By Yunosuke Yoshinaga
Genres: Action, Mecha, Shounen, Military, (Romance)
Rygart Arrow is one in a million – he is an ‘unsorcerer’, one of the few people completely lacking the ability to use the quartz stones used as an energy source for everything in this world. This status has made him an outcast and an object of scorn, leaving him unable to work machinery, fire a gun, or even light a lamp without aid. His father had desperate hopes that sending him to a military academy might awaken some power in him after all, but no such miracle occurred.
Rygart has since become a farmer on the isolated outskirts of the Country of Krisna – but the friends he made while he was there, and the loyalty he has towards them, is about to change everything. Two of them now sit on the country’s throne, and when they summon him to the capital he discovers just how sheltered his life has been – Krisna is in danger, war is about to break out, and the conditions for surrender put forward by their enemies are impossible to meet. An elite unit of enemy troops is already launching attacks on the capital – an elite unit led by their old friend Zess.
When he stumbles into a powerful and ancient mecha that the quartz-wielding people of Krisna have been unable to use, he may just have found a way to fight … but when his friends are on opposite sides, where does that truly leave him? (Source: Ephidel/MAL)
First off, a warning must be issued to the readers. Throughout the entire manga, Break Blade is shrouded by a depressive atmosphere (I think I give this kind of warning far too much!). This is demonstrated in the fatalistic attitudes that characters tend to adopt and the tragic events that so often occur. But, as the first rule of any non-tragedy story, the main characters are always protected by protagnist’s halo.
Now, what’s so interesting about this manga? I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen many good mecha manga (except for FMA and anime don’t count). The reason being that they either lack a coherent and engaging plot or they never planned to have a plot to begin with (comedy-romance-ecchi types). I can give a few examples, like Infinite Stratos & Girls and Panzers.
Break Blade is a counter example to this contrite phenomenon. It offers numerous memorable and well-developed characters and plays with the complicated relationships that exist between them. People sometimes must make a choice between friends, family, or their country, and they pay for their choice. Of course, the fighting scenes are just as awesome as well. Being a military manga, characters in this manga are either fighting in a battle or preparing for it. So don’t worry, there is plenty of machinery action to satisfy mecha lovers.
All the while, Break Blade still manages to have romance and arguably fan-service! So there is really no reason to not read this manga, unless you really, really hate the mecha genre.