Knight’s & Magic Episode 7: More combat

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This week’s episode was just a joy to watch. I still feel like I’m missing a lot of context in this series, but both of the fights in the episode were really cool. If I had to name a favorite in this episode, I would probably choose the Guair. I felt like I couldn’t see past the gimmicks in the other suits, and Dietrich’s fight was pure swordplay…much more appealing.

The result of the mock battle wasn’t super surprising either…they made it pretty clear last week that the lab was a good support system for Ernesti’s crazy inventions.

This scene is my main question for this episode. I’m not sure if this was explained earlier in the series, but I don’t remember much being said about mana regeneration in this world. Was this something new that Ernesti developed in this suit or has it just never been a significant factor? Also, Ernesti’s suit seems to be getting closer and closer to a Gundam…

I was initially skeptical about the battle between the former king and his grandson. It didn’t make sense to me that Ernesti would create the same Silhouette Knight for both of them. But after the fight, it was pretty clear that the two were very similar. I guess it works out.

And I guess this episode was introducing a new foe of some sort. Is this girl supposed to be related to the beasts? She seems important enough to be a character.

Also, it really sucks to be Addy…

Knight’s & Magic Episode 6: More suits

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A lot of pieces in this episode felt off, but I think I was okay with a couple of the main points. This episode seemed to really push Ernesti’s motivations. He’s afraid that he won’t be able to accomplish his goal of creating his dream machine before he runs out of time. I don’t particularly have a problem with this, but I have to say that the nightmare sequences were a bit strange, especially the second time.

I also get the sense that the Silhouette Knight Laboratory and the Order of the Silver Phoenix will work out okay in this series. The Laboratory has shown itself to be capable of translating Ernesti’s designs into more practical models, while Ernesti continues to break the mold with his new Silhouette Knights. I know it was shown as a rivalry, but they clearly compliment each other.

Let’s get into some of the stuff that didn’t really make sense. First off, we had this random innovation with the “simpler” powered suit. Was I supposed to know enough to understand why a miniaturized Magius Engine would make it easier for a suit to be piloted? That seemed to come out of nowhere and Ernesti’s explanation didn’t seem to help.

The “lock and key” system for the Silhouette Knights also came as a bit of a surprise. I understand that it logically followed from the recent theft incident, but it once again came out of nowhere. The key seemed like a pretty big innovation that tied together with past events, but Ernesti literally pulls it out of thin air and we’re just supposed to accept that.

But anyway…we got a new suit. Next week, let’s see it in action.

Knight’s & Magic Episode 5: Enemy hands

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I think this week’s episode was more enjoyable overall because it had a lot more fighting in it. As much as I criticize this series, I have to say that the mecha fights look pretty good even when comparing to human fights in anime. It feels like I’m sitting back and actually watching two robots fight, not a jumbled mass of motion.

Now, on to criticism. I seriously have no idea what’s going on with the narration in this episode. In this particular scene, you would have be completely blind to need the narrator’s description of the scene. And at the end of the episode, an entire battle against a horde of demon beasts is completely skipped in favor of narration that effectively says “the main characters won”. It’s really frustrating.

Another point in the episode that rubbed me the wrong way was Ernesti’s introduction to the fight. While I perfectly buy that he’d be able to wipe out the enemies by himself, it seemed really odd that the enemies around the castle were completely still while he was attacking them. It’s shown later in the episode that the power suits are hard to see, but I feel like they should have been fighting someone else or running away.

I take minor issue with Kid’s win in this episode. I’m willing to accept it as comedic relief, but I think Kid deserved a chance to shine rather than a pure dumb luck win. They’ve established in previous episodes that he’s pretty capable from his training with Ernesti. But I admit this is a pretty small thing.

It’s a bit funny that the bandits effectively helped Ernesti with his goal by giving the king a reason to make him responsible for new Silhouette Knight development. Granted it’s not an ideal situation, but isn’t Ernesti pretty much getting what he wants?

Knight’s & Magic Episode 4: The dreaded presentation

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I found this episode less frustrating than previous episodes, but it still has its share of issues. Honestly, the scenes surrounding Ernesti’s meeting with the marquis seemed fine. The marquis clearly wanted to trick Ernesti into revealing a hidden scheme and Ernesti basically blinded him with pure passion. When the marquis offers to take over Ernesti’s work and present it to the king, Ernesti’s reaction also kinda makes sense. As a former programmer, I don’t expect he would mind talking about his work, but multiple formal presentations of the same product are excessive. The marquis was basically offering to do some of the business stuff for him, allowing Ernesti to continue working.

This episode also seems to get at the reason behind the slow improvements in Silhouette Knight design when Addy mentions that Ernesti’s talent is thinking of Silhouette Knights outside the realm of human anatomy. Human anatomy can be frustratingly inefficient at times and it changes slowly, so it would be difficult to make rapid improvements with such constraints.

The Order of the Bronze Fang was probably the most awkward part of this episode in my eyes. They’ve been showcased before in this series, but they still felt unnecessary in this episode. When the shaker worms attack, I could only suspect that the marquis or the suspicious father of Addy and Kid was behind it. It’s really hard for me to believe that the trip to meet the marquis and the shaker worm attack were unrelated. Add in the fact that the ending of the episode is some sort of precursor for war and I just can’t make any sense of these bandits.

Plus, why do these men need to bring out every single person who has worked on the new units in order to arrange a meeting with the marquis? Why not just talk to someone in charge?

Ernesti’s ramblings seem interesting, but I’m curious how far they can carry the series. The events at the end of this episode make me wonder if everything is headed towards an ending where the series says “now that you’ve made the new machines, Ernesti, let’s just throw them into standard combat for the rest of the season”. It just seems like a bit of a waste.

Knight’s & Magic Episode 2: DIY Robot

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While I still find the engineering-level approach to mechs interesting, something about the lack of detail in this series leaves a lot to be desired. Random narration and quick montages still seem to plague this series to skip through things. I was fine with it in the first episode because some of the introduction didn’t seem completely necessary, but now it’s feeling excessive. Too much of the complications from Ernesti’s new mechanisms seem to be quickly explained away with “bad mana control” or something.

The simplest example is the conversation about adding back arms. The fact that Silhouette Knights have been historically designed based on humans seems pretty important, but the engineers are able to get over this pretty quickly to follow Ernesti’s new proposal. Plus, it seems like the main reason for adding the arms is the fact that Silhouette Knights are typically holding a shield, shown in the later training exercise. However, the diagram that Ernesti displays none of the actual challenges he’s trying to fix.

Another detail that seems missed is Dietrich’s change in character. He goes from being deathly afraid of Ernesti in the beginning of the episode to being a promising and reformed knight in his very next scene. What gives?

Also, these mini-suits kinda came out of nowhere. I wonder if there’s some future scenario where the tiny suit merges into the larger suit to act as a cockpit.

And this is super random, but this guy has a robot as a throne…that’s new.

All in all, I guess too many things in this series leave me wondering, which is strange for a series that seems to be going into detail about giant robots. It makes me wonder where the series is heading if it feels the need to move so quickly.

Knight’s & Magic Episode 2: Epic Narrator Voice

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So it looks like this series is really pushing the “build your own mech” concept after all. I’m really happy to see that. The battle in the episode was also pretty fun to watch, since you could see how much fun Ernesti was having in his first experience piloting a Silhouette Knight. I can probably relate to that feeling.

I commend the show for giving us the scene at the gate to display just how strong the behemoth is before showing us this scene with the upperclassmen. We the audience know that the behemoth can wipe out the group easily, so their false confidence is more amusing.

I don’t really have a problem with Ernesti essentially overriding the physical controls of the Silhouette Knight to give commands directly. It makes sense with his fanatical obsessions…but holy crap this scene hurt my eyes. I also could have done without the narrator voice telling me all of the information. It’s nice to know that he was specifically hacking the machine so he could input commands directly, but did we really need to know that no one has ever done this before? It’s not the only time this narrator voice is used in this episode, and it’s becoming more annoying since this isn’t the first episode anymore.

I’m not sure I fully understand Dietrich’s role in this final scene. Ernesti completely trashed the mech’s controls, but he somehow expects Dietrich to take over again? I guess you could argue that Dietrich was using a separate set of controls to move, but there’s still another issue with this scene. Ernesti has to command Dietrich to jump backwards at the appropriate time, but the Silhouette Knight is somehow able to grab the sword in the behemoth’s eyes without a single word. How does that work?

Final note: apparently it’s a family tradition to cling to Ernesti.

Eh, I could use a mecha show in this season. I’m still not sure, but I’ll commit to this series even if the apostrophe kills me inside every time I see it.

Knight’s & Magic First Impressions (1): Comma to the top

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Don’t judge me…I have to check out the mecha show. I know that the apostrophe in this series will be the end of me if I choose to keep going with it, though. Anyway, this series focuses on Ernesti Echevalier (or however you spell that), a programmer from Japan who is reincarnated into an alternate world where he has the chance to fulfill his dream of piloting a giant robot.

I heard that this first episode skipped a lot of content, and it’s pretty visible from how the episode is paced. The main character dies pretty early without much of an introduction into his new world. Instead, he is immediately thrust into his first encounter with a giant robot after he has already acclimated to his situation.

I know it’s nitpicking, but the scene right before this one showed a horse bleeding out on the ground motionless while this scene showed the giant bug violently eating a horse. I know there were two horses, so did the other horse just fall over and randomly start bleeding out on the ground?

This kid, whose father is a Knight Runner, has no idea that giant robots exist in this world. Just how old is he? But I guess that can be explained away with something about secluding the baby from the world until a certain age. And even if I’m willing to believe that Ernesti’s father happened to be in the area to shoot the giant bug just in time to stop it from eating Ernesti, you still have to explain how Ernesti fell from the carriage and survived without a scratch.

This description of the Silhouette Knights sounds a lot like a setup for a darker story. The design of the robots is shrouded in mystery and there’s a particular piece that is kept secret from the general public. Either this is meant to allow Ernesti to start a new age of robots with some breakthrough in design or the government is hiding the fact that these “hearts” are created in some unsavory manner. That’s just my take on it.

Anyway, this entire first episode seemed like it was a mad dash to get the main character into his first robot. The preview for the next episode actually suggests that he will be piloting the flashy guy’s red robot. It seems a bit strange, but I guess we’ll see how it goes. I’m really unsure about this series. Should I stick with it?

Kuromukuro First Impressions (2): Battle against the demons

I’ve seen episode 3, and I’m still not really sure about this series. I’m tempted to leave this slot in the week open instead. That being said, I have nothing else prepared for today, so let’s do episode 2 at least.

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Gee I wonder who this could be.

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I get the feeling that it’s going to be revealed that these attacks are some sort of cyclical event that just happened to occur right now.

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This woman switches between concern mode and high-expectations Asian mother way too much. I’m not necessarily saying it’s unrealistic, but it’s definitely jarring.

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This scene will be interesting later. For now, it just confirms that the real “princess” is dead.

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So is this a door that any scientist can access? Because I feel like Yukina’s mother would have at least attempted to open the door herself. Remember that she rushed out of the room asking the other scientist to follow her, so it’s likely she was leading the way to the cell. It feels like she should have noticed the missing cell phone. Oh well, we needed this to happen in order for the main character to join the plot, right?

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These guns are soon revealed to be some sort of air gun, likely with tranquilizing darts or some non-lethal form of ammunition. Just shoot him now. You can’t possibly have the Stormtrooper-level aiming to miss at this range.

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Whose fault is that?

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Is he just taking her as a hostage so that people don’t shoot at him? Because it feels like he should be pretty safe in this machine.

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I recognize that scream anywhere!

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Did she just get her DNA sampled by the giant robot? This is Valvrave!

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Let’s watch as “the Black Relic” turns red…

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I can’t tell whether this guy trusts her or not. This robot is two-person, right? Isn’t he basically giving her part of the control?

And back to my earlier point. From the brief flash earlier in the episode, it clearly looked like the princess from Kennosuke’s memories died as her mecha was destroyed. However, based on how Kennosuke and Yukina are positioned right now, it looks like Kennosuke and the princess would have had to be in the same cockpit. I don’t mind her dying because she was in the back, but it doesn’t make any sense for the Black Relic to be okay if it was so obviously destroyed in the past. And if the princess was in her own personal unit, why use the double-unit structure now?

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These soldiers just sit here and let the giant robot almost destroy a subway train crossing in front of it. They couldn’t have done anything, but it feels like they should have tried.

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She waits until after Kennosuke jumps past the houses to say this. Right now, he’s running on open land…

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Well, this is what we came here to see.

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Woot!

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Well, that’s cheating.

I don’t get Kennosuke. When he’s in the Black Relic, what exactly does he see? It feels like he should only be able to see in front of him, which would make him a very ineffective fighter. But he seems surprised at how helpful Yukina is with her interpretation of the radar in the machine. It feels like it should be normal for Kennosuke to have a partner when fighting, but it makes the flashback of the princess so much more confusing.

Random note about episode 3. You thought Yukina’s mother was an irresponsible parent already because of how she lets Yukina get into bad situations? Just watch what happens to Koharu in episode 3…

Kuromukuro First Impressions (1): To Mars?

I’m trying out this series a bit late because I didn’t realize it existed (forgot about it). I have no idea what to expect, but hey…it’s mecha, right? (Please don’t be Comet Lucifer)

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Going right into the giant robot battles from the very beginning is a good start, though I don’t see why they insist on obscuring our vision…is one of these robots supposed to be part of some big reveal later?

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A nice, subtle indication that this is war. I’m sure the only way they could have made it more obvious is with some sort of horn sounding in the background.

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War! Excitement! Violence! …aaaand back to school. That being said, I respect those career choices. Except for Mercury…that place will burn you to a crisp.

Oh yeah, and our main character’s name is Yukina Shirahane. I’ll have to remember that.

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Ahh, yes. The typical argument between the high-expectations Asian parent and the somewhat realistic teacher. I’ve been there…

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The other two planets, however, are perfectly fine as careers!

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Normal parents say “goodbye”, but sure. Anyway, I’m guessing the fact that Yukina’s mother leaves her phone behind will be what drags Yukina into the plot. Maybe she reads some classified information or something. Or maybe she takes it back to her mother and accidentally stumbles into a mecha (and randomly knows how to pilot it).

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Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure “canals” are man-made by definition. You don’t need scientists to prove they don’t exist…just a decent audit of what’s been built on Mars. Unless Yukina means Martian-made canals (as suggested by her mother’s comment above), in which case scientists would need to prove that Martians didn’t exist. I’m hoping the translation is just off and they actually meant “channels”, which would make a bit more sense.

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Wow…this would only make sense if Yukina had a habit of chasing Sophie’s limo.

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Oh, that’s supposed to be a funny joke because she actually did try to give the phone back? My bad, I forgot to laugh.

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Typical introduction for a new mecha…it first gets detected as an unknown object going too fast to be a normal mecha. And as expected, the battle happens right when Yukina’s on the base.

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*facepalm*

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So this artifact must be the mecha that Yukina will use.

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I have to nitpick at this one. The map shows that the objects have landed in a fairly spaced-out pattern, but both of the first impacts were close enough to the facility to affect the room where Yukina was standing.

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This guy knows how to get Twitter likes.

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And despite everything we know from pop culture, Yukina still pushes the big red button.

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This scene is mostly hilarious because of how much effort they’re using to cover his privates. We’re so used to convenient “beams of light”, so I lost it when the guy started moving his phone in sync with Kennosuke. Imagine how complicated this entire scene would have been if Kennosuke was a woman…

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How do you beat one giant robot? Two giant robots!

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Uhh…no. You clearly shot it in the chest.

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This song’s pretty good. A bit on the acoustic side, but I don’t mind.

Anyway, next week’s episode should put the girl in the giant robot. Yeah, I’m not too sure about this series. I might need some time to recover after Comet Lucifer…at least the guy in the cube seems to have his memories, right?