Posted by psgels on 22 October 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews

I apologize for the lateness of this review. The biggest reason for that is pretty much a lack of motivation, and that’s pretty much my biggest issue with Break Blade: yes, it’s solid. Yes, it’s got good and realistic battles, and yet it just failed to catch my attention. I do realize that these issues are very subjective, but I still want to try and explain what’s bugging me about this series. And really, it’s not like Break Blade is bad, it’s just… not as good as I expected it to be and that’s what’s getting my goat a bit.

Xebec (or… Zí bek…) clearly got help from Production IG, because the one thing that I do appreciate of Break Blade is how well the action scenes are coordinated. They’re far from your usual mecha bash-fest, and are instead kept on a believable scale. There are a few details that could have been more thought out (like why the mechas don’t have wheels for long-distance travel), but details like those dwarf by the details and movements that a lot of other mecha anime lack. Another thing I really liked was the array of beautifully drawn landscapes.

I’m a lot less enthusiastic about the characters, though. Especially the lead character. Of course I do appreciate that he has his background, and how he’s an actual adult, but the latter is also the only thing that really sets him apart from your average male lead. I had hoped that this second movie of Break Blade would define his character a bit more, but instead it felt like the creators were still running down the “generic male lead checklist”: he learns how to pilot a mecha from out of nowhere, he’s still the only one who is able to pilot what seems like the strongest mecha in the world, he tries not to kill anyone, and let’s not forget at how he formally enlists in the army after considering for a few days to leave everything and not get involved: this guy is just so standard and there’s nothing that sets him apart. He doesn’t feel fleshed out enough, and after two hours of airtime, he still feels pretty flat and shallow as a character. That’s not good for a male lead.

In terms of politics, this episode was solid, but here’s the thing: most of the politics in the second episode were just meant to build up. We know a bit more about the different countries, and why the people are at war with each other, but most of the build up wasn’t really used in this episode, other than turning the lead character’s queen love interest into a bit of a damsel in distress. If the upcoming movies are able to use this build-up, then I’m really willing to hand out high marks for them, but here I have to be honest: this second movie was like the first tedious to watch for me.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Realistic and detailed battles, solid build-up, but I see little use of the build up at this point.
Characters: 7/10 – Generic male lead and a decent side-cast.
Production-Values: 8/10 – For movie standards, this looked great, but nothing really special.
Setting: 7/10 – Lots of build-up but most of the potential is left for later.

Guin Saga
– Visions of Excaflowne
Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu

7 Responses

  1. Avatar K.K. says:

    If you read the manga, you’ll find out that the lead never really develops past his annoying “must not kill anybody” mindset. I hate that all the heroes seem to act like they don’t want to kill anybody, and have those other people simply kill everyone around them instead.

    It looks so pretty so I’ll keep watching, but it’s hard to get motivated for it. It’s just so… SLOW.

  2. Avatar hoiut says:

    I’ve been wanting a remake of Gundam SEED for a while now. As the only one who can pilot the one-of-a-kind Gundam, Kira, who is fundamentally different from ‘normal’ people, was considering leaving as initially intended, but just as he decided to walk out those doors he decides to enlist — in part due to a death he feels responsible for, and in part to beat some reason into his best friend Athrun who is a pawn of the enemy’s politics and to defend his other friends who would otherwise be destroyed by the enemy’s superior capabilities. All while not wanting to kill anyone. While at it, he might get hooked up with the fiancee/wife of his best friend through some convenient loophole wherein said friend is not actually interested in her and easily gives her up.

    Let’s see… every single piece of SEED, check. Same characters and motivations, check. Identical plot, check. Better animation? Check! Better character designs… not quite.

    Overall, SWEET!! This is what I’ve been waiting for since 2002.

  3. Avatar hoiut says:

    Aaand on closer inspection, all the side characters were ripped straight out of SEED too, right down to the idiotic overzealous general and the useless “support characters” on both sides. ZAFT commanders even sit around the same round table and heed the word of our dear supreme commander Patrick.

    I’m sure if I think for another second I’ll see hundreds more “similarities.” I mean, there are generic mecha show cliches, but THIS…!

  4. Avatar semtex says:

    Thank you hoiut, glad I’m not the only one who thinks its a Gundam Seed ripoff with higher animation.

  5. Avatar 4saken says:

    If you read the manga, you’ll find out that the lead never really develops past his annoying “must not kill anybody” mindset. I hate that all the heroes seem to act like they don’t want to kill anybody, and have those other people simply kill everyone around them instead.

    Saying something like this clearly shows that you haven’t read the manga yet.

  6. Avatar Tan-Tan says:

    wut. Didn’t he go to the military academy? He did not learn how to pilot one but I’m sure he knows the stuffs in those robots.

  7. Avatar Tan-Tan says:

    And this isn’t a Gundam Seed rip-off. Gundam Seed was one of my favorite shows ever. I don’t need to EXPLAIN anything because I love Break Blade over GS. That’s more than enough >=(

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