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Cenimoran

The Sacred Blacksmith

BASED ON 12 OF 12 EPS WATCHED
15 AUG
2011

Introduction-

The Sacred Blacksmith is a relatively short series set in a standard fantasy/medieval setting. Cecily Cambell, the main character, is the daughter of a famous knight and holds the same profession as her father. Throughout the series she works to protect the "Independent Trade Cities of Housmand" and acquire a katana from the Sacred Blacksmith, Luke Ainsworth.

Story-

Alright, alright, Cecily's breasts are large. I get it. Really, I do. Could you please stop reminding me, writers? No? Oh, you have to joke about it every other episode? That's okay, I understand completely.

The Sacred Blacksmith's plot is deeply flawed and squanders what little potential the series may have had. In a series of this length (12 episodes), time is the enemy. It simply isn't possible to provide character development for a large cast, all while introducing the setting and building up towards the climax. This show's writers evidently don't understand that and chose to spend four episodes on a character (Charlotte E. Frobisher) that is otherwise irrelevant to the story. This waste of valuable time does a lot to kill the story.

Initially, the series piqued my interest with references to a "Valvanill War" forty years in the past. The concept of soldiers becoming demons to fight, the mysterious mountain in the background, and vaguely religious references were intriguing. Unfortunately, most of this is never explained further. Instead we have a series focusing on the pathetic main characters and their relationships. Cecily's feeble attempts to make Luke forge a sword, feebler attempts to fight, and pitiful crush on the blacksmith prove (surprise!) not to make for riveting entertainment.

The ending is incredibly sudden, but at least it provides something resembling a climax. There is a great deal of talk about protecting the city, friends, etc. The villain vows his revenge and disappears.

There are some attempts to provide twists in the plot, but these had little effect on me. I also didn't quite understand the explanation of Valvanille, leaving me to wonder why he was mentioned so much and yet had so minimal a role.

Animation-

Animation is definitely this show's strong point. Colors are strong, characters are relatively distinguishable, and the fights are mostly fluid. The monsters and attacks demonstrate little in the way of creativity. You have your fire creature, water demons, evil birds, so on and so forth.

On a side note, I have a problem with Cecily's character design. Her armor--which serves only to emphasize her large rack--robs her of any credibility (in my opinion) as a main character. Was someone horny when they made this?

Sound-

The opening is a standard JPop theme with good animation. The ending is one of those high-pitched kawaii type songs, but to me it merely comes off as disturbing. Even the pronunciation of the Japanese seems a tad distorted.

As for voice actors, I watched the English version. They were pretty good around the table, but even the best VA's cannot overcome poorly written lines.

Characters-

Cecily Cambell, the main character, is cowardly, clichéd, and boring. Great, huh? Aria (she dresses in green) has a more interesting past but the same "I want to protect others" personality. There are some attempts to provide conflict as she searches for the reason for her existence, but of course they are poorly executed. Luke is a helpless fool. Lisa, the little girl, is eternally happy and quite annoying.

By far my favorite character in the series was the crazy old veteran, Jack Strader. His cries of "Where is my salvation?!" were quite charming. Unfortunately, Jack doesn't last too long in the series. It is regrettable that he wasn't the main character instead of Cecily.

The villains have essentially zero character development and no redeeming qualities.

Overall (4/10, somewhat poor)-

The first few episodes show promise, but overall The Sacred Blacksmith is subpar. Watch it only if there is nothing better.

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