The story of Ernesti Echevarria (Ernie) continues in Knight’s & Magic episdoes 2 and 3. MithicalEnt in his review hoped that the series would slow down a bit and give people a chance to breathe. It doesn’t in either episode, as more characters, both with and without names, are paraded into the story.
Episode 2 opens with the behemoth, a division class monster, from last episode attacking a fort overlooking the forest from the previous episode. The story spends time briefly throwing away lives to prove how unstoppable the behemoth is. They even attempt to stab the thing in the eye only for it to not work, for them, more on that later. While we don’t know how long the time passes between that fight and when the story returns to Ernie, a serious and continuing problem this show has, it arrives seconds after Ernie surmises the beast attack was caused by its approach. A fight ensues, where we don’t really learn much about any of the year 3 high school cadets. Ernie steals the red knight, where he attaches his gun wands to the control wiring, so he can hack the mech. He does this so that he can’t just pilot it, but he makes it better. Because since magic is like programming that’s just a thing that can happen.
The final highlight of the episode is the 12 minutes of action. Where Ernie is able to defeat the boss monster while the seasoned veterans with specialized equipment die in droves. While the planning tries to come off as brilliant, it boils down to hit thing til it stops moving. Then when that doesn’t work, Ernie must come up with the most convoluted plan I have ever seen. Basically, air blasting backwards to shock a sword he somehow stabbed into the things eye way earlier with wind magic. With no explanation of how it works, it just happens. The episode caps off with Ernie basically saying that, since he did so many good things to the other mech and it falling apart he needs to build a new one. Only much better so it can withstand all of his enhancements.
My only thought for this entire episode was, Ernie is the best. Ernie can do no wrong, and everything just works out for him. Trained soldiers with years of experience fail where this 12 year old kid barely needs to try. It’s a wonderful toad elevating moment, but it detracts any challenge from the show. Sure, it tries to make them seem impossible, but when Ernie has such a ridiculous pedigree, it removes all suspense.
Moving on to episode 3, if you couldn’t already guess, involves Ernie building a Silhouette Knight. He’s tasked by the king, to build a Knight from scratch, so that he will be taught how to build the reactors. With great gusto, he goes about not just building one, but completely revolutionizing the technology. Changing out the crystalline structure for crystal strands, where they are coiled like rope. This increases the power of mech which is the first thing that makes sense in this series. He then revolutionizes the design by building sub arms to allow the knights to use two magic rods like artillery cannons and use their swords. But he’s not done yet, after that, at his friends request, he builds them Silhouette Gears. Basically power armor, for all of the cadets to use because, it’s smaller so it’s simpler. The episode finally caps off, with another time skip, to a proving ground test of the new unit versus the best knight cadet in the school. Where he’s soundly trashed with what Ernie believes is an incomplete unit.
The problem I had with these two episodes, is again Ernie can do no wrong. Coiling together items to make them stronger, is not that complex an idea. That’s how rope works after all, by stringing and coiling fibers together you improve their resilience. So why did no one think of this before Ernie appeared? I feel that’s the biggest question I have for this series and I doubt I’ll ever get an answer to it. The one and only concession that I have to give to this show is that the animation is fantastic. It is a very pretty anime to look at and I can see where a lot of hard work went into the designs of everything. That said, animation is a pillar that supports a show along with characterization and story. This show is lacking those last two and it can’t stand up on it’s own without them. The only way I could see this show improving and being enjoyable, is sadly with flashback episodes to show us all the hard work that was done by Ernie to get to where he is now. Also, there doesn’t seem to be a lose of fan base if Crunchyroll’s rating system is at all a sampling.
You can watch Knight’s & Magic on Crunchyroll every Sunday morning.