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The Sacred Blacksmith Vol. #02 Manga Review

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Sacred Blacksmith Volume 2
Sacred Blacksmith Volume 2
The Demon Sword, Aria, is revealed; but can anyone tame her powerful attack!?

Creative Staff
Story: Isao Miura
Art: Kotaro Yamada
Translation: Adrienne Beck
Adaptation: Janet Houck

What They Say
A Knight’s Sword

The Market Festival has come to the city of Housman, where a fabulous blade known as the “Demon Sword” is put up for auction. Recently knighted Cecily Campbell’s newest mission is to guard the sword at all costs. There’s just one problem: the sword has the mysterious ability to transform into a beautiful woman known as Aria.

Still, it’s all fun and games at the festival, and Cecily and Aria become fast friends–until a huge fire demon appears! The demon will stop at nothing to steal Aria, even if it means reducing the entire city to ashes. Can Cecily and her companion Luke–the Sacred Blacksmith–save the citizens of Housman from a rampaging demon and its master plans?

Content: (please note that content portions of this review contains spoilers):
I’m always a big fan of series that have character profiles in the beginning of the book and a quick synopsis of what has happened so far. This book has an excellent multi-page section for this. Plus, there is a large section of extras at the end of the book that continues Lisa’s description of how a Japanese katana is forged. There is also a good description of the parts of the sword and an explanation of certain cultural saying’s and how they evolved from the katana. So big kudos to Seven Seas for keeping these in this book.

This volume begins with the description of how Aria, the demon sword of wind, came to be in Cecily’s temporary care. Aria turns out to be surprisingly cheery considering all the pain and sorrow she has seen, and caused in her 50 years of existence. I like this unexpected personality for a creature known as a demon sword.

Adding to the cheer is Lisa’s character. She is always upbeat and just plain happy to do whatever she can to help Luke. So much so, that Cecily wants to help Lisa have a day of fun away from the forge. She also thinks Lisa needs a chance to be more of a woman, and takes her clothes shopping; at Luke’s expense of course. The relationship between Luke and Lisa is interesting to say the least, and I look forward to learning more about how they met and what exactly Lisa is; because she certainly isn’t human.

Nice character development for all involved aside, this wouldn’t be much of a series if everything was happy-go-lucky partying. So when Aria makes her public debut, the cloaked shadowy figure from the shadows sends a soldier with a demon-pact to capture her. Carnage and destruction rears it’s ugly head in the middle of the town square which has been packed with civilians to see Aria’s unveiling. Can Cecily hope to defeat the demon and maintain Aria’s friendship? Will Luke have to step in and save Cecily’s butt again?

In Summary
Like I mentioned in my review for volume one, I really enjoyed the The Sacred Blacksmith anime, but I think I like the manga better in some ways and wish we could get the translated light novels here in the US. While this manga so far has been very similar to the anime, I’m unclear on which adaptation is closer to the original light novels. However, I think Luke is a more believable character in the manga. In the anime, he is always right there to help without a word of complaint and nothing to gain for himself. But in the manga, he is more believable in his complaining about stepping into a fight that isn’t his business and something in which he has nothing to gain. I really like this and little things like this make me like this manga a little better than the anime. The next thing up should be the introduction of the mysterious princess and her collection of demon swords, so I’m excited to see how this plays out in the manga.

Content Grade: B
Art Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: N/A
Text/Translation Grade: A

Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Seven Seas Entertainment
Release Date: August 6th, 2013
MSRP: $13.99