Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry – 10

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There are no further developments in Ikki and Stella’s sex life this week, as Todou Touka’s brisk and powerful introduction late last week segues into her battle against Shizuku, who has worked to become strong so that she can provide all the love for Ikki the rest of the Kuroganes refuse to provide. While she doesn’t have to worry about Touka’s opposing element (due to her ability to produce ultrapure water), this will still be her toughest opponent yet, and she’s at least somewhat nervous.

I do like how Stella reaches out to Shizuku and the two don’t snipe at all, but simply have a normal conversation. Stella’s concern on Ikki’s behalf is acknowledged by Shizuku, rather than shunned. But Shizuku thinks Ikki is worried because she’s not strong enough and might hurt herself. This battle is the ultimate opportunity to show him the full measure of the strength and resolve she’s amassed for him.

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After a lot of keeping their distance and waiting for the other to strike, Shizuku finally starts with a ranged attack, and both battle and episode take on a furious pace, as befits such a high-level battle. The crowd is immediately impressed with the magical skill on display and how evenly matched Shizuku and Touka seem to be. Even when we think Touka lands a killing blow, it’s only a “water shadow.”

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But Touka draws first blood, and then uses the mysterious art of Nukiashi to “hide under” Shizuku’s unconscious, making her miss her movements, like a slight of hand. This gets Shizuku into dire straights, but like she did with Ikki, Stella manages to snap her out of it by cheering her on. Unlike Ikki, Shizuku doesn’t like “that woman” cheering for her one bit, but is thankful to have been roused from her temporary funk.

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From there, the battle is taken up a notch, with the names of moves being announced but no more time to explain what they are. The battle proceeds to show, not tell, and it shows a lot. The battle’s second act is tremendously awesome, but it ultimately ends how I thought it would, with Shizuku drawing too close to Touka and falling for her trump card, Raikiri, a move that has yet to be overcome. The final moments of the battle take on a very cinematic quality, complete with letterboxing and subtler lighting.

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The immense, fog-shrouded winter wonderland Shizuku created is dissolved in an instant, and Shizuku falls, but not because she tried a reckless suicide move in a last-ditch effort to defeat Touka. Ikki saw that Shizuku made the best move she could have made…it just wasn’t enough. Which means in all likelihood that unless Touka had a particularly unlucky day, Shizuku was never going to be able to beat her.

Shizuku is very sore about it when she wakes up in the hospital, unable to face Ikki and wanting to simply be alone. Only Alice remains, to give her the hug she knows she needs, so she can drop the armor and let everything out she was repressing in order to act cool for her brother and Stella. And as Alice tells her, it doesn’t matter whether she lost the battle: her brother watched every minute with pride and love.

Shizuku may not know it yet, but proved all she needed to prove to him in that battle. And that turns out to be not much, because even if she was a terrible fighter, or a complete weakling, Ikki would still love her. That’s what real family is.

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Author: sesameacrylic

Zane Kalish is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

5 thoughts on “Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry – 10”

  1. In the novels, Touka has terrible eyesight when she’s not wearing her glasses. The fact she was handicapping herself for her fight with Shizuku and could still defeat her shows how powerful she really is.

    1. Er… no?

      In the novels, Touka is removing her glasses to allow her to utilize one of her strengths. This is no self-induced handicap, it is exactly her poor eyesight which enables her to focus on other things.

      You might want to reread the novels about this!

  2. Wow I have to say I was impressed with Silver Link’s battle animation. Most of it was anime original material and it really made the battle feel exciting and climactic. They did that with the first battle against invisifag too.

    I only wish Nene didn’t do her breast grope thing in the middle of the battle. Even the music showed how out of place it was! Argh, but aside from that it was an excellent episode.

  3. Good fight, but couple of things:

    1. I dislike the nukiaishi. This is a semi-common anime trope where basically they’ve built up some impossible situation that someone gets out of via ‘ancient martial arts’ gibberish. It is entirely true that humans only process so much. A lot of pickpocket techniques revolve around this and I would be at all surprised if there are some martial arts that do the same, but it’s not ‘thinking really hard and it happens.’ You can’t just walk at someone in a duel swinging a sword and have us not register it. That’s ridiculous. And since it’s pretty much the key to why Shizuku lost, it put a damper on things for me.

    2. I really wish Shizuku wasn’t a brocon. This episode really highlights how cool she could be if she were simply his badass little sister. Nothing cool about her character or story requires her to make out with Ikki. It’s literally a universal negative meant only for fetish fuel.

  4. After some computer issues of late, I finally get to watch this episode. A great fight sequence was almost ruined by the usual silly imouto antics pre-battle. Now we are at episode 10 I doubt now whether this show is going to repudiate this tired old trope. Oh well…

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