I’ve expressed confusion in the past about what exact qualities delineate a show as shonen or shojo. My gut instinct would be to classify this SACRED BLACKSMITH as the latter, but you lunatics have trained me to deny that instinct. If it is, indeed, shonen , then that’s in the face of a girl protagonist, a mostly girl cast and a girly tone that’s in marked contrast to all the shonen and seinen shows I’ve watched so far.
Actually, you know what? Let’s forget any descriptors aside from “entertaining.” Whether it’s made for girls or boys, adolescents or adults, this is an entertaining show.
When it comes to fantasy, I generally have a distaste for sword 'n sorcery stories set in some pseudo-medieval setting that's obvious made up by people who drew inspiration from Tolkien over actual folklore or mythology. That’s not a knock on Tolkien - - not at all - - because LORD OF THE RINGS resonates today because he drew from BEOWULF, KING ARTHUR and a long career of classical studies, not from a game of telephone his inspiration may have played with, say, Robert E. Howard's CONAN stories. It’s a big reason I disliked LODOSS WAR. That show was based on DUNGEONS & DRAGONS.
Tangential rants aside, this show reminds me a bit of LODOSS WAR (the perky blond elf has a lot to do with that) but it’s got a dash of ZELDA in some genuinely-creative ideas. I was especially impressed by the glass monster from the climax - - a creature I honestly haven't the likes of anywhere else. Seeing as how this is a 12 episode OVA, I'm definitely going to watch the entirety of it some time soon. I'll discuss the plot then but, for now, I'd like to raise some discussion points...
Watching this raises some questions I’ve had about the nature of fan service in fantasy. Cecily’s an appealing, strong and three-dimensional heroine (I dug the subtle touch of her hand shaking every time she draws her sword,) yet her armor looks like a French maid’s with only just a few protective additions. There are more shots lingering on her boobs in this episode than I ever saw of Winry, Rei or Yoko's in their respective shows. When that sort of thing happens in comics or film, the vocal commentators will say it’s sexist, exploitative T&A. But if this is a show about girl power,does its occurrence makes it aspirational? It's not like dudes are feeling objectified when Conan goes around shirtless - - that's what they want to be. Let me know what you lunatics think. I'm curious.
Watch this episode “Knight,” here and decide for yourself. I received a set of this show's DVDs from Funimation, as they’ve got a new collection coming out.