Souma might be a realist hero but he’s still an anime protagonist.
If we thought the cooking show antics of Realist Hero were coming to a close at the end of episode 4, the start of episode 5 swiftly corrected us. After revealing the mystery ingredient, a gelin (also known in most fantasy anime as a slime) Poncho swiftly makes it into noodles so now Souma has all his favourite Japanese flavours with soy sauce and udon noodles at his disposal.
Part of me wonders if we only lingered so long on this particular recipe because the director had a thing for watching girls slurp noodles, or maybe the sound effects guys were just having a lot of fun. Ultimately it adds very little other than yet more food appreciation (though anime food appreciation I can get behind) and then Poncho and Juno wrap it all up.
With the ending of the fairly time consuming cooking segment we now cut to something that seems vaguely like the point Realist Hero seemed to want to build itself around, Souma being called to a meeting with the current prime minister. Who pretty much just informs Souma he’s resigning (following the King’s example) and is going to hand over his role to Hakuya.
And what is Hakuya’s first bit of advice to Souma? Go on a date.
We’re definitely in a fantasy anime here.
There’s a flimsy justification built around the idea that the other staff can’t take breaks unless Souma does and so he should go to the castle town with Liscia on a date.
Naturally the dark-elf Aisha should accompany them as a guard.
I find it interesting that now they worry about someone accompanying them whereas episode 2 just had the two of them ride out to the cotton fields without an escort leaving me to ask in my review:
“…and why are the King and Princess of a country allowed to just ride around without an escort?”
Though, one thing I did find realistic about Realist Hero this week was his reason for intervening in the ‘training’ session between Liscia and Aisha, which was clearly just an excuse for the animators to show off these cute anime girls fighting, as they might destroy the castle walls. Honestly, with the attacks they were waving around it is a wonder they hadn’t already broken them and realistically the kingdom can’t afford the renovation.
Which makes you wonder how any warriors actually train effectively if their very training destroys the places they are ultimately planning to protect. There’s just a few holes in the idea of trying to take this all sensibly even though Souma seems to be trying to convince us there’s an underlying logic here.
Anyway, the date happens and they all get dressed up like they go to the military academy. I’m sure this is just another fetish someone on staff had wanting to see the characters in uniforms, but it does beg the question why no one had provided the king a change of clothes prior. He doesn’t look particularly king-like in his outfit that he wore over from Japan. Though, the uniform is at least super cute.
But hey, we have all kinds of fan-service in this episode. Noodle slurping, girls fighting, a standard date sequence, school uniforms and even glasses and braids. Something for everyone.
All of this culminates in a brief dating sequence before they visit the café where Juna works and there through a series of tangents the conversation becomes focused on the idea that polygamy is perfectly acceptable before Aisha and Juna seem to almost be scheduling Souma’s harem before it even exists.
I kind of feel at this point that Realist Hero doesn’t really know what sort of anime it wants to be and the various transitions aren’t exactly smooth plus characters and ideas keep getting forgotten and then picked up again later with no real sense of cohesion. It doesn’t stop it from being light entertainment but honestly it doesn’t hold up under any kind of scrutiny and with so many other isekai and fantasy titles out this season I’d firmly suggest trying one of those over Realist Hero.
Images from: How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom. Dir. T Watanabe. J.C.Staff. 2021
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