The Sacred Blacksmith

I haven’t read the light novels but judging from the initial 12 episode series, it’s an amazing story about the ties that bind.

It’s described as “unconventional fantasy”. It’s similar to Brandon Sanderson’s fantasy worlds in which there is a consistent and detailed magic and political system but the main focus is on the growth and challenges each character is up against. Even the most detailed world is of no value without special people in it. It is hard for humans to care about abstractions. It is very easy for humans to relate to other humans, however. An evolutionary imperative.

This series deserves further seasons, sequels. Fun Animation, the US distributor of licensed anime products, has picked up Seiken no Blacksmith. It was a new title in Japan too. This will tilt the scales a bit America’s way in terms of determining which shows are given licenses in Japan for anime production. Costs and profits are still a big consideration in such matters. And if the American market can provide an immediate boost to certain products, more of such will be made, like Baccano. It should specifically help in the decision to make sequels since sequels compete with other, newer, work for air time and production costs.

There is one interesting aspect. Japan has recently released several titles that are about European or American settings in the non-modern age. They are exceptionally detailed and full of individual character. These titles are mostly derived from light novels authors. Light novels would be a combination of short stories and a novel series in America. A novel series contains several books, a trilogy with 3, that deals with the same characters and world over a long arching plot. Japanese light novels do the same thing, except each integrated story is in the form of a short story. That means the beginning, middle, and end are designed to have more impact immediately. I find the result quite pleasing. You don’t have to invest a large amount of time only to be disappointed by the ending. You could read one light novel and enjoy the setting and ending, but not have to read the rest to “find out what happened”. There are no cliffhangers designed to “lead into” sequels, translation suck in viewer hype.

Authors in America that make their novels self contained stories are worth mentioning. Brandon Sanderson. Michael Z. Williamson. David Weber is normally known for his series, but his novel Excalibur is of the integrated sort. A novel is supposed to be a story like a short story, but it doesn’t seem to end up that way often. It’s mostly due to the adherence to the book publishing standards that they do it that way. Publishing companies preferably buy an entire series from an author if they deem a single book sells well. Thus the entire thinking is to produce and market multiple novels. The economic factor isn’t designed to make each story unique and exquisite in its own fashion.

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