Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry – 04

Rakudai Kishi - Now a couple

Why wait until the end?

winter15-highw This week we’ll again have Cavalry go before Asterisk. But both shows are doing pretty well, so let’s see what happened to The Worst One this episode.

First Round

Rakudai Kishi - Give Up

Don’t get yourself hurt, dude

They start the fights for the school representative this week, and the first match for Stella looks like it’s going to be a tough one… until the guy complete wusses out and gives up before it starts, much to the disappointment of the crowd, who seem to be mostly against Stella. But it’s hard to blame him for not wanting to take her on, given that his device is all about armor and close combat, which will get him roasted against the Flame Princess. And unlike the duel we saw before where Ikki and Stella used phantom forms, this is “for realz”, and there is a possibility of even dying in one of these matches. Afterward, we get told that Shizuku and Alice both won their first-round matches handily, information helpfully provided by Stella and Kagami.

Rakudai Kishi - Showing off a bit

Cheesecake also provided by Stella

So the last person to get to their first-round match is Ikki, and he’s trying to do his best to prepare for a fight against Kirihara, last year’s school representative. And it’s a big ask, because for a direct close-combat specialist like Ikki, a ranged marksman who’s nicknamed “The Hunter” is not a good matchup. Even worse, Kirihara makes himself invisible, and erases his presence. But Ikki is going to give it his best, not only for this battle, but to make up for the past. But this time it’s not Stella who hears about that past, it’s Alice, who finds a chance to talk to Ikki about his concerns for his well-being.

Rakudai Kishi - GoHands did this scene

This scene animated by GoHands.


Basically, Kirihara picked on Ikki with the implied consent of the school administration, trying to provoke him into breaking the school rule against duels. And Ikki, fearing that even running away would be interpreted as “participating” by those who wanted to kick him out of school, just hunkered down and took the attacks. So this is his chance for revenge, but Alice’s worry is that Ikki’s too accepting of the pain, too accepting of the abuse heaped on him, too quick to accept others pain… and too reluctant to acknowledge his own pain and suffering. But perhaps he can find someone who will do the same for him: “Someone to show up and hear the scream of your heart for you.”

The Hunted

Rakudai Kishi - Saikyou Sensei

Strongest-sensei is interested in Ikki

Ikki’s trying to play it cool, but it’s obvious he’s thinking a lot about the match, probably thinking too much. And even before the match starts, the taunting starts from Kirihara. And even though Ikki’s doing well against Kirihara, able to see his arrows coming before they hit him, he’s not actually winning by playing defense. He does get a couple of hits in on Kirihara, but that just induces Kirihara to show his upgrade to his ability, to make his arrows invisible. What follows is minutes of abuse of Ikki, culminating in Kirihara leading the crowd in a taunt of “Worst One”.

Rakudai Kishi - Stella's outburst

Stella breaks the spell

But that’s what finally induces Stella. Her impassioned plea to Ikki is what finally gets him over his self-induced thought paralysis, and back into his own head and comfort zone. Maybe it’s her admonishment that she wants to look up to him, so he has to always look cool in front of her. Or maybe it’s just the shock of someone standing up for him. But the rapid change in fortunes rattles Kirihara, who acts like your typical weak-ass villain when he starts losing. And in the end, all of his special attacks are repelled by Ikki, who finishes the fight by forcing a capitulation from Kirihara… and giving him a little cut on the nose.

Rakudai Kishi - Terrorizing the Huntard

Tables are turned on the Huntard

But the best part of the episode, at least for me, comes in the aftermath of the fight, as Ikki recovers from using Itto Shura. The first indication something special is going on is when Shizuku is waiting outside the room for Alice, while Stella waits inside. Having heard how Stella feels about Ikki during the fight, this is Shizuku’s acknowledgement that the one for Ikki is Stella, even if she doesn’t like it. And I still think it would be excellent if Shizuku and Alice ended up together, no matter what Alice identifies as. But back to Ikki and Stella, after she gets over her embarrassment at Ikki seeing her sleeping, drooling face, we get to the real important part: Ikki busts out the straight up confession. It’s kind of a surprise, but not really for Stella. After her slight overheating, she listens and finally calms down enough to be honest herself, and responds in affirmation of his feelings.

Rakudai Kishi - Second best couple

Second-best couple

Rakudai Kishi - Stella's answer



Ahh, confessions are the best, especially if they come so early in a show. It’s been pretty obvious that these two are going to be together, so I’m glad they get this out of the way here early. Stella is maybe a little more on the stammering, embarrassed side than I’d prefer, but she calms down fast and ends up honest with herself. And a lot of that seems to be that she just doesn’t like when she’s not in control. I’ll be interested in seeing how they move forward as a couple, and deal with things together.


Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
Blinklist BlogMarks Delicious Digg Diigo FaceBook Google MySpace Netvibes Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter

10 Responses to “Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry – 04”

  1. Rathje says:


    Tsunderes actually can act like responsible adults match genuine feelings in-kind?

    Say it ain’t so! Heresy I tell you!

    • Highway says:

      Well, a lot of the time they don’t get the chance to match other people’s genuine feelings, because the weaksauce guys don’t ever say them (or even have them). But I really think that Stella just isn’t a big fan of things happening without her making them happen, so that’s why when Ikki moves the pieces on the board, and changes the status of their relationship, she gets flustered. It’s something that as one grows up, they need to learn to deal with.

  2. zztop says:

    In the novel, the Area Invisible power is written with the kanji 狩人の森, Kariudo no Mori (“Hunter’s Forest”). Likely the anime decided to implement this theme more strongly in this episode’s fight, down to the illusion forest and wood themes of Kirihara’s attacks.

    Rakudai’s voice actors also say to watch out for the developments in the Ikki-Stella relationship.

    • Highway says:

      I thought they did a very good job with the Area Invisible effect. It’s kind of rough for this show to be so comparable with Asterisk, because A-1 is putting all the visuals in that show, and Silver Link / Nexus just aren’t going to match that technically. But the visuals all work for this show, it’s not like they’re letting anything down.

  3. Wanderer says:

    Why wait until the end?

    An excellent question! If only more series could learn from this example they’d be less likely to fall into the rut that gets them tossed out as “generic” each season.

    • Highway says:

      Well, if every story had a couple at the beginning, then we’d start saying that that’s a rut. I do think that a lot more shows should be more committal about relationships, but there’s much more criticism to be levied at characterization and plot than “whether the show ends up with a couple”. Having a declared romantic couple wouldn’t have saved shows like Absolute Duo or Fafnir from being pretty terrible.

  4. zztop says:

    Fun with Japanese language:

    Ikki: With my strongest (skill), I’ll catch your strongest (skill)!

    There’s wordplay in this particular phrase.
    In the novels, Ikki says 「僕の最弱を以て、君の最強を捕まえる」(With my weakest, I’ll catch your strongest).

    The author uses the kanji 最弱 (weakest) and 最強 (strongest), but uses the furigana「さいきょう」(saikyou)for both kanjis as a kind of wordplay; a a double meaning that his strongest skill is still the weakest sort of skill in the greater scheme.

  5. skylion says:

    This one felt a touch uneven, but I think the good outweighed the bad when all was said and done. I thought much of the combat was heavy handed in it’s approach; they oversold Kihara’s cartoon villainy, the invisible arrow assault was three times longer than it needed to be, and the taunting of the Worst One felt cheesy, not every single student can/is that much of a dick.

    But some solid characterizations pulled it back into even running. Alice is quite wonderful to support the one she has come to care about, and is supportive and honest in her own right when it comes right down to it.

    ..and yes, a show can advance a relationship.

    But not enough LOLI-sensei….so boo on that.

    • Highway says:

      I agree that it was rather uneven and a bit heavyhanded. Kirihara’s maniacal taunting was cringeworthy, and the student body’s seemingly gleeful joining in was worse. It didn’t get to the point of a Reki Kawahara villain, but there was definitely nothing in Kirihara that was sympathetic, or even defensible. And the sequence of him punishing Ikki felt quite a bit longer than it was. I thought when I was writing the article here that it was on the order of 5 minutes or so. But in reality, from the start of the fight to Stella’s outcry was only something like 2-and-a-half to 3 minutes. So in retrospect, I think they probably hit the length just about right.

      If we’re doing a running score, this week’s Asterisk was a bit better than this week’s Cavalry… except for Ikki’s confession and Stella’s affirmation. And like you, I really love the way that Alice has stepped up for Shizuku and for Ikki and even Stella. I can see a worry that Alice might end up being too much of a “Magical Other” (adapted from the “Magical Negro” trope) character, especially if she continues to be the one who sees the personality holes and steers the others onto the right path. But right now, she’s what a blinder-ed Stella and Ikki needed, and what a hurting Shizuku can take comfort in.

  6. skylion says:

    Episode 4 Endcard (MNSFW)

    Show ▼

Leave a Reply