In the seasonal anime approach, on every single one, we will receive once in a while an ecchi and harem with the battle tournament trope light novel adaptation, most likely from one, two or four of them, depending how many they announced in each said season.
The thing is, for most of the cases, people will go and judge based upon the cover and its setting, the synopsis, etc, even the source being based out of (which I personally find the generalization of the Light Novel Medium being judged upon the genre and setting quite annoying, ridiculous and quite stupid, assuming for a lot of
reasons in the whole generalization would be based upon its adaptation, not its sources materials, but still, they are still doing this and based upon 1 or a few as a whole, and it’s ridiculous).
While it looks like a copy and paste of the same old as per usual, the thing that matters is the execution to it, not the things that were made before stated above, since technically a lot of people does this to make the battle tournament, ecchi and harem trope look like some sort of bad thing, when it’s not in the perspective.
This is something to come across the spectrum of these settings in both the Light Novel and Anime Medium to compare which are better based upon the content being delivered and its direction rather than being judged based upon the statements above this paragraph, since it also gives an idea of a decent qualified series towards a good one worth a watch for the viewer being presented in order to get into these.
In this season of fall anime 2015, we got two battle tournament, ecchi and harem series which are the names of Gakusen Toshi Asterisk and Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry or by the English names: A Chivalry of the Failed Knight or A Tale of Worst One. This review will be mainly focusing upon this anime series and my personal thoughts upon it.
Does it live upon the expectations that I was looking for and could become a treat for people? Or did it failed to deliver what I wanted in the show and becomes as another shallow anime to be forgotten in the pits of hell? Let’s go and find out if it’s actual an actual treat to watch, or it just becomes an unbearable experience to watch during the time.
And before I start with my review, I will give a fair warning of two things.
For one thing, I will just go and give my personal thoughts and perspective without comparing with other shows unless its needed, so if you will have a problem with my personal opinion on the show, feel free to talk about it.
The second thing being, I will of course kind of spoil some stuff about the anime, just some aspects that I like about this series to defend my statement upon my review and if I do not do it then I might get some sort of problem due to my review.
So keep that warning upon the words, if you want to stick around with the review then sure let’s go on the road, if not, I would suggest just watch a few episodes and maybe come back to read the review back to know my full perspective of this anime series. It’s a suggestion.
Without anything behind, let's go to my anime review of Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry.
The story is set in a school, where pretty much revolves around magic knights, also modern magic users who fight against each other with weapons converted from their own souls. Our Main Protagonist, Ikki Kurogane arrives to this particular school to actually train these Mage Knights, however he’s more of a failure due to his lack of talent of using magic, labeling him as “A Failure Knight” or also known as “The Worst One”.
Getting way less than average marks in the scores, he was forced to repeat another year. However, one day he meets a girl named Stella Vermillion, as she challenged him to a duel due to some “issues” coming around. From that, the duel had some sort of payment, the loser must obey the other for the rest of their lives.
Based upon the synopsis, many would judge upon it to clarify the story is generic. In a way, yes the story is generic to a degree, there are a few reasons why the story itself is quite different than the others, and it doesn’t make it completely special, however it does make the show quite worth a while on its way that could become a treat for a few people.
Firstly one of the few aspects I like about the show would be its romance. To not give much of details of that aspect of the show, the series does establish a well-developed relationship between the two main characters and also establishes a realistic slow pace in order to flesh it out and to make them confront their issues of confessing to one another their feelings, their desires, etc. It gives some sort of realistic approach and direction towards their relationship which seems rather more natural with it's own pacing, which fleshes out their bonds as the episodes passes by. I find it very appealing for the show and it gives some sort of different spark with the plot progression as well. I'll say one thing, this romance is not like one of the best out there though, however it does a very good job executing it and as well giving it a more natural look into it. So in other words, the chemistry on this genre is very suitable and well done in terms of the story department, which is points going forward for the series.
The Second strong point of the series, would be its battle tournament and their way of doing it. If you take between Gakusen Toshi Asterisk, there is quite a difference between the two. Rakudai’s way of the battle tournament is more of the character’s strength more than the character’s strategy, which with one of the quotes of the show stated in some episodes, each character shows their strength with all the given power they got and that makes it personally, a lot entertaining. It also gives some sort of "show, don't tell" around type of approach, in which each battle they technically demonstrate the powers these people have in their hands, while it's not really something new, the way they execute it, most cases of the show its really does a nice job to it. Of course, the series does a nice job into its execution on the fight scenes, and I will appreciate that.
Third thing coming from Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry, in each said or so episodes, it breaks some of the clichés that usually most ecchi harems have, usually the clichés aren’t a bad thing however it does get tiring for a bit after some time. Let’s give one simple example of a cliché breaking which is not a big spoiler. In the first episode when usually the main protagonist that enters in the room or let’s say the main female protagonist’s room and the female is actually semi-naked, it ends up as a misunderstanding and the main character becomes really dense as fuck due to it (honestly I love that type of part, for some apparent reason really) and then a lot of mixed up stuff happens. For Rakudai’s case however, that really doesn’t happen when the in before the female lead hits the guy or goes around and say some misunderstanding. After that entrance and almost some misunderstanding shit happening, the main protagonist actually took off his own shirt so they can be equally fine and dandy. Like literally, that was one of the few cliché breakers the series has and I was actually shocked by that, not really like oh my god, but I was actually surprised with that, and there’s actually more from that point onward, as the show slowly breaks its cliches and it's really something nice looking, unlike some shows that really do not break these cliches, instead they accumulated more.
For the fan service department so from what I can tell, it’s really not that much to drag the show into a hell hole. In fact, a few little of the fan service moments of the series between the two main characters works well for the case. For example in one of the few first episodes we get this washing scene which technically the female protagonist washes the MC, however it works because right afterwards she changes later on and can be noticed throughout the show after that. It sounds ridiculous but for me, my personal opinion it actually worked, and for the rest I will say the fan service for others isn’t really heavily focused on that, as I would the show focuses on the battle tourneys and the romance than that, so if you are not a fan of heavy dose of fanservice, then don't worry, this doesn't have THAT much.
And finally to describe the dialogue for this series in a short sentence, I would say it’s not one of the best dialogues, but it’s not one of the worst dialogues I can say. I had no issues with it considering it’s not supposed to be a complexity series, it’s quite simple and not that much to go and make it ground breaking. That’s a weak point for the story department in a way and to an extension around.
I would say out of these positive aspects of the show, I would say I only had one personal complaint in the anime which still bugged me even today. Which even though it’s not something ground breaking in the series considering it’s quite small and quite nitpicky, this wouldn’t affect the score of the anime overall a lot.
There was one of the episodes in the battle fight, where basically there was this one little cliché moment, which felt out of place and kind of weird in a way to defeat the guy like that. It just felt really out of place for my concern, but it’s not a big issue to say the least, it’s just pointing something out here.
In the overall story department, I would say Rakudai even though with its generic setting and plot, it still delivers things quite nicely and does a very good job with its execution execution despite these statements above about the judgmental idea other people would have about the show at first sight when it was announced. It’s sort of a treat for anyone that wants something new in a degree (from what I have just mentioned a bit regarding on the romance and would include on the characters). However from coming with this statement saying it would be a treat for anyone that wants something new, this would depend on the viewer at hand.
Of course, this series isn't really for everyone in terms of the story (in terms of the plot) so I will keep a warning towards people. If anything, if you want something rather originally executed and having its own spark, I would suggest this, however this all depends on your own hands and your taste on anime.
This is another department which is another strong point of the show. While the cast of characters are not really original, since they are all basically your archetype characters, the way they were established and portrayed in personalities wise is done well in this case. They all act in a mature way and at least most of these were developed nicely without any issues having with them. Most of the cast of characters have a motivation to fight and also their strengths can be shown throughout the episodes, which in my eyes the way they show it is very well.
Ikki, the main protagonist of the show is considered as the most mature character of the series, technically because in a few situations throughout the series, he’s more of a tolerable, patient and very knowledgeable character in a way. He shows also some determination in one of the episodes to help out when it was needed, and technically also he’s not a dense character either. To say the least this is one of the nicest characters I personally like, and Ikki is a prime example of it.
Stella is known as your tsundere, red hair with twin tails, with fire magic and princess archetype. However for her case she does care about Ikki after a few said episodes, and from that her change comes bit by bit throughout the series. Although my only complaint about her is nothing too personal, but I personally would want to see more of her fights with others in a full fight in a way. The last time we actually had that was by the first episode. But she’s overall a nice and loveable girl. Also this is coming as a personal view but
Mainly together with the two Ikki and Stella, as I stated before in this review, their relationship with each other feels very dynamic and nicely done, which makes them even more loveable in my personal opinion as a whole between the two.
As for the supporting cast of character, I will say the one that got most development outside of the established relationship between the two characters, Ikki and Stella, would be Ayase, technically she was one of the most developed characters alone in a way in her arc. She was nicely done in her little arc which I was actually impressed with it.
For the second it may be Shizuku, while many people would say she’s either fodder or annoying, I personally can see why people could get annoyed by her and hate her, but I personally don’t think she’s all that bad either. She shows some support towards her brother in a way (not in the incest way, not that) and throughout the episodes she does develop as well and does have determination to fight and become stronger.
Speaking of Shizuku, there’s also her partner which is Alice. Alice is more considered as a supporter for both Ikki and Shizuku in the series, although she doesn’t get any specific spotlight in the battle tournament aspect (of course it is implied that she's pretty strong at the end and at the end she did made it to become one of the seven participants, but that's just it so far), she really shows as a supportive character who wants to help Ikki and the others in a way. Also as a personal income, I personally love her character design and voice acting. I will say that as a bonus.
As for Todo Toka, I will say she doesn’t get as much screen time as the others since she’s introduced at the near specifically almost near the end of the show by being introduced in episode 9 of the show, which is actually saddening considering she shows a lot of strength and proving herself as the strongest female character in here at the moment. However that doesn’t really mean she’s bad in here to say the least I will say that as a bonus.
As for the other cast of members in this series, there are a few of them that don’t get as much screen time as the others, making it look kind of underwhelming in a degree.
A few others gets a few more than the other characters and become more relevant, but in that I will say it’s quite sour mouthing and it really feels like they should have some sort of actual role later on (for those that only get a few appearances) and it’s kind of the disappointment here.
In the overall characters aspect, this is the other strong point of the anime series based upon the overall curriculum, being the story having a lot more going forward than this, thanks to the other cast of characters excluding the supportive cast feeling a bit underwhelming and could have been done better giving them a sort of relevance later on in the series. The overall cast I would describe the main and support cast as the good part, the other characters being more of the below average part of it.
To describe the art and the animation in a simple sentence, I would say it’s not in all honesty in the masterpiece level, but it’s very eye catching and nicely done in terms of both aspects of the series in this paragraph, along with a lot of things to explain from this. To explain the art firstly, its quality isn’t really one of the best out there, but the studio does a nice job at making the art style eye catching and colorful and at the same time, in its own way.
The color palette has some sort of pop into the anime that it looks actually very good and it’s nicely catching the eye and clean, also the use a variety of color palettes in different sceneries of the anime that makes it look very appealing for the show. The character designs also look very appealing with the backgrounds of the art of the anime, which I have no issue with it at all.
The pallets used for the show also were used in the fitting mood of the atmosphere of the series, from the very heart warming rainbow colors and the cherry blossoms flying around in symbol of the love relationship towards the dark shading black and red in one of the episodes, when the use of the colors were the symbol of depression and it’s ominous as well.
Animation can be describe in many ways, sure it’s not one of the best animation departments out there of all time, and I am not going to put the show on the masterpiece level of animation department, however it doesn’t mean I can’t say it’s good either. In fact, if I go through this, the animation does take an approach of fluid motion and it doesn’t look even inconsistent, the angles they take for the anime does looks very nice overall, it’s actually very appealing and clean, without any type of ground breaking motion or anything like that.
They take different directions and angles in order to make the fight scenes look very organized and also another entertaining treat to watch. They sometimes take a slow motion in the anime which looks nice for the anime to do that type of approach to it.
The fight scenes does look very fresh and it doesn’t keep me as the viewer with burning eyes out considering I hate when I see something as bad as Lance N Masques or Mars of Destruction level. In all honesty overall both got a lot of points for giving a treat towards me and it’s nicely, clean and freshly made, with a lot of sparkles in the show and a lot of directions they took into it.
As for the character designs I would say they’re not really original, however their designs looks good and without feeling very eye soaring or anything ground breaking towards me.
Despite the art not living to its Light Novel Illustrations as a whole (I have not read the Light Novels yet, but I checked their illustrations and I like it a lot) the anime does a nice job to at least keep its anime designs at most. That will be a bonus from them to that point.
Overall the Art/Animation department is one of the other essential parts of the anime, keeping the show strong and consistent without feeling like its inconsistent, choppy or anything like that along the lines.
Now for the final point of the anime series of Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry, the last thing would be the sound department, the music and the voice acting tones. This is probably the component that makes the art and animation very enjoyable with its soundtrack and its sound effects.
To start off with the music department, the music composer is known as Kotaro Nakagawa, the same person who composed soundtracks such as Code Geass (seasons 1 and 2) which I personally find it very pleasing for Rakudai's soundtrack. The music soundtrack as a whole for Rakudai is considered as pleasing and ear catching, it just makes the fights engaging and also the moments dynamic, entertaining, and enjoyable. To give an idea, I will give you some examples.
One example being "Nimrod" (soundtrack #20) which gives a mixture of a fast paced along with a more jazzy tone by combining upbeat, the piano and along with the trumpets which gives a more dynamic and fitting feel for the fight.
Another example would be "tension feeling" (soundtrack #17) which gives the same tone upbeat but a bit more intense for the moments that are important for the cast of characters, its just soothing at the end which gives a uniqueness of its own (seasonal wise).
My final example would be "worst one" (soundtrack #1) give more of an instrumental composition approach and the tone of the music is just very enjoyable, probably one of my most enjoyable soundtracks of the OST pack Rakudai has released, since it goes to my personal taste actually.
The soundtrack just goes and give a more enjoyable feel to the series and that’s what makes the show a bonus for me. However, the soundtracks could be considered a little bit overused, but that doesn't mean the soundtrack overall is bad with that standard. It could have been done a bit more to compose more soundtracks in the end except there were a few that were used not so often which is nice.
Overall I will say the soundtrack as a standalone is enjoyable and iconic to listen to, along with the anime battle scenes. The soundtracks can be found since it got released around the moment so its easy to be found.
For the sound department, I can’t say the soundtrack is quite the best one I have ever heard, however it does a nice job with its effects in the right time and place, it just makes the show more gripping with the swords clashing and many things to describe.
By the voice acting approach, considering I am watching the series weekly and in the seasonal, I would say this at least. The voice acting tone fits to their respective characters, I had no issues with that actually.
Each one of the voice actors did a nice job with their performances and making the characters sound a bit more mature at least, and the emotion, etc, does fit nicely in the perspective. Rakudai of course has some few little mediocre voice acting, considering I could say the voices from the other casts (outside of supportive and main cast) do not actually have enough time to get me impressed at least, that’s another point to go for the little while.
As for the Opening and the Ending songs I will say the Opening is quite unique out of the others from the fall season, but not unique overall in the spectrum of the media. It gives a more jazz and upbeat component and it does fit with its visuals, which gives the black and white color palette with the red, symbolizing the blood in some areas. I would personally say, I like the Opening, TV version.
I would say this, for me personally the full version kills in a way the experience I had with the Rakudai Opening. Not that the whole Opening is bad, because music is kind of subjective/personal, but I felt like not hearing the song again.
As for the Ending song of Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry, themed performance by ALI PROJECT (the same person that did the performances of Another OP, Code Geass R1 ED1 and R2 ED2, Katanagatari OP2 and ED6 and .hack//Roots ED), The ending for this is composed with a mixture of bits of techno in some parts and the most of it is instrumental, which I personally like the tone of the song, however with its visuals I will say it’s not as creative as the Opening song with the visual standpoint, but it looks nice.
If you’re a fan of fan service, since the ED has some shots of the girls naked in still frame and the motion goes from upscale and down. Not a big issue there, but to say the least the song is beautiful in a way. Good Job ALI PROJECT.
Rakudai is one of those shows that may be considered as an overlooked show based upon the synopsis (not that it’s actually underrated, it’s just people skipping this show because of the setting is what I consider overlooked). Yes, it can be generic but towards a degree where its romance and the mixture of the battle tournament trope handled nicely and not ground breaking and nice characters, despite them being generic, shine the show along the way as the episodes passes by.
The animation and art would not be one of the best out there of all time, but thanks to it palette and backgrounds, the angles and the colors they use towards the sceneries and the mood displayed also was a nice direction towards the anime series, and also with a nice and eye catching soundtrack that gives a well-deserved complement.
In the end in my humble opinion, Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry had exceeded the expectations I never thought I could find in this type of trope of anime (for my experience), and in my personal opinion, Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry got towards the absolute potential and became one with it's actual "identity" of it's own. It became something I would actually recommend, if anyone likes the battle tourney trope with something a little sugar on top, which turns into a nice thing to love an enjoy.
If a second season also comes around, I would be glad to watch the continuation of the show, just because of my statements above and how much I love the show (this is rather personal).
Who should I recommend and who should I not recommend? The answer I will state this simple down below.
I would only recommend this show if you into:
- Generic synopsis but nicely executed
- Straightforward Romance
- Battle Tournaments
- Simple Story wise
I would not recommend this to people if you are into:
- Something ORIGINAL (in terms of the plot, if you dont like the synopsis/plot)
- Developed Romance (as in the show develops the relationship bit by bit until their confessions rather than going straight forward to it)
- Complex Storytelling
Rakudai Kisihi no Calvary is a show that does a hell of a lot more wrong than it does right, manages to fall into all the typical LN tropes, and still manages to have an incredibly fervent fanbase which thinks that somehow it is an original show which averts many tropes used in LN-adaptations. While I admit that the show manages more right than wrong in one or two aspects, it still manages to be an incredibly bland and generic LN adaptation in the eyes of almost anyone who is experienced enough anime. This review involves spoilers, but honestly no one should care about spoilers
in a show this bad. Still, you have been warned.
The story is basically that Japan won WWII, a hierarchical society of magic users (where magical aptitude is superior to all) exists, and the main character is someone who apparently sucks at magic and yet somehow can conveniently fight on an equal level to some of the best students in an academy that apparently is renown for training magicians.
No, I did not describe Mahouka to you just now. That is Rakudai.
Let me continue, our female main character is a girl with reddish pinkish hair, who conveniently forgets to lock her door while dressing up (in the very first episode) while the main character walks in. Our main character responds by stripping in exchange to her baring her unmentionables accidentally (something no human being does and is done only for the sake of comedy) and then establishes himself as a fairly reasonable person, complaining because the girl didn't lock the door and that it was an accident.
So basically, it's attempting to be witty and breaks any chance of me taking this guy seriously.
That's without mentioning a character's ability at copying movements (Kakashi from Naruto says hi), the girl using a fire sword (because Shana), our main character having the same conflict as Tatsuya from Mahouka (though he's a lot better than that abomination of a "character") and even an Accelerator like character who is randomly and maniacally doing crazy things. That's without mentioning just how absurd some of the powers are (your pupil losing color gives you a power up, really). Like seriously, that's just plain stupid.
This show may legit be the most uninspired thing I've ever seen in terms of story.
If only it was just that, but the characters aren't better either. Stella is a generic tsundere, Kurogane is the blank MC with the occasional moment, he has a sister that is in love with him, some side kick that's kinda cool and...do you see where I'm getting at here?
So. Finally we come here. What is the show's selling point, that drove its fans insane and say that it's so original and distinct from all those other LN adaptations?
The main duo get into a relationship.
Nah, I'm not pulling your leg here. They legitimately get into a relationship, and it's actually handled alright. By alright, I mean that I'm not cringing every time they interact, and it's actually kinda cute on a superficial level...until you realize it's just that, superficial.
Every single time they interact, the show feels like it's trying to force you to recognize that it's in a relationship like "OH GOD THEY KISSED" or "OH GOD GIRL IS ASKING GUY TO HAVE SEX" and so on, and it just doesn't feel natural. No one is legitimately this pushy when in a relationship, and people don't endlessly shove their love lives down people's throats. I will admit that there are a few scenes that are legitimately alright (the cabin scene was nice...then the ending blew it) and that it honestly is nowhere near the worst relationship I've seen in anime, but I'm genuinely surprised that this is considered by its fanbase to be the best relationship between two characters in an LN. Toradora? Hyouka? Oregairu? Spice and Wolf? Seriously, this is the best relationship in an LN-adaptation you guys have seen? The characters aren't even that interesting, you honestly can't describe or think of these guys as people (and let's face it, getting them into a relationship quickly may be a nice idea on a basic level, but makes no sense chemistry-wise, we hardly see them get along as friends and boom they're in a relationship).
Animation is drop dead gorgeous, especially during the fight scenes. The backgrounds look pretty nice, and there are actually some pretty nice scenery shots throughout the show. I just with they were better spent on some other show, because I honestly don't think this show deserves it.
I can't remember any particular track from the OST, though I guess the opening was alright.
And I honestly can't say I enjoyed the show all too much, honestly. It's too cliche for its own good, has only one aspect to remember done in an extremely superficial manner, and is just too much of the same as a whole to enjoy. Like sure, I may be repeating myself here, but it's hard not to feel that when you watch this show.
If you like this show, fine. I hold no grudge against you (unless it turns into another Mahouka) and can totally understand why you'd like it. Hell, I may have liked it if I watched it when I was 14. But honestly, if you're sick of more of the same and just heard that it's unique or original or any other absurd claim, please avoid it. It's not worth your time.
I'll admit at first glance I also noticed it to be both visually and story related to Asterisk wars however as we all may know by now that Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry has more of a erotic, romance, ecchi genre's in it. While watching I found myself to be highly engaged into the action and battles scenes more than the story. I felt bad though because I personally felt that the story was weak. What I mean by that is I felt like there wasn't much of a "wow" or "oh my god how intense" moment in the story for me. I did however like
the romance between our main characters. Personally depending on what genre a show is, especially in the genre's of action/adventure/fantasy I feel like every guy needs a woman who is either equally or soon to be be equal in strength. A good example of what I mean would be Kirito and Asuna from Sword Art Online. The character relationship no, let me start with this, the archetypes in the story were pretty generic, nothing too unique or special. I feel like we have all at some point watched a show like Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry with the same characters and personalities. I was not too surprised to Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry turn into a bit of a harem-ish type show based on the elements in the story along with characters. Especially since in most anime's the weakest characters are usually the ones who will become the strongest both psychically and mentally. They are also the ones most girls in anime usually fall for. The BGM and soundtrack didn't really stand out too me as much. I didn't really notice the music playing unless it was one the intro and outro songs or if a battle is going on (I would highly recommend you watch and see for yourself.) To contradict myself for a minute, the fights are indeed intense, so just ignore what I said earlier. The art style was your generic mid 2010+ style so lightly drawn face, simple shadows and different highlights in hair, that sort of thing. Overall I give this show an 8/10 because to me it really did a good job of breaking the barrier of similarities it shares with other shows just like it!
Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry feels to me like an almost desperate attempt to be different. It intentionally utilizes perhaps the most overused setting and premise in the anime industry as of late, and then tries to put its own spin on it in order to make it stand out from the crowd. I say "attempt" however, because unfortunately it never quite lives up to its own potential due to having a tendency of not focusing on its own strengths properly, and thus indirectly making it somewhat generic in the end, even though that's exactly what it's supposed to try its hardest to avoid.
The story takes
place in a magic academy, and it only takes about 2 minutes and 30 seconds into the first episode before the MC, Kurogane Ikki, walks in on a girl, Stella Vermillion, in her underwear. Yeah I've never seen that development before. One thing leads to another, and the two of them eventually end up in an official duel where the loser has to become the winner's "slave". Ikki promptly defeats her in style, and thus immediately scores himself a sexy girl as his personal servant before the end of the first episode. Or at least that's the official verdict, but in reality the two of them are quite friendly with each other, and it doesn't take long before a full-blown romance begins to blossom in-between them.
And this is how Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry aims to be special. By this point we should all know what a typical action/fantasy/ecchi/harem magic academy light novel anime adaptation looks like, not to mention how absurdly many there are of them. This series however tries to kick out the harem aspect, and replace it with romance. Like an actual established romance from very early on in the story. That's an incredibly rare thing to find in any anime, let alone an action-oriented one, and it's a quite refreshing thing to see.
As far as the characters themselves go, Ikki is supposedly the weakest student in the entire school, nicknamed the "Worst One" by the pupils. However, this is strictly because he lacks magical skills, but on the other hand his prowess with the sword is second to none. And sadly that ends up being a mostly negative trait as Ikki thus ends up being an incredibly overpowered protagonist anyway, and there is so much plot armor throughout the fights in this anime that it really doesn't have a whole lot of tension in them. That aside he's an all-round good guy who has a lot of fans and supporters. In that sense he reminds me a lot of Shiba Tatsuya from Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei, and I can't really consider that a good thing. However, the way he normally acts towards Stella is very respectable I think, and that probably has to be considered the most important thing in the end. Stella herself on the other hand is not only one of the top students in the academy, but also a fiery redhead who is light on the tsun, heavy on the dere. She's a bit too submissive to be my type personally, but I know many people who like her a lot, and she's also got a pretty stunning body. My one problem with her as a character is that she seemingly falls head over heels in love with Ikki in a split second somewhere in-between episodes 1 and 2, but for no apparent reason. As cute as their romance is, I can't help but feel that it started off awfully unnaturally. It almost feels like the author was impatient at getting his dream pairing up and running, and thus he kind of just forced the two of them together in the beginning.
Of course those two aren't literally the only characters in this anime, and this is where we find the first of two problems I have with this anime. Namely, why are there so many other girls in here that are not only prevalent, but also in love with Ikki? Like really? First you make such a big deal about how this is a pure romance anime and not a harem, and then you *still* insist on having a bunch of other girls ogling the MC with lustful eyes? What's the point? We already know with absolute certainty that Ikki x Stella is the established main coupling in the story, so why do you have all these other girls as well? Are they there just in order to cater to certain target audiences, despite the fact that those people would know that their favorite girl has already lost the love game before it's even began? Make up your damn mind already; is this supposed to be a harem or not? It's like it's pretending not to be a harem but it actually is one. You can't just both have the cake and eat it, seriously. I mean if they were just there as friends, classmates or whatnot it'd be one thing, or if their feelings towards Ikki are just there in order to create some light love drama and make Stella jealous or something then I could understand it, but that's not the case here. Instead it's literally just for harem romcom shenanigans, which ought to be the last thing Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry should have in it given its premise.
My second issue with this anime lies with the action elements. Taking place in a magic academy, naturally there is a lot of dueling going on in-between the students. In fact... there's too much of it. Let's be real here, the one thing which Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry has going for it in comparison to other anime with the same setting is the romance. And yet despite that I swear it's spending more time on magic duels than romantic progression. Furthermore, there's still the simple fact that we got a pretty seriously overpowered protagonist in Ikki, so there's very little excitement in the duels themselves since you always know how they're going to end before they've even began. His abilities oftentimes feel like asspulls too as there are numerous special moves of his which are brought out seemingly out of nowhere in order to turn the fight around. There's also this one scene where at one point he's lying nigh-unconscious in a huge pool of his own blood, only to be in top tier fighting condition and kicking ass a minute later. Like really, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that that's simply impossible. The few times where we get to see fight scenes where Ikki is not involved however, then it's actually a lot better. Especially the magic duel in episode 10 was a treat to watch.
Anyway, the point is that the entire action/fantasy part of the anime feels almost meaningless a lot of the time. It's predictable and most importantly it doesn't really add anything noteworthy to the romantic part of the story at all. It just drags the romance down rather than complement it. Similarly, like mentioned earlier, the pseudo-harem elements are equally pointless, and does nothing but distract from the one thing which you're probably watching this anime for to begin with.
So if you put all that together, what can you conclude? Well, like I said initially, Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry is an attempt at taking the most overused premise in modern anime and adding a real romance plotline to it. And that's pretty much what it is. But there is no real sense of compatibility in it. The one thing which makes it worth watching is the romance. Almost everything else in it is average at best. So then I can't help but ask, was there really any point in using this setting to begin with? Why do the action, fantasy and harem elements even exist? Why is it taking place at a magic academy in the first place? Because seriously, this story could just have been an ordinary school-life romance anime taking place at an ordinary high-school with no dueling, no magic, no villains, nothing like that. It could just have been a realistic romance story between Ikki and Stella. That's all it's worth watching for as it is, and there'd be so much more focus on that in an everyday setting compared to what we got. It's like the anime is focusing on its own weaknesses more than its strength in its current state.
Originality is an admirable thing, and I highly respect Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry for trying to be different. But being unique doesn't always mean being better, and in this case I really feel like it wasn't entirely successful. Sure, it's still definitely better than your typical magic academy anime, no doubt about that, but it's definitely worse than what it could have been if it was rewritten into a dedicated romance story in a normal setting. Or if you want a graphical representation of it, then:
Pure romance > Romance + battle harem > Pure battle harem
I.E: mixing good with bad certainly makes it better than just bad, but still not as much as just good. So to speak.
On the other hand, you can say what you want but the ending is pretty satisfying.
I’m sure you're well aware of what transpired yesterday, and I am deeply aware you're eager to know what up to that moment. I understand you, all miss me, and want to know what my life at school was like so far.
Despite what a lovely time I am having, it did not begin this way. When Ikki and I first met, it was embarrassingly rocky for the two of us, even upon getting to know what we each strive for. Some embarrassing incidents occurred that did not help our situations, especially when I met his sister for the first
time. She’s an adamant one, I'll tell you. Not everyone has the gall to openly insult royalty so consistently, and entirely out of jealousy and overprotectiveness. I understand her situation, however, as learning what she and especially Ikki went through during childhood, even to the small extent I did, disgusted me. Even with how much she irritates me, I’m almost embarrassed about a majority of my early interactions, as I was never as ladylike as my upbringing. I'm still trying to fully get over that aspect of myself.
She wasn't the only one I met thanks to Ikki. For one, there's Alice, who not only has fantastic fashion sense, but is by far the most mature out of all of us. She even got me hooked on a video game once. There was this really energetic newspaper club member named Kagami who even helped me overcome a major anxiety of mine. A shy but talented girl named Ayase, daughter of the now obscured icon “The Last Samurai” even hung out with us for a while. Even other people I didn't get to know for too long as in writing this, were fun to hang out with, such as the student council. I did have run-ins with a few despicable ruffians, but not only did we take them down, but one of them turned out to be somewhat interesting with a crazy weapon and mindset. Of course, I handled myself pretty well against these clowns whenever I had the chance, and so did everyone else.
The fashion is wonderful here, about as much as back home. Alice knows how to get herself and Shizuku into some trendy social clothes and even Ikki has some great fashion sense. The school uniforms are nice as well. The cars look horrible though, but I don't drive yet so that is of little concern to me now. The music these people listen to, while a tad bombastic in places, is fantastic. I love hearing it whenever Ikki and I go on a morning jog. The culture here is rather inviting, all things considered. I'm glad I chose to live here, even if I had to bear witness to these strange and brutal encounters that Ikki in particular had to endure.
I can only imagine what he felt like during some of these epic fights. Given how much fun he had occasionally with these, I can almost see him purposely distort the view with interesting colors and whatnot to accentuate the intensity of these battles. He likely did that whenever he was being tortured, like he was throughout the past few weeks. I can just imagine him pouring his strength, his eyesight, imagination, and soul into this final battle you no doubt witnessed, after all the pain and suffering he went through during his life and especially recently, just to get this far. The whole world was stunned at this final confrontation, as well as the exchange we had afterward, and it was one of the best moments of my life. We may have rushed into things, and we may have been a little blunt to each other, but I am having a wonderful time with Ikki and all of my new friends. I hope to hear what you think of me now, and what you think of us after what just transpired. I give to you, my fondest regards, as I wait for the day I see you again.
Your precious and capable princess,
Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry - after reading the synopsis and seeing the cover, doesn't it make you think it's yet another uninteresting and low quality light novel adaptation about a "worst" student and his harem, taking place in a magic high school?
That's not exactly what Rakudai is.
The start might not be so convincing, but already after the first episode I knew I would stick with this anime till the end. What makes Rakudai stand out, is that it's really trying to be a little different. And the outcome is pretty good. At first, this is something we know very well already. We get our protagonist,
Ikki, who is known as "the worst one" and has no magical skills. The main girl is a pink-haired tsundere, Stella, who is an A-rank student and princess of another country. How do these two meet? Of course, he walks in on her in her underwear, yet his reaction was not something you usually see in Your Typical Light Novel Adaptation. And this isn't the only scene when Rakudai does that - it uses well known schemes but does it in a pretty refreshing way. I wouldn't call it the most unique anime ever, but does it really need to be very original when it can still be somewhat refreshing and very entertaining while relying on a base we're familiar with?
What is also worth mentioning is that this is not a harem show! Yeah, really. After the first 2/3 eps there were people making sarcastic comments about it, but they could shut their mouth after a little while. The development of main characters' relationship is sweet to watch and adds to this anime. Rakudai doesn't focus on romance that much, but it's there, it's noticeable and it is nice to follow. More female characters appear, but Ikki isn't their love interest (there is one exception, which is his little sister, but no worries, this aspect is also handled well and shouldn't be found annoying even by people that dislike this kind of characters).
Characters are likeable, they aren't unique but they're still fun to watch. Also opponents are more interesting than they usually are in Your Typical Light Novel Adaptation!
Okay, so since this is a "sword action" anime about magic knights, there must be a fair amount of battles. There are battles and they are really well done! They aren't short but don't feel too long. The animation is smooth and the battles are full of details. They are really exciting and great to watch! You might even find yourself rewatching some fight scenes - so did I.
Not only fight scenes are so well done. This show offers really neat art, there are many details, it's rare to see noticeable deformations in the background, the animation is always smooth and also the authors sometimes used different styles of animation - which turned out really well imo and is yet another thing about this anime that makes it stand out.
Another thing that makes Rakudai better than Your Typical Light Novel Adaptation is the fanservice! I found it splendid. Sometimes Rakudai goes where most series of this kind don't have the balls to. And the expierience is even nicer because of the great art. It might not have that much fanservice, but it is of incomparably better quality than it is in most shows of this kind! And it mostly focuses on our beautiful Stella (who is not only good looking, but can be also sweet, supportive and seductive).
The soundtrack doesn't stand out that much but it doesn't disappoint either. It's just good. The opening song is really great though! Fresh and catchy. Definitely one of my personal favorites. The ending song is by my beloved Ali Project so I obviously enjoy it too. For those that don't like Ali Project's music, there is a beautiful and fanservicey animation.
This anime does the same thing its protagonist does - it might be labelled as bad since the beginning by some, yet it really tries and the outcome is very satisfying. Sometimes you might even feel like they tried too hard (example: episode 11) but don't you like it better when they try very hard than when they don't really care?
Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry is a well done anime. Even if it might look generic at times, there are things about it that make it feel more fresh and stand out. As a fan of this kind of series, who appreciates interesting fights, good art, quality fanservice, a bit of originality and actual effort put into the show, I enjoyed Rakudai a lot.
If you expect good action, smooth and detailed animation, a bit of romance and some high quality fanservice and don't mind a harmless amount of well handled generic tropes - you might really enjoy it. It's also worth mentioning that Rakudai gets better with time, the beginning is just slightly above average but in later episodes I just fell for this anime!
If I weren't a fan of this kind of anime I'd give it a solid 7, but since I am and every aspect that I like in anime was handled really well in this one, I'm giving it a 9. It was real fun and if another season ever comes out I'll be the happiest.
As clichéd and by the number as Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry presents itself, it also seems to be an anime that challenges its own status constantly. By looking at its plot summary and art direction, you would be forgiven to toss this series along with the generic crap that piles the charts of every season. With that in mind, what could be then a valid reason to give this show the merit of a review?
Well, I’m glad you asked, little voice in my head, let me explain.
Story and Characters
From any angle you look Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry (this one is quite the mouthful, I’m gonna
call just Rakudai for short) is following the clichés of the Sorcery School genre so strictly it seems as if it has a checklist of the tropes required. We have:
-the hardworking but underestimated protagonist who happens to be somewhat oblivious to girls affections;
-the pink-haired upstart tsundere, largely known for being among the most talented and powerful on the student body;
-the Imouto character, whose main purpose is to give the series its incest undertones;
-the playfull and not-at-all subtle homosexual side-character who just so happens to be someone you should not underestimate;
-the one-off enemy that is going to be discarded for the sake of raising the protagonist;
-a setting based on a school with modern aesthetic, that teaches its students about the handling of magical abilities;
-a tournament centered plot were the main characters bet their academic future and pride.
Now, what makes Rakudai an interesting beast to tackle is how it seems to be at odds with its own clichéd nature. The series displays a weird brand of self-awareness where it doesn’t necessarily belittle or parodies such tropes, but seriously plays them to the best of its abilities. Mostly. You can see this manifested in how the characters are presented and treated, going back and forth between the predictable instances of their archetypes and legitimately thought-out character moments.
Starting with the easier one, Ikki, the protagonist and Failed Knight of the translated title, who starts as an underdog but reveals to be actually pretty strong. Surprised? Neither am I. Granted, the series doesn’t make him simply a powerhouse for poorly established reasons or goes out of its way to avoid any kind of tension during battle, it shows him as a deeply hard-working individual who struggles against tough enemies, even showing that his strongest moves have their limitations, so a Kirito he isn’t, thankfully. In some instances the writing even makes fun of how quickly he becomes popular among his schoolmates. Personality-wise, he was given a sense of humour and empathy, enough to make him likeable and play well with the other figures.
Following is Stella, the resident tsundere. Now, even being a staple of anime, the tsundere archetype is a tricky one to write. Doing it right, the tsundere can develop into a well-rounded and likeable figure, in the molds of Taiga or Meryl Strife. Doing it wrong though, the results add the potential extra-damage of being not only a poorly-written character but also an awful individual as a whole, ruining the chances of the audience connecting or growing to like the character.
So how does Stella fair? Let’s take a look at the first episode before anything else: for once, after the obligatory accidental peeping scene, she is introduced in a comedic sequence so that it’s easier in get accustomed to her demeanor. Following that we’re shown her motivations for being in the story and the episode ends by displaying her kinder side towards the protagonist, while not in his presence mind you. Now, I think this is noteworthy effort, because far too often writers only worry about introducing the tsundere by her aggressive traits. Introducing Stella in this manner helps to understand that all the traits presented are natural sides of her personality that don’t conflict with each other. Later, when in her tsun-side, she acts more flustered than abrasive, making the transition to her dere-side natural.
Now, one common practice to make the tsundere likeable to the audience is to give her a quirk, so what would it be for Stella? She’s horny. No, really, the majority of the initial sexual tension between her and Ikki comes from her desire for his body.
--[Minor spoiler ahead}--
This later takes a different form when their relationship develops and leads to their most interesting moments as a couple. Being Stella a more sexually forward individual than Ikki, the two have to work out their expectations in regards to the relationship, strengthening their bond and ultimately providing better understanding of where their morals lie on. All that aside, it's unexpectedly refreshing to see a light novel adaptation having teenagers deal with such a strong subject like sex in a tasteful manner.
--[Minor spoiler end]—
The Imouto in the series is also played in that strangely self-conscious manner. Usually this archetype is used to give incest undertones to the anime, here it’s not at all in undertones. She starts her role by kissing her brother in front of other classmates, openly declaring her love so that everyone can hear it and playfully talking about sleeping together. I realize this might be a problem to some, but as long as it doesn’t devolve into tasteless pandering I appreciate when a series cuts the bullshit and plays with a trope.
Now and then, Rakudai has these strange moments that handle plot points in a way that could be classified as meta-humour, although this might be a dangerous statement to make. I say it can be seen as meta-humour because they play with expectations the viewer creates after having already seen similar situations. We’ve seen new characters end an episode talking about fighting the protagonist, so we expect them to be a future threat, not the punchline for a joke (which, you might notice, was a wasted opportunity for more effective build up, not gonna lie), and we’ve seen countless anime feature pool/beach episodes, so we expect them to have pointless fanservice and dumb hijinks, not legitimate character development.
Around episode 6 you’ll probably notice that this series is more focused in interactions than in any on-going main conflict. While the interactions are nice to watch and even charming from time-to-time, it leads to one of the main problems with the series: it introduces characters that play their arc but might get forgotten in the long run. Some adversaries, for example, become throw-away characters and might as well be classified as filler. Being this only the first season, Rakudai might be trying to pull a “Index” and stack up in characters that become recurrent in the long run, which is a better option but comes with issues of its own.
This I’d say is the anime’s most glaring weak-spot. Rakudai uses the style that is by now a given for light-novel adaptations of this genre, which in some instances can make the series indistinguishable from other titles: figures use futuristic-looking uniforms in white and black shades with minimal variant details, scenarios are mostly light colored, with the exception of battle stages, presented in dark tones of green and blue, powers are undetailed but given noticeable lighting, etc.
The same goes for character design: Ikki is thin, has dark and spiky hair; the tsundere has pink hair tied in ponytails, large, soft and bouncy breasts (I won’t complain about that!); the Imouto is flat-chested and carries a uniformly bland color pallet; the supportive gay friend is fabulous. Being a Silver Link series, though, it’s nice to see it was done by the side of the studio that understands contrast, so we luckily don’t have a Chaos Dragon this time. Seriously, that show looked awful!
On action sequences there are issues with framing: a lot of attention is given to the special powers, but they take too much of the scene, and adding it to the manner in which those sequences are cut, makes for somewhat disjointed and hard to follow action. On a plus side, when the focus is on character movement it’s very fluid and pleasant to look at, mainly during swordfights. Wow, here I go being boring again!
The opening is interesting because the visuals have a slightly gritty vibe to them, but the song sounds not really upbeat, but energetic and stimulating, possibly to evoke a competitive thrill going into the anime. The ending is a slower, somber piece accompanied by some… enticing visuals. Can’t go wrong with that.
Rakudai Kishi no Calvary was a show that played constantly with my expectations. At many points it seemed like it was going into shit-territory with its setup, just to pull it back and make a fool of me by presenting a legitimate good and entertaining moment. I can say I had an equal amount of enjoyment from watching the show as well as I dissecting it.
There are many factors that can make a work for me, but hardly ever break it. One that is fundamental to me and can easily do both are the characters. Bad characters can sink a series with good premise and waste solid potential, as well as good or even great characters can help a work with a tired premise to rise above mediocrity, even if it doesn’t mean becoming a landmark for its media, but just a solid piece of entertainment.
The saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” seems to be getting increasingly meaningless as it has become easier to spot a generic, effortless and vapid cash-grabs in the current anime scene, so it’s really pleasant to find once in a while a show that throws you for a loop and is worth looking at and analyzing.
Have you ever been disappointed by something that you didn't have high expectations of in the first place? If your answer is "no", then you have yet to attend a high school and/or watch Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry. Some time during the Fall 2015 season, I had gone about a month without watching any anime because reasons, and the only shows I'd been watching were two shows I knew about already and one that was somewhat of a recommendation; therefore, I ventured off into uncharted territory and picked this up, seeing that it was the most-watched show outside of One Hype Man and some sequels
to things that I already watched. Looked like some general action series, wouldn't hurt to try.
Who could've predicted such tragedy?
All aboard the spoiler hoard!
At two minutes and thirty seconds in, I elicited my first groan. Around the three-minute mark, I stopped taking it seriously altogether. It COULD'VE tried redeeming itself, but by the time it apologized and tried to act mature, it'd already pissed the bed, tripped over its own shoelaces, spoiled dinner, drove the family dog mad, and heard daddy's car drive away for the last time. Oh wait, that's a spoiler, isn't it. Whoops.
That's my biggest problem with Cavalry. It has so many cringe moments that I couldn't find the capacity to take it seriously, no matter how hard it wanted me to. Here's what I mean: the one particular element of this show that apparently brought about its success about is the romance between the two lead characters. No, this isn't the worst relationship in the world, but I wish the two would quit fucking around with themselves and act like real people. Here's some advice for both sides: Gentlemen, if you find yourselves taking a shower, and your female friend invites herself in and rubs her bare tits on you, she wants to fuck and probably a marriage. There's no other explanation, unless she's the biggest cock-tease in the galaxy, in which case lol. And ladies, if you're the one inviting yourself to take a shower with your male friend and he doesn't make a move after you rub your bare tits on him, find a new man to cling to. He obviously doesn't want you or is too stupid to take a hint. I don't want to hear anything about "awww but he/she's being modest!" They're 16. They have hormones and do stupid things, we've been and/or known these people. But after such extreme encounters, everyone forgets that said event never happened, or something.
If Cavalry had any self-awareness or didn't try to be dramatic, I could've at least acknowledged it as some cheap harem only created as fap material, but I guess that doesn't rake in as many dollars as a show containing something that resembles a serious plot. But really, the penultimate episode in particular was so dramatic and intense that I just couldn't understand what the hell I was actually watching. This is the show with an incestuous loli and a girl who got dripping wet while training so she can restore her family's honor? Huh??? ...Wait, is this Monogatari? What the hell is going on here?!
And that leaves me with no choice but to talk about the plot. Well, frankly, there's not much to say. Some scrublord named Icky transfers into a prestigious school and is required to be basically the best student just to pass and for daddy-senpai to hopefully notice him because too much of an asshole otherwise. Despite Icky being dubbed as "Worst One" and having a terrible rank, he's an adept fighter because the school's system is shit because daddy-senpai is too much of an asshole, so this is about how he becomes "Best One" instead, or something. Along the way, he ends up interacting with other people and gets involved with some romance, and there's a somewhat interesting plot twist towards the end, but I've already said that I couldn't take them seriously. (Plus the twist makes little sense. "So you're apparently doing really well in school. THAT IS MEDIOCRE!! I HAVE NO SON!!!!!")
Icky himself is some generic, forgettable character who serves as your projector screen. Do you want to become the swagnificent new kid in school who literally creates an army of girls and gets a hot girlfriend? Photoshop your face onto his and feel good about yourself. Stella is waifu bait, made only so young boys can hold her close to their hearts. Well, they'll hold something, anyway. She becomes Icky's servant or something because fanservice and has some tsundere side that's more annoying than endearing; again, Stella does some ridiculous shit in an attempt to get Icky to notice her, yet she tries playing these things off. She goes way too far down the rabbit hole but tries escaping anyway. It's not working.
These two become lovers before too long. I must admit that this relationship is surprisingly decent. I thought this would be very annoying and subtle with the two either never hooking up at all or only saying they're in a relationship without doing anything, with the cour's final scene being a long-awaited kiss. Nah, it's actually better than that. They have some legitimate moments together and their relationship develops in an interesting way; after it actually starts, they don't seem like a couple, but they take notice of this and work on it. I thought that was pretty effective, but the scene itself is another awkward, headache-inducing montage of dialogue that more-or-less runs around in a few circles before getting to the goddamn point. I didn't exactly enjoy their screentime, but the outline of their relationship was good.
Back to the characters. Cavalry's side characters are a hilariously awful group of bumblefucks; I'll mention the incestuous loli again because, yeah, that's a thing. They even try justifying it! She talks about how/why she acts so affectionate towards Icky, but apparently no one told her that FAMILY MEMBERS DON'T FUCK EACH OTHER! Cavalry, are you trying to tell me something? Are you telling me that I, the only brother to three siblings, should agree to this? The reverse-trap enables this and, yeah, there's a reverse-trap in here who has no personality or development whatosever. It's only funny for a second. I think there was a furry at some point, too. Should I mention the Gary Oak character? There's some douche who acts like a douche to Icky because we, as the audience, should feel bad and have feelings or something. Then he gets beaten like a bitch and I guess this is supposed to be satisfying??? It was super overdone and cringe-worthy. (At least he didn't show up to act like a bitch again.) Ayase has a pretty funny backstory, but it taught me a valuable life lesson: If you want someone's house, beat the shit out of them in order to obtain it. Apparently that's a thing in this place. She demonstrates how serious she is about restoring her father's dojo by getting dripping wet when Icky tries to help her. What a warrior! The only normal character I could actually enjoy was the Director lady, whatever her name is. She's kind of serious but troll-ish, like she's aware that she's in a bad anime but has accepted her fate.
If I forgot anyone worth mentioning, please notify me via junk mail, because it's probably a garbage character anyway.
So, was there anything I actually enjoyed beyond a superficial level? Yeah, turns out Cavalry doesn't want me to rate this a 1/10. The art is quite nice with some pretty standout moments. For one, I enjoyed the opening's style, which is one thing that drew me to this anime. That style returns in the last two episodes and is executed very well. Icky's prison scenes looked appropriately desolate and grim while the cour's final fight had an iconic feel to it. This style amplifies in the dramatic penultimate episode and plays out like Shaft made a guest appearance, though it was probably my general lack of interest that kept me from really enjoying it. There are some really shitty-looking rock monsters late in the anime, though. But overall it's pretty good, so at least you'll get some good action, though little of it was memorable beyond the art.
The sound is another story. I'll tell you that it has a pretty good OP and a pretty good ED, but the rest of the soundtrack has completely escaped me. I can't remember anything about it, so that tells you how good it isn't. Being unmemorable is better than being memorably bad, though.
That's about it. Congrats, Cavalry, I hoped to watch something that would just help pass the time and not piss me off very much and instead you instead made me regret not getting hit by a car instead. I'm probably considering this to be the worst anime of the year as far as I know, because at least Danmachi and Asterisk didn't make me uncomfortable with any stupid incest. Painful fanservice, generic concept/setting, laughable characters, it's not something I'd recommend to someone, even if it were to purposefully tease them.
All of the above text more-or-less applies to The Asterisk War, minus the actually good parts.
Story - 2/10
Art - 8/10
Sound - 4/10
Characters - 1/10
Enjoyment - 1/10
Overall - 3/10
Favorite character - Can't remember her name, don't care enough to look it up.
Favorite episode - 11
Recommended to anyone that liked The Asterisk War because it's literally the same thing.
EDITED ON 3.14.16: I changed the score to a 3/10 because I feel that a 2/10 is only bare-minimum; Cavalry has some legitimate strong points and doesn't deserve that rating.
This anime is a weird one for me. I mean on paper, it is not all that. It has generic story and generic characters. Nothing is new! There is also another similar anime that was airing at the same time, Gakusen Toshi Asterisk. Now, Gakusen is... umm to put it straight... bland. But I really can't pinpoint why Rakudai Kishi is at least twice as good than Asterisk.
My enjoyment level was so high that even I was surprised. If One Punch Man wasn't airing this season, I really would put this anime as my number one in pure enjoyment, not story wise, characters
or animation/sound but just in terms of enjoyment.
The story is really not that difficult to grasp. You can sit back without having to think too much and get the general idea of where it is headed. The love story is also the same. You have a generic tsundere princess but she is so much more likable than the norm. She is tsundere done right! Our male protagonist is also the same old. He has personality traits that I probably have seen at least 50 times in male leads but again, he is so much more likable than the norm! Besides, he is one cool son of a... yeah. And for once, he isn't indecisive and settles with one girl even though it can be seen as a harem series which is a breathe of fresh air.
Animation was something that was impressive for an anime of this level. I mean with their budget, I think the studio did a damn good job especially at those action scenes. They added few interesting animation tones here and there that I haven't really seen other anime do. It just feels like the creators actually enjoyed creating this and put in extra efforts to make it awesome.
Overall, I am still confused to why I enjoyed it this much. But whatever, with what it had going for itself, it did a damn good job. And I sincerely hope it gets a season two.
PS. ITTO SHURA! is probably one of the coolest moves I have seen in a while.
I will be honest when we had an incestuous moment with the main lead's sister early on I rolled my eyes, but, after that, I was shocked at how quickly this anime cut the bullshit on the normal "will they won't they" crap you usually get from anime. It's nice to see a functioning relationship in anime for once between the leads.
The female lead Stella also seems like a rational human being, rather than the quirk-filled characters we usually get. She is the princess of a country and thus carries some regal bearing but surprisingly is not stuck up nor a pushover. IT's a
nice change of pace it allows her to able to support Ikki the male lead with all the shit his family throws his way.
The male lead Ikki comes from some prestigious samurai family, but due to the fact Ikki has got no magical talent ( yes in this anime they are not just knights, they are magical knights) they have basically disowned him.
Later on, in the series, you get to see his father disparaging him too. It's mostly due to the patriarch of his family who gave him some encouragement once that has kept him going to when the story starts. Seeing him weather this throughout the show is pretty rough but like I said the support Stella gives him to soldier on is touching at times.
All in all, if you are looking for something fresh as far as anime romances go with a few cool action sequences give this one a try.
Looking for an insanely well animated anime with an underestimated, very strong MC with serious romance going on where the MC actually gets together with the girl he loves? Then this is THE anime you MUST watch!
Every episode is filled with a 100% guarantee of enjoyment! Every episode is also a continuation of the previous one, which makes understanding the story very comfortable. That, combined with the super high quality animations is a sure joy to enjoy!
The MC has been through a lot, which shows during the entire anime. The MC has shown incredible feets but also not so incredible ones. Why is a strong
MC called the Worst one? Well, you'll understand when you watch the anime!
You could say that this anime has an harem going on too, but is that really true?
There are plenty of side characters, but the ones that really stick to the MC are easy to see, yet not so easy to figure out, nor understand. There's been put thought into that and due to that, some of the side characters might even seem more powerful than the MC himself! Also, there are a few totally mysterious characters which are kind of hard to figure out due to them being unexpectedly strong yet, they show their strength barely in public.
The romance part plays a big role in the story as it really connects viewer to what the MC actually thinks.
Too bad, I can't say much more than this otherwise I will spoil you too much.
Enjoy the watch!
P.S. This was my first review ever, so please be generous with me :P
[Why should you watch this?] Because it’s the biggest breath of fresh air to the high school battle harem genre in quite some time.
[What should you expect?] Awesome fights, a romance that actually goes somewhere, a very likable and respectable MC, a fantastic red-hair tsundere, a great cast of characters, a straight forward story, some decent villains, and some good fanservice here and there.
[Where can you watch it?] You can watch it legally on Hulu (I wish they could have shared it with Crunchyroll or even Daisuki, but oh well!).
Introduction (skip this section if you just
want to get to the actual review): Honestly my feelings won’t be hurt if you stopped reading the review after the short intro above or if you saw the word count and was like, “No way in hell am I reading that much!” That is why I put it there, to give you context of what my review has in store and how long it actually is. It’s your decision if you want to truly want to commit to reading whole my review or just get the highlights. Either is fine.
Now my reviews aren’t going to be how you normally find reviews on MAL. I don’t score everything individually, my review talks about everything in unison with no specific structure and I sure as hell will not being doing a recap of the synopsis. The synopsis is right there at the top of the page, you don’t need me to regurgitate that for you (ha!). Now since you know what to expect, please, consider giving my review a chance! If I convince at least one person to check out this show because of my review, I’ll consider it a success.
The Actual Review: Chivalry is special title for me this season. Looking at the surface, it has everything that western anime fans usually despise nowdays: a high school battle school setting, a redheaded tsundere, an underrated MC that’s actually really strong, and what looks like a stereotypical harem in the making. However, Chivalry uses all these tired and true tropes in such a way that is not only refreshing, but also bold.
Let’s start with our main heroine, Stella. Stella has got to be one of the best tsunderes to come out of a battle harem show in some time, actually I’d go as far to say, probably one of the best tsunderes out there. Definitely not as deep as tsunderes like Rin Tohaska (my personal favorite) and Asuka Soryu, but she is developed nonetheless. More so, it’s her personality that really draws you in. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a tsundere that has balanced tsun and dere so well (Lucia from Rewrite would be a good contender however). Stella has a lot more dere than tsun and it will make your inner self squeal like a little girl at least more than once from the cuteness. Stella really grows a lot from the first episode and it’s great to see. Our stuck up, hotheaded princess learns to care for other people and opens her heart to our hero. Stella is never a helpless damsel, but an equal, and is treated with respect. She can stand on her own two feet and does not walk behind our MC, but with him, shoulder to shoulder.
Now onto our hero, Ikki. Ikki is not your average battle harem MC with “undeniable” morals who is cowardly to anything sexual and is annoyingly over-powered and is even modest to his strength acting like he’s some weakling when he’s the strongest there is. No, Ikki takes those horrid tropes and turns them into something that makes sense and maybe even relatable to some. Ikki is a true gentlemen: very honorable, respectful, and kind. In a way, he’s almost like a traditional samurai or knight. Though, in many ways he is still an average guy with the same urges any male would have and that’s what makes him stand out in a good way. Now let’s just get the elephant out of the room here, Ikki handles fanservice moments very well and has some good reactions to them that shouldn’t make you roll your eyes like so many other animes do. It boggled my mind that he was just so normal in his thinking and actions, and that he is also very upfront about his feelings. He is very genuine and true, he never once felt out of character, even in the fanservice moments. Ikki is also not the perfect gem that is just too good to be true. He is someone that is both extraordinary and ordinary, making a good balance without one overcoming the other. In terms of his power, well, I won’t go too deep into that but Ikki works hard for his victories. You learn plenty about his training and what he had to go through, and seeing him fight just makes you want to root him on. He is confident in his strength, but is aware of others’ strength. He doesn’t underestimate his opponents, but he also doesn’t underestimate himself. He is determined and treats each fight with care. Ikki’s goals are a bit complicated and what he’s fighting for is something most people can get on board with. Instead of a MC that seems to be portrayed as some weakling and yet seems to win his battles with added cheap suspense, when we all know he’s going to win, we are instead given a MC that we know is strong despite his title and has to give it his all each battle to win. Each win feels completely fair and deserved, I never once thought Ikki won because of a cheap plot device. Ikki earns his wins and he earns his respect. As I said before, Ikki is not a perfect butterfly and has a few demons of his own that get looked upon in an excellent way. Ikki has great development throughout, just as his female counterpart does, and it’s a great to watch it unfold.
Now onto the actual romantic relationship. Ikki and Stella are my favorite couple of the year without a doubt. It’s so rare to see such a normally depicted teenage relationship in any anime these days that you tend to treasure the animes that do get it right every now and then; Chivalry is definitely one of those rare few. Despite Ikki and Stella having such different backgrounds and personalities, they complement in each other in so many different ways and find the best out of each other. I don’t want to give away too much, but this is a romantic relationship that goes places. It doesn’t have a kiss at the end of the series, and it doesn’t have a kiss and then suddenly all development beforehand is disregarded. No, this show goes far beyond the first kiss and develops the relationship in such a manner that is both realistic and respectable. I’m the type of guy that almost demands sexual contact in a relationship and it drives me nuts when I see so many relationships in animes disregard it completely. Ikki and Stella develop as a couple and the two of them learn from each other how exactly to convey their love. They’re teens that are interested in all the sexual things that every young couple are interested in and worry about the same things young couples would worry about. The fact that they are able to open up to each other and discuss matters that wouldn’t as far as be alluded in other animes is a triumph, considering how rarely it happens. I couldn’t believe how many things the relationship did right, I feel like someone was going to pop up on screen and be like, “Nah, we’re fucking with you! It’s all fake!” No, this show, despite having harem aspects, focuses on one couple and that said couple actually becomes a couple and acts like a couple (I know, weird isn’t it?). It is so simple, but yet so compelling. I can only hope to dear god that more battle harems in the future follow Chivalry’s lead because at the end of the day, most of us just want to see a solid romance without the endless gimmicks.
The fanservice I believe is also used quite well. Fanservice isn’t a sensitive topic for me like it is for so many others it seems. I usually enjoy it, but because I tend to like it, I can also tell the quality of fanservice as well. Yes, there is different qualities of fanservice: good fanservice, semi-good fanservice, average fanservice, bad fanservice, etc. Some people don’t want to believe this and just think all fanservice is bad, but that’s not the case! Anyways, there was some good sexy moments and they never felt overdone, it felt just right and I believe it fit the context of the moment/scene. The character reactions also makes it a lot more bearable. You should like it and find it assuming, there is especially one scene a little later in the series that was just such a damn good and sexy. It’s hard to explain it without actually saying it, but when you get there, YOU’LL KNOW.
As far as the other characters go, I’ll try to be brief as to not completely ruin it for you. They are all very good characters that you’ll care about. Alice is great secondary male, and the other three girls that get major focus all have their different motives and are interesting. They all have their quirks and are quite entertaining. I liked them all very much and thought they were nice additions to the cast. Shizuku cock blocks every now and then, but even those moments can fairly funny. For the most part, I think you’ll enjoy these characters.
The villains can be quite despicable. I wouldn’t say they’re cardboard cutouts that we’re used to in so many other harem shows, but they are quite nasty. But some of them actually get development and we see another side to them that will make you think twice about their characters. This show has decent villains, not phenomenal, but definitely above average I’d say. You’ll hate many of them, but you won’t hate them so much because they’re annoyingly evil but because some of them are just true scumbags.
As for the story, honestly, it’s pretty straight forward. There’s definitely some family conflicts on the side, but the story is very focused on its one setting and that may be for the best. This is character driven show, the story is gives it direction and that’s all it needs to do at the moment.
The art and animation are amazing. They’re so crisp and fluid, Sliver Link didn’t hold back on this one. It’s clear which anime got the better budget this season between the two Silver Link shows (sorry 35th Platoon!). The fight scenes are especially well crafted with such intensity in the animation. Legit, this show had some of the best fights I’ve seen all year. The choreography is fantastic and the animation never falls behind. The character designs are also very high quality and I think they look great.
All and all, Chivalry is a great show and a fresh installment in a genre that is extremely stagnate. It’s so rare do we get such likable main characters in a show such as this and it’s even rarer that said characters actually progress into a developed romantic relationship. Some of you may think I’m giving this show too much credit, but I believe this show deserves my admiration. It didn’t blow minds with being incredibly unique in its setting, story, or characters. Rather, it excelled in its familiar, yet very different approach. Showing us that this genre still has some potential hidden deep inside if writers truly wished to look for it. Chivalry simply takes the tropes we know and loath, and uses them in a way that is both recognizable and new. It doesn’t strive for the extraordinary, but rather using the ordinary in a better way. That my friends, I believe is worth praising.
By far the underdog of this season, Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry exceeded my expectations. The weak and generic start can put off a lot of people. Where as many will simply discard it as another addition to the list of ever growing bad harem anime.
But that will be a grave mistake, because amongst the bad shows the good ones get disregarded.
Such is the case with Rakudai Kishi.
Story wise, it does not do much different, a school setting where students are called Blazers and they battle in selection matches to be selected in the Nationals. Nothing new here, the change arrives with the introduction of
our main leads.
Stella Vermellion, an A class top of the class Knight and Ikki Kurogane, a failed F rank knight.
The character personalities is a common share, what keeps them fresh is the interaction between them.
The main is not some dumb, dense, perverted idiot, but a super strong, knight who can take on any opponent. Throughout the show, the characters evolve and change with clear personality development.
The harem tag is immediately dropped as the two main develops a relationship in the fourth episode further solidifying it in the last.
The plot twist and the epic battle scenes make it a must watch show. It is a product of great battle scenes, breath taking moments and situations where you start rooting for the main as if you are in there.
No words about the sound, its very well done.
Overall, Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry came out to be a show that despite a weak start with generic setting and characters, picks up the pace and continues to evolve till the end.
It could have been better and more well received, if it was not for the drag the first 3 episodes were.
Here's my review of Rakudai Kishi no Calvary. I tried my best to make it short, had to actually cut a lot of stuff out (it's still kind of long) but I didn't want to drag it out.
The concept of Rakudai Kishi no Calvary is not unique. We've seen it a thousand times before actually. It's a magical school series where students fight against each other in an elimination round style to prove that they're the best in the school. Main Character, who always has a crowd of girls around him for some reason, is labeled one of the worst fighters but is
actually one of the best, etc. etc. Just the usual. But something that separates Rakudai from every other series is the actual content in the story; the execution of it. Hidden underneath the introduction of the series is a fantastic anime that makes it more than the typical shounen.
The art is a little unique. It doesn't look like your typical anime art, though that doesn't mean it isn't good. The character design is average; the backgrounds are beautiful, and the way it's overall drawn is pretty nice. The art rarely ever falters as well. And in the last six episodes especially, the colors play a unique feat.
The music and overall soundtrack of Rakudai is pretty good. The opening is very catchy and won't leave you disappointed. I can't say the same for the ending (the ending sounds like something in a horror anime tbh. It reminds me of Another's opening) but it isn't too bad either.
While we're discussing about sound, I should add in that most of the character's voice actors/seiyuus voices really fit their characters. You know those characters who look super badass and mature but their voice is super squeaky like a loli or a child? That doesn't happen in this anime.
The main characters are pretty good. Their personalities aren't original or anything and there's definitely a lot of recycled tropes and cliches, but the characters are still enjoyable and nice.
Both the male and female lead, Ikki Kurogane and Stella Vermilion, are both nice characters. They both trained very hard to get to where they are today, and neither of them are dense. They might be annoying in the beginning, but both of them get character development over the series, making them lovable characters.
There's some other characters as well, like Ikki's sister, Shizuku, who can be very, very annoying in the beginning of the series but becomes an enjoyable one, and Ikki's friend, Alice, is mostly there to give him support throughout the show. There's also a whole bunch of other side characters too.
As for enjoyment, I thoroughly enjoyed this anime. It was quite the pleasure watching of. I loved a lot of things about it; the amazing choreographed fight scenes, the lovely soundtrack, the fact that it's NOT a harem, the extremely cute romance in it, etc. I don't have too much to say as to why I liked this anime, but I just know that I was anticipating for the next episode every week as it aired. In my eyes, it was a totally enjoyable anime and I honestly hope that it gets a season 2.
Overall, I'd give it an 8. Personally, I rated this as a 9 on my anime list (since I rate mostly on enjoyment) but if I added in all the other factors such as story, art, etc. then it'd become an 8.
Rakudai Kishi no Calvary is a fantastic series, and though it's concept is pretty cliche and overused, the execution of the show is amazing.
First of all, why i liked the anime: I watched it with my father and both of us enjoyed it, great animation and outstanding battles, the characters may be a bit cliches and i dont know, i've seen a lot of animes that have a lot of swords but i specialy liked this one, the light novel has great art too thanks to Won, Stella and Shizuku are so cute and Arisu is a great charachter too, the opening theme is epic and its 3 different versions made you hype while you watching it, the ending theme is a bit weird it gives me a
strange feeling so i literally skip it just to see the great art made by the fans and cool illustrators. the fights have 10/10. I've just read 2 volumes of the Light Novel but i want to see more about it, great anime.
I was going to give this an 8/10 but those last 5 minutes i had to give it a 9...HAHA one of the best of the fall.
Also i am happy to see so many comments saying that this series is far better than they thought it would be ...even those who find it bad admit..it is far better than most other battle tournament, ecchi, romance series.
The key ingredients that makes this series far better than the rest are: The Romance Development, The Character Development and breaking a lot of the genre's cliche.
I am doing my part and getting this when Sentai releases it...i hope it
does get a S2 but if not i am happy with this as it ended a lot more conclusive than most other Light Novels adaptation even if they ended just before the actual tournament starts....i mean cmon you have LN that take the whole course of the series just to have them hook up...let alone a proposal. at the very least i hope the LN gets official translated.
9/10 i would give it the Title of Greatest Dark Horse of 2015. this is my opinion ok.
Sometimes there is one aspect to a show that can save it from pure mediocrity. It may not try to propel it into the status of "classic" or "greatness", as there are still other aspects to it that are either okay or bad, but it can still garner it some admiration for trying. Rakudai Kishi no Calvary has the distinction of being one of these shows. As much as my expectations were shrouded in apathy when I started, by the time I was halfway through Rakudai, that apathy dissipated from just one aspect of it that kept me coming back.
The aspect I'm talking about in
Rakudai is how the show managed to form what could have been a generic romantic comedy plot and woven it into something that is quite unique, both in tone and writing. The plot involves our two main heroes, Ikki and Stella, that slowly develop a bond at the beginning of the show after they are forced to share a room together at a knight academy. Strangely enough it starts out like your generic romance where the girl acts tsundere towards the male lead, with your standard cliches involving humorous ecchi moments. At that point it's just okay, but then around the middle point of the show it starts to morph into something very remarkable to say the least. We see our couple start to actually act like a real couple would act once they confessed their love towards one another where they would argue constantly and share their feelings through physical or verbal needs. It was a breath of fresh air to see something that I hadn't seen in quite some time. To see an anime couple that actually felt like a couple with an intense love for another. An adorable couple that could be the best anime couple in the past year or so.
Too bad everything else about the plot couldn't quite follow up on how great the relationship building was for Ikki and Stella. It isn't just because it is something we have seen before, the "set in an academy holding a fighting competition that our protagonist participates," but also the fact that everything just feels so superficial and bland from how it is structured. It's almost as if the writers didn't know what to do to make this scenario anymore interesting, so they just tried to create these subplots involving other characters that felt one-note and not thought out well enough. Every time there was an match going on between two characters, all I felt was complete apathy from the whole experience by how badly they built up the plot for me to feel any tension on what the outcome would be. Does not help the fact that the action sequences are not anything to write at home about; not anything terrible or bad, just average to my eyes.
While the action is not groundbreaking, that has nothing to do with the quality of the art and animation. I have to admit that the character designs are nice and colorful to look at. From the beautiful red hair of Stella that gives a devilish/cuteness aura around her that matches her personality to the supple bodies of all the girls, the art design makes a ton of effort to create a nice distinct look for Rakudai. Even though the animation is not always on point, it is good enough to warrant a passing mark to create a decent framework for the action sequences, despite my under-enthused mood towards them.
Like I said, Ikki and Stella are the hallmark of Rakudai and made me keep coming back to the show every week. The other characters, however, don't necessarily have a similar response from me. Most of them ranging on the mediocre to forgettable spectrum of quality characters. Shizuku is one such example that felt like was tossed on the wayside through the majority of the show in favor of Stella. While that does make sense since Stella is the main girl, they still touted Shizuku up as a love rival but they don't really follow up on her much once Stella became Ikki's girl. Again, might seem logical in that respect, however they still attempt to give Shizuku a much needed climatic moment near the end, but by the time I get to that point I completely forgot what the point of her character was. So I was quick to show no interest in anything she did up until the end, just like the rest of the other cast.
This is an ecchi anime as well, so for those that are still worried of Rakudai steeping closer to generic territory, don't be alarmed. While most of the ecchi fanservice involves our main heroine Stella, that is all the woman you need to tickle your ecchi bone fellas. I found it quite enjoyable to see a girl like Stella, a tsundere at heart, starting to open up, as she and Ikki start forming a romance, to him as a naughty girl. You often see girls like this in hentai saying something this straight forward, not even in the most raunchiest ecchi anime you could get your hands on do you often hear something as blunt as that. Besides the typical washing the protagonist back scenario, some of the ecchi moments come off as borderline heartwarming as they involve a romantic connection between the two main leads. It adds a new flavor to the ecchi mix that made me hoping for more in the coming episodes.
Despite many of the issues I've had with Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry, I still thought it was a decent anime to see, oddly enough. I guess you could chalk it up as the relationship plot arc as being so highly regarded by me that the flaws of it aren't terribly huge as it would have been if the Stella and Ikki relationship arc was not as strong. At its worst, it is mediocre. At its best, its good. Its an above-average middle of the road show that will enlighten some and detract others. For me, I just want more girls like Stella-chan to exist in the anime spectrum. Please?
Greetings fellow Otakus! :3 I'm Marik and this will be my spoiler free review of the Fall 2015 anime: Rakudai Kishi No Cavalry, I'm going to split this review into Five sections: Story/Plot, Characters, Art Design/Animation, Music/Soundtrack and then my overall thoughts on this anime. Let's go ahead ;P *Disclaimer* This is my opinion on the anime and as such if you don't share the same thoughts as me on anything within the review feel free to let me know and we can discuss and share our opinions in a civilized fashion, also I'm open to any constructive criticism but please no negative comments or
uncalled for hate and show respect to one another :3
- Story/Plot: Rakudai Kishi No Cavalry or Chivalry of a Failed Knight is an anime set within a world where gifted humans can materialize their souls into weapons which are known as devices and each device has unique ability's that give these humans incredible power, these gifted humans are known as "Blazers" and they are the equivalent of modern day knights/magicians. These Blazers attend various schools around Japan to hone their skills and become strong knights, then they graduate from these schools and go on to protect Japan from any threat the world may impose as official Magical Knights/Blazers. In these schools there is a ranking system based on how talented of a Blazer you are and from lowest to highest it goes rank F, D, C, B then A. As you attend these schools every year there is an annual competition called The Seven Stars Festival in which Blazers from seven schools all over the country compete in intense one on one matches until one knight is deemed the most powerful Blazer in the country. (That's attending school) The story revolves around Ikki Kurogane, an F ranked Blazer who is widely known as "The Worst One" or "The Failed Knight" as he has no talent/aptitude for magical ability whatsoever, in fact he has a tenth of the average magical power of a regular person. He attends Blazer school in the hopes of proving to everyone around him that through hard work and determination and winning The Seven Stars Festival, even a "Failure" like him can become a knight as powerful as any other. At the start of a new year at school Ikki encounters a half naked foreign princess called Stella Vermillion who is changing in his room and this fateful encounter will change his life forever. :3
My thoughts on the Story/Plot: Overall the plot to this anime is good, it's not to complicated as to where you struggle to understand/keep up with it but it's not to vague as to where your wondering what the anime is about in the first place. It has a clear setting and a clear direction as to where it wants to go and the main character has a clear goal that he wants to achieve. The genres of this anime include: Action, Ecchi, Fantasy, Romance and School. Also the plot is never "Tossed aside" and replaced with fan service so if your worried about that happening you can relax and cast your fears aside ahah :3
Characters: As the story progresses a huge cast of diverse characters are introduced/added into the mix.
Ikki Kurogane: Ikki is the main character and is voice acted by Ryota Osaka. Other notable characters he has voice acted include Vali Lucifer from Highschool DxD, Staz Charlie from Blood Lad and many others. Ikki is from The Noble Clan: The Kurogane clan, which had produced generations of extremely talented magical knights, however when he was a child he was very ill treated and ignored by his family because he had no talent for being a Blazer, which was a fundamental requirement in a family such as the Kuroganes. When he was a small child he had had enough of his mistreatment and as a result ran away from home during a blizzard, as he was walking through the snow he came to the logical conclusion that he was going to die being a waste of life, however miraculously he was found by his grandfather, who is known as the most powerful magical knight in history, his Grandfather then saw his situation and took him in, saving him from certain death, and then Ikki grew up living with his Grandfather. However his Grandfather could not train him personally as he was to old and rugged, however he gave Ikki all of his wisdom and kindness and as a result Ikki developed a strong will and resolve and trained by himself tirelessly everyday of his life, honing his skills in swordsmanship and the way of the Samurai, while he had no aptitude for magical ability, his physical ability was superhuman, conditioning his body with intense exercise and training for years on end, this became his greatest strength as a magical knight and is shown throughout the series as the source of his backbone. Ikki's personality is very interesting, he is kind and disciplined to a fault, never resorting to violence and never shows any feelings of hatred or contempt towards others (Unless they deserve it), he is hardworking and has amazing resolve and determination in anything he wants to achieve, he is also very decisive which is a much appreciated trait for a main character :D unlike some mc's ;P he is very inspiring, he inspires others in a way that no one else could, often showing to others that talent isn't everything, including a certain someone ;P he is also very compassionate and able to relate to others very well, and finally he is very likeable, another awesome trait for a main character to have. Overall he is the definition of a Samurai and is a very good main character, he is everything you'd want in a main character and offers a very unique perspective on things. His chemistry with Stella is very genuine and awesome to watch and gets better and better as they become roommates very early on in the series etc. :3
Stella Vermillion: Stella is the main heroine of the show and is voice acted by Shizuka Ishigami. Other notable characters she has voice acted includes: Ayame Kajou from Shimoneta to Iu Gainen ga Sonzai Shinai Taikutsu na Sekai, Ellis Fahrengart from Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance and many more. Stella is from The Royal Vermillion Family, a family of royals of a small island nation, she is the daughter of the Emperor of this island nation and is a princess as a result. Since she was a little girl she has had amazing talent for being a Blazer and as such she had never lost a one on one match in her life, as well as being talented she also works extremely hard, honing her skills since she was this little girl. Although her mother told her she didn't have to become a Blazer if it meant going through all of this tough training and hardship. However she continues regardless, emphasizing that if her nation wanted to truly prosper and grow she had to become a strong Blazer and be a shining role model to her subjects.
I'll be frank and say that Stella's personality is that of a Tsundere's xD (If you don't know what a "Tsundere" is it is a Japanese term for a character development process that describes a person who is initially cold and even hostile towards another person before gradually showing their warm side over time.) Although she is a very likeable Tsundere, she is very kind and compassionate at heart and is very distinguished since she is a princess after all, however she is very arrogant and pompous at the start of the show but has amazing character development in which she grows and matures into an amazing young woman, she's quite childish and since she is a Tsundere but not in a bad way, she is very cheeky and as such is very cute as well :3 she is a very strong independent woman so she has a hatred for those who assume that her life is a walk in the park since she is so talented and a princess of a nation and as such is very misunderstood. Overall the best thing about her is her amazing chemistry with Ikki, as this anime is fundamentally a romance between these two very different yet similar people it's very genuinely enjoyable and an awesome experience seeing these two grow closer together and do cute romancy things together, which does happen! thankfully haha :3
Shizuku Kurogane: Shizuku Kurogane is Ikki's little sister and is introduced fairly early in the show and is voice acted by Nao Touyama. Other notable characters she has voice acted includes: Momo Kawanagare from Ai Tenchi Muyou!, Hikari Senami from Busou Chuugakusei: Basket Army, and many more. Shizuku is the daughter of The Noble Clan: The Kurogane Clan, which as I mentioned before had produced generations of extremely talented magical knights and Shizuku is no exception unlike Ikki, she is a very talented Blazer and is especially adept with magical ability, she is a treasured member of the family and as a result got all the attention she could desire and had a very affluent lifestyle growing up, she had no worries at all and overall was very happy, she had a very close connection to Ikki and loved him dearly, as she grew older she realized how badly her own family had been treating her older brother, especially her father who despised Ikki because he had no talent for being a magical knight, she then relinquished her place in the Kurogane Clan, ashamed of being apart of such a cruel and inhumane family. She then decided that when she met up with Ikki when she began attending his Blazer school she would give him the love of a sister, a mother and a girlfriend/wife etc, which he had never had growing up. I was a little nervous about the shows quality when I found this out as I was afraid that it would be a weird "bro con" relationship between them but thankfully although she does occasionally be quite intimate with him in terms of hugging etc, she doesn't have a love for him based on lust, she genuinely cares about him and his well being and as such is very protective of him and just wants him to be with someone that makes him happy. Her personality is very unique, she's kind and very open with her friends however she is at heart very shy and conservative, often shying away from social activities etc, she is very mature for her age but since she's still a teen she's also childish and has hilarious conversations with Stella as they passive aggressively fight each other when they disagree on something, her chemistry with Ikki is very believable and genuine and as such she is a very good supporting character in the cast of characters this show has. :3
Nagi Arisuin: Nagi Arisuin (Aka "Alice") is Shizuku's roommate in the show and is voice acted by Shintaro Asanuma. Other notable characters he has voice acted includes: Takumu Mayuzumi from Accel World, Crow Hogan from Yu-Gi-Oh 5D's and many more. Not a lot is explored about Alice in the show in terms of backstory etc, he is Shizuku's roommate and is a very interestingly quirky character in the series. He has a very unique personality and quickly becomes Shizuku's best friend and closest person she knows besides Ikki. He is a very flamboyant character, often wearing very eccentric outfits/clothing and likes to do a lot of things that would be deemed "girly" such as gossiping, going shopping at the mall etc. Even though he is biologically a male he considers himself to be a woman at heart and as such acts accordingly xD this is definitely not something I'm against as he provides a very distinct diversity within the cast of characters and offers a unique perspective on things that occur within the show, he is kind and caring, very cheeky/funny and always enjoys teasing the other characters on the show, he is also a very strong Blazer and is always there to support/give characters advice when they need it, in a sense he's like the mother figure of the group of characters, always making sure everyone's okay and offering help whenever he can. Overall I'd say he is another very good supporting character in the cast of characters this show has. :3
Those were all of the "main" characters of the show, as there are many other side characters who get fleshed out and introduced, and there are two villains within the show that I won't spoil as this is a spoiler free review :3
Art Design/Animation: The Art Design/Animation within this anime is very good and should be acknowledged, from the characters to the scenery, to the action/fight scenes, everything is crisp, colourful and overall full of life, and also very dark/bland when it needs to be, nothing seems out of place or can be seen as a questionable decision when it comes to the design/colours. It definitely sets the standard for 2015 anime and does not disappoint. :3
Music/Soundtrack: The Music/Soundtrack in this anime is awesome, from the opening, to the action scenes, to the dramatic/emotional scenes, to the comedic scenes, to the sentimental scenes, nothing is out of place, the music is definitely well thought out/made and the director definitely payed special attention to what music should be played when etc. :3
My Overall Thoughts: In conclusion this anime is definitely a cut above the rest in the Fall 2015 season, with great action, romance, comedy and drama, along with a few sexy moments ;P this is a must watch anime for any magic school/romance fan, or even action/ecchi fan, although more action than ecchi I'd say ahah. Positives for this anime include: Great characters, Great Art Design/Animation, Great Music/Soundtrack, a believable and genuine romance, it doesn't "beat around the bush" and gets to the point, has an easy to follow but not simplistic plot, a clear goal that the main character has and a great ending that definitely sets up a season two well. Negatives include: Sometimes the fights are over a bit to quickly/seemed a bit to easy for Ikki, only sometimes however, and one or two characters aren't really fleshed out as much as they could be. I'd rate this anime an 8 out of 10, thank you for reading my review (If anyone did xD) and this has been Marik and I'll see you in the next review :3
Keep in mind this review is my first review in a long time, so bear with me please. Anyway let's start my review of an anime that is completely underrated, and wrongly compared to another anime this season known as Gakusen Toshi Asterisk.
Cavalry tends to come off as an anime that'll be your typical magical school, harem "Romance". But Cavalry breaks that mold, and creates a real romance. One that doesn't leave you upset by the end *cough* *cough* Asterisk *cough*. The story follows Kurogane Ikki(MC), as he struggles to prove to his family, who constantly attempted to sabotage him, that he can do anything
if he works hard at it. To prove himself, he competes in the school's tournament in hopes to represent his school in the seven stars sword art festival.
This art is soo vibrant, the colors just blend so well. The character designs are ok, the animation did take a dip in quality but by the end of the series i didn't even care. I don't pay a lot of attention to sound but i'm in love with the opening.
Kurogane Ikki- Known as the "worst one" due to his magical power being so low. He is considered a failure by his family. But through hard work, he succeeds in showing how badass and OP he can be. He repeated his grade because of his family's influence ffs. This mc also earned my respect by actually picking a girl, i mean really, have you really ever seen that in your typical harem...
Stella Vermillion- The heroine, the princess of another country, and Ikki's girlfriend. I also forgot to mention she's a badass on her own. People want to refer to her as the tsundere, but i think she's just extremely shy. By episode 3 she already realizes her feelings for Ikki, and even attempts to ask him on a date.
Kurogane Shizuku- The only character i hate, really if you watch this you'll know why. Her only redeeming quality is how strong she is tbh. I really don't want to waste too much time or words on her...
Nagi Arisuin or Alice- He or she is like the advisor for the small group. He or she gives off an older sibling type of vibe. It's somewhat pleasant to have a character like this as it keeps our characters grounded. Did i mention to say that he refers to himself as a woman so it can get confusing on how to address him or her.
The fight scenes are great, the characters are lovable in their own right. This series can be cute/nice one minute, and be epic or badass the next. It takes a lousy critic to judge an anime based off 1 episode, it takes a good one to look at the series as a whole. But it takes an anime fan to look at a series for its enjoyability. Rakudai has that factor.
This i one of my favorites of 2015, definitely top 10. I wouldn't say this is a masterpiece, but it's surely something to check out. Btw for those of you who aren't fans of ecchi anime, try Asterisk, less ecchi scenes with more or less better fight scenes.