Listen. For every anime title deemed “overrated” by a fraction of the fandom, there’s at least 10 titles that a majority of the fandom deems “underrated”. Such as the case for these unsung heroes of anime; as they’ve been “Luigi’d” (overshadowed) into the background to make room for the ‘A-listers’ (or “Mario” titles of the world). Even when some of the story arcs from the popular titles are low-balling it, they’re still shared among the fandom; and still praising the overall experience of the product and its franchise.
While many don’t see that as a bad thing, you kinda miss out on potential diamonds hidden in the rough. That’s why for this One-2-One character analysis, I’ll be looking into a series that is REALLY underrated. Kirito and Asuna aren’t the only sword-welding couple in anime; because there’s another! Get ready for the scorching-hot crimson-haired beauty with a fiery tongue to match known as Stella Vermillion from Chivalry of a Failed Knight!
Honestly this series doesn’t get talked about enough. When it comes to sword-welding anime maidens, many of them have a personality as sharp as their blade. (Other times they’re either Tsunderes or Yanderes with weapons. I’m lookin’ at chu’ Future Diary!) Stella may seem like the ‘high-and mighty’ type upon first glance, but in reality she’s actually quite the skilled swordswoman.
So Chivalry of a Failed Knight is a 12-episode series about the main male MC known as Ikki Kurogane, as he attends a school for students with extraordinary skills known as Blazers. Basically he and the other students are either modern-day knights, samurai, archers, or spellcasters; and participate in a tournament to select the top-tier fighters to be in the Seven Star Sword Art Festival. On paper it seems like just another generic anime school-life action/fantasy drama, but the reason this title hits different…is because of the character development of the two main characters; Ikki and Stella. There’s SO much more to Ikki, but we’ll cover him in a later post.
Part 1 – The Origin Story: Why Should You Care About Stella?
So what about Stella? If she’s an A-rank Blazer and the second imperial princess to the Vermillion Family, how did she get this strong and this skilled? Well that answer to that is…she was born with it. I’m not kidding you, Stella was literally born as a prodigy; having 30 times the base level of magic most Blazers have, which means that during her childhood she had to work extra hard to even master any type of control over her abilities. Being the second princess of the Vermillion Kingdom, and the daughter of Sirius and Astrea Vermillion, Stella is pretty much living the dream. However, after mastering her abilities she left her country and made her way to Japan because she didn’t want to be labeled as a ‘genius’ by the people around her. Sure, Stella may have been born as a prodigy and given the life of luxury, but its quite humbling to know that she’ll never really flaunt it nor boast about it because she genuinely doesn’t want to be labeled. And many of us know what that feels like…
Part 2 – Skills and Personality
Stella has a feisty and hot-blooded personality, as is the case with many red-haired anime girls. In this case however, its because of her sheltered upbringing. This is seen in the first episode of the series when Ikki walks in on her changing; not even realizing that he was her roommate. Though her temper was hot in the beginning, Stella later admits her mistakes and even starts becoming much friendlier around others and wants to be the one to make Ikki happy. She loathes being called a prodigy; stating that everything was given to her and never had to work hard for anything, and wants to prove that there’s more to her than meets the eye – and sword.
Also because of her sheltered life, she never got to experience what a man’s body looks like. Which explains that she has a bit of a perverted side when it comes to Ikki. (Not that I’m judging or anything.) Her relationship with Ikki was a bit platonic at best in the beginning, but eventually they became girlfriend and boyfriend. I’m not gonna spoil too much because there’s more going on in their relationship than what I’ve told you so far, so let’s get into Stella’s moveset!
Stella is a freakin’ powerhouse when it comes to her moves; as she has an immense amount of durability and strength due to her magical powers being 30 times that of a normal Blazer. Her base level of magic is on the same caliber as Kaio-ken x30 Son Goku. She is a Master Swordsman and has the Imperial Sword Style as her main method of offense and defense. Her device (or sword) is called Laevateinn and is used as her main weapon in battle. She has a noble art known as Dragon Breath, as it covers her in a flame barrier to protect her from projectiles and incoming attacks (as seen in the third episode of the series). Her other technique; Dragon Fang, allows her to strike her opponents from long-range with a flame-like serpent. Many of her attacks are flame-based and resemble the flames of a dragon, so its no surprise that she has a fiery personality to match her fiery skills! (If you read the manga, Stella actually has a LOT more moves.)
Part 3 – Overall Analysis
Stella is an individual who despite coming from a noble family, doesn’t believe anyone should get treated differently or ostracized because they don’t have family wealth. She herself doesn’t like the idea of being called a ‘prodigy’ or a ‘genius’ because she was naturally strong, instead she saw who Ikki was during his battles. She knows what it like to strive for a goal and to work hard at something, which is why she hates that people treat Ikki like he’s worthless; like he’s nothing compared to her. There’s more to Stella than just her beauty and looks, as she’s one of the most humbling main heroine characters in anime.
Although she wasn’t too fond of Ikki when she first met him, she saw a little bit of herself inside of him. While he didn’t have the same level of magical prowess that she did, she saw the driving spirit deep within him. To her; Ikki was more than just her boyfriend (and eventually fiancee), he was a man who wasn’t gifted at all, and was cast aside by his own family accept for his sister Shizuku, who sees him as more than a failure. Stella would be the kind of person to stand up for the weak and fragile, and has a hatred for cowardly acts of violence. (As shown in the third/fourth episode of the series.)
Ikki and Stella’s dynamic is something rarely seen in anime, and represents two sides of the same coin; what it means to be gifted and deemed by others as a ‘prodigy’ in a particular field, while the other was shunned for not having any sort of talent or gift at all. Some parents even raise their children the same way; with one of them being the successful one while the other is the ‘black sheep’, or even suffer the ‘middle child curse’ if there’s three or five children. Chivalry of a Failed Knight is a love story centered around Ikki and Stella’s challenges, relationship, and what they strive to accomplish together. Stella never saw Ikki as less than, instead she saw him as a part of herself that wants to prove that she’s more than what others saw about her. When its all said and done, Stella and Ikki are one in the same.
That will do it for this One-2-One, until next post stay nerdy! 😉