Posted by psgels on 25 July 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews



Perhaps it’s because I’ve watched too much anime, but I found this first of six Break Blade movies to be totally unremarkable. Sure, I guess that the soundtrack is good, (especially considering the huge budget that went into that one), and there are times at which the attention to details is quite good, but apart from that it was just so… generic.

Any potential for the future installments of this series of movies fully depends on how much the creators are going to use the build-up of this movie. Standalone though… I just wouldn’t recommend it. It’s basically just a big collection of cliches. It’s set in a fantasy world in which two big countries are at war. The lead character happens to be friends with the princess and king of one of the countries (so he can feel special and famous without the responsibilities of these jobs), while one of his other childhood friends has become a general of the other country. Oh, and he’s also the only one who can activate the “great awesome mecha of doom”. It’s all got this “been there, done that” feeling.

With so many cliches, you need something to make up for it. Break Blade so far… doesn’t. I understand that it could be holding back some trumps here and there, but it doesn’t make the best first impressions. The mecha battles are just average and unremarkable, while the money shots just come and go without leaving much of an impression. To me, this movie could have used a better direction, with a better build-up and better dynamics between the individual scenes.

The director, Tetsuro Amino has me worried, though. I mean, what is he doing, working on three projects at the same time? There are enough other talented directors out there, so he could have just decided to focus on either Hutch, Break Blade or Shiki. I’m really not looking forward to another Chiaki Kon or Akiyuki Shinbo here…

Storytelling: 7/10 – It sometimes has a good attention to detail, but it also failed to catch my attention.
Characters: 7/10 – Characters have background, but this is all minimal. They’re not bad, but they are completely unremarkable.
Production-Values: 8/10 – For a movie it has quite a few still shots, but it has enough well animated scenes. The soundtrack is recorded by an actual orchestra, but not really used well.
Setting: 7/10 – Too many cliches.

Suggestions:
– Visions of Escaflowne
Tales of Vesperia
Tales of the Abyss

19 Responses

  1. Avatar Rockmanshii says:

    haha I knew that you would react like that when you would do your review,the only thing that I thought you would point out and you didn’t is that except some of them most characters are 25+ years old in this.
    thankfully only the beginning is like that, trust me the manga get out of cliches soon.

  2. Avatar crazystudyguy says:

    Dam I was hoping this was going to be different but so far your comments are playing true to my fears. Well at least there not not teenagers (above comment) so I’m really glad about that, makes the story a bit more believable and fingers cross that what you said about the manga comes true

  3. Avatar Anonymous Heavy Knight says:

    All I got to say for the new folks getting into Break Blade? If the OVA doesn’t satisfy you, go read the manga. Break Blade is a lot like Frank Herbert’s Dune in that it gets much better as the world and the plot / conflict develops. Yes, it uses a lot of traditional J-Culture convention, but it generally executes them well.

    Honestly in my frank opinion, originality is overrated and something of a double-edged sword in the epoch of the 21st Century. If you’re too different, people think you’re crazy, and it takes a while before folks realize you were a genius. Having the ability to know how to use the various formulas out there and create something genuinely entertaining, compared to the hundreds of inane and pretentious IPs out there, is way better any day in my book, and that’s something the creator of Break Blade definitely achieved.

    There’s a lot of interesting themes and issues being tackled here that Star didn’t even mention in his review, e.g. discrimination between people of different statuses, the complexities of relationships, War, your responsibilities and-or obligations as a citizen, Love, etc. I think it’s a disservice to downplay them as cliche, when they are problems that the human race struggles with even today.

    Anyways, give the IP some time, and you all will look back and probably realize Break Blade’s one of the better Techno Fantasy IPs to have come out of Japan in a good while. The Golems here are pretty much on par with Guymelefs from Escaflowne, embodying the same romantic ideals of Knights and Chivalry, except Break Blade spins things around Armored Trooper Votoms-style. Sure, it’s glamorous and empowering to be a Heavy Knight, but you’re guaranteed to meet a messy death. Oh, and the fight choreography just gets better and better, as we go along, so if all the politics, drama, etc., doesn’t get you going, then at least the action might keep you on-board.

    Whoever said just because they don’t have fancy roller dashes, jump jets, flight packs, screen clearing I-Win! Beam Missile Itano Circus spam attacks, etc., that mechs can’t be fun to watch fighting…is full of lies, I tell you. LIES!

    Cordially,

    J.

  4. Avatar Westlo says:

    I like how you bring up cliches for this yet never brought up the cliches in Giant Killing which has been done a thousand times in other sport manga/anime let alone American movies.

    Oh right I forgot, cliches don’t matter if you like the show /slaps head

    Even Nuyarihyon no Mago is very generic at first and you haven’t even brought that up.

    “The director, Tetsuro Amino has me worried, though. I mean, what is he doing, working on three projects at the same time?”

    They’re releasing the movies every month, they’re more than likely done with at least 5 of them right now.

  5. psgels psgels says:

    Westlo:
    “They’re releasing the movies every month, they’re more than likely done with at least 5 of them right now.”
    So, this isn’t the case with Shiki and Hutch?

    “Oh right I forgot, cliches don’t matter if you like the show /slaps head”
    Is that really so strange? I mean, it’s like I said in this review: I don’t mind cliches when the rest of the show can make up for it. When this isn’t the case, like with this movie, I’m going to start complaining about them.

  6. Avatar 4saken says:

    But psgel, you give the first ep of Gundam Unicorn the Excellent rating while I see that it’s basically the same as the first ep of Gundam Seed. I have to say that Break Blade is at least more creative than Unicorn (first ep wise)

    The mech battle is unimpressive because this is the first time he pilots a mech, he barely moved and could only protect himself by sheer luck. Don’t expect him to go around killing several experienced soldiers in the first ride like in Gundam.

  7. Avatar Hamachan says:

    Meh. I read a couple of chapters of Break Blade last year. As a long time reader of fantasy-scifi novels/mangas the plot/characters didn’t grab me. From what I’ve read it’s like a paint by the numbers story. I probably wasn’t it the mood then but reading this review doesn’t really entice me to give it another try.

    Also, Gundam Seed and Gundam Unicorn might share some similarities but at least there’s enough difference for me to enjoy both show on their own. I’ve got to ask, does anyone else watch the Gundam franchise for it’s originality? If it has a great looking Mobile Suit/animation, a likeable protagonist and a decent plot then I’m all for it.

  8. Avatar 4saken says:

    What do you mean?
    It’s Gundam, so let’s give it a special treatment?
    That’s what I call biased.

  9. Avatar Meep says:

    Hmmm I didn’t think this was so bad. Yeah it’s generic, but at the same time I found it rather enjoyable (the use of magic and the character’s older ages are a plus, and the main character isn’t emo after piloting) I see where you’re coming from, and I hope this reaches higher potential. Looking forward to the sequels~

    Btw, you gave this a 6/10 on MAL? D: I thought it would have been a 7/10 due to your scoring here.

  10. psgels psgels says:

    Don’t try to take my rating system on MAL too seriously. It’s incredibly inconsistent and I still haven’t figured out how to be consistent in it.

  11. Avatar mdv says:

    I agree with the meep. It’s the kinda movie where you watch on an HDTV and bump up the volume on a home theater speaker system… lol which i have.

    I have a home theater PC system set up. :D

    Lol it’s like… just chill and watch. Let your mind be free. It may be corny, but it’s entertaining

  12. Avatar mdv says:

    well, for me it was. :O

  13. Avatar alex says:

    i saw the 2 first episode of the series. It’s funny that i watched all animes posted on animelist. And now, i find that i liked all sorts of animes even with their flaws. Because right now, since I watched everything. I still learn to like even modest rating animes. At least, i can have the chance to watch the beauty of all those combined arts.

    Anyway, all this to say that break blade even if didn’t read the manga, should be interesting not like the 5 stars animes a saw, but still, the caracters are interesting. The princess in trouble is really cute, the main character is interesting to.

    I guess sometime they should think a little more about the logic behind the emotional reactions of the characters. The main characters should have a least be more happy to control the machine because he could control anything live everybody else in is life. I guess it will develop over time in the series :)

  14. Avatar alex says:

    live = like sorry hehee too stone and french :)

  15. Avatar alex says:

    I just read some others comments of other reviewers.

    This blog rules a lot of anime blog right now, not just for comments from the reviewer that are awesome but i like the simple layout of the site.

    I wish I would have the courage to blog all the show I watch and all episodes.

    Maybe one day :)

    you have a nice job tho

  16. Avatar Tan-Tan says:

    I actually disagree with your cliche comment, psgel. In fact, other than TWGOK this is the only time I’ll disagree with you. For one, I think Break Blade has a creative setting. You missed out the part that oil doesn’t exist. Instead, they make use of quartz. It’s the character LACKING the special power too, by the way than the other way around.

    I also like the fact the main has a little brother. That actually caught me by surprise. As for the ring of friends (*COUGH*Legend of the Legendary Heroes*COUGH*), it’s that aspect that’s cliche but I don’t know about you psgel, but it seems you’re mixing up the definition of cliche and convention.

    While Psgel doesn’t recommend Break Blade, I DO. I fell in love with it after watching the first movie. It’s very entertaining. For a war-freak like me, it’s a special treat. I think compared to most series, they have a realistic grasp of war and politics. Most of all, IT’S NOT BORING.

  17. Avatar JL says:

    I think you’re just being biased and all. The manga and anime are really good, a rarity nowadays. Judging from a fair perspective, it is a great concept. From the way you say it, it’s as if everything is a cliche. I feel that you are rather confused or misinformed about cliches. There are standards and conventions as other readers have commented that shouldn’t be mixed with cliches.
    Break blade is an epic in the making given the thought and concept mixed in it. I won’t say much but rather I just want to point out that your review or blog on Break blade isn’t fair, for example, you mentioned that the storytelling didn’t catch your attention yet many feel it was rather compelling. Break Blade is greater than what you merit it for. Try to be more open. I’m guessing you’re not a big fan of such genre.

  18. Avatar Mononoke says:

    Thanks for the review! At last, someone share the same idea with me. Wherever I checked the comments about Break Blade, they are all talking about how great anime it was. I was about to die off cliches and also waste of 5 hourse to this stuff. If you like to watch mecha go and try Macros series and Escaflowne. That’s all!

    • Avatar the one says:

      Wow mononoke how close minded are you! So you havent even seen it and already giving your comments based on the review of someone who misinterprets what cliche means. A lot of series have there cliches especially the gundam series. (I enjoy gundams, just clearing that). This series deserves to be watch except for all those not ito the mecha. GIRGE RULES lol

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