Regular readers of my blog should be well acquainted with my love of strong female characters. So I guess it came as no surprise when I decided to pick up The Sacred Blacksmith, despite how utterly cliche it looked.
...at least, I thought the main girl looked pretty strong from the pictures. Oh god was I wrong there...
Following the sparsely detailed death of her father, young Cecily has become the new head of the House of Cambell, a prestigious family of knights with the world's dumbest coat of arms. Anyway, so Cecily is the latest knight of
A brave Knight of Cambell
So anyway, Cecily sucks. And in her suckiness, she gets her ass kicked by a mook and her precious family sword is broken. Luckily, Luke, a pedophilic blacksmith, saves her life. She then befriends the guy and asks him to make a new sword for her, sadly unaware of the fact that a better sword isn't going to make up for the fact that she fights about as competently as...as...oh god, I can't think of a single comparison to make that wouldn't be insulting to said object of comparison. Look, she sucks.
So that's about it really. There were some generic anime shady guys who hid behind generic bushes and spoke generic cryptic garbage about some generic evilness which will presumably be important later, but little actual detail has been revealed on that.
Generic White Haired Evil Guy vs Generic Lead Male Guy
Oh, and Luke's big gimmick is that he forges katanas rather then European swords. And in keeping with Japan's famous cultural humility, katanas are infinitely stronger then their European counterparts in the world of Sacred Blacksmith.
The main character. A knight and head of the House of Cambell. Despite being a knight, she's horrible at sword fighting. On the plus side though, she's pretty brave, if monumentally stupid. For reasons unexplained, she dresses in some bizarre knight/maid hybrid outfit. Also has a ludicrously stupid coat of arms.
Presumably, the titular sacred blacksmith. Is technically not a blacksmith given the fact he makes swords through magic rather then actual smithing. Is a huge jackass who's generally rude and dismissive. Unlike other blacksmiths, he forges katanas, which are much, much stronger then their European counterparts. Ahh, Japan, you so humble! Is also the local pedophile who lives with an underage girl.
Luke's power of antisocialness negates all attempts to communicate with him.
Guys, I'm totally not a Gary Stu! Now check out my magical flame katana.
Said underage girl that Luke lives with. Has no real personality outside of generic cuteness. Is probably an elf or some shit. Aside from being the object of his lust, she seems to help Luke with his magic (i.e cheating) smithing by providing a magical flame or something.
Oh, I wasn't included sole to appeal to the pedophile audience! Honest!
See? That's a katana. It's better then your silly white man sword, cause it's Japanese!
Animation was surprisingly fluid and fun to watch. Admittedly, first episodes tend to look better then mid season ones, but if the series can maintain this level of animation, it should prove to be one of the nicer looking shows this season.
In what is quite possibly a first in action anime, Cecily even lost to the very first grunt she fought against.
Colours are bright and vibrant, though backgrounds are pretty boring and uninspired. Similarly, whilst the character designs are distinctive enough, they're fairly standard medieval fantasy fare.
Honestly, I'm really not too sure what to think of this. I watched this basically to see a strong female lead kick ass; episode one definitely didn't deliver on that. For now though, that's ok; she still has time to grow. In fact, Gunbuster's Noriko Takaya, one of the most badass female characters ever, was a useless pile of incompetence for the first half of that series. So hopefully Cecily can take a page out of her book.
The main problem however, is that not only is Cecily weak as shit, there's really almost nothing redeeming about her character. Admittedly she's brave in that she never backs down from a fight, but she does it to the point of sheer idiocy.
"Guard Save Believe"?? What kind of shitass motto is that!?
Don't worry Cecily! There'll come a time when you won't suck! Believe in me who believes in you!
Actually, the glasses girl is just trying to make you feel better; you're doomed to a life of suckage.
Similarly, it's difficult to take her seriously because of how goddamned fetishized she is. Just look at her outfit! She looks like a bizarre armoured variation of a French maid!
And besides, how could a character come off as respectable when the viewer is bombarded with scenes like this;
The other characters really don't fare much better. Luke is the generic rude, angsty guy with a mysterious and likely tragic past, and Lisa is typical genki loli fare. There's another major character who hasn't been introduced yet, but she looks like the standard gentle healer achetype.
And this is the main problem I have with the Sacred Blacksmith; everything is boring and uninspired. The show admittedly looks pretty, but it's not like it's anything we haven't seen before.
The world is cliched, the characters are boring and the plot really doesn't look like it's going to break new ground. Quite frankly, the only saving grace this show really has is it's main character, who so far, has been an utter disappointment.
If you have nothing better to watch this season, give Sacred Blacksmith a look, maybe you'll find some value in this. If you don't have much time to watch anime though, save it for something else.
Must...find...a way...to get...out of this show!