Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry – 11

Rakudai Kishi - Torture Cell

The purpose of this room is pretty clear

winter15-highw This week on Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry: the bullshit hits the fan as forces align against Ikki.

A Different Side of Touka

Rakudai Kishi - A different image

Someone’s a little bit flustered

It’s hard to think about the “normal” stuff that happened in the beginning of this episode, due to the heavy stuff that took up the majority. But we finally do get to see that other side of Touka Toudou, who in the Student Council room is the put upon one as the other officers lounge around. Outside of battle, the seemingly silent and always collected Touka is warm and giving, taking everyone to an orphanage for a play day with the children. It’s also a chance for Ikki to get to know her, including about her Noble Art. I’ll admit I’m a little confused about the exchange they had about it, that her Noble Art is better when her vision is blocked, but that she had to take off her glasses against Shizuku. Perhaps that’s because she needed to see Shizuku better and gave up her Noble Art some? That’s all I can think to understand that, unless there was some error in translation.

Rakudai Kishi - Touka's inner strength

Ikki’s one-on-one time with Touka pays off

Anyway, the impression she makes on Ikki is deep, especially talking with Utakata explaining her background as an orphan, but not as one who was broken, like we see so much. She was the one who used the example of the love her parents gave her to support the others, particularly Utakata. Her being strong so that others can follow her example is something that Ikki will find useful later, as he examines himself to determine what his source of strength is.

Rakudai Kishi - The kiss we finally see

The first kiss they actually show us is the problem

Taking It All Away

Rakudai Kishi - Defiant Ikki

Nice Color Drain

A nice time after Stella’s Round 14 victory ends up costing Ikki almost everything. Unfortunately, stalker guy catches them sharing a kiss, starting a firestorm that leads to Ikki being incarcerated for a hearing. Ostensibly a hearing in front of the Ethics Committee to investigate the illicit relationship between Ikki and Stella, it’s purpose isn’t to find out the truth, but rather to break Ikki and get him stomped down forever. It’s a Star Chamber, a Kangaroo Court, whatever word for a rigged hearing you want to use, and it’s called by Akaza, a lapdog of Ikki’s father. As Saikyou-sensei and the Director discuss, the entire point is to get Ikki to admit what he has done is wrong, thereby ending any chance he has of becoming a knight.

Rakudai Kishi - Shizuku sets Stella Straight

Shizuku sets Stella straight

The show takes an interesting stylistic turn from this point, with monochromatic presentation of Ikki’s trial, with an accent of color that starts out with Akaza, but later moves to Ikki, as he keeps his resolve. They even have Ikki’s battles at the prison, with Yuri-chan accompanying his opponents. Meanwhile, it uses the same grainy nature to show Stella and the others back at the “homefront,” where after some initial wavering on her part, quickly and thoroughly rebuked by Shizuku, Stella decides to do what she can to keep her promise to Ikki: Meeting in the Seven Star Battle Tournament (along with a care package to keep his hopes up).

Rakudai Kishi - Stella's resolve   Rakudai Kishi - Yuri-chan helps

Stella’s response, and Yuri-chan’s help

Perhaps the turning point in Ikki’s mindset is when he is granted an audience with his father, whose elitist and vile mindset is finally made clear to Ikki. He hasn’t discouraged and ignored Ikki because he felt he had no ability. He’s tried to hold him down and get rid of him because he only has mediocre ability. He doesn’t want other people getting ideas above their station, and having a role model like Ikki who shows that work can overcome a deficit of ability is anathema to his elitist views. But even after learning that what he thought was his goal is exactly the wrong thing to impress his father, Ikki continues winning until he learns of his final match: Against Touka Toudou.

Rakudai Kishi - Lost Hope

Ikki had the wrong idea all along


It’s not looking good for Ikki, who’s certainly not in the best of shape after weeks of imprisonment. The stakes are clear: Win and he gets the Ethics Committee off his back, because their trumped up reason for trying to run him out evaporates: That he is unsuitable for being a Knight. But lose, and he’ll likely lose everything. It won’t be easy, but I think it’s pretty clear what’s going to happen in this show. The question will be how they do it.


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6 Responses to “Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry – 11”

  1. Wanderer says:

    It’s also a chance for Ikki to get to know her, including about her Noble Art. I’ll admit I’m a little confused about the exchange they had about it, that her Noble Art is better when her vision is blocked, but that she had to take off her glasses against Shizuku. Perhaps that’s because she needed to see Shizuku better and gave up her Noble Art some?

    No, Touka can’t see without her glasses. The point is that she doesn’t need to see; that, in fact, against an opponent of Shizuku’s high level, relying in her sight might have cost her the match. Touka is a lightning mage, and that doesn’t just mean she can use electricity in her attacks. She is powerful enough and skilled enough that she can sense electrical energy around her, including bioelectric energy. She could fight with her eyes closed and still know exactly where her opponent is, with radar-like precision.

    • Highway says:

      That implication didn’t come through at all, whether it was explained badly in the original, or just not translated well.

      • zztop says:

        I think this was explained better in the novels. The anime didn’t mention this properly.

  2. zztop says:

    Ikki’s father, whose elitist and vile mindset is finally made clear to Ikki.

    In addition, the novels say he is driven by a rigid, uncompromising sense of duty towards supporting the knight-ranking system the Kuroganes founded.

    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.”

  3. zztop says:

    Nice Color Drain.

    Rakudai’s director, Oonuma Shin, used to work for Shaft studio before going to start up Silver Link. He and Akiyuki Shinbou are homeboys.

    Ikki’s incarceration is explained in a bit more detail in the novels. Knights are part of an International Union that manages them and gives them various legal rights. His father, who heads the Japanese branch, doesn’t have the full right to revoke Ikki’s rights here. Hence the need for the trial.

    Ikki’s also playing a delaying game at his trial, 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.

    • Highway says:

      And yet, there isn’t a pattern of obviously reusing the same visual devices with Shin Oonuma that there is with Shinbou. I’ve generally really liked Shin Oonuma’s work, while I tend to like the Shaft works in spite of Shinbou’s schtick.

      They skipped a lot of the politics here, and I don’t really mind it. If Ikki realizes that eventually he’ll break and give a confession of something he didn’t do, then stalling is his best tactic. But it’s seemed that his position is that he’ll hold out while confessing to what he has already confessed to: He and Stella are in a relationship, and there is nothing “indecent” about it (I would argue that there is nothing “indecent” about anything two people able to consent consent to do, and I liked the way Ikki put that in what they showed, but I digress). They’ve shown the way out, at least with the Ethics Committee: Beat Touka. Dealing with Stella’s father is a different challenge.

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