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Knight’s & Magic – 13 (END)

「Heaven & Earth」

General Impressions

While a lot happened in other weeks, the finale easily took the cake. Kuschpercha spearheaded straight for the occupied city of Devancul, in an attempt to reclaim their capital and restore their sovereignty. Balls to the walls if you ask me, but what can be more entertaining than recklessly upping the ante?

Barring a technological gap that cannot be bridged, a well-defended fortress is nigh unassailable through a frontal assault. But the covert operation carried out by Dietrich and Nora ensured that the gates came down, allowing Kuschperchan troops to flow in. Although Gustavo put up an admirable last stand, he could only do so much before getting overwhelmed. While it could not have been done without Edgar’s heroic lockdown, Blast Howling secured the fatality.

With Kuschpercha winning the ground battle, all that remained was to determine who ruled the skies. We got a moment of great poetic beauty, as Ernesti and Horatio conversed through the souls of their creations. Maybe it’s just some cheesy Gundam throwback, and the context of Robots vs Levitate Ships was quite silly, but I really appreciated the homage. Anyway, in a battle for aerial control, the Vyvern definitely possessed raw power far exceeding the Ikaruga. However, it could not land a single attack. Ernesti simply used his superior speed to avoid every attack, and chip down the Vyvern from various angles, eventually winning the war of attrition even after the Blood Grail activated. Of course, our protagonist was never going to lose. That said, it’s a shame how such a close battle progressed into a complete curb stomp.

Doroteo still threw a wrench into the works by trying to kamikaze Eleonara with his dying breath. Things looked dire, but Kid stepped up to the occasion magnificently, riding out the Centauri and successfully ending the Vyvern once and for all. The Grand Western Storm drew to a close, as Eleonara became the newly coronated Queen, culminating in the restoration of Kuschpercha.

Final Impressions

Take these words from someone who usually dislikes mecha anime. I really enjoyed Knight’s & Magic, because the show was so much fun, and never took itself too seriously. In my final impressions, I will go into detail on certain parts of production, that I felt were worth discussing.

Characters

Although I came for the isekai, Ernesti’s characterisation deserves a lot of praise. It’s rare that we get a protagonist who is entirely defined by their interest, and Ernesti’s eccentric obsession with robots makes him a unique nutcase. His enthusiasm was infectious too, and I couldn’t help but feel really excited every time he went on his crazy spiels. Even though Ernesti took the spotlight, every other character played their part, and had their moments to shine as well. In fact, if you think about it, all the other male and female characters could very well have been protagonists in another mecha show. A representation of conventional archetypes came together under a singular banner, in the name of robo justice.

I bet many people were expecting Ernesti to amass a harem. Instead, we got so many unique pairings, that a fleet could be created from the amount of shipping to be had! For example, Edgar vowing to reclaim Helvi’s Trandorkiss, Kid promising to protect Eleonora as her knight, Isadora and Rys-nii, the list simply goes on. And was there some hints at a budding romance between Dietrich and Nora? I certainly hope so. The more the merrier!

Mecha

Practically or aesthetically, I wouldn’t say the mecha designs were groundbreaking. However, seeing Eru go hands on in researching and developing his Silhouette Knight ended up being a whole load of fun. Though the anime took less of a focus on the engineering aspect, there was enough so that we had a pretty good idea of how things worked.

While the CG action scenes were not the best I’ve ever seen, they were pretty damn good if we go by the industry standard. Any fight involving Gustavo particularly stood out, as they always contained an epic flurry of blades. Watching Ikaruga blaze through the skies was also joyful. On a side note, Blast Howling never failed to leave me in stitches of laughter, with its corny delivery and high quality Engrish.

Adaptation Hijinks

I would not deny that Knight’s & Magic had various shortcomings. One character never achieved much, and that was Addy. Without the arc where Eru rescued Addy from kidnappers, her obsession with him seems totally one dimensional. Though the adaptation managed to fit everything by a hair, which deserves credit, it was unfortunate to see her suffer the most from cuts made by production.

While I have heard that events wildly depart from the novel, my inner adaptation purist begrudgingly concedes 8bit did an impressive job wrapping up on their own terms. People may be skeptical of how the finale was dramatically overdone, but it kept to the source material’s spirit.

Many people complained about pacing, and rightfully so. But I think 8bit really did the best they could. Their task of adapting a decade’s worth of time into 13 episodes is… no joke. Things went by way too fast, but at least the story ended in a great spot.

Concluding Thoughts

And with that, our adventure is finally over. The evil empire is vanquished, and Ernesti’s reward for all his trouble is an exclusive Silhouette Knight Laboratory, giving him freedom to create the greatest mechs to his heart’s content. I’m a little sad that we don’t get to see more beyond this point, but rest happy in the knowledge that our trap mecha otaku lives in his personal paradise. I wish you well Ernesti Echavelier, and hope you live out a happy life on the other side!

End Card

September 28, 2017 at 9:43 am
28 comments »
  • September 28, 2017 at 10:20 amWorldwidedepp

    I found the pacing, good. As you said, many things to tell packed in 13 episodes..

  • September 28, 2017 at 11:02 amzztop

    Now we must face potential animes of the “standard” isekai webnovels with its extended harems and power-tripping MCs so OP, even Shiba Tatsuya would go green with envy.

    Counting in Isekai Smartphone, we’ll be getting Death March in Jan 2018, Shield Hero and Magi’s Grandson at later dates.

    Plus, some fans are hoping they’ll get an Arifureta anime someday (OP + antihero + super-edgy).

    • September 28, 2017 at 11:03 amZaiden

      Delicious! Give me some Shield Hero or Mushoku Tensei, and I’ll be happy :)

      • September 28, 2017 at 11:36 amzztop

        Shield Hero PV, date unannounced:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gP4ZlVB3oEM

        Nothing yet for Mushoku.

      • September 28, 2017 at 5:01 pmMaou

        If we can’t get mushoku at least give us sevens :p

      • September 29, 2017 at 6:25 amKaleRylan

        I liked shield hero at first, but as it went on the writer’s rather strange obsession with going on VERY long rants about how terrible that princess was, which has a tendency to veer into full blown sexism and complaints about women if I remember right (it’s been a few years since I read it) eventually turned me off of the series. If they just do the beginning though and I find a good place to stop like this series did, or just gloss over those rants, then it could be fun.

        It just very much read like it was written by the generic ‘nice guy’ who thinks women are all manipulative and terrible. I was not a fan of that. Weirdly, despite that, if I remember right the main girl herself wasn’t that bad, but she was also his slave and though the idea that the hero simply could not believe someone would be friends with him or follow him if they didn’t have to was interesting, combined with the rest it just spoke of a writer with some issues in regards to women and relationships.

        From what I remember. As I said it has been years. Maybe it got better.

      • September 29, 2017 at 10:32 amzztop

        @Kaleryan: Was this the webnovel version? I’ve heard the light novel version heavily rewrites and amends the WN stuff after Vol 4-5 until it can be counted as a different beast altogether. Perhaps the editor made the author filter out his rants.

      • September 29, 2017 at 5:53 pmKaleRylan

        May have been. As I mentioned it’s been a while. It certainly felt rough, so it would fit.

    • September 28, 2017 at 2:08 pmWeird d

      Isekai Maou or Gun Ota would be nice too.

      • September 28, 2017 at 5:19 pmzztop

        Isekai Mahou not bad, but needs good studio for the big action pieces.

    • September 29, 2017 at 9:10 amExukvera

      All these series have the same premise: Guy is revived/transmigrated/reincarnated in a fantasy world. Guy becomes ludicrously OP by a special power he obtains or the knowledge he learned during his life on Earth. Guy wipes out all villains with extreme prejudice and becomes everybody’s hero while assembling his own multiracial harem. THE END. Sorry for the spoilers.

      • September 29, 2017 at 10:19 amzztop

        This one doesn’t have harem though (unless you count mecha as harem members). Nor any strange semi-sexist stuff.

      • September 29, 2017 at 11:08 amExukvera

        Other good points for K&M is that they really did a good job of making the series reasonable for those who never had (or will) read the novels. Some arcs were left out, but they only had 13 eps to cover five books of story and end it on a high note. Some series cover four books on two cours and even leave something out for timing reasons.

        I wonder how much they will flesh out of the “Alicization” arc of SAO, because it is longer than the entire rest of the series combined.

  • September 28, 2017 at 11:26 amzztop

    What to expect in Vols 6-8 of Knights:

    Show Spoiler ▼

    The anime covered the 1st 5 LN volumes.
    Vol 8 releases this 30 September and ends the latest arc.

    The author’s starting work on Vol 9, titled “The Great Airship Age”.

    • September 28, 2017 at 11:31 amZaiden

      Good work as always, zztop! You always satisfy my curiosity with really extensive knowledge of the source material, beyond what has been translated.

    • September 29, 2017 at 9:15 amExukvera

      This means that a second season is feasible. Go on Japs, buy those damm BD’s.

  • September 28, 2017 at 11:39 amzztop

    Takahashi Rie sketched Ernesti (bottommost right) and other characters she’s voiced to celebrate having 250k Twitter followers.
    https://twitter.com/taka8rie/status/907030990492655616

  • September 28, 2017 at 11:49 amzztop

    IMO Knights is the author’s love letter to the mecha genre; going straight to the mecha pron and battles most fans love whilst bypassing the heavy Drama associated with the genre (ex. most Gundam series except that Build Fighters one).

    Plus the mechgineering stuff has secured it among webnovel readers as an example of a non-standard isekai series (kudos to the author resisting the urge to force in a harem to attract readers).

    • September 28, 2017 at 10:51 pmPurpleBomber

      Yeah, there’s something to admire about a series with such a sheer enthusiasm for its subject. Seems like such a thing should be obvious, but reality just makes it rare enough that Knights & Magic deserves praise for enjoying mecha just as much as its fans do.

      • September 29, 2017 at 6:29 amKaleRylan

        It’s true. I really liked that the show never lost sight of that. Like the fact that in the end, what really got Erni personally invested in the conflict was his fear that if Zalouka won, development would lean toward battleships and cannons as opposed to giant robots.

        It’s not an unfounded fear, military R&D tends to simply follow the leader 90% of the time until a shake-up occurs.

  • September 29, 2017 at 5:06 amShahir

  • September 29, 2017 at 10:26 amMagnus Tancred

    • September 29, 2017 at 5:58 pmKaleRylan

      Dietrich really has. I really appreciated that they did that. Media tends to fall into good and bad, dirty cowards and not. Development tends to start at good and become more good or some variation of that. I really liked that here they took a character who was presented as PATHETIC, and then made him awesome, and he wasn’t even one of the top 5 or so characters in the series.

      • October 1, 2017 at 10:18 amWorldwidedepp

        I liked in how they gave Dietrich an 2nd change to redeem himself (also only his close comrades know of his runaway)

        In the end he was an capable squad leader

  • September 30, 2017 at 2:20 pmK

  • October 6, 2017 at 8:11 pmboingman

    I loved the OP and enjoyed the anime in general, though I would like to see an older looking Ernesti.
    All this time but he still looks like at the beginning

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