CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR MOVIE 1
Now that board has been set the game can start for real. Movie two is where we see the opening moves for both sides and their initial strategies. Everyone in the main cast wants as quick and bloodless resolution to this conflict but as this movie progresses it is apparent that the point of no return was passed long ago. The cast is forced to make hard decisions that sadly dig them deeper into the positions they never wanted in the first place.
After finally getting a taste of Broken Blade, I was eager to watch more. They did a lot of things right and I found myself engrossed in the setting. The second film really starts pushing the characters into difficult decisions as friends meet again, old feelings are awakened, and violence erupts on the borders.
After Rygart’s attempt to negotiate with Zess has failed he is forced to make a decision if he will betray his principles or abandon his closest friends. And even if he fights he must take arms against another friend and deal with his lack of a killer instinct on the battle field. At the same time Zess must deal with his subordinates while trying to end this conflict as quickly as possible before his war mongering homeland does too much damage to a country he loves.
There are definitely some surprises in this second film which made me reassess my original thoughts on the well-trodden path I thought they plot would take. The cast is growing, and with a large world setting the story could expand significantly. We are introduced to more of the military here, and see more of others we already knew of, which adds to the political tension and makes for some bigger battles this time around.
The second movie is all about escalation. The minor skirmishes from the first movie turn into full-fledged battles and we get the loss of some named characters. We get some back story on Zess, his relationship with Rygart, and why he is fighting his old friends. We also meet Zess’ older brother who clearly will play an important role later in the series. His two male subordinates are generally quiet but his two female compatriots might be better severed by talking a bit less. On the other side my impression of General True in the first movie was he would be the ally that was almost as bad as the enemy but it turned out he is a good guy but just a hot-headed moron. On the other hand General Baldr is clearly a wizened and capable solider but still a bit mysterious especially since he seems to be taking fashion advice from Corey Hart.
Rygart has a hard road ahead of him that merely starts in this film. As he desires nothing more than to abandon the ancient robot and return to his fields, he realizes that is no longer and option. It is the classic struggle of having to fight to protect that which is important to you despite the desire for peace. Rygart is well-rounded in this respect, you believe his conflict. Lee from Zess’s group has a large role to play in this movie, more so than her leader so far, and provides some of the more shocking moments. In general we see how diverse the troops on all sides are, each having their share of bloodthrist and overzealousness. I do have to say what we learn about Cloe made me roll my eyes to no end, but it explained her place there. I’m really looking forward to more of the politics as the conflict has gotten into full swing.
I have always found how my opinions differ from other fans to be a fascinating look into how people think. The for instance opinions on the Broken Blade movies. The Decoration Disorder Disconnection Podcast crew despised the first movie but loved the second movie. I thought they were pretty equal all things told. The first movie set things up while the second movie set up the broader story lines and the roles everyone is going to play. While I know certain events really made an impact on them I don’t see how they would make one movie great and the other terrible. Maybe the first movie was more liberal with its adaption of the manga. I can’t say. But the second movie moves the story along nicely and gets you ready for some major battle that are on their way. If you were on the fence before I think this movie will sell you on the rest of the series.
There is no doubt that this second movie takes the reins of the story and one can only expect things to get more tense from here on. Since things are under way you get a lot more fights which is of course a lot of fun. But you couldn’t have it without the setup created by the first film. I’m happy to see them creating background and setting which allows the familiarity of the series feel well done. The Broken Blade movies are a great looking series that I’m eager to continue and urge others to watch. This series doesn’t need to be on the overlooked list!