Combining features from Pokémon and Tenchi Muyo and adding a lot of semi-nude teenage girls; Blade Dance of the Elementalers is an acquired taste. Maidens from noble heritage can channel spirits to battle other females with their own spirits. There’s an academy that trains the girls how to be better fighters. Only females can summon these battling spirits, so when a male elementalist by the name of Kamito turns up at the academy and enrolls there, it’s a bit odd. What is even odder is the fact that every girl he comes in contact with become infatuated with him. Perhaps it’s because Kamito is the only person with a penis for miles around and it’s very slim pickings at the academy. Anyway, it all leads to a Blade Dance that all the girls and Kamito want to win.
The problem with this series is that the episodes tend to repeat themselves. The formula used isn’t particularly strong either. A teenage girl sees Kamito. Girl likes Kamito but doesn’t know how to process these feelings. A big demon spirit comes along and kicks the fuck out of the girls. Kamito saves the day. Kamito ends up in a compromising situation with one of the girls. The other girls walk in on said compromising situation. Kamito is accused of being a pervert. End episode. Repeat. It’s really not a gripping narrative. Kamito often breaks the fourth wall, which is all well and good but it lacks purpose. The general plot is hard to follow at the best of times so when Kamito is narrating to the audience it would have been beneficial for his dialogue to explain what the fuck is actually going on. Instead Kamito confuses the viewer even further by saying some obscure crap that doesn’t make much sense.
It would seem that the target audience of Blade Dance is seedy degenerates, as there is a gargantuan focus on breasts. Considering that most of the characters are teenage schoolgirls, it’s very much a niche market. Standard character descriptions include what their tits are like. For example Clair Rouge is ridiculed for having under developed boobs. She’s sixteen for fuck sake! Fianna Ordesia gets introduced midway through the season and is labelled as the new transfer girl with large breasts. It is just unnecessary and wrong on so many levels.
The editing team have no idea how to build the suspense and leave on a cliff hanger. Often it felt like a scene had been cut short because the allotted twenty or so minutes was up. The conclusions to episodes are so sudden that I thought the disc was scratched and skipped that particular chapter.
On a positive note, the title and end credits have strangely catchy tunes to listen to…and that’s it. Blade Dance of the Elementalers just doesn’t have enough going on to keep an audience interested. It becomes painfully repetitive. Fans of anime and manga will be better off not indulging in this lacklustre series.
Dir: Tetsuya Yanagisawa
Scr: Toshimitsu Takeuchi, Ryuunosuke Kingetsu
Cast: Makoto Furukawa, Ibuki Kido, Shizuka Ishigami, Kana Yūki, Saori Ōnishi, Ai Kakuma
Music: Shizuka Ishigami, Hitomi Harada
Runtime: 23 minutes an episode
Blade Dance of the Elementals is out on DVD and Blu-ray from 2 May, courtesy of Manga UK