12 Days of Waifus – Day 9: Stella (Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry)
Another waifu addition from this year’s anime, and what can I say? Tsundere, redhead, hnnnng. 2015 is an extremely good year for waifus.
Jokes aside, let’s talk a bit about Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry. The anime’s one of the many action/harem trashy LN you see among the rest, however, Rakudai’s a cut above the rest, just slightly, due to it’s usage of tropes and their character dynamics. Well, I said character dynamics, but I’m mostly referring to Ikki and Stella here.
After watching a fair bit of overly ambitious trashy LNs myself, I’m not exactly expecting much in Rakudai. After seeing the slight potential it had in episodes 1 and 2, all I was hoping for is just an actual romance progression, and you know what? I get exactly what I needed-already four episodes in too.
That’s one thing I have to praise about this anime, showing actual romance progression, and the more interesting thing here is the exploration of their dynamics post-confession. It’s still as trashy, harem-esque as it possibly can, but somehow, I don’t know how it did it, but I can still feel the genuineness of Ikki and Stella’s affections they had for each other. At the very least, I remember not feeling like this post-confession in Zero no Tsukaima. Rakudai has a bizarre ability to jump smoothly between ecchi/harem-esque, and genuine, heartwarming romance in a heartbeat-and those latter scenes are really the highlight for me.
And come on, as a maiden in love, Stella looks pretty damn cute doesn’t she?
What, it’s only me? Okay…
The best thing I like about the show is definitely the dynamics, although as far as individual characters are concerned, Ikki and Stella are decent characters. As a tsundere, Stella served her role perfectly well, and I would say she’s definitely better than most LN tsunderes, where execution of the roles are most of the time more annoying than fun. You see, the execution of Stella’s tsundere role is near flawless, even if stereotypical-showing both the fiery hot (see what I did there?) exterior and the sweet interior in smooth transitions.
Last but not least, I think it’s also interesting that Stella, a heroine in this case, is also shown to have lewd thoughts sometimes-an attribute mostly dumped on the main LN protagonist instead-which again, further improves the fun, endearing dynamics between the two.
So yeah, I like Stella, of course, her being a tsundere certainly helped, but mostly because of the dynamics and chemistry she had with Ikki.
I don’t know if it’s the world playing tricks on me or something, but Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry aired just right after I wrote that post criticizing about light novels. Maybe this is also another reason, I don’t really expect much from these shows, and just some slight, and I mean very slight shifts at the usual tropes like what Rakudai did immediately meet my expectations, and allow me to invest into the anime and characters.
All I want to say is, I like Rakudai,
and anybody who says otherwise can suck it.