Blu-ray Review: Chivalry of a Failed Knight – The Complete Collection

Sparks fly in a blaze of sword clashing glorying as we take a closer look at MVM Entertainment’s Blu-Ray release of Chivalry of a Failed Knight – The Complete Collection.

Synopsis:

Ikki Kurogane may have come from a long line of Blazers, people with the ability to create weapons or devices manifested from their souls, but as far as the Hagun Academy is concerned, he’s been a major disappointment in the magical powers department. He is so disappointing, in fact, that he’s earned the unfortunate nickname of the “Worst One”.

However, things change for Ikki in the most surprising way when Princess Stella Vermillion, the most promising Rank-A Blazer to come along in many years, decides to transfer to Hagun. When she challenges him to a duel where the loser must obey the winner for the rest of their life, the last thing anyone expects is that the Worst One might prove to be a match for the Crimson Princess… and the unforeseen consequences will push the boundaries of society itself!

Our View:

Adapted from Riku Misora’s light novel of the same, although known in Japan as Rakudai Kishi no Kyabarurii, and animated by Silver Link and NEXUS, the Chivalry of a Failed Knight is a twelve episode anime series that follows the journey of the F-Rank Blazer Ikki Kurogane as he attempts to achieve his dream of becoming a Knight while proving his worth to his father and the system that forced him to bear the nickname “the worst one”.

Despite looking like any other standard anime series, especially those like The Asterisk War and Bladedance of the Elementalers,  Chivalry of a Failed Knight presents a story filled with supernatural abilities, romance, light fan-service, honour and intensive battles that far exceeded my exceptions. In hindsight the only disappointment offered within this series is the rather abrupt ending… But I guess that is where the light novel and manga franchises would come into play. Regardless it is a nicely crafted series that is worth checking out.

In the world of Chivalry of a Failed Knight humans posses supernatural abilities related to the different elements and these types of humans are known as Blazers, and these Blazers attend various different schools around the world in order to help them better understand and refine their abilities as well as move up to become a Knight of society. While attending school however these Blazers are given Ranks, with the highest rank, that being Rank A, declaring them as the strongest and the lowest rank, Rank F, being reserved for the weakest of ability users. In addition Blazers from different schools compete against each other in a tournament known as the Seven Star Sword Art Festival in order to determine who is the strongest amongst them.

Ikki Kurogane is the lead character in this story and he has been declared as a Rank F, due to his non-existent supernatural ability, and as such does not partake in specialised ability classes or undergo any fighting classes; but still attends the school regardless as he hopes to one day become a knight for society. Ikki Kurogane’s ambition of wanting to become a knight is not just fuelled on by his dream either; as we learn throughout the series that Ikki wishes to become stronger in order to prove his worth to his Father.

As a member of the Kurogane household Ikki was cast aside for not having the potential that his siblings had, and as such has been treated harshly by his peers. It’s a relatively dark back story and as the series progresses we begin to see this back story unfold and the repercussions it can create depending on the circumstances. This abusive nature of sorts continues at school with him being branded the “Worst One” and being unable to graduate as a Knight due to the current system in place; but this all changes after a fateful encounter with the princess of another nation, Stella Vermillion.

Stella Vermillion, a princess from another country and a Rank A blazer, transferred to Japan in order to broaden her experiences and skills as a Blazer, but upon arriving at the school she encounters Ikki. This encounter between Ikki and Stella is your typical ‘fan service’ moment with Ikki arriving home to find Stella in a state of undress despite everyone being in the correct room. This comical situation is the beginning of fates intertwining into what will become a fiery series of swords clashing and romancing blossoming.

From here Ikki and Stella duel with both displaying their immersive strength and skill, but surprisingly – despite being called the worst one – Ikki manages to win the battle and when news begins to  spread things start to change on Campus.  Firstly the new director of the school establishes a fighting tournament whereby everyone, including Ikki, can battle it out to claim a spot in the team for the Seven Star Sword Art Festival and for Ikki this is crucial, as it means he could graduate from the school and become a fully fledged knight. The second change is that upon experiencing Ikki’s power and determination Stella begins to fall in love with Ikki and as such begins to act like a Tsundere wither  not being able to confess her true feelings.

For the most part at least the episodes within Chivalry of a Failed Knight interchange between the duels between different students and the budding relationship between Ikki and Stella. At first this relationship sees them sharing the same space as room-mates on campus, but soon enough it spirals into awkward, and light-hearted, fan-service moments about expressing ones love for each other. Of course with Stella being a princess of another nation, and Ikki being frowned upon from others, Ikki takes measures to ensure it moves at a slow pace although eventually when a branch of the Kurogane finds out and it becomes a dire situation for Ikki.

Chivalry of a Failed Knight is by no means a love story, or even a harem as a few other characters – including Ikki’s younger sister – show an interest in Ikki’s personality and abilities as a swordsman, but it does hint and develop a relationship between the Stella and Ikki. To some this relationship may move at a fast-paced, as it quickly changes within a short space of episodes, but it just illustrates that the love story is happening behind the scenes of the battles and turmoil’s that reside within the school. As mentioned it’s a fun story with intensive battles throughout; but sadly it ends just as it starts to find its true momentum.

Extras:

As per usual MVM Entertainment have opted to use disc masters authored by Sentai Filmworks as such we receive the same selection of supplementary content which include Japanese promotional materials, textless songs and Trailers for other Sentai Filmwork releases – most of which have not been released in the UK.

In terms of supplementary content then it is a bit more than expected, as nowadays I only expect trailers and textless songs, but it is a standard selection of bonus content. The Japanese promotional materials included are trailers for when the series begin its original Japanese TV broadcast – all of which have been subtitled in Sentai FIlmworks traditional standard of subtitling. A nice selection to round-out a nicely presented series.

Specs:

Media:  BD 50, BD 25
Region: B
Running Time: 3:42:18 (Disc 1), 1:14:06 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: DTS-HD 2.0 (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Chivalry of a Failed Knight is an entertaining series that offers a nice mixture of romance, action and suspense to deliver a satisfying story that is only let down by its abrupt ending. Sure enough the main plot point of the series reaches its climax, which is for Ikki to be accepted within the school and Kurogane household, but the alternate plot point of beating the Seven Star Sword Art Festival and becoming a Knight remains unfinished and left open. It is however a small price to pay for what it is a varied series that covers a fair bit of ground in such a short space of time.

In this case the story of Chivalry of a Failed Knight follows the Rank-F Blazer Ikki Kurogane as he attempts to overcome his limits in order to become a Knight and gain the respect of his father who has shown little interest to him since birth. This is achieved by Ikki taking part in a fighting tournament at school which will see everyone fighting for their place in the Seven Star Sword Art Festival and as such Ikki overcomes obstabcles, acquires new skills and makes new friends in order to better oneself. On the other side of this story we have a blossoming romance between Stella Vermillion, Rank A Blazer and room-mate to Ikki, who, after being defeated by Ikki, comes to understand and respect his determination which later turns into love, to which both Ikki and Stella must navigate through in order to remain undetected by relevant members of society.

Equal time is given to both portions of the story, including a harem of sorts by introducing Ikki’s younger sister Shizuku Kurogane who is also in love with Ikki due to her understanding the torment he has had to live through, but at its core the story is of becoming stronger. Personally I found Chivalry of a Failed Knight to be an entertaining experience from start to finish and each passing episode adds something new to the overall experience with no time being wasted. This experience is also heightened by the inclusion of both Japanese and English audio tracks. I preferred the Japanese audio track, as it felt more fluent and natural especially during the fan-service moments, but the English Dub holds up quite nicely as well. Those wishing to stick with the overall Japanese audio track will be treated to Sentai Filmworks Yellow subtitle font that is easily readable throughout, even during the fast-paced action sequences.

Overall this Blu-Ray release of Chivalry of a Failed Knight remains consistent of other MVM Entertainment related releases and while the animation style is of ‘standard’ quality it’s the story and character progression within that is the most entertaining aspect. It has your typical ‘anime tropes’ of character stereotypes but it is presented in a manner that is both entertaining and respectful; with even fan-service moments being treated with a bit of dignity. If you’ve enjoyed series like Blade of the Elementalers (via Animatsu) or The Asterisk War (via MVM Entertianment) then you’ll enjoy what Chivalry of a Failed Knight has to offer; I just wish we had more.

Score: review-stars-5

Chivalry of a Failed Knight – The Complete Collection will be available on Blu-Ray from the 26th August 2019 via MVM Entertainment in the UK.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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