Lance N’ Masques

April 23, 2016

Do knights exist in today’s modern era and world? Even so, is there a need for them? More importantly, do people still have that chivalrous nature? Well, you certainly do not need to be prince charming in shining armour to do all the good deeds but I suppose almost every girl grew up dreaming to be swept off their feet of such handsome prince on a white steed. Don’t worry, girls. At least in Lance N’ Masques, knights are now a global thing with its own worldwide organization although it is said in its synopsis that it is the last remaining order of knights in the 21st century. So is it dying out? Whether it is a good or bad thing, our main protagonist is a well-trained knight. Sort of. But he wants out. Actually he yearns the normal life like every kid his age. Heh. Which main protagonist wouldn’t want that sort of life? Probably he is so shy about his identity that he hides it while battling evil behind a mask. Something like Zoro, eh? Till he becomes the source of inspiration for a little girl he saved. Now he has to continue battling evil and saving the day keeping his identity a secret. Oh, did I mention that the little girl lives together with him? I know… How can a man be at two places at one time…

Episode 1
Youtarou Hanabusa saves Makio Kidoin when she is falling from rock climbing. I wonder what the significance putting on his mask, cape and lance are for? When he kisses her hand, she believes he is her hero. Earlier on, Youtarou has been knighted to be part of Knights Of The World, an international organization of knights with 900 years of history. Unfortunately his father, Shin who is one of the greatest knights and the first one in hundreds of years to be chosen by the holy lance, Rhongomyniad is missing. When Youtarou hears a damsel in distress, he goes into action to fend the punks off. He starts spouting his cheesy chivalrous lines and kisses her hand. If you thought that was bad, yup, the girl thinks that too and calls him a pervert! Thanks for nothing. Youtarou is embarrassed too but he explains to us his White Knight Syndrome of his tendency to go into that cheesy knight mode due to his strict knight training in his younger days. So I guess that is why subsequently when he saved Makio, all that cheesy said stuff. Meanwhile Alice Cleveland and her stubborn talking horse, Shirohime are trying to locate Youtarou. As they argue, they get back to work after realizing the head maid, Yoriko Sudou isn’t pleased of them fooling around. While Youtarou is reeling from yet another embarrassing syndrome, Makio comes looking for her hero whom she has termed Knight Lancer. But since Youtarou isn’t in his disguise, she doesn’t recognize him. She brings him back to her huge mansion and introduces her to her maid, Liu Yuhua. She has her make arrangements for Youtarou to stay here for the night.

That night, Youtarou dreams of his dad telling him to become strong and protect the princess before he goes missing. What’s worse than that traumatic dream? Finding a loli sleeping next to you! And you bet Makio will get the wrong idea when she sees this. Makio relishes having breakfast with him since it has been a long time she has eaten with anybody. Youtarou notices the other maids excusing themselves after finishing their jobs. He is told she is the only one who leaves here. Her dad lives elsewhere and her mom is dead. This entire mansion and only this little kid lives here?! Even more baffling, there is some kind of order that the maids are not allowed to get closer or friendlier with Makio. Yuhua gets suspicious when Makio calls him to her room. Has he seduced her that far?! Actually is to show him her drawing of Knight Lancer and among the other imaginary heroes that she believes in. Suddenly several bad agents barge into this low security place to take Makio. Youtarou is easily owned by them but when he returns in his knight outfit, wow, it’s like he turned the tide against them and beats the crap out of them till they retreat. It only serves to solidify Makio’s believe that true heroes could never lose. When Alice and Shirohime have found Youtarou, they are certainly very happy. But all that turn into seriousness when Yoriko shows up. Heck, even Youtarou is afraid of her despite she is ‘smiling’.

Episode 2
Wake up late… A reason to fear Yoriko. Fool around over Youtarou… A reason to fear Yoriko. Sleepy Makio falls off the balcony. Youtarou transforms into Knight Lancer to safe her. As narrated, Youtarou somewhat ran away from home to live a normal life instead of becoming a knight. Alice is his squire while Shirohime his stead. No explanations needed for Yoriko, the person responsible for his syndrome. Makio is still unaware Youtarou is Knight Lancer and he hopes Yoriko could keep it that way. When Makio wants to do her rock climbing training so she can fall off and her hero could rescue her, Youtarou lightly knocks her head that putting herself in danger would only make Knight Lancer mad. When Yoriko confronted Yuhua about Makio living all by herself and how nobody cared about her situation, she told her the other maids don’t have to come anymore and that Yoriko and the rest will stay here. Oh, this means Yuhua too doesn’t need to show up anymore too. Back home, Yuhua’s sister, Yuyan thinks Yuhua is getting bullied so she is going to avenge her. What is she going to do with that gun?! Yoriko drives Youtarou to Akira, Makio’s dad’s HQ so that he could talk to him about his daughter. However he meets his old friend, Gai Kongouji who is now working as the security of this place. Kongouji won’t let him see Akira and hints Makio is going to go overseas. To Youtarou’s dismay, she won’t be living with her dad or any other family members. It’s like being alone all over again. Kongouji blames himself partly for this. The agents that stormed the mansion where remnants from the Ban organization he was tasked to destroy. While seeking revenge on him, they must have learnt about Makio. Still, he won’t let Youtarou see Akira. Time to fight. Unfortunately, Youtarou is thrown aside and his lance got crushed in a single blow! I wonder how he will face Yoriko. He gets a little lecture about being too confident that he could win this. I mean, Kongouji is the third strongest out of 9 Throne Knights. Could he seriously believe he could beat this guy when he just graduated as a small fry knight? More disheartening lessons about reality that it is money that you need while protecting the powerless instead of chivalrous knights. Yuhua gets a call from Yuyan that she has accomplished her mission. Youtarou is devastated when he sees defeated Alice and Makio is missing.

Episode 3
Flashback shows how Yuyan and her agents beat up Alice and then threaten to kill Shirohime. They are under orders from Akira to take Makio. Makio agreed to go quietly if she spared them. Youtarou finds Yuhua picking up Makio’s stuff as she relates her past. She and the rest of the children were trained under Ban to do bad things till Kongouji saved them. Alice throws a tantrum that she wants to go save Makio since this was her responsibility. She isn’t too pleased when Youtarou said it couldn’t be helped because he wouldn’t say something like this. Before Makio’s plane takes off, Youtarou barges into the airport complex on Shirohime. Yoriko will take on Yuyan and the other agents. OMG! She kept a lance in the car! How freaking cool is that?! Youtarou recalls Makio’s letter that thanks Knight Lancer for this and that. Yuhua uses her hacking skills to dismantle the building’s security to let Youtarou through. Now he faces off with Kongouji. Because Youtarou transforms into Knight Lancer, as knight etiquette Kongouji will face him with full strength. But how can Youtarou fight with a broken lance? I feel this part is playing cheat a little. Shin drops a coffin that contains Rhongomyniad. Surprisingly, it responds to Youtarou. No guesses who wins when both knights charge. Makio is rescued by Knight Lancer who makes an oath he will forever protect her wherever she is. Yuyan is sad that Kongouji her boss and father figure is defeated. Yoriko does some chi magic to revive Kongouji and hears about Rhongomyniad resonating with Youtarou. He wonders what has happened to Youtarou. Shin is seen talking to Akira. The latter is not happy he interfered as he warns nobody must go near Makio although the former says he can’t imprison her forever. Akira doesn’t want him to project his failure to protect Yuma onto Makio but Shin replies Makio is a princess and Youtarou a knight. They are fated to be together. Makio tries to become a proper lady worthy of Knight Lancer. Also, she misinterpreted that oath to mean he will marry her. You know what they say about knights have to stick true to their words? Oh Youtarou, you look like a lolicon now…

Episode 4
With arrangements from Akira, Makio now gets to stay in Japan and attend Shinra Academy with the rest. But uhm… Do horses go to school too? As usual Youtarou becomes Knight Lancer to save damsels in distress. Sae Igarashi, the girl whom Youtarou first saved and being labelled as a pervert is now his classmate. She still hates that perverted incident so Youtarou must do all he can to hide his identity. Yuyan is upset that Yuhua has sided with Youtarou. When Silvia Marlowe return from USA, Yuyan still doesn’t believe Kongouji has lost and wants revenge. But Silvia has not returned for this reason. Still unwilling to accept her boss’ defeat, Yuyan storms off and on the streets bumps into He Yufeng, a character who seems to have left traumatizing memories in those ex-Ban kids. Yufeng is here to look for the strongest man in Japan. Scheming Yuyan tells his name: Knight Lancer. Youtarou saves Sae from Silvia’s greeting kick. Youtarou knows her because she is his senior but since he can’t let Sae know, he just says she is his childhood friend. Silvia brings them to an abandoned building where Makio and co are now using it as their Knight Club (because Shirohime was bugging to go to school so Yoriko ‘arranged’ for it). Also in this club is third year Nori Hizuki. She is the person who made Makio believed in heroes when she was down and all alone. When you have Yoriko as the club’s advisor, you can expect hell. Because it’s back to those hellish training for Youtarou. Brings back memories, eh? Yufeng is confronted by several Ban agents who want her to team up with them to seek revenge on Kongouji. Youtarou’s knight’s sense must be tingling so he arrives as Knight Lancer to beat up those guys under the impression they are ganging up on this girl. So you’d expect Yufeng to fight him after witnessing how strong he is, right? Wrong! She hugs him and calls him her papa! WTF?! Didn’t see that coming!

Episode 5
Knight Lancer’s strength reminds Yufeng of her master. That’s why he is like her father. Guess what? He accepts! OMG. I hope he didn’t interpret that as he knocked up some girl and now he will take responsibility as her father. Silvia talks to Youtarou that the reason she came back to Japan is that she is chasing after Yufeng. Sae eavesdropped their conversation and got slightly jealous with their little hug. Shortly, she is kidnapped by Yuyan. Back home when Youtarou gets a call from Sae, it is actually Yuyan’s voice at the other end. You know what this means. Sae doesn’t understand what she has to do with Knight Lancer but she might now when Yuyan hints it. Knight Lancer will do anything for Sae’s safety even if it means laying down his weapon. Yuyan is about to shoot him but her guns are cut by Yufeng. Because she tried to hurt papa, now she must die! Yuyan got so scared that she fled. Youtarou stops Yufeng from pursuing but that girl remains stubborn. Yuyan is lucky to bump into Silvia. But now Yufeng is going to kill her too. She gets stabbed in the thigh. More trauma for Yufeng when she is told her master didn’t die of an illness but was murdered for trying to betray Ban. I think it just made her mad. When she thrusts her sword, Knight Lance comes in between. OMG! She stabbed her daddy! What have you done?! What does she do? She runs away crying! But the tears are put on hold when she is confronted by Yoriko. When this maid arrives, you’re dead meat. Time for punishment. Yufeng fights back but it’s like her sword skills went down to 0. Or is Yoriko that awesome? Although Yufeng manages to scratch her, now it’s her turn to feel her wrath. Her whip lance pushes her off the cliff. Knight Lancer saves her. Why is he doing this? She is his daughter and naturally he will protect her when in harm. Great. You mean he accepted it? This means a big face off between Yoriko and Knight Lancer. I can’t bear to watch… Fortunately or not, we won’t get to see their clash but in the ‘report’ by Silvia, it seems he lost and even nursed back by the maid. Everyone is shocked when Makio brings Yufeng to live with her after finding her alone and crying. Just like how she did for Youtarou? Makio calls Yufeng her daughter! Because if Knight Lancer is her husband, this means she is also her daughter, right? Man, this is getting confusing. But what does Yoriko have to say for all this? Does she accept this? At least she doesn’t kick her out but hints that bad girls need to be punished instead of constantly spoiled. With Makio giving her permission, sh*t is going to hit the fan. Be very prepared…

Episode 6
Hotspring episode! And when you have Youtarou as the only guy among the girls… Yeah… Oh look. Yoriko… Mmm… Nice thighs. Nice butt. Nice boobs. Angry face. SH*T! Apparently this hotspring is supposedly for the family especially Yufeng to bond closer but she is the one sitting out alone. While others try to coax her, Yoriko’s anger only made it worse because she wrecked the hotspring and ran off into the forest. It took Youtarou to chase her down and bring her back but as he puts on his robe on her naked body, the other girls misinterpret this. You know what’s coming especially when Yoriko is angry as hell. The other girls tease and put Youtarou and a maid outfit to serve Sae but when she mentions she hates such cosplay perversion and masks, this has Youtarou privately talk to her and confess that he is Knight Lancer. Apparently 10 years ago right here, he did the same knight syndrome thing to the daughter of this inn. It made her cry. Ever since, he longed to be normal. So he is going to take responsibility by quitting school? Don’t be silly! Sae doesn’t want that. Just stay the way he is. The romantic mood is interrupted when they hear cheesy adlib voices coming from spying Silvia. It seems it is her ploy trying to bring them closer together. Yufeng apologizes for wrecking the hotspring and tries to make up. I guess it’s time for Knight Lancer’s appearance to help turn the dry hotspring back to where it was. Yeah, his lance is like a drill… Conveniently with all the girls here, it’s time for naked family bonding. I mean, if Knight Lancer is here, this means the family is complete, right? I wonder how he can stand soaking with his mask and cape. Must be freaking uncomfortable… For once, Yoriko doesn’t ruin this fun by going angry and just let this slide. Next day when everyone goes back, it seems Yufeng is angry at Youtarou. Why? He was the only ‘missing’ at last night’s hotspring family bonding. I guess she doesn’t realize it. With the only other person too who doesn’t realize Knight Lancer’s identity, Makio chides Youtarou for that and this means everybody will have to go back in for another round of soaking. Well, some things are best taken again.

Episode 7
Knight Lancer faces off with fellow knight, Dorgon and his allies. And lost! Makio has sketched Knight Lancer’s allies that are modelled after some of the girls. Folks, meet Silver Lancer (Silvia?), Sunny Lancer (Alice?), Rose Lancer (Yoriko?) and Shadow Saber (Yufeng?). Makio eagerly waits for Youtarou’s return to show him her sketches but he never returned… Of course Yoriko and Kongouji have their intelligence (a bunch of kids hacking computers in a shed?) to locate Youtarou. From the footage at the port, they realize he is at Penglai Island. Yuyan is also kidnapped along with Youtarou on that island because she happened to witnessed Knight Lancer’s fight with Dorgon. Youtarou is shocked to learn the reason he is brought here. The knight chief of the East Asian region, Sun Dafei wants Youtarou to become hers! OMG! This big old hag wants Youtarou?! Yoriko and Silvia leave for the island. Alice is supposed to take care of the house and prevent Makio and Yufeng from coming. However she is overcome with emotion (and the most emotional) when she too wants to see Youtarou that bad. Yeah, why not all of us go? Dorgon isn’t really a bad guy and is a close friend of Youtarou during their training days. He is loyal to Dafei because she gave him a chance to be a knight. It was the same for Youtarou but only difference is that he is trying to hide the fact he is a knight. And it might seem Dafei’s obsession for Youtarou was because she heard he defeated Kongouji. You have got to be the strongest if you beat this dude, right? Yoriko and Silvia arrive on the island. Some punks want to flirt with the maid but they get owned. Serves them right. I Gil Ha greets them. As he is one of the 4 personal knights under Dafei, Silvia is afraid Yoriko’s bad blood with them might cause troubles. Yeah, it’s that bad that if a fight broke out, the entire East Asia region will be antagonized! So poor Silvia has got to live every second praying that Yoriko would restrain herself. Of course Gil Ha has orders from Dafei to stall and keep them where they are while she agrees to Dorgon’s ideas for Youtarou to have more time to think about becoming hers. Things take a turn for the worst when Yuyan falls ill.

Episode 8
Dorgon takes responsibility by bringing Yuyan to see a doctor outside. But Yuyan is just put up a good act to be sick. Once alone, she escapes via window. However she bumps into Hana, one of Dafei’s knights. Yoriko has had it and will search for Youtarou herself. Gil Ha won’t allow that and a big fight is going to erupt. Gil Ha’s colleague, Francois Ming tries to quell the situation but she too is freaking afraid of Yoriko. Though she calms down, Ming talks to Silvia about what is happening. Makio and co are here. Since they have no lead, they fear they have to find Yoriko. Yeah, that name is synonymous with punishment! But Makio braves up that she will bear the punishment as she brought them all here. Yuyan happen to bump into them while she is fleeing Hana. Alice tries to talk to Hana but she is not in negotiating mode. This has Yufeng pick up a mask (there is a whole loot of masks that Yuyan stole to sell) and becomes Shadow Saber to fight Hana to let the others move on. Silvia is surprised after hearing Ming’s explanation. In fact, Ming wants Silvia’s help to convince Yoriko to change her mind. Because if Yoriko and Dafei fight, one of them will die! Makio and co run pass by. Ming stops them and Silvia thinks she is going to kidnap Makio as bargaining tool against Yoriko. Silvia readies to fight Ming to let them move on. At first she is scared but when Yuyan tosses her a mask, I see it’s time to play Silver Lancer. Inside the building, they are now confronted by Gil Ha. Alice is the only one who can protect them so now it’s her turn to become Sunny Lancer to fight him. As Yuyan is injured while assisting her, Yuhua stays back to help her while Makio ventures alone. She can tell the room Yoriko was in because there’s a huge hole in the wall! Yeah, she’s gone. Dorgon hears his knight mates are having their fights. He feels responsible for all this is and blames Dafei for this. He is going to leave to take responsibility and thus leaving Youtarou to his own device. When he returns to the building, he catches Makio as she is falling from a tree. Meanwhile Dafei is cooking a huge Chinese buffet, hoping this will make Youtarou his. Well, you know what they say a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Then Yoriko crashes in. Care to explain what the f*ck is going on? Heck! Even Dafei is scared of her! Wait a minute. Yoriko is going to play out this knight thingy as Rose Lancer? Whatever. After Dafei promiscuously describes Youtarou’s body, this only makes Yoriko even mad. She’s going to kill this shotacon! And now the big fight begins.

Episode 9
We see snippets of everyone’s fight. Our heroines are having a hard time holding their ground. The biggest surprise came when Yoriko lost to Dafei’s might! OMG! Can Yoriko lose?! Dafei takes this as her victory and that Youtarou is hers. However Yoriko revives and claims Youtarou does not belong to anyone. Drawing monstrous strength, Yoriko returns to the fight and turns the tables on her. Yufeng is about to lose to Hana but after thinking about her master’s words and her current family, she barely defeats her. Ming tries to convince Silvia to become her daughter because she intends to make Kongouji her husband. This is nothing but a ploy to rile her up and bring Silvia out of her hiding. But because of that, Silvia unleashes her sharp shooting skills that even made Ming submit! Alice is not doing well against Gil Ha. She remembers she was begging Kongouji to teach her to become stronger. He will not seeing she is Youtarou’s squire. But after all that tears, he will only teach her the basics of martial arts and wants her to keep this a secret from the rest. After some lecture from Yuyan, the duo cooperate to take down Gil Ha. Well, you know how stubborn Alice is so this means she’s got a thick skull. Yup, she heads butt him in the gut to knock him out! Wow. A lowly squire beat a highly ranked knight! But Yuyan is not amused that is just head butting instead of any real martial arts. Yoriko remembers her harsh training on Youtarou. She might look mean but deep inside, she was hurting too. I know. It’s to show us she isn’t really a monster. Dafei continues her attack and relishes having such an epic fight that she has always dreamt of. When Dorgon returns, he is shocked to see Dafei defeated and badly bruised (Makio left to get Shirohime). He is so mad that his beloved is hurt (don’t tell me this guy has got a thing for this old lady) that he is going to kill Yoriko for revenge! And of course, here comes Youtarou to defend her. If he is going to get in the way, he’ll kill him too.

Episode 10
A short flashback showing a little romance between Dorgon and Dafei?! I’m sure they’re just being friendly but looks can be deceiving. The mask that Dorgon is wearing is personally made by her. That is why he is going all out against Knight Lancer who is going to protect Yoriko too. Both knights are on par with each other till Makio enters the scene. When Makio puts on that disappointed look, it affects Knight Lancer’s performance as he loses. When Dorgon is going to kill him, Dafei shields him with her body. Yeah, he almost killed her too. She apologizes for making things turn out the way it is. They were so close like brothers then and now they’re fighting. Besides, Dafei didn’t make that mask so that Dorgon could do this. Dorgon comes to realize he almost killed them and takes Dafei and leave. Makio’s disappointed face continues as she sees Knight Lancer tend to Yoriko. Meanwhile Gil Ha wakes up from his ‘sleep’. Looks like he is in cohorts with Shin. Something about letting Alice win and making sure Dafei and Yoriko clash. However Shin believes things aren’t supposed to turn out as they are and advises Gil Ha to lie low till Yoriko’s mood improves. Dafei knights and promotes Youtarou into the rank of Arch Knight. This is her way of apologizing to Yoriko. But since she is still trying to get close to him, this earns the ire of Yoriko. Want to have another go? A revenge match? Bring it on! Oh no! Here we go again?! Later Youtarou learns from Ming that Dorgon almost quit being a knight to repent his actions but was stopped by Dafei since she will quit too if he does. Youtarou couldn’t read the atmosphere as he comments about Ming having a crush on Dorgon so she had to beat him up to stop. Back home, I’m not sure if the rest have succeeded in fooling Yoriko that they have taken care of the house because they’re working real hard to clean it. I don’t know. Although Makio the only one that appeared before Youtarou and thus Yoriko should have a hunch how this loli got here? Or she’s just letting this slide… Alice notices Makio is still down as she reveals what is bugging her: She has figured out that Youtarou and Knight Lancer are the same person! Woah! Big revelation, dude! Not too sure if she turned into a sadist in welcoming Youtarou back because she blames him for slacking and worrying everyone. Therefore a reason for Yoriko to become stricter on his training. Sh*t. With Dafei temporarily out of the picture, looks like some Egyptian pharaoh empress knight of the African branch is going to make her move.

Episode 11
It’s back to school for the kids. Except for Alice… She’s still playing Sunny Lancer! Chuunibyou?! However the crowd thinks she is a phony and lame. Then Yufeng pops up as Shadow Saber. She’s into this too? With her cool acrobatic moves, the crowd loves her better and views her even way cooler than the fake! Youtarou relishes his normal life. But I didn’t think that meant even harsher training from Yoriko! Because Makio still brings her disappointed face to the club, so young and acting like a true woman, she won’t tell what the problem is, blames it on Youtarou and runs away. Sweet. She is then met by Shin who puts a ring on her finger as he proclaims how similar she looks to Yuma (Makio’s mom). Everyone tries to find Makio but to no avail. Alice then tells Youtarou the truth about Makio’s realization about his identity. Great. It just makes him feel guiltier now. Yoriko has a bad feeling when she sees Shirotsubaki. She gets info from Kongouji that the African branch leader, Cherub Wadjet Raja is already in Japan. Additional info: Dafei and Wadjet have bad blood between them. Youtarou has the bad luck of meeting Wadjet. Now it’s her turn to invite him to her home, a floating vessel. Now it’s her turn too to invite him to join her African branch. She doesn’t care if his fights were flukes. They are still truths and she wants his talents. Still refuse? She shows him her elite soldiers who have captured some of his girls. How is this reflecting the goodness of a knight? As the leader of her branch, she has the responsibility to raise her organization’s status. Youtarou is her means of that. Youtarou becomes Knight Lancer to prove he can protect his girls. Unfortunately, the soldiers gang up and beat him down. See? He is this weak. You still want him? Yeah, it pisses her off that she fights him and breaks his mask. Then she uses some magic eye to hypnotize him that he cannot protect anyone. What is worse than seeing visions of Yoriko defeated? Makio leaving him all alone! Only with Wadjet’s strength and guidance can he protect others, that’s what she’s trying to tell him. Someone crashes into the scene and it scares the sh*t out of Wadjet. No, it’s not Yoriko. It’s Shin! She didn’t know he was around and made sure he wasn’t so to make her move. Well, looks like she’s wrong. Shin claims he knows everything about Youtarou because he is his.

Episode 12
Shin easily defeats the elite guards. Wadjet narrates Shin is one of the 4 Seraphs who presides over 10,000 knights each. Well, that sounded like a Godly statement. And she dared messed with him? Shin has warned Wadjet about messing with Youtarou. Unlike Dafei, he knows of her unholy plan to misuse Youtarou. Wadjet’s life is spared when Youtarou pleads to Shin. Run, lady. Run. And now, Shin wants Youtarou to fight him. What the heck is going on? I don’t blame Youtarou who is confused like us why the heck he needs to do this but that stern voice from Shin reminds his son not to disappoint him. Gulp. Yoriko barges into the scene to fight Shin to allow Youtarou and the girls to escape. Shin thanks her for shaping Youtarou stronger. For had Shin done it himself, Youtarou would have been broken. Poor confused kid. More confused than ever. I guess Yoriko lost. It’s back to father and son squaring off. Shin is now riding Shirotsubaki and wants Youtarou to fight a knight’s duel. If you wonder why Shirotsubaki looks similar to Shirohime, it’s because the former is her mom. Heck, I can’t tell between horses. I thought it was her sister… Since Youtarou is still complaining, Shin continues to remind the disappointment he is seeing. This is the reason why he lost the love of his princess. Speaking of which, he’s got Makio captured in a cage. Makio is sad this is happening and wants Shin to stop bullying his son. At least it got Youtarou to change his mind and fight. Oh, now Shirohime is against this. Even her mom is throwing a hard question of which side she belongs to. Don’t worry. Youtarou won’t make her fight. Shin won’t make Shirotsubaki too. I guess it’s just the guys then. When they both clash, we hear Shin’s explanation of the chivalry knights fight for, how Rhongomyniad is the essence of every knight’s soul and that’s why he was happy to see Youtarou wield it as he would become the knight he hoped for. However Youtarou cannot defeat Shin as his lance starts to disappear.

Makio then apologizes to Youtarou and reveals what has been bugging her. Finally. She has always had a hunch that Youtarou and Knight Lancer were the same person. She feared that if she really knew it, it would mean the hero would lose his identity and thus no longer a reason to stay by her side. WTF. Can’t blame a little girl’s thinking. Her ring resonates so hard with Youtarou’s soul that his lance is able to reappear and defeat Shin. Wow. This easy? Shin admits defeat and rises to heaven. It gets even weirder when angelic Yuma hugs him. Even weirder with abstract background while we here conversations between Shin and Yuma. From the time they first met (her circumstances were strangely similar to Makio), their times together till the time she had to part and left Makio in Shin’s care. In the aftermath, we see Dafei and Kongouji visiting Yoriko in hospital. Hey. Yoriko is laughing?! What a rare sight! Dafei explains why she did what she did then. She heard Shin saying his son is going to fight and become better than him. After getting to know he defeated Kongouji with Rhongomyniad, she thought Shin was ready to act. Though, she never expected him to defeat Shin. Shin pops up just to tell them Rhongomyniad chose him and will always be there when he needs it. He knows it. He can feel it. Yeah. Whatever. Meanwhile, Youtarou is going to leave for a knight school to become a better knight. Guess he changed his mind. Sae also mentions that she is going with him to pursue her dreams in medicine. So is it just coincidence that they are going to the same overseas school? Oh Sae, you make it sound like you’re a tsundere. So does this mean Youtarou will have to leave Makio? That’s why he is here to explain. Makio talks about the need for herself to become stronger and thus the training and doesn’t need a hero. But a hero is something she doesn’t want to be by herself. What she wants is her family by her side. Don’t worry. Youtarou won’t betray her. He’ll always be by her side. This means she is coming to the same school as him. Yeah. How convenient. Happy ending. The end.

What A (K)nightmare
Well, I can’t say that I’m confused of where the direction of the plot is heading. It gets even confusing in the final episode with things regarding Shin (more on him later). Because all the while, this entire series has just been mediocre, about a kid who doesn’t want to become a knight but destiny wasn’t so kind to let it go so he gets drawn into knightly deeds. Oh, did I mention this entire series too felt like the characters just playing family? Yeah… So other than being together, training a little and going on rescue missions, I can’t say if there is more to this series than it should be.

The characters themselves feel shallow and generic. Like Youtarou who is the biggest wimp of them all but helming the main character role means he gets to power up in the end and show his true strength. Even if it isn’t a test of physical might, at least he wins out in the strength of determination. After all those tears and lectures, if he doesn’t then something must be terribly wrong and therefore could not have been the chosen one. Which would have been pretty ironic, right? Get what all I’m saying. So at the end of it all, the kid who wants to quit becoming a knight turns over a new leaf and yearns to become a better one. Uh huh. He spent his entire life hating it and trying to run away, only for his weird syndrome to activate, and now he goes back to it. Well, if you can’t beat them, join them.

The rest of the other characters feel like it is to make up the numbers for the family so it just doesn’t feel like it is going to be Makio and Youtarou. Like Yuhua, I’m not sure what her role is after Youtarou and co move into the mansion. Yes, she is still Makio’s maid but Yoriko has got almost everything covered. Therefore the only role she’s resigned to play as a hacker is to check and updated on Youtarou’s stats during Yoriko’s harsh training. Basically, some of the characters have their pasts waiting to be explored but conveniently forgotten along the way. Like Youtarou’s relationship with the daughter of the hotspring inn’s owner (it was just so hinting that I thought it would pop up somewhere again), the children that used to work for Ban, Yufeng’s relationship with them and the reason Silvia was chasing her (it felt like an excuse to well, increase Youtarou’s family). Of course, the history between Shin and Yuma. It felt like they were lazy to animate the thing so they made us hear their conversation, which is like listening to a drama CD and leave the rest to our imagination. How cheap.

Then there is Sae who is supposed to be the romantic interest as well as the tsundere. She is greatly missing in the second half of the series where the characters have to go on rescue missions, thus diminishing her impact overall. I guess it is better than Nori whose entire role I am still guessing what the heck for. She could have easily been done away with. I thought it was to make up the harem but with Yoriko around, oh heck, I didn’t even dare think it would turn out as one! Then the rest of the family are just like, well, how should I put it. Silvia the senior knight colleague, Yufeng the ‘retard daughter’, Alice the loyal squire and Shirohime who sometimes have the magic ability to turn herself into a humanoid version (or is it just us on drugs when we see her in this form), add to Youtarou’s little family of knight fighters. Add Yuyan the tomboyish one and voila, you have your very own harem. Now that Youtarou is going overseas, I wonder if they will follow. Because I clearly recall they didn’t say anything about following him. Naturally Alice and Shirohime should. Yufeng as Makio’s daughter should too. Yuhua as Makio’s maid should also. Ah heck, everyone should just follow him.

Yoriko is the best character of the series aside that she is already a maid ;p. She is like the Terminator and untouchable lady in the series. Almost everybody who knows her shivers whenever she is around. In a way, nobody gets to step over her head as she is always in control of just about anything. However having this cold hearted attitude also makes her look like a b*tch. There is no room for compromise and you certainly can’t tell jokes about her because the next thing you know, she’ll be breathing down your neck and you’ll be sweating enough to fill a swimming pool! Her harsh and strict training-cum-torture time is like the running joke. Only, you won’t be laughing but feel the pain that Youtarou is going to go through.

I wonder what happened to the antagonists. With Ban remnants still bent on getting revenge on Kongouji, when Dafei made her move, they seemed to have ‘died out’. Because Kongouji seems so relaxed ever since he lost to Youtarou as his role is reduced to just assisting in whatever intelligence he could gather. And the other reason he continues to hang out with the gang is so that he could find the perfect timing to apologize to Youtarou for what he has done. Yeah, an excuse to stick around, I guess. I’m sure Wadjet has learnt her lesson. And I can safely assume that this serves as a lesson to all other worldwide knight branches that if they have the same reason to misuse Youtarou for their nefarious ends, big daddy will be here to kick your ass. So it’s safe to say that there won’t be any great villains for Youtarou to take on for a while. Heh. At least he can study becoming a knight in peace. Dafei isn’t all that bad. In fact she’s quite a sporting old lady. On a trivial note, I wonder the name Dafei means Big Fat. Well, it sounds like it in Chinese and naturally it describes her physique too, right? Shirohime’s limited performance means she gets to fool around in the next episode preview, a segment in which she fools just everybody with her nonsense and takes Alice along with the ride.

Is it me or am I the only one that thinks Shin looks more like a teenager than a father. Maybe it is to add to the mystery. So much so he looks more like Youtarou’s brother than his dad. Because you do notice that even in flashbacks, Shin looks exactly the same as he is right now. Is he some sort of God character because he has a tendency to pop up anywhere and even do stuffs like as though he is reading out from the script. You get the hint when Wadjet hinted us about him being a Seraph. I don’t know if that is just one of the fancy knight titles but with Shin being able to appear and teleport anywhere he likes and fight off anything without exerting so much strength, could this dude really be some sort of supernatural creature? But how can he be Youtarou’s dad then? One theory of mine is that he was human before turning supernatural, though this doesn’t explain his youthful looks. My other theory is that Youtarou looks up to him like a father figure and treats him as one. Because like many of the ex-Ban kids whom Kongouji saved, they call him their father. So it could be just that. Or it could be they are really related but Shin has been elevated to Godly status because of his ability to wield Rhongomyniad. Shouldn’t Youtarou become one too? Argh! So confusing!

The fight scenes are rather okay and nothing to shout about. Each of the knights has their own special and uniquely designed lance that houses a special ability. But we don’t really get to see them use it often and most probably once or twice. When you have lances imbued with other weapons like whip, bow and guns, heck, it looks more like some oversized sci-fi weapon than your conventional lance. Besides, sometimes it is funny to see the knights carry their big lance. I know they are trained to have such immense stamina but sometimes it feels that it might just break their hand just by lifting those huge metallic ice creams. Really. I mean, if those lances can cause a huge crater when you exert their full power, can their puny hands handle all that pressure? I guess that is why they are knights.

Something about the art and drawing style turn me off. Generally the character designs look like a cross between Kanon, Clannad and to a certain extent, Hidamari Sketch. Only somewhat less cute. I don’t know. Maybe it’s a personal thing. Because with that kind of faces, sometimes I thought the characters have derp faces. Get what I mean? Everybody is supposed to be cute but when you have that kind of derp face, it is hard to think so. Not even Yoriko is spared for this but the effect is less because she is wearing a maid outfit ;). Oh, Shirohime in her horse form, I thought she looked like she jumped out from that My Little Pony series and lost all her colours. Really. Another that I find baffling is the fact that in some battle scenes, the background colours tend to become negative colour. Like for that entire episode featuring the knights battling each other to rescue Youtarou was completely in this colouring. Like as though they are fighting in a parallel dimension or something. I don’t know, it just seems a little odd.

The only notable voice acting goes to Ayana Taketatsu as Yufeng. She isn’t like your usual Date A Live’s Kotori, Sekai De Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai’s Sakura, OreImo’s Kirino, Dog Days’ Eclair or even K-ON!’s Azusa. That very soft spoken shy-like voice of her character clearly reminds me of her role as Fuu of Tamayura. Not even High School DxD’s Koneko was near this. It sounded so similar that I thought they transplanted that character into this anime. The only other voices I recognized were Akira Ishida as Shin and Sayaka Ohara as Wadjet (in yet another devilish villainess role). Oh, isn’t that Kikuko Inoue having her cameo as Shirotsubaki? I should have guessed so…

The rest of the casts are Daiki Yamashita as Youtarou (Touya in Log Horizon), Ari Ozawa as Makio (Otone in Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku), Manami Numakura as Yoriko (Narbarel in Overlord), Suzuko Mimori as Alice (Sherlock in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes), Ayaka Suwa as Shirohime (Ikumi in Jinsei), Mao as Yuhua (Renge in Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku No Zvezda), Aimi Tanaka as Yuyan (Umaru in Himouto! Umaru-chan), Lynn as Silvia (Maya in Sabagebu), Takashi Matsuyama as Kongouji (Lovro in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu), Mami Koyama as Dafei (Balalaika in Black Lagoon), Ryohei Arai as Dorgon (Toshiie Homura in Battle Spirits Burning Soul), Souichiro Hoshi as Gil Ha (Kaoru in Ai Yori Aoshi), Rikako Yamaguchi as Ming (Charles in Freezing Vibration) and Yumiri Hanamori as Sae (Chiaya in The Rolling Girls).

The opening theme is Light For Knight by Suzuko Mimori. Another generic anime pop. Nothing that attractive to me, though. The ending theme is Little Lion Heart by Ayana Taketatsu. Yet another generic sounding lively anime pop. And yes, nothing attractive too. There are a few flamenco-like background music played especially during fight or rescue scenes. I don’t know. Somehow hearing this never fails to make me smile or laugh. Does it sound that funny?

Overall, not to call this anime disappointing but mediocre too doesn’t quite feel right. All I know is that this is one of those animes where you watch for the season and then toss it to the back of your memory as one of those animes that you have seen. Over the seasons (heck, perhaps by next season), you would probably have forgotten all about it. Nothing really stands out. But perhaps in my case would be the badass and kickass maid. But that itself has nothing to do with the overall of the show. It proves that you don’t need a mask, some fancy cape or a freaking huge lance to become a hero. All you need is just a good heart maid :-).