Here we are with the final episode of Knight’s and Magic for 5 Point Discussions! Ernie and his Order of the Silver Phoenix have their backs against the wall, as the army of Zaloudek pushes back against the Kuschperchan army with their newest weapon, a seemingly unstoppable robot dragon! In this final showdown to reclaim the fortress that leads to their former capital of Kuschpercha, who will win out?
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1. Even though the Vvyer has been built up as a threat for two episodes, it doesn’t take long before Ernie manages to soundly stomp it so bad they have to use their secret weapon: The Blood Grail, a secret ether engine that increases the output of the dragon several times over.
Surprisingly, this might be the very first time anyone in the series had ever tried a hidden weapon without testing it first, and certainly the first time the weapon’s been *this* crucial. Ernie invents anti-air missiles but they’re just spears attached to a rocket launcher. This episode sees him use a new variation of them that come apart on impact and splatter their target with oil, but even that isn’t exactly a risky plan. It’s a bit of a shame this is the last episode, because it would’ve been hilarious if they’d tried the weapon only for it to just…not work.
Still, there really wasn’t much to this fight—Ernie relied on superior tactics rather than relying on the firepower superiority he’s maintained since the start of the series. The Ikaruga is smaller, faster, and more easily maneuverable, so the Vvyer just gets wrecked like Ernie was trying to do a perfect run on a video game boss fight. I’d hoped for a bit more action between these two, but I had to rely on another fight for that.
2. The sword-obsessed Gustav returned to plague the Silver Phoenix’s best knight Edgar for the finale, and to my surprise posed far more of a challenge than I would’ve guessed. Once again, it comes down to superior tactics—Gustav’s offense winds up being far superior to Edgar’s defense, shattering Edgar’s multiple shields and nearly dicing up the knight himself. …But since Gustav’s a complete imbecile who has no idea how to lead an army, he winds up fighting alone while the rest of the Kuschperchan army and the Silver Phoenix knights shut his people down completely.
Even though it seems like Ernie’s the only important character in this series, scenes like this show how much he learned from the people around him. Ernie initially focused only on building a handful of high-spec robots, but after encounters with Fremmevilla’s lab, he learned the benefits of improving things on a larger, mass-produced scale. Even though Gustav’s mech was unquestionably superior to Edgar’s, the Zaloudek army couldn’t hold up to the rest of the mecha Ernie and his team had built, and so Gustav lost purely from being outnumbered. He survived though, which I find…curious, to say the least. I mean, dude was literally blown away by a giant laser. How does anyone survive that? Did he have on laser-proof clothing?
3. The core conflict of this episode came down to something mentioned last episode: the idea of practicality versus aesthetics. Oratio and Ernie both wind up having a mid-battle discussion about which approach to weapon-building trumps the other. Obviously practical, efficient weapons would win every time in the “real” world, but Ernie’s not in the real world anymore. He left that world at the start of the first episode, and wound up here—where giant robots and magic are things that are both possible and made sense to use. Ernie wins essentially by better understanding the rules of the universe they’re in, beating Oratio because the Rule of Cool reigns supreme here.
4. Because no villain is ever able to just lose, as the Vvyer starts to fall apart, its pilot Doloteo tries to aim it directly at Princess Eleonora to take her out in a suicide attack. Ernie manages to push it off-course, but Doloteo still gets to take free pot shots at her defenseless mech as he goes down. Now there’s a really cool moment there where Kid leaves the airship to do try and fight Doloteo and keep him from killing the Princess. It’s great imagery—a knight doing battle with a dragon to save a princess—but…I have couple problems.
To start with, I could have sworn last episode that Kid and Addy’s mechs were both helping to power the airship, since it was slapped together at the last moment to do battle with the Vvyer. But also, it’s disappointing that they let Eleonora slip back into the role of a stereotypical princess. Surprisingly, most of the women that exist in Knight’s and Magic are fairly competent–Addy, Stefania, and Helvi are all skilled warriors who are good at their jobs, so in that way I guess K&M got to show a wide variety of women instead of just making them one thing, and that’s cool. But at the same time…don’t pilot a mech if you’re not going to do anything cool with it! She could have blown the Vvyer away herself and that would’ve been just as awesome a moment to go out on. Ah well.
5. Overall: Knight’s and Magic isn’t my idea of a classic, and I doubt anyone else saw it that way either. There’s nothing complex about it: it’s simply an adorable kid being allowed to achieve his dreams of building and piloting giant robots in a world where the characters are inoffensive and largely likable. It’s beautifully animated, and if you’re a mech-head there’s a great loop of designing and improving on mecha, only to test them out in battles, that are superbly choreographed, which is all so well-done it makes me wish we could get a (non-Musou) Knight’s and Magic video game. It’s comfort food–relaxing to come home to on a weekly basis, and at thirteen episodes, it’s the perfect length for a binge watch now that it’s all over with.
That’s all for Knight’s and Magic! But not to worry! The fall anime season is gearing up next week, and I’ll be replacing this series with Black Clover, which will be streaming on Crunchyroll. See you soon!