Imagine a world where only females are allowed to play Pokémon. That pretty much sums up what Blade Dance of the Elementalers is. Borrowing ideas from Game Freak’s hottest property (and countless harem shows to boot) this series takes place in a kingdom where the daughters of nobility spar against each other by summoning Pokémon… um I mean spirits. The XX chromosome monopoly on spirit summoning has however been shattered by former child assassin Kamito Kazehaya. He’s the only known living boy who can form pacts with phantoms and has therefore been invited to study at the prestigious Areishia Spirit Academy. One lone bloke stuck in a school filled with hormonal teen girls. Nothing could possibly go wrong, right?
If Blade Dance of the Elementalers’ premise sounds familiar I couldn’t blame you, as the plot resembles a fantasy take on Infinite Stratos. Both shows star male teenagers who enrol at a female institution, due to their abnormal gender defying abilities. In the case of I.S, Ichika Orimura can pilot mech suits that were previously thought to be female exclusive machines whilst Blade Dance’s Kamito can harness the power of spirits. We see this first hand in the opening episode were Kamito becomes the master of Terminus Est, a silver haired apparition that can assume the form of a dagger. In times of crisis Est can morph from a knife into a full-fledged sword… the increase in blade size is perhaps an allegory for what happens to her owner’s phallus in the presence of so many attractive girls.
The twelve non-OVA episodes contained in this set can roughly be broken up into three parts. As you would expect, the first few instalments focus mainly on introducing the cast that is made up of whip-wielding tsundere Claire Rouge, Rinslet Laurenfrost a prideful rich girl who is always accompanied by her busty maid Carol and the honourable prefect Ellis Fahrengart. Once the main characters have been established a new story arc begins were, at the behest of a sultry princess, Kamito is tasked with pursuing an evildoer who possesses the unique ability to command multiple spirits. Once that tale is wrapped up the series concludes with a fighting tournament, which pits our heroes against a corrupted knight.
My rating for Blade Dance of the Elementalers is a three out of five. Anime aficionados who enjoy harem shows that contain a mix of comedy and action should find the contents of this DVD entertaining. Viewers who only have time to watch the cream of the Japanese animation crop may however want to give this series a miss, as the show is severely lacking in originality. Gags, story beats and even character designs appear to have been lifted wholesale from more prominent anime properties. Light novel author Yū Shimizu, whose books this anime is based on, would benefit from an imagination injection – although in his defence he does at least ensure that the plot doesn’t get eclipsed by harem hijinks (something that the previously mentioned Infinite Stratos failed to do.)
From a visual standpoint the artwork drawn by the folks at TNK is decent, albeit unspectacular. In terms of fan service the eye candy on display is rather tame – especially when compared to the studio’s other offerings, which include the likes of Ikki Tousen and High School DxD. Not that I would expect anyone to watch Blade Dance of the Elementalers for the “stimulation” found in those other TNK productions. The more cartoony character designs used in Blade Dance give the cast a legally underage look, although that is to be expected given its similarities to Pokémon. Forget the Fountain of Youth – if you wish to avoid the ravages of age just stick to battling monsters. Ash Ketchum started his critter-collecting journey two decades ago and he still looks like a ten year old!
- anime review
- Areishia Spirit Academy
- Blade Dance of the Elementalers
- Blade Dance of the Elementalers review
- bladedance of the elementalers
- bladedance of the elementalers review
- Claire Rouge
- Ellis Fahrengart
- harem anime
- Kamito Kazehaya
- manga entertainment
- Rinslet Laurenfrost
- Yū Shimizu