Why did I watch this again? Oh, right, I was in the mood for something easy and trashy.

That’s about the size of Lance N’ Masques: trashy, disposable anime to watch when you’re bored and in the mood for something light.

I’ll admit that the premise of modern knights protecting ladies did appeal to my Pendragon GM self[1], and it was refreshing to see that the female knights were just as capable[2] as their male counterparts.

In that respect Lance N’ Masques was significantly better than I expected it to be. In the lead up to the effective finale in episode 10 Be Who You Want To Be, I was expecting to see the good female characters defeated so that the male character could step up to be the hero. What actually happened was much better than that, and surprisingly deftly handled.

Less clever is the extent to which the fight scenes are cheat scenes that really belong in the TV anime of at least 20 years ago. The sort of scenes where two combatants are standing in place whilst their powers push against each other. Usually accompanied by conversation and/or character motivation moments. This style of combat looks, and is, cheap to animate especially with enough bright shiny light effects over the top of the scenes. Still, these sequences don’t actually last all that long, and are tolerable.

I suspect that several plot elements from the light novel series by Hideaki Koyasu were edited down to signals or shout outs making this yet another example of Sometimes More Is More. That said, the anime mostly stands on its own with the exception of the final two episodes.

The final two episodes feel like an Ass Pull to be honest with insufficient explanation or justification of what’s going on. There’s also a fair bit of fan service going on, including the dreaded Hot Springs episode.

Overall, Lance N’ Masques is an anime to watch if you’re interested in unwinding at the end of a stressful year and are prepared to apply Bellisario’s Maxim liberally. Otherwise it’s entirely miss-able[3]. The OP isn’t too bad but is more than a bit spoilery in retrospect[4]:

[1] Especially since I’ve actually been running Pendragon again recently. Whether I’ll get to do so next year is up in the air with half of the players moving out of Canberra for various reasons.

[2] And in several cases more capable.

[3] TV Tropes apparently found Lance N’ Masques to be entirely missable since it doesn’t even have a page yet. The Wikipedia page is pretty basic as well.

[4] And not spoilery at all until you’ve seen most of Lance N’ Masques.