Having tried and not completed a number of other first episodes prior to starting Tensai Ouji no Akaji Kokka Saisei Jutsu my mood was pretty low and seeing it was primarily listed as a comedy didn’t exactly set my spirits soaring given how hit and miss I find comedy anime to be. As the episode opened I was more or less just wondering if I’d get to the end of the episode or even bother writing anything about it particularly as the other comedy fantasy anime I started didn’t actually make it ten minutes before I pulled the pin (Fantasy Bishoujo Juniku Ojisan to).
And while this episode took a bit to get moving and at first I wasn’t all that interested in this so called genius prince, and even though most events that occurred felt reminiscent of other anime, I will admit by the end of the episode I was at least engaged and I’m curious enough that I’ll probably give this series at least another episode.
Tensai Ouji no Akaji Kokka Saisei Jutsu isn’t brilliant but it was watchable.
The central conceit in Tensai Ouji is that Wein, the Prince of the country who has had to take control after his father fell ill, doesn’t want to rule his small kingdom that is resource poor and surrounded by potentially hostile neighbours. Instead of planning for his kingdom’s future, he’s planning his own retirement with the idea of improving the kingdom just enough to raise its value to sell off.
It makes him a relatively unlikable character out of the gate as he wants to abandon his responsibilities and complains every chance he gets (which is more or less every time he’s alone with his aide, Ninym).
If anything it is kind of like a reverse Realist Hero where instead of having some conscientious person looing at how to improve the lives of those he leads, Wein is just looking for a quick and superficial change in order to achieve his own goal. And like Realist Hero, Wein is stuck with the label of apparently being a genius, and in fairness he is at least a reasonable and realistic thinker but he definitely doesn’t consider all the possible variables which is why his schemes inevitably fail (by somehow succeeding beyond expectations).
The other anime that I was strongly reminded of while watching this first episode of Tensai Ouji no Akaji Kokka Saisei Jutsu was weirdly Lord Marksman and Vanadis. When they ride out to do battle and we end up looking at markers on a map as the tactics are explained, while Tensai Ouji takes a far more jovial approach to it, there was something weirdly reminiscent about it. The impression was only furthered when Wein tactically draws the enemy general into the hills and his aide rides down the hills and essentially slaughters them.
I don’t have particularly high expectations for Tensai Ouji going forward. I suspect that it will either up the comedy in which case I’ll end up finding it outside of my interest or it will become a bit more generic fantasy and end up being indistinguishable from a number of other anime that it feels similar to at this point.
Then again, maybe I’m not giving it enough credit. Maybe Tensai Ouji no Akaji Kokka Saisei Jutsu is going to really flesh out these characters and the world and give us a solid season (nope, I’m not expecting this outcome).
Either way, this first episode was very watchable even if it wasn’t particularly remarkable. Character designs are pleasant enough and so far the animation and visuals are fine (unless the battle tactic scenes put you off as I know some viewers didn’t like them in Lord Marksman either). I’ll give this another episode or so and at least see what direction it intends to go.
Images from: Tensai Ouji no Akaji Kokka Saisei Jutsu. Dir. M Tamagawa. Yokohama Animation Lab. 2022
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