We’ve seen quite a few of these reborn-in-another-world anime in recent years and each has its own twist on plot and merit as an anime. The story of Knight’s & Magic is one of those stories of reincarnation; this one has our protagonist reborn into a world of knights, nobles, monsters and mecha. The main character is a computer programmer and a robot-obsessed, model-building otaku. He is hit by a car while legally crossing the street in a crosswalk and died with his only regret being he didn’t get to assemble the model he had just bought (and the ones he had waiting to build at home and the ones that were coming out next week).
He is given another chance at life in a world where magic and science co-exist. The kingdoms in this new world are protected from monsters and enemies with magi-mechanical robots called Silhouette Knights. The programmer known as Kurata is reborn as Ernesti Echevalier, the only son to a noble family. Ernesti “Ernie” always seemed smart but found his calling the day a Silhouette Knight came to his rescue. From that day Ernesti has one goal, to become one of the mecha pilots known as Knight Runners and then to engineer the greatest most powerful Silhouette Knight of them all. A world with robot knights fighting monsters and feudal wars is of course filled with champions and villains ready to face off at any moment. We now count down the top 10 most formidable knights in Knight’s & Magic.
10. Archid Olter
Archid “Kid” Olter is one of Ernesti’s oldest friends. The two along with Kid’s twin sister Addy train together in the mornings and were accepted into the formal Knight Runner training program. Kid is a sweet boy and very laid back, he is often thought of as not taking things as seriously as others. He is kind of careless with his words, too. Kid has a habit of saying what he is thinking aloud regardless of the consequences. Kid is also completely loyal to Ernie and will follow where ever his overenergetic best friend leads. He is a competent and skilled fighter but by no means the best. He makes up with bravery what he lacks in skill. He is also a little naïve in the ways of the world. Kid holds things like his honor in high regard, especially when pledging it to someone like a princess comes into play. He is one of those plucky heroes who may not be the best at anything but succeeds with sheer determination of will.
9. Adeltrud Olter
Addy first meets Ernesti when he uses magic to catch her when she falls off a roof. From that moment on Addy, her twin brother Kid and Ernesti were inseparable. Addy is generally a cheerful and energetic girl. She is also in love with Ernie. Addy uses any excuse she can to get closer to him. She finds because of his small stature that Ernie is extremely huggable. Addy is also in the Knight Runner program with Ernie and Kid. She is a fighter that focuses on speed and skill. Her custom Silhouette Knight is based off of the shape of a centaur. The body of a mechanized horse and the torso of a knight gives her plenty of speed to use to her advantage. We also find that the centaur body gives Ernie the ability to pack in a few extra weapons for her to use in battle. She is quick to adapt and use what skills she has to her advantage, making her great for logistical support or long-range attacks.
8. David Hepken
David is the only non-knight on the list. He is a dwarf and in charge of the repair of Silhouette Knights at Ernie’s school. David is a man who likes a challenge, and Ernie likes providing them. When Ernie designs a new element for a knight it’s up to David to figure out how to manufacture it. He may seem gruff, but when you’re constantly in the positon of having to push the boundaries of what is possible you get the right to be a little gruff. David also seems understanding and shares Ernie’s passion. He takes some delight in working with the young creator despite the extra work. He is on this list because knowing how something works and putting it into practice is an amazing and valuable skill set.
7. Horachi Cojal
Horachi Cojal is the mad genius behind the rise of the Jarodek empire and their attempt to take over their neighbors. He, like Ernie, has created new engines of war that have taken his opponents off guard. The most impactful creation was the levitate ships. The levitate ships are large magic-filled dirigibles that operate as troop carriers, lowering their Silhouette Knights onto the field of battle or behind the lines of their enemies. Horachi also creates a massive flying mecha that truly upsets the balance of power in the arms race. Ernie respects and fears Horachi’s creations. He admires the design but is worried about how the creations will impact the world and warfare as they know it. You’d need to keep your guard up around Horachi as he might call you friend one day and steal from you the next. Despite being a real mad scientist, Horachi is someone to watch out for due to his intellect and directionless moral compass.
6. Kerhild Hietakangas
Kerhild is simply a villain. She is a Knight Runner form a neighboring country attempting to sow the seeds of turmoil in the kingdom of Fremmevilla, the kingdom our heroes are from. She is beautiful and sinister. Kerhild is willing to use whatever advantage she can come up with to achieve her goal. We find one of her favorite tricks is to use bait to attract monsters to villages, wait for the local guard to respond and then attack the local guard looking for maximum casualties from the village and the guard. She is brave and uses a Trojan horse technique to sneak into one of the frontier castles and steal some of Fremmevilla’s recently enhanced Silhouette Knights. She is also a bit cold, willing to leave her men behind if it means accomplishing her mission. She makes the list because you should always be wary of a person who is willing to make a cold, calculated sacrifice in order to achieve her mission.
Helvi is a bit of a realist. She is the first one to speak up when a division class demon best appears and says their five knights won’t have an effect on the juggernaut. Yet when she is given the order, she goes on the attack. She is very skilled at combat like all knights and easily holds her own against Edgar, one of the elite knights, in mock battles. Helvi also becomes the test pilot for Ernie’s experimental knight runners and puts the designs through their paces. She is very adept at understanding the limits of the machine she is piloting, a very important skill for a test pilot. Helvi is, based on observation, one of only a handful of women that are Knight Runners. A woman who blazes trails and has the grit to be a test pilot is a person you should be wary of in battle.
4. Detrich Cunitz
We don’t first meet Dietrich during his finest moments. He’s cocky and arrogant and flees in a panic from the field of battle after watching a comrade get killed. Detrich is eventually humbled by Ernie; the youngster succeeds at the task he ran away from. Ernie also showed him great grace and understanding after a less than noble showing on the battlefield. Ernie understood the measure of a man is not his weakest moment. Detrich comes back from his humiliation and becomes a better man, honing his fighting abilities. He has the ability to wield dual swords and carries them with a confidence that isn’t just for show. Detrich doesn’t completely change his attitude and shrug off all of his hang ups, but does seem to grow the most as a character in the series. He even devotes himself to serving Ernie as one of his captains. The ability to recognize his greatest flaw and use it to motivate growth makes Detrich a most formidable foe to his enemies.
3. Edgar Blanche
“This is my weapon, my armor, and my irreplaceable partner,” is how Edgar refers to his Silhouette Knight. He shows good character during the first battle scene by planting his shield in the ground in front of the middle schoolers that were trying to old off an advancing army of monsters. He is a natural born leader. Edgar seems to be one of those guys that, at least where fighting is concerned, always knows what to do. He is even willing to attempt to delay a massive demon beast to let others escape even though their attack wouldn’t really stop it. The Earl Cumber, his silhouette Knight, gets an upgrade later in the show and really lets Edgar’s talent show as he masterfully controls his shield, sword and magical blasters. We add Edgar to this list of power players not only because of his ability to wield a sword inside and outside a robot. He eventually becomes a captain in the Silver Phoenix Knights and is placed under Ernie’s command. We add him to this list because he also understands his limitations and is willing to be commanded by Ernie, a boy considerably younger than himself. A warrior who is willing to take advice, even from unlikely places, is truly a man to be reckoned with.
2. Emrys Geijer
Emrys is a prince and the 4th in line to the throne of Fremmevilla. He is a big man and has the blood of a warrior. Emrys is truly a man of action. He would rather be on the front lines battling it out in a Silhouette Knight than sitting on a throne somewhere. He does have skill as a knight but is filled with raw power and best suited for frontal attacks and clobbering the enemy. He is also uncharacteristically a prince that knows how to take orders, even from someone like Ernie. Emrys is willing to eat and sleep the soldier’s life, going deep into dangerous territory to fight an unofficial war on behalf of an ally against a common enemy. He is especially powerful, not only because of his skill as a warrior. Emrys can call up a whole army if he so chooses (not that he does) to aid him in any campaign.
1. Ernesti Echevarria
You could say Ernesti is dedicated to his hobby of designing new Silhouette Knights, but it might be more accurate to say he’s obsessed. Despite being surrounded by cute girls, Ernie seems to be in love with one thing, giant robots. He may be young, but he has the mind of a genius and a willingness to challenge established thought. He is that rare combination of an engineer who understands how to build and designer who understands the aesthetics. He also asks the “what if?” question: Who says brain isn’t brawn? He is modest about his accomplishments and doesn’t boast about them but refers to them as matters of fact because he’s mentally moved on to the next challenge. He is also quite shrewd, making deals to get his hands on parts and patents in order to constantly move his research and development forward. In the world of Knight’s & Magic, he is the once-in-a-generation mind that rewrites the rules of the world as we know it. Ernie is number one on this list because despite his cute appearance and small stature, his bravery and towering intellect could be seen as a dangerous thing to any challenger.
The idea of magi-mechanical robot knights protecting the realm may seem a little fantastic, but this is anime. We also need to get over our own hang-ups with the “starting life over in another world” thing and not let it affect our judgement. The story of Knight’s & Magic could easily happen without that “reborn” part. Ernesti’s genius and insight don’t need to be other worldly for the story to work. The animation is high quality and the plot is straightforward without any cheap, easy out, or secret finishing moves that always save them. Most of the time it takes hit after hit to take down a lot of the monsters and other knights. We are left to understand that the Silhouette Knights are constantly gaining power and advancing through research and refinement as part of an arms race a race that Ernesti is determined to win. The story is fun. You can sit back, relax and watch a show that seems equally excited about robots as its main characters. Yes, the setup could have used a little more work, but that shouldn’t keep you from enjoying some robot-versus-monsters-versus-robots battle royales.