Break Blade

One of my favourite manga series. I haven’t gotten around to the anime yet.

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Break Blade. Or Broken Blade. There were some inconsistencies in translitrating the names of the characters, who have Western names mostly taken from European mythologies, approximated by Japanese syllabary in the original manga and transliterated back into English by scanlators. Thus the protagonist starts out as Lygatto, then Rygatto and his name is finally spelt Rygart. King Hozul is eventually spelled Hodr, and genius girl Segwin is corrected to Sigyn.

The corrected tansliterations can occur a bit late. One of the later chapters puzzled me by referring to a mech called Delphine, which had never been mentioned, until I realized it was Lygatto/Rygart’s machine referred to in all previous chapters as Dirfinge.

But nevertheless a good rollicking manga with realistic mech-fights, mostly close quarters combat with edged or blunt weapons, with occasional sniping. It gets even more gritty because despite the advanced psionic quartz-based mech technology, flight has not been discovered, or has been lost. There is not even a single aircraft; the mechs can leap but not fly. There is no prospect of a pilot outflying a foe and every battlefield encounter can be a fight to the death. Ground tactics and individual skill play a large part in battles.

Sometimes the accessories and spikes and spurs and crests on the mechs make it hard to tell what it’s doing though, especially when tangled up with another mech or executing a martial arts kick or armlock or throw. Sometimes I couldn’t tell the mechs apart in close quarters. This is actually my main complaint. I couldn’t tell who was winning at times, and would be surprised when a pilot dies when I thought he/she had just delivered the coup de grace.

But a great manga series for all that.

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