After the death of his grandfather, 19-year-old Kazuya Souma—an aspiring civil servant—is left all alone with no one to call family. Out of the blue, he is transported to the Elfrieden Kingdom, a small ailing country in another world, to be a “hero.” An ongoing war with the demon army has put the entire world in peril, and Kazuya was summoned to aid in the conflict as an offering from Elfrieden to its allies.
Dissatisfied with being used as tribute, Kazuya decides to help the kingdom revamp its declining economy—not by way of adventuring or war, but through administrative reform. Abruptly declared the King of Elfrieden and betrothed to the princess, the “Realist Hero” Kazuya sets out to assemble a group of talented citizens who will assist him in his bureaucratic battles to get the kingdom back on its feet.
It’s never too late. Here we are ladies and gents, the final post I will be making of Genjitsu Shugi Yuusha no Oukoku Saikenki for the year, until its second season airs. After sticking with the Summer 2021 season (post coming soon), to me, Genjitsu Shugi Yuusha no Oukoku Saikenki could have been one of those good anime. But at the end of it all, to me anyway, it became just another fish in the ocean that is the anime world. Allow me to tell you why.
I will admit, I did enjoy the first four episodes of the show. I thought the concept of putting someone will realistic thought and opinions, someone who applies real world tactics in a fantasy world; was extremely appealing. The first few episodes where Souma spent all his time explaining things that made sense to us, but was god speak in this fantasy world was very funny. In many ways Souma is like Sora and Shiro from No Game No Life put together minus the exaggerations and things of that sort. In both instances, they are people who were brought to a fantasy world, became monarchs of their Kingdoms, issued reforms to save their countries from bankruptcy, and strategically ‘fought’ wars to help them in their ultimate goals. As a matter of fact, you could probably draw a lot of parallels between both shows. The biggest differences between the two are that Genjitsu Shugi Yuusha no Oukoku Saikenki is getting a second season, but one of my favourite anime, No Game No Life, hasn’t gotten one; and NGNL is far more entertaining.
Genjitsu Shugi Yuusha no Oukoku Saikenki’s isn’t anything special. Like I said, to me this anime feels very similar to NGNL, you could say that Genjitsu Shugi Yuusha no Oukoku Saikenki is a lesser No Game No Life if you really wanted to. All that being said, after the first four episodes it has been downhill since then. To the point where I thought the ending of the show was probably one of the worst episodes of the anime. So what did I dislike about the anime?
It was yet another very chatty anime. Something I mentioned in one of my blogs for Genjitsu Shugi Yuusha no Oukoku Saikenki was that we saw more chatter between characters than we did action. We saw more scenes of Souma explaining his thoughts and tactics employed than we did anything else. We witnessed the beginning of Souma’s plans, but we never got to see his plans through to its finish. There were a lot of scenes where it implied that Souma’s plans did work in the end and that everything he has done has ultimately benefited the country. But we never physically see it and to me that was very frustrating.
We have all this talk, all this conversation but we don’t get to see the end result? To me, that makes everything that happened before it irrelevant. Were there times where we got to see some progress? Yeah. For example, the new port city on the coast, the food program where Souma showed his citizens other edible foods and food alternatives. And finally, Van after allowing them to freely express themselves once again. However, these scenes didn’t feel significant, they felt like afterthoughts if anything.
The climax of the first season with the “One Week War” was extremely underwhelming as well. The ‘antagonists’ were abysmal. The three dukedoms didn’t even put up a worthy contest and the King of Van, Gaius Amidonia felt like a character who was thrown in there to make it seem as though he was pulling the strings. I didn’t understand any one of their purposes, like why were they even there? All they did was make Souma look great and even then, during this ‘war’ Souma’s character didn’t feel like he was into it. Souma felt like a bystander at best. I’d also like to mention the action sequences throughout the “One Week War” were pretty bad. Everything about it felt static and were not animated all that well. They (the studio) employed the world renowned ‘slideshow-kun’ want to animate a fight. Show still shots with the occasional animation of the extremities to make it look interesting before showing more still shots. Overall extremely disappointing in my opinion.
I’m going to gloss over the fact that the manga is better than the anime, and that the anime failed to animate scenes from the manga that would have made everything a lot more interesting. But that’s neither here nor there.
I would have rated the anime a lot lower than I did (5/10) if it weren’t for the characters. If it was not for Souma, Liscia, Aisha and everyone else, I would have rated this show a four maybe three at worst. More often than not you’ll see the characters make up for the anime’s shortcomings. After all, the main source of entertainment must be generated by its characters and their interactions. While there are still things that I disliked about them. Getting to see Liscia and Souma’s relationship with one another grow episode to episode was nice. We go from Liscia not willing to accept Souma as the new King and refusing to acknowledge their engagement. To someone who is willing to fight for Souma and believe in him at all costs, and most importantly (as this anime is a harem), as someone who has feelings for him. If it weren’t for their interactions, a lot of which felt very wholesome and heartfelt. This anime would have flopped, for sure.
Overall, I’m rating this anime a, 5/10, average. While I was highly interested at excited at first, I’m less so now that I’ve finished the anime and have read the manga. There are various shortcomings and flaws that I hope gets fixed or address in the second season. The benefit of having an anime that falls short of expectations is that you cannot produce something that is much worse (hopefully).