blacksmith to repair her old sword given by her father. One day, she saw a man fighting with a ruffian who used the tabooed devil's power. The man defeated him with one blow of his weirdly shaped sword. The man turned out to be a blacksmith called Luke. The fateful encounter was the beginning of the adventure.
What it's really about:
A big-chested clumsy knight gets involved with a demon problem, as well as handsome blacksmith and his mysterious past.
- Excellent production value
- The relationship between the blacksmith and the knight is cute
- The episodes that don't directly further the plot are still very interesting
- The setting has an intriguing history
- The knight can be viewed by many as "annoying."
- Those expecting a Lord of the Rings experience will be sorely disappointed.
I think the reason this anime got so many below average reviews is because of the reviewers' preconceptions of what the anime should have been. If you can manage
to dispel any preconceived notions you have about this anime, then you're in for a very nice treat. Just enjoy it for what it is.
The Sacred Blacksmith is a really mixed bag. This could have been good, with the underlying story being highly interesting. The whole excecution of the story is unfortunately, horrific.
The flaws in the storyline mainly lie with the protagonist. Cecily as the main lead has shown growth but this is unfortunately obscured by her annoying personality. The way her "talk" sequences were done was extremely off-putting, and her jarring voice made things even worse. This links to the lack of a logical flow to the storyline whenever it involves Cecily. One evening, she's in a life-threatening battle, the next day
she's smiling at her potential killers (twice...same people, same arc!). Another example is excessive, irrelevant chatter during battles. It's as if her speaking has a "freeze" effect on the enemy (yea right!).
The supporting main characters, Luke, Lisa and Aria were highly pleasurable and fun, each having rather interesting backstories as well as a good source of laughter. They fulfill their respective roles excellently.
The art was average-good, with the use of an eye-pleasing palette. Afterall, I started watching after seeing the nice art at the Animesuki season preview. The girls were either cute or hot, depending on age! The monsters looked ugly but aren't monsters supposed to be ugly anyway? The animation sequences during battles were very well done. It's a shame the battles had to be rushed in a short, 12-episode series.
The BGM is very good and it is a pity because of the lacklustre storytelling. This situation is reminicent of Tsubasa Chronicles season 1 where the music was awesome, but too lively for a poorly executed and slow story. The OP seems to have split people but I felt the beat and tone was a good fit. The ED is just awfully cute, and expresses Lisa as a character very well.
Overall, I enjoyed the story because it had such potential, as well as the interesting and likeable supporting characters which kept me watching this rather mediocre series. That said, the lack of logical flow *points at Cecily* is a serious killjoy. People have asked me what I was watching during Autumn 2009. While I gave an honest answer (SnB was the only show I was following!), I have told every one of them to avoid.
Fantasy is all about adventure. It’s about going outside of your comfort zone, seeing a new place and a new facet of yourself, and being changed by the time you return home. Anime like that is filled with believable cause and effect. And then there’s The Sacred Blacksmith.
The series opens with Cecily Cambell, a newly trained knight charged with the protection of the Third Independent Trade City. She is an excitable girl, stubborn, and full of bravado. She wishes to help people, but has little actual competence. The broken sword of her family is as much a symbol of her own need to be tempered
as anything. Towards those ends she pursues the services of Luke Ainsworth, a standoffish blacksmith with little patience for Cecily’s immaturity. Joining them are Lisa -- Luke’s pint-sized and spunky assistant -- and a woman with a mysterious and tragic past named Aria.
Dark events soon push them together as tenuous companions. Some figure in the shadows is collecting Demon Swords, powerful remnants from the great war that ended forty years ago. The City is threatened and Cecily and Luke have their own reasons to stand against it.
The setting and plot sound clichéd because they are. This is well-trodden ground. The first few episodes promise to offset that imbalance with the characters, but sadly that’s where things start falling apart. As our protagonists quickly find themselves thrown headlong into one problem after another, their relationships become secondary. Instead of friendships blossoming from shared duress, they just seem to ‘bond’ because they shared the same scenes.
Part of the problem is in Cecily’s characterization, which puts light on the deeper issue of Sacred Blacksmith’s incorrect focus.
Two of my favorite moments are when Cecily realizes that her desires and willpower are not enough to become the best she can be and then, later, when she uses that deficiency to overcome a seemingly insurmountable object. That was when the story shined and I thought “yes! -this- is what this show is supposed to be.” Cecily is our protagonist in all her inept glory. Watching her stumble towards being a skilled knight is where the show -should- be focused, how each tiny victory and tiny defeat magnifies her growth.
Admittedly, there are times when Cecily sheds her armor and shows some vulnerabilities in a realistic light, but usually she merely sheds her armor so someone can joke about how wonderfully large her breasts are. I like running gags as much as anyone, but Sacred Blacksmith never really earns the right to do so. They would be complementary features in a series less problem-ridden; instead they merely draw attention to themselves and make it difficult for a reviewer to be objective and not single them out for one whole paragraph. It gets to be a little bothersome when they just pop up out of nowhere.
And, no, that wasn’t a boob joke.
It isn’t that the foundation here is weak, but that it’s uneven. There are some really exciting and insightful moments and yet they are surrounded by plodding uninteresting plot and cloying melodrama. It sometimes feels like a writer du jour was invited on board each week to pen the script. The story is disjointed, populated with mini-arcs that hardly elucidate the main arc at all. Challenges seem incidental. Character development unearned. And then everyone dresses up like a maid.
If that last sentence seemed to come out of nowhere and confused the hell out of you, it was supposed to. That’s exactly how I felt.
The most irksome problem is pacing. The main story arc only gets underway late in the series, ending up rushed. Halfway through the series our cast of characters effectively doubles, but we have no time to get to know them beyond their two-dimensionally flat personalities. Worst of all, two battles are halted in their tracks while our heroes take a break to lollygag. Oh, I mean, “work slowly at making a weapon to continue the fight after all the scene’s original tension has been obliterated”. It felt more concise to say lollygag, though.
Aside from that specific editing choice, the battles are actually engaging. In fact, my greatest praise is what weaponry gets used. For all the adherence to the conventions of the swords-and-sorcery genre, there are some uncommon armaments here. I can’t describe enough how visually refreshing I found this, to see different weapons and fighting styles. Like all the other good bits in the show this too doesn’t last long, but it helps break up the “This is a fantasy; we need more swords!” mentality that plagues the genre.
Overall, the art and animation is of consistently high quality. The city is a vibrant place. Manglobe’s attention to detail in creating a living, breathing setting is laudable and effective (something I personally found lacking in their earlier work, Ergo Proxy). There’s an idyllic peace in the city when all hell isn’t breaking loose and a gritty immediacy when it does. That the city is built at the foot of a mountain covered with an ominous and never-moving cloud is a fantastic addition. The characters too are well-designed and have outfits that are intriguing albeit sometimes impractical. If only they were as cool as they look.
I couldn’t help thinking back to last season as I watched this. CANAAN showed how to put together a compelling ensemble cast, while Spice and Wolf II showed how to dramatically weave the complexities of a relationship about two protagonists. Both lessons are lost on Sacred Blacksmith. There is neither a group dynamic nor a fully realized pairing. The one great friendship we do have between Cecily and Aria gets lost in the shuffle of events and hardly has the emphasis it deserves.
What disappoints me most is what Sacred Blacksmith fails to do. It fails to do anything exciting with fantasy. It fails to test its characters’ resolve with any meaningful challenges or anguish. It presents so much magic… yet fails to capture any wonder. Once we understand more of Aria’s nature, for instance, a wild world of possibilities opens up. How does her nature impact the way she interacts with the city she lives in? The people she calls friends? Her own inner turmoil? Instead, her character development seems to have the same tedious trajectory that everyone else has: at least one episode devoted to mental struggles, a resolution easily attained, and a sanguine outlook the rest of the time.
The music is a good analogy for the show as a whole. The OP starts strong, is rather catchy, reasonably dynamic technically speaking. The score of the series is standard fare medieval fantasy (recorders, lutes, tambourines, and the like) and other more traditional orchestrated pieces that are apt, but not spellbinding. Finally, the ED is the most randomly bright and unbelievably saccharine thing you have ever heard. While I freely admit my personality isn’t morning glories and sunshine, this outro is so distinctly misplaced and just one more example of Sacred Blacksmith’s disjointed elements.
So who is this anime for? More forgiving viewers, I imagine. The series isn’t high art and let’s face it: it’s not trying to be. It doesn’t want to be a humble, little fantastical tale, but a brief little epic about a lot of different things. About companions trying to help each other, faltering romance, sociopolitical intrigue, freaky monsters, black villains, sleeping horrors. By including too much its scattershot attention span shows, but if you can overlook that and the other systemic problems, want a light-hearted romp with a peppering of drama, or happen to be a fantasy junkie, you might have fun with this.
If there is a second season I can only hope they strip away the extraneous parts, peel back the deeper layers, and leave what remains proudly exposed and naked for all to behold.
First thing is what I think of this anime on a whole. Your first impressions are this is going to be a big disappointment. Sure! it may not be the best but it's enjoyable. There wasn't any surprises, nothing new but it was enjoyable. Don't judge it by the first episode. It really gets better.
Cecily Cambell becomes a knight and she is totally useless. She's all talk. She is saved by Luke Ainsworth and begs him to make a katana like his. And so their relationship begins. The story was like a Déjà vu (literally!!) But it shines! It makes you laugh, sometimes cry and
feel the feelings of the characters in the story. It wasn't repetitive nor boring. Sometimes the fillers and disappointing. There is only one filler episode but in each episode there is a part that has nothing to do with the actual plot. Either it is at the beginning or the end. Even so, it's no boring or unbearable.
the art was exactly like K-ON's sometimes I thought Cecily looked like Yui just in a red version(LOL). I'm very picky about my art. It has to be up-to-date and such. But the animation flaws my eyes just don't see I don't know if there aren't or if there are. But the fights, when the swords are swung and the colors it's really catchy.
The theme song matched the anime but it wasn't special in particular. The ending son was very catchy. Also, the background music, which sometimes I don't notice is good and it goes with the whole flow of the anime and it's set date.
I liked Cecily's character. She's useless but she understands others feeling and her feelings are genuine. She isn't one of those big mouth girls who cant do anything or the crappy type of girl she's a strong willed character that I like.
Not only Cecily but all the character's have their share in the spot light, their time to shine. You can feel the feelings of all the main characters.
As I said it is really enjoyable even without much action.
Kaze no Stigma is a funny and action-packed tale of magic, family, and revenge that came out in 2007. It may have been a rollercoaster of fun while it lasted, but what now? Worry not my dear friends, for we have here a list of five other anime like Kaze no Stigma to fill in that empty void.