Wolpaw’s Law has been such a wonderfully useful rule. I’ve invoked it on the few occasions when I’ve reached that dispiriting point where it’s unmistakably clear that an anime’s never actually going to “get good.” However, I’m starting to think that another Law of Online Review needs to be instituted - - one for those times when a reviewer (such as myself) must comment on a series that's aiming so squarely away from his demographic that any commentary inevitably translates into him basically throwing up his hands and saying, “This just isn’t for me.”
It’s not that THE SACRED BLACKSMITH is necessarily awful; it’s just that watching it felt like a chore akin to babysitting one of my nieces and having to watch whatever TV show she felt like watching. Not even one of her favorite shows, mind you - - just one she was mildly interested in watching to pass the time.
Maybe that’s a little condescending to the material; but please try to sympathize with me, here. This is a show about a warrior maid (not the Joan of Arc variety of maid, either. The maid café type) wearing a skimpy short skirt, a totally useless bonnet and quite possibly the first armored breast plate… and it isn’t actually intended to be some tongue-in-cheek farce.
Perhaps I’m just missing the joke. I thought I was in on it with the first episode, at least. Then SACRED BLACKSMITH rather quickly asserted itself as a serious fantasy series whose heroine asks the big questions about morality, justice and religion… all while managing to flash her panties at least once per episode. At the least, this show might be a handy topic point for the next discussion of sexism, T&A and what have you in Eastern and Western pop culture. Half of the dialog - - not just the catty banter, mind you - - seems to revolve around the subject of this warrior maid’s enormous breasts.
But it's OK, because it's meant to make tickle you, not titillate you, right? Right?
Anyway, the girl’s name is Cecily and she’s part of some lineage of peacekeepers in another broadly-sketched fantasy land. She plainly sucks at what she’s trying to do, and she has a pesky aversion to killing which isn’t helping her ambitions much. Soon enough, she crosses passes with this fightin’ blacksmith, Luke, and he reluctantly mentors her in the ways of sword-fighting and demon-slaying. In return, she coaches him on how to better treat his elfin sidekick - - and surrogate sister/platonic girlfriend - - by taking her shopping and making sure to compliment her outfits. Yes, he does.
If these two designed some seminar together after these adventures ran full circle, I'm sure it'd be called Swordsmanship and Sensitivity.
By this point, I was rolling my eyes enough times that I was only catching bits and pieces of the daring-do these kids were participating in on screen. Two stand-out sequences from these first six episodes were battles with monstrously-translucent demons who seemed like they'd been imagined by by the LEGEND OF ZELDA’s character designers.
The second skirmish involved Cecily finally embracing her killer instinct in order to take out a lava creature. Seeing as how her pal Luke sets up that righteous kill by explaining how his katana can inflict just three offensive strokes on the demon before breaking apart - - and whittle the baddie’s health down to a very precise percentage in the process - - I couldn’t help but wonder if there was some invisible XP counter ticking on screen.
I also had to wonder if this was another sword & sorcery fantasy conceived by people whose experience with the genre only goes back as far to RPG’s on the SNES.
Indeed, once this adventuring band starts discussing weapons with potentially blasphemous abilities and wrestling with questions about the justification of lethal force, it's a bit like watching some middle-schoolers grasp at heavy essay topics that are few years beyond their comprehension. Come to think of it, that may actually be the audience this was intended for (despite its apparently mature TV-MA rating)
As that probably is the case here, the best I can do is just pat SACRED BLACKSMITH on the head, avert my eyes from its inappropriately-displayed hooters, throw my hands up and say, "Well, this really just isn't for me."
And it probably isn't for you, either, to be objective about it.