Lance N’ Masques

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Dashing knights ! (Adapted from a light novel series.)

Characters

Yotaro, our teenage protagonist, has been trained since childhood to become a knight, as part of the order of the Knights of the World, a peacekeeping organization who have their own island country. He’d actually like to live a normal life, but that’s not easy when his body feels compelled to white-knighting whenever girls around him are in any kind of trouble. Girls his own age find this a bit creepy, really. (The goofy mask and the huge lance he carries around don’t help.)

Makio, on the other hand, is 6 years old, and thus finds “Knight Lancer” awesome. She hasn’t twigged that her hero is the same person as the more ordinary-looking Yotaro, but that doesn’t prevent her from inviting the latter home when she learns he’s hungry. Said home is super-huge, has a number of maids on the payroll, and is inhabited exclusively by Makio. (Mom is dead, Dad rarely comes.)

Yuifa, the maid closest to Makio (despite strict orders from Dad not to get too close), is of course suspicious of this boy more than twice her age she’s brought back home. You can’t blame her for being a bit overprotective, especially as gangsters barge in later on to try and kidnap her charge. (They’re defeated by the Knight Lancer, of course.)

Looking for Yotaro are his quirky entourage : a cranky girl, a snarky horse-girl, and a stern maid. Sure, whatever. They find him at the end of the episode.

Production Values

I’m not fond of the character designs, who all look very same-y and generic combined with the super-pastel colour palette, but there’s a lot to like in the actual camera work. The proportions go wildly out of control in the action sequences (and Yotaro’s lance in particular keeps changing sizes), but I’m pretty sure that’s a stylistic choice. Especially with the nice sight gag of the huge third thug unfolding from behind the two others despite having no room to hide before that ; the direction knows how to play with this for maximum effect.

There’s no notable fanservice, which is a relief given the lolicon potential. Even Makio being nude for a chunk of the OP sequence looks rather tasteful.

Overall Impression

Wait, that’s it ? I kinda expected some hook to come in at some point, but nope. It’s all about white-knighting, with one-note characters that range from the okay to the unbearable (Yotaro’s entourage, urgh…). While it does have some self-awareness, it’s still rather shallow, and I just can’t bring myself to care. It’s got style, I’ll give it that, but not enough to overcome its innate blandness.

I’ll pass.

Source: [In Which I Review] New anime, Fall 2015

Published by

Jhiday

I've been kinda blogging about anime for years... but mostly on forums (such as RPG.net's Tangency) and other sites. This site is an archive for all that stuff, just in case.

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