When you watch enough anime, you start seeing alot of recycled characters. Erza from Fairy Tail but with Lucy's personality is the main female protagonist. Her skills center around a similar principle to Erza as well, magical swords. She is at her best when she is using the magical demon sword from which she appears to have a unique ability to bring out its greatest power potential from among any who could use it. Her look is almost a total copy of Erza save for the maid like head gear. In another sense, this anime mirrors Full Metal Alchemy given the way Luke uses his magical forging technique which he got from the demon lord. It is unique in that it requires two people with complimentary magic skills to work on and create the total magical forge from which he can create short term powerful magical weapons.
It is a bit on the dull side in the way it like many, too many, anime rely on or center around magical or powerful swords. It differs in a sense because Luke has to create the most powerful sword and is ostensibly the only one capable of doing so. Cecily is both an amusing character and a fairly strong one at least after she has grown a bit more. It is a bit of a mystery however, that if she was so far from completed training or minimum skill as a soldier, how she could have been accepted as one. Luke projects some realistic qualities when forging a real sword but even the actual long lasting swords he makes seem to take too short of time to produce from a realistic amount of time.
There are a number of characters that seem a bit short changed or would need more time to adequately develop. So in parts the show feels rushed. It still had a adequately strong enough set of characters and centrally themed story to move the series along at a pleasant pace. The last few episodes and the ending story arc felt a little rushed though and it could have used a bit more build up before it happened. It kind of felt like it clashed abit with respect to the other characters when and how it happened. Lisa seems under developed in a few respects. It just does not stand up well that she has only one magical skill, creating a magical forge. So in some ways it gives the impression, the story and world is a bit imbalanced between magical swords and other forms of magic. This could and I might add, should have been explored a bit more.
Overall, it's greatest weakness is it feels in enough respects either unfinished or rushed and I do not mean it needed more episodes per say but that it did not feel fleshed out enough within the episodes that aired. The ending and the connection to the position Siegfried had to the other characters left me with a sense of emptiness as if there was or should have been some sort of connection or more involved plot as to how he either got his position or kept it and/or how his collegues were either involved or ignorant. One reason for this sensation, is that there was a hint of a foreshadowing to that effect but it was left hanging. We could have understood the characters a little more. I think only Luke, Lisa, and to a lesser effect the Princess and her guards are the only characters that had much in the way of a back story.
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They were made about the same time according to information available. Irregardless of which came first or if they both appeared at the same time, they are similar characters. Very often I see sort of a manufacturing mold of characters in anime and manga. Sometimes they change a few minor details or character traits, yet often they are left nearly identical from one story to the next. For example, I have seen a variation or a virtual copy of Sephiroth from Final Fantasy fame in many anime and manga.
Your claim would make sense if The Sacred Blacksmith came after Fairy Tail.