Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry – 12 (Fin)

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The night before her fight with Ikki, Touka asks Shizuku to ask him to withdraw, a request she never ends up relaying. Touka makes the request out of concern for Ikki’s health after all he’s been through. But even if he doesn’t withdraw, she’s not sure she can be proud of the outcome, since it’s all been fixed by the adults.

But she can only control what she can control, which is having a fight she can be proud of, something Uta is sure Ikki wants as well. There may be one-dimensional adversaries in RKC, but Touka is most certainly not one of them, and no matter what the peripheral circumstances, she wants to fight Ikki.

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It’s nice to see even fleeting doubt in Touka, whom Ikki places on a pedestal as the paragon of self-assuredness and conviction, while he wallows in despair following his father’s quiet but devastating takedown of him. He’s never been lower, not knowing what he can do with his “empty worthless sword.” Never underestimate the power of a father’s candid words to his son.

At the main arena, Ikki’s battle with Touka is the Main Event, with a packed house, helicopters circling, and TV cameras rolling. It’s all been arranged, Gladiator style, to maximize Ikki’s humiliation should he be defeated, which Akaza believes is a foregone conclusion, after the “softening up” they did on him…and the fact if Ikki fails to show up in fifteen minutes, he forfeits.

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But Ikki is on his way, filthy and beaten and exhausted as he is, he still manages to remember his master’s advice: if he’s frustrated about the fact he’s the weakest, hold onto the feeling, since it’s proof he hasn’t given up. He always chose to take those words as the Gospel, and he’s not about to stop now.

Then he faints, but he wakes up to Shizuku smiling above him. She’s not going to tell him to withdraw from the fight; instead, she’s assembled all of the people rooting for him, who put their dreams in his hands. He’s responsible for taking their defeats and going as far as he can, for the sake of those dreams. Oh yeah, and Stella advanced to Seven Stars, so if Ikki wants to keep his promise, he must, too, even if the odds are extremely against him.

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The fight itself? It ends surprisingly quickly. After exchanging their mutual excitement for fighting one another and Ikki vows to “beat her strongest with his strongest”, he casts Itto Shura immediately, but puts everything he has into one swing, while Touka banks everything on her undefeated Raikiri. Like AsteriskRKC breaks out a special animation style for the singular occasion, but its battle is, as I said, far briefer, but still plenty exciting.

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Then there’s the traditional long pause before we know who won, but c’mon, we knew Ikki was going to win, right? …Right? Well, that’s what he does, he wins, in front of a crowd of thousands and an audience of millions around the world. Akaza tries one last-ditch attempt to deprive Ikki of what he is due (and, incidentally, his life as well), but Stella closes on him fast, blast him out of the way, and embraces Ikki before he falls.

He’s able to stay conscious long enough to publically propose marriage to her in front of those cameras, achieving what he had always dreamed to: present Stella as the one he wishes to share his life and soul with, in front of everyone who matters, along with everyone who doesn’t. The display is enough to move Stella’s father to call Ikki’s, insisting they no longer use their children as pawns in their games.

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Touka, who looked pretty rough after the fight, recovers along with Ikki, who regains his freedom and the admiration of his school. Touka names him school flag-bearer for Seven Stars, and wishes him well. No bad feelings here; he really did beat her strongest with his. Of course, even after the tournament, there’s still two more years of school, during which time Shizuku promises to teach Stella how to be the ideal Kurogane bride, having already assessed her fitness to join the family and determined Stella a worthy match for her big bro.

As far as I know, RKC isn’t continuing for a second season like Asterisk, despite the possibilities for further epic battles and romantic progression. That’s a shame, because I thought RKC was the better show. But I’m also not choked up about it, because the show built up the finale well and delivered a solid payoff. It truly reached the greatest heights of chivalry!

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Author: sesameacrylic

Zane Kalish is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

7 thoughts on “Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry – 12 (Fin)”

  1. Ah, damn that was satisfying. I gotta say no shounen show does romance the way Rakudai does. Two leads who are mature enough to face their own feelings, and act upon them. It still has the cheesy shounen burning passion to it, but that’s exactly what gives the content it’s own charm. Stella x Ikki OTP! Even Shizuku was great here, with that wry smile of acceptance at the end. Then Stella with that lol 30 times a day hahaha, how lewd!

    The battle was short, but well done. Considering Ikki’s condition there was no other way to go about it. His technique makes sense too. Ittou Shura powers up his abilities for 60 seconds, but what if he condenses all that power into 1 second! For 1 second you get 60x the power, fuck yeah! The backlash seems suitably horrible for a move that strains the body to that extent.

    I even liked the part with Vermillion dad stepping in for Ikki. In the novels he seemed to be a more hot headed guy so I liked the minor changes.

    *sigh* it’s a shame Asterisk is the one getting the anime, despite being imo inferior. Still, Rakudai had a good run! It takes my overall favorite show this season by a pretty large margin. I’ll miss this show. It’s back to the novel translations for me =)

    Lastly, thank you Sesameacrylic for your blogging efforts! Reading your reviews after each episode was just one more good bonus for me to look forward to.

  2. I’m sorry, I know it’s just meant to add to the drama and maybe I’m simply getting too old for this (and I’m not that old), but seriously. NO ONE sees a dirty, bruised, disheveled, parched, broken teenager show up to school and CALLS THE POLICE? I mean what the hell? I just cannot get past the fact that it is apparently acceptable to torture children in this setting.

    1. The lively color commentary seemed particularly out of place considering Ikki’s condition. This is definitely a weird society; the show just didn’t get too far into it.

      On that note, a friend who hadn’t seen any of the show was watching this episode with me and assumed Ikki killed Touka and ignored my assurances she’d be fine. She was pretty surprised to see her on the school stage at the end, with nary a scratch!

      1. o.o Now that would be morbid! To tell you the truth I was a little worried too when the part came up in the novel. After all a Blazer’s weapon IS the crystallization of their souls. Hence Touka going out cold when her device was shattered.

        I’m actually somewhat surprised that the possibility of accidental deaths in this show never came up. Granted they do have magical-tech medical technology, but you gotta consider the forces involved lol. Like that gigantic glacier Shizuku dropped on Touka in their bout. Then again these Blazers are no ordinary humans. Even that shitty Ethics guy got blown like cartoon character and his life wasn’t in major danger lol. All of the Blazer weapons also have a “Phantom mode” that only deals exhuastion damage, but that mode was explicitly turned off for the duels.

    2. That’s an unfortunate dash of bad writing in this particular case haha. Hmm it would be more accurate to call it bad world building. Rakudai has never been particularly strong in that department, even compared with it’s more generic contemporaries like Asterisk. Rakudai carries itself on the strength of it’s characters and their interactions to try and mitigate those flaws. For most of the fans it works, but I defiantly see your point.

      1. It was actually pretty chilling the way mobster guy shrugged off Ikki’s rough state, saying “he’s not a child anymore” when talking about him leaving the facility on his own. Umm…he’s still in high school; clearly still a minor, dude!

        Anyway, as is often the case, Rakudai’s last episode wasn’t as good as it’s second-to-last (which set everything up) I also thought Asterisk had a better finale, even if it wasn’t the better show overall.

  3. I thought this episode got caught up in the central weakness of this show. When early on Ikki swears to Stella that they will go to Seven Stars and battle it out there, it is really a foregone conclusion that is what was going to happen. The rest of the episodes’ role was to make us forget that fact. However when we get to this episode we know he is going to fight and we know he is going to win – otherwise what is the point of the entire series? The writers had the sense to keep the fight short and to try to build up the drama of will he, won’t he make it and to show the payoff of all the support he has build along the way through his upright actions. Which was a nice touch. After the fight most issues get wrapped up neatly. The Kurugane lackey gets his, Ikki and Stella propose and accept, Shizukua accepts her place, Ikki is vindicated by his school (but not to his no good Father I notice), a bunch of generic characters besides Alice, Ikki, and a student council member get to go to Seven Stars and everyone lives happily ever after….Well maybe.

    This was an entertaining series, raised a little above the ordinary by the well drawn Stella/Ikki dynamic but finally that same dynamic made the show predictable. Still it was an enjoyable ride and that’s all you can ask for in the end, right?

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