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Characters / Chivalry of a Failed Knight: Kurogane Clan

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A prestigious clan that is known to produced many superior Blazers since the Meiji era, and one of the most distinguished families in Japan.
  • Badass Family: Every member of the Kurogane Clan has been known to be strong Blazers.
  • Lawful Evil: The Kurogane Clan possesses enough influence in the Mage-Knight world where they can partake in the affairs of the Japanese government, and have been doing rather shady affairs to further increase their political power.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Given that many generations of the clan are expected to be strong Blazers.
  • The Social Darwinist: Combine with Might Makes Right, their general philosophy is to put great emphasis on power; and anyone of their own that are not born "talented" are no more than a burden.

     Ryoma Kurogane 
Voiced by: Kinryu Arimoto (Japanese), Josh Morrison (English)
A legendary Blazer and a WWII veteran hero, Ryoma Kurogane was renown throughout the world as "Samurai Ryoma".
  • The Exile: He was half-exiled by his own son for not sharing the Kurogane Clan's hardline traditions.
  • Good Parents: Well great-grandparent, but it still fits. As he was benevolent towards Ikki when the rest of the clan (except Shizuku) ostracized the latter for his weak magic power, and supported boy in his Darkest Hour.
  • Old Soldier: He was a legendary Blazer in WWII, and is presumably still so in his old age.
  • White Sheep: Aside from Shizuku, he's also another named Kurogane who was benevolent to Ikki despite the latter's low magic capacity. It's likely that this is why he was exiled from the clan by his own son, for he likely didn't shared the same twisted views of the clan.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: He encourages Ikki to continue pursuing his dream as a Blazer regardless of their clan's views of strength.

     Itsuki Kurogane
Voiced by: Show Hayami (Japanese), David Matranga (English)
The head of the Kurogane Clan and the branch chief of the International Federation of Mage Knight-Japan Branch.
  • Abusive Parent: He has no problems letting his son be effectively treated as non-existent since the age of 5, be on the receiving end of a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown where if he retaliates, he faces expulsion from school, be the victim of Cold-Blooded Torture including being poisoned, drugged, and suffer from sleep deprivation to the point that he's deathly ill before being thrown into a duel, and being nearly murdered by the family's primary retainer. He does all this claiming that he bears no hatred towards his son. It's eventually revealed this is because Itsuki's own father was unloving and cruel towards him as child, which caused him to be the strict person he today.
  • Affably Evil: Deconstructed. He speaks fairly politely and professionally towards Ikki and bears absolutely no hatred towards him, but only because he's so caught up in his ideals that he can't perceive his actions towards Ikki as malicious.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: He believes in law and duty, and staunchly supports the ranking system for the harmony it creates for society, but is also willing to preserve that harmony through any means necessary; which includes killing his own son Ikki, if it gets to that point. However, he also shows to be a genuinely kind father towards Shizuku as he never punishes her despite her apparent hatred for him; and even interacts with his first-born son despite Ouma cutting ties with the clan to pursue power.
  • The Comically Serious: He's a textbook example of a cold No-Nonsense Nemesis, but he still has some funny moments while being dead serious. When Ikki rehearses how he'll ask Sirius to let him marry Stella, Itsuki mistakenly thought he was trying to propose to Shizuku. When Stella starts doing the same to Itsuki, the latter brings up Ikki's similar embarrassing moment.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Strongly implied to have this considering how Ikki describes his grandfather, Genma Kurogane, to be a very staunch traditionalist of the Kurogane Clan's philosophy of strength.
  • Despotism Justifies the Means: A bizarre combination of this trope and Utopia Justifies the Means. He persecutes Ikki both because he wants to maintain his family's political power and because he believes everyone is a "cog" in the machine and must follow their role, or else. Not to mention that he secretly sent Ouma to help Akatsuki with their plan to separate Japan from the League of Mage-Knight Nations, which will result in Itsuki's faction reclaiming their influence.
  • Double Think: Despite thinking that Ikki won't amount to much due to his rank, he still feels the need to sabotage Ikki's progress to protect the ranking system rather than trust the ranking system to stop Ikki's ascent fairly.
  • Easily Forgiven: Downplayed. Ikki actually considered cutting ties with him before Itsuki invoked I Have No Son! as a compromise. After talking with Sara, Ikki decides to remain Itsuki's son regardless of constant obstruction to his goals from the Kurogane clan.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Despite the abusive treatment of his son, it's definitely apparent that Itsuki doesn't take pleasure in it, but has no problem to commit such acts for it's all justified to keep the order of the ranking system intact.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: It's no surprise that he's voiced by Show Hayami in the anime, especially considering the shady things that Itsuki committed as the Head Clan.
  • Freudian Excuse: His own father and the elders indoctrinated him into fully adopting the clan's hardline stance. Thus, he knows no other way of life than continuing his family's traditions.
  • Foil:
    • To Stella's father, Sirius Vermillion. Sirius is emotional to a fault and only initially discouraged Stella from becoming a Blazer out of concern for her safety. In contrast, Itsuki is coldly rational and wants to end his son's career as a Blazer in order to protect the clan's reputation and the ranking system, regardless if it means letting the Ethics Committee break Ikki.
  • I Have No Son!: Subverted as Ikki believes this was the case throughout most of his life; it's only until their conversation in Volume 3 that Itsuki reveals he never hated him, he just didn't hold any great expectations for Ikki. It's later played straight as he realizes that there's no way to hide Ikki's existence now that the latter is in the festival, so the best compromise he could come up with is disowning his own son in exchange for the clan no longer antagonizing him. Unlike most examples, he asks Ikki for his decision on this matter.
  • Individuality Is Illegal: While he admits that Ikki's accomplishments in the selection battles are impressive, he still wants to sink his son's Blazer career because underdog successes go against the social order.
  • Knight Templar: He's somehow come to the conclusion that if Ikki is allowed to continue his career, he will cause lower-ranked Blazers to become conceited and ruin the stability of Japan's mage knight system.
  • Lack of Empathy: He honestly doesn't seem to understand why Ikki and other people consider him a cruel father. After meeting his father in the Ethic Committee prison, he notes that Itsuki is more apathetic than hateful. Downplayed in Volume 7, where Itsuki is revealed to secretly regret some of his actions and would rather support his son if he wasn't tied down to the Kurogane Clan's doctrine.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Kirihara would have never assaulted Ikki, the teachers would never have made Ikki repeat another year and the smear campaign against Ikki would never have happened if Itsuki wouldn't have let them.
  • Parental Favoritism: While it's clear that Itsuki doesn't care about Ikki's well-being; he nevertheless dotes on Shizuku most of the time and never punish her for anything regardless of her hatred for him, and he also still interacts with Ouma despite the latter cutting ties with the clan.
  • Pet the Dog: He's genuinely grateful when he's Easily Forgiven by Ikki.
  • Red Baron: He's known as "Iron Blood", which is fitting considering his strict personality.
  • So Proud of You: It's subtle, but if his comment on how a "big person" Ikki had become is the closet thing that Itsuki had ever genuinely showed as a father who's proud of his son.
  • The Social Darwinist: His Knight Templar justifications seem like this on the surface, but this is subverted because his ideology only accounts for the ranking system rather than overall strength, unlike Kurono Shinguji's current system, thus causing him to oppose Ikki despite his strength.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Not directly, but if push comes to shove he will resort to this to preserve the harmony that the ranking system upholds.

     Mamoru Akaza 
Voiced by: Toru Okawa (Japanese), James Belcher (English)
The head of the branch family and Ethics Committee chairman.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Akaza is motivated only by personal political power and prestige.
  • An Axe to Grind: He wields an axe as a Weapon of Choice.
  • Ax-Crazy: He goes insane using his axe after he suffers a Villainous Breakdown.
  • Despotism Justifies the Means: All the despicable things he does in the story? Purely so he can become Japan's Prime Minister. He doesn't have a goal or agenda, he just wants the power of the position.
  • The Dragon: He serves as Itsuki's second-in-command.
  • Fat Bastard: He's overweight and is a malicious person.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He tries to come off as a Cool Old Guy, but the Hagun student council can tell that he's faking it.
  • Gonk: He's rather fat and ugly.
  • Hate Sink: Unlike Itsuki, he has no sympathetic moments whatsoever and he's very directly involved in one of the darkest arcs in the series. He also doesn't get any cool moments like other villains due to focusing on being a sleazy bureaucrat rather than a fighter.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The smear campaign he leads against Ikki comes back to bite him, and the "ethics" committee when Sirius Vermillion finds out just what they forced him to go through before his duel. The mere mention of the King's "disapproval" forces it all to go public.
  • Kangaroo Court: He leads one against Ikki, which also involves slipping him debilitating drugs to make him look worse and to sabotage his tournament matches.
  • Knight of Cerebus: In the earliest volumes, he's one of the most horrifying villains not for his combat ability but for his political influence and willingness to abuse it, as shown in the Ethics Committee's witch hunt against Ikki. By organizing a Kangaroo Court and setting up Ikki to be rejected by Itsuki, Akaza comes far closer to breaking the protagonist than Kirihara and other antagonists.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: His attempt to end Ikki's career as a Blazer causes him to lose his own job when he fails.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: He makes Ikki duel Toka as his next tournament opponent, knowing that if Ikki refuses, Sirius will see him as a coward.
  • Reality Ensues: Despite being a trained Blazer like every member in the Kurogane Clan, Akaza is rather weak in comparison as shown when he's easily defeated by Stella, likely from neglecting to hone his physical abilities from being a politician.
  • Red Baron: Is known as "The Red Tanuki."
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: He wears a red and black suit and is a villain.
  • Smear Campaign: The media already knew of Ikki and Stella's relationship and wasn't going to go too far with it, but Akaza and the ethics committee pressured them to portray it as a full-blown scandal.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Once his plans fail, he becomes Ax-Crazy and unsuccessfully tries to kill Ikki out of desperation.
  • The Worf Effect: Gets easily taken out by Stella when he tries to kill Ikki, just to show how outclassed he is in an actual battle due to preferring to manipulating events behind scenes.

     Genma Kurogane 
The previous head of the Kurogane Clan, and the son of Ryoma Kurogane and the father of Itsuki Kurogane.
  • Abusive Parents: Heavily Implied to be this towards a young Itsuki. As much of a cruel father that Itsuki is to Ikki, It's also implied that Genma's treatment was even worst as how Ikki describes his grandfather's extreme views of the Kurogane Clan's traditions. Due to this kind of upbringing, it greatly affect Itsuki's parental skills as shown in his treatment with his own children in the current time.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: He half-exiled his own father, Ryoma, for not sharing the family's hardline traditions.
  • The Ghost: He has yet to make an appearance in the light novels, but is implied to be deceased.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: As previous Head of the Kurogane Clan, Genma is this and implied to be quite extreme when enforcing the other members to follow the family tradition, including his own son.

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