For our first anime review on the site, we will be looking at the Fall 2015 show Chivalry of a Failed Knight. This show is very interesting, as it released and lasted the same amount of time compared to a similar show of its style The Asterisk War. The big difference between those shows is that Chivalry is a good show that gets a lot right despite falling into similar trappings of other Light Novel adaptions.
The story is about how we follow the young man Ikki Kurogane as he wants to become a Magical Knight despite the fact he is the weakest link of his family power level wise. On the flip side, we have young princess Stella Vermillion heading to the same school Ikki is attending and what you would expect to happens, well, happens.
They have a rough encounter and she ends up falling for him later on in the series, but a lot of small things done right making what is a generic show, become quite enjoyable. One thing is that the fights have a lot of stakes attached to them thanks to characters showing a lot of damage from fights; they lose blood when hit and visibly get medical attention after most fights. That sounds very minor, but it gives the show a realistic vibe to me. Another thing worth noting is how everything the show presents is explained. Every power the characters have has some description so you are never lost and a lot of little details are hidden in the background so that when you get the message behind them, it clicks for you. A great example of this is in Episode 4 where Ikki tries hard to put up a confident face before his first big battle but a lot of little details show how worried and afraid he is of the fight.
The show even has a great romance between Ikki and Stealla, as I personally enjoyed their connection and the fact other girls aren’t latching on to Ikki like in other anime like SAO or The Asterisk War. This allows the relationship to be a main focus and the show even explores themes of sexuality in a respectful manner. We also have some really enjoyable supporting characters like Ikki’s sister Shizuku Kurogane who has powerful ice powers and transgender woman Alice who is the character many talk to for advice and support.
One thing I personally really loved about the story of this anime was the final two episodes of the show. They are events that force Ikki to face his past with his family and the conditions he faces before his big final fight were hard to watch. Not to mention the presentation during these two episodes, using amazing colors and gradients, to show how rough this experience is for Ikki.
The story does have issues though and it largely is the things it takes from other shows of its type. Fan service is present and very in your face at points, but there is some logic behind it regarding Stella. She is in a relationship with Ikki by the time Episode 4 ends, her being so up-front with him about her physical attraction to Ikki is logical to a degree thanks to that. And if you saw The Asterisk War in the past, the entire series takes elements from that show but many times does those same things better. Just worth pointing out, considering I can image it bothering people.
Overall, the story of this show is enjoyable and strong despite it falling into the pit of common tropes every now and then.
This shows presentation is very interesting as well, due to it experimenting often. We have the opening that has 2D animation for Ikki and a news report on Stella on TV but the rest of the room is in GCI for a short bit. Another example is Episode 11 where the art has its color drained and is very harsh with the color choices; lots of grey, red and shadows overtake the show at this point to hit home Ikki is in real pain and close to giving up.
Voice acting is only in Japanese as of now but the VA is done well. The character voices match the character designs and you can feel the emotion behind some of the lines the characters say.
This anime took me off guard, as I was expecting it to be just okay or average. But in the end, I think its a great show that while having issues sometimes, is a great ride that I recommend any fan of anime give a watch. You can find it on streaming services like Crunchyroll if you want to give it a watch. Hope you enjoyed my little review and plan on making more anime reviews in the future!