How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom has finally returned to domestic politics and Souma is now having to clean up after the internal strife that was spurred on by Amidonia but exposed the corruption and weakness of Elfrieden’s political system. A large chunk of the first half of this episode is carried out through the first face to face conversation between Souma and Georg Carmine, the Duke that brought all the rebels under him in order to ensure they were all taken out at once but in the process sparked a civil war.
Unlike so much of this series, the conversation is carried out in a dimly lit sequence with the focus shifting between the seated Souma and the kneeling Carmine, the heavy bars separating the two. Also unlike so much of the series, Souma actually gets pretty emotional during this conversation.
That the ending is more or less inevitable, so much so that Souma had the bottle already in his pocket, doesn’t make the conversation any less important to provide some closure on this chapter of How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom. Carmine’s motives were exposed at the end of season one but we never really heard it clearly from him nor has Souma had a chance to really find out his intentions.
Also, as the sequence ends and Souma returns to the study where Liscia is working, it is a very nice moment where everything is more or less silent. In a single sentence he informs Liscia of Georg’s death and there the first half ends.
It’s much better delivery than I’m used to and after three episodes of characters sitting around talking, another conversation doesn’t sound like a compelling continuation however there are conversations and then there are conversations. This one had weight and real emotional buy in from both parties. It was actually the most interesting Realist Hero has been since it returned for a second season.
How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom actually played this scene well.
Alas it cannot keep it up for a whole episode.
Instead after the eyecatch we jump into a conversation between Hakuya and Jeanne and really doesn’t feel like it accomplishes much before we head to the throne room where various people are getting rewards for service during the war.
While the first we hear is a nice simple here is some land and authority, Aisha is then nominated and her father and the father’s request is that Souma takes Aisha as one of his brides (good things they already established polygamy was a thing in the kingdom).
As Souma from Realist Hero really is standard anime protagonist material he kind of blushes about and stumbles and so Liscia takes the conversational reins and establishes that as long as she’s the first queen she’s very happy for Aisha to be second because she knows Aisha. The girls more or less already sort the whole thing out, in front of the entire throne room (again, why are they having these conversations in full public view and not adjourning to hash it out) all of which leaves Souma with little choice but to actually propose to Aisha.
Having now acquired two future queens, Souma does put his foot down when Juna tries to jump on the bandwagon. Not much mind you. He mostly just delays the timing however commits to asking her in the future. I wonder if when he and Hakuya were going through the laws to change (you know so they didn’t have execute relatives of traitors to the third degree) it he shouldn’t have tweaked the marriage laws given he doesn’t seem hugely keen on marrying multiple girls and it more seems he is too much of a doormat to say no and make them sad.
On that note, this episode of Realist Hero ends and while the first half was definitely more compelling viewing the second half more or less fell back into the same-old pattern of nothingness that is permeating this season.
Images from: How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom 2nd Season. Dir. T. Watanabe. J. C. Staff. 2022
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