Walkure Romanze

May 11, 2014

How do you often attract viewers in a subject that is not considered popular or dominated (in the past or currently) by males? Yeah. Some of you might know the answer to that. In the world of anime, the answer is turn them into females! Or at least make girls as the main characters. At least this is what is usually being done be it in history or sports. Otherwise, nobody would have really wanted to Walkure Romanze which its main theme is about jousting. Yes. The kind where 2 armoured clad people on a horse charge at each other with a lance. Isn’t that supposed to be some sort of medieval entertainment? We have iPhones, iPads, Tablets and all the modern conveniences so why bother to go back to the old fashion way of jousting? What’s the big deal and interest in it? Not if you put girls as the participants in this show. Yeah. That seals it. It was supposed to be a men’s-only sport, right? Besides, doesn’t it feel a little less feminine for girls who are jousting? I know about the honour part and crap but seriously, jousting? Real horses, real armour, real lances and real battles. Okay, so these girls aren’t afraid to get their fingernails crack. Having said that you will be seeing girls jousting in this anime, you don’t need to care about the plot because there is love, drama, comedy and jousting action around the jousting themed anime. And more importantly, fanservice. Oh yeah. Another reason why we look forward to females jousting.

Episode 1
At Winford Academy where some students of the Knight Curriculum are practising jousting, Mio Kisaki is an unlucky girl as she is being chased by a horse. Worse, the pervy horse bites off her shirt and chews her skirt! WTF?! Takahiro Mizuno is able to calm the horse down. He compliments Sakura’s hair. Sakura is the horse… This dude only has horses on his mind. He finds a splinter on Sakura’s that causes her to go wild. That lame reason is the cause for this opening fanservice? Mio wonders why he didn’t continue jousting despite his injury has healed. Even student council president Celia Cumani Aintree wants him to be her begleiter. He declines. But she’ll continue to wait till he says yes. I’m guessing that will be in a very long time. Mio thinks if they pair up, they’ll be champions for the summer tournament like how he was with Julianus in his glory days. Later Mio meets up with her friend Akane Ryuuzouji who goes into daydreaming fantasy about Celia just the mention of her name. Mio works part time as a waitress at a cafe, Tart Time run by school nurse Ayako Hiiragi. Next day, Takahiro is on his way to the horse shed but was stopped by Noel Marres Ascot. She wants him to be his begleiter as she plans on winning the summer tournament and needs somebody strong by her side. Well, duh. Like who doesn’t want to win it? Of course he declines. But will he think over it? Yeah. He’ll do just that. Meanwhile Mio hopes to see Takahiro and brings him lunch. Since he hasn’t arrived yet, she puts on his helmet and reminisces how cool he was in those days. Ah… Those memories… Because she put the lunch too close to Sakura, the horse at them all. Whose fault was it? I don’t know if she laced it with stimulants because Sakura starts getting restless and breaks out of the shed! Not only that, she got that horny I’ll-rape-you look on her face and starts chasing Sakura!!! WTF?! Bertille Althusser is teaching her underlings, Emma and Ann the needs to be a good knight. I don’t know but it sounded like an excuse to flaunt her busty body. I think it’s the least what a knight needs. Because Sakura-Mio chase is coming their way, Bertille is the first one to run despite telling her underlings to stay calm. Dumb blonde? When they have run far enough, I figure Sakura likes girls with bigger boobs so she starts outraging Bertille’s modesty and tears off her skirt!!! Mio remembers what Takahiro did to calm Sakura down and did just that. However Bertille is not amused. She accuses Mio of wanting to sabotage her chances for the tournament. She challenges her to a jousting duel. Takahiro saw and heard everything. And I suppose that includes Bertille issuing her challenge in her black undies…

Episode 2
What is Mio going to do? They talked to the student council and it seems Bertille has filed proper documents for the duel (which is called an official practice match). They can’t cancel it seeing it will sully a knight’s honour. But Mio isn’t a knight. She’s not even part of the curriculum. Hell, where was the knight’s honour when Bertille was maniacally laughing away after issuing the challenge, forgetting to pick up her skirt and walking away with her lower half exposed? The other way is to quit Winford Academy. You got to be kidding, right? Since this was somewhat Takahiro’s fault (for not being there when Mio brought lunch), he has to take responsibility and be her begleiter. He agrees. So Mio’s training starts off with lots of sexual innuendoes. Holding something long, thick and hard… It’s the jousting lance. Since it’s too heavy, she couldn’t control it. It controls her. All the way downhill… I think Mio has some amazing hidden talent because as she runs through the school area, with the swing of the lance, she’s able to summon the wind to blow up the girls’ skirt! Perverts’ field day for coloured panties! Must be their lucky day. She is only stopped in her tracks by Akane. Mio and Takahiro are reprimanded by the student council vice president, Reina F. Avery. Because they weren’t clear enough, she thinks they were doing something unholy. Mio’s first time. He forced her. Long, thick and hard… Takahiro gets slapped. Later, teacher James Asmussen tells Takahiro to look out for a new amazing transfer student. She is supposed to be a prodigy in jousting and is rumoured to win the tournament.

As Takahiro watches the jousting practice, he spots a stray cat. Thinking it might be endangering itself by running towards the track, he chases after it. As he is about to grab it, he grabs the boobs of Lisa Eostre. It’s her cat. Her friend Fiona Beckford misinterprets the situation and slaps the pervert. When he returns to Mio, he sees her making vast improvements and is now able to control holding the lance. As he is tending to Sakura, Celia comes by and has heard him become Mio’s begleiter. She wants him to see his task through till it’s over. After that, she hopes he can consider becoming her begleiter. I guess it’s time for Sakura to get naughty. So she steps on the hose so that it could shoot out bursts of water to get Celia all wet. Takahiro hands her a towel. Reina is looking for Celia and sees this situation. That’s the third slap he’s had today. Really not his day. Next day, Takahiro departs basic scoring knowledge of jousting to Mio when Noel comes by. She also heard about him becoming Mio’s begleiter and would like to help out. Because she too would like him to be her begleiter after this duel. All I can say is that, more sexual innuendoes in Noel’s Spartan training. Mio sees the scars all over Noel’s body and this gives her motivation to study harder about the sport way into the night. Next day at the shed, once more the sexual innuendo might make it seem that Takahiro, James and Mio are in a threesome when it’s actually putting on the tight armour on her. Sakura is also armoured up. Takahiro gives his helmet to her. Mio hopes he could go easy on her but Takahiro won’t hold back even if it’s his parents, siblings or girlfriend. Girlfriend? I’m sure Mio got the wrong idea but it was the very motivation she needed to get through this.

Episode 3
The training continues. Loads with sexual innuendoes… Takahiro sees Lisa’s cat again and picks it up and return it to her. Fiona thinks it’s an excuse for him to get pervy again. Lisa comments the way Mio’s joust is wrong and it’s a waste of time. Takahiro notes Mio isn’t jousting to win or lose but not to run away. This doesn’t sit well with the duo because it’s as though she is not taking this seriously and is jousting for fun. Their pride as a knight wouldn’t accept something like that. With Mio training hard, Noel temporary replaces her waitress job. The night before the duel, Mio talks to Takahiro that she didn’t want to quit school because she couldn’t leave everything. With one thing happening after another, she finds that she loves jousting and is going to try her best even if she loses. Takahiro replies she should be proud and he is happy she is jousting like that. On the day of the duel, Takahiro gets a big surprise. Mio has cut her hair short. She thinks it will get in the way. But it’s only for one match, right? Sure. But she wants to win. Bertille sees Mio to greet her. The atrocious thing about her is her armour. It’s like as though she forgot to put on her pants! What’s the difference than the first time she embarrassed herself? Personally, I think this one is even worse! G-string… WTF. As Takahiro knows Bertille’s fighting style, he departs advice to Mio how to tackle the first round. Mio wins the first round and makes it look like beginner’s luck as Bertille even falls off her horse. Now that Bertille has taken the bait, Takahiro wants Mio to purposely lose the second round and let Bertille take some points and let her guard down. For the third round, this is where Mio gets real to attack and Takahiro knows Mio’s eyes can read movements better than most people. However the plan backfires because Mio has not enough jousting experience and Bertille takes the win to equal the points and go into the final decisive round. Takahiro puts on a strong face so as not to affect Mio’s morality. The plan is to attack the same time Bertille begins to attack. In this final round, to show the trust and intensity the duo have, it’s like we have this exaggerated gatai-like scene as Mio charges. She hits Bertille and causes her to drop her lance. This means the win goes to Mio and she wins the entire match. Fiona thought it was beginner’s luck but Lisa notices something even more. Takahiro is more than just an ordinary pervert. I guess this ups Takahiro’s value as a begleiter. Now those girls who want him as one would want him even more. To show Bertille is not a bimbo b*tch, she is gracious in defeat and congratulates the winner in her knight’s pride. Everyone rushes to Mio to celebrate her victory.

Episode 4
Mio’s jousting life has ended and returns to her normal life. While walking to school one morning with Akane, they see a knight in black armour in solo practice. They’ve never seen her before and believe she must be the rumoured transferred student. Guess who? They also see how awesome she is when she takes all the rings with her lance with precision and skill. Ayako attends to whatever injuries Takahiro had. From the angle it is shown, it looks like it was ‘down there’. She says it is already healed and all that is left is his heart now. Mio despite back in her normal life can’t seem to concentrate and is thinking or doing things that seem to mimic jousting. Next morning as Lisa and Fiona haul up some heavy equipment, Akane catches them complaining and ‘mistreating’ the equipment. Fiona talks big as the pathetic match that saw a good knight getting defeated by someone who isn’t even in the curriculum means that if all the knights in this academy are of this level, Lisa would just dominate. Fiona even challenges her to fight Lisa now. Lisa agrees to settle this. And so Akane dons her black samurai armour… Oh. It’s just a lance. I thought she was going to take up a samurai sword… She sees Lisa in the black armour and realizes who she is. Takahiro sees this and is not amused but are the girls going to listen to stop? Knight’s pride whatever. In the first round, Akane almost got unseated because Lisa’s dodging and counter attack were quick. The second round ends in the draw as they destroyed each other’s lance. Meanwhile Mio returns the polished armour to James (even if he gave it to her as a present) but notice the dissatisfaction in her heart when she leaves? Then it’s like her friend-in-danger sense starts picking up so she heads to where Akane is and sees them duelling. For the third round, Lisa thought Akane is going to use the same trick. However she quickly pulls back and launches a double attack to win the point. Noel rushes in to warn them that Reina is coming. Because this school prohibits unsanctioned matches, those caught will be forbidden to participate in the tournament. What to do? They’re already beginning the next round. Takahiro quickly jumps on Noel’s horse and rides up to deflect both lances at the same time before the hit!!! Wow! What is he?! God?! When Reina arrives, what she sees is just Takahiro and co teaching Lisa horsemanship. She’ll let this slide. Akane and Lisa will settle this at the tournament. Everyone commends Takahiro for his quick thinking. Lisa knows his hand has gone numb since the hit. And Mio couldn’t stand to watch it all. She wants to be like everybody. She wants to joust. She wants to be a knight too! Flipped her jousting switch there, eh?

Episode 5
Mio submits her application to the student council to participate in the tournament. Because there are no rules forbidding normal students to do so, Celia doesn’t see a problem. I guess Mio’s in. Mio is invited to tea with Celia in her student council room. She was to bring a friend but Noel was away washing her horse, Etoile. So I suppose Takahiro was passing by and she invited him. Oh, Akane eavesdropped too. Count her in. The eager beaver is already so nervous. While Mio is at it, she also calls Lisa and Fiona. But arrogant Fiona doesn’t want to drink tea with so many people and will pass. Inside the room filled teddy bears (she likes bears in addition to horses too), Akane is having a hard time trying to be calm. Too nervous. Too happy. Then she drifts off to daydreaming land. It’ll take her some time to come back so let her be. As Celia is viewed as the top favourite to win the tournament, she says that jousting is unpredictable and thus the need for a begleiter to win. Again, Celia mentions her intention to have Takahiro as her begleiter. Again he declines. If it’s her brother, Julianus she assures he will not be involved at all. Actually Takahiro feels he isn’t as good as needs to be. Celia understands and will leave the option open to him. Of course there are many who request to be her begleiter but what Celia wants is the choice to choose herself. Celia mentions winning isn’t everything as one may gain greater wisdom in defeat. But Lisa firmly believes winning is everything and will prove it by winning the tournament. Celia’s purpose to invite Mio to tea is to ask her why a normal student wants to joust. From that beating-around-the-bush answer, Celia could guess that love is in the air. Love for jousting, maybe?

Mio and Takahiro visit Noel’s house. Make that a freaking huge mansion! I think the jungle is part of the extensive garden too. Bet you didn’t know she was this freaking rich, eh? They see a broken statue of a jousting knight on a horse outside. She introduces them to her wheelchair ridden little sister, Mireille. Since she loves jousting and horses but is unable to do so, she dabbles in fortune telling cards. The girls take a look at Takahiro’s love fortunes. He will fall in love with someone close. Is there anybody close to him? Hmm… James. Oh God! Hard on gay?! Anybody else? They even guess horses but he assures them he doesn’t swing that way. As they part, the father comes back. He gets to know Noel’s friends but becomes displeased to know that they are from Winford Academy because it could also mean they also joust. Later Noel apologizes for her father’s rudeness. As Mireille loves jousting since young, Noel felt guilty for getting her hurt. There goes her dream of becoming a knight. Therefore Noel jousts for her. The stronger she becomes, the happier Mireille is. So she believes. That’s why she can’t lose to anyone. Takahiro is still in a dilemma. He loves jousting and wants to dedicate his life to it but couldn’t wholeheartedly devote himself to become a begleiter. Uncle James advises him to worry his heart out since he has a long road in front of him. I know. He’s young, right? Well, don’t take too long. If he thinks he has made the wrong choice, just make another want. Humans always have a chance to start over. And so 2 paths lie before Takahiro. Either become a knight again or support someone else by as a begleiter.

Episode 6
It’s time off for everyone at Winford Academy. Takahiro sees Lisa trying to get her cat stuck on the tree. Guess what happens next? The branch snaps but Takahiro catches her. As thanks she gives him her taco and they chat at the riverbed. Her cat starts acting up again, almost falling off the bridge. Lisa rushes to her but slips. Takahiro catches her. Romantic position? He notices a beautiful ring she’s wearing. Reina calls for Lisa that Fiona is waiting for her. While sharing Reina’s sandwiches, she asks if he would like to be Lisa’s begleiter. Lisa was once a cheerful kid who loves people. Ever since her mom died, everyone started fighting over her inheritance and it’s like her death did not matter. Ever since, Lisa tried avoiding relationship with others. Fiona is also the same with her. Currently Lisa is living with Reina and she was the one who recommended Lisa to this academy in hopes jousting would change her back but it’s not working. But she feels if Takahiro becomes her begleiter, she might also grow. At town while reliving his past glories in the stadium, Noel and Mireille happen to come by and offer him to go out for lunch at an Italian place (he can’t refuse after seeing Mireille’s puppy dog eyes). A handful (pun intended) of romantic scenes… But the thing is Takahiro is made to eat lots of Italian dishes. Each time he finishes, they call to fill up. To burn that excess food, he goes for a walk but bumps into Akane. She offers him her onigiri. Oh God… And then at the flower field overlooking the town, there is Celia. Handmade cookies… Oh no. It’s a wonder this guy can still eat them without throwing up. Does he have a bottomless stomach? I don’t think so. But he can’t say no either. What the duo talked about was something about if Takahiro had been here earlier, their relationship would have been different. He would have been her begleiter now. Hint, hint. Also, her love for teddy also symbolizes sportsmanship (something to do with Roosevelt’s story). Lastly when he goes back, there is Mio having sweets with Bertille and co. Really, can he take more input? Thankfully he is saved by a squirrel. Because Mio feeds it her scones. Before you know it, an army of squirrels before them! Are they hungry? Don’t worry. Lots of scones to go by. But no… They attacked the girls instead! WTF?! Pervy squirrels?! They want to eat the ladies?! And some of them are gay because Takahiro got attacked too. Takahiro returns to Tart Time where all the girls are. Fiona accuses him of being a stalker for following them. But he lives here. She further accuses him of changing address when he found out they like to come here to eat tarts. You got to give it to this girl. Lisa shares her tart with Takahiro.

Episode 7
Akane is showing her intense concentrating while arranging the flowers. Cheeky Noel bluffs Celia is nearby and then she cuts everything. Distracted. While practising, the sudden storm forces Akane to take shelter in a nearby windmill. So happen Celia is also there! Dream come true? She’s trying hard to control her fantasies. It gets harder when Celia wants them to strip naked to avoid catching the cold. Still holding on? How about using body warmth to warm up? When the rain stops and the wind picks up, since they hang their clothes on the cogs, it starts moving. I don’t know how the cogs work because it leads the clothes to fly away outside. That’s it. Totally naked. But a bra happens to flow down the river and into Takahiro’s hands. Yeah. Lucky bastard. But he senses something amiss when clothes start streaming down the river. Has he no shame that he ‘inspects’ Mio and concludes she is not the one who lost it! Fiona got it worse. She was looking for something (Lisa’s cat) but Takahiro thinks it’s the bra. Wait a minute. This flat chest? Of course not. Doesn’t she just feel insulted? Since using ropes to cover themselves won’t do (it would look like S&M), the duo decide to make a run to the next windmill believe to have some clothes. Too bad a sketching excursion just arrived. Takahiro must have his instincts real good. How can the sparse clothes lead him to this windmill? As he enters the backdoor, it accidentally latches. Locked in. The girls hear somebody getting in, use flour to cover themselves and act like sculptures. It was going well till Takahiro’s curiosity got the better. I mean, he pondered at how familiar these sculptures are and even touched the softness of Akane’s boobs! You think she won’t get mad and chop him up? Well, his clothes get chopped up. At least his underwear is still on.

After being told the long story, he is going to go get some clothes but the backdoor is latched. Celia thinks it is already this late since she was supposed to pick up a friend coming back after an injury. Akane won’t give up and will let her meet this friend. So happen Shion (Akane’s horse) is seen on the way (why does it have a panty in its mouth?!). Takahiro knows windmills like these were once forts. There is a hidden basement that has armour. Celia is to put it on and go like that. How about the locked door? Takahiro spreads the flour around and based on science, the little particles will be enough to cause an explosion if there is enough sparks. Once the room is filled with flour and the gang in a safe hiding place, Takahiro throws the gun and the spark was enough to create an explosion to break down the door. The sketching group is startled in hearing this. Celia carries and takes Akane along as she barges out of the windmill on Shion because she can’t leave her behind dressed like that. The sketch group sees this amazing scene like as though a goddess has arrived. Akane realizes the friend Celia is supposed to meet is a repaired teddy bear… What the… Finally that amazing goddess scene becomes the best sketch and is hang up as a big frame poster in the school halls. Takahiro and Akane are speechless. I think the sketcher was quite an observant and sharp person because she was even able to notice Takahiro hiding behind the door watching the goddess run. Yeah, the panty dropped by Shion onto Takahiro’s head as they left was even sketched! OMG facial expression?!

Episode 8
Noel tells her father she will be going for the jousting training camp. I suppose even if he tells her not to, she won’t listen. So do as you wish. Celia didn’t go due to student council work and of course she is the best knight in the academy why do you need such training stint? Also, Fiona stays back because she hates groups. Thanks to Bertille, her villa becomes the place for summer camp. Besides jousting training, the typical hearty meal, washing each other’s backs and dipping in the hotspring. Not leaving out pillow fight and night talk. It would of course be about their yet-to-be-chosen begleiter. I’m sure the girls are hinting Takahiro but Mio was blunt to say she would want him. However it’s not in her hands to decide that and it depends on Takahiro’s feelings. Takahiro does his knight training but flashbacks of Julianus break his concentration. Noel then talks to him. She mentions her father was once the jousting champion and wanted his daughters to follow in his footsteps. However an accident on Mireille made him hate jousting because it took Mireille’s legs although surgery went fine and doctors believe all injuries should be healed. Noel blamed herself and wanted to quit but Mireille told her never to give up. That’s why she wants Mireille to be proud of her as a knight. He needs her by her side. So will he be her begleiter? Next day as the training continues, Noel tells Mio that she asked Takahiro about it but he did not answer (despite she put on that puppy dog eyes). That night as Takahiro soaks in the hotspring, he remembers he was in a jousting match. It was raining that day. His gear unfastened and when they collide, he fell off his horse and his back hit the railing. Julianus had that very disappointed look on his face. Mio happen to walk in (because the men’s sign must have fallen off). She wonders why he won’t pick a begleiter. What he is saying is that he fears of living up to expectations and don’t want to see the face of someone he has let down again. Mio’s answer is simple. It shows he still loves jousting. He should give it a try and if it doesn’t work out, try again. She would of course love him to be her begleiter but would love him even more if he becomes a knight. The rest of the girls start streaming in so Takahiro had to go scuba and hide behind a rock before coming out to safety. The girls are distracted by the shooting star and start making their wish. Be the best. Be the strongest. Win the tournament. And yeah. Let Takahiro be my begleiter.

Episode 9
Before the summer tournament, there is an even fiercer tournament the day before: Miss Winford Contest. A swimsuit and talent contest. Oh yeah. I think this is what everyone wants to see. Ann and Emma eavesdrop Takahiro at the stable. They heard that one of the horses is giving birth and relay this to Bertille. Because she wasn’t concentrating, she misheard it as whoever wins the swimsuit contest gets to be Takahiro’s begleiter. Of course this interests the rest of the girls and will take part in it. Reina also heard it and tells this to Lisa and has her buy a swimsuit right away. And so the girls become somewhat friendly rivals as they buy swimsuits for the event. Noel wanted to make a head start by appealing it to Takahiro but that guy is so engrossed in his books. Damn guy is more interested in reading than paying attention to a sexy babe nearby? She had to strip down till her swimsuit just to get his attention. Mio then comes in and Noel thought she had the same strategy. Thinking she is wearing one underneath, she flips her skirt but it’s just her regular underwear. Oops! Fiona is not pleased that Lisa is fooling around in this swimsuit contest instead of preparing with the tournament. On the day of the contest, Lisa panics as she misplaces her swimsuit. Reina goes after her and gives the mascot job to Takahiro. He sees Lisa’s cat with a piece of clothing in its mouth. Could it be that little troublemaker again? He follows the cat into a room and realizes it’s false alarm. Just a piece of sock. Before he realizes it, he is in the girls’ changing room and tries to get out. Bad timing. The girls come in. He acts like a dummy mascot as the girls change. They see the mascot and start hugging it to feel good till it’s time for the contest. Phew. Never thought he could get out alive of that one.

When Takahiro gets out, he passes by Fiona. She pretends she doesn’t care but she felt guilty for doubting Lisa because she thought she was ignoring her during her frantic search. Fiona goes to Lisa and flips up her skirt. She’s wearing her swimsuit underneath it. She always does that before PE, right? So why of all times she had to forget? But is there enough time to get to the stage? If you count Takahiro riding on a horse and sweeping her off her feet. So the contest begins with the contestants streaming on stage strutting their swimsuits and their odd talent they’ve got. Cleaning ear? Eating spicy food? WTF. Bertille feels embarrassed to come out. Oddly, that armour of hers was even more embarrassing. The last contestant is of course the defending champion Celia. You can hear the crowd chanting her name. She doesn’t even need to do anything (too bad she doesn’t get to show her teddy bear specialty) because everyone has already decided. Yup. She wins hands down again. At the backstage as the loser girls concede defeat and try to accept reality that Takahiro has chosen Celia, he doesn’t understand what they’re talking about. They turn their attention to Bertille. She blames her underlings. They correct her. She admits her mistake. Girls not happy… At least their attention is taken away from Takahiro. Again, Fiona isn’t too pleased to see Lisa acting so friendly. What’s her problem?

Episode 10
The big day is here. Fiona is b*tching that Lisa can’t win because she spent too much time with the enemy. She’s disappointed in her. Takahiro talks to James that although he can’t be a knight, he still can participate as begleiter. Oh. Has he decided? Then it’s like one last desperate attempt from the girls to fight over him to be their begleiter. Please be my begleiter. I want you. Even Celia is here to hear his answer. Actually he has decided. He is going to be the begleiter for… Suddenly some stable guy says the horse is going into labour and needs Takahiro’s help. Damn you horse! Before he leaves, he gives his earnest advice to all the girls. I think he better keep it short because the horse is already contracting. Mireille is going to cheer for Noel but her father won’t go. All our usual girls advance to the next round and they make it look so easy. The next big match pits Akane and Lisa. Coincidence they get to settle it. Before it starts, Lisa wants Fiona to come and see but she’s still b*tching about everything being a waste of time. Okay. If that’s what she thinks. Then Fiona talks to the cat (I guess cats don’t talk back) how she thought Lisa was alone just like her. She thought she could win without anyone’s help. But she changed by mixing around and eventually needed help. The cat continues to bug Fiona to go and so she gets her ass moving. By the time she enters the stadium, Lisa and Akane are level at points. The next match should decide the winner. Draw again. Fiona notices a different look on Lisa’s face. It’s like as though she is having fun (as advised by Takahiro instead of always thinking about winning). In the next match, Lisa won’t fall for Akane’s double attack again. However she is surprised that she did a triple attack. Akane wins the match. It’s not that she perfected this move. She remembered Takahiro’s advice that she needs to take a break from following the book. The victory might come with a little cost because her hand is a little pain. When Lisa spots Fiona peeking out of the corner, she goes talk to her. The latter still acting like a b*tch. That I-told-you-so statement. Lisa admits she lost because she didn’t spend enough time with her friends like Akane. Bonds like that made them stronger. So why doesn’t she go spend time with them already? She will. She wants Fiona to join them too. She wants her to be her real friend this time. Lisa starts explaining Fiona reminded her of her old self. She changed because people believed in her. This time she’ll believe in her. If those words don’t soften Fiona’s heart, she’s a real b*tch who deserves to die. Since she did get emotional, this shows she has a soft side too. The friends made up.

Episode 11
Did Noel’s father have a change of heart because he’s calling his servant to bring the car around. Mio, Bertille and Noel have advanced to the semi-finals and the fourth quarter-final pits Celia with Akane. Destiny? At least Akane is able to maintain her cool and not go into fawning obsession. I suppose that was what the ‘windmill training’ was for. Celia dominates and in the final match as Akane tries to use her triple attack, her wrist gives way and Celia wins. They both commend each other. Another destiny of rematch in the first semi-final as Mio goes up against Bertille. Before the match starts, they start thanking each other. For without Bertille, Mio wouldn’t have gotten to love jousting. I thought it felt like a shouting match. Embarrassing? Not as embarrassed as Bertille’s armour. Anyway Mio wins and advances to the final. Takahiro is waiting for the doctor but sees Noel’s father coming in. He thought he could plead to him to go cheer on his daughter but he is here to pick up Mireille and asserts he hates jousting. Sour puss. Takahiro has not time to worry about that because they got word that the doctor is stuck in traffic jam and that they’ll have to deliver the offspring themselves. Great. Another battle looming on this side. Now the other semi-final is of course Noel and Celia. Noel’s dad is here but it seems he has a change of heart again and stays to watch with Mireille. Akane loses the first match and the difference in power is obvious. In the next round, Noel manages to take some points from Celia, something nobody has done in this tournament. She slows down her horse to avoid Celia’s hit. But Celia was fast enough to recover and take some points. Realizing her father is watching, she goes into the next match with much determination. As both horses charge, Noel ducks and this causes Celia’s lance to hit her helmet. Because it is dangerous and illegal to hit the head, Celia is penalized. Noel evens the score. Her friends felt that Noel deliberately do that recklessly just to win. Remember what Noel said about doing anything to win and not losing anyone? Yeah. This. In the next run, Noel manages to take some points and leads in the overall score. The delivery of the foal is successful so James tells Takahiro to head to the other battlefield. Yeah, you can say he missed almost the entire show. At this point, Noel is already tired and holding up her lance is a challenge. She is at her limit and possibly thinking of giving up. Mireille realizes that she might have pushed her sister too hard and is regretting it. But when Noel hears her father cheering on her to be proud of the family’s name, it gives her much confidence. Both ladies head into the final charge.

Episode 12
Noel is struck and she falls off her horse. The scene brings back traumatic memories like how Mireille fell. But didn’t Noel just get up from her seat?! Celia wins and Noel although fine, is still in a daze that she has lost and laments she really wanted to win before her sister. But father tells her Mireille heard her loud and clear. Because it brought about this miracle of Mireille being able to walk again. In the hour break before the final, Takahiro talks to Reina who reminds him that since he has not participated in a tournament for 2 straight years, he will be expelled as per school rules. However he will participate as a begleiter even if it’s for a match. I guess this loophole saves him. But this will be the last time he will be a begleiter. Once the tournament ends, he will become a knight again. All this while, he has been using his injury as an excuse because he was afraid to live up to expectations. He realizes it was a mistake and that he should be jousting for nobody but himself. So now the big question. Whose begleiter is he going to be? Mio! Celia looks disappointed because she is left alone. Takahiro justifies his answer that everyone is with Celia. They are in her hearts. They’re always thinking about her. I guess if you can sweet talk a girl, she accepts. Besides, it would be unfair for a defending champion and a good begleiter to go up against a newbie and dark horse, right? Mio receives encouragement from her friends before the match. And here we go… It ends with somebody having a feather fly. Guess. Celia defends her title for the third straight year. Reina brings her to Tart Time where everybody gives her a surprise victory celebration. Seriously, nobody done this for her before? Was she that ‘untouchable’ then? Celia doesn’t want Mio to be like her. She wants her to surpass her. Of course, everybody else too. The other highlight of this party is Bertille getting drunk over juice. Serious. Mio then asks Takahiro, had he not been called for help to attend the horse’s labour, who would he have picked as a begleiter? The girls are dead serious in wanting to know. It’s very important. Wait a minute. Why is Takahiro flustering and hesitating? I thought he decided then? What’s so bad about saying it now? In good timing, the girls are distracted when Fiona freaks out at Lisa’s cat getting too close to her and this gives Takahiro enough time and excuse to leave and attend to his horses. WTF. But the girls won’t let him go and chase after him just for that little answer. WHO?!

J(o)ust Horsing Around?
Okay, it was fun while it lasted. There wasn’t anything special in any way because hiding behind the jousting theme is a potential harem and love romance thingy instead of a straight forward normal high school theme. If this anime had intentions to bring some interest in jousting, I doubt it did a good job because at the end of the day, it wasn’t just deep enough. I’m sure that an old sport like this one also has complicated technical issues, tactics and strategies but you just don’t feel it here. Like I said, jousting was just an excuse and ‘cover up’ for whatever needs to happen in this anime. It could have been horse riding. It could have been equestrian or it could have been cowboy rodeo. I know the last bit sounds stretched but seriously it could have been anything but still the basic harem and love romance ingredient is still there but only in a different format.

Although it is true that Takahiro has used his long injury as an excuse to escape, something tells me that the girls asking him to become his begleiter isn’t just a request to become her begleiter. Get what I am saying? It is as though it is some cover up to ask him to be her boyfriend. It feels very much like it. I don’t know much about a begleiter’s job but it can’t be that bad, right? I mean, working in the horse stable sounds even more complicated. Therefore when the girls keep bugging Takahiro from time to time to be their begleiter, there is this feel that they are masking this begleiter reason just to become a couple. I mean, if he agrees then it’s like you have won because the guy is on your side now, right? Which pretty much translates to keeping the other girls in place and say, “Stay away from my man, you b*tch! He is mine now”! Haha! The way Takahiro cannot decide and won’t decide which one he will be also feels like he is your typical harem anime male guy who has got a bevy of beauties around him and can’t choose. Even right till the end. The only consolation was he was Mio’s begleiter during the practice match and the finals. But it just felt ‘part time’. So when he decided to become a knight again, something in me tells me that it was his way of getting out of this sticky harem decision. He doesn’t need to become anybody’s begleiter anymore because he is a knight. Unless the girls give up jousting and fight over to be his begleiter… Which is highly unlikely since their love for jousting comes first as with Takahiro’s love for horses.

Therefore the romance part feels fleeting and just like any other harem anime, the faggot guy didn’t get (or rather, want) to choose who he wants to be with in the end. Look at how the way he dodges the girls’ question about who he was to initially choose as his begleiter. It’s not like they’re asking who he wants for a girlfriend (which indirectly sounds like it would) so why the avoiding? Don’t want to be disappointed? I know nobody in this anime is asking to be a couple but from the way they say it and asking Takahiro to be their begleiter, it feels like they’re asking him out so might as well. In the end, the girls did pretty well on their own without a begleiter, right? Even if Takahiro didn’t be Mio’s begleiter for the final match, I am sure Mio would not have done any worse. There were a handful of so called romantic moments (a little cheesy, though) especially that episode when Takahiro was turned into a glutton when he can’t refuse the food offering from all the girls he bumped into. Even Mireille has potential but I don’t think she’s part of the ‘leading pack’. This is probably to let our hopes up to expect something from the romance department but in the end it falls flat. For the sake of discussion, if that guy ever really chooses one of the girls, I feel many would have pinpoint Mio. Obviously. Note: I still prefer Mio with her long hair. I know it gets in the way when jousting but the other girls seem fine with it. Maybe they are pros. I don’t know. I still can’t get use to Mio with short hair. It makes her look so tomboyish.

The characters aren’t anything to shout about, some typical and each with their own personality. Takahiro is your typical good guy and a faggot who is more interested into horses than women. I suppose girls love to play hard to get. And boy, he really is hard to get. If constant and polite reminders to get him to be a begleiter are this hard, imagine how tough it will be when you want to ask him out. I just wonder what happened to Julianus. Maybe after that so called disappointment, he disappeared from Takahiro’s life. It would have been interesting to see what really went on between those 2 guys but I guess as far as this anime takes us, I suppose we’ll have to leave it as it is. Mio sometimes a little airhead is either a prodigy in jousting or she’s just a very lucky person. I am not sure if she intends to join the Knight Curriculum since her love for jousting has grown. Akane’s fawning over Celia is the only thing that stands out from her and it’s amusing to see her drift off the dreamy land while uttering “Senpai… Pai… Pai… Pai…”. I thought she might even say oppai… Also, her samurai armour is totally unique and refreshing to the ubiquitous white shining armour of the European kind. Summing up the rest of the main characters include stoic Lisa who gradually opens up and accepts others, the friendly Noel and of course the graceful teddy bear lover Celia who seems to win everything hands down whether she wants to or not. Lots of guys must be cursing Takahiro the lucky bastard who can even afford to turn down Celia when many do not even stand a chance to get close to her.

Bertille and her inseparable girls feel like comic relief of the series. In fact, I think this is what their role is for the entire series. When she gets passionate about something, she really gets passionate about it. Especially now that she is friends-cum-rivals with Mio. Ann and Emma as her yes (wo)men enhance the effect of them being the 3 Stooges just with less blooper. All for one and one for all? Fiona is the b*tch of the series. It feels hard not to hate her. She won’t let anybody get near her and even when Lisa joins in the company of the rest, she stays out. Being alone is more important? I’m sure she has changed a little when Lisa extended her hand but still maintains her distance with Takahiro. It never fails to amuse me how she verbally abuses him as a pervert. She can really come up with reasons and being suspicious of his goodwill. She is the only girl in the series who probably doesn’t have romantic feelings for Takahiro. Even Ayako and Reina despite they do not ‘compete’ like the rest, at least there is no hostility. Or maybe… Fiona is just being tsundere… Nah! But you’ll never know. Oddly, this girl is scared of Lisa’s cat but the way she enters her phobia looks more comical than anything. Even tough b*tchy girls have their weaknesses.

I don’t know if jousting is able to change a person or maybe it is just the spur of the moment thing. Or perhaps everything boils down to Takahiro. That guy again, huh? What a convenient scapegoat. For instance, Noel and Mireille’s father. He hates jousting so much that he was the one who destroyed and crushed the jousting statue in his mansion’s garden. He didn’t want to go watch Noel’s match and was pretty arrogant and stubborn in it. Then right at the last minute, it’s like he saw God’s angel and decided to cheer on for his daughter. In this sense was he a liar? Perhaps as a father he realized that his daughter is more important that whatever pride he had and it’s not the fact that Noel is jousting, it is Noel, his daughter that matters. Thanks to Noel never giving up, Mireille also starts to walk. Miracle? Unless you tell me that she was like Takahiro, using her old injury as an excuse not to move on. I have a feeling that Mio may not have gotten into jousting or her love for it skyrocketing had Takahiro been involved somehow. Then there is Lisa whose mentality was set on winning is everything. Now she doesn’t care so much about it and enjoys every match she gets to participate. Speaking of Lisa, there was so much talk about her being the best rookie who will be the new champion. It all fizzled out along the way. Like as though it was just rumours after all. Heck, even Mio had a better run than her at the tournament since Lisa was the ‘first’ one among the main characters to go out. No doubt her skills are exceptional top class but it just doesn’t show or live up to those rumours. Worse, as Fiona pointed out it may be due to her mixing around.

Fanservice is the biggest factor why one would be watching women jousting. However as I noticed, the fanservice factor gradually declines as the series reaches its end. In the beginning, there were a handful of fanservice scenes and sexual innuendoes that would make people like me giggle and laugh. Then as the tournament begins and the seriousness picking up the pace, it was like it was void of all that anymore and a thing of the past. A distant memory. Only Bertille’s shameful armour is probably the ultimate fanservice. She should have gone in naked. I still find it funny because it really looks like she was well suited up but just forgot her pants. It’s like a guy getting dressed in a suit and going out to work but never realizing her forgot to put on his pants and walking around town in his underwear. Another fanservice moment is when the girls are in their armour and riding their charging horse in the match. Because the armour hides their expression, we see them in an imaginary/alternate scene being displayed in a naked manner while they present their thoughts. Trying to hint their purity? Don’t think so. The fanservice episode of Celia and Akane stuck in the windmill felt like a duh moment. The sketching excursion was at the front, did they not check the backdoor and escape before Takahiro came and lock them in? Because of that we have the majority of that episode of the series’ 2 most beautiful woman running around naked inside a windmill. Pretty duh, eh? Besides the females, I have a feeling that the animals are a little pervy too. They have this cheeky tendency to get the girls into fanservice moments. It’s like they could read our minds that we want to see some panty shots and so they do a favour for us. From horses to cats and yup, squirrels. I won’t be surprise if they added some tentacle monster…Because they are cute adorable animals, we forgive them and instead laugh it off. It would have been a totally different story if guys were to do it.

The art and drawing feels sufficient. The characters looking very much like your typical conventional Japanese anime characters. Gorgeous guys and girls. The background also doesn’t disappoint since Helen Hill is more of the European kind of setting and the houses and buildings like the windmill give it a medieval look. There are also lush greeneries and sakura blossoming trees around so there is quite a natural feel to it. The horses too don’t look bad but I think they’re the only animals that are given prominence and much detail in drawing. Because I thought Lisa’s cat look quite comical. And the squirrels… I thought they looked like rabbits with a bushy tail.

I can’t say much about the jousting action. At first, it was quite interesting especially the practice match between Mio and Bertille. Perhaps because a person like me who knows nothing about jousting and when shown a little action from it, it feels quite impressive. However subsequent jousting matches and action doesn’t have the same feel. I mean, it is naturally the same thing. Two people on horses charge at each other. It either ends in somebody getting hit and the lance broken (since it was made to be easily destroyed). Hardly any variety, huh? Even matches like Akane-Lisa, Celia-Akane and Celia-Noel didn’t impress and it was as quick as it was. Maybe it’s a good thing because dragging it out too long will be a bore. Thus the final match between Celia and Mio was somewhat turned into a music video-like clip with the anime’s theme being played in the background and montages of the battle are shown. Were we short-changed? I mean the all-important final battle and this type of execution? It made the prior semi-final battle between Celia and Noel much more significant and important. Of course Celia had to win in the end (as I also predicted) because it would have been so weird if Mio had won it on her first time. It’s like an insult to other knights who have been practising so hard and this newbie just came in and advanced to the final. Genius? Well, it shows she’s got that much talent. Some of the jousting actions are CGI generated and in a way it makes their movements feel odd, not because of the stiff armour.

For the first few initial episodes, it was interesting to see there was a segment right before the next episode preview that lets viewers know a little more about jousting. As I am not a person who knows anything about jousting, the little pieces of information can be quite interesting. The way it is presented in cute chibified way makes it an amusing watch. For example like how Mio demonstrated hitting the lance on several parts of the body and the points awarded. She didn’t know the armour was like voodoo because Takahiro was just screaming in pain in the background! However they scrap it even before reaching halfway. I take it as there is nothing else much about jousting that we need to know or the producers weren’t that interested in researching more of its finer points because it’s not like they are going to apply it in this anime after all. The teaser segment in the last episode makes us wonder if Takahiro is indeed some pervert because under the disguise of Sakura, he is commenting (with heavy breathing) on some of the sexy body of the supporting female characters till the usual quartet catches him in the act. Busted. Is this his true nature and feelings? My, the girls look so disappointed… Also, Takahiro’s poetic ranting about meeting, fate, destiny and miracles at the start of the episode and before it ends felt cheesy. I think he should just stick to horses.

At the end of the day, this anime doesn’t have anything original to break any new grounds except that it is probably the first anime to use jousting as a sports theme like how Chihayafuru was for karuta. Predictably as a sports anime, you have a character who in the quickest time discovered has hidden potential in the sport and in this case someone who isn’t in the sport grows very much to love it like as though she has loved and played it for 10 years, enters the tournament as underdog, faces off with a few top dogs and whether win or lose she and everybody else are still pretty much winners since the important part is that they enjoy it and do their best. Put in some romance and fanservice and voila, you probably get an anime that is memorable just for one summer. Not only jousting, they could probably do this same formula for the rest of the sports that are dominated by men. Like football and auto racing. Sumo wrestling? I think I’d rather pass. I’m not really into fat half naked girls trying to push each other out of the ring and I can’t find myself to see any romance in blubbery flabs. Whoops… I hope I don’t need to j(o)ustify that.

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