Tensai Ouji no Akaji Kokka Saisei Jutsu actually made me laugh this week and not just at its attempts to make me believe that Prince Wein is actually a super-genius. Largely that was because this episode actually poked fun at the idea that someone who is brilliant can perfectly surmise how others will react in any given situation.
You see it quite regularly in spy movies or capers that involve double crosses and the like. Someone sits down and outlines a scheme so convoluted there’s no way that everyone involved would actually take exactly the right action at the right time to ensure the plan’s success and yet it then goes off without a hitch and the character sits back with a smug look on their face.
Tensai Ouji instead has both Wein and Lowa making individual plans, perfectly suited for playing against the other, and yet a third party manages to waltz right in to the midst of it and make a complete mess of both of their plans.
Tensai Ouji no Akaji Kokka Saisei Jutsu delivers an interesting failure of a plan this week.
Admittedly, there’s some good chemistry between Lowa and Wein, though that was probably noted last week. I mean, they should never hook up because they would spend their entire life in a perpetual state of high alert waiting for the other-one to launch a plot that would bring them down, but they are very much in-sync and if their goals aligned they’d be pretty unstoppable. Unfortunately for both of them, this week Tensai Ouji has them pitted against each other with their goals clearly at odds.
So the basic gist is that Lowa is trying to thwart a potential rebellion and show the empire that she has Natra’s backing largely by manipulating the situation so that the one behind the rebellion ends up attacking Natra forcing Wein’s hand into supporting her. In order to prevent Lowa getting her way, Wein sent a letter to the leader of the rebellion explaining that Lowa would eventually head into his territory anyway in an attempt to prevent an invasion.
Which would have worked except that the one leading the rebellion has an idiot son who decided the best course of action would be to barge into a neighbouring kingdom and start making demands.
Not to worry, Tensai Ouji ensures all these genius characters have back-up plans. None of which factor in said idiot son getting drunk, challenging Wein to a mock fight and then… well, let’s just so anyone predicting that outcome must be psychic because it is so incredibly dumb that you have to see it to believe it. And yet that makes the whole situation somewhat more believable because sometimes people do incredibly stupid things and accidents happen.
Of course, all of this leaves both Wein and Lowa in a bad position because even though things haven’t gone according to plan, they are both right in the thick of it. And anyone looking in from the outside who wasn’t privy to all the mental hurdles the two were jumping, would draw a very different conclusion from the outcome of the game.
And both characters are ‘smart’ enough to know it.
Tensai Ouji hasn’t gotten much better over these four episodes, but I did have a bit of fun this week. It really did feel like a comedy of errors and unlike earlier episodes where even things failing to go according to plan for Wein ended up working in his favour, here the hole these two characters are in just kept getting deeper.
I suspect the conclusion to this whole situation will probably not be particularly satisfying but when an anime episode leaves you with a smile on your face you can hardly be too critical of it as it served its purpose of entertaining at least.
Images from: Tensai Ouji no Akaji Kokka Saisei Jutsu. Dir. M Tamagawa. Yokohama Animation Lab. 2022
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