In Chivalry of a Failed Knight episode 11, "Another One: The Uncrowned Sword King I," Ikki Kurogane meets with the school's director, Kurono Shinguuji, who warns him that politics are afoot. Later, Ikki and Stella Vermillion visit the student council, where they see an expected side of Touka Toudou. Then Touka feeds many children, with Ikki's, Stella's, and the student council's help. After that, as Ikki and Stella return, Alice Arisuin and Shizuku Kurogane meet them with terrible news: somehow, the story of their romance has gotten out. Almost as if on cue, Mamoru Akaza, Ikki's father's henchman and the ironic head of the Ethics Branch, pulls up and ushers Ikki into limo -- and into custody. Will Stella, Shizuku, and Alice ever see Ikki again? What is Mamoru trying to accomplish? And is there anything Stella can do to help?
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.
What's in This Post
3 Favorite Moments
Moment 1: The Director Bares Her Fangs
It's nice to see an adult in a position of power help Ikki! Capture from the Hulu stream.
Kurono called Ikki to her office. She had bad news: Mamoru has been snooping around school. Ikki tells the director that he thinks Mamoru is acting without direct authorization from his father (3:26). The reason? Mamoru always hated Ikki. Of course, you know that Ikki would immediately try to assume responsibility. He offered to withdraw from school if his being there was causing any trouble.
"Kurogane," she said (03:43), "don’t underestimate me." Her face was stern and her jaw was set. Then she grinned and said, "It’s my duty as an educator to protect my students.”
It was nice seeing the director give Ikki support again. I've always been curious how she met Ikki and why she decided to help him when so many others turned against him. There's a story there that I've love to see explored in a second season!
Moment 2: Ikki Tries to Stand Strong
Ikki couldn't remain silent as their questions impugned not only Stella, but also the relationship he had with her. Notice the almost monochrome palette? The show switched to a faux-old film look while Ikki was help captive. Capture from the Hulu stream.
If there's one complaint I have about this series, it's that Mamoru is a little less than three dimensional. His laugh and general demeanor is prototypical villain. In the scheme of things, that's not a bad complaint; pretty minor, actually. But Mamoru just rubbed me the wrong way.
The Evil Mamoru (I can't help but think of him that way) began questioning Ikki about his relationship with Stella. Ikki wisely didn't try to hide anything or lie. He explained when they started dating. Mamoru wasn't the only judge; at least two other sinister-looking men attended via video conference. Their questions tried to portray Ikki and Stella's relationship as indecent or immoral. When Ikki objected, the Evil Mamoru gaveled him into silence and told him they'd let him know when he's allowed to speak.
Ikki's smart, and he didn't want to give them an excuse to judge him. So he apologized (12:19). But the tone of their questions cast Stella in a bad light. He wrestled with himself for a moment, then it's almost as if he couldn't contain his words.
Clearly admitting that he and Stella love each other, he said that their intentions were pure. As he spoke, Evil Mamoru become more impatient. Just as Ikki finished saying "... I don’t think we’ve done anything wrong, or we’ll let anyone tell us that we’re wrong” (12:35), Evil Mamoru brought the gavel down.
Kudos to Ikki for at least making the attempt.
Moment 3: Shizuku's Stern Reminder
Shizuku wasn't putting up with Stella's self-pity. Not with what her brother has at stake. Capture from the Hulu stream.
Of course, Ikki's arrest was seen for what it was, and rumors blazed through the school (blazed through a school full of Blazers -- get it? Well, it sounded funny in my head...). Alice, Shizuku, Stella, and Kagami Kusakabe were having lunch. While Kagami read the latest news about Ikki, two girls at a table behind Shizuku starting whispering about either Shizuku or Stella (they just said "that girl"). Shizuku shot them a withering look that shut them up. That shows what kind of mindset Shizuku was in.
The news affected Stella so much that she wavered. She wondered if Ikki's treatment was her fault. She wondered, in front of Shizuku, if she should break up with Ikki for his own safety (15:08).
Shizuku explodes; her sword's out before anyone can even see it. Stella found herself blasted back against the wall. When she tried to ask what was going on, Shizuku interrupted her.
“What are you saying? Don’t you understand why Onii-sama is dealing with this travesty? It’s because he could’t put up with the fact that the relationship with you was violated by their obscene intention. That’s just how much he cares about his relationship with you" (15:03).
That shocked Stella into silence. Just to be sure she'd made her point, Shizuku said, “If you can’t even understand that, and you want to betray him, then I’ll never forgive you.”
Stella got the message.
When Shizuku slammed Stella against the wall, did you see, in the overhead shot, how Kagami tried to go to Stella's aid? And how Alice reached across to gently push her back? I think Alice wanted to make sure that Shizuku got her point across to Stella -- without interruptions.
Do you remember what I said about the world in this series back in my Thoughts section of episode 1? I talked about how Kurono's reaction to Stella's question about how Ikki could be rank F. That reaction told us a lot. It told us that someone innocent like Ikki is at the mercy of those in power. It told us Ikki has no recourse, at least to the law. There seem to be few legal checks against those in power. But for everyone else? Looks almost like a police state..
This series is the story of Ikki's development as a swordsman, which means it's his journey as a human. As Ikki watched Touka at the beginning of this episode, he saw clearly that she drew her power from helping the disadvantaged children. He'd been more aware of the question for himself after that.
Seeing Touka help the children sparked something in Ikki. He wondered what his true source of strength was. Capture from the Hulu stream.
As the Mamoru ratcheted up the torment, Ikki demanded to appeal his case directly to the head of the family: his father. Mamoru was going to deny the request, but far away, the Director arranged for a call saying the meeting was on. Her power was limited, but she was going to do everything she could.
Ikki started to plead his case to his father. Before he can get very far, his father actually speaks to him. He says that he understand Ikki's been winning his matches -- and some competitive matches at that. For an instant, Ikki thinks that he might have misunderstood his father, and in that moment, I thought Ikki showed a critical weakness we haven't seen before. Ikki still wanted his dad's acknowledgement and affection. Ikki had consciously thought that he'd given up on that, but he realized he was wrong. The slightest sign of hope from his father forced him to ask if his father would acknowledge him if he won the tournament.
I thought this world was dark before. Then I listened to Ikki's father's response. He said that he just realized what Ikki was thinking. Ikki thought the reason his dad had not acknowledged him was because he thought Ikki was weak. That's a big mistake, he told his son. "I’ve always acknowledged you. But teaching techniques to someone without talent is futile both to the teacher and the student… No, being futile is not the worst thing. The worst thing that could happen is to get a mediocre result with their mediocre ability. Just like what you’re doing now" (18:58).
Looks like the caste system is alive and well in this world! His dad, a powerful man, is bent on enforcing it. He's completely blind to the reality of his son Ikki's accomplishments. That's the only explanation. He's fixated on maintaining a striated society. He either refuses to believe in a world where someone like Ikki could thrive, or he uses the force of his will to project his opinion as fact.
To drive the point home, he added, "Someone like you who can’t do anything shouldn’t do anything.”
I wish I knew more about why his father thought this way. This is dangerously close to Evil Mamoru's low dimension count (less than 3)! Still, it puts Ikki's life in perspective. He knows his previous life goal of pleasing his father is forever off the table. Fortunately, Yuuri Oriki had smuggled the locket of Stella's hair, so he already had a new purpose. With his life finally set on a worthy goal, the stage is set for Ikki's last fight.
Too bad it's going to be against Touka!
What did you think of Ikki's incarnation? 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 11 [Discussion]
- Random Curiosity: Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry – 11
- TheAnimeYoungin2nd -channel: Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry Episode 11 ( Live Reaction ) - Free my boy Ikki!!!
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
- Chivalry of a Failed Knight Episode 12: Another One: The Uncrowned Sword King II