Thanasis is a writer, professional geek, and assistant editor at MANGA.TOKYO. He started watching anime with the mecha shows of the 70s and hasn't stopped since. He loves JRPGs.
This is what happens when you have too much to say and just an episode to say it. For the entirety of Episode 1 of Knight’s & Magic, I wished someone could have stepped on the robot’s breaks. So many names, and then more names, and then even more names, all in an origin story that spanned 6 years, and all that in 24 minutes. I’m sorry, but my brain was not meant to absorb that kind of rapid information. But it has robots and that’s cool.
Knight’s & Magic is another light novel adaptation. The original was written by Hisago Amazake-no and illustrated by Kurogin. A manga adaptation by Takuji Katō is published by Square Enix.
From our Anime Info Page: A genius programmer and robot otaku ends up reincarnated in another world, where mechas called ‘Silhouette Knight’ exist that can use swords and magic. Being reborn as Ernest Echevarria, he starts to build a perfect mecha that will change the world…
The anime can be found streaming on Crunchyroll.
The premise is interesting, even though it was rushed so much that we haven’t had the chance to properly digest what happened. Kurata is a genius programmer who has one passion: mechas. He is such a robot otaku that he is living in a two room apartment with one room for himself and one for his plastic models. His passion borderlines obsession because even as he dies after a road accident, the only thing he things about are the new models he had just bought and will never have the chance to build.
How and why we don’t know, but he is reincarnated in a fantasy world where the word ‘robot’ does not exist but the robots themselves do. The Kingdom of Fremmevilla created magical mecha called Silhouette Knights to battle giant demons for which we know next to nothing. Instead of just being transferred to that world, he takes the body of the 6-year-old Ernesti Echevalier who probably stopped being himself after Kurata took over his little frail body (I may be wrong about this). Yet, he doesn’t care that he went from a working adult to a small boy, and he even plays the role very well. He does have the childish behavior that befits his new age. Does it make sense? No. The isekai theme of the novel is only revisited in certain bits that have nothing to do with the plot. Young Ernesti may have never developed a passion for these robots and a natural talent for magic (since it is too similar to coding, according to the protagonist) if he wasn’t possessed by the dead soul of a genius programmer. That’s where the isekai connections end, because in every other aspect, the writer could have written the character as a child prodigy of Fremmevilla and the story would have had worked exactly the same. Like every other child prodigy, he is too curious, too adventurous, and too mischievous. And like every other anime child protagonist, he is subject to the clichés of the genre and very quickly befriends a pair of half-identical twins, a like-minded senpai, and a cool big sister.
So many things happened in this episode, that I have trouble remembering everything, but that does underline a certain weakness that I hope will be remedied in later episodes. The premise is cool and I like the robots vs monsters theme, but the plot really needs to slow down and focus somewhere.
Robots: If you can overlook the frenetic pacing and the dozen of names, Knight’s and Magic has robots. I know it sounds over simplistic, but their design is very good and the battles are properly animated. Even if plot-wise fails, the show has some potential for some serious action entertainment. Especially when Ernesti builds his custom robot.
Too Cute: Ernesti is too short and too androgynous for his own good. I am guessing that he will be mistaken for a girl many times in the future. Of course, his voice helps in maintaining that look. He is voiced by voice actress Rie Takahashi (Megumin in Konosuba).
Let’s Combine Races: The anime is full of clichés. We have already established that. The dwarves are blacksmiths. They are hairy. They are good at fixing things. But since we do not have elves to counter them, the illustrator gave them elf ears.
Gunblade: The combination of two weapons to create something new is a common trope in fantasy fiction. From Squall’s gunblade to Ivy’s signature whip blade in Soul Calibur, many of these weapons are incredibly cool but they are also highly impractical. Since we are talking about robots, a good example from anime is the laser blade from Gundam. Can you think of any other examples? Share them in the comments below.
Grammar and Episode Titles: The anime is going to follow the ‘X & Y’ format we find in its grammatically wrong title. I don’t know if that apostrophe mistake was done on purpose but I highly doubt it.
Youjo Senki: The Saga of Tanya the Evil is still fresh in my mind and the comparison was inevitable. Tanya was not an otaku but she was a genius psychopath who would do anything to get back to the being who was to blame for his reincarnation into a cruel and bloody world. Here the reincarnation is a blessing. I don’t even thing Ernesti cares how and why he was brought to this world. Robots, man. Who cares how it happened? I prefer Tanya’s story.
Narrator: Ernesti’s mother takes on the role of the narrator. She is the one tasked with rushing the episode to the point that we get up to speed with everything we need to know about the series before the real action starts. Sorry, mother, but it didn’t work. I don’t know much about the light novel but I suspect that everything we saw in this episode happen in real time in the actual light novels.
Light novels have been criticized for their low literary quality and how that poor quality is reflected in their anime adaptations. I have a lot of objections when it comes to adaptations in all mediums and especially on the reasons they happen. Anime adaptations are not like remastered albums or Blu-ray enhanced movies. They are a different interpretation. Since I rarely read manga, and the only light novel I have ever read was the first of the Sword Art Online series (that was one awful book) I can’t make any comparisons.
YES, OK. I LIKE ROBOTS.
Jokes aside, I sincerely hope that the pacing of this first episode was a one-time occurrence. We now know what happened in the last 6 years, and with another run of the episode we might remember a name or two. Now it’s time to get to the plot and to what is happening in this world and why. If Knight’s and Magic fails to do that, then it will be nothing more than a big pile of anime clichés.
Did you like Episode 1 of Knight’s and Magic? Let us know in the comments below by using either the forum or the Facebook tab! Join us in our new forum and let’s talk about our favorite series! Also, don’t forget to check the last of our episodic anime reviews and the first series reviews for Spring 2017, and then go straight to our new Summer 2017 reviews!
NEXT TIME: Hero & Beast!