「無冠の剣王I」 (Mukan no Ken Ou I)
“An Uncrowned Champion I”

I think I can see where this is going, and I have no problems with it.

Calm Before The Storm

As a primer to the finale, this episode was freaking fantastic. With a nice mix of everything that made Rakudai one of the more enjoyable shows of the season, I don’t think we could have asked for much more (since I don’t think there would have been enough time to fit it in, haha).

Anyways, I absolutely loved seeing the true down-to-earth Todou Touka and her fellow student council members. Because if I remember correctly, I had the image that she was a fierce leader who compelled people to move through her actions rather than through speech. However, the ditzy and clumsy student council president was a pleasant surprise that caught me completely off guard. The thing is, I feel like I should have saw this coming. Based off of every single character we’ve been introduced to this far, they never end up being like what their first impression implies. In Touka’s case, I was very happy to see she’s a very kind and passionate person who finds strength through being the best person she can be. Something that I think is going to play a really big role next week, but we’ll get into that in a few paragraphs.

Dirty Tricks

After such a euphoric first half, the sharp 180 that occurred after hit me like a ton of bricks. I wondered how that picture was going to catch up to our couple, but I never expected it’d be used as a ploy to separate Ikki from the positive things in his life. That said, they really hit Ikki right where it mattered and you have to tip your hat off to just how effective their tactic was. Not wanting to give them any more credit than needed though, you could feel the sleaze and corruption surrounding that building and I was really hoping someone was going to get a fist to the face.

Fatherly Bonds

It’s rare that we see it, but anytime I see anything related to the relationship between a father and their son, it hits me straight in the chest. So even though the whole encounter with Ikki and his dad felt super rushed, watching Ikki realize the truth and the subsequent breakdown hit me like a ton of bricks. There’s something precious about the relationship you share with your parents and in Ikki’s case, his drive to surpass his father’s expectation embodied him so tightly that it’s a miracle he didn’t just give up completely.

God, I hate it when parents are complete asshats to their children. Partly because it was their decision to bring their kid into the world and partly because it’s not like you can choose who your parents are.

Looking Ahead

After this week’s episode, there’s just one thing I’m hoping for next week, and that’s for Ikki to discover just what it is that drives him to be the best Ikki he can be. He’s hit rock bottom and his mind is clouded, but he probably has the perfect opponent to help him clear his troubled soul. So, as I impatiently wait for next week’s episode, I hope I’ll catch all of you here, possibly with a ton of tissues in hand.

See you next week!

End Card


    1. There’s enough material for a Season 2, which would cover Vol 4-9 (Vol 9 just came out yesterday).
      Vol 4-9 is essentially one continuous battle tournament arc, the actual 7-Star Sword Games (similar to the Phoenix Festa arc of the Asterisk War anime).

      The question is whether the next story is promising enough to get at least a split-cour season. The source is 6 books long, and a 1-cour Season 2 might be severely rushed and cut into oblivion (like what happened to the Antimagic Academy anime).

  1. I don’t know if I liked this episode as much as the reviewer.

    The execution was amazing, down to actually using a differing art style to convey the despair of the situation which always impresses me. The problem was the underlying premise.

    The ability to unfairly incarcerate a minor for over two weeks while clearly not feeding them or providing for their basic needs because THEY HAVE A GIRLFRIEND (famous or not) is insane, and fundamentally alters their world/nation/organization from a seemingly normal government into freaking Big Brother from 1984. It is absolutely insane.

    I no longer want Ikki to win a tournament, I want him to form an army and start a revolution because this organization clearly has no respect for human rights or the rule of law. And I don’t think that’s what they were going for in the episode.

    Also, the fact that Ikki, a guy who has a sister who loves him so much she wants to jump his bones, a student body that half-worships him now, and a freaking drop-dead gorgeous princess who will walk through fire for him, only cares about what his freaking horrible father thinks about him is annoying and lowers my opinion of him. It’s not totally unrealistic; having crappy parents messes with you even if the rest of life is fine, but it’s frustrating.

      1. Perhaps the only one Person that could be the Opposite Power of his Father, is only her Mother (perhaps the Wife has nothing to say) or his Grandfather or Grandmother. All others are just Pawns or shake in fear about his Power

        or he try to cover up, that Ikki is a Half-brother to her Sister… You know the cliche now…

      2. I didn’t ask why. Why is irrelevant. The point is that now the system itself is evil, and I don’t think that’s what the writer was going for. I think they were just trying to show his family was bad, but they basically threw the whole world under the bus.

        I actually thought the previous episodes where his family was subtly ruining his life for years were better ideas overall than the idea that they can just throw him in prison and starve him for a couple of weeks with no excuse. The first one is believable and makes sense, even in a fairly ‘advanced’ society, the second means their government is evil and insane.

      3. @KaleRylan
        Japan is crapsack and the system is Big Brother and evil, period. And I think that is very much the author’s intention.

        Show Spoiler ▼

      4. @KaleRylan

        These are all novel stuffs, so I will put a spoiler.

        Show Spoiler ▼

    1. @KaleRyan: The novel explains the trial thing a little better. Basically, knights are part of an International Union that manages them and gives them various legal rights and priviledges. Those priviledges cannot be taken away arbitrarily even by his father, who heads the Japanese branch of Knights, and Ethics Chairman Akaza.

      So his father creates a scandal by saying Ikki’s having indecent sexual relations with Stella, who is both a princess and foreign diplomat to Japan. They then put him on closed trial to question his moral integrity and make him say something incriminating so they can revoke that knighthood and kick him out from the Knight selection.

      In the novels, Stella’s overprotective father, the King, was enraged and was preparing to go to Japan to confront Ikki for molesting his daughter. Ikki’s trying to hold off on giving a guilty confession until the King comes and he can explain the truth to him, thus putting the fabricated scandal to rest.

      1. It also hurts that to the public, the Kurogane Clan is seen in a positive light because of their turn-out of good Blazers. I think it’s only Stella, Shizuku and Alice that know how morally bankrupt and stuck-in-their-own-worthless-pride they are. Plus the family itself is a monster in the sense of size and influence, so for whatever reason people think they can actually influence a foreign government, which is where the rumor that Stella threw her fight with Ikki came from. It feels slipshod because we’re suddenly being told that Ikki wasn’t just fighting an uphill battle, he was fighting an uphill battle while carrying a one-ton weight, which I think they should’ve explained a bit sooner.

        I also hate the hypocrisy that I often see in countries that have so much pride in their sense of justice: “We’ll get the truth out of him, but you can’t see how we do it!” (two weeks of torture later) “He admits to everything. We were right. How dare you question us.” Jump off a tall building, asshats.

      2. That makes a bit more sense, but it doesn’t justify his treatment. Ikki was tortured. The government allowed him to be tortured, the school is aware he is being tortured (his teacher saw him repeatedly) and yet it was still allowed.

        I think it was overdone. Because it MAKES THE SYSTEM evil. A system that allows the indiscriminate torture of children based on having a girlfriend is a system that should be destroyed. The government is now the villain of the story simply for letting an organization torture children.

        As I said above, the first part of the story I felt handled the undue influence of his family much better. We knew they were making his life hell. They were making him get bullied, they were making it impossible for him to attend school, they were rigging selections against him. That I can believe even in a ‘enlightened’ nation (power lets you do terrible things, WITHIN REASON) and I can get how hard it would be to be Ikki. This was too much for me. This was not a family with too much influence. This was an evil empire. I mean, what are we supposed to take from this when he wins? “Yay, I proved my point!” Yeah, until the next time they produce ZERO CHARGES and that is somehow enough to justify torture. Because again, this is poor writing. It’s throwing logic under the bus to make a dramatic point.

        And I’m sorry, but the comparison to real world detainment and torture of terror suspects is BS. I do not approve of torture and I literally took part in anti-war/guantanamo protest back in college, but I’m sorry, those people are accused of being related to or planning mass murder. Ikki is accused of HAVING A GIRLFRIEND. And that is apparently justification for torture in this world. This just became a dystopia.

      3. And all of this came from a picture of them kissing, in which it’s pretty damn obvious that their feelings are mutual and Stella isn’t being forced in the least. They could’ve at least made it a bad distance shot so they could lie more about the nature of the relationship. Who looks at a picture like that and says “Oh, he’s clearly forcing her to be with him, international incident”?

    2. Yeah, I think this is the point that really drives home how much Ikki’s family has messed him up inside, and how shallow they are. It’d almost be easier if they hated him, but to them he just doesn’t matter. I think he’d be okay if he just needed acknowledgement since it’s pretty much a guarantee he’ll get that in spades from Stella for the rest of his life, but he needs their acknowledgement, which I honestly never see happening, even if he becomes the Sword King. He wasn’t born good enough, he’ll never be good enough because he can’t pass on good genes that don’t require hard work. Yup, that’s a great way to think >.< Good thing I get the feeling he'll be changing his last name to Vermillion once he becomes Sword King.

      1. I agree pretty much completely, though I’m of slightly two minds about it. I hope the story points out that Ikki IS WRONG. Yes, it’s an understandable wrongness, but it’s wrong, nonetheless. But as much as I like this series, and I do, it does have a slight underpinning of Japanese “do what society tells you” in a lot of the morals to the various stories. I’m worried a little that they’ll somehow twist it into Ikki giving into all of this insanity and stoically bearing it is the right thing to do. I want SOMEONE to rage against the machine at some point here.

        The idea that the teachers have to simply allow their student to be tortured has very unfortunate implications, family with power or not.

    3. I said before during the episode Ikki’s fight with the invincible archer douche, that entire school joined to mock him is “normal”, now I hope y’all get what I was trying to say back then.

      Children/teens can get pretty mean all by themselves, but they will get especially cruel if actively encouraged by adults. Ikki’s school was basically controlled by his father’s company until his second year (when anime started), and entire school, teachers and staffs included, was encouraged/directed to went against him.

      The world (or “system” as you put it) of Rakudai is a crapsack one. It is just as bad, or even worse than, the world of Asterisk. It is certainly not a “normal world + high school supernatural battle” kind of setting.

      Japan win the war, the society/school is meritocratic to the extreme but use a very rigid and inflexible system to determine who has the “merit”, and the system itself is corrupt (or corruption is used to upheld and maintain the system).

      1. “Meritocracy, in trying to ‘isolate’ merit by treating people with fundamentally unequal backgrounds as superficially the same, can be a practice that ignores and even conceals the real advantages and disadvantages that are unevenly distributed to different segments of an inherently unequal society, a practice that in fact perpetuates this fundamental inequality. In this way, those who are picked by meritocracy as having merit may already have enjoyed unfair advantages from the very beginning, ignored according to the principle of nondiscrimination.” – Professor Kenneth Paul Tan

        Pretty much sums up the entire premise of Rakudai Kishi.

      2. Answered this a bit above, but I want to comment on this specifically. Meritocracy is not EVIL, it’s unfortunate. REAL Japan is essentially a meritocracy (to some extent, nearly all modern societies are, and it’s a good thing), and it is basically stressful and damaging to individuals, but it’s not evil.

        This was the torture of children. That is not simply a meritocracy, that is a tyrannical dystopia. Obviously the premise of Rakudai Kishi is that hard work can overcome talent, that’s baked into the character of Ikki, but that is separate from ‘we should probably fight a war to bring down the government.’ Which is it?

      3. @KaleRylan

        Perhaps meritocracy is too soft a word…perhaps I should use “elitism”? While the two aren’t mutually exclusive, I can see “meritocracy” is not necessary a bad thing. Meritocracy with a very rigid, inflexible and narrow definition of “merit” certainly is, though.

        You can try to google the Prof Kenneth which I quoted, and see where my “it also happen in real life” comment on the episode 4 came from (I wasn’t referring to a school actually), and why the world of Rakudai resonate so much with me.

      4. @KaleRylan
        I very much agree with you on the dystopian part though.

        Show Spoiler ▼

        Oh, when I say Japan is crapsack in my previous comment, I mean the Japan in Rakudai’s world, not the real world.

    4. we can only imagine there is some /severe/ underlying trauma there. since the only source of information about ikki to the audience is through ikki himself and shizuku, anything ikki doesn’t want to talk about or shizuku doesn’t know will remain a mystery to us

    5. uhm you realize the girlfriend scandal bit was just an excuse to get him to be questioned right? the main issue they have with ikki is as show in earlier episodes is trying to reach beyond what his station of birth dictates I.E. being born an F ranked knight. now think about this. the Kurogane clan as a whole has the influence it has because the current status quo indicates than your potential is decided at birth and the sheer number of prodigies and what current society accepts as righteous. now you have this guy coming from the same clan with such a dismal score beating those witch logically he shouldn’t even be able to touch. people start questioning things. is really the current ranking system a true reflection of someones worth? and from them you can extrapolate and follow that slipery slope and say, if this guy is beating these guys does this mean the organization is wrong? if they where wrong about such a huge issue what else have they been doing wrong? this is when politics get interesting. basically they trying to eliminate him at any cost as a way to protect their own influence and maintain the status Quo thats been in play for the past 80 plus years. as for your comment of imprisoning a youth. as a knight ikki is recognized as an adult at 16 with all privileges and responsibilities that entails. in this case he had to answer the summon of the inquiries on their territory with no allies. think Guantanamo bay, this kind of things are possible in our real world what makes you think its impossible in a fictional series? if anything this actually made more attached to Ikki as a character the light novel gets in more deep but the anime was a nice complement to it. he is one that endures. like a tiny Tardigrade ^_^ he just need a little bit of water or in this case love to thrive.

      hope this helped a lil bit to understand why things happened like this. peace.

  2. https://randomc.net/image/Rakudai%20Kishi%20no%20Cavalry/Rakudai%20Kishi%20no%20Cavalry%20-%2011%20-%20Large%2005.jpg
    Fanservice Ahoy!! . Well, i do not complain.

    This Episode was hard for me, i mean they done a good job to show us the Dark Side of his Father and Company. My Mind was prepared for that, but still my Heart was not

    Also, why this sudden “Film grain” and “color lose” filter the entire time?

    But i am happy, that they done this harmful background in a fast forward way

  3. https://randomc.net/image/Rakudai%20Kishi%20no%20Cavalry/Rakudai%20Kishi%20no%20Cavalry%20-%2011%20-%2031.jpg

    Ikki’s father’s actions is driven by a rigid, uncompromising sense of duty towards supporting the knight-ranking system the Kuroganes founded. He believes he’s doing the right thing.

    “Many generations (of the Kurogane) had inherited that responsibility. Itsuki was also one such person. For that reason, he was carrying out that responsibility without exception.”

    The way of life that brings happiness to the majority… (is to live) within (their) means (and not expand beyond their limitations)…People like Ikki will only bring loss to themselves and (this system).
    Therefore, (Itsuki) would use any method to eliminate them…even if it was his own son, he would show no mercy…that (was his) duty.

    “Everything was for the sake of this (iron-clad) law…that was “Iron Blood” Kurogane Itsuki’s sense of righteousness.”

    1. Thats why Ikki has to fight the Person, that defended his Sister. It would be an scandal if he is stronger then her Sister (in Ranking)

      i bet they even manipulated this battle constellation

    2. Reminds me of the school headmaster in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu. Just as dumb. Not necessarily bad in a villain, but it is mildly frustrating to have a villain whose theory is presented as logic but is in fact just ridiculous as opposed to villains who make sense, like say Magneto, or are simply nuts, like the Joker.

    1. Problem here. Ikki is no businessman, or perhaps Stella’s family can fill the void here, IF Ikki take over as the Company CEO. But there are other Lions waiting for their chance, if the Big Boss fall from his Throne… i dont thing it is a wise decision to give Ikki the Company Throne

      Sure, he can smash his “pretty father” face, but he should not take over. Perhaps he give up his family name with marry Stella, and Sister follow him, until She take over the Company

      But this is also an cliche (perhaps in old times)

  4. Maybe this was explained previously, but I don’t get how the selections for the 7-Star Sword Game is supposed to work. It’s very heavily implied that even one loss would eliminate you from getting selected. But that can’t be right, since that would lead to eliminating very worthy fighters if they just happen to be matched against each other, as well as making it pointless to state how many wins a fighter has had so far before each match.

    Which also makes me question why the heck do Ikki and Stella not think of the possibility of them having to fight against each other before the end of the selection matches? I was just waiting for that exact situation to happen, or maybe that Stella or Ikki would have to fight Shizuku. Has Shizuku really been written off as not going to participate in the 7-Star Sword Game?

    1. I don’t think they knew, I just think they believed and hoped they wouldn’t get matched up. And the thing about eliminating other worthy fighters is the same as with any tournament that only gets enough time for single-loss elimination; some of the great go down because they got someone even better. It’s not a great system, but it’s the one they picked.

    2. Most tournaments are like that if they are single elimination. Think of the NCAA tournament or any tennis tournament. You lose and your out. Depending on a matchup between two good teams/players and one of them can be out early in the tournament.

      1. Yeah, but in those tournaments they are looking to narrow down the field to just one winner. In these selection matches they are supposedly trying to find a team of fighters to represent their school. As in, more than one winner.

        Besides why would the announcers bother mentioning that so-and-so has had something straight wins? If a fighter losing a single match would keep them from being selected why bother fighting in further matches?

      2. Just to be sure, I looked up “single elimination”. If the selection was going to be the top-something ranked fighters after having the single-loss fighters fight for the lower ranks, then fine. It’s the whole implied “single loss means no selection” thing that’s bugging the heck out of me.

    3. I haven’t read the LN, so I can’t answer exactly, but I don’t think it is strictly speaking a single-elimination tournament. For one, we know more than one person advances. So I’d assume aptitude plays a role, victories or not. Ikki I think is an exception because he’s an F-rank knight, so the only way the principal, or whoever, could legitimately select him is if he shows beyond a shadow of a doubt (by being undefeated) that he deserves to go.

    4. Several possible ways the tournament is set up:
      1. Single-elimination, but there’s X number of brackets, where X is the number of slots available for selection purposes. (Think regions for March Madness, each one has a winner to go on to the Final Four.)
      2. Set number of matches, with a point system (could use some combo of W/L, rank, ability, style, time, etc.). A loss might be such a negative weight that it basically eliminates everyone, but someone who excels in the other factors might be able to afford one.
      3. A hybrid system, where the matches continue until top-N are left. The remaining X-N slots are wildcards that look at other factors among everyone else remaining.

      No matter which one it is, the only way for Ikki, at least, to get in is to remain undefeated.

      1. I feel like if it has multiple brackets they would have said since that’s a big thing. We know, at least that Ikki and his sister are in the same bracket by dint of both fighting Todo, yet they also both were determined to get in and it was never shown to be at the expense of the other. So I don’t think that’s it.

        Points of some form I could see, with the key for Ikki being that no one will allow him if he doesn’t have max points where someone like Todo can possibly lose to Ikki and still get in. I don’t know though.

  5. Basically the similar plot as Mahōka Kōkō no Rettōsei. The families power is based on having a genetic ability that others lack. Someone who can show that drive and training can be as good or better is a threat to the family even if it’s a member of that household. Ikki had it totally backwards. If he had just accepted his position (or lack of), his father would not react negatively to him (though I doubt if he would have shown much affection). By Ikki trying to be what he wasn’t supposed to be, the father and the family had to break him before he threatened the families position by giving hope to others.

    My hassle with the story is the co-ed dorm rooms. If the thought of Ikki and Stella being a couple is such a big deal, who decided to allow that! Do they take a vow of chastity before entering the school? Are the co-ed room’s supposed to be a temptation to see if they’re pure enough to be knights. Sorry, really stupid IMO.

    1. There’s also the part where no one asked for Stella’s side and ignored her input. Anyone that isn’t sheep can see how much Ikki is getting the shaft, but they just ignore it because “plot”. Really shabby writing to force a desperate situation.

      1. @Bear: hadn’t totally thought of that (though it was slightly weird even in episode 1, there are reasons co-ed dorms are rare everywhere), it does make the whole thing seem stranger by comparison. Do they think no one else is having sex in these rooms?

        @Aex: Exactly, this is what I was saying above. In an attempt to make things desperate, they made the whole setting dystopian and every unnamed character an idiot who tacitly accepts monstrous governments.

        @SMinstrel: Cynics always believe this sort of thing, but it’s never as true as people pretend. There’s a reason that monstrous governments are constantly having to jail or silence or murder media people. It is nearly impossible to stop news from getting out. The strongest governments in the world cannot contain news, despite doing everything in their power. Secondly, it’s irrelevant. To anyone with a brain, the accusations being leveled against Ikki ARE NOT THAT BAD (and should include Stella as well, but thank you sexist as hell Japan). The idea that the public and even other high schoolers that live in a school with co-ed dorms would be so shocked and against two high schoolers having sex that they would immediately turn against Ikki and be okay with him being LOCKED UP FOR WEEKS is insane.

        This is a good story, and I enjoy it, and the animation team did a stellar job on this episode, but the premise here was hollow and merely designed to create impossible drama. As I said above, the earlier parts of the story where his family was ruining his life from the shadows were much better. They were much more realistic and logical expressions of a powerful family, and while they may not have been as visually dramatic, if you imagine a life where everything you attempt will be stolen from you, they are arguably MORE desperate than this.

        This has essentially simplified Ikki’s predicament with his family. Instead of being a subtle drain he can never overcome, they’ve now decided to act like Bowser, and if he can just clear the final battle, he ‘wins’ and the problem will go away to some extent. It turned an inescapable reality of his life into a video-game villain.

      2. @KaleRylan
        You are right, but only in very, very long term, and usually on a grander scale. To f**k over just one teenager with no other social connection whatsoever, and for a short duration (several days) is way too easy with the power of Kurogane family.

      3. Are you kidding? In the modern world, if you lock someone up and/or do something crappy to them? The news is out in days, hell maybe hours. That’s not to say justice happens. I’m saying people know and they don’t all nod in agreement. Remember, Ikki hasn’t disappeared, what is happening to him is public and his teacher has visited him. And no one has said or done anything.

        The weirdest part about this arc isn’t that they can lock him up, though that is crazy if this world isn’t supposed to be inherently evil. No, the weirdest part is they can lock him up publicly and no one cares. As Aex and I have said, it’s poor writing in an attempt to create drama without thinking of the consequences

      4. @KaleRylan
        No, I am not kidding. It happen all the freaking time. Thing like this are not something outrageous, it is just a fact of life that no one will bat an eye. And no, you don’t need to be living in hellhole like North Korea to get this kind of society.

        Ikki was detained legally. Not by due process, but “legal” nonetheless. You can do many things to a person in jail without the knowledge of the outside world, and as long as he doesn’t suffer sudden, unexplained death (and sometimes even THAT, ever heard of the word “to be suicided”?), no one will know and no one will care.

        It seems to me that you live in a fairly freedom-(of person and of press)-guaranteed world. First World, perhaps? Cherish that.

      5. Umm… you’re using MY ENTIRE POINT to somehow disprove my point. The setting in Rakudai has until this point been presented as a fairly standard western/democratic nation presumably based on modern Japan. And no, you don’t lock people up and have the whole nation say it’s fine in such a country. The most famous example of such a thing in the modern world is Guantanamo Bay, and that has lead to controversy FROM DAY ONE. The whole country did not just say ‘oh that’s fine, the government says its okay.’

        OF COURSE people get locked up and tortured in horrible repressive tyrannical nations, that’s generally the actual barometer for considering them horrible repressive tyrannical nations; they lock people up for no reason. The fact that Japan in this world can apparently do this changes it from being presented as a fairly normal nation which, while not perfect, is as good as you get into a horrible repressive tyrannical nation (again, locking people up for no reason is pretty much how that is decided).

        So saying I ‘don’t get it’ because I come from a free country is missing my whole point. That I don’t get it because I come from a free country and, other than an elitist school (which is very real) and a mean family (which is also real) I thought this Japan was a ‘free’ country is my entire point. All of the sudden due to this episode the nation itself became the bad guy, because it is apparently a nation where you can lock up and torture minors for no reason.

      6. you can’t separate due process from ‘legally’ in a system that adheres to the rule of law. Due process IS the rule of law. If you don’t have due process, it’s just arbitrary tyranny.

        Again, the issue here isn’t that such a thing couldn’t happen. No one is arguing that the world isn’t full of injustice. The issue is that it CHANGES THE SETTING from a fairly normal nation to an Orwellian one.

      7. KaleRyan, he’s been locked up for only a couple weeks. In, say, the United States, that probably wouldn’t even have been enough time to arrange for a dangerousness hearing, let alone a trial. This is a first world country that at least pretends it follows due process, and people here who are accused of crimes will be locked up without trial for at least that long. Actual trials take years to convene, which means, again, a person who may well turn out to be innocent could be locked up in a situation where they face rape, spychological torture, and murder by their fellow inmates for years before they get a chance to plead their case. And all that time the rest of the country will have already declared them guilty, because the media announced that that person “did it” whatever “it” was.

        The whole country “knows” Ikki is guilty because the media told them he was. There’s no one his friends can go to to stop what’s happening to him, because all of the officials work for Ikki’s father, and all of the media people have been told the “truth” by all those “trustworthy” officials and will discount anything Ikki’s friends say.

    2. Speaking of Mahouka, I was reminded of it when hearing Itsuki speak about how it was against his philosophy to teach those without/too little talent, and that it would be better to have those with little talent to not try at all.

      In the Mahouka novels during the Nine Schools Competition, Mayumi explains the reason why First High School has a 2-Course system (as well as why the uniforms of the Courses are different).
      Show Spoiler ▼

      Anyway, my point about the above spoiler was that in the Mahouka universe the government/school administration/military would LOVE to teach and improve the magical skills of all its citizens born with magical talent (even if it’s just a little talent), but due to lack of magic teachers cannot do so. So they are forced to rank incoming students and focus their limited educational resources on those students with the most obvious talent.

      In the later Mahouka novels,
      Show Spoiler ▼

      In Rakudai, I don’t see a lack of educational resources to be much of a problem. Heck, Ikki was accepted at first by the school, but had his progress stopped by the Kurogane family. It’s hard to apply the lesson of “not teaching those without talent”(*) to Ikki’s case, since the Kurogane family had to essentially make up new regulations on the fly in order to specifically keep Ikki from being taught anything.

      (*) This is, in itself, not a bad philosophy. The problem is in correctly defining what “talent” is, and what the ultimate goal of teaching is supposed to be.

      1. The idea that you only teach those with talent is an INCREDIBLY bad philosophy. Because, as you say, what IS talent? This isn’t a minor issue with the system, it’s THE WHOLE SYSTEM. Take Ikki for example. While he certainly doesn’t have high MP or whatever you want to call it, the idea that he has no ‘talent’ for magical combat is clearly ridiculous.

        Talent can rarely be identified ahead of time. Generally it is through education that you discover your talents, hence the reason only education those with talent is insane (and mostly the province of fiction), the whole idea is an oxymoron with extreme exceptions.

      2. @KaleRylan

        A power bloc upholding a system that oppresses people to retain its own power? You don’t say. /s First rule of power is to stay in power after all. They’re not there to be nice or advance society in any way. They’re around to stay in power. All else is posturing.

  6. Oh the poor boy. Don’t worry Ikki, your new family will be much better than your own when you and Stella get married in the future (that is of course, provided that your father-in-law will be nice to you since the king’s a huge daughter-con). SL did quite a good job despite the super duper rush. I really hope there will be a season 2 since vol.9 recently came out andddddddd….. the best part happened in vol.9!!! Ikki, you did a great job!!!

    SL, please don’t screw up the last episode…. Don’t screw up Show Spoiler ▼

  7. I felt sick while watching the second half of this episode, never I dream that the day would come that I see a worse father than Gendou Ikari but here and now the Universe has proven me wrong: Itsuki Kurogane is the most disgusting bastard I have ever seen!.

    1. Even Gendou, while publicly a bastard father, admitted (in The End of Evangelion) that he hardly hated Shinji, even cherished him dearly with how he spoke, but was simply afraid of getting too close lest he completely lose him like he did Yui (parallel to Shinji to a degree; being afraid) and risk going through such pain again, so felt that pushing Shinji away and having him hate him would be better for them both. Stupid and selfish, yes, but yeah…

      Here, yeah, it’s far, far worse. Being treated like you don’t even exist, much less matter, has got to be one of the worst feelings one can have, especially a child from a parent(s). Even if that child hates the parent(s’) guts, they still tend to want their acknowledgement; some form of validation to their existence. It’s why early Naruto craved any form of acknowledgment from the village, whether it be positive or negative, which is why he resorted to pranks and mischief.

      1. Taking another plot point form Evangelion, remember how Asuka said that hatred a love were closely related in her mind, it was when humanity was made one by Lilith. Hatred means you care about a person in a very negative way but reconice their existince because you´re paying atention to them. Itsuki is a true monster becuase he has no emtion for his own child, hell, I can´t belive I´m saying this but it would be better if he demostrated hatred towards but there is nothing at all! Even Shizuku is othing but a tool for if she were to betray his expectations he would surely stop reonizing she even exist!. How the hell is monster a high ranking officer in the world of Mage Knights, even a blind man could see he´s not human with a glance.

      2. No, I don’t think he’d stop recognizing Shizuku. That’s a misunderstanding of his whole philosophy, and really at the core of why he’s a monster. The key is, he doesn’t care about results, he believes that inborn talent is the only thing that matters. That’s why even though Ikki can be undefeated, it makes no difference to him because Ikki doesn’t belong in the situation. Presumably, the only thing Shizuku could do to upset him is to become a failure of a human being.

        But I’m not sure that would even work, because a person with talent failing doesn’t break the system, you just say you were wrong about their talent and problem solved. Only someone like Ikki, with no inborn talent who gets through on perseverence and hard work, threatens the whole system. Shizuku is irrelevant because whatever she does, she can’t hurt his philosophy and his philosophy is all that seemingly matters to him.

      3. If he ever thought Shizuku had become a failure as human being and was starting to shame the family he’d have her captured, brought home, given one chance to turn her life around, and if she didn’t listen she’d be turned into breeding stock. Disgusting, absolutely, but I think this bastard would go that far. He cares about the genes, not the people, and she’s unfortunately proven she’s got the inherent talent he wants to have passed on.

  8. So, if his father’s acknowledgement isn’t a factor, as long as he feels good about himself, and Stella loves him, does it matter whether he beats Touka? The school director seemed to think she wasn’t going to just roll over on this, so maybe she’s choosing her time and something will happen. Otherwise, if Ikki is going to win, he has to do something without thinking, because otherwise Touka will pick up on it. Oh……I don’t know!!!!!!! Arrrgggghhhhh!

    1. He’ll never be happy not being an equal worthy of Stella, and that means graduating, and that means becoming Sword King. Only thing that’s changed is his resolve, as in, does he still have it? Obvious answer considering who’s waiting for him, but this is still gonna be good!

  9. I would of loved to see the second half of the episode drawn out longer. I can totally see how it could of been a very chilling sequence of events, with Ikki slowly descending into despair, but alas it had to be condensed because of the episode limit. Still, I know this setup is going to lead into something great, and good development for Ikki and Stella’s relationship.

  10. ep 12:

    Yes, yes

    Show Spoiler ▼


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