Four Knights of the Apocalypse - TV Tropes (2024)

Four Knights of the Apocalypse - TV Tropes (1)

The cover of the first volume, featuring Percival and Sin the fox.

A few days ago, we were given a foreboding prophecy... about a group who will drive our leader, King Arthur, to his ruin. They are called... the "Four Knights of the Apocalypse."

Ironside

Four Knights of the Apocalypse (Mokushiroku no Yon Kishi in Japanese) is a sequel to The Seven Deadly Sins, set sixteen years after the titular sins defeated the Demon King. One day, the kingdoms of Britannia hear of a prophecy that describes four knights who will appear to destroy the world.

Percival, a sixteen-year-old boy, has lived in isolation with his grandfather Varghese for his entire life. Their peaceful life is shattered when a knight of Camelot in service of King Arthur appears and murders Varghese on suspicion of being one of the "Four Knights of Apocalypse". To make matters worse, on his dying breath Varghese tells Percival that the knight, named Ironside, is none other than his own son and Percival's father. Now, Percival must set out alone and travel the world on a quest for answers.

The manga is by Nakaba Suzuki, the author of The Seven Deadly Sins, and has been serialized in Shōnen Magazine since January 2021. It has been released in English by Kodansha Comics under the title The Seven Deadly Sins: Four Knights of the Apocalypse. A spinoff movie called Grudge of Edinburgh was released on Netflix in 2022. An anime adaptation has been sponsored by Netflix, with the first season being released on January 31, 2024.

Four Knights of the Apocalypse provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The anime adaptation features extra scenes, particularly flashbacks, to add to the characterization and backstory.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Anne and Nasiens develop feelings for Percival, but he only thinks of them as friends because he doesn't understand romantic love yet. Isolde has a big Bodyguard Crush on Tristan, who is Oblivious to Love. Ironically, Isolde herself is oblivious to her childhood friend Jade's hopeless crush on her. Meanwhile, Guinevere and Jericho are both in love with Lancelot, but he thinks Guinevere is too young for him (she's only twelve when they first meet) and Jericho is like an older sister to him. Arthur also has an apparent case of unrequited love for Merlin, who as revealed in the previous series had an unrequited love for Meliodas, and was the target of the unrequited Courtly Love of the late Escanor.
  • All There in the Manual: The backstory of Lancelot, a protagonist, is in the preceding story (where it served as a Sequel Hook). It was also a bonus chapter that hasn't been officially released in English yet.
  • Altar Diplomacy: Arthur feels no attraction to Guinevere, but he forces her to marry him so people don't find out he kidnapped the child for her powers. It doesn't hurt that Guinevere is also the princess of another country.
  • Another Story for Another Time: Lancelot's quest to recruit Percival is detailed, but Tristan's parallel quest to recruit Gawain is merely mentioned at the end of the former.
  • Anti-Escapism Aesop: Because of Arthur's magical limitations, everything in Camelot literally comes at the expense of something else in the real world. He is an excellent sculptor and illusionist, but the raw materials- and the souls necessary to create illusionary people- must be stolen from Britannia. The animosity these thefts provoke in outsiders mean that a person has to side with either Camelot or Britannia.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Ironside, the father of Percival, who tries to kill Percival in their first encounter.
  • As You Know: In Chapter 70, Chion gushes about the abilities of Guila (a character returning from the previous series) to a fellow subordinate of hers. The monologue has three purposes: preventing Continuity Lockout, introducing some genuinely new information about the character, and further establishing Chion's arrogant personality.
  • Attack of the Town Festival: In the Wallnack arc, the Four Knights of the Apocalypse and co. are attacked by Camelot Holy Knights during the town's annual festival of the dead.
  • Betty and Veronica: Nasiens is the Betty and Anne is the Veronica to Percival. Nasiens is a gentle and reserved medic who is always nice to Percival, whereas Anne is a loud and aggressive swordswoman who tends to be more belligerent with Percival.
  • Bizarrchitecture: King Arthur's castle looks like a sphere with spiky towers sticking out all over it and it's surrounded by floating, shattered walkways.
  • Catch Your Death of Cold: Played with. Guinevere approaches Lancelot by warning him to stay out of the rain, but in truth she's fully aware that he's outside for a good reason, and that he doesn't need to worry about getting sick. The warning is to make herself look like an innocent child so he'll be more surprised when she reveals she isn't one.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: Sometimes the story is about gory Police Brutality and how pedophilia can tear apart families. Sometimes it's about barrels of pudding.
  • Comical Nap Drool: In the Liones arc, an ill-timed Power-Strain Blackout causes Gawain to fall asleep on the battlefield. Cut to her snoring on the cobblestones, drooling with her mouth open, mumbling about pudding.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Meliodas was experienced and knowledgeable. Percival is naive and ignorant of the world. This extends to the eponymous Knights: unlike the Sins, who were well acquainted with one another at the start of their series and had good teamwork, the Knights of the Apocalypse have just met each other, so there's friction between some of them at the start.
  • Cool Airship: King Arthur has a huge airship (probably the PrydwenFour Knights of the Apocalypse - TV Tropes (2)) built partly out of a dragon skeleton. Some of it is like a marine ship, with masts and rigging; the rest supports what looks like a circus tent.
  • Cooldown Hug: In chapter 146, Diane withstands the attacks of a Brainwashed and Crazy Mertyl and refuses to fight back. Instead, she gives him a hug and reaffirms her maternal love for him to calm him down and return him back to his senses.
  • Dashed Plot Line: There are two Time Skips (after Lancelot's prequel chapter and Grudge of Edinburgh, respectively) before the manga even begins, and more follow. In chapter 87, Guinevere delivers an expository monologue lampshading that Lancelot will only meet her a few times in his life (which, of course, are the times the narrative depicts).
  • Dawn of an Era: Since the Death of the Old Gods in the previous series, a lot has changed; settlements are more racially mixed (Liones in particular has many openly non-human citizens), lots of hybrids no-one thought were possible before have been born, and the war against Chaos has overshadowed or replaced several prior conflicts. Appropriately, the viewpoint character is Percival, whose lack of setting-related baggage means he fits easily into the plot.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: A fan of Guila mentions that she's rumored to have had a brief relationship with Howzer, but also that he doesn't know how true those rumors are. Guila herself is too distracted by battle to comment.
  • Dramatic Irony: In chapter 91, Guinevere taunts her arranged fiance, Arthur, with the fact that he can't marry the person he really wants to be with. Unbeknownst to Arthur, Guinevere is in exactly the same situation.
  • Eldritch Location: New Camelot is a Pocket Dimension made of Chaos magic. It's mostly made of floating islands and buildings that it has stolen from the real world.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Fiddich concludes that the intelligent, talking fox guiding Percival to Liones is a Familiar sent to find The Chosen One. At that point, the fox shapeshifts back into a fairy and kills him.
  • Falling into His Arms: During their first meeting, Lancelot catches Guinevere this way as she falls off a wall. She thinks it's very romantic and rewards him with a kiss that goes on for three panels. Lancelot does not see it that way, as Guinevere is a preteen and has no regard for whether he's reciprocating.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Guinevere gives Arthur a summary of events that will occur in Wallnack when the Four Knights and their platoons arrive there, right before it actually happens in the story. The events initially do play out the way she described them, but this is subverted when things start to change due to Arthur's interference.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The fox named Sin turns out to be the son of Ban the Fox Sin.
    • Everyone who falls asleep on a particular mountain dreams of their soulmate. Sin dreaming of a very human woman hints at what species he really is.
    • Tristan concealing Gawain's heritage is an early sign that he's no more rational about his own.
  • From Dress to Dressing: In Chapter 98, Jade rips off his shirt's sleeve to make a bandage for an injured Isolde.
  • Gambit Pileup: The "Liones Battle" arc has one big ongoing fight between good and evil, but this fight isn't everyone's first priority. To summarize; Lancelot leaves the battle early so that he can protect a valuable prisoner, Jericho does the same so she can kill that prisoner, Gawain is following whatever semi-treasonous whims she has, Arthur is sending some of his minions to Liones in the hope that they'll die, Jade and Chion are guarding a jail with Guila, Guinevere is flirting with a cute guy, and Pellegarde is trying to kidnap someone for his own, non-military, reasons. All these characters influence the main fight at some point.
  • Geodesic Cast: There are four knights, two of whom have three attachés- Percival's friends, Tristan's platoon, etc- that complement their character arc and provide subplots unrelated to destiny.
  • Girls Stare at Scenery, Boys Stare at Girls: A rare female-female example Played for Laughs. While Anne is admiring the city of Wallnack from their hotel room's window, the Butch Lesbian Gawain is drooling as she stares at Anne's and Isolde's butts.
  • He Knows Too Much: King Arthur has ordered his troops to kill any of The Chosen Many they find- which, because they don't know much about those many, boils down to "kill anyone who's young and unusually powerful". For this reason, Lancelot kills any Camelot knights who penetrate his disguise, to prevent them from reporting back to their king. (Which, conveniently, they always state their intention to do.)
  • Hitchhiker Heroes: Percival's companions are recruited as he travels in sequential story arcs, starting with Sin and Donny, then Nasiens, then Anne.
  • Humans Are Special: The only characters with precognition- which is just as much a Four Knights of the Apocalypse - TV Tropes (3)Game-Breaker as it sounds- are pure-blooded humans, as shown by Baltra and Guinevere.
  • Innocent Innuendo: When Tristan finds himself alone in a hotel room with a nearly naked woman, Isolde and Chion eavesdrop from outside and hear the woman telling Tristan to put something in a hole. Isolde freaks out and bursts into the room, only to find Tristan trying to help the woman button up her shirt.
  • Internal Homage: The series references some events from the previous series.
    • The reveal of Gawain's mini form is quite similar to that of Merlin's true age, especially because they're both small dark-haired sorceresses.
    • Tristan saving Isolde from Melagand by carrying her in his arms bears a strong resemblance to Meliodas saving Elizabeth from Hendrickson during the Kingdom Infiltration arc.
  • Land of Faerie: Early in Part 2, we're introduced to the Fairy Realm, the homeland of the fairies which is ruled by the Fairy King.
  • Limited-Use Magical Device: The incantation orbs from The Seven Deadly Sins make a return. Each orb is single-use and allows non-mages to use high-level spells.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: Chapter 4 introduces a classification of magic types, which is later elaborated on in the Volume 3 extras. The individual magic powers people possess can roughly be classified into nine different types. There are also rare examples of people with magic that encompasses two or more types. One in ten thousand people are said to possess magic encompassing four or more types, which is referred to as "Hero-type". The nine types of magic are as follows:
    • Destruction-type: The ability to directly attack a target using the forces of nature or an unnatural power of darkness.
    • Shifting-type: The ability to alter the properties of matter.
    • Healing-type: The ability to heal oneself or others. Mainly possessed by the Goddess Clan.
    • Search-type: The ability to locate particular objects or read people's hearts.
    • Mental-type: The ability to manipulate people's hearts and memories.
    • Deception-type: The ability to create illusions or auditory hallucinations. Common within the Fairy Clan.
    • Stealth-type: The ability to approach opponents without giving away one's presence or observe their movements from a distance.
    • Enchantment-type: The ability to infuse elemental or unnatural powers to one's tools, weapons or fists.
    • Oracle-type: The ability to predict future events. A power that surpasses human wisdom, considered the rarest of the nine types.
  • Magic Pants: The tatters of Gawain's suit, originally two pieces of fabric that barely covered her nipples and crotch, somehow become a single tube of fabric that covers her whole body after she reverts to her small form. Given where Gawain comes from, it's quite possible that A Wizard Did It.
  • Marathon Boss: Chaos Melascula and Galand (and later their combined form) somehow manage to be a manga version of this. No one gets seriously hurt fighting them, but several heroes exhaust themselves to the point of uselessness, so combatants are constantly tagging out and in. The list of knights in the city who don't contribute to their defeat is quite a bit shorter than that of those who do.
  • Master-Apprentice Chain: Jericho taught Lancelot, who taught Percival's team. Of course, the latter have to deal with Jericho and Lancelot's drama.
  • Mugging the Monster: In Chapter 2, Donny uses his levitation powers on Percival and tries to run away with all of Percival's stuff. Donny gives back what he stole after Percival almost immediately outruns his troupe's horse-drawn carriage, on foot.
  • Naked First Impression: While staying at a hotel, Tristan ends up having to share a room with a stranger. When he arrives at the room, he finds a woman wearing nothing but an unbuttoned shirt, much to his embarrassment.
  • No, You: Lancelot, distracted by scanning a crowd's thoughts telepathically, replies this way to someone concerned that he'll get sick from being out in the rain.
  • Offscreen Breakup: According to Chion, a rumor says Howzer and Guila hooked up at some point, but they broke up after merely three days.
  • Only the Knowledgable May Pass: Guinevere convinces Lancelot of her abilities by mentioning a part of his backstory he's never told anyone before.
  • On the Rebound: The antiheroic Gawain is introduced trying to comfort/flirt with a heartbroken girl. On the one hand it's kind of sweet (she makes several good points about how Isolde is beautiful and should love herself); on the other, it's pretty selfish (Isolde is still crying, and only sixteen), which microcosms Gawain's entire character at that time.
  • Pair the Smart Ones: Lancelot and Guinevere gravitate to each other because of their desire to manipulate events and get into people's heads.
  • Personality Powers: Not an explicit part of the magic system, but present.
    • Lancelot, a perceptive introvert, has telepathy.
    • Percival, a highly curious and imaginative boy, can conjure dozens of astral creatures to do all the things he wants to do.
    • Gawain, who is both fierce and changeable, can burn enemies...when the sun happens to be in the sky.
    • Tristan, a noble Warrior Prince, has durability and healing magic suited to protecting his friends.
  • Piggyback Cute: In Chapter 86, Lancelot's self-proclaimed lover Guinevere gets a piggyback ride from him.
  • Plot-Based Voice Cancellation: The trope is used to reveal that Sin is faking his identity. In a dream he has, a strange woman says something in three dialogue clouds that prompts Sin to snap, "How do you know my name?" The text that would normally be in the clouds is replaced by a squiggly line. However, Four Knights of the Apocalypse - TV Tropes (4)someFour Knights of the Apocalypse - TV Tropes (5) fansFour Knights of the Apocalypse - TV Tropes (6) used the scene to deduce ahead of time that the woman was enunciating "Lancelot", a name with three syllables. This was confirmed sixteen chapters later.
  • Poor Communication Kills: King and Diane get a lot of flak from people- from an invading Camelot mage to their own children- for offering the mystic Drug of Yore to Nasiens to cure Percival, instead of giving it to Mertyl so he could live in the Fairy Realm without any health issues. The only reason people can think for that decision is that Nasiens is their blood child, while Mertyl is just a changeling. Diane eventually reveals that they had given Mertyl the Drug as soon as his health issues appeared as an infant, and it just didn't work. The Drug can cure any illness or injury, but it couldn't turn Mertyl into a Giant or Fairy on the spot.
  • The Power of Love: Diane's love for her adoptive son Mertyl is what returns him to sanity and undoes his Chaos transformation, which was caused by Kilbeggan to render him Brainwashed and Crazy.
  • Prolonged Prologue: There's 50 chapters before the arc where the eponymous team is formed, in part because everyone else participating in the war needs to be introduced.
  • The Prophecy: The prophecy of the four knights is what sets the story into motion.
  • Psychosomatic Superpower Outage: Demons can conjure tangible darkness to serve as weapons, limbs, etc., but the darkness is dependent on their state of mind. If the demon loses confidence (or anger; it's not clear) the darkness dissipates, as when Tristan's shadow wings wither from Arthur's Breaking Speech.
  • Running Gag:
    • Horses hating Percival. At first it's for a logical reason (he intimidates Sylvan), but it upgrades to the point where even Gawain, a human only compared to a horse, attacks him minutes after their first meeting.
    • To flatter Gawain, Tristan tells her that she's stronger than him. Of course, following events force Tristan to reveal more and more of his true strength, and every time this happens Gawain's reaction is worse.
  • Sexy Surfacing Shot: Tioreh gets one in Chapter 140 when she's taking a bath at a lake with Nasiens.
  • Skinny Dipping: In Chapter 140, Tioreh and Nasiens go skinny dipping in a lake.
  • Spin-Offspring: Two of the titular knights, Tristan and Lancelot, are the sons of two of the main characters of the previous series (Meliodas and Ban respectively).
  • Spoiler Opening: The second anime opening spoils most of the major events of the Liones arc, such as the battle against Melagaland and Jericho vs Guila. It also reveals Lancelot's true form before the reveal that he's the fox Sin.
  • Sudden Downer Ending: Part 1 ends with Percival, shattered by Mortlach's revelations, choosing to leave behind his human body and join his fellow Life Spirits. This leaves the Knights of Apocalypse one member short just as they were about to enter Camelot and defeat Arthur...who immediately orders an invasion of Britannia.
  • Switched at Birth: Nasiens, the first child of King and Diane, was switched with a human named Mertyl on the day of their birth. After failing to find their child and Mertyl's biological parents, King and Diane raised him as their own.
  • Take a Third Option: In chapter 8. Percival has escaped the restraints of a Mad Scientist trying to inject him with something, and grabbed the vial while doing so. The obvious choice would be to smash it, but said scientist has claimed convincingly that it contains the only cure for Echo Gorge and offers to let Percival leave peacefully if he puts it down. But that is also not a good idea, because then the scientist will just kidnap someone else to test the vial on. So what is Percival's solution to this problem? He drinks the potion himself, on his own terms, trusting that the scientist is justified. This gamble means everyone is saved.
  • Talking Animal: Sin the fox, the first creature Percival encounters after leaving his home. Subverted when his true identity as the half-fairy Lancelot is revealed.
  • Team Title: The title of the series is the collective name of the four knights from The Prophecy.
  • Thematic Sequel Logo Change: The Seven Deadly Sins' logo, which was sunset-colored and unbordered, is replaced with a rectangle of night sky, perhaps signifying the death of Sunshine-wielder Escanor. Percival's helmet is perched on one of the letters.
  • Time Skip:
    • The sequel starts six years after the final chapter of The Seven Deadly Sins.
    • Chapter 129 starts two years after the end of Part 1.
  • Virgin-Shaming: Played with. One of the ways Guinevere teases the sixteen-year-old Lancelot is by saying that she knows the kiss they had mere seconds ago was his first. Lancelot unsuccessfully denies this, which makes him even more embarrassed. It's also that he doesn't want her to have the satisfaction of knowing she stole his Sacred First Kiss.
  • Wham Episode: The Hero's suicide in chapter 128 was not anticipated by anybody, in-universe or out, and preceded a Time Skip of two years in which the other characters drastically changed.
  • Wham Line: One character has been spending time in the Fairy Realm for a while and enjoying it. A fairy princess notes this, along with their peculiar biology...

    Tioreh: That's what's strange here. Normally, a human wouldn't be okay at all trying to live here. The air in this realm is really thick and sweet, and bad for humans. It may not kill you, but spend too long in it, and it causes dizziness and asthma. It makes you frailer. So if you ask me Nasiens, there's no way you're not part of our Fairy Clan.

  • Writers Cannot Do Math: There are several errors regarding the timing of the Holy War.
    • The story is said to take place 16 years after the Holy War depicted The Seven Deadly Sins, and the main characters, including Tristan and Lancelot, are all 16 years old. However, the end of The Seven Deadly Sins included an 18-month timeskip after the Holy War, after which Elizabeth and Elaine were shown to be pregnant with Tristan and Lancelot. If they were born at least one and a half years after the Holy War, it would be impossible for them to be 16 years old in the present day.
    • In Liones, it is stated by Arthur that everyone there was affected by the Holy War that occurred 16 years earlier, and we see multiple characters reflecting on their losses including two young children crying about their parents...despite the fact that they wouldn't even have been born 16 years earlier. In the collected volume release, the panel is changed to a young man.
    • After a two-year timeskip between Part 1 and Part 2 of the story, Pellegarde again mentions the Holy War "16 years ago"...even though it should now be 18 years ago. This is corrected in the official English translation.

Alternative Title(s): The Seven Deadly Sins Four Knights Of The Apocalypse, Mokushiroku No Yonkishi

Four Knights of the Apocalypse - TV Tropes (2024)

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