Mio has trained hard and now it’s time for her showdown with Bertille.
What They Say:
Episode 03: “The Morning of the Duel”
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
So, Mio has to fight Bertille in a duel. Yeah, we know that already and now the training is over. Time for the duel. And time for Takahiro to start interacting with other girls, so he meets up with Lisa and has a little introductory discussion, as well as seeing Noel play maid/waitress at Ayako’s place, where Mio usually works (filling in for Mio since Mio is dead tired from training). Of course, he’ll have quality time with Mio as well. Is there really much more to say about this episode?
Well, Mio takes a bath and walks around naked for a while, during which she makes a big decision: she cuts her hair (which we were all expecting, considering the opening animation). When Takahiro sees her the next day, he is shocked and wants to know why she did it. And here, the show displayed its first ever sign of intelligence: Mio did it because she realized her long hair was getting in her way. If she had the skill level of Akane or Noel, it would be fine to have long hair, but at her current skill level, she can’t handle it. And while she may not be jousting after this one match, she has determined that she wants to win.
A big crowd is on hand for the duel. Mio is nervous, but Ayako tries to calm her down…by pushing her into Takahiro. Then Bertille arrives, wearing…armor…I guess we can call that armor, even though it provides about as much coverage as she was wearing when un-skirted by Sakura the horse earlier, the whole reason for the duel. So, on to the match. There, Takahiro provides Mio with advice and a strategy for winning. It goes well for two rounds, but Takahiro doesn’t take into account Mio’s lack of skill in the third round, so it goes to a fourth. In the final round, Mio manages to counter Bertille’s attack successfully and wins the joust. Bertille shows herself to be well-bred as she is not angry after losing but acknowledges that it was a fair battle. Of course, this was not just some practice match between two knights, as both Lisa the talented transfer student and Celia were watching and noting important things, especially how a complete novice like Mio could defeat a trained jouster like Bertille. It must be because Takahiro is a very good squire (though in the real world, squires are not like golf caddies, which is kind of what they imagine Takahiro serving here as).
This episode was a lot better, probably because it focused more on action and the duel than anything else. Sure, there were episodes of fanservice and interaction between the robot…er…Takahiro and the girls, but it was fairly well balanced with the action parts. It almost makes you think that a straight up series that was not based upon an erogame that had female knights could work, though you would want an experienced group of writers for action stories to handle it. Almost. It’s still a really silly idea (and before anyone complains, a series about high school males playing at being knights in this day and age would be just as utterly silly).
But we can see that the episode was meant to serve multiple purposes. Mio is not just going to joust this once, but develop a love for the sport and will pursue it further. Lisa the transfer genius is made to realize that Takahiro is not just some random pervert (she’s allowed to consider him that considering the breast grab). Celia is shown to the audience to be a keen judge of talent as she has been pursuing Takahiro to become her squire since the start. Now we see that it is justified. Of course, not everyone will be watching for the plot and character interaction. For many, perhaps most of the intended audience of this show, it was more than enough to see Bertille in her jousting armor, which was stripper-riffic. The question now is whether Takahiro stays with Mio throughout the show, or bounces around with all of the main girls.
A much better outing, largely because the focus is on action as the duel takes place. That doesn’t mean that the primary audience of the show is not served, especially by Bertille’s rather revealing jousting outfit. Mio seems to be awakening to a desire to continue jousting and Takahiro shows us that he knows what he’s doing. The question now is whether this will be a one-couple show or will Takahiro give us a grand tour of all of the girls highlighted in the opening animation.
Episode Grade: C
Streamed by: Crunchyroll
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