「聖騎士譚」 (Hijiri Kishi Tan)
“Holy Knight Tale”

I don’t know what it is about this series, but often its individual episodes feel scattershot. That’s always a risk when you take a novel and chop it up into bite-sized portions—unlike with manga, which is designed to be consumed in episode-translatable installments—but this series more often feels like it’s flagrantly laying the groundwork for elements which will come to fruition later, leaving the episode in question feeling incomplete. Hm. Too much foreshadowing and not enough doing, perhaps. It’s a grab bag of plot points for now. Hm.

Ever notice how religious people don’t ever come off as good in most fiction? Now, disclaimer: I’m not religious. So I’ve got no horse in this race. It’s just one of those elements which, if it comprises more than an incidental part of a character’s personality, it’s usually for nefarious reasons. At least, in anime that’s true, for religions other than Shinto. It’s not a 100% thing, I’m generalizing myself, but it did strike me when the Paladin appeared, and he was all Knight Templar to a T. (Also, trope!) Not that everything about him was cliché, though much was. I especially liked how his “divine gifts” were actually spells, and he was casting them because he had sunk a lot of time into Sorcerer levels. I can dig that kinda grift! Plus, he’s a bastard, so seeing him get some comeuppance was nice.

Which brings me to Diablo’s unwillingness to kill, or at least, not kill readily. I like it. Remember, Diablo is a regular gamer beneath it all—or, in other words, a modern Japanese man who has likely seen no war, no violence, and no fights other than schoolyard scraps. He shouldn’t be too gung-ho to kill someone—though his actions at other times clash with this. It still makes sense, though. Such feelings are often inconsistent, and there’s a difference between the guy who gets mouthy in a back alley, and the guy who openly proclaims his desire to kill him and his friends after he was already ready for a fight (Galford last episode). Not that it’s not going to come back to bite him in the ass. It definitely will. It would just be way weirder if he was willing to straight-up murder someone at their first meeting. Diablo seems like a guy who needs to run up to that.

By far and large, the best part about this show continues to be Rem and Shera’s friendship. For a minute there it was looking all-encompassing, to the point I was about to start questioning why the hell Diablo is even in this little threesome. He made his presence felt shortly thereafter, so I’ll give him a pass. Still, the relationship between the two girls is so endearing, so heartfelt, that it warms my heart each time the confide in one another and trust each other. The tropes would have them be main parties in a catfight over Diablo’s rod of spell-casting, but they’re not. They don’t. They’re friends. And that’s much better.

Random thoughts:

  • While it’s totally bullshit that Shera hit that shot, Diablo is right. It goes to show how powerful information can be.
  • It was a definitely mistake to confide in Alicia. Rem was feeling vulnerable, and mistaking how well they know Alicia. They don’t really know much about her at all, other than the face she puts forward. Hopefully it works out, but I have a feeling it’ll be rough.

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Full-length images: 05, 11, 13.




  1. https://randomc.net/image/Isekai%20Maou%20to%20Shoukan%20Shoujo%20no%20Dorei%20Majutsu/Isekai%20Maou%20to%20Shoukan%20Shoujo%20no%20Dorei%20Majutsu%20-%2009%20-%20Large%2016.jpg
    Anime logic, VERY close skin contact, which includes licking, hugging, and other stuff, is a common practice of friendship for girls. Diablo sure is lucky. Unlike someone like Kamijou Touma, Diablo is one of the few characters, I know, that has girls as “slaves” that Serve him and can “get along” with each other to a certain degree. I honestly want to see more big breasted elves, or animal eared, love interests. T_T OR at least more yuri scenes in an anime/manga where yuri isn’t the main genre.

    Anyway, I suppose that the elf kingdom case has been settled. Well, with Diablo destroying the “Hydra,” that the elves owned, it seems obvious that the elves are in no position to declare war. Anyway, again, all of the elf commoners should throw a party that their idiot prince, that was about to declare a senseless war, was killed off. I honestly can’t understand what King, or Queen, lets their idiot prince abuse too much power. Assuming there is only ONE elf kingdom, that prince would have doomed his entire race by making Diablo an enemy.

    1. I love the relationship of yuri friendly that they can have among the female characters, and how I hate the attempt of romance that there is between the typical anime protagonist and his women because in general he is very clumsy and without much chemistry between them, general hate the boy because they almost always give him a very cold, shy and stoic character. And if many times a yuri relationship in an anime that does not have this gender is many times better than a yuri as such a cofcofcitruscofcof

  2. One of the things I really enjoy about this series is the re-use of Diablo’s tools.
    It really irks me when a series protagonist has a “brand new” spell / move for the
    defeat of the next antagonist. Diablo has re-used the magic reflection several times
    now, and each time fits and doesn’t feel worn out or olde.

    I thought that Shera hitting that shot was well done. Another thing this series is
    doing “better” is not explaining every freakin’ detail to death. Elves are expected
    to be great archers when they can see their target. So, once she was able to see
    the target, the rest of the mechanics of ‘elves are great archers’ naturally kicked in.
    Kudos to the series for not stating the obvious by having someone say it out loud.
    The audience was expected to “know” elves are great archers (ref. LoTR). I like that.
    Now, will this ability come into play later, of was it just filler…

    Looks this this episode is back to the 2/3 build up to a good battle; maybe the
    writers were on vacation for those horrible three episodes or something — dunno.

    The only thing curious is Diablo’s willingness to trust Edelgard, and also, she never
    asked “what happened to Gregore.” Also, WTF happened to his sickle weapon..?

    Still, really looking to a great finale!

  3. “While it’s totally bullshit that Shera hit that shot,”

    It was explained earlier in the LN that Shera is a genius archer, even for elves. She took an unofficial test as a child and was estimated with Archer level around 40.

    She only took Summonner class because she thought traveling alone would be lonely.

    1. Indeed. Basically speaking, Shera is going against both her racial stats and her own inherent talent by trying to be a summoner rather than an archer. Now, there’s nothing technically wrong with that: I’m not about to say that just because someone’s good at one thing that they should be locked into doing that thing alone no matter what they want. But it does mean that currently Shera is actually much more capable in a fight when she’s using archery rather than when she’s using summons.

  4. The biggest thing about mixing religion and magic is that it’s prime territory for a scam. Look at this asshole, justifying himself with a trick to the point where he believes his own con. Using crap like that against a normal person would’ve made him look like he really was something special because no one knew how to stop him, and people are a lot more vulnerable to suggestion when someone’s punching down on them in a way they can’t figure out.

    So he brings in believers through fear, knocks out competition through his own pychotic bias, the higher-ups love him because he makes them richer and more powerful until he is the higher up and can beat his zealotry into the people under him. And of course it never hurts to have a bogeyman, and all the better when it’s a real threat.

    When people like this are at or near the top of what is supposed to be the bright and shining organization bringing salvation, it’s no wonder someone might look somewhere a little “darker” for answers.

    1. The Templar’s use of spells is a nice idea to explore, yes. I wonder, does he know it’s a spell and he’s a hypocrite? Or does he really believe those abilities are divine in origin and doesn’t question them? Perhaps Templar training has some dirty secrets in this setting.

      I’m reminded of TES, where the Resolutes of Stendarr (not to be confused with the Vigilants in Skyrim) believed that Restoration magic was the god’s gift and built impressive theological explanations about the implications of such a situation. Meanwhile, the scholars facepalmed.

  5. Which brings me to Diablo’s unwillingness to kill, or at least, not kill readily. I like it. Remember, Diablo is a regular gamer beneath it all—or, in other words, a modern Japanese man who has likely seen no war, no violence, and no fights other than schoolyard scraps. He shouldn’t be too gung-ho to kill someone

    In light of Overlord’s latest episode, I’ve learned to appreciate this a lot. When having the chance, and not enraged by the scummiest scum (like Shera’s brother) or facing aggressive inhuman mooks (like the Fallen at the bridge), Diablo tries to avoid killing his fellow mortals. To the point Alice gave him a meaningful look because of it. I could almost hear her disappointed thoughts.

    But don’t mind Alice. As you say, Diablo’s unwillingness to kill is the natural, believable reaction. In too many Isekais normal people suddenly become used to killing people like it’s the normal thing to do. Slavery too. I’ve literally seen the “Since in this world it’s normal, it’s okay for me too” argument used to justify the aforementioned stances. Either they failed at Ethics 101or or social conformity is really that important to the average Japanese.

    Now, going back to Alicia, the very first scene and the hints in the opening make me suspect that she may have one or two dark secrets of her own. I was more afraid of her than of the Templar guy. Even Diablo noticed that something was off at the end.

  6. Japan is a country of atheists. Sure, they say they’re Shinto, but that’s not actually a belief system at all and mainly comes in handy for weddings and festivals. Or they say they’re Buddhist, but most of them aren’t really too serious about that either (nor does Buddhism itself really care if you’re serious about it in general) – mainly comes in useful for funerals (since Shinto has a pretty weak-sauce idea of the afterlife).

    The country has a history of persecuting the hell out of Christians too. I lived for about 5 months within shouting distance of Shimabara – the site where the Shogunate crucified hundreds of Catholic Japanese after driving the Europeans out of the country. Christianity is seen as foreign and scary in general, and since the country is largely atheist – especially among the young population – bigotry and stereotyping of Catholicism, along with a barely concealed cultural chauvinism – comes naturally to Japanese mangaka.

    1. I’m not sure I’d call them a country of atheists, just the usual declining interest in religion as in other modern societies. After all, are all people who have religious weddings and funerals in the West really serious about the religion or is it just a traditional custom for many?

      But I do agree that there’s a lot of creator provincialism when dealing with Christianity in anime, if only because, as you point out, they didn’t have much historical contact (and when they did the shogunate made sure it wouldn’t happen again). Thus, we have the tropes Anime Catholicism and Nuns Are Mikos, because an organized religion like the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages is completely alien to the Japanese…

      …although the same could be said of Westerners having to think about the religious landscape of East Asian countries. I bet the average Westerner knows as much about Shinto and Buddhism as the average Japanese knows about Catholicism.

    2. To be fair, it’s not that Japan in particular is full of atheists, or anything to do with Shintoism or Buddhism, it’s that it’s an advanced first world country, and those tend toward secularism. With one notable exception.

      Mistic does have a point on Shinto or Buddhism, though. While they’re not painted as evil nearly as quickly, there’s a lot of oriental exoticism in their portrayal in western media (when they’re not ignored entirely). I guess my point was just: it’s lazy. It’s all lazy. Any of creator is allowed to do it and it’s fine, but as a medium, anime is pretty lazy about how it treats most religious characters. Just an observation.

    3. I have read Buddhists calling themselves Atheists as no god is worshiped in Buddhism. Japanise often believe in ideas that are opposite to themselves so it can be difficult to get a straight answer as there is not one. Polling of Japanise will get a yes answer to all categories in high percentages even though logically you cannot believe in them all. As Shinto and Buddhism do not have a membership of lay people it is hard to track how much belief people have. You do not join a Shrine or Temple you just go there as you feel you need to. I have read almost all Japanise have family shrines for ancestors so they practice ancestor worship.

      Many theologists (several religions) in the past predicted modern worship in that the more your physical needs are met the fewer people feel a religious need. Most did not suggest a mandatory poverty. They just recommend poverty for those who seek religious answers.

  7. Calling it (I haven’t read the LN or anything like that) –
    Show Spoiler ▼

    (had to word it this way so as
    to not spoil it in the sidebar). Diablo’s instincts / warnings are legit.
    I re-watched and played close attention to what was said and Alice’s
    interaction w/Paladin at the castle, especially her remark about mortals
    sounding a lot like what Edelgard said on the bridge. Anyway…
    Now I’m looking forward to see how this plays out and if I’m right…

  8. Evil religious figures make great drama. Tarnished heroes make great drama. Truly good people often get a complaint about they can not exist, are boring and many others. So the good religious figure or the Knight in Shining Armor is rare in modern tales.
    Recent exceptions, the master swordsman in RE:Zero. Joan of Arc in Fate works is one of the few accurate portrayals of her. Joan called Jeanne is treated as a Saint and crushes evil undead and spirts with ease and even performs prayer, welcomes the dead who repent and performs exorcisms.


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