Follow TV Tropes


Manga / Broken Blade

Go To

Broken Blade is a fantasy manga by Yoshinaga Yunosuke, with mecha genre as a secondary theme. It was serialized from 2006 to 2022, changing magazines more than once over the course of its run (starting out in Shonen Blood, then moving to Flex Comix Blood in 2007 and later to Comic Meteor in 2012), and compiled into 20 volumes. The first three volumes were translated into English by DC Comics' manga imprint CMX, but the license was dropped after CMX shut down.

The story is set on the continent of Cruzon where everyone is born with magic. More precisely, with the ability to control Quartz; from levitating Quartz crystals (which can be done easily by 2-year-olds) to conjuring it into whatever is wanted, from tea cups to Golem armors. Rygart Arrow, however, is one rare exception: He can't use magic, which is an extremely rare trait to come by. As a result, not only is he shunned by many, anything that runs on Quartz, namely anything more complicated than hand tools, is totally out of the question for him. Despite performing well at the Military Academy in his youth, lack of funds and pride led to him resigning to live as a farmer with his similarly Un-Sorcerer brother.

One day, he is summoned to Binonten, capital of the Kingdom of Krisna, where he is reunited with the Queen Sigyn and King Hodr, his old friends from the Military Academy days. Hodr fills him in about the current crisis of the country: The Nation of Athens intends to conquer Krisna and the only diplomatic solution is untenable. And then he takes Rygart into a mine where an ancient Golem was discovered, encased in Quartz. The Golem has been under research and was tested by a lot of mages without any results, so Hodr requests that Rygart, an Un-Sorcerer, try it out instead. Just then, a small, yet highly skilled, squad of Athen Golems, breaks through the front lines to attack the capital. To make matters worse, they're led by Zess, the other best friend of Rygart, Sigyn and Hodr. In the ensuing chaos, Rygart accidentally falls into the cockpit of the ancient Golem.

It also has been made into a six-part anime movie series that was later recompiled as 12-Episode Anime that aired as part of the spring 2014 anime season.

Tropes presented by Broken Blade:

  • Ace Custom: Niko's golem has giant arm mounted blades that have guns concealed in them.
    • All of General Borcuse's and his bodyguards golems have extra armor, guns embedded in areas like the collars and knees, and custom weapons such as lances, axes, and whip swords.
    • The Artemis is also considered one because it was specially customized for high-speed combat.
  • Action Girl: Narvi is the most prominent, but there are several on all sides of the war. All of Cleo's female relatives appear to be as well, but serve as instructors or are retired.
  • After the End: It's heavily implied that the land they live on is a far-future Japan.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Narvi and her brother. Hodr and his sister, Lindy.
  • Anyone Can Die: Kills off characters left and right, sometimes without even explicitly showing the deaths either.
  • A Mech by Any Other Name: Golems.
  • Ancient Astronauts: The ancients, who could very well be a future version of us given how Rygart's mech was built.
  • Anti-Hero: Girge, Type V. Rygart, Type IV probably.
  • Badass Boast: Zess at one point makes one of these.
    "If you stay within 10 meters of me, no one will pick a fight with you. Just don't get any closer than three meters."
    • And in his case, that's probably a true statement.
  • Badass Normal: Girge, who fights Borcuse's bodyguards to a standstill, disabling Niko's Golem and killing several others, in a bog standard light frame golem.
    • Actually the Artemis is not so bog standard given that it was designed to be a high-speed close combat golem. But still, Girge's skill in combat is INSANE, which fits his personality. He's practically made an art form in golem combat.
    • Also Rygart, considering he's an "Un-Sorcerer" who can't even do normal daily stuff that involves quartz before all this, manages to become one of the most important players in the war due to him being the only one who can pilot Delphine effectively.
  • Batman Gambit: Krisna pulls one off by luring Borcruse into the capital city to give Rygart a chance to defeat him while he is cut off from his army.
  • Berserk Button: Niko does not like people pointing out that she is actually twice her physical age.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Cleo is moe and seems harmless... until you get her angry.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Rygart. Narvi actually anticipates this when it becomes apparent that Rygart's hometown could be attacked by Borcuse and pulls a gun on Rygart, telling him to stay away from the Delphine and not to go off and try to save his brother on his own.
  • Big Damn Heroes: General Baldr and his squad when Zess's strike team breach the palace and are about to kill the king.
    • Rygart just as General Baldr's squad is about to be wiped out
  • BFS: The "Giantsword".
  • Blessed with Suck: Rygart is a farmer who's incapable of using any sort of machinery due to him being an Un-Sorcerer. It's also because of that why everybody in the village shuns him and his brother. And yet it is precisely this reason why Delphine acknowledges only him.
  • Blood Knight: Girge. Rygart, later.
  • Byronic Hero: Girge. It's hard to say whether or not he's this, or the Broken Ace, given that he often acts amicable and has enough charisma to broker a sort of friendship with Rygart; though he's a pariah loathed and distrusted by even his own father for the crime he committed in the past.
  • The Call Put Me on Hold
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Sigyn towards Rygart. Made even worse by the fact that she went and married Hodr. Made even worse by the fact their marriage is a sham at best, as evidenced by the fact that neither wears their rings. The worst part about it is that the scene where it's made plain is done in first person, and her confession before he leaves goes unheard not because she couldn't say it, but just because she was speaking so quietly.
  • Caped Mecha: General Borcuse has them on his and his personal guards' golems (which conceals that they are heavily armed, armored and modified golems).
    • Also, Delphine (for also the same reason) when Rygart officially first set out to combat to support General Baldr.
  • Character Development: Rygart gets some after an ally gets killed because he tried to take an enemy alive. Then the captured enemy soldier commits suicide. Then he visits the grave of his fallen comrade. Pretty much standard horror of war to a new recruit, but he does end up more mature about fighting because of it.
  • Child Soldier: Cleo, Niko, and probably Lee.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Two giant shurikens, one battalion of paper thin armor mechs.
  • Defensive Feint Trap: By Krisna to Athens. A fake defector opens the capital's city gates and allows the Athens army to invade inside while Rygart hides for 3 weeks inside a fake wall waiting for Borcusse to get impatient and personally join the attack inside the city so he can ambush him.
  • Deliberately Cute Child: Niko.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The 3rd anime episode has Cloe straddling Sigyn. In bed.
  • Elite Mooks: The Spartans, whose main purpose in the story seems to be to get slaughtered by Girge in order to underline how awesome the latter is.
  • Epic Flail: Part of the veritable arsenal of weapons Sigyn has added to the Delphine.
  • Erotic Dream: In Chapter 58, Sigyn has one of her and Rygart.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Queen Sigyn gets Narvi to say she's hot at the party with her blushing a bit when they talked.
  • Eyepatch of Power: General Borcuse.
  • Fake Defector: Minister Zans "betrays" Krisna by not only defecting to General Borcuse, but also opening Pinonten's city gates during the seige of the city as part of a plan to give Rygart a clean shot at killing Borcuse. It works, but Zans pays for it with his life.
  • Falling into the Cockpit: Played completely straight with Rygart.
  • Fanservice: Only two of them should be there, canonically. Then again, two of them are there, canonically.
    • Mostly averted in series in that the girls wear the same uniform as the men. Although...
  • Five-Man Band: the Mileni team.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Girge has little Stoic Spectacles and is a touch Ax-Crazy.
  • General Failure: the appropriately named General Treue.
  • Green Rocks: As widespread and useful as it is, the case is inverted with Quartz; rather than because it has innate powers, it's actually the person's magic power which allows its manipulation.
  • Groin Attack: Narvi threatens this on Rygart is he's ever insubordinate again. He is, but she gives him a pass. She also threatens this to various male party goers after she shows up in a dress. She demonstrates with a sausage.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Girge pulls one when he and Rygart are captured by announcing himself to be the pilot of the Delphine. He is promptly executed by Borcuse. Suffice to say Rygart does not take it well.
  • Hope Spot: Right before Cleo gets captured.
  • Hour of Power: Delphine can fight for an hour, then shuts down for a day.
  • Humongous Mecha
  • It's All My Fault: Rygart blames himself for the death of Dan and later on of Girge. He considerably steps up his game after that.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: At first Rygart and Sigyn's relationship appears to be based around this, with Rygart originally unwilling to confess his feelings for Sigyn due to wanting to spare her the ridicule of being married to an Un-Sorcerer, and instead hooks her up with one of his best friends, who is a king. Hodr seems to want Rygart to just run off with Sigyn, despite being married to her. As of Chapter 55, possible that this was an act on Hodr's part, and he genuinely still loves her, but her being married to him would subject her to the surrender clause Athens put up that would require the death of the entire royal line, thus his offer of divorce to protect her. With Kirshna no longer under threat, Hodr now wants to be with Sigyn once again, even though Rygart has finally admitted to his feelings for her.
    • The following chapters establish that while Hodr's lack of feelings is indeed a lie, him trying to set her up with Rygart is, in fact, sincere.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: When Delphine drops its heavy armor and doubles in speed.
  • I Am Spartacus: In Chapter 39, Girge does this in order to hide Rygart's identity as the pilot of the Delphine.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Sigyn gets this from Steiner, the guard Zess assigned to keep watch on her when she is captured. Although it comes across as sadistic pleasure, he shows some sexual interest when he strokes her leg.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Rygart is about to stand down and go with Baldr's plan to capture Borcuse, and then Borcuse taunts Rygart into killing him, laughing as he dies.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: Played completely straight, but in a surprisingly plausible way. She's twelve, how would she know it wasn't loaded?
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Rygart, as General Baldr points out that. And, as with him offering to flash his commanding officer Narvi if she asks, he does it instead of dealing with those girly feeling things, often denying his actual feelings to make a crude joke or offhand dismissal.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: A katana will gleefully cut through any golem part known to man, whereas regular golem swords are blunted and act more like clubs used to bash apart enemy golems because a sharp edge also renders the blade more fragile. It's used to show off how awesome Girge is, as it takes very precise control of a golem to use it, as the pilot has to cut smoothly as opposed to bash.
  • Lost Technology: The Delphine.
  • Love Triangle: At first it looks like one is being set up between Rygart, Sigyn, and Hodr, with Sigyn and Hodr being married. This is subverted when Hodr tells Rygart that he is no longer interested in his wife, and would rather divorce her so she could leave with Rygart and be happy. Recently this has begun to be played straight, as it is revealed this dispassionate stance on his marriage was likely a lie: if she remained married to Hodr, when Krishna fell she would be put to death with him. Meanwhile Rygart has finally admitted to himself his feelings about Sigyn, who herself is still in love with Rygart. It ultimately remains subverted, though; Hodr may be in love with Sigyn, but is conceding to Rygart—or would, if Rygart would just openly reciprocate.
  • Made of Plasticine: Happens to another enemy mech of all things, when Rygart ups the speed on his while wearing heavy armor. They collide. Rygart's mech gets a few cosmetic scratches. Each of the other pilot's arms decide to go a different direction and the torso is pretty much gone. Oh, and the other mech's pilot was in the torso, and he had a pretty good idea what was about to happen.
  • Magitek: Quartz is used in anything, from lamps and vehicles to Mecha, so this apparently qualifies. The sole exception is the Delphine. In combination, this is why Rygart can't use any technology other than Delphine, and why Delphine can't be used by anyone other than Rygart.
  • Military Academy: Assam Military School where Rygart, Zess, Sigyn and Hodr met and studied.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Cleo's grandmother is quite short. Doesn't really hamper her piloting skills.
  • More Expendable Than You: How Loki feels about the I Am Spartacus situation, given that Girge was a ridiculous Ace Pilot and Rygart is the only available pilot for the Delphine. Narvi sets him straight, pointing out that, in defending the city, Loki's sniping skills are much more important at present.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Sigyn. (Falling asleep while studying.)
  • Muggle Born of Mages: Rygart (and his brother) cannot use any form of Quartz, but that also means that the mech recognizes him as being one of the Ancients and powers up when he uses it.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Girge fakes a Freakout stating its the first time he's been on a proper battlefield so his team mates leave him behind giving him free reign to mount a surprise attack against Borcuse's retreating unit.
  • Oh, Crap!: This reaction tends to happen a lot whenever the Delphine shows up.
  • Older Than They Look: One of the soldiers in Borcuse's army says that Niko only looks twelve and that she's actually twenty-five; given that she threatened to castrate him for the remark this is clearly the case.
  • Operation: Jealousy: Sigyn. She married her target's friend. Of course, he didn't even know she'd gotten married until she tells him months (or years) after the fact.
    • In first chapter is revealed that he knew but decided to not attend.
  • Pet the Dog: General Treue is introduced as a relatively bloodthirsty counterpart to General Baldr. It turns out he donates to orphanages. Somewhat played with when a new opposing flag officer is introduced spending time with his family before it is revealed he is a General Ripper.
    • Treue is more a Hot Blooded than a bloodthirsty general.
    • General Baldr visits the graves of fallen soldiers. Not that he needed it, but it does enhance his humanity when juxtaposed with some of his later statements.
    • General Borcuse actually fits this trope better. Even considering all the sick shit that he did in the war, he does have a human side as he does care about his subordinates & particularly his daughter.
  • Poor Communication Kills: In a manner of speaking. There a lot of misunderstandings between the two armies, such as the history between the two countries. A specific example is when Lee kills herself, rather than let Rygart capture her, leading the Athen's unit to surmise that he killed her. It's justified because, with the two countries at war, there's no real opportunity to actually dispel any misconceptions.
  • Pretext for War: The official reason for the war is that Krisna was supporting Orlando's operations against Athenian interests under the table. The real reason for the war is that Krisna has lots of natural resources that Athens is running low on, so they want to steal them.
  • Psycho for Hire: Girge.
    "I might start killing people because I feel like it again. That fine with you guys?"
  • Put on a Bus: Narvi's teammates tell her that this has occurred to General Treue, feeling that if she knew that he was already dead she would suffer a breakdown.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: Subverted: even though it works, the Delphine's armour and external iron plating is corroded from age, providing virtually zero protection from the stakes fired by the golems guns and has to be replaced, worse still the golem in question is actually rather shoddily built, with the suggestion that it was made in a rush.
  • Screw Destiny: The Delphine only works for un-sorcerers, and is in fact emblazoned Go, And Defy Your Destiny.
  • Shed Armor, Gain Speed: Tyrfing goes into battle wearing enormous plates of bolt-on armor, which only it is strong enough to carry. If those become too damaged to help anymore, Rygart drops them and gets about 200% faster.
  • Shoot the Hostage: In Baldr and Girge's backstory.
  • Spell My Name With An S: Note: Bolded names are the official names: Lygatto/Rygart, Shigyun/Shigwen/Shigwin/Sigyn, Zesu/Zessu/Zess, Nico/Niko, Tool/True, Bard/Baldr, Hozul/Hodr, Krishna/Krisna, Binonten/Pinonten, Athen/Athens/Artemis(?) ...let's just say that an official statement is needed to clear this up. Heck, even the name of the series falls into this—while the katakana consistently says "Break Blade", the accompanying English isn't consistent throughout all sources. Some will say "Break Blade":, while others will say "Broken Blade" (this is what the US manga release went with).
  • Stepford Smiler: Rygart. The man is not well.
  • Super-Soldier: There are hints that Cleo is one, piloting the golem with astounding proficiency and physically overpowering Sigyn despite the fact she's only twelve; Niko appears to be one as well but in a variation only looks twelve and is actually twice that age.
  • Team Pet: Gram, the Owl.
  • Third-Person Person: Niko does this deliberately when trying to play up the cute angle in order to get sympathy.
  • Title Drop
    Borcuse: A golem with a broken sword for a horn that disrupted our tactics...I guess I can call it the Break Blade for the time being.
  • Tranquil Fury: Rygart's duel with Zess, when the later claims he intends to execute Sigyn the moment he gets back. Needless to say, he shouldn't have.
  • Too Cool to Live: Girge, an unstoppable juggernaut of pure awesomeness who single-handedly forces the Athens army to grind to halt. Guess who gets offed not long after.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Rygart. He was already a pretty good pilot with Delphine, but he has changed and is determined and hungry for revenge against Borcuse for killing Girge & for all the hell he put him through.
    • After chapter 50, Rygart definitely has crossed this line. Also marks the beginning of the next chapter of the story, aptly subtitled CHAOS HERO.
    • Firmly cemented in chapter 67. Rygart completely and utterly OWNS Zess, with a damaged Delphine while Zess is riding a new model of Golem
  • Trauma Conga Line: Rygart rejects his own beliefs about peace and non-violence, goes to war to save a country and people who shunned him his whole life for being the Un-Sorcerer, suffers through insane amounts of punishment, self-hate and loss, all so that his best friend can end up with the woman he loves. Yikes...
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Rygart isn't a very good pilot, but Delphine so outclasses the standard Golems that it doesn't matter. But when he's up against an enemy ace using a machine strong enough that it can damage the Delphine, he generally ends up in a lot of trouble.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: General Baldr is this for Girge. In the end, Girge sacrifices himself in Rygart's place because he knows he will never be worthy of being Baldr's son since he's a messed up Blood Knight and thinks Rygart would be a better son. This is why Rygart is so broken up over Girge's death.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Virtually all of the Athens characters who aren't dead by the sixth film's conclusion inexplicably disappear. What becomes of Io, Bades and Leto is never explained. Only Cleo is given closure, mentioned by Erekt and Zess after she escapes Binonten on a barge.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Rygart calls out on Hodr for being indecisive when Athens announced one of the demands for surrender involve Krisna's royal family, including Sigyn, to be executed.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: of Xenogears, but confine the conflict to in between two nations in a single continent without any of the saving the world plot aspect (at least during the latest chapter). In addition, the cast here are functionally Expies of the other.
  • Worf Effect: The Spartans, a elite groups of Athen Golems gets easily destroyed by Girge.
  • World Sundering: Some mysterious event happened in the past that caused majority of the volcanoes around the world to die.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Apart from the obvious symbolic meaning, the story's title might as well refer to the state Rygert leaves the Delphine and its equipment in after every battle.
  • Younger Than They Look: Cleo. note  The main characters are surprised when they find out.

Alternative Title(s): Break Blade