「Scrap & Build」
Ernesti let his enthusiasm get the better of him when he makes some lofty requests. You could see that his grandfather was beginning to get anxious, the beads of sweat trickling down his temple while tugging on Ernesti’s arm. The anime left out the king’s thought process of dealing with Ernesti, if he did end up making a request vying for greater power. Let me tell you, it wouldn’t have been nice. But I doubt our mecha-loving shota could have been in too much trouble, since his major preoccupation is so obvious. If anything, the quick realisation helped him better phrase his request, even making the king feel amused.
So after being promised knowledge of the Ether Reactor, on the condition that he designs a mecha that would be a step up from the current models, Ernesti immediately gets to work on the research and development!
Research & Development
Bringing over superior knowledge from our world, Ernesti goes about revolutionising mecha. The interweaving of crystal tissue for increased tensile strength seems like an obvious answer for structural issues, given our modern understanding of human biology and engineering. But I can see how it would be missed out by a civilisation less advanced in these particular fields. Not to mention, they’ve probably relied on magic as a crutch rather than properly investigating scientific fields, which I can totally understand. Many human military advancements have come from times of great conflict. Seeing the lack of a pressing need to improve the Silhouette Knights, owing to a relatively peaceful era as well as the sheer expense of trial and error usually entailed with R&D, it’s not difficult to figure why no one really bothered to push for an advancement. While there is still no urgent situation to stimulate advancement, Ernesti is freely offering the wisdom of his life hacks, bypassing the issue of high costs and mitigating the amount of trial and error required.
Substantial portions of the R&D were cut down in comparison with the source material, turning months of hard work into a matter of minutes. I actually think this might have been a good production choice. Most of the essence was retained, with R&D concerns being given a passing scene where they were reduced. Had they gone into depths over the creation of the Tellestele, it would have been 2-3 episodes of trial and error. While the eventual payoff in the sparring session would have been even better, we have to consider that the anime industry revolves around weekly showings. As you can imagine, two weeks of fruitless struggling with minimal results would hardly entertain a wider audience at large.
We can see that the sub-arms allowed for a Red Mage build, whereby sword and magic could be used simultaneously. Add on the inclusion of the structural improvements gained from crystal tissue interweaving, and this new mecha pretty much outclasses everything in terms of raw power. Despite fighting against a vastly superior mecha, Edgar put up a magnificent fight, demonstrating his skills for all to see. Though deflecting the magic projectile with the blade of Earlcumber was not enough to overcome the Tellestele, Edgar should be pretty pleased he managed to push a stalemate. As we could see from the sparring session, the modifications made were largely beneficial. The only severe downside would be a highly increased energy consumption, assuming that the calibration issues can be resolved pretty soon.
I have to come clear and say that I’m not a particularly huge expert on mecha. For a long time, I even had an aversion to the genre. But when you see someone being passionate and excited like Ernesti, you begin to realise his enthusiasm is actually pretty contagious. Anyway, you could tell something shady was going down by the end of the episode. It seems that spies from another kingdom have been closely monitoring the R&D process. My advice? Just sit tight and enjoy whatever is about to come next!