Seirei Gensouki Anime Series Review – High Potential But Limited Pay-Off For Anime Only Viewers

Seirei Gensouki Series Review

The Seirei Gensouki anime is going to be a challenge to fairly review. Because objectively it isn’t that bad. There’s actually a number of positives I’ll discuss throughout this review. However, with the anime series ending the way it does it more or less makes this an impossible recommendation in terms of anime to watch. Largely because clearly this is for people who’ve read the source as there’s little satisfaction to be found otherwise.

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Seirei Gensouki anime

Seirei Gensouki anime – It’s a race to adapt.

From early on in the Seirei Gensouki anime it became fairly apparent that this was an anime intent on getting through material fast. Characters get isekai’d (at least through a bus accident rather than main character getting hit by ubiquitous truck) and the main character rescued a princess, is tortured, accepted into some academy, learns sword fighting and magic, is framed for potentially putting the princess at risk, runs away, saves the assassin sent after him, and so on and all of this is within the first third of the series.

The pace doesn’t slow down after that as Rio, our main characters, plunges on to new settings and situations, learns new skills, meets new characters, faces various potential challenges (none of which actually seem to challenge him and we’ll discuss that in a moment) and then moves on.

Seirei Gensouki anime

What this means is for anime only viewers of Seirei Gensouki is that none of these characters or settings leave much of an impression. None of it is actually bad. I kind of think the world we very quickly see in this anime series could be incredibly interesting. But nor can I say that the anime gives us time to appreciate any of the places or people Rio meets and by the end they all just kind of blur together. I’d really struggle to name more than three characters and all three of them would be characters who appear at the start and end of the series.

Fortunately though, while we’re doing this travel style anime, visually Seirei Gensouki looks really pretty. That isn’t quite the same as saying it has good animation because the actual movement is serviceable. But backgrounds and character designs are really nice to look at and I like the bright use of colours. If I had to continuously watch a character move through different locations, this at least felt like it was visually up to the task of bringing those places to life.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 4 - Volcanic terrain

And if you went in knowing you were going to very hastily skate over a story and settings that are probably told better in the source (never read it so won’t say for sure) you can probably end up appreciating the Seirei Gensouki anime for what it does do and in terms of isekai light novels, while there’s definitely some of the common tropes I get the feeling that this story could be a lot more interesting than the usual cliché paint-by-numbers efforts.

Where Seirei Gensouki stretched my reasonably favourable view to far was in how it ended. I’ve kind of made my opinion of episode 12 clear in the review so I won’t rehash it here. However, in reviewing the whole series let me be clear that this story won’t resolve any of the main plot line and will still be introducing new ideas right up to and after the closing credits. If you want any sense of resolution, this adaptation will not deliver it.

Seirei Gensouki Ep12 4

Which actually makes me wonder if they ever had any intention of making this anime a story or if they really were just making an advertisement for the books. And even if they were making an advertisement for the books, that’s no excuse for not considering viewers at all and thinking about where a decent resting point might be for a season end. The way they’ve done it here really does just feel lacking and somewhat lazy and it leaves a bitter taste in the viewer’s mouth when actually the series as a whole wasn’t brilliant but it also wasn’t bad.

Talk about shooting yourself in your own foot.

Anyway, the Seirei Gensouki anime follows Rio/Haruto who at first is kind of an interesting isekai protagonist. Sure he’s overpowered in some respects and being able to access Haruto’s sword training from Japan gives him some advantages. However Rio makes the decision to live in his current world and while he takes advantage of some of Haruto’s abilities, he really sets out to make himself his own person. It’s an interesting decision and one that feels different from so many isekai characters who lean heavily on their former lives.

Seirei Gensouki Ep1 1

Equally, Rio starts out in a quite low position in society and a lot of characters work to keep him there. This inevitably leads to him finding out that his mother was… you know what, it is a pretty obvious reveal but even so I’ll let you find out for yourselves if you ever watch the anime or read the source.

At times, the younger Rio even has glimpses of an actual personality.

Unfortunately, by the very short number of episodes we have until Rio is older, somehow that all kind of gets washed away and instead we have the usual kind older brother character who saves girls but asks for little or nothing in return. He’s nice to everyone except those who have clearly demonstrated themselves to be evil (or completely idiotic) and then he easily defeats them giving them their much deserved comeuppance.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 6 - Rio saves the girl

He usually doesn’t even break a sweat. Not against idiots. Not against wyverns. Pretty much the only fight that even damages his cloak is the final one in episode 12 and even then he wasn’t really in danger.

This makes it hard for the Seirei Gensouki anime to really get an emotional response from the viewers. The main character is never in danger so there’s little to no tension. He equally has insufficient personality traits to really be more than your standard isekai trope wandering through a story that is being rushed so I’m left with little to say about him other than he’s good with a sword, has learned spirit arts, has a harem of girls, and is nice. We could apply most of that description to way too many other characters so Rio isn’t really going to stick in my memory very long.

The girls, for the most part, are very cute and most of them seem to have a personality, they just don’t ever get enough screen time to really let it shine. This is another case where the Seirei Gensouki anime’s pace hurt it. None of the girls travel with Rio for very long so as he moves on they disappear from the story until he passes back through their lives. While each one could be an interesting character, they inevitably don’t get the chance.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 6 - What kind of egg?

All and all, I wanted more from the set up here and I feel that the worst offense the Seirei Gensouki anime commits is wasting the potential of this story and these characters. If the goal had been to tell a decent story based upon these ideas and with these characters, that fit within the confines of an anime season, they really could have done a better job. The waste of potential hurts more than anything else.

Which means, I can’t recommend this anime. It isn’t the worst thing you’ll ever watch, but nor is there any point to watching it. If you want this story, its probably better to explore it through a medium that takes a bit more time with each part and may at some point conclude. Here, you’ll just be left with an incomplete narrative and feel like the goal was to get through it as fast as possible rather than to enjoy the journey.

If you watched the Seirei Gensouki anime what did you think?

Images from: Seirei Gensouki. Dir. O Yamasaki. TMS Entertainment. 2021

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Karandi James

Seirei Gensouki Episode 12 Impressions – It Literally Just Stopped

Seirei Gensouki Episode 12 Review

I am fine with an anime series wanting to leave room for a sequel. I’ve even come to accept anime that exist just to promote source material and so never actually intend to adapt a full story. But anime like Seirei Gensouki that just stop practically mid-sentence and not only don’t resolve existing issues but actually throw more in to the final few minutes are really just kind of annoying.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 12
Yes, this story was a bit of a train wreck in the end.

It’s like someone gave you a book but ripped out the second half so you get through what you have and it just stops.

Absolutely spoilers below.

We’ve arrived at the end of Seirei Gensouki

In fairness to Seirei Gensouki, they do at least close a loop with Rio returning to rescue Celia and succeeding (like that was in any doubt given Rio hasn’t actually faced anything that even vaguely presented a challenge since the first episode). It would have been nice if this rescue had in any way felt rewarding or like somehow Rio had gained something by doing it, or even if the characters had been able to spend a moment actually enjoying the success.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 12

Instead, the final episode of Seirei Gensouki has all these coloured lights shooting into the sky, plays the closing credits, then we see a sequence where some Japanese kids are getting attacked in this fantasy world, loaded onto carts, Rio comes and does some violence and reaches out to cute girl who is probably childhood friend because he really needed yet another additional to his harem.

In case it sounds like I’m being snarky, I kind of am.


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You can forgive a lot in some anime provided it remains kind of fun to watch. While generic overpowered protagonists who are nice to all the girls feature far too often in isekai stories provided there’s enough else it can still hold your interest.

What I won’t forgive is utterly inept story-telling now it is clear that the anime of Seirei Gensouki has no clue how to create or capitalise on dramatic tension, has no desire to actually flesh out characters, and even the world building has been ploughed through so quickly that those in the audience who are experiencing this story for the first time (such as myself who has not read the source) kind of feel like we’ve gotten the cliff-notes version of what should actually be a fairly rich fantasy world filled with some interesting magical lore.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 12

At every point prior, there was a chance that once Seirei Gensouki found its feet it could overcome these issues. But with the final episode of the season airing more or less doubling down on every issue the series has had (poor, wooden villains, overpowered MC with limited personality or clear motive, supporting cast who mostly stand around and do little, plot that seems to be character goes from here to here, and mystery of the whole being reborn thing utterly unaddressed), episode 12 more or less serves as an object lesson of everything wrong with the anime.

When I go to review the whole series, I will actually revisit the positives, because there was some fun to be had on this journey, but right now I just watched a final episode that left a foul taste in my mouth so I’m really not in the mood to play nice.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 12

Charles remained pathetic at every step of this final episode and truly displayed his full range of incompetence. As did most the soldiers who were the worst kind of mindless mob that Rio more or less just jumped over. That was when they weren’t shooting the houses of their own citizenry.

We did get one vaguely decent fight when Alfred took on Rio in the street but rather than offering any resolution here Seirei Gensouki left it more or less a draw with Rio leaving the scene and Alfred searching but not finding him.

Seirei Grensouki Episode 12

Even red-eyed villain who has been kind of drifting through this whole story kind of launched one attack but mostly just watched everything unfold.

With so many characters standing around passively or uselessly, there’s little to say other than Rio came to the wedding, kidnapped the bride, ran away and escaped the entire army (that’s got to hurt the kingdom’s credibility). And rather than dealing with any of this, we instantly move onto a totally different plot point and then the episode ends.


Oh well, I guess I could always read the books and find out how this story is actually supposed to go.

Images from: Seirei Gensouki. Dir. O Yamasaki. TMS Entertainment. 2021

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Karandi James

Seirei Gensouki Episode 11 Impressions – The Tears of a Silver Bride

Seirei Gensouki Episode 11 Review

After feeling that episode 10 of Seirei Gensouki was a little ho-hum I was genuinely caught by surprise at the end of this week’s episode. Admittedly, the end credits rolled over part of the wedding procession and there’s an after credit’s sequence that must be watched, but this episode still felt like it simply flew by and it was a very solid penultimate episode setting up what will probably be a decent season conclusion next week.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 11

Seirei Gensouki reunites the cast from the early episodes in these final ones.

While it really does feel like Seirei Gensouki has really rushed through a lot of content leaving the world building and a lot of the supporting cast feeling a little paper-thin, I can’t deny that there’s a fairly exciting story here. Part of me wishes the execution had been a little more on point given this could have been a really brilliant, epic fantasy.

Instead, we get something that works well enough but never quite satisfies.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 11

Speaking of not quite satisfying, Charles really continues to lack any kind of menace. He’s just such an open bully and idiot and it is kind of clear that without those backing him he wouldn’t have risen to any height. The only real question is who can stand being around him long enough to give him a hand-up, but at the same time he’s probably the perfect patsy because he kind of believes he deserves everything and that somehow his own merit has allowed him to achieve it.

Fortunately, this episode isn’t asking us to care about Charles so much as to understand Celia’s current predicament.

And that’s actually enough tension to drive the episode and make this one of the most interesting Seirei Gensouki has put on offer yet. Unlike Rio, Celia isn’t easily walking through her conflict. Instead, she’s trying very, very hard to keep a brave face on during a situation where she is forced to marry a someone she really doesn’t love in order to protect her family.

Worst, the guy already has multiple wives who have made it clear they intend to look down on her. And even if she does go through the marriage, there’s no guarantee her family will be any safer.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 11

Celia’s reaction when she saw Rio during the procession was kind of perfect and was just the right emotional note after such a tense and highly strung episode.

Still, it is really hard to really get a sense of the politics at play here because we’ve been following Rio and the exposition dump at he start of the episode gained from Rio’s questioning of the guy at the academy isn’t enough to really fill in all the ins and outs.

About the only clear danger in Seirei Gensouki is that Celia is going to be utterly miserable if this marriage happens and honestly they made me care enough about her that the overall lack of understanding of the political ins and outs isn’t actually that much of a problem.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 11

As I said in the beginning, this is a solid penultimate episode in that it does everything you really need from a next to last episode. It feels like we’re close to a climax and they’ve made me invested enough in the outcome that I’m now excited for the final episode.

While I’m not entirely sure what my overall opinion of Seirei Gensouki will be as it has had its moments but also lacked in some areas, I do know that I’ll be pretty excited to see what Rio does in the final episode and I really do want to find out what happens for Celia.

Images from: Seirei Gensouki. Dir. O Yamasaki. TMS Entertainment. 2021

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Karandi James

Seirei Gensouki Episode 10 Impressions – An All Round Amazing Spirit For An All Round Amazing Protagonist

Seirei Gensouki Episode 10 Review

What a difference a few years makes, or at least that’s what Rio is going to discover when he finally returns to see Claire this week in Seirei Gensouki.

Last week ended with him waking up beside a naked girl, which is quickly explained as harmless because she’s an amnesiac spirit who ends up just dressing herself using mana. Anyway, Rio quickly sees that she bares an uncanny resemblance to the childhood friend/crush he had back in Japan when he was Haruto and so naturally he gives spirit girl the same name, Aishia.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 10 - Aishia

Not entirely sure it makes sense to cling on to that life, particularly when Rio has spent a lot of time making sure he’s living in this life and not in the past, but hey, childhood crush.

Meanwhile, Aishia is wowing everyone in Seirei Gensouki by being able to control pretty much every element and she fights Rio and matches his level of amazingness which given he has protagonist plot armour deeply wrapped around him is an impressive feat indeed.

Does it feel like Seirei Gensouki is missing something?

The whole way through this season, Seirei Gensouki has been driving forward. Rio seldom stays in one place longer than two episodes (outside of the initial kingdom which he lasted three episodes in) and he meets different people and makes different friends in each location.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 10

Problem is, at episode 10 with 2 episodes to go, I’m left wondering if enough has been done to really make me care about this trumped up conflict Claire is now in. Plus, Rio seems to pass in and out of Latifa’s life pretty easily and it would be good to see if he at least intended to eventually settle down in one of the locations he’s visited.

With all that said though, Aishia was pretty awesome to see in action and the fight between her and Rio was solidly entertaining and perhaps the most dynamic fight we’ve seen from Seirei Gensouki yet. That they spent a little too much of it on reactions from those watching isn’t really a problem given visually Seirei Gensouki hasn’t been a disaster but nor is it particularly impressive.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 10

Return of the lame villains.

Still, one of my earliest complaints about Seirei Gensouki was how incredibly lacking in nuance the villains or antagonists were. They are bullies or blunt instruments and they don’t manage to ever feel even vaguely threatening or even plausible as a real character. So it is with the smug faced Charles this week and if this is the final confrontation for Rio I really don’t think I’m gonig to be that invested.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 10

See, I was kind of hoping for Rio to confront the guy who killed his mother, a potential actual threat, rather than deal with some arbitrary issue that really doesn’t seem to be connected to much of anything we’ve seen so far.

But we can’t have everything and episode 10 of Seirei Gensouki delivers cute girls, magic battles, yet another scene change for Rio, and it does set up this new conflict even if I’m not so keen on watching it play out. There’s little more you can ask for this late in the season so lets hope Seirei Gensouki can end strong.

Images from: Seirei Gensouki. Dir. O Yamasaki. TMS Entertainment. 2021

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Karandi James

My Experience Following Two Light Novels Turned Into Anime This Summer Season: Realist Hero and Seirei Gensouki

light novel adaptation - Seirei Gensouki and Realist Hero

Hello, name’s Justin. I manage TheOASG — The Organization of Anti-Social Geniuses — a Japanese pop culture site focusing on manga, light novels, and anime with reviews and various features written throughout the week. Much thanks to Karandi for allowing this guest post on her blog, which, as it’s somewhat long, we should get to immediately!

Realist Hero and Seirei Gensouki - both Light Novels turned into Anime

I’ve been very amused watching How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom and Seirei Gensouki: Spirit Chronicles this summer anime season. Amused in the sense I’m reading the light novels of both, and they’re both being adapted in completely different ways. One series is content on methodically moving through its long material while the other blows right through its fairly light content. They each provide their own enjoyment, but at the same time, feelings of what could’ve been arise in both. 

Anyways, it’s rare for me to follow two light novels turned into anime in a season, which is why I’m writing about the experience!

A caveat

While there’s a general method of adapting a work into anime, I won’t say most should strictly stick to it. Like everything It’ll come down to budget, scheduling, and support among many to create a good or great anime, but for series adaptations, the studio should be able to create a work that can bring in a new audience while also being able to satisfy the fans who’ve read the source material. Usually it’s not advisable to go too crazy, but being as creative as possible while adapting the source is more preferable. 

How much have I read of each?

Realist Hero: I’ve read 11 volumes of Realist Hero that’s currently out in print from Seven Seas/J-Novel Club in roughly two weeks in 2021…after I’ve had Volume 1 in my apartment since 2019. There are 13 volumes out digitally from J-Novel Club, with 14 currently through pre-publication on their site (volume 14 is scheduled for October). I’m planning to stick to print for Realist Hero, so can’t answer questions about its story past that.

Seirei Gensouki: I started this series with JNC’s omnibus print release back in June (bought a copy back in February), and then proceeded to read all 13 digital volumes since then. I’m now caught up with its prepub on JNC’s site (Volume 16 is coming out in late September). It took me just about a week to read Seirei Gensouki. This is where I note that the average page count for Seirei Gensouki is between 100-131 pages…there was even a volume or two that was 97 pages. That and what it is (more isekai fantasy not an economic/political isekai fantasy) made it a lot quicker to read.

How many volumes has the anime adapted?

Realist Hero: We have gotten to Episode 9 and it’s finally onto Volume 2! Yes, Episodes 1-8, and even bleeding and lingering a bit into Episode 9, was spent on Volume 1. Hell they even added the extra story towards the end of Volume 1 into the anime! 

Seirei Gensouki: After nine episodes, we’re onto Volume 4 of the LNs! So basically, Volume 1 was episodes 1-3, Volume 2 episodes 4-6, and Volume 3 episodes 7-9, with parts of Volume 4 at the end of 9. 

The Pros and Cons of Realist Hero

Realist Hero

Pros: For those who’ve read the source, it’ll be very familiar since I’d say roughly 70% of Volume 1 has been animated. So basically, if you were enjoying some almost university modern-day Socioeconomic student get summoned by a failing fantasy kingdom to become their Hero only for said student to instead apply his sensibilities and supposedly realist principles to rebuild Elfrieden through administrative efforts in LN form, chances are you’ll like it animated. 

A few storytelling adjustments (How Mystic Wolf Tomoe becomes Souma and Liscia’s little sister is the same but it’s done in an unobtrusive way for example) help smooth out some points in Dojyomaru’s first volume that probably either wasn’t necessary or kinda ill placed (For example while there was a cool moment not adapted, the location for when Souma confronts Hal and Kaede in Episode 6 was pretty awkward in the LN). Also bonus points for adding some extra references (the Yami Yugi moment in episode 1, an a capella version of Megumi Hayashibara’s Give a Reason from Slayers NEXT sung by Juna in Episode 3 to name a few) that were either not in the LN or were but had to be adjusted.

Cons: If there is a big misgiving, it’s how it looks. Functionally the characters look fine and I think overall the show looks passable, but it does look unappealing in a lot of areas. It’s either a case of lack of budget or they’re saving it from when the actual action happens since going in it’s all about characters talking, but visuals is not this series’ strong suit. There are some rearrangements or adjustments that have happened so far that I wish could’ve been included (Liscia being frustrated that Souma says Elfrieden can summon another hero was essentially toned down) or a few surprising stories that I figured would get cut (Like the old man’s Sea God story). There’s also one plot point involving Souma and Hal’s father, Glaive, that’s there yet fairly different in the LNs. How Juna was revealed to be a spy didn’t quite go how it went in the LNs either, to name a few.

The additional issue is because of Realist Hero’s lengthy exposition, you know a lot of words would have to be streamlined, but overall it’s fine. It’s just certain conversations — when Aisha talks to Souma about periodic thinning for example — lacks some lead up details so the forest conversation can come across as knowing too much. Conversely, if you found it kind of strange when Souma essentially promoted Kaede and Hal after discussing the current strife with one of the Three Dukes, let’s just say he had a big reason to do it in the LN (and said reason will come up in the anime). You can explain all you want in text, but an anime has to break all that down to something digestible, and sometimes it doesn’t come through here. Since I’ve read the source I know what Souma’s saying and meaning, but for those who haven’t, it likely comes across very differently.

The Pros and Cons of Seirei Gensouki

Seirei Gensouki

Pros: After some adjustment I’ve been digging the character designs and the interactions the characters have with each other, which is one of the reasons I enjoy the LN. The anime also moves at a quick pace, which in some cases, works out pretty well. It has made lots of cuts, a few for the better here:

From a storytelling standpoint, with this one scene it eliminated two characters from the LN — and since they’re essentially minor characters, it’s fine. If you come in seeing Celia give Rio money, she wasn’t the only one — someone else did too. But well, that someone else died in the scene where Rio returns to the shack, and that someone else has a sister who does appear briefly in the second volume, but hasn’t appeared again in the LN (and feels unlikely to do so). That I’d peg as a smart cut. Sure, it might be nice to have, but on a budget and wanting to get to a good point, the anime staff made the proper choice.

Aside from that, the main “hook” for this isekai is one that at least in anime form doesn’t happen often — the fantasy character actually sticking around. It’s either straight up reincarnated and you take over that fantasy person’s body, but instead, Haruto Amakawa from Japan is dead, and his memories are in Rio, a kid in the slums fueled by revenge. It’s a case where two totally different personalities meld together, which generally creates a sort of who’s taking after who in this case. The harem that does surround him will be what’ll either drive away or bring people into this series though.

Cons: So earlier I said this series made lots of cuts. Overall, the cuts make a lot of storytelling and worldbuilding feel lacking. From explaining the difference between magic and Spirit Arts to character actions, the lack of subtle details prevents us from getting a full sense of each character as opposed to the LN. This in turn bleeds into the story, as of which it only revolves around Haruto/Rio essentially journeying around the world. Now in the novels technically the main story kicks off in Volume 4 once the [Spoiler characters] arrive. It’s just the lead up to it feels like it’s missing something.

It also doesn’t help that because of the cuts, it also feels too rushed. The quick pace works out in some cases, but then we get Episode 8 where the series has Rio talking to two very important people in his life, he’s then supposed to have a match with Gouki — oh look that child he saved earlier in the episode and her bodyguard meet up after he tried to avoid them, they briefly chat, and now Rio and Gouki spar!

I’m serious. This happened in roughly a minute: 

Also while earlier I mentioned two minor characters getting cut, don’t worry, there are a couple others. There’s one additional minor character that has been cut that appears a solid amount in future volumes. If there happens to be a Season 2 for this anime, they’ll have to invent a backstory for said minor character out of cloth…or not. Finally yeah, the actual animation isn’t the best. In the video you saw earlier with Celia giving Rio money, you understand the characters are using magic, but the characters moving the way they are is fairly poor and the blue magic surrounding them is pretty basic. The Latifa/Rio fight is the one where I was really satisfied, but the other fights in this action series don’t stick out as they should. 

So….my preference?

The measured pace in Realist Hero feels more preferable than what’s happening to Seirei Gensouki. I still enjoy Seirei Gensouki and in some areas I wish Realist Hero hurried things up and cut some stuff out. As someone reading both source materials though, it feels for Seirei Gensouki it’s cutting out parts that harm the characters inhabiting it, and any type of character building through its dialogue or its fights is quickly over with so nothing can quite stick. Meanwhile you can quickly suss whether anything Realist Hero does is worth your time or not in three episodes because aside from additional details in the novel, this is about what you’re getting from a kingdom-building isekai. 

What’s next for Realist Hero and Seirei Gensouki

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Realist Hero: It’s got four episodes left to finish Volume 2…with a possible chance of adapting parts of Volume 3. While I can’t be fully confident, I’m sure it should end at a good stopping point. It can’t be great since there’s no guarantee of a S2 and there is a great stopping point with Volume 4 that won’t happen here. But there is a solid end point in Volume 2 that can work, so as long as the animation doesn’t melt, it’ll end strong enough.

Seirei Gensouki: The series has followed the 3 episodes = 1 volume scenario except for episode 9 where they put some Volume 4 stuff up, but based on the Opening and Ending animation/visual, it’s ending in Volume 5. So in the next three episodes the series has to adapt two volumes. The good news is Volume 5 is a natural stopping point. The bad news is we already have a significant deviation based on the stinger in Episode 9.

Will not elaborate this point to avoid massive spoilers, but the character you saw at the end of the episode, who I’ll refer to as Rio’s spirit, did not actually appear in the spirit folk village in Rio’s bed in the LN. For anime-only watchers I think you’d be like finally, we’ll know who she is…but since I’m reading the source, I now have many questions on how the anime will tie in the other plot points (yes, points) from the novel in the last three episodes. Is one completely cut? Is it rearranged?

Also, you’ve seen her introduced as Lotte — also known as Liselotte — and she’s a major character that we know is one of the reincarnated characters in the show, and she appears briefly in Volume 5 of the LN. They’ve met back in Episode 4, but Rio and Liselotte really meet in Volume 6 of the LN. In the OP and more clearly elaborated on in Episode 8, we’ve also been introduced to Rio’s nemesis, Lucius. A spoiler, but these two meet in Volume 7 — is the anime going to tease Lucius and not have them meet? It’s a case where it would feel a little irresponsible to introduce someone like Liselotte into the narrative all grown up and not explore her backstory at all in this anime. Lucius is on a lesser scale if only because his backstory is tied deeply to Rio so you can’t not include him in this anime, but is he in the OP as eye candy/tease? 

Basically, I think some sort of anime-original scenario is on the table, and the chances of that happening went up a bit thanks to how Episode 9 ended. Episode 10 should make that clearer, but functionally there is a way they can make Rio’s spirit waking up this early work while not totally messing up one of the plot points. But despite all the prior cuts the story still was fairly on track and engaging enough. Yet now I’m left wondering even more how much will be crunched over the next three weeks. 

Images from: Seirei Gensouki. Dir. O Yamasaki. TMS Entertainment. 2021 and How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom. Dir. T Watanabe. J.C.Staff. 2021

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Karandi James

Seirei Gensouki Episode 9 Impressions – We’re Back To The Beginning

Seirei Gensouki Episode 9 Review

Seirei Gensouki episode 9 more or less opens with Rio explaining his origins to his cousin and then telling her he intends to leave the village in a year. What follows is a fairly truncated view of his life in the village over the next few months with seasons changing and Sayo making her own preparations as she’s not quite ready to let go of Rio.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 9

Ultimately, other than being a snap-shot of a nice life Rio could have settled into, nothing really comes from any of this other than Rio leaving on his own and leaving yet another girl pining in his wake.

Seirei Gensouki has Rio leaving a girl in every village.

But if I was watching a fantasy slice of life rather than expecting an action or adventure story, episode 9 of Seirei Gensouki is actually pretty pleasant viewing and draws to a close this chapter of the story. Rio has reconnected with family and has found a place he is welcome to return to, should he ever wish to, and while scenes of seasons changing, festivals and rice planting may not be thrilling, they are certainly calming and make you reflect on the life Rio could have had ‘if only’.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 9

Even Sayo gets a nice few moments in this episode as we see her spending months frantically training in the hopes that she might perhaps travel along with Rio. As her confession is calmly but certainly shot down, she accepts it and sees Rio off in the end without much in the way of strong emotions. I have to wonder if she’ll come back into Rio’s life at some point but for now Sayo is behind him and he’s returned to the village where he left Latifa (at least momentarily).

Seirei Gensouki episode 9

Part of me feels like Seirei Gensouki is taking the voyage and return narrative model very literally with Rio having travelled away from the kingdom he was raised, meeting people and learning skills along the way, and now he’s making the return journey as an older and more prepared character to face what might have been an insurmountable challenge earlier in the story.

My only real criticism of this would be that nothing Rio has encountered along the way has really felt that life-altering or dramatic, leaving us without a dramatic escape and more a leisurely hike back to his point of origin. Certainly events could have been portrayed that way as he killed a wyvern and then learned of his royal heritage, but instead these events have come across as very low-key steps. Even Rio connecting with family, while we have seen Rio seemingly come to some kind of conclusion, hasn’t exactly been an emotional affair.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 9

Still, for those who missed the village where Rio left Latifa, Rio returns and is reunited with the gaggle of fairly generic but cute girls. They are thrilled to see him even if he explains he’s only there for a few months before moving on again.

This all of course leaves me wondering if the reincarnation of various people into this world is ultimately going to have any bearing on the story. Early episodes were promising with Rio, despite resolving to live this life in this world at least acknowledged that Haruto existed. But it has been a fair time since any real reference or link has been made to the reincarnation element in this isekai story.

Not to mention he’s met at least two other characters who were also reincarnated (possibly more) but nothing really seems to have come from this. Leaving me to wonder if the writer just got bored of the gimmick or whether it will return as a plot point prior to reaching the end.

Images from: Seirei Gensouki. Dir. O Yamasaki. TMS Entertainment. 2021

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Karandi James

Seirei Gensouki Episode 8 Impressions – How To Take The Wow Away From Your Reveal

Seirei Gensouki Episode 8 Review

I know I more or less knew that we were going to find out Rio was of some noble blood line, and even Seirei Gensouki deciding to reveal he is royalty wasn’t too surprising. What did surprise me was how poorly this plot development was handled overall within this anime.

Sure the foreshadowing throughout the series and the excessive number of people willing to rub Rio’s nose in his commoner background made it an obvious reveal, but even then it could have been done with some fanfare or even just made some kind of critical character point. Instead we have an episode that gives the punch-line in it’s title (Royal Lineage) and then a character who reacts to the news like he’s just been told that you’ve run out of cereal and you’d like him to go buy some more.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 8 - Rio looks surprised

Now, Seirei Gensouki has never been a particularly thrilling watch, but it has been pretty fun, relatively entertaining, and most of the character moments have been handled competently enough even if nuanced antagonists wasn’t this story’s strength. Even the plethora of girls who’ve swooned for Rio as he’s moved from the school to the forest village and now to his parents home village have all had enough character moments to distinguish them.

Episode 8 therefore was the first episode where I really felt this story was just going through the motions.

Has Seirei Gensouki slipped or is this just a transition to the next part of the story?

It is difficult to know without seeing the next episode whether this was an anomaly or whether after a reasonably credible start this series has now lost momentum. It is quite possible that while this particular character moment wasn’t handled well, it was because they just wanted to get this moment over and done with so that they could transition Rio on to the next part of the story that Seirei Gensouki wants to tell. While that would still be disappointing it would mean that we could anticipate things picking up next week.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 8

Anyway, the episode basically has Rio going to the town to deliver supplies or sell stuff or whatever they are doing and in the process he gets to eat ramen, or whatever they decide to call the bowls of definitely ramen. In honesty, this section was the most emotive with the food reactions being far more exuberant than anything we get later in this episode.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 8

Likewise, we transition to Rio taking the girl from the village out shopping and we get the usual they are mistaken for a couple moment before he buys her a hair-stick and she gets all starry eyed at him. Rio is seriously going to have at least one girl pining for him in every town the way he’s going which kind of explains all the cute girls who appear in the opening of Seirei Gensouki.


He also casually stops an abduction which later turns out to be someone’s sister but this feels like it is absolutely unimportant because it kind of just happens and later on they run into each other and they just kind of mention it and then move on. Don’t actually even know why someone was getting kidnapped (seemed like an almost everyday occurrence the way no one made any kind of fuss about it).

However, then we transition to the Rio meeting his grandparents, finding out his mother was royalty before needing to flee to avoid a forced marriage for political reasons (parents helped her flee). Rio reacts with a slight widening of eyes but otherwise is almost completely expressionless. He then recounts his mother’s death, also with little emotion even as he expresses that he won’t forgive the man who killed her.

On that note, what did the guy force him to drink? Is that going to be important later?

Seirei Gensouki Episode 8

Finally, the end of the episode has Rio visiting his parents ‘graves’ once again and declaring he won’t run away but will move forward. This scene actually kind of surprised me because I can’t really see any moments in Seirei Gensouki where Rio hasn’t faced forward. Admittedly, he hasn’t stayed in one place but his goal was to visit the place his mother lived and he has moved toward that fairly steadily. Why he can’t now just stay there is anyone’s guess.

So yeah, as much as I had been enjoying Seirei Gensouki, this episode was pretty bland all around and I’m not entirely convinced by Rio’s character at the end of it. Hopefully episode 9 returns to feeling just kind of fun and easy to watch.

Images from: Seirei Gensouki. Dir. O Yamasaki. TMS Entertainment. 2021

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Karandi James

Seirei Gensouki Episode 7 Impressions – Homecoming And B List Bullies/Villains

Seirei Gensouki Episode 7 Review

Seirei Gensouki has an ongoing problem in that so far not one of the episode antagonists has felt like a particularly compelling threat for protagonist Rio and they are written so terribly you just can’t take them seriously as a character. Whether it was the school bully teasing Rio for his magical ability, the knight who tortured Rio and then tried to beat him in a sword tournament or this week’s visitor to the village, they lack subtlety or even brain cells and honestly it isn’t particularly satisfying watching Rio beat them down.

Another poor Seirei Gensouki villain

While the wyvern fight from last week was over amazingly quick, at least a natural disaster threat set up by the somewhat more credible villain (who we know nothing about) felt like it was worth Rio’s time. The guy this week is more like an annoying fly at a picnic who just needs to be swatted before he ruins the cake.

Seirei Gensouki villains so far haven’t really measured up.

Weak antagonists are fine in your usual school drama because normal people do struggle overcoming these petty kind of annoyances, particularly when they become persistent. But when you have a fantasy series with a protagonist who seems perfect at everything from spirit magic to hunting to cooking to being polite to sword fighting and so on you kind of need some kind of threat that at least measures up. Seirei Gensouki has really yet to deliver on that front.


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If we assume there isn’t supposed to be an actual confrontation and we’re meant to just enjoy Rio hanging out with the girls in every town or village he comes to, then it kind of works, but why keep throwing in antagonists at all then? Why not just let Rio make bath-houses and train shirtless with his sword while the girls watch approvingly, even though they turn away while he puts his shirt on (yeah, no logic on that one).

But outside of this complaint, I continue to enjoy Seirei Gensouki.

Seirei Gensouki - Rio's cousin

This week, Rio finally arrives in the Yagumo region that he had promised to visit with his mother. He reunites with family though there’s some secret here (and I’m betting he’s going to find out he’s actually nobility of some sort because foreshadowing here is about as subtle as a brick to the face). Then the episode plays out much the same way as when he arrived in the forest village as the girls all kind of swoon and he engages in a range of activities and everyone kind of loves him.

The only real difference being that some of the boys in the village are obviously jealous of the fact that he’s literally good at everything.


Still, there’s a nice contrast in Rio’s personality in this episode of Seirei Gensouki as we start with him being the polite visitor and pious son visiting his parent’s grave.

Rio visits parents grave - Seirei Gensouki

However, after taking down the bully we see an infuriated and blood soaked Rio who needs to be talked down before he beats the guy to death. This blood splattered Rio is a little dangerous looking and its hard to tell if this is the real Rio when he lets his control slip or whether this was just a momentary lapse. More interesting is that it doesn’t seem like Rio really knows either.

Seirei Gensouki - blood splattered Rio

All things considered though, it will be interesting to see what the next episode brings and whether any of that foreshadowing is leading to some actual reveal. Rio’s heritage has been kind of vague all along but with so many obvious put-downs about him being a peasant early on it seems like the obvious reveal is that there’s going to be some great family in his background. I guess we’ll see next week on Seirei Gensouki.

Images from: Seirei Gensouki. Dir. O Yamasaki. TMS Entertainment. 2021

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Karandi James

Seirei Gensouki Episode 6 Impressions – Bare Knuckled Wyvern Fighting

Seirei Gensouki Episode 6 Review

In what could potentially have been Rio’s most exciting challenge yet as the wyvern horde from last week close in on their missing egg, conveniently being taken in the direction of the village Rio and Latifa are in, Seirei Gensouki actually lets some of its weaknesses show a bit more clearly this week. The animation quality has never been awesome here and here between the motion of the dragons, crowd scenes that were clearly stills, and the underwhelming fight all kind of took away from an episode that was otherwise a nice continuation of the journey Rio has been on.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 6 - What kind of egg?

That said, anime and dragons have a bit of a rocky history.

I love dragons. I love stories with dragons in them. And yet, time and time again we’ve had anime dragons that are just underused, comically used, actually just transform into stock-standard cute girls, or look hideous and move like they are made of a stack of bricks.

Worse yet, the monstrosity in Arifureta with the horrors of CGI gone very wrong.

This is Arifureta – it is ugly. Worse in motion.

So I guess on a sliding scale the dragons (sorry, wyverns) here in Seirei Gensouki aren’t the worst we’ve ever had on offer. But they also look ugly in flight and close ups of them look even worse. Rio’s fight sequence, while Rio came out looking pretty cool, does little to impress with the monster he is fighting and honestly it looked like he’d just knocked it out and then at the end he’s given a coat made out of it for armour and you realise the creature that was really just trying to retrieve its egg is now dead.

Seirei Gensouki - Wyvern

Not that I actually have an issue with Rio killing it. After the wyvern egg is destroyed the creature really is just on a rampage and lives are in danger. I just feel that somehow this should have been clearer in the moment.

Regardless of how lame the action was, Seirei Gensouki knows to make the protagonist look cool.

But, I did say Rio looked cool and I’m standing by that. We really see how far he’s come in the year he’s stayed in the village and clearly been trained to use his spirit power. The thrashing he gives the wyvern is very impressive and if it had been visually a little more spectacular this could have been a seriously memorable fight sequence instead of just another step in Rio’s path.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 6 - Rio saves the girl

Either way, episode 6 of Seirei Gensouki delivered a few surprises this week.

Firstly, I’m kind of glad the red-eyed villain had more of a plan than just steal a wyvern egg and run away. While he’s clearly an awful person as he set up his lackey to die (and not even by the wyvern hands but by his own) that there was another purpose to his plot just kind of upped his credibility in terms of actually being a problem for Rio further down the track.

We also see Rio let Latifa know he’s going to move on. She doesn’t react well initially but we get a nice moment after the fight where the two talk it through.

Which is where both characters actually admit they were reincarnated and had previously lived in Japan. I didn’t actually expect Seirei Gensouki have the characters actually admit it even though Rio kind of already knew because of Latifa’s sleep talking.

Seirei Gensouki - conversation

The last thing I really noted this week was just how many outfits Rio has been in since the beginning of this series. While so many anime characters are one-costume wonders he’s gone from rags to the school uniform, his travellers outfit to now acquiring a look that more or less makes him look like Kirito from Sword Art Online but I guess that was to be expected given his look in the OP. Still, that’s a lot of different outfits in six episodes and it feels weird that I find that note-worthy but for anime it kind of is.

As much as I would have appreciated stronger visuals and animation this week, Seirei Gensouki continues to progress its story and it remains very pleasant viewing. I am curious about the next phase of Rio’s journey and I kind of hope he finds someone else to travel with soon.

Images from: Seirei Gensouki. Dir. O Yamasaki. TMS Entertainment. 2021

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Karandi James

Seirei Gensouki Episode 5 Impressions – Why do all the anime girls love putting their hands on Rio?

Seirei Gensouki Episode 5 Review

I haven’t quite figured out what it is yet about Seirei Gensouki but so far it is my preferred isekai of the Summer 2021 anime season. It’s up against the likes of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, My Next Life as a Villainess and How A Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom which together with Seirei Gensouki make up the four isekai anime I’m actually covering this season.

Seirei Gensouki episode 5 - Rio

Part of me wonders if it is just that of all of those titles what Seirei Gensouki is delivering is a sense of exploration and wonder in a world that actually seems worth exploring. As fun as Villainess is, Catarina’s world is pretty small and the story is more about the characters and the comedy. Slime has become so bogged down in political talks any wonder has long since been sucked out of the narrative and I can only hope we get to explore more soon. And Realist Hero hasn’t quite figured out what sort of story it wants to be spending way too long being a reality cooking show.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 5 - Rio cooks
Though I guess Rio likes cooking too.

Yet in Seirei Gensouki we’ve continually moved from the slums where we first met Rio to the academy before Rio was forced to flee and now we’re in a village of demi-human characters. The world seems vast and there’s a lot of potential exploration points and it really doesn’t feel like it has settled yet on which direction it will go but I’m curious enough about this world and Rio to want to be on that journey.

And maybe that’s what I’m after from an isekai story.

Seirei Gensouki feels like it wants to take the viewer on a journey.

That isn’t to say that the series hasn’t had some of the usual isekai short-falls and that Rio is the most compelling character ever. Plus there’s this continuous influx of female characters who all seem relatively interchangeable at this point and for some reason they all love touching Rio.

Now, he’s a nice character and all but I’m just not sure he’s nice enough to warrant that much attention particularly from characters who have literally just met him. At least Latifa makes sense given he rescued her from slavery and has the connection of knowing a bit about Japan because clearly they have both been reincarnated (whether Rio wants to admit that or not).

The demi-humans reaction to Rio was understandable with the first ones who met him being pretty hostile because quite clearly humans are not the greatest of neighbours in this world. Their blatant prejudice against their own commoners doesn’t bode well for inter-species relationships. Though, they were also upset with him for calling them demi-humans but we never really got clarity on what we could call them so I’m kind of at a loss there.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 5 - elders

The elders then fall over backwards apologising and of course the tree spirit, cute girl that she is, instantly fell for Rio which more or less cemented his position. Oh yeah, there was also something about him having a spirit inside of him that might be some super-special thing and I’m sure that will become important later, but mostly I think it was just an excuse for Rio to finally get some pampering given so far he’s more or less been treated like dirt by everyone around him.

Again, as much as I’m enjoying Seirei Gensouki, it doesn’t do subtle. As much as the class discrimination was on full display in the previous episodes, the blatant contrast between Rio’s treatment by humans versus the treatment he receives in this village comes across loudly and clearly and humans are not coming off so great so far.

And just in case we hadn’t quite figured out that the red-eyed guy was bad news the final sequence of this episode has him stealing a large egg from a cave and heading back toward the human kingdom. His helper naively asking if the parent won’t get angry and come after the egg… in perhaps one of the clumsiest attempts at foreshadowing I’ve seen in awhile.

Seirei Gensouki Episode 5 - Dragon Egg

So yes, while I am very much enjoying Spirit Chronicles for what it is, I’m not going to be making an argument that it is a perfect anime any time soon. A few too many rough edges. Still, for seasonal viewing I’ve watched plenty worse and right now I am really keen to see what is next for Rio.

Images from: Seirei Gensouki. Dir. O Yamasaki. TMS Entertainment. 2021

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Karandi James