I think I saw a light at the end of the tunnel after Episode 4 of Knight’s & Magic. The light was small and blinked uneasily (and Ernesti is still the little brat we all know) but it was there and called me from afar with a promise of a plot that may come and a world that may have more to offer just yet.
The Adventures of Ernie: R&D with Mecha could have been an alternative title to most of this episode, as Ernie takes the time to awe us with his mechanical knowledge. If you were wondering if this show is more directed to casual fans or die-hard robot lovers, then by now you must have no doubt that the technical jargon and time spent to technical details are not for the fan who just wants to see a robot fight. I’m not one to fall for this level of otakuness, but I respect the fact that the author is a mecha otaku, and this is his story. If nothing else, his love for robots is evident.
Ernie has proclaimed his love for robots as his hobby, and as we all know, hobbies exist just for our own enjoyment. When asked by Addy and Kid (really, their names sound so lazy) why he created a pair of new weapons, Ernie blames his need to be creative. After all, according to the twins (I still assume they are), there are no enemies to fight but the beasts. It seems that the kingdom of Fremmevilla has been in peace with the neighboring kingdom of Occident for some time now. There is no indication that there are more kingdoms lying about. Yet, this is probably the first real info dump about the geography of the world. The show has been slow on its world-building and it’s refreshing to see something relating to that.
Still guessing here, but if there is any kind of coherence in the events of the show, the Order of the Bronze Fang is then either a faction of Fremmevilla that wants war with Occident, or they originate from Occident and have infiltrated Fremmevilla in order to spark war.
Since we mentioned Addy and Kid, this was the first episode that the children occupied some screen time without Ernie there to steal the spotlight. Of course, much of that time was spent on needless anime-like explanations that could have been attributed to Captain Obvious or cute complains about Ernie missing and how Addy could go on without hugging the little feminine boy. Of course, I would have loved if they were written as more clever than they are. Their promise to their father was ill-informed at best and I still don’t understand how they went for it.
The fight was brilliant as always. If you count out that little brat who always makes everything seem so easy with that snob behavior of his (people could have died and he had a smirk on his face, for anime’s sake) the scene exhibited some cool robot action and some fluid animation.
Knight’s and Magic hadn’t delivered on the humor until the scene with Marquis Dixgard. Not that the scene was hilarious, but I was amused at how hard Dixgard tried to push Ernie in admitting that he has an agenda, when in fact he has none. He is just arrogant and selfless. Ok, that might sound like an oxymoron, but in the case of Ernie it is 100% true. The little sociopathic genius has no ego whatsoever and at the same time he cares only about his hobby.
With the narrator still putting pieces here and there, I feel that we haven’t entered the main story yet. Now that we have the possibility of an all-out war, I hope that the show turns from the R&D adventures of a young genius to the implications that come with the political machinations we’ve seen.
More Robots: The Order of the Bronze Fang have their own mecha. You know what that means. There is no good mecha anime without some robot vs robot fighting, and it seems that we will get one really soon. I really liked the design, black and menacing. Even if it blurs the line between good and evil (I don’t like when a show implies such a distinction) I am excited about the fights.
Themes & Trivia
Developer: I know I’ve said that we still don’t know how much of the programmer is in Ernesti, but his behavior does remind of one. He gives a passionate presentation that he doesn’t want to repeat and he dislikes dealing with people. His only concern is to continue with his work and develop more robots. I know a few people who would have fit perfectly in that description.
My first couple of reviews were not in favor of the show, I know that. They weren’t straight-out vitriolic like they were for Qualidea Code, but the lack of a coherent plot and the uninteresting characters were not helping. I started watching the show for the robots. I didn’t care about the isekai element, and the fact that little Ernesti was just a reincarnated programmer never influenced my decision. 4 episodes later, we still don’t know how much isekai is there in the show and the laid-back storytelling is not helping us to find out. If not for the amazing production, I would have probably dropped the series by now. Yet, the robots are amazing, the animation fluid, and the colors robust and appealing to my amateur anime eyes.
Now, we also have a semblance of a plot emerging from the ruins. Maybe I was too quick to judge the anime. Maybe there is a story underneath the rumbles. The characters up until now were not suggesting one, but the addition of the villains (who have robots), the Marquis who is actually more like a mentor than an enemy, and the focus to characters besides Ernie, are promising a brighter future. Who knows; maybe our little scarecrow Ernie develops a few feelings as well. Nah, I wouldn’t go that far.
Ernie. Ernie. Ernie
I really don’t need the rest of the series to be about Ernie and how wonderful he is. There is more to this world than just a brat who was lucky enough to gain the knowledge of a genius programmer (I am still guessing here). There are a few more brats we need to know more about. Also, robots. We need more robot fights.