Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry – 04

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Stella’s first battle is over before it begins, when her lower-ranked opponent forfeits out of a desire not to be hurt too badly. When she checks in on Ikki, he’s studying tape on his opponent, Kirihara Shizuya, and his “Area Invisible” technique that’s such a mismatch against Ikki’s swords skills. He seems focused and committed, and promises her he won’t lose. And Stella, having come off an easy victory, having lost to him herself, and used to Ikki acting tough and cool, believes him, without suspecting anything amiss.

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Alice is different. Her woman’s intuition, if you will, senses something is off with Ikki on this particular momentous, high-pressure occasion. She learns about how years ago there was a conspiracy to get Ikki expelled for some petty infraction, and how Shizuya attacked him brutally, but Ikki wouldn’t fight back no matter what, worried (rightly so) that he’d be kicked out for it.

Alice comes to the conclusion Ikki is so used to being downtrodden, both physically and mentally, by those who see themselves as better than him, that he’s developed a hard skin that prevents him from hearing the “screaming in his heart”—that release valve everyone has.

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Now that he has to either win the Seven Star Battle or be expelled, that pent-up anguish has a profound effect on Ikki, such that he does not strike the moment that gives him the best chance at victory: before Shizuya activates Area Invisible. He can’t, says Alice: he’s too damned nervous down there.

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And so, Shizuya, who is perfectly confident in his ability to hide and attack from the shadows like a hunter or assassin, has his way with Ikki, riddling him full of arrows. Ikki collapses in a pool of his own bloood, Shizuya mocks him, the crowd starts laughing and mocking and chanting “Worst One” and it’s almost a nightmare come true for Ikki, until a fed-up Stella stands up and tells the crowd to shut the hell up, and tells Ikki to stop looking pathetic and get up.

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So he gets up. He puts his cool face back on. He can, because Stella’s loud public words of encouragement wash away the nerves. He calms down, then uses his trump card and steals the “logic” of Shizuya’s ability, so he can see right through it every time. Shizuya is able to switch from tactic to tactic, but ultimately they’re all part-and-parcel of his ability, leaving nothing with which he can hold Ikki back other than cowering and crying “uncle.” Ikki spares his life (by one millimeter!) and wins. Then he passes out.

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When he comes to, he’s in the hospital, a dozing, drooling Stella by his bedside, his sister crying into Alice’s shoulder outside because it’s not to be for her. And since he has her alone, Ikki, who won his battle thanks to Stella, confesses to her, and expresses how important she is to him.

Her lovely dere response includes a closed-eyes first kiss and a small nod indicating she feels the same way about him. Then Ikki draws her into a big warm hug (bawww) and promises he’ll one she’ll face in the Seven Star final. You don’t get that a lot in anime these days: a couple working towards facing off against each other in the final battle. I like it!

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Author: sesameacrylic

Zane Kalish is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

15 thoughts on “Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry – 04”

    1. It was a pretty boss battle, especially when Ikki snaps out of it and terrorizes Shizuya with his relentless (and increasingly faster-paced) pursuit.

      Not sure who was the more loathsome cowardly opponent this week: Shizuya, or Silas in Asterisk War.

  1. Overall a great episode with great action and a well done adaptation to the confession. The only thing that I wanted to see that wasn’t included was Shizuku’s monologue to Alice when she waited outside of the room. She was supposed to tell Alice that she was really happy that Stella stood up for Ikki in a moment when even she gave up hope and was therefore willing to concede to her for today. Also, the shower scene was kind of random: it wasn’t in the original material and even if Alice is gay, he shouldn’t be in the female change room.

    1. I didnt mind that the little Shizuku moment was wordless, but adding the lines would have more overtly lent insight to her character, as shes not just jealous and upset, but disappointed in herself.

      1. Yeah there is that trade off in what you can fit into an anime haha. For example in the novel Ikki’s inner thoughts on how far he was despairing and feeling cornered gave Stella’s speech more impact. It really emphasized just how much PRESSURE Ikki was under. And seeing everyone casually taunt him just for lulz was too much for him. In the anime it felt like he might have snapped out of it a bit too easily?

        But then again in the anime Stella’s voice actor did a stellar job. That was on hell of an intense scream! Also it’s hard to portray such intense action in narrative form. The sound and music + movement really depicts a scene far stronger than just imagination alone. That EXPLOSION from Ikki’s final stab was fucking awesome. Thinking about the kinetic force necessary to displace that much dust boggles the mind XD.

        Also having Shizuku keep her lines would have been a great character development moment for her.

        About the Silas versus Shizuya for the shittiest baddie, I’d have to say Shizuya takes the cake. Silas was just kind of hilarious. He was so far outclassed and his silly faces made me want to laugh. I never once thought of him as a threat, and he didn’t really have the caliber to make me hate him as a bad guy.

        On the other hand Shizuya was despicable. I could feel his malicious sadism clearly through his actions, and I realllly wanted to see him get fucked. The way he incited the crowd taunt Ikki and how he tried to play around to hurt him more. The karma when his stalling the fight lead to Ikki having more data to gather was delicious too. Finally, how he fucking turned 180 degrees around and became a pathetic begging coward was truly damning. What a shithole of a guy.

      2. I wouldn’t say she was disappointing in herself as much as she is starting to recognize Stella as someone that Ikki needs. I remember last week, there was someone who said that they didn’t like how Shizuka said that Stella was brave for being willing to strip, and I kind of agree. It would have been nice if this monologue was included instead.

        Also, for your earlier comment about who is the more loathsome villain this week: I think Yoshitsugu does a good job of voicing a scumbag when he isn’t being the harem king. Shizuya made me seethe with anger while Silas was incompetent to the point where I was wondering why he had so much screen time.

    2. Alice identifies as female, and no one gives her being in the girl’s showers a second thought, so going forward I’m regarding her as a transgender woman (as opposed to a gay man).

      That being said, that conversation didn’t really have to take place in the showers.

  2. I think you forgot to adjust the episode score! *nudge nudge*

    Seriously though, I’m glad that after episode 2, which really worried me, Silver Link is back on track. A fairly enjoyable conversion of the LN!

  3. This pretty much fixed the series for me.

    I loved episode 1, was lukewarm on 2, was pretty much enraged on 3 (copy and paste bullcrap), but this brought me back pretty much to 1 (not quite, but very close)

    1. We got a mutual confession in episode 4 of an action battle fantasy harem (not) show. That never happens and I’m excited to see where it goes.

    2. Pretty good fight that made Ikki both cool and relatable without sliding into the Marty Stu territory that so many leads in this sort of story do.

    3. The sister backed down. I am not into the brocon/siscon incest stuff (apologies to whoever is I guess) so I want that to fade into the background quickly

    4. I liked the explanation that Stella could have wiped the floor with Shizuya. One of the problems with these stories is the girl is always nominally strong yet loses regularly or is never shown doing cool things that don’t involve assisting the male (like the Asterik main girl), but the explanation here was believable enough that I give points for making her seem badass without having to actually show us.

    5. I like that Ikki confessed. It’s fairly common in anime romances for it to be the girl who finally is the one to say the words. The guy rarely ever actually develops the courage to say the words until they already know. The fact that Ikki just said it without expecting a response gives him a lot of points in my mind.

    6. The setup for EACH OTHER being the final opponent is cool, because it keeps the focus on the both of them as equals as opposed to the standard method of the girl falling into obscurity (Like SAO for example, in the first book Asuna is about as good as Kirito, after that she almost never appears except as ‘damsel’ or ‘supportive’)

  4. Excellent intense episode. That fight scene was very good. I liked Alice and Ikki’s scene and not one gay stereotype anywhere to be seen this week. Ikki’s confession was great and for once the (muted) dere response from Stella made sense. I also like this show because it shows that the usual old tropes can be sometimes used effectively to create something that transcends them into something a bit better than the usual old “jokes”. I hope they can keep up this standard for the rest of the season.

      1. Honestly I hope so. He’s kinda been used up lol. I think there are two types of villians. Ones that are shitty people and make you loath them and wish for their destruction, and ones that are brilliantly evil they you can’t help but respect a little. Shizuya is the former, and that type of villan is best used as a one off encounter. They make poor last bosses.

      2. Kreyto pretty much hits the mark. Shizuya’s usefulness as a villain was pretty much used up when he started whimpering for mercy towards the end. Not much of a spoiler, but he doesn’t show up again. The next immediate villain that shows up kind of more falls into kreyto’s later category, but I don’t think he will show up for a bit

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