Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry – 02

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It’s nice to see how well Stella and Ikki are already getting along even before their first day of school; it’s a testament to the equity and fairness with which they each treat each other. They’re both on first-name terms without any reservations, and Stella makes a habit of bringing up things like the possibility of indirect kisses as a big deal, but never once denies that she doesn’t mind such things, when sharing Ikki’s sports drink. She also insists on running the full 20km a day that he runs, which speaks to her competitiveness.

But this, like Asterisk War is still a harem, which means there will be plenty of competition for Ikki’s attention. The first to glom onto him is Kusakabe Kagami, who means to run the school newspaper and saw him fight. Whether you’re a boy or a girl, people dig ability, and it’s clear Ikki has skills, even if there’s no surefire way to evaluate it. Still, the way the six school reps will be chosen works in his favor: rather than assess people by their stats, everyone will be fighting for those spots.

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Kagami essentially fades into the background, however, when a petite silver-haired girl everyone calls “Lorelei” beckons to Ikki. As we gleaned from the cold open, she’s his little sister Shizuku, and the only member of his family who she believes really loves him. Because of that, on top of her sheltered, upper-crust upbringing, to her, that means she needs to show Ikki enough love to make up for all the family members who show none.

To Shizuku, that means French-kissing him in front of Stella and half the school. Now, this is some standard brocon incest ikkiness? On the surface, sure, but it’s nicely mitigated by two factors: Shizuku’s aforementioned strange upbringing, and the fact no one else, including Ikki, is okay with his sister Frenching him.

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Then a catfight breaks out between Shizuku and Stella, who draw their devices, but they get in trouble with the director and must clean all 27 of the school’s girls’ restrooms, which they do while exchanging insults about one another’s breast size and body type.

It’s petty, but it’s conflict born out of mutual misunderstanding. Shizuku doesn’t yet know the full extent of Stella’s bond with Ikki, and Stella doesn’t yet know why Shizuku is acting so possessive.

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That changes quick when Shizuku mentions that the rest of the Kurogane family has always treated Ikki like he didn’t exist, and she hates them for it. Stella, concerned and eager to learn more about her roommate (and master, a promise she hasn’t forgotten), wastes no time asking Ikki about it, and he’s very open about it: due to his lack of verifiable talent, he was shunned as the family’s black sheep. The ostracization was so bad, he once ran away from home into the brutal cold.

He was saved from death by his grandfather Ryouma—a samurai so famous even Stella knows the name—who told him to harness his frustration with being called the weakest or the worst; make that weakness a strength, and never give up or stop working to prove everyone wrong. Ikki then started to train alone—something Stella also did when she was younger. Thus Stella’s understanding of Ikki deepens, as does her affection.

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Those affections lead her to make a move on Ikki for the second week in a row, entirely on a whim while cooking. Her excuse is that a good servant must fulfill a master’s wishes before he even asks, but really, she liked what she saw and felt last week, and wants more. Ikki is understandably a bit on-edge about the whole thing—Stella is a knockout in her pink bikini (her concession to modesty and not letting things get too far too fast)—but lets Stella do what she wants to do, and tells her what she wants to hear.

A nice detail: when the newspaper girl Kagami put Ikki’s arm against her chest, Stella noticed, and so brings it up here, because it looked like Ikki liked it…and Stella wants Ikki to like when she does it. I loved the honesty and equity of this romantic encounter: both Stella and Ikki are getting something they want out of it…right up until Stella loses her top, which she didn’t want to happen. Scream; Slap; Womp-Womp.

Lastly, we come to the show’s ED, with all the girls in Ikki’s prospective harem lounging around nude in a bed of roses with their weapons, to the welcome eclectic tunes of ALI PROJECT.

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Author: sesameacrylic

Zane Kalish is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

5 thoughts on “Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry – 02”

  1. I’ll admit, this is probably going to be the low point of the show (mostly dreading the bathroom scene). I believe one of the other viewers has already mentioned that Rakudai is more of a romance than a harem. Kusakabe was more focused on trying to get her interview rather than actually liking Ikki (which is evident when she turns on him after hearing Stella’s claims). Stella and Shizuku will have their arguments early on, but Shizuku does eventually begrudgingly approve of Stella later on. The other two girls in the ending are at most only friends with Ikki which confuses me as to why the ending is portrayed as it is. Also, the bath scene was fairly different in the LN. Stella does enter in the bathroom in her bikini when she starts doubting herself due to Shizuka repeatedly calling her fat, but her bikini top doesn’t fall off. She just runs out of the bathroom embarrassed when she Ikki does confirm that he is attracted to her leaving Ikki wondering what is wrong with all the girls around him (I love the tsukkomis that Ikki gives).

  2. Dammit it didn’t have a pratfall boob grope. I feel short changed. Still it’s not as low as the first episode of New Sister Devil etc . I exited that when it hit new ecchi/soft porn lows, even for that show.

    However in between the fan service french kissing imouto and the bath scene, there was some solid story and character development in the form of Ikki’s backstory and Stella’s shared experience. No doubt we will see more of Ikki’s no-good family anon. I’m interested in Ikki and Stella’s teacher too. The story of the blood vomiting seemed interesting. I also hope they expand more on The Director – she is becoming a very interesting character.

    1. I was pretty surprised when the wan-looking teacher suddenly vomited blood! But more interesting is that despite this somewhat undignified intro, she may be the reason Ikki is there at all. She and the director both see something his family doesn’t/won’t acknowledge, and they’re in his corner.

  3. Well… some of the scenes were explicitly NOT part of the original (and I wasn’t too happy about it): In the original, Stella did NOT lose the top, and she didn’t slap Ikki (just like she didn’t slap him ep1 either). I always found it refreshing that she did NOT fit the “violent tsundere” trope – why does SL insist on making these changes which DEVALUE the show by pushing it into the mainstream?

    The shuffling around also killed alot of context. For example, Stella didn’t merely want to spoil Ikki on a whim while cooking. In fact, in the original, she was agonizing over Shizuku’s efforts to push her away from Ikki and _replace_ her. Shizuku’s main thrust was to point out that it was HER who had been with Ikki, who had given him love and care, while Stella was merely an OUTSIDER. An usurper who needed to be put in her place again. Stella was trying hard to find a way to counter Shizuku’s efforts, and this was her best idea. It was hellishly embarrassing for her, but she grit her teeth and went with it in an effort to get closer to him. And her question whether or not he liked (big) breasts was not merely fanservice. This is a field where Stella clearly outclassed Shizuku, and during the washing, Stella confirmed that Ikki was VERY receptive to her superior assets. THAT is why she didn’t react angry to Ikki’s admission, but rather happy. She just scored a major VICTORY over Shizuku! Even though her embarrassment was paramount – so she got up and fled the scene soon thereafter.

    Those are the little bits which I consider important, but which were killed by the shuffle. Rrrrr.

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