What I thought it would be was a show similar to Queen’s Blade. Was it? Not exactly. Instead I got something somewhat similar yet not at the same time. This is Blade and Soul.
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Themes: Swordplay, Female Warriors
Objectionable Content: Significant.
Number of episodes: 13
Plot Summary: Alka is an assassin for the Clan of the Sword. She’s on a journey to find the woman Jin Varrel, who killed her master Hon. Jin is demon-like woman who controls the Energy of Chaos and kills without feeling – not unlike how Alka has learned to kill in her work as an assassin. On her journey, Alka encounters three strange women, each great warriors in their own right, and grapples with her slain master’s wish that she leave the life of an assassin behind. The show is based on an MMORPG series in Asia of the same name. It is supposedly coming to the West around Fall 2014 or so.
B and S’s storyline can be best described as a “Rise, fall and rebirth” of a great warrior. It’s the classic tale of a mission/revenge-focused warrior who only cares about their objective and the bare essentials rather than anyone else or the repercussions of their actions. They eventually learn what it means to live and the consequences of taking away a life. I’m not spoiling anything major as the story pretty much writes itself. The show does make some references to the B and S universe during the next episode preview after the credits but it does not contribute much to the game’s universe.
The show’s main theme is also easy enough to comprehend: Revenge is bad. Aside from the three sexy warrior babes she meets (not befriends) on her journey, she also stumbles upon several, usually, miserable people who have some goal pertaining to getting revenge and it affecting both the upset person and Alka, more the former of course but most of the encounters did slightly affect her over time. Some morals and lessons are also shared aside from the main. Some examples include, “necessary evils”, “selfish justice”, “put the past behind, or else” and and my personal favorite, “beware of chapels in the middle of nowhere”. Good morals when visiting hostile environments.
Next is the amount of fanservice. I bet most scoffed this show off because they dreaded it would be another Queen’s Blade with excessive nudity and titillation. It isn’t really. Other than a few nude scenes, Hazuki’s lack of a proper upper attire and the “traditional” episode 13 (The main story ends at episode 12), the fanservice is surprisingly not as extreme as I thought it’d be.
The animation has a certain style to it that kinda reminds me of the Magna Carta series. I like that game’s style but the gameplay is too slow even for me. The OST is forgettable.
Little to no humor on this show as it is a serious one but the few thrown in, especially those involving Hazuki (Middle babe) are good for some chuckles. Loana (Purple hair) along with her Pleasure Gang are also mildly amusing. Speaking of the main cast and villains, they’re hit and miss. The trio seen up here are all cool and the villains do their job, especially Jin. As for everyone else, they are who they are and do what needs to be done. Some stay and others leave. Not much else to them besides that. Again the main theme remains the same for many of the side-characters, except Hazuki who’s mainly in it for the gold.
Alka’s a pretty cool protagonist even though she only speaks when necessary. She lets her actions speak for themselves. She does not need to monologue about how she’s feeling or thinking, viewers can clearly see what interests her and what does not. She’s neither good or bad. For the most part she’s neutral and primarily cares about her mission objective.
I also have a thing for Alka’s main facial expression for 80% of the show. It brings me an inexplicable sense of joy whenever I look at her cold, neutral expression. The expression does more than amuse me. It is also symbolic of the show’s unintentional flaw. It is a one trick pony, so to speak. The thing about this show is that while I enjoyed it the first time, I do not see much reason to go back and give it another viewing unless I want to see Jin Varrel again, as she is one of my favorite characters.
In most shows starring sexy ladies there’s bound to be some yuri goodness to be found and B and S is no different. Now whether it is rewarding or not I will not say to avoid spoilers but I can at least guarantee they occasionally have steamy yuri moments.
Overall Blade and Soul is a decent show that’s worth at least one watch for the curious but little else. Most of the fight scenes are good, the character design and animation style is neat, the main characters are neat but the side-characters are hit and miss and the morals are easy to understand. But again don’t expect anything life changing.