The Art of Tsundere-ism in Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry
Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry, or just “Rakudai” henceforth for this post is a current airing anime of the Fall season, and it’s really released at quite the perfect timing-writing this post, I feel like I’m contradicting with some points I made on my previous post where I ranted about light novels and their over ambitious natures. Let me elaborate though.
Rakudai from what I can see, seems like a pretty standard action/supernatural themed light novels, with obvious harem/ecchi elements in it-so basically, your standard LN flair, but there’s just something different about it from the two episodes I had watched, just /slightly/ different from the usual LN tropes, just slightly. I’m not going to lie, the above series of pictures is what got me into the anime almost immediately, I mean, let’s face it, has there ever been any LN protagonists who can act like that in generic LN ecchi scenes? That, and this particular MAL comment got me interested, I haven’t read the LN though.
A big part of why I feel like this is indeed how the characters act, which feels slightly different from standard LN archetypes. Ikki needs no further explanation I assume with the above example, but let’s talk
waifu Stella. Actually, hell, let us study this ecchi bath scene near the end of episode 2.
So, I had watched this scene numerous times (for the sake of science!) and I realized why it’s so different from standard LN bath scenes-for one thing, this scene involves a tsundere.
You know, in this trope, the heroine will have to possess “the tease” archetype in order to pull this off, or perhaps other similar archetypes I might not be familiar with. Because if you seen the video, it’s the female character here who WILLINGLY approached him, and Stella is a character who’s a far cry from the aforementioned archetype as you can get, she’s a tsundere-someone who CAN be shy.
But let’s stop talking about LN antics and character archetypes for the moment, and talk a bit about real life bathing etiquette. In real life, there’s no way any people with common sense would just barge into another person bathing who they barely even met right? I’m well aware Japanese has a etiquette of bathing together, but to my
vast anime knowledge, that only applies to the same sex or if it’s from the same family. Ikki and Stella are neither, Stella herself isn’t even a Japanese.
So getting back to the bath scene, and considering the character archetypes, I think you can get where I’m coming from. Stella is a tsundere (although it feels like she’s going full dere mode atm), so she entering into the bathroom willingly is something I never expect. If this is other LN, the dynamics will be completely reversed, with the heroine bathing and the LN protagonist ‘accidentally’ entering into the bathroom. I can even figure out the context, it will be something like this-the MC would think there’s no one inside since the door is not locked, and the lights inside the bathroom will be switched off for no apparent reason, bolstering the MC’s misconception that there’s no one inside, resulting in said “unfortunate accident”.
Stella is struggling doing something she obviously isn’t used to, so what does this tells us? Stella desires his affection, some obvious hints had been given ever since their fight from episode 1, but even more blatantly so in this bath scene. Stella never said it out loud but it couldn’t be even more obvious. I’m not getting my hopes up in this department, but if there’s one thing I hope, it’s that Ikki would reciprocate her feelings and turned into an official canon couple. Ditching the standard “dense” aspect of the LN protagonist is what I hope this anime would do-I’m totally serious, but I think this anime actually has the potential to have a natural romance development. Speaking of Ikki, it would had been hilarious if he shown more wit here in this bath scene just like that scene back in episode 1, but I guess even he has his limits.
There are a lot of things I’m worried about though, like the aforementioned “dense” aspect of LN main characters and also how fast Stella transitioned to dere. But at the same token, this IS a light novel, so I will try not expecting much either. While the scenes do feel slightly different with the characters, they are still conforming themselves strongly within standard LN tropes. In fact, there are still a lot of things in this anime which pretty much scream LN to me. Rakudai is walking a fine line between LN blandness and (slight) innovation. However, I’m still interested to see how this would progress so I will continue checking out the anime regardless. I think at this point, I don’t even mind if the anime’s over-ambitious just like it’s peers, I’d be happy if there’s even some sort of conclusion on the romance department regardless of the story on the forefront.
Let’s put it like this: Let go of your worries, embrace your hopes ^_^
You won’t have to wait much longer than 24 hours from now.
My hope level is now over 9000.
It’s an okay LN adaption so far, but yeah, it is one that very much screams tropes and treating them somewhat more respectful (sort of). Even though a lot of people (myself included) where comparing this and Gakusen Toshi Asterisk, I will admit that do like this one a little better (and its princess) since there does seem to be more to it, yet like yourself, not expecting too much from it. With that being said and in response to the former post, I really do think it is just a combination of the author’s skills and the staff at the helm of the project more anything else. Even if a light novel does sell well (take Overlord for example that had 1million units sold between the manga and LN, 600,000 belonging to the LN) that isn’t usually synonymous with quality on the anime side of things (usually the staff negotiating with the writer about cutting/altering details for time, etc) and more anything, just the studio getting a production in the door to justify the cost of running if there not doing anything else.
Yea, I was considering if I want to watch both Rakudai and Asterisk, or maybe just either of the two. Right now I’m thinking I can marathon Asterisk at a later date so that I don’t get burn out from watching too many.. uhh.. “clones”, if you get what I mean :p And yeah, when I look at the initial character designs and their entries in the chart, I don’t know why but my “gut” feeling is telling me I would enjoy Rakudai more. I still have to watch Asterisk if I were to make a better comparison though.
I guess it’s one of those series where the decisions made by the author/production staffs regarding the episodes actually becomes fruitful. I seem to recall there is one anime where the LN author even basically involved himself fully in the productions, though I can’t remember which title is it. I don’t know about Overlord since I never watch it, I actually feel it’s kinda interesting in concept, but if it’s that bad (even though it sells well), guess I’ll just have to take your word for it. I do admit when I look at some of the original content in the web novels (? I think it was?), it was kinda cringeworthy.
There’s also another moment in the first episode where the tsundere who just got her ass handed to her by the main-character immediately questions the rating-system of the school. After all, it makes no sense for a powerful person like the main-character to be ranked so low.
But even in the better moments of this show it feels like the opening-bit of every scene is for the series to shoot itself in the foot first by relying heavily on familiar tropes. The series would already become much better if you’d ignore the existence of all the familiar tropes it’s using. Only so that your first impression of a particular moment isn’t always “Oh, that again…”. There are these little things here and there that hint at some level of self-awareness but so far, I wouldn’t say the series has done anything truly interesting with it.
Yea, that’s why I emphasized so much on the “slight” word in this post, lol. There are indeed some refreshing things in the show, but most of the time, it’s still pretty much standard action LN. But regardless, I had watched episode 4, and I had to say, I think I at least gotten what I needed from the show the most, so I’m interested to see how it goes from there. But admittedly, so far I’m actually regarding Rakudai just a little bit higher than most similar LN action anime I had watched.
Even piling stereotypes on top of each other amounts to something, I guess :) . It’s just that when a series usually does this it does so with zero enthusiasm. There are just these mediocre shows the creators didn’t give a shit about and then there are those abysmal shows where the creators didn’t deem it worthy to turn on their brains.Doing things right is just a 50/50-chance of name-recognition vs. “new kid on the block”. And actually the odds are in favor of the former so it isn’t really a 50/50-chance to begin with.
And this series certainly has ‘some’ fun with its stereotypes. It isn’t anything groundbreaking so far, though, but it’s okay. The series hasn’t ended yet after all.
“the creators didn’t deem it worthy to turn on their brains”
Pretty much the majority of LNs, I think :p But I have to say though, I think it’s exactly why sometimes, most LNs can be pretty fun to watch because they are just so… dumb, for the lack of better word, lol. That’s why LNs mostly should really stay away from drama as far as possible, unless the author is good with writing drama.
Yea, I’m currently liking it, but still have to see where it goes from here as well. Will be interesting nonetheless to see the dynamics between Ikki and Stella as a canon couple, though I have a feeling it’s not going to be any different from right now, lol.
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