When you discover the truth of something you use daily, can you handle the ramifications?
What They Say
When the man in black attacks, Cecily and Aria are stunned to learn the reasons why Demon Swords exist - but the most shocking revelations involve the truth behind Luke and Lisa's relationship.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The attack in the previous episode by Else against Lisa and Luke has left Cecily pretty shaken, especially upon the realization that she was the one who sent them on to where the pair was. Luke's still in his kind of mildly superior than though mentality as he starts to explain what's really going on, something that's tied to the meeting of the true powers out there as the secrets of the swords are revealed, as well as the prayer contracts that are used in daily life. Explaining that they're the spirit entities that are really curses in the end in a way causes Cecily to question everything, though it's something that Aria plainly points out as being fact, forcing Cecily into accepting at least some aspect of it as she struggles with the change of concepts.
What becomes clearer is that the Demon Swords are key items in keeping the curse of Valbanil in place and that the sword that is currently charged with such a deed won't last another year at this point. With Luke's position as a blacksmith and the number of swords that seem to be appearing in his presence, and now the clarity of need for a new sword to take the place of the existing one if this is being read right, those that Cecily knows may be the ones tasked with keeping Valbanil in place. As much as Aria seems to cement things, it's interesting to hear how she deals with the news as well as she's still trying to find her place in the world, as she believes that she's not what anyone believes. Not just a sword, not just a person and not just a devil. What that leaves her to be, what her true purpose in life is to be, is the question that keeps her going even thoug she believes she may lose all those she holds dear.
While a lot of the episode is curios exposition and a lot of hints as to what's in store for the future of this world, between Luke and Aria's talk and that of the men in power, there's also a good bit of action to be had as well. The return of Elsa to Luke's place where she feels she has to do what she must when it comes to Lisa has her with her protector going at it against Cecily and Aria. Sacred Blacksmith has had a really good sense of character animation and fluidity of animation when it comes to the key scenes and in general, but it's the fights where it's managed to really shine, exceeding expectations each and every time. With a dark setting and a fairly brutal fight, the action side of this episode serves up exactly what's needed considering the circumstances of the situation.
Sacred Blacksmith does what it does best here in this episode by being a huge tease. It's easy to see why the light novels have sold close to a million copies in Japan at this point as there is an intriguing story to be had here. The characters are fun and the concept sits just right for something a little different in the fantasy genre. Yet the anime series is going to suffer no matter what because you know we're not going to get any kind of true ending or even a really big epic moment here. So much of the show has been about introducing characters and settings that shoehorning a full story in would have been silly. We're getting a lot of good nuggets, but it's the kind of opening you'd get for a four cour series instead of just the twelve episodes we have. Yet that tease continues to be wonderful, both in execution and style, and this episode is no exception.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.