Seiken no Blacksmith, an anime based on Isao Miura’s “unconventional” fantasy light novels, is being produced by studio Manglobe. If you didn’t know this for a fact you’d be hard pressed to guess that they made this. How could they resort to this after the likes of Samurai Champloo, Ergo Proxy and Michiko e Hatchin? The latter being the best show of last fall. I think the answer is clear. Stunning, original shows do not equal stunning profits. So they needed to change their operations up, at least temorarily, in order to recoup finacially. How do they do this? By thowing otaku’s taste back in their face and making a profit while doing so. They go overboard trying to please the ones who neglected to buy their previous title (and probably laughing all the way to the bank). Let’s take a look at their checklist:
Based on a light novel: CHECK!
Helpless moe heroin: CHECK!
Loli girl: CHECK!
Conventional charachter designs: CHECK!
Super generic fantasy plot: CHECK!
Hints of fanservice: CHECK!
The list goes on and on, but you get the idea. They are doing their best to mock otaku taste while profiting from those who shunned them. You will see that every line is disgustingly cliché and/or moe. This should not be a shock as the man behind the scrip, Masashi Suzuki, also penned for Jikoku Shoujo, Minami-ke, Tatctics and Law of Ueki. Still, the animation is a pleasure and the soundtrack is solid. There is just no reason you should watch Manglobe’s latest work. It does serve as a good example of commerce controlling art and in effect causing inconsistancy in a studio’s production.