The fall 2015 anime season is finally over and with it comes a new batch of reviews! Near the beginning I was saying Lance N’ Masques was one of my favourite shows in the barren landscape of this season. I ended up choosing to plug it on Nintendo Unleashed even! As the season went on I became more and more negative in regards to LnM as well as eventually dropping the plug on Unleashed. What changed my opinion? I guess that’s what the review is for!
Normally I’d give a basic premise of the story while introducing our main cast then going into negatives and positives. This time I’m going to mix up the negatives (and by extension any positives) just so I don’t have to keep adding “more on this later,” or “as previously mentioned,”.
Our story follows Yotarou Hanabusa who has been trained as a knight in the 21st century and as such, suffers from White Knight Syndrome. This is brought up fairly frequently but he really seems like your typical “gotta save everyone!” anime protagonist adding a kiss on the hand. The only reason I can think for giving White Knight Syndrome to Yotarou is to make Sae all tsundere which really wasn’t needed and add this mysterious “Knight Lancer” persona the main heroine, Makio is obsessed with. Makio is probably the best character in the show. She’s pretty much just a naive child who’s had some trauma yet for whatever reason she’s just so enjoyable. After Yotarou is made a pervert for kissing Sae’s hand he ends up saving Makio ends up finding out she lives alone, moves in with his trainer, apprentice and horse and that’s pretty much our story. This seems interesting at first (and is) but you might have figured it out when I said “make Sae all tsundere” and “the main heroine, Makio” This show is pretty much a harem. On top of those two we get Yotarou’s apprentice Alice, friend Silvia and a host of others who even if not actually crushing on him hang around him all day. Most of these characters are boring, generic and are less memorable than Kirito’s harem. There’s a pink haired girl who I don’t even remember showing up and I can’t find the name of on MAL because she has no picture uploaded. As far as I remember she was totally useless.
Yotarou has a horse named Shirohime. In the first episode we see her in a human form so I thought this was some sort of power she had to transform. The thing is, aside from the next episode preview skits with Alice she never becomes a human again until the finale! I thought maybe it was Alice’s hallucination or something but in the finale she interacts with multiple characters and none of them make any kind of deal out of it. There were points where Shirohime wanted to come with them yet couldn’t because she’d stand out too much or was too big. Why not turn into a human? It never had any use either as every time she did it, she could have stayed a horse or another character could have easily filled the role she did.
Speaking of the finale it had pretty much 3 episodes worth of content crammed in. That wasn’t the only rushed bit though. The last few episodes seemed to introduce and solve issues way too quickly (the good guys that are all about to die are suddenly super strong because good guys have to win!) There was also a large portion of just a girl falling with the background changing and backstory going on. There was no reason this backstory was voice only which makes me think the studio ran out of money and couldn’t make anything but a loop here.
I will give credit where credit is due, the ending was done fairly well. Without spoiling it sets up a sequel while at the same time leaving off at a place where the story could end. Too many anime end in the middle of the story so you have to go read the source material which is always annoying (especially if it’s not available in English).
I’m torn where I stand here. They are unique and I feel more positively than negative but I’m not sure if I’d say they were good. It suffers from a visual choice(?) I hate where their hair appears transparent over their facial features. Why is that used so often? It looks so dumb. The character designs are good too. They are somewhat generic but all the characters are easy to tell apart.
This is honestly where the show shines. The music is really good as are the character voices. The music isn’t something I’ll probably ever listen to again but it was catchy and never overplayed. This next statement might come as a shock but I actually didn’t like Ari Ozawa’s role as Makio (the fact I don’t think she ever Tweeted about this show, instead going for the Komari-san Can’t Decline short shows she probably didn’t either). It’s weird but I just don’t find her voice suiting Makio. Everyone else was really good though.