Every season there’re hyped shows that most everyone wants to watch, there are the romance shows that prove to be either promising or not, and finally, that one that hardly anyone really bats an eye at. Blade Dance should’ve been in that WAY latter category, but apparently it’s…popular?
In this world, there are spirits in which only women are able to make contracts with, capable of using them as different weapons of different varieties and uses, better known as elemental waffes. It is here where the only male elementaler (the term used to call the people who use the spirits) in the world enrolls in the noble school of using and learning how to use elemental spirits, so that he can finish a task in which the headmistress of the school has assigned.
Blade Dance is filled with so many plot holes that I feel like it would make swiss cheese jealous. The show has absolutely no focus on plot, pacing is a rushed nightmare, nothing is ever explained, and the ending is so unsatisfying that it makes typical ‘read the manga endings’ look like godsends. Maybe that’s a bit harsh, but to say that this show has problems is an understatement.
One of the biggest flaws of the series I feel is its lack of explanation. From episode one, Blade Dance gives you its world, just straight up gives it to you without any backstory or explanation. It expects you to already know what this world is like from the get-go, which is a very big no no if you want to get any sort of audience engaged with your plot, especially with a fantasy-based one such as this. As the series progresses, you do get some semblance of understanding, but it’s so minuscule that it feels as though they shouldn’t have even bothered at all. They completely gloss over apparently majorly significant events but they’re so shoved in the background that it’s all just flavor text to make things seem more interesting than they actually are.
Another big flaw of the series is how there is really little to no focus on plot. Many ecchi shows have this flaw where the series tries to go all serious and explain something that’s actually relevant and important, before switching gears completely and throwing a pair of breasts or underwear at the screen to show that this guy is surrounded by constant sexual tension. It’s a jarring transition because the show at some very rare points actually takes itself seriously with a genuine struggle before going back and talking about a loli with a bust complex. The series mostly focuses on an extremely clunky arc-based harem story setup where each features one of the main girls, solves their “issue”, then absorbs them into the almighty harem.
And then we have the ending of the show. I’m that kind of person that always likes a satisfying ending to stuff. Even if the plot itself isn’t complete, as long as it resolves itself with at the minimum, most of the stuff getting wrapped up, I’m decently satisfied. The main focus of this show was revolved around something called a blade dance, a teamfight between two groups of elementalers with contracted spirits. The series ends literally right before a story climax, which is narratively the worst way to end any series. Like seriously. Why even bother with the show if you’re just gonna end up blueballing us like this? Read the Manga ending suck, and everyone knows it.
– Swiss cheese story (cause of all the holes, get it?)
– No focus on plot
– Awful pacing
Kazahaya Kamito as with most harem MC’s have your standard “bread and butter” copycat harem leader who is nice to everyone and miraculously gains the affections of every girl with remotely colorful hair. Aside from a few decent traits such as not being reluctant to see girls naked, be a generic pervert, and having some actually funny moments, he’s not really much in terms of actual character. He does have good wit to him, but apart from that, he’s not all that special. This however gets much worse when you step back and see that he’s the most detailed and most well-rounded character in this entire cast, which still isn’t saying much.
And then we have Claire Rouge, our token flat-chested, fiery, and tiny main female. Plain and simple, this girl is your basic cardboard cutout tsundere who feels as though she “needs to get stronger.” Literally, that’s it. There’s nothing more to her character aside from saying her catchphrase “Burn in Cinders!” over and over again till is gets old like a broken record. (You can get sick and tired of it from episode 1, I guarantee you.)
And then we have the rest of the female harem involving Rinslet and Ellis, both tsunderes (seriously, three tsunderes in one series?), Fianna, the walking pair of breasts getting horny just by being a few feet away from Kamito, and Est, the kuudere sword spirit who sleeps in the same bed naked and follows Kamito’s EVERY command despite looking like an 11 year old.
Most of the side-cast is primarily background fodder, but there are however a couple special cases in this cast that I feel deserve a paragraph to themselves.
The first is the Calamity Queen. This character just feels so useless to me as a character just in general. For one thing, she never shows up in the series. Not in person, only in flashbacks. She’s a part of Claire’s character development (as small as that is), and is only ever really mentioned without ever being shown. To me, this seems like a big waste considering how much they talked about her in the series, and never even did anything to make her seem any more important since the character apparently had some motivations to cause the destruction she does, but is an aspect that’s never explored.
And finally, what I feel was the biggest waste in the series was the character known as Restia. This girl was by far the most mysterious and was legitimately the most interesting character in this entire series. It’s shown in this series that she has a connection to Kamito and I felt as though that was the most defining moment this series had as it delved a bit more into the story and it really made something in this series, regardless of how small it was, shine. It was really a shame since her motives were nicely shrouded and gave a bit of intrigue that this series was seriously lacking. In the end though, what we got was a character that basically appears out of nowhere, titters, then leaves mysteriously. There was a lot of underused qualities that Restia had, and it’s a shame she wasn’t explored or used more than she was.
+/- Meh MC
– 3 tsunderes
– Completely forgettable supporting cast
– Very underused character
Art and Sound:
There’s no real standout moments for the actual animation as it’s pretty standard/consistent all the way through, but the color scheme and the overall look of the show is rather nice due to the bright colors and the VERY moe style that they’re going for with given the size of these girls’ eyes. (However, if you don’t greatly dislike moe style characters, I suggest you stay away from this.)
While the art in general is nicely detailed and very nice-looking, there is one very big flaw that this series has, and that is its ecchi. This show is very big on ecchi and basically strips its girls naked just to tell you that “it’s this kind of show.” (Hell, the opening scene for Claire is a scene of her bathing in a lake with Kamito “peeping” in.) The ecchi for this show is extreme and they really don’t hold back on flaunting their girls. They even go to the extent of doing a close up shot of any single girl’s chest or lower torso region during any transition between the first half and the second half of the show which means regardless of what episode you find yourself in, you’re not escaping it. So if you really don’t like ecchi, this show is not for you.
The music for this series is meh. There’s nothing really noteworthy about it. I don’t like the opening, the ending is ok, but there’s nothing really much to say. It’s generic, it’s ok to listen to, but it’s not really a memorable track.
+ Decent looking art
+/- “Ok” music
– Ecchi get in the way of a lot of things
I expected this show to be bad. Reading the synopsis before the show even aired, I knew that this series would be disappointing in the long run. However, there was something that always pulled me to watch the next episode. An almost unexplainable force pulling me back to watch more and more of this awful show. Strange.
Did I like this series?
Nah. There were too many plot holes for my liking, there was absolutely no background explanation to give some semblance of what this magic world was, and to top it off, the characters were beyond bland and defaulted to primarily overused tropes. Not to mention the show’s ending is something I don’t even consider as an ending.
What didn’t I like about this series?
Apart from the rather decent looking art and fluid action, everything.
Would I recommend this series?
Honestly, no. There are so many flaws with this show that it doesn’t even make it a good fluff show. In my opinion, there is nothing about this series that makes it stand out in any way, and I wouldn’t recommend this to be put on anyone’s list. It’s poorly written, there are no good characters (except for the mysterious and vastly underused Restia), and the plot for this series was incredibly rushed and overall, just jarring to watch.