Winter Sonata 1, Sacred Blacksmith 4

Just as I thought: last week’s Winter Sonata 0 was all prelude. Episode 1 doesn’t take long to flashback to when Joonsang and Yujin first meet each other in high school. Joonsang was a moody kid, brilliant in math and science, but unable to get along with anyone. He and Yujin meet not-cute while sitting on a bus. She’s annoyed by him and makes it clear how she feels. This is delightful. Joonsang can mope and sulk all he wants but she is the only one who will call him on it, scolding him and throwing in head-tosses to show her disdain (Love the head tosses with the ponytail). And they share a teeny bit of backstory. It’s done in the same leisurely manner as the first episode, with the show of life passing and memories evoked by hearing music and opening a door. And once again it is drop-dead beautiful to look at, not only the art (though the character designs are a little plain), but the animation.

Ooh! Pretty Snow!

I just wish I could get a file where it isn’t all jerky.

Cecily gets a bit better in Sacred Blacksmith 4. She’s fully aware of the problems her weakness causes, but she bonds with Aria and seems to make some decisions about the nature of defending people. So why she isn’t completely against this harebrained scheme they cook up to show off the Demon Sword (Aria) and tempt the Man in Black to attack a town in the middle of a crowded festival, I don’t understand.

Guess which one's the bad guy.

Naturally it goes wrong. Jack the demon-guy gets Aria back, and Cecily has to beg Luke to help her. But at least this time she gets to help, by killing Jack after Luke’s softened him up. And by promising to remember the dead man’s name she tries to bring the conflicting impulses of killing and defending in balance. Pretty good episode. Just wish they’d lay off Cecily’s breasts just once.

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