Broken Blade Movie 6: Fortress of Lamentation

Alt title: Break Blade Movie 6: Doukoku no Toride

Movie (1 ep x 52 min)
4.029 out of 5 from 4,843 votes
Rank #857

Borcuse decides to invade Binoten with his current forces without waiting for the rest of the Invasion force. Meanwhile, Narvi, Nile and Loggin manage to survive.

Source: HIDIVE

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The premise is about a war amongst nations for the control of natural resources. It is also about several personal dramas around pilots and aristocrats and their interactions during these times. In theory this could have been a great epic of strife, ambition and tragedy around the needs of nations forced down the path of violence and destruction. In practice though it is hardly as interesting.The most obvious reason is the action. The whole thing looks like a dull Gundam rip-off, where the pilots keep monologing and explaining everything to the viewer instead of just letting us get it, minus the big explosions and the poser mechas. It focuses too much on skirmishes and duels with simplistic field tactics that doesn’t make you feel you are watching a continent-wide war. What you mostly see is big robots punching or firing at each other with invisible fragment bullets, the gunshots of which are almost as if they use a silencer and the damage they inflict is a simple dent. Even hand-to-hand battles are simplistic to the point you don’t even feel you are watching mecha action but some b-grade armored dudes brawling. Heck, the mechas themselves are made of crystals and not metal and you feel they are big chunks of rock. They are in fact called golems that mostly act as armors. It’s dull to look at.The only time the action becomes interesting is when the elites of the war are having showdowns. All of a sudden the top pilots can use weird superpowers and a bit more strategy which makes everything look better. The rest of the time is as a whole boring action-wise and I never understood why they even need entire armies when it’s just the elites doing all the work and deciding the outcome of the war. Couldn’t they just have a tournament or something? It would spare them the thousands of deaths as well as the waste of resources.So the action is mostly a miss but what about the sociopolitical angle? Nation A invades nation B and must win before nation C decides to aid B against A. And that is all the politics you get in this show. In fact, nation C doesn’t even matter since everything was decided by the duels of a handful of pilots; so we might as well screw the tens of thousands of troops that were sent to die in this so-called war. Don’t go expecting any complicating mind games and unexpected plot twists because you won’t find any; the whole story is straightforward and simple enough even for elementary kids to follow. There are several scenes where generals and kings chat about their next move and it ends up being dead time as all you hear them say is how cool their few elite pilots are and how they alone can win the war. I believe this was done deliberately so the kids would be amazed and buy the plamo kits easier.Let’s proceed to the drama part; maybe that will be good… Nope; it is again weak. One guy is worried about becoming a heartless killer, another girl gets captured and has duty clashing with morality and… um, that’s all of it actually. What, you expected more? Sure, there are about two dozen different characters in this anime that affect the plot in some way, yet besides the generic shonen lead blondie, the rest have a very weak presence in the story. They all talk and they act and nothing seems important to remember because they are all typical shonen archetypes that solve their differences with good old fashion SMACK THEM DOWN. And since the action is mostly boring not even that works in the show’s favor. I hardly understand their motives, like why the blonde queen is sleeping with the big busted loli who tried to kill her, or why is there a woman that looks like a kid, or why did the megane dude surrendered and allowed to be killed in battle when he owned everyone during the fights. And who the heck is the opposing elite general? I don’t know anything about him other than he is an ass with good fighting skills. What is going on here and why should I care? This is all paper thin.The production values are far better than your average anime, but the mechas move rather crudely and fight simplistically, while half the backgrounds are barren wastelands with rocks. There isn’t much variety in locations or uniforms either. The only thing I visually remember is that blond queen who gets naked every 15 minutes, just so the viewer can stay awake through the uneventful scenes.As a whole it is a wasted world of multiple nations at war and of supposed political games that even my 10 year old nephew can understand. There is very little to see or expect in this series, and frankly I don’t understand praise it got for its supposed amazing story and wonderful animation. An average Gundam series has ten times more exiting action, an average shonen series has far more interesting characters, and the story can be described in three lines of text. Character interactions are basic and in effects throw in the bin the whole setting.If you have watched any actual good war epics, I don’t recommend it. If you have seen shows with good mecha action, I don’t recommend it. Heck, the average viewer would find it hard to stay awake through the dull plot or the simple fact it is a mecha show. Don’t believe a single person who claims this is some sort of masterpiece when it fails to be good even among its contemporaries.


And so, my reviews of the Break Blade series of movies end. OK, I'll start with the final verdict. Break Blade Movie 6: Doukoku no Toride completes the transition of the series into standard mecha/shounen territory. We get the final boss fights, heroic deaths, miraculous survivals, endless cliches, and the screams of determination. It is like the people behind the series actually hate anyone that expects their intelligence not to be insulted. Oh, of course all the logic behind the mechas was completely forgotten. Because it has to be "big" now. I will say it now: Break Blade Movie 6: Doukoku no Toride has bad writing. Whereas the first three movies were surprisingly good despite the constraints of the shounen/mecha genre, here the easy way out was taken. Character development? Hah, what a joke. People acting with military logic? Naah, we need to help our hero more! And of course, the cliche "final boss" and "secret weapon". Ugh. The only thing I can say positive about it is that the first three movies kinda hinted that this was inevitable, so it can't be the worst possible writing out of all options. Of course, what is shounen/mecha without the art floundering in the tropes of the genre? Production I.G should be ashamed of themselves considering how well they execute most of the time. The backgrounds are still great, and the concept of the art is nice. The choice of making the mechas look military rather than flashy is a good one overall, and the combat does have a few moments of awesome, but really, this is possibly the worst showing of the lot. The sound is now dominated by the combat "sensibility" of the genre, and while the effects and surround use are good, the soundtrack nice, the endless screams just can't make me say it is more than just "above average". Break Blade Movie 6: Doukoku no Toride is the worst of the lot. I suppose that if you saw the first five then you have to see it, but if you haven't... well, don't.

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