Break Blade is a series of six movies following Rygart, a man who is extraordinary because of his lack of magical ability, in a world where everyone can use magic to control quartz and operate giant golems. An ancient golem is unearthed, and Rygart is the only one who can pilot it. He fights in the golem to save the kingdom which is beset by enemies on all sides, but mainly to save the life of his friends Sigyn and Hodr, the king and queen, fighting against their old classmate who fights on the opposing side.
From the description, Break Blade sounds like every other mecha show: boy finds mecha, only he can pilot it, and he does so for great justice, battling with his rival. In this sense, it has been done before, but it’s in the details where Break Blade is so interesting. First of all: these characters aren’t teenagers. There’s no teenage drama or coming of age or whatnot. The characters have already come of age and lived through their share of drama, and part of what makes Break Blade interesting is seeing how they have adjusted to it years later. As one example, this show had a love triangle where there is a mutual attraction between Rygart and the queen, Sigyn. Except Sigyn is married to Rygart’s best friend. To make things even more interesting, the marriage has cooled and the king encourages the two of them to get together. This makes for some very interesting relationship dynamics, to say the least.
The setting is unique as well. Instead of being powered by electronics or steam, the mecha are powered by the magic to control quartz. Quartz-powered mecha don’t have machine guns or laser beams or missiles. Their only weapons are hand to hand or a larger version of a blowgun. This makes the battles more interesting than in, say, Gundam, since there are no laser light shows or naked pink people, and instead we actually get good choreography and action.
Finally, the production quality is worthy of a series of movies made by Production IG. The backgrounds are fantastic, and I can’t praise the music enough.
My only complaint is that I wish it were longer. It had a satisfying conclusion, but I feel like there are more unanswered questions. Cleo especially was kind of left as a cliffhanger, and Rygart’s rival just kind of disappeared. It definitely deserves a sequel, but I doubt we’ll get one, at least not in the immediate future. The manga (which is also excellent, by the way) is at the point where the movies are now, so it’ll probably be a few years before anything else in the series is animated.
- Plot / Script – 9 / 10 – Exciting story of the fall of an empire (I have a fetish for this kind of thing, like Simoun).
- Characters – 9 / 10 – Strong love triangle, villainous and interesting villains, and Girghe… wow. Just wow. (don’t want to spoil anything)
- Production – 10 / 10 – Beautiful backgrounds, and some of the best music in anything I’ve seen recently.
- Overall – 9.0 / 10
Recommendations – Simoun, Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari, Gundam