How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 21 – Marriage For Political/Monetary Gain

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 21 Review

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom visually was very unimpressive this week largely because the entire episode was characters standing around talking in the throne room or talking through a mirror together. The only scene that really broke this up was when Souma told a story about two gods running opposing nations and then the animation was minimal and definitely more storybook style rather than impressive to match the framing device of it being a story.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 21

All things considered, you’d be forgiven for just kind of tuning out as this episode more or less re-established the arrangements more or less decided last week, confirmed everyone was on the same page, and then had Souma chat it out with Maria from the Empire so that she didn’t get the wrong idea and decide he’d broke the Humankind Declaration for which he isn’t even a signatory.

About the only real takeaway from episode 21 of how a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom is that Souma has finally accepted he is king, not an interim, and he’s not going to take his reforms slowly anymore.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 21

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom has more talking heads than anything else.

One thing I mentioned in my review of the previous episode was that Juna would have cause for complaint if Souma agreed to marry Roroa while she was still on hold. And yet, her only comment this week was that she wouldn’t go against any decision Souma made.

That isn’t good. That isn’t helpful. Souma doesn’t need a harem of ‘yes girls’ surrounding him telling him how brilliant he is. He needs decent, solid advisors who have their eye on the safety and security of the kingdom.

In that respect, Roroa outclassed Liscia, Juna and Aisha this week as she’s the only character with a future plan at all that involves doing anything other than just nodding as Souma talks and standing beside him looking like a window decoration rather than a character. Honestly, Souma should call them on this because for a Realist Hero who wanted to surround himself with the brightest and best and those with talent, he seems to now be surrounded by a bunch who can barely contribute a nod to the conversation. This is hardly a riveting supporting cast.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 21

Honestly I have little else to say about this episode. It was a lot of talking and things are all agreed between the main players. I guess we now just wait and see who the new problem is and all things considered it seems like the church state is going to be the new antagonist. It will be interesting to see if they manage to do this well or not.

Also, I’m not convinced the entire population of Amidonia is fine with being annexed into their traditional enemy’s kingdom. Sure, those in Van who have been under Elfrieden rule would mostly be fine with it and others would see it as an improvement over their circumstances with Julius in the lead. But a Realist Hero would be aware that there must be pockets of discontent. But that issue and what they will do about it isn’t really addressed this week.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 21

I can’t say this second season of How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom is disappointing because realistically it is pretty much exactly like season one. There’s some interesting ideas but the actual episodes are bogged down in static conversations and the characterisation isn’t great. It would have been nice to see this anime improve on season one but at the very least it has been about the same quality and hasn’t gotten worse.

Images from: How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom 2nd Season. Dir. T. Watanabe. J. C. Staff. 2022

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Karandi James

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 20 – Incompetence Finds Its Victim This Week

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 20 Review

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom bounces viewers back to the war in Amidonia (or the fall-out from the war) after rapidly wrapping up the whole mad-scientist plot. I mean, we start still in the lab and dealing with the whole dragon bone theft issue but after seeing a weird curiosity, that mostly just made me think of mecha godzilla, Realist Hero more or less dumps that line of plot progress and instead we see the mess Julius has wrought since claiming back Amidonia.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 20

You wouldn’t think one incompetent leader could get into so much trouble so quickly but between destroying infrastructure improvements built by Elfrieden, cracking down on individuality on things such as the colour of houses, and then brutally putting down a rebellion after people had starved to death, Julius couldn’t really have done a worse job. It’s unfortunate that his father had alienated or fired anyone competent in his government leaving Julius with opportunists and morons to advise him.

Not like he would have listened to good advice anyway.

Realist Hero has already clearly established that Julius, much like his father, as a strong belief that he is in the right and that he can bully or beat down anyone who disagrees with his view of how the world should be and how he should rule. Unlike his father, Julius has neither the force of personality or the standing army to pull this one off.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 20

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom seems to be expanding Kingdom into Empire.

Seeing Julius brought down might have been amusing if Realist Hero didn’t actually have real consequences in place. While seeing someone do a poor job and pay the price for it, having to flee his own country, could be satisfying, in the meantime the people of Amidonia are starving and in fear for their lives. Not only is their own army putting down those who dare complain, the country was being invaded from the south.

What I did wonder was why Julius didn’t get the Empire to help him again? Or why didn’t Souma ask the Empire whether they supported Elfrieden annexing the neighbouring kingdom (at their request, of course)? As much as it seems a logical conclusion, if the Empire doesn’t support it then they’ll just end up where they were before.

Then again, all these invasions and talks of refugees flooding across the border struck a little too close to home this week and events in the real world are significantly more dramatic than anything this anime is managing to coble together in a fictional setting.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 20

Though, throughout all of this, Souma and Hakuya both note that while Julius’ failure was within predictions, the speed and coordination of all the failings seemed a little contrived. It was nice to see at the end that clearly there was a helping hand within Amidonia pushing events in this direction. Otherwise it really would have felt like things just too easily fell Souma’s way in Realist Hero.

And of course that brings us to the end of the episode where Souma inadvertently acquires yet another candidate for his harem. Politically it makes sense. That said, if Souma agrees to that proposal before tidying things up with Juna I suspect there’s going to be a fall out somewhere along the lines.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 20

Anyway, I could continue to point out Julius’ failings but I think that point has been well and truly established already in Realist Hero. It was interesting that when deciding what to do, Souma went through the advantages and disadvantages of expanding and taking control of Amidonia. I loved that he mentioned they would lose the reparation payments they had just secured. It actually does make it feel more realistic when that kind of materialism is definitely considered as a factor even in the midst of a humanitarian crisis.

I guess we’ll see in the next episode how all of this plays out.

Images from: How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom 2nd Season. Dir. T. Watanabe. J. C. Staff. 2022

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Karandi James

Maoyu Maou Yuusha Series Review: Understanding the Economics of War


Maoyu Maou Yuusha Overview:

In Maoyu Maou Yuusha, fifteen years have passed since the war between humans and demons began. The hero seeks to end the conflict by killing the demon king but discovers its a hot girl who actually wants to make peace and help both demons and humans thrive economically. It is an interesting set up as the two form an alliance to stop the war and change the world, hindered by those who are quite content with the status quo.

Maoyu Maou Yuusha Review:

Maoyu is a strange little anime that kind of came out, got a little bit of attention and then disappeared from sight. I’d like to pull it back out from under the bed, dust it off, and remind people that this gem exists. Certainly it isn’t going to make any of the big anime titles tremble in fear because the audience for this is going to remain fairly small, but I have a deep respect for an anime that sets out to achieve a goal and succeeds admirably even if the story here is decidedly unfinished and there’s a number of obvious fan-service choices cluttering up some of the screen time.

It is actually easier to describe Maoyu by talking about what it isn’t. It isn’t a good vs evil fantasy fight between a demon king and a hero. It isn’t really focused on action at all despite the war setting. It also isn’t an actual introduction to Economics though I’ve seen it described as such. Certainly war and good and evil and Economics all come into play in this story, but while you might gain an appreciation for why war and Economics are intrinsically linked, you aren’t going to walk out the other side of this anime able to have a conversation on Economic theory.


Maoyu, for me, felt like a critique of war stories and how these stories all end with the heroes overthrowing the villains and then declaring peace and happiness when the end result of most wars is anything but even for the victor. It also felt like a critique of the real world and the way we continue to ignore real issues due to convenience and comfort. With these two ideas forming the base of the narrative, the story that unfolds is fairly average but the message it constructs is on point.

So what is a demon king (or queen) to do when the hero has come to kill them? Lay down their life? Fight to the death? Recruit the hero into a campaign of economic reform so that neither side needs the war to continue to ensure prosperity? Let’s take option three for a change and see what happens.


None of the characters in Maoyu are given a name. Each are referred to by their job or role. This makes it much easier to generalise the ideas of this story beyond the narrative itself and see these characters as placeholders for people/nations/ideas that we are familiar with in other narratives and in real life. It is a bit awkward at times and discussing the anime by talking about the ‘female knight’ or the ‘senior maid’ might seem a bit odd to someone who hasn’t watched it, but it actually works quite well within the context of the story.

However, it isn’t all smooth sailing. Of course they want to paint a romance into the story that sometimes just feels very contrived and convenient. There are also far too many complications introduced. While on the one hand this makes the setting more true to life with multiple factions both supporting and rejecting reforms, on the other it makes it impossible to bring to any kind of satisfactory resolution to the overall narrative within the anime.

Basically, it bites off more than it can chew in its run time and ends up leaving the audience hanging, which would normally be an automatic shelve the disc and never watch again point for me, but somehow this anime managed to make me not care so much about where it was going and more about the journey to get there. Still, a season two would probably help and it is also probably never going to happen.


The other point I will make is there is a lot of times where the characters will sit or stand and discuss farming or trade or politics. And I mean, a lot of times. So if characters sitting and discussing things isn’t what you are looking for, then this anime will end up being a firm pass. However, if you don’t mind that as long as you are interested in the topic being discussed, this won’t be an issue.

I really enjoyed this series for what it was and it just felt a little bit different. While I know it has a lot of similarities to Spice and Wolf, I found this one a little more engaging and liked the characters a bit more (sorry fans of Spice and Wolf). I’d have loved for this anime to get a second season but that seems very unlikely so I’ll just have to rewatch the DVD again and enjoy this odd little story.


I’d love to know your thoughts on Maoyu if you’ve seen it. If you haven’t, do you think you would watch an anime like this or does it sound like something you will firmly pass on?

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Karandi James

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 19 – Mad Scientists and Dungeon Cores

How A Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 19 Review

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom takes us in an odd direction this week. It feels like it got tired of cleaning up after the war or the international politics and so as the opening act has a knight rushing into to talk to his majesty, the story gets an abrupt interruption and we end up in a bunker in the woods (sorry, an abandoned dungeon in the woods) which is apparently the home of a researcher who has done ‘something outrageous’.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 19

Oddly, if the idea was to shake things up a bit after episodes of characters sitting around talking or even the bloodbath that filled the throne room last episode, Realist Hero continues to tell its story through characters sitting around talking. Even though our new character was responsible for the explosive growth of an entire forest when she used to work with the army, there’s a lot of drinking tea and chit-chatting in this episode.

Our Realist Hero is about to learn not everything is magical.

As much as I kind of mocked the attempt to change pace, episode 19 is actually relatively refreshing and our mad scientist character quite a fun addition. I just kind of wish we’d seen more of her inventions in the dungeon and got to see the comical results, such as her blowing the whole group over by turning a device on that they were standing in front of, rather than watching them sit or stand around and talk quite so much.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 19

On that note, I would have loved to have seen an actual flash back of the accident that resulted in the forest growing over the entire training grounds because that sounds like it could have been a fun story.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 19

It was definitely one of those moments where even though I am watching How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom, I couldn’t help but wonder if there were more interesting stories in this world to tell other than Souma’s. And while I’m certain that forest was destructive at the time, the basic invention could still have been put to fairly effective use really. Instant forest sounds great to me.

Anyway, it isn’t until the very end of the episode that our Realist Hero finds out what outrageous thing the scientist did so we’ll shelve that discussion for the next episode or whenever they explain more about that. Instead, the invention that blew them all away, literally, isn’t just a cool device that could power boats without the aid of dragons, its power-source is something Liscia refers to as cursed stone.

Turns out, our scientist has found a way to get power out of a rock that is freely available in the Kingdom, annoyingly so according to Liscia given you can’t mine near it because it explodes if you use magic near it. While that sounds kind of volatile, Souma also recognises just how amazing a power source like that could be and just how much trouble it could bring the kingdom if he doesn’t deal with this situation right.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 19

The unfortunate part for How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom is that after Souma decides he needs the scientist to stay in his kingdom, he and Liscia promptly decide that she should marry the knight who brought them here. Admittedly, they do both confirm that the two kind of like each other first, but it does lead to one of the least romantic proposals I’ve seen in anime in a long time.

And just in case the whole thing didn’t feel transactional enough, Souma offers for the kingdom to pay for the entire wedding.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 19

As far as How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom goes, this wasn’t a bad episode. I just think, as is fairly standard for this anime at this point, it missed some good opportunities along the way. Seeing more of the scientist’s inventions could have been great fun and gotten the characters up and moving a little more rather than watching them drink tea. A somewhat longer negotiation period for the marriage may have also actually made it feel a little more romantic.

Anyway, our Realist Hero now has the potential to access a power source that will really let him start modernising this world. I wonder how that will go or will he take things slowly and cautiously?

Images from: How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom 2nd Season. Dir. T. Watanabe. J. C. Staff. 2022

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Karandi James

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 18 – By All Means, Start With A Bloodbath

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 18 Review

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom weirdly went soft on Souma following through with dealing with the two rebel dukes with Carmine’s death having apparently been grossly exaggerated last week and this week finding a creative way of not sentencing either Carla or her father to death in the end. I mean, they did just lead two branches of the military against Souma’s army so why follow through with actual consequences when they did it for such a noble cause.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 18

Yet the nobles who were clearly there to provide advice to the king were cut down in more or less an instant with the explanation that they had been having dealings with other nations. Only two survived the blood bath. All of this is ‘explained’ through a rather simplistic explanation of Machiavelli’s works and Souma is more or less just getting all of his horrendous acts out of the way and cleaning house.

Where that falls down as an explanation is two dukes who lead branches of the military actually turned those forces against the king and his army. They fought an actual war openly against their own king and yet both have survived the fall-out. I mean, they do have the advantage of not being mob-background characters unlike all those human nobles who can barely be distinguished from one another, and yet I somehow think if Souma was going to fully follow through on this philosophy he’d have thoroughly tied up any loose ends.

The joy of being a named character vs a background mob character I guess.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 18

Our Realist Hero gave himself a headache.

As much as I wasn’t sold on the solutions our Realist Hero, Souma, employed this week feeling that the decision not to just fully commit to ruthlessly clearing the slate is going to set him up for further challenges later, I was sold on his performance. For once he actually looked the part of a king in the throne room and maintained a relatively formal air during the hearing. His actions clear and decisive with no doubt that he was fully in control.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 18

This contrasted then with the Souma who left the room with Liscia and Aisha. While Souma had rationalised his choices and steeled himself to make them, deciding to fill your own throne room with the blood or traitors and actually having it carried out while you watch are two entirely separate things. That Souma was dealt a serious psychological blow by the experience actually made it far more believable.

Likewise, I feel How A Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom found an appropriate outcome for Carla. While her father was undeniably the leader of the air-force and should wear the punishment, his daughter really didn’t need to be executed even though she stood by him. The role Souma has placed her in seems to fit only I wonder if he really trusts her judgement that much given she blindly followed her father previously?

Either way, it is clear no one else in Souma’s harem will actually stop him even if he did start going too far so having Carla on board might be a good thing for Realist Hero in the future. At least unless she decides to jump on board the Souma-harem as well.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 18

And can we talk about that harem? I still haven’t quite understood why all these girls seem to be so into Souma. The guy has almost zero presence most of the time and while he’s doing a decent enough job as a leader one could argue that Hakuya is doing a lot of the leg-work and getting very little of the credit.

Anyway, as Realist Hero puts these events behind us, it is starting to have the Princess of Amidonia move. She’s unimpressed at the deal her brother struck to return Van and clearly has her own agenda. I guess we’ll just have to wait to see what that agenda actually is.

Images from: How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom 2nd Season. Dir. T. Watanabe. J. C. Staff. 2022

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Karandi James

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 17 – Executions and Proposals

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 17

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.

how a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 17

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.

How The Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 17

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.

Realist Hero Episode 17

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.

Realist Hero Episode 17

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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Karandi James

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 16 – Is Anyone Else Expecting a Mass Exodus From Van?

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 16 Review

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom seems to at least acknowledge that the people of Van weren’t all that upset that the Kingdom had invaded. After the negotiations finally conclude, and I’ll discuss those in a moment and Souma and his friends, including their army, finally leave the city for home, it is clear that the citizens of Van are deeply troubled about their future.

I’m wondering how many of them will try to leave to go and live in the Kingdom instead and whether the idiot Prince manages to hold onto power for even a month.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 16

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom continues to have some fairly simplistic views on economics and politics but I guess they’d talk even longer if they were trying for something complicated.

Does anyone else find it curious that Souma came from a world full of inequality and conflicts and yet somehow the political views and theories from that world are like a magic formula that make everything better in fantasy land? How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom loves to pull out its Machiavelli quotes (and quotes from other places) but if fortune cookie logic was enough to be a brilliant ruler surely we’d have more examples of it happening on Earth.

It’s kind of obvious that the Prince is going to fail to unite his kingdom without the stronger personality of his father to hold the military together. Plus, the boogie man stories of the evil kingdom have more or less been defused by the presence of the kingdom in the capital city for so long. The people there know that they weren’t horrible and oppressive so blaming them for everything wrong in Amidonia isn’t really going to fly anymore.

Of course, I am wondering where the Princess ended up all things considered. She at least seemed to have a few functioning brain cells.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 16

So the agreement is signed and our Realist Hero is trying to prevent future military incursions by insuring they don’t have the budget for it for a time. Which would work if the person he was dealing with used logic. What is more likely to happen is that the idiot will raise taxes and blame it on the reparation payments without actually reducing the amount he is spending on building up his military. But I guess we’ll see.

We also see Jeanne return to the Empire and happily reunite with her sister where she reveals the many wondrous things Souma has said and done in the brief time she’s known him. It is hardly a comprehensive or analytical report but whatever. What I did find interesting was that we find out the hero summoning was never supposed to find someone to defeat the demons but someone who would bring about a revolution. From that point of view the summoning has clearly been very successful.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 16

Then I guess because the episode wasn’t over yet but for whatever reason How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom didn’t want to kick off the next plot point yet, we visit the adventurers having a drinking party on the Kingdom for their services during the war. I’m kind of struggling to remember what they did. I know they did something but all of those characters have been so utterly forgettable I genuinely cannot remember.

Naturally the weird mascot thing that Souma uses was there as well.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 16

It is on that unremarkable note that the episode sputters to a stop. On the bright side it feels like they’ve finally closed this chapter of story which makes me kind of hopeful that maybe next episode they’ll move on to something else. On the other hand, How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom has now been back for three episodes and other than signing one peace treaty it hasn’t really accomplished anything of note.

Images from: How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom 2nd Season. Dir. T. Watanabe. J. C. Staff. 2022

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Karandi James

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 15 – Let’s Talk About Everything, And Then Keep Talking

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 15 Review

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.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 15

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.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 15

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.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 15

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).

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom episode 15

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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Karandi James

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 14 – Negotiations Are About Knowing Your Position

How A Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 14 Review

I wasn’t the biggest fan of How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom in Summer 2021 when season one aired but I did say at the end of my season review I’d probably watch the second season because it wasn’t a bad way to pass a season. And so Winter 2022 gives us How a Realist Rebuilt the Kingdom 2nd Season though Funimation continues counting as if it never ended and so here are my thoughts on episode 14.

First off, if you didn’t watch the first thirteen episodes then give up right now, go back and watch them (if you are interested) because this episode just kind of dumps us right back where episode 13 abruptly cut off. I mean, we do get a really quick narration summary of events but without having watched it you’d be totally lost. We get a very brief glimpse of the previous king and his wife musing about things and being cryptic for the fun of it and then the rest of the episode focuses on Souma and the negotiations over the city he took over at the end of the last season.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 14

Has How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom improved?

With the same director and cast returning it really is as if this series never left us. How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom continues to have Souma explaining things, in this instance how to get a stagnating economy moving, while the political situation continues. In this instance, Prince Julius has brought the Empire in to negotiate the return of the city of Van after his father lost it to Souma.

I do very much like that Souma very clearly outlines Julius and his father’s short-comings before pretty much dismissing him while not dismissing the empire. In showing us just why he is called the Realist Hero, Souma acknowledges that he doesn’t need to negotiate with Julius but the Empire and its power are a different story and he very much needs to negotiate with them. I guess the question is does he want to keep Van or is he happy to hand it back over provided his price is met? And what would his price be?

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 14

As usual though we have the peanut gallery gathered around to ask questions and get into a bit of a back and forth that really serves no purpose. After Souma has dismissed Julius he sends someone to start the banquet and show him some hospitality though lacking a key piece of information it turns out he’s given her permission to more or less get Julius flat drunk. What follows is an exchange between Liscia and Souma that might be amusing except that it is happening in front of the Empire’s representative and that just doesn’t seem appropriate or likely.

Equally, I had to wonder why How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom didn’t have Souma change out of his Japanese clothes for the negotiations given it is clearly a somewhat more formal affair. Not to mention while it made sense at first that he continued to wear that outfit he’s been in the Kingdom long enough now that surely a costume change is in order.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Episode 14

Visually this first episode is about the same as what you would have come to expect from season one but there’s very little movement going on this week. The majority of the episode is taken up through characters talking either about reconstructing the city or the negotiations and so animation is pretty minimal all around.

First impressions of the new season of How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom: Business as usual. If you liked season one then this just smoothly continues on but it hasn’t given viewers who were on the fence any reason to really jump on board.

Images from: How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom 2nd Season. Dir. T. Watanabe. J. C. Staff. 2022

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Karandi James

One Punch Man Series Review


One Punch Man Overview:

Saitama became a hero fun fun in One Punch Man but still didn’t get a lot of recognition. After unwillingly gaining a disciple (the cyborg Genos), Saitama takes the test to become an official hero and then begins tackling official jobs. Unfortunately, other than Genos, no one else seems to realise just how strong Saitama is.

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One Punch Man Review:

It’s really difficult to review One Punch Man. On the one hand, it is awesome. The main character defeats his enemies with one punch. It’s funny. It’s visually striking. The music is really well chosen. Which all leaves you wondering if being cool is enough for an anime?

On the other hand, essentially the plot of One Punch Man is a guy with almost zero motivation who instantly kills his opponents removing any tension from any conflict and once you’ve seen the punch line to most of the jokes there isn’t a lot of rewatch value.

So is it good or isn’t it?

Saitama from One Punch Man

In One Punch Man, Saitama really feels like a character for the modern world. He’s self-centred, lazy, and reasonably ignorant of things that don’t particularly impact on him (not saying that everyone in the modern world is like that but it is certainly a recognition of a social trend). He also has a very high opinion of himself and his value and at times seems to carry a giant chip on his shoulder about the lack of credit he receives for his work.

Compared to the superheroes of the past (or the current Hollywood trend of dark and edgy heroes), Saitama is a fantastic breath of fresh air and fairly easy to relate to.

And he has even more depth than most of us initially give him credit  for. There are times when he could receive recognition but because of the ramifications to others, Saitama deliberately plays down his part in a job. Given his usual self-involved attitude, these moments are really important to making him feel like a genuine character and someone who is becoming more aware of the world around them even as he seeks recognition.

Saitama vs Genos, One Punch Man

However, when you start your anime with city destroying monsters, giants, cyborgs, gorillas and life sucking mosquitos, how do you up the ante? Sure, aliens? Why not?

Only they don’t come off as any more threatening than the hoodlums or any of the other villains we’ve seen. I think they are supposed to, given all of the heroes are seemingly gathered to face them, but what we end up with is a series of small group fights that lack punch (sorry about that) and then Saitama squaring off against the leader of the aliens and… well winning with one punch.

They may draw out this battle sequence for longer than others in the series, but to be honest the outcome is obvious and you’re not sitting on the edge of your seat waiting but rather just waiting for the inevitable punch line.

Ugly - One Punch Man

Despite appreciating Saitama as a superhero for the modern world, my favourite character from the show has to be Genos. He is your typical hero in every sense of the word. Tragic childhood on quest for revenge and to save others from the same fate. Willing to sacrifice himself and always working to improve. He is also the only one who really recognises Saitama for what he actually is (even if his perception is a little tinted by rose coloured glasses).

Genos also brings about some of the more amusing and tragic moments of the anime as he tends ot attempt self-destruction fairly regularly (to save others of course) or gets swatted into pieces. You feel bad for him but can’t help but laugh and given how much damage he sustains in early episodes without lasting impact (because apparently being a cyborg means anything can be fixed) it takes a lot of the trauma out of his injuries.

While Genos couldn’t carry the show by himself (he is too weighed down with clichés), he is an excellent support character and adds just the right notes of earnestness, dedication, and over-zealous stupidity to most scenes.


But as much as these characters rise above what they kind of feel they should be, the plot does not.

Saitama is strong. Saitama is good. Saitama hits things and kills them in one punch. Really? Possibly this is a story about the organisation for heroes and maybe there’s more to the whole thing there but in the first season (which is all we have at the moment), there is genuinely no real plot. There are a series of incidents that get dealt with and in the process we see Saitama and Genos interacting more and more with other heroes (all of which have their own agendas and motives). This is not actually a plot.

The series is a series of set-ups and punch lines with just enough world building packed around it to make it feel like maybe there is some plot progression. Certainly there is space for there to be a plot. you know, the hero guy who seems to be wanting to take over, and the other guy who… wait we just don’t know what they are actually up to and they probably made up less than 5% of the screen time so let’s not justify that as a plot.


Though, while not slowed down by actually needing to really string things together, One Punch Man is high energy fun. I may make fun of the obvious ends to battles but the show continues to find ways to make these amusing and visually appealing regardless.

More importantly, they keep finding ways to make battle sequences look and feel different (even knowing they will end the same way). The sheer variety in the enemies and the use of lesser heroes and even the stronger heroes in the early stages of fights keeps things feeling fresh and moving.


But One Punch Man is a comedy. And for me, probably unsurprisingly to a my regular readers, a lot of the jokes fell flat. Even the ones that were pretty funny the first time round weren’t particularly amusing when I tried to watch it again with a friend.

A lot of the humour relies on shock and spectacle and unfortunately that just doesn’t hold up to a second viewing. The character related humour worked better but even that didn’t have the same impact on rewatch. There are definitely some satirical elements at work here, but the show isn’t really cohesive enough to call itself a satire. Mostly, it’s just going for amusement and entertainment and for the most part it succeeds.


My recommendation? If you haven’t watched it and seen what all the fuss is about, you probably should give it a go. The first time through it does have quite an impact and it isn’t as though anything can spoil this show because it is all about the emotion connected to the scene rather than the events. For me though, I won’t say this is a ‘best’ show or even one that will be long remembered. It is a good watch but that’s about it.

What did you think of One Punch Man?

Images from: One Punch Man. Dir. S Natsume. Madhouse. 2015.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James