One type of anime that has been getting bigger lately is the “Otaku Fantasy Harem”. Generally these take place in a school setting with the characters having some form of power or weapon that wouldn’t exist in real life. They also differ from other harem shows as there is usually only one girl from the harem that even has a slight chance of winning the main character’s affection and usually are in a relationship from early on. While not the first Sword Art Online is probably what made these popular. Chivalry of a Failed Knight falls into this category and you probably know how I feel about SAO, so how does Chivalry hold up? Let’s check!
Our main character is Ikki Kurogane who is, as the Japanese title states, “The Worst One” which means he is the lowest ranked at his school. For whatever reason this school organizes it’s dorms using their rankings (including mixing genders) which gives Ikki the highest ranking member as his roommate. We get a nice shot of Ikki walking in on his new roommate Stella Vermillion changing (another staple to Otaku fantasy) which gives us an excuse to see Stella and Ikki’s powers as Stella challenges Ikki to a fight. Other characters include Shizuku who is Ikki’s sister and Nagi Arisuin (goes by Alice) who is Shizuku’s roommate.
One thing I like about the harem aspect is there are no girls added for the sake of expanding the harem like in a lot of other shows of this type. All of them are related to an arc that is usually there to either grow Ikki as a character or help strengthen Ikki and Stella’s relationship. Without spoiling I almost feel like the ending abolished the harem and I’m interested to know if that’s an anime exclusive feature of if it’s in the novel.
The supporting cast, while nothing special, were interesting. I can’t say I hate how any were written but a lot were quite generic. There were also a few that showed up for an arc, did their thing, than left never to be seen again which was a little weird considering they’re students at the same school. Near the middle the story also got kind of dumb and I also didn’t like how Stella kept becoming tsundere. She’s introduced as one but quickly goes away from that before coming back. I don’t mind tsundere girls but I wish she’d stay either being one or not.
The action scenes were also pretty good. Sometimes with action fantasy shows you find characters getting really stupid or similar powers. Unless I’m forgetting that never happened here. The stakes were never very high though. We have the “If Ikki loses he gets expelled” thing but that’s just like death in SAO. You know it won’t happen as the show would be pretty dumb if the main character dies or is expelled midway through (although, being expelled could have made an interesting arc).
While not visually stunning by any means I quite liked the visuals. The character designs also seem a little generic but represent the characters fairly well usually hinting at their power. Stella has fire? Red/pink hair. Shizuku has ice? white hair. I also liked near the end in the last two episodes there’s a visual effect added that perfectly portrays Ikki’s mental state at the time.
I’m just going to start by saying I apologize to Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as I constantly rag on studios for using him so much as he just uses the same voice time and time again but I really enjoyed him as Shizuya and his voice actually was a bit different! Aside from that surprise the rest of the voice cast was pretty good as well. Music was a little hit or miss for me though. I really like the OP but the ED done by ALI PROJECT sounds almost like Another’s OP. It also feel like it belongs in a horror show (like Another) and is really out of place. The background music was similar having both its good and bad songs.