The show draws to a close, coming across as the opening chapter of a larger story, yet still managing to please overall.
What They Say
Siegfried's monstrous minions are rampaging through the city. While Cecily and Aria bravely fight the beasts alongside the Knight Guards, the final battle between Luke and Siegfried begins.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Because of the nature of the way the story has been told, it became apparent after just a few episodes that we would not have a really defining story told in these twelve episodes. Because of the potential scale of the story here and the way it could grow into a standard but well done fantasy storyline, Sacred Blacksmith opted to spend its time on the character angles with a nice dash of action and humor mixed in as well. Towards the end of the season, we started to see more clearly some of the larger story with the demon swords and what they're really used for, and why Luke is such a valuable person to quite a few nobles.
And his value is made all the clearer when they point out what it is that he gets away with because of Lisa and her origins, something which everyone is coming to accept in different ways. It's actually a fairly tender scene as Lisa and Luke talk things out and make it clear between them, until the action side shows up as Siegfried has his own machinations and intends to off them all so that his plans can move forward. And his plans are fairly grandiose and overt, at least in this kind of setting, since you see him toppling large parts of stoneworks in the city while bringing in some sizable help to deal with it all. While we've had snippets of various kinds of magic and creatures before, this is the kind of battle that really showcases that there's a larger world of it all out there.
With the episode being largely about the action, there's a lot to like here as Sacred Blacksmith has a really good sense of style to it and the animation is solid throughout. Cecily gets involved in quite the brutal fight which highlights her growth well while Siegfried and Luke go against each other for awhile which lets Luke really cut loose. Add in the myriad other moments throughout with the general soldiers and citizens getting involved and a little demon sword and you get a very good series of events. With a lot of it taking place at dusk and into the night, the atmosphere of it is really quite good as it adds to the intensity of it with the shadows and lighting, making it far more dramatic. Everything builds up to a nice and epic level, and we do get some level of resolution here, but they also make it plain that there's still a wide future ahead of these characters.
With nine light novels published within the last three years, there's certainly no end to material for them to work with when it comes to an anime series. This season really did a great job in establishing the characters and taking a leisurely pace in dealing with the setting and a larger storyline. It is, at the end though, the first chapter and serves as more of a tease than anything else if nothing more is ever animated. But what we do get here does stand above a lot of other fantasy series as it felt a bit more mature in its storytelling as it relied on humor as opposed to comedy, had a relaxed but serious atmosphere and managed to not go for the usual gags and plot devices that you often see. It's a show that left a positive feeling for me and one that I do hope is revisited again as I'd like to see more of these characters.
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.