Do we really need another generic fantasy harem show?
The short answer is probably not, right? But, I feel that every show needs time to breathe, settle in, and make it’s mark. So does Blade Dance satisfy this?
Some QUALITY animation this scene
I was rather prepared for this. The opening chapters of the manga are only so many cut out cookies, and we’ve seen these before several times over. I can hardly blame TNK for this; in so much as they wanted to follow the source material. I know why they picked the show, as the Blade Dance festival and all the politics surrounding it are what drive the story. Characters can and will evolve and show true colors. But as stated, this was so by the book it was almost missable. If you were to spitball all the comparisons you could think of for this show, all of them would stick, and with good reason. At this point, we have little to go on with our MC, Kamito Kazehaya, only that he is in a place he shouldn’t be, having a power he shouldn’t have, and that they mentioned a great demon lord at least three times….
“…and whomsoever pulls this sword from this stone shall forever be the Queen of the Tsundere…”
In a nutshell, much like IS, this world runs on exclusion to be unique. I don’t really think it worked that well in other shows, and it doesn’t quite do the job here either. But, the females of this world can make contracts with spirit powers, that in return for whatever it is they get out of the deal, give their masters power. The training for this power is kept behind cloisters, as the ladies in question must remain pure. Add in a somewhat clueless MC and the story kinda writes itself. So far all four female leads we get this time out are not deviating from norm. Hot headed top guard, sociable noble with clumsy maid attachment, tsundere hot-headed first girl, and the mysterious other one. So for a premiere episode, it takes a huge risk being this generic. I think the word the kids use this day is “dropped”. Proceeding without that attitude, I can tell you that they start to get way better later on. So tropes are a good place to start once you put your own stamp on them. As for favorites Clair is just my type, as even the most tsun of tsundere’s can be rather entertaining if they play them right. And even in the first episode chock full of tropishness, they give her a little more to her dimensions.
All in all, not a bad place to kip
Now, with all these things in mind, this episode does have a few points that are somewhat positive. In the first fanservicy scene, Kamito does rather get what he deserves. That was a foolish thing to say to a young lady, and that is rarely seen in the “whoops I said something that could be taken two ways…bad or worse” department of silly things harem MCs say. It was dumb, and no excuses for it. And at least his accidental grope was coming off a heroic moment, saving a girl from her own brand of hotheadedness. So he’s out of the IS derpartment. As for other harem elements, he isn’t the horndog that Issei from HS DxD is proud to be, nor is he haplessly dating the girls to seal powers that whatshisface was in that one show.
Now, I am going thru the motions in asking if we need a show like this. It’s entertainment, you hardly need much of it at all really. But with that way far aside, what we got was as generic as they come, but with some promises. As stated the source material does rather heat up and tell it’s own story sooner rather than later. But that is a risk as well, as the best comes many LN volumes later, with the manga not even caught up yet. Since I’ve only read the later, that’s as far as I can go. It has promise, and I think it will make the “three episode rule” worth being a guideline. What did you folks think?