You might recognize the story: an underdog teenager followed by a harem of girls battles in a high school tournament while using magic powers. It is a generic plot that is probably the most clichéd premise in the anime industry as of late. Chivalry of a Failed Knight, however, challenged all the overused elements of its genre and tried to put its own spin on it to make it stand out from the crowd. And it kind of worked.
The story follows Ikki Kurogane, a failure of a student that has been nicknamed the ‘Worst One’ in his school when it comes to magic powers. However, things change for Ikki when Princess Stella Vermillion, the most promising Rank-A Blazer (people with the ability to create weapons or devices manifested from their souls) challenges him to a duel where the loser must obey the winner for the rest of their life. I don’t know about you but I have never seen an action, romance, ecchi series that has actual romance into it with a relationship that develops and progresses throughout the majority of the plot. That is probably the strongest aspect of this anime. Of course the clichés are still there, a tsundere girl with big boobs and the unnecessary fan service, but still Chivalry of a Failed Knight manages to execute the story way better than anything else I have come across in the ecchi genre.
So whether you like a well-established romance story, school life, cute girls, or battle tournaments that involve magic powers, here is a list of 10 recommendations that MANGA.TOKYO has put together that will definitely remind you of Chivalry of a Failed Knight.
The Asterisk War: The Academy City on the Water
Fall 2015 12 Episodes
Ayato Amagiri, has just transferred into Seidoukan Academy, one of the six most elite schools for Genestella, where students learn to control their powers and duel against each other. Although he seems to be uninterested in the battles and have other motives for enrolling in that prestigious academy, his life changes when his female classmate challenges him into a duel.
Okay, with no exaggeration whatsoever these shows are practically the same. An academy for fighters with special powers, a hot headed main heroine that is a fire wielder and a princess, a battle festival to determine the strongest swordsman and side characters that share similar personalities and traits. They even aired during the same time… The only difference would be that Asterisk War is more action-oriented, while Chivalry of a Failed Knight is more romance and comedy-oriented.
The Irregular at Magic High School
Spring 2014 26 Episodes
Tatsuya and Miyuki Shiba are siblings that enrolled in First High School. After taking the entrance exams, Miyuki is considered a prodigy and is placed in the First Course, while Tatsuya is relegated to the Second Course as someone who seems to be magically inept. He is constantly berated by his peers but little do they know that he actually possesses extraordinary technical knowledge, great combat skills, and unique magic techniques that will make him stand out.
The male characters share the same situation as they are both considered the weakest in their school but just because of the evaluation system and not because of their actual abilities like physical strength and other techniques. They both live together with a heroine that is the complete opposite of them, they have a similar relationship with their sister and everything is set in a magic academy where the plot is based on a competition to make them prove their skills.
Winter 2015 12 Episodes
After a traumatic accident that took his loved ones, Tooru Kokonoe enrols into Koryo Academy, a school where every student has a weapon that is their soul manifestation. However, in the opening ceremony where he is forced to duel against the person sitting next to him, he discovers that his soul did not manifest a weapon but a shield.
Both shows are based on light novels and involve a lot of action and ecchi scenes. Yet another magic academy with the use of special weapons, a main character with special abilities that make him unique, a very powerful heroine that is the roommate of the male protagonist, and a harem environment.
Anti-Magic Academy: The 35th Test Platoon
Fall 2015 12 Episodes
In a world full of magical dangers, the military decides to use guns to neutralize magical threats. The Anti-Magic Academy is a schoolthat specializes in training witch hunters. Takeru Kusanagi still fights with a sword and is unable to use guns so he is relegated to the 35th Test Platoon, a squad with low ranking and incompetent members. But everything changes when Ouka Ootori, an elite and powerful student is forced to join the squad due to breaking the rules.
Male characters are labeled as losers but they are actually pretty strong, female characters are really skilled and tough fighters, and both anime are set in a magical school environment that is action and fantasy based. The only difference is that Anti-Magic Academy: The 35th Test Platoon adds heavily armed guns to the weaponry of the characters.
Blade Dance of the Elementalers
Summer 2014 12 Episodes
For the last one thousand years only a pure maiden had the privilege to contract with a spirit. Kamito Kazehaya, due to what happened in the past, is the only male with this privilege and is summoned to enroll into Areisha Spirit Academy, where priestesses are trained to become elementalists. He is then forced to participate in a special tournament, called Blade Dance, where the most powerful elementalist is chosen to form a team with priestesses.
Another story about a magic academy and a tournament to determine the strongest. Both shows involve a tsundere red-haired girl that uses fire and is royalty related, they have very similar -almost identical- battle scenes, a decent story, and characters that have a lot of personality traits in common.
Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle
Winter 2016 12 Episodes
Lux Arcadia, former prince of Arcadia, a ruined Empire that was overthrown by rebellion, used to be called the strongest Drag-Knight, but he’s now known as the weakest knight because he does not attack in battle. When he accidentally trespasses in a female dormitory’s bathing area and sees Princess Lisesharte Atismata naked, she challenges him to a Drag-Ride duel and ends up attending the female-only academy that trains royals to be Drag-Knights.
Strong male characters that share an unfortunate past, weird family conditions, and both protagonists have a younger sister with a brother complex. The female lead is once again a Princess who meets the main character in an embarrassing way, challenges him into a duel and then ends up developing feelings for him. Similar harem and ecchi themes along with the whole magic school-centred battles.
Sistine Fibel, a noble girl and her best friend Rumia Tingel attend the Alzano Imperial Magic Academy, one of the most distinguished magic schools in the world. They get into the Academy in order to cultivate their magical skills but unfortunately their favorite teacher retires and is replaced by Glenn Radars. Their new instructor is lazy and indifferent towards magic which drives the whole class crazy but as dark forces converge on the school, their teacher will soon reveal his true skills.
Both series utilize similar concepts and old tropes but they both manage to keep it interesting and engaging. Besides the resemblances between the main characters the series actually share the same quality of comedy and are both aware of the clichés that they are using, giving them a different twist compared to what is usually expected. They both have great animation and fighting scenes and the overall vibe of Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor will surely remind you of Chivalry of a Failed Knight.
Familiar of Zero F
Summer 2006 13 Episodes
Louise is a young mage that studies at Tristain Academy, a prestigious school for magicians, but is labeled as ‘Louise the Zero’ from her classmates due to her inability to cast magic properly. When the first-years are required to summon a familiar, Louise summons a normal Japanese boy named Saito Hiraga instead of a cute magical creature. Now, they must both come to terms with their new relationship and help Saito find his way back to his own world.
Another ecchi harem title that involves a master-servant relationship. Female and male characters are almost identical in terms of visual and skills and their relationship grows at the same pace. Zero no Tsukaima school is more medieval-like compared to Chivalry of a Failed Knight that is more futuristic but the overall story is very similar.
Kaze no Stigma
Spring 2007 24 Episodes
Kazuma Yagami returns to his old home, the Kannagi household, after being banished for his inability to control fire magic. With many family members recently being murdered by powerful magic, his return as Contractor with strong skills in wind magic rises many conflicts within the family. Together with his younger brother Ren and his cousin, Ayano Kannagi they try to clear his name and discover the true identity of the killer.
The romance in both of these shows feels very similar, the male and female protagonists are not hiding their attraction to each other and manage to become a couple by the end of the series. The female lead is once again a fire user with tremendous combat skills and the male lead ends up being quite strong as well even though he was considered weak and despite being the family reject.
The year is 2022 and players have the ability to ‘dive’ in-game by wearing a special helmet. Sword Art Online, is the first game to be released in that format and on the day it launches, the players realize that they are unable to log out. There is only one way to get out of the game alive and that is to beat the 100-level tower’s final boss. So the players begin their quest to progress the game and beat the final boss in order to escape and save everyone before it’s too late.
Another fantasy, action series that concentrates on the romantic relationship between the two main characters. Even though Sword Art Online is mainly focused on the action and the romance, it does have some ecchi and harem-like settings that will suit your taste. Sword Art Online also has overall beautiful and solid animation along with nice visuals in the fighting scenes and a great soundtrack.
There is no doubt that most of the titles in this list share almost the same setting and plot but each series has something different to offer. If you are wondering which one is the best, well that’s up to you to choose from!
Feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments and don’t hesitate to ask for any other 10 anime like lists that you would like to see from MANGA.TOKYO.