Chivalry of a Failed Knight

Alt title: Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry

TV (12 eps)
Fall 2015
3.915 out of 5 from 23,523 votes
Rank #1,416
Chivalry of a Failed Knight

Ikki Kurogane may have come from a long line of Blazers, people with the ability to create weapons or devices manifested from their souls, but as far as the Hagun Academy is concerned, he's been a major disappointment in the magical powers department. He is so disappointing, in fact, that he's earned the unfortunate nickname of the "Worst One". However, things change for Ikki in the most surprising way when Princess Stella Vermillion, the most promising Rank-A Blazer to come along in many years, decides to transfer to Hagun. When she challenges him to a duel where the loser must obey the winner for the rest of their life, the last thing anyone expects is that the Worst One might prove to be a match for the Crimson Princess… and the unforeseen consequences will push the boundaries of society itself!

Source: Sentai Filmworks

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It was a decade ago, when Shakugan no Shana popularized battle harems by making them seem like an awesome new way of merging fighting shonen with harems. Everybody went on to copy its formula with slight variations, and the result was the saturation of the whole thing. Now nothing can make a battle harem seem like it stands out from the rest no matter what it does. There was a time when calling something a deconstruction or subversion was enough to elevate a show at the top of its respective genre. But those times are now gone, since as it turns out anything can be a deconstruction if you overthink it enough, and anything can be labeled subversion just by being a satire of stereotypes. Everyone uses them as buzzwords nowadays to excuse why they like a show, so everything is a deconstruction and thus nothing is special even when it is doing more than the average specimen of a genre. Examples: The World God Only Knows (date sims)School Rumble (school comedies)Monthly Girl’s Nozaki-kun (shojo romances)One Punch Man (fighting shonens) A proof of which is Chivalry of a Failed Knight. It makes fun of the formula by messing with peoples’ expectations when it comes to the stereotypes. There is a scene where the protagonist walks inside a room while a girl is undressing. Instead of yelling and apologizing like a beta male, he takes off his own clothes, so the feeling can be mutual. There is another scene where upon hearing the protagonist’s sister is coming to see him, he is questioned if they are not blood related and thus there is incest involved. He replies they are blood related, which does not negate the fact that there is incest after all. Is any of that enough to make the show actually good? Of course and it’s not, since it’s still a battle harem about an OP protagonist being surrounded by several bimbos hitting on him and constantly undress on every occasion. Many are praising it for the MC going for a steady relationship instead of never choosing a girl, but this is only making the harem to be of the support type instead of the balanced one. I don’t see how that is a plus. Sword Art Online is also a support harem; does that make it any less terrible?I sort of liked the emotional baggage everyone in the cast was carrying, since subverting expectations is messing with their head even in-story. Their internal conflicts felt a lot more significant than the average bimbo who only cares about becoming the no1 bitch of the MC. That is as far as it goes though, since it’s still about an OP protagonist everybody constantly victimizes although he is constantly steamrolling one-dimensional rapist bad guys who constantly gloat and underestimate him during battle. I liked the psychological warfare they were using in every battle, making them be more about a proper mental state that brute force. They were still coming down to the OP protagonist being the only one who can steal techniques and use them against his opponents, thus having a secure counterattack no matter what power they’re using or how strong they are. The show deviates from the path only superficially, and thus doesn’t make an actual difference in the longrun. It’s not something like Neon Genesis which becomes a completely different show by the end of it. Is it a bit better than your typical battle harem? Yes, especially Mahouka, which is everything wrong with the genre. But not by much, and since all these types of shows are trash it is still a bad show, based on a bad light novel.


Summary: If you liked Irregular at Magic High, you will like this clone. If you thought Irregular at Magic High was the stupidest shit you've ever seen, watch Grisaia instead. Story/characters: The first 4 episodes are pretty much unwatchable due to being entirely filled with cliches and eroge tropes. Underdog main character walks in on his tsundere roommate changing, because only god knows why these two would be paired up as roommates in the first place and neither of them recieved any notice of this. Clearly the school knew she was coming. Did they just not have ANY other rooms available?? There is no way in hell that having coed roommates at a highschool is going to go over well AT ALL. Hell, in Japan they have womens-only trains! And then did she not notice his stuff laying anywhere? Maybe there were clothes in the closet or shampoo in the bathroom? Is their entire room just made up of two bunkbeds, because that's all we see this whole time. Where are coed people supposed to change?? So they fight, and you figure, hell the fights have to at least be good right? Wrong. All of the fights in this show show the start of the fight and then immediately cut to the end of the fight, sometimes with a little action in the middle. But never shows the finishing move. In this fight he uses "phantom" mode of his sword which drains energy, yet in later battles he's free to use his sword at full potential and literally kill other characters. WHY would the school allow students to kill other students, when they could have just used phatom mode??? So he wins (somehow???) and she becomes his "servent". All the sudden now that she was defeated in battle, she has an uncontrollable raging boner for main character. Why?? One day of meeting this guy, and after having a horribly embarassing situation occur! I guess two if you count her losing terribly in that battle. The romance gets better through the show, although there are still a lot of cliches. I dont really like the tsundere character type, but I still kind of liked this character by the end of the show. Some people say the little sister relationship gets better. It doesnt. Constantly this girl is trying to break up the main couple, even until the last minute of the last episode!! She crosses the line from that sort of incesty relationship in Irregular at Magic High, into full blown Alabama incest right out of the gate. It made me very uncomfortable to watch. We see some glimpses into her past, but I still hated her character. I guess her character is supposed to be funny, but I just saw it as incredibly annoying. The main character is the standard shonen character ("Goku"). Always fights for what he believes in and to protect his friends, irrationally helping a character which debilitated him deliberately to win a fight. Hell, nobody I know would help someone who betrays them, and I know a lot of very nice people! Like this character is blindly following this, but between this one negative and the SLEW of other negative things about this show, I didn't really care too much about it. I was a lot more impressed by this character than the main character from Irregular at Magic High, who was a full blown asshole who didn't give no shits about anybody "just because"/military background. This guy laughs and cries and gets embarassed when appropriate. You do want to root for him, but I mean you already know he's going to win. The final battle was good, but the rest of them dont really have any tension in them at all since you know he's going to win. As far as the rest of the story is concerned, it was ok. It was pretty much just a ripoff of Utena with magical school battles. The animation and sound was average. I would have been more impressed if they showed the entire fight.

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