Break Blade 1 (or Broken Blade) is the first in a series of movies based off the manga by Yonosuke Yoshinaga. It follows Rygart Arrow as he is summoned by the Kingdom of Krisna and gets involved in a war between Krisna & Athens. This is a mecha-fantasy series in which soldiers pilot Golems which are controlled using quartz/magic.
Rygart Arrow (Souichirou Hoshi) is the protagonist of this mecha-fantasy themed series. A one-in-a-million years kinda guy, Rygart is unfortunately known as an “unsorcerer”. The mecha in this world is controlled by quartz, which most people can control in order to operate mecha, fire machinery and even common everyday tasks. Rygart for some reason cannot control quartz, which disappoints his father very much. His father sent him to military school hoping that Rygart’s abilities would awaken, but the only thing Rygart gained was friendship; Zess (Hiroshi Kamiya), Sigyn (Chiwa Saitou) and Hodr (Yuuichi Nakamura). And hey, knowing people in high places can get you far.
Ever since schooling, Rygart’s friends have gone on to become prominent figures. Sigyn and Hodr have married each other and became royalty in the Kingdom of Krisna, and Zess has become a soldier for the Athenian Army. Sigyn and Hodr like Rygart and are glad to see him return while others are aware of his inabilities with quartz. They aren’t hateful of Rygart, which is kind of a refreshing take. It does help that the King & Queen like him. Rygart actually seems to be a pretty sharp guy, which is discussed a little bit about how he was in school. While he might appear to fall into the “guy that doesn’t know how to operate mecha and suddenly is a seasoned pro” category, it’s not because he doesn’t know. He literally can’t do it, so he’s never really had a need to learn. It also is hinted that Sigyn either once liked or still kind of does like Rygart, as she gets a little too close in once scene later in the movie and walks away blushing.
While Krisna was out digging for quartz, they found an ancient Golem that was crystallized. Because the Golem is so primitive, the military cannot figure out how to operate it. Enter Rygart, who has been asked by Hodr to examine it and figure out how to get it to work. In traditional mecha anime form, the opposing Athenian army invades Krisna lines and attacks as Rygart is forced to get inside the Golem. He is able to activate it and defends Hodr against Athenian soldier Lee, while learning on the job. Lee makes a rookie mistake and forgets what ammo she has loaded in her gun, which gives Rygart enough time to learn the controls and charge her.
The production for this anime was a joint production by XEBEC & Production I.G. On paper, that sounds like a pretty good combo. The character and mecha designs are rather ordinary and the overall feel of it didn’t really wow me. The action sequences lack punch and aren’t really exciting to watch, necessarily. The best moments in the movie visually are when you get to take in the scenery of the desert under the sunset, but the thing is, this is a movie about mecha fighting. On the whole, I’d probably give to production quality a 6/10.
This being a mecha themed series, I don’t find the mecha to be intersting and unique and also that the quartz method is tread-upon territory. Looking ahead to the next set of movies, I’m not sure what it is that Break Blade can expand upon to keep me watching. Obviously, more story elements will be revealed, but I don’t think I really care how Zess got involved with the Athenian military, how Sigyn and Hodr came to love each other and even further details as to why Rygart can’t use quartz. Nobody came off as interesting enough to merit me wanting to know more about them. There is such an ordinary feeling across the board that I can’t really give any positives to the OVA. If you’re a mecha fan, by all means, check it out; I just don’t think you’re going to find anything evolutionary in this movie series.
After the Credits
A preview is shown for episode two, titled “The Split Path”. What I would expect from this preview is that Zess & Rygart will have a real battle in the next episode and that they might go back and explain where Zess separated from the Quartet and joined Athens.