While character archetypes and relationships in Rakudai Kishi no Calvary felt rather generic, lacking uniqueness or distinctiveness, it did not deter me from liking it.
Consequently, I wasn’t particularly surprised when Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry took on a harem-like quality, given the story elements and character dynamics. In most anime, the initially weaker characters tend to grow both physically and mentally, ultimately becoming the strongest. They also tend to capture the affections of the female characters. It is also one of the more popular tropes.
Anyways, here is a list of anime similar to Chivalry of a Failed Knight (Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry) that you might be interested in watching.
Gakusen Toshi Asterisk
Long, long ago, an epic catastrophe, known as Invertia, caused a complete change in the world’s power balance. In the years following this disaster, a group known as the Integrated Enterprise Foundation rose to power.
In addition to this massive change, a new breed of humans born with amazing physical skills known as Genestella also emerged and joined the ranks of humanity.Gakusen Toshi Asterisk follows the story of Ayato Amagiri, a student who has just transferred into one of the six most elite schools for Genestella students in the world—Seidoukan Academy—where students learn to control their powers and duel against each other in entertainment battles known as festas.
Unfortunately, Ayato gets off to a rough start. When trying to return a lost handkerchief to a female classmate, he accidentally sees her changing which leads to her challenging him to a duel. What most people don’t realize however, is that Ayato has no real interest in festas and instead has an alternative motive for joining this prestigious school. What is Ayato’s big secret? Will he be able to keep up his act when surrounded by some of the greatest Genestella in the world?
This anime has definitely captured my interest, and I’m evaluating whether it qualifies as a quality title based on my overall enjoyment so far.
Story: 6 – The story is fairly intriguing, and each episode leaves me eager for the next one. I can’t help but notice similarities between this anime and three others I’ve watched: Absolute Duo, Freezing, and Infinite Stratos. Additionally, this season (Fall 2015) nad the very similar Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry. While both shows are good and captivating, I can’t help but wonder if the resources could have been allocated to a more creative and unique project.
Art: 8 – The art is impressive, featuring stunning scenery and well-executed special effects. The battle scenes are particularly cool.
Sound: 8 – The opening song is phenomenal, and the overall soundtrack complements the series nicely. Not much else to say about it at this point.
Characters: 5 – The characters are quite basic and don’t bring anything new to the table. I’ve encountered similar character types numerous times before.
Enjoyment: 7 – Without a doubt, I’m enjoying this anime. I eagerly anticipate each episode, as it provides 22 minutes of pure entertainment.
Overall: 7 – This anime is undeniably good and has significant potential for character development, which serves as a reason to continue watching. All in all, Gakusen Toshi Asterisk is a solid anime choice to watch.
Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
While I enjoyed Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei , this series is not for everyone! There are three crucial aspects of this show that create a divide among viewers. If you can tolerate or enjoy these elements, then go ahead and watch it. However, if you find them unbearable, it’s best to stay away because they permeate the entire 26 episodes.
Overpowered protagonist – And I mean truly overpowered. This guy never loses, ever. He’s a combat genius whose abilities surpass everyone else in the show. He’s practically a god in this world. If this aspect will bother you, DO NOT WATCH THIS SHOW! Personally, I accepted the fact that the protagonist would be god-like and enjoyed watching the other characters realize his true power.
Exposition-heavy dialogue – The dialogue in this series can be slow-paced and filled with exposition. The magic system in this world is treated more like science than traditional wizardry. The intricacies of the magic system, its integration into society, and the social standing of magic users are all explored through dialogue. After a magical fight, the next 10 minutes might be spent discussing it, delving into history, politics, and the scientific aspects of magic. If this sounds monotonous to you, then this title is not for you. Personally, I found it fascinating, as it added depth and detail to the world.
Incestuous hints – The two main characters are siblings who share a close relationship, and there are hints of incest throughout their interactions and thoughts. This aspect didn’t impact my enjoyment at all since it’s a work of fiction. I can separate their actions from my own. Furthermore, I couldn’t find any fundamental reason why incest is inherently wrong (excluding genetic concerns for offspring). However, if you dislike seeing a sibling relationship that goes beyond the conventional definition, then don’t watch the first episode.
For those of you who are unfazed by these elements, let’s continue.
The story is far from unique, revolving around two new students who disrupt the beliefs and perceptions of the entire student body. However, the execution of this concept in the author’s world-building is impressive. The world is rich in detail, and I enjoyed how the foundations of society were shaken. The school’s hierarchical social structure, as well as the political and military elements in Japan and beyond, were crafted to create a believable world. The story follows a logical arc-based progression, maintaining coherence throughout.
The animation is fantastic, with Madhouse delivering in extraordinary fashion. The movement is fluid, especially in the combat scenes, and the backgrounds are visually pleasing. The color palette is rich but not excessively vibrant. The character designs are realistic in terms of proportions, with men being larger than women, and the female characters are not unnecessarily exaggerated in their bust sizes. The character designs overall, including faces and hair, are pleasant. Special mention goes to the coolest school uniforms ever.
There’s not much to say in this department. The OST is good but not particularly outstanding. The techno music complements the scenes well. The voice acting is solid, with the actors effectively expressing the unique qualities of their characters, although not exceptionally standout performances.
As for characters, people often assume that an overpowered main character can’t be a good character, but I disagree. Tatsuya Shiba, the protagonist, is a 16-year-old genius who appears calm and apathetic. He lacks magical affinity but enrolls in a magic high school to study engineering. Despite his combat capabilities, I believe Tatsuya is a good character.
His dry humor, logical thinking, and direct mannerisms add depth to his seemingly emotionless persona. While he doesn’t undergo much development, we gain insight into his past and understand why he holds his sister so dear. His emotionless attitude becomes sympathetic and almost tragic. His sister, Miyuki Shiba, is obsessed with him and often addresses him as “Onii-sama” (prepare to hear that a lot).
Miyuki is the ideal daughter in many ways, intelligent, capable, well-spoken, and beautiful. However, she also harbors resentment towards her family while feeling extreme gratitude towards her brother. Her massive brother complex drives her actions. I understand that many viewers find Miyuki annoying, but I personally found her character interesting. The supporting cast, while lacking depth, manages to avoid falling into clichés and adds strength to the narrative. Special mention goes to Mayumi Saegusa, the student council president and best girl.
I won’t lie, I initially watched this show because I wanted a badass protagonist. I had grown tired of weak male characters who needed constant protection. I craved a protagonist who would kick ass in a spectacular fashion, and this show delivered. The abundant “holy shit that was awesome” moments made it a great experience for me. The copious amounts of exposition were a bonus for someone like me who appreciates detailed world-building.
Individuals who can materialize weapons from their soul are called “Blazers,” and they attend Kouryou Academy High School in order to harness their abilities. Each student is required to partner with another, in the hopes that one day, the pair can attain the power of Absolute Duo.
Tooru Kokonoe hopes to attend this academy in order to gain power after his sister and friends were slain by a mysterious man. However, at the opening ceremony, he is forced to duel against the person sitting next to him, with the loser being expelled. As Tooru prepares to give the match his all, it is not a weapon that manifests from his soul, but a shield, an irregularity which catches the attention of a foreign student named Julie Sigtuna.
Anime clichés have become a familiar aspect of the medium, making it difficult to find anything truly out of the ordinary. Absolute Duo, however, manages to straddle both sides of this argument.
Absolute Duo takes place in a world where certain individuals called Exceeds can wield weapons called blazes, which are manifestations of their souls. The story follows Kokonoe Tor as he enrolls in Koryo Academy, a school that trains Exceeds to reach the highest level of power known as Absolute Duo.
From a story standpoint, Absolute Duo shows some promise. The sci-fi/fantasy elements offer a unique twist, adding to the show’s potential.
However, the series falls short in terms of detail. Important backstory elements are sidelined, and the focus shifts to a plot that lacks excitement. The show introduces a revenge trope, but it feels forced and doesn’t lead to any significant exploration. The reliance on clichés further diminishes the storytelling quality.
The characters in Absolute Duo follow a similar path to the story, relying on anime tropes and lacking significant development. Kokonoe Tor, the male protagonist, fits the harem lead archetype, while Julie Sigtuna, the main female protagonist, seeks revenge using her dual swords. While these characters aren’t terrible, they lack depth and growth. The reliance on each other for personality weakens their individual presence.
The rest of the characters, including the harem girls and supporting cast, suffer from a similar problem. They often rely on their partners for support and conversation, preventing them from standing on their own. Antagonists also fall short, lacking depth and meaningful plots.
Overall, the characters in Absolute Duo fail to stand out and rely heavily on familiar anime tropes.
The art and sound is produced by 8-bit, Absolute Duo showcases pleasing artwork with nice designs for the blazes. The overall art quality is standard for the current age of anime, but there are inconsistencies and occasional awkward CGI usage.
The soundtrack features a decent opening song, “Absolute Soul,” which is memorable and unique. However, the rest of the soundtrack is forgettable.
Overall, the art is decent with some inconsistencies, and the opening song stands out among the rest of the soundtrack.
While I criticized the show throughout the review, I can’t say it is entirely bad. Absolute Duo offers some entertainment value, despite the prevalent clichés and tropes. The concept of soul weapons and some fight scenes manage to offset the abundance of clichés.
However, the reliance on clichés and missed opportunities for a more engaging storyline dampen the experience. The show serves as light entertainment, but it falls short of being remarkable.
Would I recommend it? Absolute Duo is suitable for those seeking a fluff entertainment experience. It can be watched in downtime, but it relies too heavily on established harem scenes, tropes, and characters. If you’re looking for a harem sci-fi show, Absolute Duo might fit the bill.
Seireitsukai no Blade Dance
Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance, or Blade Dance for short, is one of the five anime adaptations of the light novel series announced by MF Bunko J. It falls into the harem romance comedy genre with a fantasy setting and a dash of action. While the premise may not be groundbreaking, Blade Dance manages to deliver a simple yet enjoyable series without trying too hard to be deep or complicated.
In terms of animation and art, Blade Dance doesn’t offer anything spectacular, but it has its ups and downs. The character designs are a highlight, as they are attractive and visually appealing. However, there are moments where the background animation is lacking. Overall, the animation quality is decent.
When it comes to sound, although most of the main cast consists of rookie voice actors, they do a good job and suit their respective characters well. Yuuki Kana, the voice actress for Rinslet, stands out by effectively portraying the character’s “ojou” aura, even more so than her counterpart in the light novel. The soundtrack is decent, although it’s disappointing that “Shukasai no Elementia,” which was used in the promotional video, is not used as an opening or ending theme.
Now, let’s delve into the most important aspect of a harem anime: the characters. Starting with the main character, Kazehaya Kamito, he is the only male spirit contractor in the series, which makes people wary of him due to the chaotic history of the only previous male spirit contractor, the Demon King.
Kamito has a good-natured personality but enjoys teasing his harem members. He is also a competent fighter and not a wimp or overly dense character. Moving on to Claire, she embodies the tsundere archetype, with a heavier emphasis on the “tsun” side. Although she can be annoying at times, she becomes more likable as the series progresses.
Rinslet, Claire’s rival and childhood friend, is also a tsundere, but her target is primarily Claire rather than the male lead. She has a distinct “ojou” appearance and voice. Another character is Ellis, who is also a tsundere but leans more towards the “dere” side. She is serious, honorable, and acts according to knightly principles.
Fianna, a princess, brings teasing to the series as one of the few characters who knows Kamito’s secret and frequently takes advantage of it. Moving on, there’s Est, the best character in the series, described as bold, cute, and charming. She is a powerful spirit and Kamito’s trusted partner. Her notable trait is her preference for wearing only knee socks. Lastly, there’s Restia, another mysterious spirit character who serves as the driving force behind the series.
Blade Dance is a relaxing and enjoyable series overall, but as a reader of the light novel series, I know that it hasn’t reached its full potential yet. I highly recommend it to those who enjoy harem fantasy or lighthearted series in general.
As a side note, the main story continues after the anime ends, so for those who enjoyed the adaptation, I strongly recommend reading the light novels. You can start from volume 4, where the anime left off, but I personally suggest starting from the beginning for a better experience.
Rokudenashi Majutsu Koushi to Akashic Records
I’m about to give you the lowdown on Rokudenashi Majutsu Koushi to Akashic Records.
This show might seem a bit cliche, with a strong MC hiding their powers and carrying some dark past, blah blah… But here’s the thing, the execution and the unique spin on that cliche is what sets it apart.
It reminds me of awesome shows like Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry, Konosuba, No Game No Life, Mondaiji-tachi, Gakushen Toshi Asterisk (even if it didn’t have the best ratings), you know what I mean? No Game No Life has a wicked plot that keeps you hooked, and it’s got comedy too. The MC ain’t holding back, he’s true to his character and knows his abilities. He strategizes and knows what he can and can’t do. That’s why I’m telling you, you gotta watch this show. It’s like those shows I mentioned, but with its own original flair.
The MC is somewhat similar to the ones in NGNL and Mondaiji-tachi, but he’s got his own unique vibe. He ain’t overly overpowered, but he’s got loads of knowledge. The story unfolds in the place where he works, and let me tell you, there’s a lot happening, but it all makes sense. The plot keeps you hyped for the next episode, so I highly recommend it.
Oh, and did I mention the kawaii girls? Yeah, you get a white cat, Rumia, who’s all calm and cute, and there’s also a bunch of students who absolutely adore the teacher, even though he didn’t even want to work at the school in the first place. You can tell he’s got a close relationship with the carefree yet careful Celica. And hey, there’s even a noble girl in the mix! Seriously, what more could you ask for?
Overall, give it a shot. You might be surprised.
Kaze no Stigma
Kazuma Yagami is a user of “Fuujutsu,” the ability to control the wind. He returns to his old home, the noble Kannagi household, after being banished four years ago for his inability to control fire and his subsequent defeat in a duel at the hands of his younger cousin, Ayano Kannagi.
Returning after such a brutal exile already gives rise to many conflicts, but to make matters worse, several Kannagi family members have recently been murdered with Fuujutsu. This leads the Kannagi family, including the hot-headed Ayano, to suspect Kazuma as the culprit. Now, Kazuma must not only clear his name, but also aid the family he shares a mutual hatred with, in order to discover the true identity of the killer.
I watched Kaze no Stigma with a skeptical mindset, expecting yet another predictable action anime that I might eventually drop. However, to my pleasant surprise, it had me hooked until the very end. Allow me to elaborate on the reasons behind this unexpected allure.
Many avid action fans may perceive the storyline as clichéd and foreseeable, as they have witnessed similar plots unfold countless times. Admittedly, the storyline does suffer from some filler episodes, like visits to amusement parks and relaxing hot baths, as well as the appearance of random antagonists who are swiftly defeated, only to make way for the next scenario. Despite lacking originality, the execution is commendable and reaches a satisfactory level that makes watching the series enjoyable.
From one perspective, the character designs are competently executed, falling within the realm of standard anime aesthetics. They neither reach the heights of brilliance nor sink into mediocrity. However, there are instances where the backgrounds, such as bustling streets, appear stagnant and somewhat noticeable.
Once again, the action-themed soundtracks that accompany the series are neither outstanding nor subpar. They simply fulfill their purpose without becoming bothersome and effectively blend into the background.
At this point, you might be wondering why on earth you should invest your time in this anime. The secret lies within the characters themselves, setting it apart from others and keeping you engaged until the end. The characters are likeable and seamlessly integrate into the overall mood of the series, offering moments of endearing comedy while delving into serious matters when necessary.
Admittedly, they may initially come across as somewhat clichéd, featuring the typical stubborn and hot-tempered girl in denial, paired with a cheeky, aloof-yet-kind-hearted guy burdened by a dark past, alongside a charming and earnest young companion. However, it is the character development and the blossoming romance between the two main protagonists that truly distinguish this anime.
You find yourself glued to the screen, rewarded with delightful advancements in every episode, growing to cherish every minute. Additionally, the series throws in various unexpected twists and turns, laden with drama, that will leave you on the edge of your seat.
Undeniably, Kaze no Stigma treads familiar ground, and it may not reach the heights of mind-blowing excellence. Nevertheless, I derived immense pleasure from it. It provided a secure and enjoyable viewing experience, incorporating elements such as love triangles, heartfelt friendships, carefree moments of fun and comedy, as well as moments of profound love, all skillfully balanced with gripping drama and exhilarating action.
All in all, Kaze no Stigma proved to be a worthwhile watch, particularly for those who revel in the amalgamation of romance and action.
Zero no Tsukaima
I went into the world of Zero no Tsukaima seeking a brainless, carefree show that would allow me to sit back and enjoy without the burden of negative outcomes or distressing complications.
Yes, despite my appreciation for artistic integrity, sometimes I simply crave pure and simple fun. Zero delivers on most of those fronts, but it exceeded my expectations by weaving unexpected depths into its narrative. I anticipated another Nanoha or a repeat of the first season of Shakugan no Shana, yet I discovered a series reminiscent of Love Hina in terms of comedic romance and character development, supported by the political intrigue found in Last Exile or Simoun.
Plot: An inept mage summons a young man from contemporary Japan as her familiar, leading to a series of hilarious events. However, it’s not as straightforward as it seems. Beyond the early focus on slapstick comedy, ecchi moments, and outright silliness, Zero introduces a thin political thread that adds flavor and richness to the world. This thread gradually escalates, becoming a significant driving force behind the show’s events, possibly even more influential than the central romance.
Speaking of the central romance, it progresses at a satisfying pace for a 13-episode series, neither too slow nor too fast. I won’t spoil the details of its development, but rest assured, it doesn’t stagnate for long periods as seen in Shakugan no Shana and its sequel.
Characters: From the adorable, borderline-sadistic protagonist to the busty and flirtatious rival, the surprisingly outspoken maid, and the bookish, quiet Nagato Yuki-esque character, these may initially appear as stock characters pulled from the harem romance pool.
However, as with Love Hina, we soon discover that these characters have histories and unforeseen connections, often in darker ways than expected. Moreover, many of these characters undergo genuine development over time, as characters in a well-crafted story should. While the cast may seem eccentric at first, give them a chance. It’s truly rewarding.
Now, let’s talk about the male lead. Oh, the male lead. Saito’s personality is what makes him simultaneously hilarious and divergent from the typical beta-male loser found in harem romances. We get the impression that he appreciates the beauty of every girl who crosses his path not out of hopeless desperation but as a healthy teenage boy. Yet, he is not reduced to a mere lecher; he has his human and heroic moments as well.
Setting: Our story commences in a magic school reminiscent of Harry Potter, complete with magic wands and eccentric professors. However, it quickly expands to encompass an alternate-history, magically-endowed Europe plagued by the class politics of magocracy, where mages hold power over non-mages.
While the central country is fictional, loosely located in the Aquitaine region of France, several real-world European powers have fantastical equivalents, often bearing Latin names mirroring their modern counterparts. For example, Gallia represents France, and Germania stands for Germany.
The connection becomes evident when we glimpse a map of this fictional land. This world maintains intriguing ties to our Earth, but I’ll refrain from revealing more to avoid spoilers. Ultimately, it forms a surprisingly cohesive and captivating fantasy setting, one that I wouldn’t mind revisiting.
Art: Zero’s art style evokes memories of Shakugan no Shana, also produced by J.C. Staff, and to a lesser extent, Pani Poni Dash. Personally, I grew fond of this style while watching Shana. However, if you prefer more realistic art in your animation, be aware that you won’t find it here.
Sound: Despite being predominantly digital, Zero’s music avoids plunging into full-blown cheesiness, as occasionally observed in Shana, nor does it overwhelm the viewer with anachronistic elements unsuited to the vaguely Renaissance-inspired fantasy setting. The opening theme possesses an indescribable catchiness, and as a fan of Kugimiya Rie and Hino Satoshi, I struggle to find significant faults in the voice acting.
Overall, Zero no Tsukaima turned out to be a show I am eager to recommend, much to my surprise. If you seek a blend of politics, romantic comedy, and are open to a ride that isn’t entirely serious from start to finish, give this one a shot. It strikes a balance that offers both amusement and depth.