How to Treat a Lady Knight Right (Abs Knight) 

Fantasy manga are all the rage these days. It seems like there’s a limitless amount of stories told of swords and magic, dragons and giants, alchemy and archery, etc. Often times authors have paired many subgenres together to great unique and sometimes awful narratives. One unique fantasy romcom I’ve read through recently was “A Story About Treating a Female Knight Who Has Never Been Treated as a Woman as a Woman“, I kid you not that’s the legit title. I’ve also seen “How to Treat a Lady Knight Right“. For the sake of this blog however we’re just gonna refer to it as Abs Knight, because it’s a story about a female knight… who happens to have abs… and an adoring fan.


Abs Knight is a lighthearted romantic comedy set in a fantasy setting and was written by  Kengo Matsumoto. While there’s very few major plot events, most happening towards the end of the series, there are dozens of short and silly situations the pair, Leo and Fooly, get themselves into. So if you’re looking for something serious with rich lore and deep story development, perhaps this isn’t for you. 

If you are, however, looking for a slow burn romance with slapstick comedic moments as well as bizarre ones, this is for you! It’s nowhere near perfect, but it satisfies that itch for something different, and it certainly made me chuckle. But I’m getting off topic!


The gist of the overall plot is that a mage, Fooly, confesses his heart out to the Sacred Sword Leo the female knight, who quickly and swiftly shuts him down. But Fooly is one persistent son-of-a-gun who doesn’t just give up that easily.

And Leo tries to rationalize with Fooly how she cannot be seen as a woman. After all, her body is covered in scars and her strong masculinity is apparent, so no one would ever desire her. But Fooly sees past all her flaws and quirks, for she has the FINEST abs in all the land!

“Seriously… [this guy] is hopeless”, she says. But his comment strikes a chord with her, and she reluctantly lets him accompany her on her quests. And so, they become unlikely adventure partners who slowly grow close to one another through a series of comical events. 

And from thereon out the manga jumps around silly situations the couple find themselves in; the main takeaway usually being something Leo realizes about herself with the help of Fooly. I’ll go into more detail later. For now let’s dive into these characters. 


Abs Knight doesn’t have a vast cast of characters like some fantasy manga do. Here we get the main duo, a sister, a dark elf fortune teller, an adoring fan (who’s not Fooly), a strong intimidating knight (who isn’t Leo), a demon princess, a traitor knight, and some others that make brief appearances. 

While I don’t consider this a harem, it does follow the stupid trope of women falling for the male lead after he does such a minor act of kindness or shows unmatched strength. There’s also fan-service sprinkled throughout, which is neat and all… but unnecessary. The main focus of course is our two lead characters. 


Our fool of a hero Fooly Dent (pretty sure his name is a pun) is a mage with the power to heal as well as cast fire, healing being convenient for Leo, who takes a hit often. Also familiar with alchemy, he experiments with potions often which… tend to have silly consequences, like temporarily becoming an animal, or even changing genders!

Dressed in the most basic everyday attire, Fooly wears a scarf and carries a typical wooden magic staff. But perhaps the most important aspect of his character is his obsession with Leo the knight. You see, Fooly reminds me of “the adoring fan” from The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. At least he starts out that way… following Leo on all her quests and keeping his distance while giving her moral support and adoring comments. 

Fooly is a fairly generic protagonist. He’s kind to everyone and comes to the rescue when someone’s in trouble, although he’s very weak. Except… for his obsession with the strong female physique, especially a hard six-pack of abs. And Leo just so happens to fit this description perfectly. Touching a pair of chiseled abs allows Fooly to power up super saiyan and only lets him be able to say “abs”, I sh*t you not. While ridiculous, it is hilarious. 


Our muscles for brains heroine Leo Cornelia is the strongest knight in the kingdom, and her physique proves this. Deemed the “Sacred Sword” and adored by many, Leo carries a tough-guy act that intimidates many, except for Fooly. Yes I wrote “tough-guy” because her whole character is a cliché for masculinity; suppressing emotions and showing strength through cold anger are aspects of Leo’s personality; basically a tsundere. 

Geared up in typical knight armor, including grieves, gauntlets, a chest-plate that leaves her abs exposed, and a standard double-edged sword, Leo is a force to be reckoned with. 

With a scar covering her eye and several others on her body, she feels she’s ugly and incapable of love. 

A bit of a meathead, Leo has an insane exercise routine to keep her physique in check, as well a love for weapons of all kinds.

She isn’t afraid to be blunt in her conversations, but when it comes to Fooly… she can be at a loss for words, especially when he’s being unintentionally romantic with her.


Abs Knight is an especially interesting romance because it plays around with the idea of gender norms and their typical roles. While Fooly has a spunky and bubbly personality, he can come off a little feminine from time to time, especially with how often he shows weakness. Leo on the other hand, tries often to suppress her emotions and be indifferent, which are traits of masculinity. 

Together, their roles are swapped compared to your typical romance. Even Fooly fell for Leo first, which is uncommon for guys in manga to be the ones to confess to the girl. And while their romance is mostly one-sided for most of the manga, Leo experiences romantic interest time and time again as expressed through blushing, pouting, sighing, and the obvious jealous behavior she shows when literally any other female approaches Fooly. But Fooly knows not to push his intentions with Leo. 

Rarely does Leo need saving, and in fact most of the time Fooly is the damsel in distress. And while Fooly is very up front with his emotions, this manga is really Leo discovering her true emotions. Through many scenarios Leo comes to realize things about herself and others, like… she can let her guard down sometimes, and she can rely on her companions. 



Leo and Fooly are out adventuring when suddenly Leo gets the hiccups. I kid you not that’s a chapter. And humor ensues when Leo explains her and Fooly’s game plan for overcoming a group of goblins, while hiccupping every other line. She keeps a serious expression though, not faltering until she notices Fooly wanting to say something about her condition. 


Another time Leo is exhausted and falls asleep sitting up. Fooly stays by her side, not wanting to disturb her slumber. But by the time she wakes up, he’s out cold instead. Yep… some real intense storytelling here.


One of the more interesting chapters actually brings up Leo’s intense training routine. While we get to see more of her strong physique, in a strangely modern tank top… Fooly accompanies her and sees just how tough her training is. 


That’s right folks, Fooly whips up a couple potions that changes the drinkers’ gender, for whatever reason I honestly don’t remember, (does it matter?) but he takes one and becomes a woman. Leo becomes infatuated with Fooly’s new look, he certainly plays the part well, but the potion is temporary and Leo almost loses her leveled head. 

This happens again but for this second time, both take a potion (Leo figured becoming a man would give her more muscle mass). The genderbending scenarios are an interesting take on matching personality with physical appearance, since Leo is more masculine while Fooly being more feminine. 


I’ve gone over a few scenarios Leo “faces” in Abs Knight and comes to realize something, but it would take all day to describe each one.

So quickly… one time Leo is sleepy and wears Fooly’s scarf, which happens to have his scent. Another time it’s thundering out and… whoa the female knight is afraid of lightning? There’s another scenario where it rains and Leo sleeps over Fooly’s… nothing explicit happens. 

And lastly there’s a time Leo faces a tough opponent, but lo and behold the duel gets interrupted by a man’s love confession to Leo’s opponent, a demon, in a similar fashion she was confessed to by Fooly. 


By this point, you’re probably aware how linear the story of the Abs Knight is. Nothing wrong with that per-se… just understand the story thus far has been a compilation of scenarios Fooly and Leo find themselves in… and Leo blushing like mad practically every chapter. 

But Abs Knight isn’t an adventure story, even if it’s in a fantasy setting. It’s also not an isekai which seems to be the hottest trend with fantasies. But it has romance and it has comedy and a few cool action scenes so that’s what’s kept me going so far. 

If you haven’t read Abs Knight yet and wonder when it gets serious, it does get good! Just… it might take 70+ chapters to get there, about halfway through the story (even then I still had a good laugh from the prior chapters). So what is there to expect in the later chapters? This will get into spoiler territory so be warned!


One day Fooly spots Leo walking with a flyer in her hand, and curious about it he asks what’s up. Apparently every year the kingdom (I don’t even think it has a name to be honest) hosts a fighting tournament for all the fighters to compete in it, and the strongest gets the prize of… 

… having the opportunity to marry Leo as well as a cash reward. 

You heard that right. Fooly heard that right. 

So he enters the competition, even though he’s quite weak. Leo doesn’t know he does this however, but reassures him she’s always won every year so he shouldn’t worry.

We get our first glimpse of the king, who allows Leo to sit with him to watch the tournament, since she’s a VIP, and their interactions are hilarious. While the king is excited to see combat, Leo brushes it off in sheer boredom. 

But alas, Fooly is in the next match! And Leo is utterly shocked! What a fool! And the king is just like “who?” and says he looks weak and Leo actually insults the king, but that’s not all. 



We all know Fooly is weak… physically. But he’s a mage, and surprises his foe with a fire blast from his staff. The match somehow ends in his victory, and Leo’s impressed of course. 

Leo goes to check up on him in the barracks and the whole room is impressed with his match, one girl even confesses to him, but is swiftly rejected. When the tournament resumes, Leo is furious about what happened with Fooly’s admirer and lazily sits on a throne like she owns the place. The king casts doubt and Leo quite literally tells him she’ll kick his @ss if he thinks that. It’s a funny interaction. 

I realize I’ve been describing the entire event, and so to cut things short, Fooly somehow faces a possessed Leo and her feelings overcome her captor. She only wakes when Fooly is forced to take desperate measures and use his magical blast powered by touching abs… I kid you not. And her sword literally blocks it. Fooly faints and Leo confesses her love for him. FINALLY.


Following the tournament, Fooly became popular, being asked to rank abs on the daily. But perhaps the most interesting development is Leo’s love-struck for Fooly. A  hilarious moment occurs when Fooly appears too bright for Leo to look at (fyi he’s not).

Another time there’s a few panels play out like a typical Shoujo and Leo is bedazzled by an overly attractive Fooly (fyi it’s how she sees him). 

But falling in love is so new for Leo, and it gets in the way of her daily life. She, Fooly, and his annoying sister go questing when they’re attacked by monsters. Leo is typically the one to wipe them all out, but she’s too busy thinking about Fooly to engage in combat seriously. This enrages Fooly’s sister, and Fooly is too cautious to realize why Leo acts this new way she does.


It’s no secret Leo is the jealous type. Any woman that comes Fooly’s way is seen as a direct threat to her nonexistent relationship with him. One time Fooly’s magic teacher and master shows up and turns the poor sap into a child because… she’s jealous of Leo… and a shotacon at that! But in a duel Leo remains victorious annnnd plays the role of Fooly’s mama. The circumstance plays out hilariously. 

The king summons Leo to have a friendly ‘3 on 3’ duel with champions of a neighboring kingdom. But with Fooly as a child and nobody else, Leo is alone! Just kidding, literally like the next panel Fooly changed back, then like a few panels later a prisoner volunteers to join because… they want to lower their prison sentence? Also Leo gets jealous because… other women, and lashes out at Fooly. 

Well, the battle begins and Leo is too worked up and K’O’s right at the start. But the prisoner is strong and Fooly powers up because… everyone seems to have abs now. After getting encouragement from the enemy, Leo gets back up and supports Fooly and the prisoner. Yet another victory, played out in a rather unusual way. 


There’s no time for our heroes to celebrate victory yet, however, as the demon lord rises again, oooooo! So as you could expect, all the tough champions of each kingdom come together to stop a ritual put together by a goblin shaman. Basically all the characters we’ve met up to this point get more pages. 

In a very interesting plot twist, the demon lord summoned is no other than Leo herself! Fooly could tell because abs

Wait… what? 

That’s right. In an alternate timeline where Leo never met Fooly, she goes on a rampage and slays everyone in her path to prove she is the strongest, thus turning her into a literal demon monster.


Leo gets ahead of herself and takes a mortal wound, and Fooly heals her right up. But what he doesn’t tell her is that healing is actually curse magic and he’s been exchanging his vitality to heal her all along! If you could guess, he’s at his limit annnnd he dies. But she doesn’t realize that and jumps back into battle to rematch her demon self. 

But do you really think Fooly is dead? Nope! Because right away he meets the God of Lust, Asmodeus, who appears as a literal sculptured pair of abs with wings, and gives him a second chance. It’s a really dumb moment but a hilarious one nonetheless. 

Leo is heartbroken when she finds Fooly lifeless, but quite literally a few panels later he springs back to life and together they defeat the demon.

Leo’s about to confess her feelings for him when they keep getting interrupted by everyone congratulating them, and Leo slaps her dad and demon in anger, it’s pretty great. 

Finally, the moment arrives and Leo pulls Fooly in for a kiss, and confesses her love for him. Fooly is in disbelief at first, but Leo’s actions proves her feelings for him. From here on the story quickly wraps up. We see what happens with the side characters and the couple gets married and continues questing together. 


Abs Knight is a rather short manga. With around 140ish chapters and probably fewer than 10-15 pages each chapter, it’s a quick read. While you won’t get a full-fledged epic of a story here, it’s full of funny scenarios and likeable characters that may seem bland at first but grow on you as you read on. 

Abs Knight is not for everyone. It takes a silly stupid concept and rolls with it, a female knight with abs and her admirer. From a critical standpoint I may give it a score of 6, because of the lack of deep storytelling as well as clichés so overused in the genre it dulls very quickly. Some readers may even find character personalities to be inconsistent, and with lore that’s truly lacking. 

However, from my personal standpoint I have this manga an 8 out of 10. Abs Knight is crude with this jokes, light but pleasant with its storytelling, flashy when it wants to be, cute and satisfying with its romance, and overall just an enjoyable experience for me. While I feel as though the story could definitely keep going, it wraps up quite nicely. This one’s definitely gone under the radar for many and I do recommend checking it out!

Thanks for reading!

Oh we’re well aware, Leo!

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