Episode 9 of Knights’s & Magic brought a bit more of the same: a lot of names, new robots, amazingly cool battles, and an Ernesti that managed to irritate me with his snobbishness in the one scene he dominated. There was one major difference though: the rushed plot and the difficult names and the dozen or so new characters could have made for a decent story if they were used from the beginning of the season. This show could have been something; if only…
Do you remember those ninja thieves from a while ago that stole those Silhouette Knights? We finally get to know the nation they serve, and it’s your usual stereotypically evil empire that governs over a black land that has a red moon and generally has that evil aura you expect from their evil hearts because they are evil and evil people do evil things and the evil thing these evil people want to do is to conquer the world. I am repeating the word ‘evil’ because the show had so much imagery to suggest it that I got tired from their evilness. The Kingdom of Zaloudek wants to reclaim the world because according to their history books, their country was the one that once ruled them all. It’s their ancestral right, or something like that.
It seems that the show is trying hard to be as morally black and white as possible. Ernesti may be an emotionless jerk, but he is a GENIUS and a SAVIOR and THE BEST COMMANDER EVER. He is also THE MOST INTELLIGENT person on the planet and he is clearly THE GOOD GUY. On the other hand, Zaloudekians are EVIL and they want TO TAKE OVER THE PLANET. Someone has to stop them. Maybe this is a good time to insert the sacrifice of a good-natured king and the abduction of his beautiful and innocent daughter. We can further prove how smart and good our heroes are by having them slice a few enemies but not kill the drivers, and then put a good spy in the evil castle because of course they would have had one, and let the narrator be the not so objective storyteller.
This story could have been a more complex and morally grey narrative if only they have used it from the beginning instead of wasting screen time on Ernesti and his gunplay building.
Instead, the series decided to spend the most dramatic moments of its run on characters we have never met. I couldn’t care less about the Kingdom of Kushpercha but still the show somehow assumed that the sacrifice of the King and the tears of the daughter (and a few screams from a maid, what was she) could have somehow give the series the drama it lacked. Once more, the characters were just a vehicle to get to the real focus of the series: the battles.
We saw flying ships and paratrooping robots. We saw the prince blasting an iron door and we saw Ikaruga slicing up a few enemies without meeting any significant resistance (what a surprise). We saw an amazing swordfight and generally the best CGI sequences in the show so far.
Is that enough, though?
Bizarre Sound Effects: The OP was back this week but, if my headphones didn’t fool me, with some bizarre sound effects overshadowing the music. I have no idea if that happened on purpose.
Ikaruga: The show is not even trying to hide its plot holes. No one cares how and why the Fremmevila carriages went to that gate. Somehow, somewhere, they decided to get involved with the war, but we don’t care about that. Ikaruga needed an excuse to debut and showcase its powers. Don’t get me wrong: the battle was great. Just the battle, though.
Ernesti’s Success: For the first time in the series, Ernesti’s friends are not impressed with his easy win. I can’t help but wonder if this is an anime exclusive and a way for the anime production to say ‘Ok, we get it, Ernesti is awesome. Get over it.’
Themes & Trivia
Toys: 9 episodes into the show and I can’t help but feel like this could have been a great series if it actually promoted a line of toys. I could picture and Ikaruga on my desk, but to my knowledge there are still no toys. Not plastic models or kits or iron figures. Strange.
This episode of Knight’s & Magic made me wonder what the show could have been if only there was a decent story on top of the cool robot battles. Some people whom I trust when it comes to otaku stories have pointed out that this is the typical quality of light novel narratives. I have no experience, but the truth is that most of the anime adaptations from light novels I’ve seen always left something to be desired when it came to plot. Maybe I was just unlucky. Any suggestions that will make me change my opinion? Let me know in the comments below!
This Princess Needs to Be Rescued
And Ernesti is going to find a way. If this is going the way I am suspecting, the princess and the prince are going for a full-blown romance and an alliance that will drive the foreign nation out of her territory, and then… you know: marriage, babies, unified countries, that kind of stuff. If the series keeps its 13-episode run, then this war arc is going to be the last one.