Okay, two episodes in to the second season of How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom and I’m already wondering why I decided to continue on with this title when season one was at its best pretty ordinary viewing. Realistically, this anime is always pretty watchable even if unremarkable but that still begs the question of why continue when there are so many other anime out there?
And honestly, I can’t answer that but I do know that if the third episode of the season has these characters simply sitting around chatting some more I probably will decide to leave Realist Hero unfinished and find something from 2021 to catch up on watching because wow this episode was dull.
That’s despite them dropping a potentially major revelation about the world into the middle of the dialogue.
How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom becomes talking heads.
In fairness to the plot of How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom, episode 15 does continue the talks with Jeanne from the Empire and addresses the situation of the city of Van. Though that negotiation ends up seeming like almost an afterthought rather than the central point of their discussion as the characters involve discuss food (including that you can eat monster meat) and a potential secret alliance between the Kingdom and the Empire outside of the Humanity Declaration.
Also, Souma as an outsider points out something regarding demons, monsters, demi-humans and animals that the rest of the characters at the table find more than a little uncomfortable.
The problem with all of this is that it is delivered in a pretty flat and disinteresting manner with the characters barely animated as they sit about the table. Not to mention the transitions between topics seem haphazard as do the agreements that Jeanne can make and the ones she must consult with the empire about before agreeing to them.
Also, if Souma, Liscia and Hakuya are currently in Van, who is actually back running the kingdom?
Though all that aside, the part I’ve decided is most unrealistic about How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom is how many people Souma runs into who really seem to like Liscia and think she’s something special. Potentially the Liscia we met right at the beginning of the series may have convinced me this was plausible but since then she’s essentially become Souma’s secretary or sounding board rather than a character. And nothing she does this week does much to convince me otherwise.
Anyway, the agreement about Van is more or less as expected. Souma is happy enough to give it back for suitable compensation. Whether the people of Van are happy to go back under the rule of someone who thinks painting their buildings a different colour is a problem is a consideration no one at this meeting raises and it kind of takes away an opportunity I kind of wished Realist Hero had considered exploring.
See, they’ve repeatedly said that the Empire won’t recognise border changes that come about through force, but why not one that takes place through referendum? Would the people of Van vote to side with the Kingdom or would they choose to stay where they were?
But, this doesn’t come up and instead we move on with a bunch of other proposals that kind of make it seem like Souma is angling for the Kingdom to more or less be the ruling military force in the east (he doesn’t say this but given the agreement he’s proposing its definitely a potential outcome and if the Empire had any sense they’d firmly say no).
All that aside, episode 15 of How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom was not particularly exciting to watch. It does its job and at the very least the situation of Van is more or less worked out (though I guess Julius might flat out refuse to pay the compensation in which case we’re back where we started).
Images from: How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom 2nd Season. Dir. T. Watanabe. J. C. Staff. 2022
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