I went into Knight’s & Magic as a fan or robots. I have always liked robots. From Mazinger to Gurenn Lagann, there are many mecha I have enjoyed through my anime, sentai, and cartoon years and many others I would have loved to know more about (Gundam). After a season of the mecha-loving fanboyism orgasm that Knight’s & Magic was, I realized that I am far from a robot fan. I like what robots and their pilots and their stories represent, but take the story out and the robot is not any more enticing. Ernesti and the guy from whom he was reincarnated is a fan.
Tsubasa Karuta, a mecha otaku from Japan (who I am pretty sure acts as the alter ego for the author and all the mecha otaku who come to identify with this specific otakuness) gets killed in a car accident. Unlike most isekai anime, Tsubasa is not re-incarnated in a new world, but instead his passion for robots is engraved in the psyche of a newborn baby in a parallel world. That baby, Ernesti Echevalier, grows up to be a huge mecha otaku. Lucky him, his world is a classic fantasy setting complete with elves and dwarves, where armies use giant robots called Silhouette Knights to fight against monsters and against each other. The story follows Ernesti as he creates one robot after another.
Plot & Story
The narrative is the weakest link of the series. Ernesti and the belated main antagonist, Oratio, are both more concerned with developing the perfect weapon than they are in interacting with the people around them or offering a quote worthy of reproducing. Their near-sighted approach to things is reflected on the pacing. There is nothing more important to the series than the robots and its OP protagonist. Not the supporting characters, not the world around the protagonist; just the robots and Ernesti. The role of saving what could be saved falls to the unnamed narrator, a female voice that explains events as though she narrates them in a fairytale matter to a group of young children. The first half of the series is a fast-forward account of events as Ernesti grows up through school and academy to become a respected figure in his mother country of Fremmenvilla and how he accelerates the robot innovations that remained stale for almost a century. A parallel to our Industrial Revolution or just a wish-fulfillment? There is no way to be sure. In a nutshell: do not expect the worldbuilding or character development of more mature series that put more focus on their narratives. This is a story about cool robots doing cool things. CRDCT in short. Here, we just made a new genre.
Art & Music
Studio 8-Bit focused their animating efforts to the undeniable protagonists of the series, the robots. Their CGI brought to the screen slick figures and interesting designs that moves and looked incredibly cool. I know that ‘cool’ is not the most eloquent of descriptions, but if you like robots, that’s the first word that will come out of your mouth each time Ernesti comes up with a new robot or weapon and you see it animated in a battle: Cool…
If you have been following my reviews, I am not one to bitch too much about the art if, and only if, is good enough to not make me pull my eyes off in frustration. Knight’s & Magic art is good. From the magic to the actual characters, the animation seems fluid and easy on the eyes. I haven’t noticed any major flaws or animation drops and overall, the show looks nice.
Don’t expect many memorable tracks from the OST. The OP (Hello! My World!! by Fhana) and ED (You & I by Oohashi Ayaka) do not fit the tone of the series. The sound effects and background tracks fit the scenario most of the times, even more during the action scenes.
Themes & Trivia
Knight’s & Magic loves robots. If you are a robot fan, you will find many references to other anime robots and classic video games like Ikaruga. The anime is also full of fantasy clichés. From dragons to dwarves, there are many parallels to classic fantasy iconography. There is almost no fan service except from the trap that Ernesti is (he is voiced by Rie Takahashi and has that loli-androgynous look you find in traps). There is also a clear distinction between good and evil, do don’t expect any morally grey areas and deep conversations.
In a nutshell, this is a show about a boy building toys of mass destruction. The plot feels so rushed that you don’t even have to waste a single braincell in trying to figure out anything about the world or its inhabitants. The show itself doesn’t care. You won’t care. The show will end and the only thing you will probably remember are the shiny robots and one or two battles. If you love mechas and magic, you may still find some enjoyment in this series. If you only care about robots, then this is the show for you. Have fun.
Build the Ultimate Robot
- Awesome robots
- Hilariously bad dialogues (yes, that’s a plus, sometimes)
- Good direction in action scenes
- Non-existent plot
- One-dimensional characters
- Terrible pacing
Should you watch Knight’s & Magic? If you like robots, you should. Even if there is nothing more to take out of this anime but blatant robot fan service, you will have a blast watching the fights, and then you can go on to more serious robot stuff.