Realist Hero introduces a more serious issue for the new king.
Last week when reviewing How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom, I made the comment that we were definitely in a fantasy. That feeling continues as we see a new complication floated Souma’s way this episode that he deals with way too easily (though there are at least ongoing implications that might be explored going forward).
Continuing on in the coffee shop, Souma, Liscia and Aisha overhear a soldier talking with a mystic fox girl (who turns out to be a mage in the king’s army). The soldier is more or less outlining why he’s going to cross over to Duke Carmine’s side and that many other nobles were doing the same. Mystic Fox girl on the other hand is pro-king all the way and more or less explains why he shouldn’t.
At this point Souma decides the best way to deal with all this is have a friendly chat.
Treason should always be dealt with over cups of tea.
On the one hand, this is an opportunity for Realist Hero to actually build in some genuine political tension. The sharing of power between the throne and the three dukes doesn’t seem like the most stable system and external threats will take advantage of perceived weaknesses. More than that, the dukes have not responded to Souma’s communications as king so he clearly needs to figure out what is going on.
Though it seems a little remarkable that he hadn’t already sent someone in person to see the various dukes given their importance to the kingdom and the reforms he’s been trying to build. Was he just hoping the problem would sort itself?
Anyway, turns out the soldier isn’t so much a traitor as a hot-headed idiot and having the reality of war, you know having to fight against people you might actually like if they are in the king’s army, pointed out to him he more or less immediately changes his tune.
For a show called How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom I wonder sometimes about the lack of reality. If you’ve ever tried explaining basic logic to someone who inherently believes something that is counter-intuitive you will know that logical arguments usually fail horribly. So the sudden change of tune in the soldier’s mind set seems very much lacking in reality.
But that’s okay. By resolving that issue quickly, Souma, our Realist Hero, gets to go and have a lap pillow moment with Liscia where she actually brings up the conversation around their engagement. Nothing gets resolved here given that would certainly destroy any possibility of the harem forming but it at least makes it clear that Liscia is a lot more interested than she was when Souma first arrived.
As for the episode ending where the father of the soldier turns up with the fox mage and his son (son sporting some major bruising) Souma more or less diffuses the whole thing, promotes the fox mage and then gives the son a key role next to her in the king’s army.
So the key to promotion in this kingdom is get overheard plotting treason and then change your mind? Not sure this is a message a Realist Hero should be sending.
None of that is as bad though as the episode ending more or less the same way that a previous episode ended. The father apparently has something to tell Souma and so clears the room. We don’t hear what he tells the king but we do see the king’s reaction (much the same as when wolf-girl wanted to tell him she spoke with a demon).
How a Realist hero Rebuilt the Kingdom remains watchable fluff but really doesn’t have enough substance (though wants to try to reach for it on occasion). I assume it will remain a pleasant enough watch through to the end of the season but so far has been pretty forgettable.
Images from: How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom. Dir. T Watanabe. J.C.Staff. 2021
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