Anime: The Sacred Blacksmith
The Sacred Blacksmith
, an anime from Manglobe
based on a series of light novels by Isau Miura, began airing in October of 2009.
Cecily Cambell, a Knight Guard of the Independent Trade Cities of Housman, is new to her job of keeping the peace in the Heroic Fantasy
world she inhabits. She soon meets Luke Ainsworth, an exceptionally skilled blacksmith who is the only one that can make katanas, along with his overly-cute Elfish apprentice Lisa. Circumstances soon conspire to reveal Luke has a very unusual and magical way of forging swords; a talent desired by the nearby empire, and that's not all. Demons appear in the Trade Cities along with swords that harness the powers of nature. All three are rooted in the recent Valbanill War, which might not be quite over yet....
- Bare-Handed Blade Block: Luke barely manages to do one in episode 3 after Cecily tries to stab him with a dagger when Aria wonders if the two insulting each other meant they were a couple.
- Berserk Button:
- Do not tell Cecily you would like to purchase her friend Aria. Actually, just don't insult her friends in general.
- Do not even try to say anything about Lisa being a "replacement" to Luke. While he may acknowledge it, but he will, at worst, give you a black eye. What really broke the camel's back was Siegfried attacking, stripping naked and beating Cecily. This triggered a full-on Roaring Rampage of Revenge with a side of Tranquil Fury from Luke.
- Used by Jack Stmdr to break Cecily's sword. It's quickly cut by Luke's katana.
- The demon sword Claymore wielded by Doris exceeds the size of any normal sword by a fair amount.
- Big Eater: Everyone. And then they make either Cecily, Luke or Mayor Housman pay all the bills.
- Big Damn Heroes:
- Luke for Cecily often. The very first scene in the anime is a Flash Forward to him rescuing her for the third time. It's defied in the manga and light novels, where Cecily decides that she's not gonna just stand there and let Luke have all the fun.
- Siegfried attacking Cecily is a subversion. While he's tearing her clothes off, Cecily screams for Luke. It's exactly the time when the reader expects Luke to appear in a blaze of righteous fury to save her, just as he's done every other time before... but he never does. Siegfried strips Cecily naked and beats her to make her feel ashamed of her gender. He doesn't rape her but only because he is physically unable to.
- Chainmail Bikini: Cecily's armor leaves nothing to the imagination, resembling nothing so much as a polished metal sports bra. Downplayed somewhat in that her fellow male knights have plating with similar coverage.
- Clothing Damage: Even the aforementioned bikini isn't immune.
- Deal with the Devil: The Demon Contracts which uses the "death song" engraved on the victims' heart (normally sung by their spirits upon their deaths) prematurely, killing them and combining their souls with the ambient magical energy from Valbanill to morph them into giant monsters.
- Luke believes he created Lisa using one of these. Not quite. Apparently it's also possible for some people to use their death songs to create more benign forms of demon like Lisa (and presumably Aria).
- Defeat Means Friendship: Charlotte and her gang become Cecily's housemates after Luke defeats them but still not quite friends. That happens after Cecily defeats all three of them herself.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Ballock Knife is Truth in Television: The Ballock Knife (also known as the kidney knife) was an actual weapon used during Medieval Europe, deriving its name from its "unique" shape. Specifically, the bollock dagger was a style of dagger especially popular in the British Isles, with a guard shaped like, basically, two balls (in the geometrical, as well as the colloquial, sense); it was also commonly worn in front, in a deliberately suggestive position. "Kidney dagger" is a later Victorian euphemism.
- Dojikko: Lisa, who is shown in the ending credits tripping to the rhythm of the music.
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Averted.
Luke: You're sorry?
You have a wardrobe malfunction
and beat the crap out of me, and you expect sorry
is gonna cut it?
- Elemental Powers: Ice, Wind, Fire, Earth, Darkness, etc...
- The Empire: Where Charlotte hails from.
- Enforced Cold War: According to Siegfried, this is the reason why peace exists in the first place. The war was beyond horrific to the point of severely traumatizing entire nations which is why: A) they would do anything to avoid a war and B) Demon weapons are so lusted by everyone and their mothers. He might be lying, but still it makes a lot of sense in the setting.
- Entitled Bastard: Charlotte and her Girl Posse. In their debut episode they attack Cecily, try to steal Aria and strongarm Luke into working for them, then whine about people being rude to them. Then they expet Cecily, someone they just tried to kill, to put them up while they stay in the city, expecting to live it up and be treated like Royalty.
- Equippable Ally: Some Demon Swords are capable of assuming human form.
- Even the Girls Want Her:
- Lisa refused to stop talking about Cecily's breasts for the first two episodes.
- Aria as well, who repeatedly sneaks into Cecily's bed to use them as pillows, declaring pointedly she wants to claim Cecily for herself.
- Everyone Can See It: Everyone in the show is shipping Cecily/Luke except the two involved.
- Eunuchs Are Evil: Siegfried.
- Exotic Weapon Supremacy: No one in Housman except Luke can forge and use katanas. For that matter, not many people in the city have ever seen a katana.
- Eye Scream: During a particularly brutal duel in the Manga, Luke takes a blow to the head that causes his fake eye to pop out onto the floor, much to the horror of the nobles watching the fight.
- Fallen Princess: Charlotte who is kicked out and even UnPersoned by her homeland.
- Fan Disservice: In episode seven, during the bath scene, there's an old woman sitting outside the tub. While the groping is going on in the background, the camera pans out... and out..
- This is the only reason Fio forces Cecily into a maid outfit in episode 07.
- In episode two, Cecily's breastplate cracks and falls off. It takes her shirt with it. There are a few other examples of panty shots and nudity.
- The Federation: The Independent Trade Cities, including Housman.
- Forging Swords Is A Free Action: This is an Averted Trope. Luke usually has Cecily keeping his opponents busy or they're so stuck up they think it's fun to watch him struggle.
- Giving Up the Ghost: Happens to Charlotte and her friends. First to Charlotte when the shock that a princess has to perform the tasks of a common servant and look the part, and then by her friends when Fio effortlessly knocks them out.
- Glass Eye: Luke's left eye is fake. His real eye was used to create Lisa.
- God Is Evil: Valbanill is the only god mentioned, and is the source of the demons. In response, the humans are gathering Demon Swords, whose purpose is to "slay God".
- Go Through Me: In the first episode, Cecily takes several blows for Luke after the ice demon breaks his katana. She continues guarding him while he forges a new one. She does this in the last episode, too... then uses the katana he forges for her to break a demon sword!
- Gratuitous English: The Cambell motto "Guard, Save, Belive". It's probably meant to be that way, though. However, in a brief flashback in episode 8 the tombstone displays the motto as "Guard, Save, Believe. Off Model, text edition?
- H-Game: In Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai.
- Heroic Fantasy: RPG tropes to the max.
- Heroic BSOD: Cecily has a minor breakdown when she's told she needs to mercy kill a zombie. Her coworkers are less than impressed. It gets worse when later in the novels, Cecily suffers a major breakdown coming close to being raped by the Big Bad.
- He Is Not My Boyfriend: Cecily is asked this a couple of times regarding Luke by a few characters. She usually vehemently denies it.
- Hot-Blooded: Cecily. The best swordfigther in the city who puts her best into everything and walks with honor, guts and determination. Too bad this has left her with poor self control and a lack of foresight, which impair her abilities in politics, diplomacy, commerce and... normal human interaction.
- I Am Not a Gun: While Aria realizes that she can't fight her fate, she really, really relishes her times of peace. She's also grateful that in Cecily's hands she's used to protect people instead of slaughtering them.
- I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Luke torments himself (creating a mental block that prevents him from finishing the Sacred Sword) believing his actions led to the death of his childhood friend Lisa (pronounced Leeza, not Leesa...). In fact, Lisa died protecting him against Valbanill, but by her own choice.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Eventually, this becomes Luke's reason for continuing to keep silent about his feelings for Cecily. He knows that his life is coming to a swift end, and he doesn't want his death to cause Cecily the same pain that Lisa Oakwood's caused him. He tells Euen that he's sure that someday Cecily will find happiness with another man. However, when Euen asks Luke if he'd really be okay with watching Cecily fall in love with someone else because Luke never told her how he felt, Luke grits his teeth and doesn't answer.
- Instant Runes: Lisa's eye generates them for Luke's magic forging.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Reginald, who bawls Cecily out for being unable to kill a zombie in episode 03. He calls her a coward and says that she doesn't deserve to be a Knight Guard. Harsh as his words are, he does have a point, when Cecily's reluctance to killing puts herself and others in danger.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
- Charlotte is making the transition to Spoiled Sweet but is not quite there yet.
- Luke, to a much lesser degree of jerkiness. He's a great friend to Lisa but less so to others.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Played with.
- Kick the Dog: Siegfried's non-sexual assault on Cecily proves, onece and for all, that he is an asshole.
- Magic A Is Magic A: To instantly turn tamahagane ores into katana, Luke has Lisa conjure some Instant Runes (by apparently tracing them with one eye), then recites the steps of forging a katana.
- Man on Fire: Reduced to ashes in no time, in great numbers.
- Made of Iron: Cecily can absorb an insane amount of damage and be fine by the next day/week, when a normal warrior would be crippled for life if he was lucky. She also can bleed around 40 gallons in one go.
- Meido: Inverted by Fio whose closer to the Almighty Janitor than the classical version of this trope. Then she makes Charlotte, her bodyguards, and Cecile dresses up as maids and do chores. They play it straighter.
- Nosebleed: This happens to Luke when Cecily's armor cracks and falls off, exposing her naked breasts.
- Old Soldier: The veterans of Valbanill War. Some can adjust to peace, others not so much.
- Please, I Will Do Anything!: At one point, Cecily begs Luke to help her save Aria, and promises him anything he wants. "If it's money, I will work for you until the day I die. If it's my body, you can do whatever you want with me." Luke doesn't ask for anything.
- Plucky Girl: Cecily. Though her anime incarnation lacks the manga version's skills, she certainly doesn't lack guts. She knew Jack Stmdr was an seasoned veteran but still challenged him to fulfill her duty as a knight. She didn't stop fighting until her sword broke.
- Power Degeneration: Because their work involves shaping glowing, white-hot pieces of iron, most blacksmith develop damage to one (or both) of their eyes. Luke starts to lose the vision in his one remaining eye. This turns out to be a lie Luke tells to comfront Lisa but the trope is still being played straight. Luke is using his own flesh for "Demon Sword Materialization".
- The Power of Love: Played with: Luke is convinced that lacks sufficient hatred to complete the Sacred Sword but it's the Power of Love that finally allows him to finish it ...kinda. He had already completed it but it took even more love to convince him he had succeeded.
- Pretty Freeloader: Defied. Charlotte and her bodyguards think they're going to be pretty freeloaders at the Cambell house until Cecily's maid Fio puts them to work. It's likely that Fio is also punishing them because they ganged up on Cecily and tried to steal Aria from her.
- Rape as Drama: While Sigfried doesn't actually rape Cecily, the scene where he beats the crap out of her, strips her naked, and tells her that she's pretty for a country girl while straddling her naked body, as well as Cecily's reaction to it, crying out for help that never comes, and vomiting afterwards, all evoke this trope. This is especially the case when one remembers that rape isn't just about sex, but about power and control, which Sigfried clearly robbed from Cecily.
- Razor Wind: Aria's magic sword power.
- Red Shirt: In the anime at least, Cecily's fellow knight guards (all of whom are male) are about as competent as she is. Note that they all use the same kind of Western European sword; it seems this world runs on the principle of Katanas Are Just Better.
- Replacement Goldfish: Subverted. Luke thinks he created Lisa in this way, but it turns out that the original Lisa was the one who did it, in order to give Luke someone to help him around the house.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Siegfried to Cecily, along with a brutal beatdown. He broke every bit of her entire psyche until he left her broken in a barn... because he didn't care enough to finish her.
- Rock Steady: The power of Doris' demonic sword.
- Royal "We": Queen Zenobia speaks in this fashion.
- Share the Male Pain: In the manga, Cecily and her squad find a group of bandits... responding to nature's call. Cecily immediately shrieks "I'll cut them off!" and her men all cover their crotches.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Cecily is initially mortified to be seen in a dress and then totally flummoxed when Luke compliments her on it.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Jack Stmdr was in the last war and it broke him. Now he's a shell of his former self.
- Shout-Out: A rather ingenious nod, at least in the dub.
- Single-Stroke Battle: Cecily versus Siegfried comes close, although it's actually four strokes total.
- Skinship Grope: The Meido episode includes a Furo Scene where Charlotte and her Amazon Brigade take the chance to play with Cecily's Gag Boobs.
- Straw Nihilist: Siegfried is one of these. He gets violent when Cecily tells him to shut up.
- Took a Level in Badass: Anime!Cecily takes her first level in the fight against the fire demon and keeps improving from there. Her second fight with Charlotte's handmaiden/bodyguards in the anime is a complete reversal of her first, with her first splitting them up and then soundly beating each one with tactics specifically designed to counter their abilities. Hell, even the first fight (three against one and she held her own) showed she had improved. In the manga she manages to take down all of Charlotte's handmaiden/bodyguards one after another without splitting them, sniping Margot behind from a wall and fighitng off the other two.
- Luke is a type A (default:tsun-tsun) because he is generally aloof or jerkish.
- Cecily is Tybe B (default: dere-dere) because she is generally friendly or at least well meaning.
- Unprovoked Pervert Payback for Luke, but satirized/ given a Take That.
- Ultimate Blacksmith: Luke is the 'Sacred blacksmith' from the title.
- The Unfair Sex: Cecily is often unfair to Luke though more from being too Hot-Blooded and impulsive for her own good than any malice. She will verbally attack Luke without provocation (or information) because she can't handle her own feelings. When she snarks about his sorest point (the death of his first love) before fleeing in tears Lisa insists that he be the one to apologize.
- War Is Hell: The last war terrified entire nations and created people like Jack Stmdr.
- When A Jerk Loves A Tsundere: Only question is, which one is which?
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The final credits show the citizens rebuilding the city, Aria paying her respects at Elsa's Grave, and Charlotte and her Girl Posse returning to Housman.
- Women Are Wiser: Invoked as Hypocritical Humor. Luke even asks Cecily why (despite all evidence) she feels qualified to give him advice about his relationship with Lisa. Her answer? "I'm-a-GIRL?!."
- Wrecked Weapon: Happens twice in the first episode. Then said weapon crumbled to pieces by Episode 2.
Have we mentioned that Katanas Are Just Better