If there is a type of show that does not set the audience’s expectations too high due to the flimsy nature of the material, it’s the infamous “high school battle harems, and we do magic stuff.”
So, when something like Chivalry of a Failed Knight actually tries to reinvent itself, it does not go unnoticed. One season was not enough for many viewers, so is there a second season peeking right around the corner?
What happened so far in Chivalry of a Failed Knight
Some individuals are born with powerful skills, amongst which magic and the ability to materialize weapons known as Devices directly from their soul. They are called Blazers and are sought after by governments for their value on a battlefield. Those gifted with such powers can enroll in one of the seven specialized academies to become Mage-Knights and participate in the Star Sword Art Festival, where the strongest Knight is chosen.
Ikki Kurogane is the worst: the only F-rank Blazer at the Japanese Hagun Academy, he is considered a failure by his peers and his family. The blow is even stronger considering that the Kurogane household is a prestigious family with a lineage full of powerful Blazers. Ikki is set on proving himself to the world, but his family and the staff at the Academy keep getting in his way by forcing him to repeat his first year. That comes to a change when the new director, Kurono Shinguji, decides to change a few things around to raise the Academy’s rank: the old staff is fired, and students with compatible powers are forced to live and train together as a pair.
Under poor circumstances, Ikki meets his new roommate, Stella Vermillion, when he finds the young woman half-naked in their apartment. She challenges him to a mock battle, sure of her victory. Indeed, Stella is recognized everywhere as a genius: born with a considerable amount of magic power, she had to work especially hard to master it and reach A-rank. She has contempt and bitter words for anyone calling her a prodigy as she wants people to understand that she has to put in the work to achieve results. However, she is defeated by Ikki, and his technique stealing skill and accepts to become his servant. They both decide to give it their all, setting their sights on winning the tournament that will allow them to be Hagen Academy’s representative in the Star Sword Art Festival. While making sure not to forget to fall in love in the process.
What is going on with Silver Link & Nexus?
Rakudai (as called by the fans, from its original title “Rakudai Kishi no Kyabarurii”) premiered on October 3 and ended on December 19, 2015, after 12 episodes. It is directed by Shin Oonuma and Jin Tamamura, written by Shogo Yasukawa, with a score composed by Kotaro Nakagawa.
If you feel like you already know the story of Rakudai, it is because you do. It is not original as it not only uses scenarist elements found in all anime, light novels, manga sharing the same genre, but its scenario is also literally The Asterisk War. Both anime even started airing at the same time. When it comes to light novels, Rakudai came after The Asterisk War, though -as the latter was serialized in 2012 against 2013 for the former- but it won the hearts of way more people who recognized qualities in the piece that The Asterisk War did not have at all. Its strength resides in his characters, animation, and romance.
That last point particularly stood out as we all know that romance is an excuse to cram in more ecchi in the harem. Not that Rakudai is exempt from that sin: it sure as hell H it up, but it stays pretty tame, with episode 2 being the most you will get. Starting with its characters, Rakudai actually works on its characterization. They have their shortcomings, background, ambitions, and goals. Those are not just random and serve directly as a way to understand a character’s decisions. Ikki is willing to be reckless during his fights because he wants to prove himself, which is a direct consequence of being ostracized by everyone; Shizuku, his sister, is overprotective with her brother because she wants him to feel all the love he never had the chance to enjoy; Stella is powerful, but will not rest on her laurels or allow people to ignore her efforts. Not that they revolutionize anything. They are still based on archetypes that you saw a hundred times, but at least they are their own person.
The anime takes a different route in episode 5 when Ikki and Stella decide to start dating. Yes – a real romance, an exclusive one where the protagonist’s feelings are directed at just one person, and the anime is a harem. In addition, the romantic subplot is actually nicely used and fairly developed. It does not just sit there and is an integral part of the story.
Now, let us not forget the genre we are dealing with here. Rakudai did some things right, but we are still in “battle harem ecchi” territory.
Firstly, it takes no time at all for Stella to fall for Ikki. A slower approach to how those feelings came to be would have been more appropriate.
Secondly, Ikki is labeled as a failure, but only because he lacks magic powers. Something that he can easily cover with the flawless mastery of his sword, which brings us back to the boring cliché “weak hero but really he can wreak you all to Hell and back.” He still has to push himself, though, but we all know how it will end.
Finally, why is it still a harem? There is quickly no need for a group of googly-eyed girls ready to throw themselves at Ikki when the man is officially taken. Sexy antics can be inserted without creating a harem. Ikki is not even interested in taking advantage: he continuously rejects his sister’s overly creepy and incestuous actions. He refuses to have sex with his own girlfriend to follow his code of honor. It needs to be said that Stella is horny enough for two, dreaming of his naked body rubbing against hers day in day out.
The animation is slightly above average, jumping to gorgeous during battles. The action scenes are fluid, nicely choreographed, with beautiful effects reflecting the elemental magic used. The change in colors during those helps to build up the intensity, sometimes reflecting one of the fighters (the last two episodes are particularly memorable).
The character design is visually nice, but nothing new. The only hiccup is the CG artworks and the way they are rendered. They are easy to notice and do not blend easily with the 2D. Rakudai is the product of Silver Link and Nexus. Currently, the latter has no original project to work on (which could indicate that they are outsourcing for other projects). Silver Link has up to 5 different projects aligned, two of them being directed by Shin Oonuma.
What do we know about Chivalry of a Failed Knight Season 2 so far?
Nothing new on that side. The anime was well enjoyed but got nowhere near the popularity of the manga or visual novel.
What are fans saying about Chivalry of a Failed Knight Season 2?
Not much at this point. Most fans turned to manga and light novels. Hope faltered when The Asterisk War received a second season, whereas Rakudai was left behind. A decision that made no sense for the majority as Rakudai was widely recognized as the superior one. Nevertheless, the community is still active. Slow, but active.
Will there be Chivalry of a Failed Knight Season 2?
The light novel started on July 15, 2013, and is still ongoing, running for 18 volumes. It is written by Riku Misora and illustrated by Won. The combo also released a novel full of side stories titled Volume 00. Rakudai. The light novel is pretty popular in Japan, with 1.5 million copies in circulation by February 2017. Sol Press licensed the light novel in english. The manga is illustrated and written by Megumi Soramichi and takes a different path compared to the light novel. It was serialized from March 14, 2014, to December 7, 2017. A one-shot titled Chivalry of a Failed Knight Anthology feat Stella and illustrated by various artists was released on December 13, 2014.
Fun fact: although she is not the main character, Stella is featured on every cover of both the manga and the light novel.
Sentai Filmworks released the complete series on Blu-ray in 2017. In Japan, Volume 4 (Blu-ray) ranked 14th during its release week in March 2016 and 12th for Volume 6 (Blu-ray) in May 2016. The merchandising for the license does not offer that large a selection. They do have diverse goodies (tapestry, badge, figure, pouch, keychain, among other things), but those are pretty basic in the world of merchandising, and most are using Stella. Enforcing how appreciated the series is in the western world, the map on Google Trends completely covers North America. The graph never reaches zero, even when its value is as low as it is right now (22%), showing that there are enough search queries recorded to actually always generate data.
When will Chivalry of a Failed Knight Season 2 be released?
No date is available as of yet.
What can we expect in Season 2 of Chivalry of a Failed Knight?
The reason why Chivalry of a Failed Knight never received a season 2 will forever be shrouded in mystery. The series is popular as a light novel and manga, and the show actually brought several new fans and was very liked by the masses. Maybe it is since then, simulcasting on streaming platforms was not much of a thing, and Hulu was the only one to give it a chance (without promoting much of it).
Therefore, it did not enjoy as much exposure as most anime nowadays and started making a name for itself when Crunchyroll & cie added it to their catalog. Nonetheless, there is plenty of material to adapt if it were to happen as the anime only covered the first 3 volumes. New challenges emerge in the future, and our heroes have to make difficult choices. The romance is still a big part of the story, with our lovebirds taking their relationship to the next level.