Tensai Ouji no Akaji Kokka Saisei Jutsu continues its trend of being watchable enough not to get scrubbed from my watch list as episode 3 meanders its way through forced back-story to set up a plot about a Princess of the Empire who has come to propose to Prince Wein only that isn’t what she’s actually after. As the plot progresses we find out that she’s definitely got plans and Wein really has no one to blame but himself for the situation she’s probably going to dump him in.
Tensai Ouji no Akaji Kokka Saisei Jutsu gives us talking heads.
There’s not a huge amount to say about this episode or the anime as a whole. The bare bones animation continues with the view regularly panning up the wall while characters continue to speak, saves all that pesky effort of actually animating the characters, and even a historical recount of the Empire claiming half the continent is illustrated on a map with little arrows rather than any actual animation of the sequence of events.
The end results is there’s nothing going on visually in Tensai Ouji to distract from the fact that little is going on. Sure there’s plenty of potential set-up here but given in three episodes this anime has established everyone who isn’t Wein, Ninym or apparently school friend and Princess of the Empire Lowa is a complete idiot the intrigues and plans here don’t seem like they are going to have much payoff.
So the basic set-up is the Princess is sick of her three brothers fighting over the Empire and dividing things, not to mention just sick of being overlooked because she’s a woman (yeah, throw some feminine politics in there as well because this story has so far really shown it can really dig into deep social issues – yes, that was sarcastic).
But knowing that asking Wein for help is pretty pointless we’re treated to another flash back where the two were talking about her wanting to accomplish something and Wein pointing out that she should just start a war to achieve it (though pretty sure he was metaphoric – maybe). He also pointed out that if he and the others wouldn’t help, she’d just have to drag them in.
And so Tensai Ouji ham-fists in a subplot throughout the episode as Wein mentions being aware of some suspicious weapons in his border and then is given a suspicious sword and shield that one of his men has found. Its clumsily done as it is kind of like a murder mystery pausing it its tracks for the detective to paint red circles around everything that you need to pay attention to before the story resumes.
While that plot is surely going to be something the Princess has set up to somehow coerce or gain Wein’s assistance, we also have another subplot with Wein’s sister feeling like everything is changing and she’s super uneasy.
Given I haven’t actually figured out why this character even exists in Tensai Ouji no Akaji Kokka Saisei Jutsu her heartfelt sadness really didn’t have much impact. Nor did her joy at being tutored by her brother which was really just an excuse to exposition dump the formation of the Empire on the audience mid-episode.
What is odd though is that despite the low effort in the animation, and the fairly poor scripting, there’s actually some genuine chemistry between Ninym, Wein and Lowa and if they had just been given a better anime to star in they could be really interesting characters. That for now will be enough to keep me watching Tensai Ouji no Akaji Kokka Saisei Jutsu and the rest isn’t dreadful so much as it just isn’t very good.
Images from: Tensai Ouji no Akaji Kokka Saisei Jutsu. Dir. M Tamagawa. Yokohama Animation Lab. 2022
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