Imagine, if you will, a world where everything is powered by Quartz. In this world, all humans have the ability to manipulate Quartz with their mind. Everything from toys, to vehicles, to the giant Mecha used for warfare are powered by and made from Quartz. Now, imagine being someone that cannot control Quartz.
The story of Broken Blade follows one such individual, Rygart Arrow. Rygart, despite his inability, makes it into a military school and makes some very powerful friends there. Two of them are Hodr and Sigyn, the future King and Queen of the kingdom he lives in. The third is Zess, the younger brother of the Secretary of War from another kingdom. Due to Rygart’s family being poor, he has to leave this school and his friends. When next he meets them, things have changed. There is now a war and his friends are on opposite sides. Rygart is the only one that could stop a fight between Hodr and Zess, but can he stop a war?
The OVA is produced by Production I.G. (Ghost in The Shell, FLCL) and XEBEC (Nadesico, Love Hina) which gave me high hopes for the production value. Sadly, things seem a bit stiff in terms of the animation. The only thing that really stood out was how well the mecha moved, but they are done through non-traditional means. The art and animation are good, but not up to par with things done by either studio separately. Were this to be a full out 13 episode series, I might give the quality a little more slack. Instead it’s more like a series of movies, and I feel the quality should reflect that.
This series might strike some as a little odd, given the setting. On the one hand, you have kingdoms, castles and all the things that would fit into a fantasy type setting. On the other, the kingdoms use Mecha in their battles and have technology that is in many ways above our current tech. This mix isn’t really new, but it does help the feel of the anime stand out from others that would focus on one or the other. I’d say it’s definitely worth a look at the very least. The Broken Blade anime has not yet been licensed in the US, but the Manga has. It should only be a matter of time before we see this on shelves as well.