A disappointing debut for what on paper should have been the season’s best ecchi series.
The Summer 2014 season wasn’t looking great for ecchi fans as is, and now things are looking a bit bleaker. Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance was probably our best bet for a service vehicle, but unfortunately the first episode brings no censorship, no hints at redraws and very little in the way of redraw potential.
For those that haven’t watched the episode yet, a decent description would be to say it’s like a poor man’s Infinite Stratos with some minor fantasy elements thrown in. There’s a tsundere lead and a burgeoning harem. I am okay with the same old formula if it is fun enough or has novelty factor in some aspects (or of course, if it features nudity), but the first episode doesn’t really deliver in any of those areas.
It’s a bit surprising to think this was created by the same duo that wrote/directed High School DxD and High School Daimidaler . Obviously, there is no nude content as of yet, but beyond that the atmosphere of this anime is completely devoid of the lovable tackiness and charms of their previous works. Blade Dance even lacks the signature edits from those shows, such as the director’s obsession with cockeyed service shots. DxD and Daimidaler were certainly quirky and interesting, but Blade Dance just feels suffocatingly generic.
Maybe this show still ends up with nudity. Who saw nudity coming in Blade and Soul volume one? That said, it just feels so unlikely to me. The constant hair cover and arm barring is usually a tell tale sign. Just as importantly, the “feel” of the anime is so much more mainstream than it is ecchi. Other than a vague reference to Claire not covering herself well enough during the opening scene, there really wasn’t anything that even hinted at R-rated content.
As far as the anime itself, it tries to do too much too quickly in the first episode, although to be fair this is the fault of the novel, the anime adapted the original story faithfully. With that said, couldn’t they have adapted it to iron out the creases? The anime opens with a peeping tom scene. This is how the anime decides to introduce our two main characters. Kind of an awkward and stuttering way to start an anime. It’s not that I have anything against the scene itself, it’s just a bit weird when we have never seen those characters before that scene.
There is nothing earthy or relate-able or three dimensional about any of the characters yet, they all seem to be cliched anime archetypes and nothing more. A sign of a great show is when it is hard to pick a favorite character, and this seems like the kind of show where it might be hard to pick one character who is especially likable.
This show looks to be okay if you like generic action/service anime like Infinite Stratos . IS had the sense to spice things up from time to time though, and had significantly better production values.