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.
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 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.
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.
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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