In Chivalry of a Failed Knight episode 6, "Sword Eater I," Ikki Kurogane takes on a member of the student council in the tournament -- and wins! Not to be outdone, Stella Vermillion also takes on a student council member -- and also wins! Things are looking up for Ikki, which is probably why he wasn't surprised when he realized he was being followed -- by a young woman who was now hiding behind a tree! Ayase Ayatsuji wasn't a stalker; she was a wannabe student! When Ikki learned her father was a famous samurai that he idolized, he was as excited to meet her as Stella and his sister, Shizuku Kurogane, were upset to have another competitor. Why was Ayase so intent on learning from Ikki? Who was the brutal bully they ran into at a restaurant? And why did Ayase's father disappear from the spotlight?
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.
What's in This Post
3 Favorite Moments
Moment 1: Ikki's Adjustments
To Ikki, he was just adjusting a fellow swordsman's stance. To Ayase, Stella, and Shizuku, he was running his hands up and down another woman's thigh. In public. Perspective is such a finicky thing... Capture from the Hulu stream.
I like Ikki's approach to teaching swordsmanship. Ayase had asked him to help her improve her form, which she had proudly based on her father's teachings. She had improved steadily until she hit a ceiling, and she wanted help to get even better. So Ikki first sparred with her to get an idea of her skills. It felt very realistic.
Ikki discovered that she had copied her dad's movements perfectly -- too perfectly, because her body had different characteristics than his. When I first watched this, I bristled at the idea because Ikki's conclusion felt almost discriminatory. Then I did a little research and found out that women athletes do suffer from some injuries more often than men, in part because of their (on average) wider pelvises.
When Ikki told her that her flawless imitation was the problem (8:08), and after he had reassured her he meant absolutely no insult to her father, she was elated. She was even happier when he told her he knew how to correct her stance. He even gave her a chance to refuse his advice, because if her goal was perfectly imitating her dad, then that was about to end. I thought that was a thoughtful touch.
Then, because Ikki is Ikki and Ikki is a man focused on his swordsmanship, he knelt beside her and began adjusting the angle of her left thigh. Stella and Shizuku, who were watching, were absolutely mortified (9:10).
Look at Ikki's expression! He might as well be adjusting the alignment of a front-wheel drive car! Capture from the Hulu stream.
Why is this my favorite moment?
Because it's such a perfect demonstration of Ikki's character. Stella, Shizuku, and even Ayase were instantly aware of (and almost overwhelmed by) the eroticism of the move. But Ikki was focused entirely on Ayase as swordsman. He adjusted the rotation and angle of her leg with the precision of a surgeon -- and as much sexual passion, which is to say, none. Can you imagine another harem protagonist doing something like this and not getting a mammoth nosebleed? Well, maybe Issei Hyoudou, but that would have introduced a whole new dynamic!
Moment 2: Stella's Courage and Honesty
I don't care what anyone says. It takes real courage to open your heart to someone else. Capture from the Hulu stream.
After witnessing Ikki intimately touching Ayase -- even if Ikki didn't see it that way -- Stella couldn't sleep. The event obviously weighed heavily on her, but she had learned from her previous experiences. Or maybe she felt more emotionally intimate with Ikki. Either way, she just came out and asked him how it felt touching Ayase like that (13:11).
The poor guy didn't know what to say, and I think he was suddenly worried that she was angry or upset or -- worst of all -- hurt.
She was in the lower bunk, and he in the upper. He suddenly saw her hand in front of him, almost like she was raising her hand in class. He was so confused that she had to ask him to hold her hand, and he did. He took the opportunity to tell her that he just wanted to help Ayase improve.
This is my favorite part.
Stella Vermillion, the Crimson Princess of the Vermillion empire, an A rank knight, said, "I know, but... I just felt insecure a little" (13:40).
Now, that's courage. It takes a lot to open up that way.
It almost reminded me of old-time black and white movies when, after he told her she was the only one he was interested in, the camera just showed us a shot of her feet and legs as she went up on tiptoe to kiss him.
Moment 3: Ikki's Different Kind of Courage
Ikki asked the goons to back off. Politely, too. It takes courage not to strike out in the face of that kind of treatment. Capture from the Hulu stream.
To show her appreciation for his help, Ayase takes Ikki and Stella to a family restaurant. All three are happily talking when suddenly, Ayase turns white and looks terrified when she hears someone call her name. Suddenly three goons and their leader surround their booth. Their leader is flanked by two women with too much makeup.
Ikki, showing his chivalrous side befitting the show's title, suggests that Ayase doesn't like their attention and asks them to leave (15:30). The goons threaten to kill Ikki, but their leader, Kuraudo Kurashiki, asks if he's a swordsman.
Pretending to apologize, Kuraudo pretends to apologize and steals a bottle of alcohol from a nearby table. He pours a glass for Ikki, then smashes the bottle across the back of his head.
The patrons clear the restaurant. Stella's on her feet, and even Ayase has temporarily forgotten her fear and asked him if he was okay.
Kuraudo said, "I just love destroying sword-loving bastards like you" (16:12) and challenges Ikki to a duel, right then and there. Stella had had enough and was about to incinerate the lot of them when Ikki waved her off. Kuraudo even spits on Ikki's face to elicit some kind of reaction. It doesn't work.
There's some history between Kuraudo and swordsmen. And Ikki seems to be playing the part of scapegoat... Capture from the Hulu stream.
The goons left in disgust.
Ikki knew that if he rose to Kuraudo's challenge, he'd be expelled. That means his goal of winning the tournament would be defeated. Taking that kind of abuse takes real courage. It took an awareness of his innate worth to the point that nothing Kuraudo did would shake his confidence.
Stella also gets points for not cutting loose. It could not have been easy for her to stand by and watch her lover get treated that way.
Do you remember when Alice Arisuin asked Ikki if he was aware that someone had been following him for a week? First, yes, Ikki had been aware, Second, Stella and Shizuku hadn't noticed all! Maybe because they are constantly arguing among themselves? Third, did you see how terribly Ayase was hiding behind the tree? It was too narrow to hide all of her. I almost felt sorry for her!
But what happened after Ikki asked her to come out is a great example of what I like about this show. At one point, she held up both hands to say that there was a misunderstanding. Ikki took one look at her palms and knew: she was a swordsman. And she practiced a lot! Little details like that really make this world realistic and interesting.
Most main characters would have been distracted by the sight of Ayase's panties (which happened just seconds before this shot). But Ikki? He was taken with the callouses on her palms. That's dedication to a vocation! Capture from the Hulu stream.
Now, this might come across as disingenuous, since I've seen the whole series multiple times. But I'm being serious here: There was something about Kuraudo that marked him as something other than a simple bully or brute.
From the first time he looked at Ikki (15:41), there was something in his look that suggested he wasn't just a punk looking to hurt something. There was a history there. A history with people like Ikki. With swordsmen.
Of course, the whole restaurant incident supported that idea, but only part of it. To me, what made Kuraudo really interesting came near the end. Kuraudo, his goons, and the two groupies were back at their base. They were laughing and joking about Ikki -- all but Kuraudo himself. He was lying on a couch, alone, and looking anything but amused (19:57). I think he knew that Ikki hadn't restrained himself out of fear. There was nothing -- nothing at all -- fearful in Ikki's manner or disposition. That bothered Sword Eater (we learned that was his nickname from Utakata Misogi, vice president of the student council). He didn't like it at all. But he didn't know what to do about it. At least not yet.
This is not the expression of someone who's content. Capture from the Hulu stream.
He has a beef with swordsmen. He's obviously super powerful. He had something to do with Ayase's current situation. And Ikki's on his radar. Even if I have seen this before, I'm really interested to see where this goes!
What did you think of Ayase's introduction? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!
Other Posts about This Series
Other Anime Sites
- Reddit: [Spoilers] Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry - Episode 6 [Discussion]
- Random Curiosity: Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry – 06
- TheAnimeYoungin2nd -channel: Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry Episode 6 ( Live Reaction ) - New Girl (YouTube)
This Site (Crow's World of Anime!)
- Chivalry of a Failed Knight Episode 1: The Worst One I
- Chivalry of a Failed Knight Episode 2: The Worst One II
- Chivalry of a Failed Knight Episode 3: The Worst One III
- Chivalry of a Failed Knight Episode 4: The Worst One IV
- Chivalry of a Failed Knight Episode 5: The Experience of the Princess
- Chivalry of a Failed Knight Episode 6: Sword Eater I
- Chivalry of a Failed Knight Episode 7: Sword Eater II
- Chivalry of a Failed Knight Episode 8: Sword Eater III
- Chivalry of a Failed Knight Episode 9: Princess' Vacation
- Chivalry of a Failed Knight Episode 10: Witch of the Deep Ocean V.S. Raikiri
- Chivalry of a Failed Knight Episode 11: Another One: The Uncrowned Sword King I