Break Blade 4: Sanka no Chi
Released Year : October 30, 2010 to ????
No of Episodes : 1
Genre : Action,Fantasy,Mecha,Military,Shounen
Plot : Fourth Break Blade Movie.
Our Review : "Looks like there's no way around it, I'll have to become a cold blooded killer!"
By this point it should be clear to most people that Broken Blade is a movie series that, despite its bumpy start, and rough second movie, has undergone significant improvements to the point that not watching these movies is a crying shame. With the 4th movie Sanka no Chi its clear that Broken Blade needs far more recognition that its obviously getting and I only hope that happens soon.
To most people, it should be obvious that we won't be getting any explanation on magic or an "Un-sorcerer" in Broken Blade's foreseeable future, however by this point I think that it's safe to assume that if we really needed one then we would have already gotten it so with great trepidation I'm going to let that issue drop after all this time.
Now onto the really juicy stuff, Sanka no Chi's story is deep, its a significant step up from the last three movies and really delivers on the horrors of war aspect that most mech anime try to show, but don't always do it successfully thanks to overpowered mechs and unrealistically amoral teenagers. Shocks and plot twists are dropped like bombs including a very interesting one about the new psycho pilot Girge that I could never have seen coming.
The ever growing relationship between Rygart and Sigyn also finally gets some long coming development after all this time, and I can safely say I was genuinely pleased by the way these two are headed and I only hope that this is developed more soon as these two characters are looking like a very good couple. My only real issue with the story is that, as a Zess fan, I was disappointed by the very little amount of time he featured in this movie, however that's just the Zess fanboy in me speaking.
The absolutely outstanding art from Kyoujin no Ato just got better, and no you are not reading that wrong, Production I.G have outdone themselves twice now. Sanka no Chi shows what Production I.G are truly capable of here, with mech battles that actually feel like a full on war skirmish is occurring, its truly a testament to their skill as animators. We also get some nicer animation in the form of the feminine flesh as Cleo and Sigyn get some light fanservice, its not much but it is a slower moment in a film with pacing this relentless.
I'll be quick to point out that Zess's absence was disappointing mainly because I wasn't able to hear Hiroshi Kamiya, but that's a minor issue when you look at the talent on offer here. Souichirou Hoshi impresses yet again as Rygart who by this point has become so accustomed to the role I'm probably going to start referring to him as Rygart rather than his actual name. As for the rest of the cast, the two other stars here are both Kazuya Nakai and Kousuke Toriumi (Gilbert Nightray fangirls can let out a massive cry of joy here) who manage to steal some of Souichirou Hoshi's thunder this time round as Borcuse and Girge. The music is again nothing special save the opening and ending theme.
Character wise Broken Blade has gotten progressively stronger with each sequel, and in Sanka no Chi has a cast not even recognisable if you were to compare them to the first movie, that is a clear sign of carefully thought out development, and its all the better for it. Sanka no Chi has the strongest cast of the Broken Blade series so far.
With this being the strongest entry in the series by far, it leaves me wondering, what's going to happen next? And I don't mean in a sequel kind of way, I mean does this mean the series has peaked? Broken Blade 4 has raised the standards of what I expect out of the films and I now wonder how Production I.G and the Klock Worx can possibly top what they've done here. But that's if I adopt a negative approach, looking at it in a more positive light, Broken Blade 5 can only hopefully get better, if that's even possible.
Well, looks like I'll have to find out.