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Light Novel / Chivalry of a Failed Knight

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"Let's go ahead."note 

Chivalry of a Failed Knight (落第騎士の英雄譚(キャバルリィ) Rakudai Kishi no Chivalry) is an ongoing 2013 light novel written by Riku Misora and illustrated by Won, published by SB Creative under the "GA Bunko" imprint. It is also adopted into a 2014-2017 manga series illustrated by Megumi Soramichi for Square Enix's Gangan Online anthology, as well as an anime directed by Shin Oonuma and Jin Tamamura under SILVER LINK. as part of the Fall 2015 Anime season, with available overseas viewing in some countries such as the United States on Hulu.

In a time and place where one's soul can be morphed into a weapon, there are modern-day magicians called mage-knights. Although our hero Ikki Kurogane is a student at one such training institute, Hagun Academy, he has no particular talent in magic and is labeled the "Worst One". Getting way less-than-average marks, he was forced to repeat a year. But with the arrival of a new director, Kurono Shinguji, a new rule was also created: knights whose abilities are compatible, as decided by the board, must share rooms and attend practice and training together throughout their school years to tap into their potential. It is a rule to implement the absolute verdict of ability.


Ikki's roommate, Stella Vermillion, turns out to be a princess of a European country, as well as a Rank-A knight, the type of genius in magic who only appears once a decade. When Ikki walked in on her while she was changing her clothes, it caused a huge misunderstanding, which eventually ended up in a duel between the two of them. The punishment for the loser is eternal submission to the winner.

Forced to live in the same room and practice magic together throughout all their school years, how will Stella and Ikki's relationship evolve?


Chivalry of a Failed Knight contains examples of:

  • Accidental Pervert: Ikki first meets Stella when he walks into her changing. Then he uses Insane Troll Logic and takes off his shirt to even the slate. Turns out because Kurono purposefully made them roommates and the whole thing was an understandable misunderstanding.
  • Adaptational Late Appearance: In the light novel, Ikki encounters Manabe and his friends after defeating Stella in Volume 1. However, in the anime, their encounter occurs after his Curb-Stomp Battle with Kirihara.
  • Adapted Out: Reisen Hiraga, the Akatsuki puppeteer who attacked Ikki and Stella in Volume 3, is replaced by a nameless blazer in the anime. This applies to the rest of Akatsuki, who didn't show up in the season at all.
  • All for Nothing: The Kurogane clan's smear campaign to discredit Ikki proved pointless when Sirius Vermillion discovers their actions.
  • Awesome by Analysis: Ikki usually creates counters by watching and understanding his enemies tactics in seconds!
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: The opening of the series features Stella fighting against Ayase and Kuraudo fighting against Toka. None of those two battles happens in the actual series.
  • Big "NO!": Stella gives an impressive one at the beginning of volume 1 when Ikki attempts to take off his clothes after accidentally barging in on her changing. In his room, nonetheless.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Stella and Ikki yell one in unison when Kurono tells them that they are roommates.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Shizuku, Ikki's younger sister is interested in this. Ikki, to his credit, finds this highly disturbing and other characters note that her behavior is taboo. Her behavior is due to the neglect and abuse Ikki suffered at the hands of the Kurogane family, so she decides to love him enough to make up for every other member of their family, which is confirmed in volume eight. That said, Shizuku's behavior clearly cross the line of normal brother-sister relations, causing quite a few raised eyebrows around campus.
  • Blatant Lies: In Volume 3, Ikki and Stella's relationship is exposed to the public, and the Kurogane family supplies multiple false testimonies decrying Ikki as a philandering thug.
  • Bland-Name Product: Ikki and Stella visit a McRonalds restaurant in volume 4, at the invitation of a student from another school.
  • Bridal Carry: In the manga adaptation, Stella gives one to Ikki after this fight with Toka Todo.
  • Bullying a Dragon: While Manabe and his fellow classmates know that Ikki's a failed knight, they are not aware that he's quite a capable fighter. When they antagonize and eventually deploy their devices on Ikki, the latter quickly disarms them, forcing them to become Ikki's students to atone for their actions.
  • Camera Abuse: Toka's strongest attacks in the anime tend to break the aspect ratio, destroying the letterboxing and turning the scene full-screen.
  • Casting Gag:
    • As with Bladedance of Elementalers, Shizuka Ishigami voices a swordswoman.
    • Nao Tōyama previously voiced a younger sister of the main protagonist in Cross Ange.
    • Hilariously enough, the anime adaptation uses six voice actors from The Asterisk War, albeit in different roles. Nao Tōyama, Claudia Enfield's voice actress, voices Shizuku Kurogane; Shintarō Asanuma, who voiced Wernher, is voicing Nagi Arisuin; Yuu Kobayashi, Hilda Jane Rowlands's VA in Asterisk, voiced Ayase Ayatsuji; M·A·O, Yosuga Migahara's VA, voices Renren Tomaru; Chinatsu Akasaki, Ernesta Kuhne's voice actress, provides the voices of the Tsukuyomi Sisters; while Juri Kimura, Zhao Hufeng's VA, provide minor roles.
    • The English dub mostly avoids this, as the dubs for both series were recorded in different states (Chivalry in Texas and Asterisk War in L.A.), however Chris Patton (due to working as a bi-coastal actor) voices both Nagi Arisuin in Chivalry and Jolbert in Asterisk War.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper:
    • The ruffian known as Shizuya Kirihara attempts to cripple Ikki Kurogane in their duel using his invisibility, only for the latter to gain a Heroic Second Wind and then attacks Kirihara in a Curb-Stomp Battle.
    • When Ayase Ayatsuji is scheduled to have a tournament sword fight with Ikki, she first tricks Ikki into using his Ittou Shura (a technique he can only use once a day due to Heroic RRoD) before the match, then litters the battlefield with dozens of magical traps (you're allowed to use traps, but you have to set them up during the match, not before it). Ikki actually reports her cheating before the match, but persuades them to let the match continue as he wanted to prove a point. Ayase ultimately loses because her guilt dulled her reflexes and skills.
    • The Kurogane clan repeatedly tried to sabotage Ikki's matches with tactics like imprisoning and poisoning him shortly before the matches, but he would overcome this and win anyway.
    • Shizuku tries this immediately before her match with Amane due to the nature of the latter's Noble Arts. The result: Amane proceeds to torture her and give the mental equivalent of rape, by outing Shizuku's sexual feelings for Ikki in the worst possible light... publicly. Shizuku's LIFE is only saved by a timely Big Damn Heroes moment on the part of her rival.
  • Chuunibyou: Rinna Kazamatsuri is a member of the Shinigami, a C-Range Blazer... and a chuunibyou, who even referenced Rikka Takanashi having an Eyepatch of Power to "seal her powers".
  • Coming-of-Age Story: For Ikki and Stella. Ikki Kurogane has to prove himself his worth as a Blazer and Stella Vermillion travels to Japan to become a top-ranking Blazer.
  • Competence Zone: Mostly averted. While the teenage main cast range from powerful to stupidly overpowered, it is also made clear that there are adults out there who are stronger yet, and on several occasions we see adults stepping in to help the kids and maintain order.
    • There is one ludicrous example of this trope played straight: Kiriko Yakushi, introduced in LN volume 5, who is "the number one doctor in Japan" as well as a top-tier blazer, at the age of about 17.
  • Crapsaccharine World: A world of magical fighters might seem cool at first glance, but with blatant cases of child abuse, political corruption and terrorism all made possible by the systematization and classification of those very same magical fighters, it becomes clear the world of Chivalry of a Failed Knight is not a happy one. Worse yet, the two major powers, the League and the Union, are itching to start a new world war the moment the Rebellion terrorists weaken enough.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Ikki is on the receiving end of one by Kirihara during their round. However, after Stella gives him some encouragement, he manages to figure out the latter's weaknesses, and exploits them to dish one out to the latter.
  • Death Glare: Stella to Ikki when she is about to attack the latter in Kurono's office.
  • Defeating the Cheating Opponent: Ayane sets up a rather intricate minefield with her Noble Art and forces Ikki to exhaust Ittou Shura before the match starts. She's caught and is about to be disqualified, because setting up traps during a fight is allowed, but not before a fight. Despite this, Ikki insists the match go on, and Ayane ends up losing. Not because her cheating got exposed, but because she's distracted from fighting properly.
  • Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: Kirihara is more than willing to take time to handicap other Blazers in his duels. At least until he tries to pull it on Ikki in Volume 1, which gives Ikki a Heroic Second Wind and defeat him in a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • The terrorist Blazer Supremacist group tried to kill a child for getting the clothes of a single member dirty with an ice cream cone, after that member pistol whipped his mother. Ikki showed the leader of that cell how it feels on the receiving end by chopping off his hands as punishment for making Stella walk around in her underwear, using the child's life "as an incentive." Granted, chopping off his hands was the only way available to Ikki to prevent the leader's Attack Reflector from activating, but given a choice, Ikki would have gone much further to avenge Stella's humiliation.
    • Ikki goes against his father's orders and attends Hagun Academy in order to become a Blazer. The Kurogane clan's response is to pressure the school into not letting him take classes and have Shizuya Kirihara ridicule him. When Kurono becomes the academy's director and makes the system fairer for Ikki, the clan then starts a smear campaign against Ikki, puts him through a torturous hearing, and poisons him so he'll die in his duel with Toka, but it doesn't work out. Itsuki claims that this is all for the sake of preventing Ikki's underdog victories from giving low rank Blazers false hope in the Hard Work Fallacy, but actively sabotaging Ikki is going too far considering that the latter isn't actually doing anything wrong.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Deploying Devices outside of specified areas inside or outside Hagun Academy will result in a suspension or, in the case of Stella and Shizuku, cleaning the restrooms for a week.
  • First Girl Wins: Following Ikki's first battle at the end of the first arc, while he's recovering in the hospital, he and Stella decide to become a couple. Given that this happens at the end of the First Volume, and the third episode, it's one of the faster wins on record.
  • For Want of a Nail: If Stella hadn't transferred to Hagun Academy, she might not have met Ikki and lost in the mock battle with him, which resulted in her becoming his girlfriend.
  • Freudian Excuse: Shizuku rationalizes her affections towards Ikki as showing off the love of family members that have been abusing and neglecting him all this time. However, Stella doesn't seem to buy that, as a blood-related brother and sister do not normally kiss each other so passionately. Subverted in volume eight, where Ikki confirms that Shizuku really does love him in all of these ways, and then some, and Stella evidently agrees.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Stella manages to combine this with a Big "SHUT UP!", Rousing Speech, and Anguished Declaration of Love, screaming at the top of her lungs so loudly that it silences the entire stadium when Ikki is in the middle of his Heroic BSoD against Kirihara after hearing one insult too many.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: Ikki and Stella finally have sweet tender sex on volume 9 of the Light Novel.
  • Gratuitous English: An announcer shouts "Let's go ahead!" at the start of every match.
  • Hate at First Sight:
    • Shizuku and Stella start off on the wrong foot, mostly due to the former kissing her brother Ikki rather passionately in front of the latter. The fact that Shizuku has no qualms about the Squick value of what she just did only seems to irritate Stella some more.
    • Surprisingly, Ikki of all people feels hatred towards Amane upon their first meeting, despite the latter's seemingly innocent nature. Though once he sees Amane's true nature, his apprehension is a lot more justified.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Played with when it comes to both protagonists.
    • While Ikki works extremely hard in swordsmanship and reading his opponent, his attacks can be tanked by a lot of higher ranked Blazers and those Blazers will also train hard. He has to use Ittou Shura to stand a chance, which most Blazers would never use due to the extreme fatigue. In this case, Ikki has to make up the difference with hard work, risks no one else would take, and determination.
    • Despite appearing to be a genius to everyone, Stella actually had a difficult time becoming a Blazer due to her initially poor control of her power, to the point where training was always physically harmful. Despite that, she trained her control stat to B+ and trained her swordsmanship to the point where even Ikki is impressed. So while she was indeed born with a lot of power, she still needed more training than most people to even make use of it.
  • Heroic BSoD: Ikki goes through one during his match with Kirihara until Stella snaps him out of it.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: Stella provides a few of these. At first her denials are of the typical kind, but later on is just a cover for the fact that their relationship being exposed would present significant problems for both of them, on an international scale. This comes true in volume three but is resolved in the same.
  • Honor-Related Abuse: The Kurogane family leaders shun Ikki for being an F-rank and are out to keep him from being recognized as a Blazer because they fear he will bring shame to the family.
  • Hostage Situation: One occurs in episode 3 after some terrorists take over a mall.
  • Hypocrite: The Kurogane family acts like Ikki is the bad guy and claims his underdog successes will ruin the stability of Japan's Mage Knight system. Despite that, they're willing to screw the rules and perform illegal actions, such as poisoning Ikki and secretly helping Akatsuki for the sake of political power. Once their actions are revealed to the public, they end up damaging the credibility of the order that they claim to protect. Ironically, their boogeyman is far better at following the rules, including the ones they created to obstruct him with a Kangaroo Court.
  • Insane Troll Logic: The Kurogane family wants to destroy Ikki's chances at being a magic knight because they think an F-rank knight with the Kurogane name will shame the family. To this end, they will use any method regardless of the cost, even if it will shame the family in the process. Of course, they completely ignore Ouma Kurogane's membership in Akatsuki, a front for Rebellion, because they're in on Prime Minister Tsukikage's plans to increase their own influence. Despite having supposedly well-intentioned reasons for doing this, their actions still come off as paranoid.
  • Ironic Echo: Kirihara, when he was on the giving end of a Curb-Stomp Battle towards Ikki, seems quite arrogant, mocks him constantly, and eagerly talks about killing him to end his misery. Once Ikki manages to counter him completely however, he then turns into a complete coward, and begs for his life. Ikki stops his blade in front of Kirihara's nose, just enough to cause light bleeding, but Kirihara passes out in fright, and loses the fight to him.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Shizuya intentionally hurts Ikki during their duel and rallies the students at the arena into calling him "The Worst One."
    • The Kurogane family would do anything to destroy Ikki's chance as a magic knight — even if it means using the ethics committee and poisoning him.
  • Knight of Cerebus:
    • Rebellion certainly qualifies due to their ruthlessness, to the point where even children are fair game to them. Not to mention that they managed to gain a foothold in Japan's government by working with the Prime Minister.
    • Inverted with Toka and Yudai, who are both a lot nicer than the end-of-volume rivals of the first two volumes.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: The heavily armored guy Stella faces off against in the first round of the tournament appears as though he'll give her a rather tough time. However, he immediately forfeits the fight rather than have to take her own, knowing that despite the way it looks, he's clearly outmatched against her.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In episode 2 of the anime, after Stella says that she is Ikki's servant, he gave her an order to sleep in the same bed, complete with a Self-Serving Memory flashback. Ikki then yells out to stop the flashback, causing it to Smash Cut back to reality.
  • Let's Wait a While: Ikki invokes this during the cabin scene. Stella outright asks Ikki if he wants to sleep with her, but Ikki refuses, saying that he's wanting to wait until he's got the approval of Stella's family before they take things that far. This mindset is promptly tossed out the window come volume 9, and by Ikki himself no less. Stella notices and lampshades it.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: This is referenced in volume 2. Ikki states many students do not train physically as its much easier to get stronger by training with their noble art instead. In practice, the strongest Blazers tend to practice in both martial arts and Noble Arts.
    • In comparison to Ikki, Stella is the Quadratic Wizard. Although she was born with a powerful ability, it took a considerable amount of training to master it. However, the ability alone makes her one of the most powerful characters in the setting, coupled with her own improving swordsmanship skill. While Ikki's swordsmanship ability makes him formidable, his lack of magic power makes it difficult to keep up in other areas. Therefore, he struggles in areas that would be easier for Stella.
    • Shizuku is noted to have avoided martial arts in defiance of her family's abusing Ikki, instead training her mana control to rank-A proportions. This proves to be something of a double-edged sword.
  • Lord Country: The Vermilion Empire and its princess, Stella Vermillion.
  • Love Confession: Ikki to Stella, she already loved him when he did this so they become a couple.
  • Magic Knight: Blazers, and by extension most of the characters, are these.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": Ikki's class is shocked when Shizuku kisses her brother and they eventually run in a panic when Stella and Shizuku are about to fight.
  • Master of Your Domain:
    • Ikki figures out how to control his body to a fine degree. He can do things like manipulate the muscles of his heart to make it beat again after it was stopped in a fight with Amane and count the number of dust grains on his skin by feel.
    • Edelweiss's technique of instantly swinging at top speed requires extreme control of one's muscles and nerve signals, to the point where Ikki had difficulty grasping it.
  • Micro Monarchy: The Vermillion Empire, of which Stella is a princess.
  • Multi-Part Episode: The anime has the four-part "The Worst One", the three-part "Sword Eater" and the two-part finale "Another One: The Uncrowned Sword King."
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: This is explicitly Ikki's specialty - he can pick apart his opponents' skills and copy them.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Ikki's family put pressure on Hagun Academy to keep him from graduating. This resulted in new rules that require students to have a certain ranking in order to take classes, keeping Ikki from getting units and passing his first year. Luckily, Kurono Shinguji became director and fired the obstructive staff. Turns out to be the real reason they are trying to stop Ikki. They want Ikki to fail as an example. They don't want other F-Ranked to try to succeed as unlike Ikki, they will fail causing unrest in the mage-knight system. Too bad for them that, despite everything thrown his way, Ikki still succeeds.
  • Obstructive Code of Conduct:
    • Played for laughs in volume one. Stella gives ridiculous demands to Ikki once she finds out they'll be roommates, such as only living in front of their room and not breathing. They end up fighting a duel for him to get out of it.
    • Played for drama with the Kurogane family. They consistently impose more and more strict rules on Ikki to keep him down, especially once he starts succeeding. When even that doesn't work, they do everything short of outright killing him to make him lose the tournament finals, and yet Ikki still wins. It creates a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy for the family, as they wanted to prove an F-rank knight could never succeed. The fact that Ikki succeeded in spite of not only being F-ranked but with even more restrictions put in his way ended up working against the family and putting their plans in trouble.
  • Official Couple: The series does not waste much time with Unresolved Sexual Tension: Ikki and Stella are a couple by the end of the first volume/third episode. Later hijinks are about the development of relationship from there.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Stella's reaction when Ikki sees her changing clothes after entering their room.
    • Ikki when he upsets Stella by calling the earlier apartment issue a minor incident.
    • Stella when Ikki outsmarts her during their mock duel.
    • Stella when she sees Shizuku kissing Ikki.
    • Ikki when he realizes that Shizuku and Stella are about to fight in their classroom.
    • Bisho when Ikki cuts off his arm.
    • Kirihara when Ikki has his Heroic Second Wind.
    • Ayase when she is quickly discovered following Ikki.
  • Peace & Love, Incorporated: Volume 3 has the "Ethics Committee," a government organization that is supposed to ensure that Blazers behave ethically. Unfortunately, they're controlled by the Kurogane Clan and are out to revoke Ikki Kurogane's right to be a Blazer for being The Unfavorite and for undermining the Blazer ranking system. To accomplish this, the committee resorts to all kinds of unethical means, such as creating false charges, poisoning Ikki, wearing down his stamina with a prolonged Kangaroo Court, and setting him up to fight the strongest student in his school when he's already near death.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Ayase has this hair style in black covering her right eye.
  • Plot Armor: This is almost lampshaded in LN volume 7 during Ikki's battle with Amane Shinomiya. Shinomiya's power manipulates luck and makes extremely improbable things happen, but Ikki losing a battle is not merely improbable but literally impossible; hence Shinomiya's power does not work.
  • Police Are Useless: The "Ethics Committee" that's supposed to monitor Blazers' behavior is heavily corrupt and has virtually unlimited power with no oversight. When they kidnap and torture Ikki to prevent him from fighting in the final match it's stated that this is something they're apparently legally allowed to do.
  • The Power of Friendship: The support of all his friends helps carry Ikki through his final fight in LN volume 3 (anime episode 12).
  • The Power of Love: Stella's love is what carries Ikki through his fight with Kirihara in LN volume 1 (anime episode 4).
  • Princess Protagonist: Stella Vermillion is the second crown princess of Vermillion and is one of the protagonists of the series.
  • Random Power Ranking: Blazers are given letter ranks for multiple attributes along with an overall rank. However, due to the uniqueness and applications of everyone's Noble Arts, these rankings don't automatically decide the outcome of a fight, and indeed, often mislead characters to believe they are better matched to another person in combat. While Ikki managed to beat A-ranked Stella fairly easily, some lower ranked foes gave him more trouble due to how their abilities matched up better against his pure melee style.
  • This Is Reality: After Kurono became the director of Hagun Academy, she did away with the old administration because of their corruption and developed a fairer ranking system for Ikki. But as Kurono herself says, there's no restoring the year he'd already wasted because of it.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic:
    • A rich and well connected family using their power and influence to cover mistreatment of their own or covering up criminal wrongdoings of their children happens often enough in Japanese media that this sort of thing might have actually happened a few times in real life. The Japanese do have a reputation for covering up things like this to protect their image to the point of absurdity, if you know your World War II history.
    • Yui Tatara's entire family would be in maximum security prison, possibly in solitary confinement, for felonious child abuse and endangerment because their "family tradition" requires their children to be raised as psychotic assassins by having their lives under constant threat since the age of three. Like the Kurogane family, they have enough connections to cover up their actions.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Kurono is an honest woman who is determined to keep Hagun Academy at the top of the Seven Stars Sword Art Festival.
  • Rigged Spectacle Fight: Hagun Academy's Seven Stars Sword Art Festival Tournament is a major event with thousands of spectators and live television coverage. When F-Rank swordsman Ikki Kurogane makes it to the finals of the tournament, he's abducted by the villains, poisoned, tortured, and sleep-deprived for days. They don't release him from jail until the day of the finals, with just enough time for him to run to the stadium before the match is due to start. While his opponent in the finals wasn't a villain and wasn't part of the scheme, the actual villains did everything in their power short of killing Ikki to ensure he would lose, because they couldn't tolerate an F-Rank swordsman (the lowest rank possible) winning such an important competition, and intended to make a public example of him.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!:
    • Combined with Screw the Rules, I Make Them! in the Kurogane family's case. They pressure Hagun to implement rules that keep lower-ranked knights like Ikki from taking any classes, since they believe Ikki's potential success could damage their reputation and upset the ranking system. When Kurono becomes director and overturns those rules, they use the Ethics Committee to start a smear campaign against Ikki and poison him but their plans fail.
    • Ikki usually follows rules regardless if they put him at a disadvantage, but he has one instance of this combined with Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!, especially when he screws a rule that would have given him an advantage for once. He asked his teacher, Oreki, to overlook Ayase's illegal strategy of placing traps in the arena before the match starts, since he wants to teach her why her mindset is wrong rather than simply reporting her and letting her learn nothing.
  • Sensei-chan: Yuri Oreki, who won't answer her students unless they address her as "Yuri-chan".
  • Shameful Strip: Stella Vermillion is subjected to this by a bunch of criminals who threaten to kill their hostages if she does not comply. She complies only to save the hostages, and the distraction allows her friends enough time to come to the rescue.
  • Shout-Out: An odd one in episode 11 of the anime, the walls of the room Ikki is kept in when in custody of the Ethics Committee are an exact copy of those in the rooms in Cube 2: Hypercube. Luckily for Ikki, it's purely aesthetic.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: In Volume 3, Ikki is unable to drag out the fight and observe Toka's combat style like with other opponents, due to the Ethics committee poisoning him. Instead, he had to immediately initiate this trope with Toka to win.
  • Social Services Does Not Exist: First, there's Ikki's story. The extreme neglect Ikki faced (not to mention the No-Holds-Barred Beatdown when he censured Shizuku for ridiculing others) would have gotten him transferred to a foster home and the Kurogane family sent to jail, with the exception of Shizaku who is both a minor dependent, and actually cares for Ikki. Then there's the story of Yui Karata, one of the "student" assassins of Rebellion/Akatsuki. To raise her into an assassin, her family's been actively trying to kill her since the age of three.
  • Spit Take: Two in rapid succession with Yuri and Stella in episode 7. Yuri, amusingly, spits her blood.
  • Spoiler Opening: The opening for the anime shows glimpses of several major battles that Ikki has to face over the course of the story. Most notable are "The Hunter" and "The Sword Eater."
  • Summon to Hand: A Blazer's device can be stored away with their magic and summoned into their hand whenever they need it. It's not quite Spontaneous Weapon Creation, since the device is always the same and can't be changed.
  • Supporting Harem: Subverted. Ikki and Stella become an Official Couple before the situation gets to escalate past a Love Triangle. Other girls who might otherwise have developed into a harem do show up from time to time, and sometimes even show an attraction to Ikki, but he is rather clear that Stella is the only woman for him, and the others never try to press the issue.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Especially in the anime, fighters and spectators get a LOT of words in during interactions that ought to take seconds at most.
  • Telepathic Sprinklers: In the anime's first episode, after Stella activates her fire powers to try burning Ikki to death in Kurono's office, a fire alarm sounds. Seconds later, when Ikki defuses the situation, the fire sprinklers in the office go off.
  • Their First Time: Ikki and Stella finally go all the way towards the end of volume 9.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Stella takes a huge level in badass during her off-screen Training from Hell with Nene Saikyou in LN volume 5.
  • Tournament Arc: The Seven Stars Sword Art Festival, which is also Ikki's main means of graduating from school. Though the stakes increase when the Prime Minister organizes Akatsuki and allows them to participate, which is all part of his plan to push his political agenda.
  • Training from Hell: Most notably, Stella does this under Nene Saikyou during LN volume 5. Also implied in many other places.
  • Tranquil Fury: Ikki has shades of this, such as when he manages to learn Kirihara's method of making himself invisible. He's so calm that it even freaks out the latter as he either dodges, catches, or cuts his arrows down.
  • Twice Shy: Ikki and Stella. Even after confessing their feelings for one another early on, they both are still too nervous to make the first move out of fear of the other thinking they are too lewd.
  • Twisted-Knee Collapse: All Manabe can do is slump down on his knees in shock when Ikki disarms him.
  • Underdogs Never Lose: A discussed example with Kurono Shinguuji and Itsuki Kurogane. The former is fine with this trope because she believes that as long as a Blazer performs well, they'll be a boon to the academy and country regardless of their rank. The latter tries to subvert this trope with his belief that underdog victories will give false hope to low ranking Blazers, who will disrupt the order of the Blazer system with their useless effort. It's also Itsuki's reason for constantly keeping Ikki down, and always Moving the Goalposts with response to his graduation. It's because Itsuki is so committed to preserving the way things are that he'll sabotage his own son just to prove it.
  • Unwanted Harem: Subverted. The series certainly has enough girls friendly with Ikki to make one, but it all gets shut down when Ikki and Stella confess their feelings for each other by the end of the first volume/third episode, before half of them are even introduced.
  • Visual Innuendo: In the first episode, after Ikki disarms Stella by complementing on her beauty in Shinguji's office, she literally gets wet when her flames set off the sprinklers.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: The representative selection battles for Hagun Academy are implied in volume 3 to be 20 rounds of single elimination battles with 6 representatives chosen. This implies that Hagun Academy has as many as 6 x 2^20 = 6,291,456 students participating in the selection battles, and possibly more in total given that they could opt out. And there are seven academies in total, excluding Akatsuki Academy.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Ikki. He lacks the overwhelming offensive power of Blazers such as Stella, but compensates with extraordinary skill and control over his own body. Explanation  To a lesser extent, there are also D and C ranked Blazers who can still fight effectively due to clever use of their Noble Art.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • The Hagun students get hit with this in Vol 4 thanks to Akatsuki and Edelweiss.
    • This seems to be the main raison d'etre for Renji Kaga in LN volumes 5-7. He is introduced and built up as a badass fighter only to be defeated by Ouma Kurogane to show how overwhelmingly powerful the latter is.
  • Volleying Insults: Episode two has Stella and Shizuku going at each other about their bust size while they are cleaning the girl's bathrooms.
  • Would Hit a Girl / Would Hurt a Child: The terrorist leader Bishou hits a woman and her child because the child threw ice cream at him over hurting his mother.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Stella does a variation of this towards Ikki when he's fighting Kirihara and being mocked by the other students. Ikki manages to get a Heroic Second Wind from her encouragement after punching himself in the face, then proceeds to deliver a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Stella's reaction when Ikki accepts Shizuku's offer to go out with him to the mall in volume 1 is disbelief.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: A non-fatal example occurs in Kurono's backstory. She does away with Hagun Academy's old establishment to become the new director and later on, she develops a new ranking system for students.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Rakudai Kishi No Eiyuutan, Chivalry Of A Failed Knight


Ikki vs Todo

Easily one of the most hyped single-stroke battles in history.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / SingleStrokeBattle

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