Note: Click here to skip to the “Other Series I Am Following” part
Rating (first half of ep 4): 4 (of 5) Rating (second half of ep 4): 2 (of 5)
Ugh, again, apologies for this being much later than it should be; my weekend was unexpectedly busy, and then the arrival of a high-priority novel (which may be reviewed separately) delayed this a couple days more. But I should be back on schedule for episode 5! For real this time!
With the advent of episode 4, Realist Hero is proving to be nearly a frustrating a series as it is a fascinating one. This trend clearly started last episode with the all-too-long introduction of characters who will play key roles in the story going forward, and it continues this episode by spending nearly half of its run time on a food-tasting broadcast. . . one which – impossible though it may seem! – ends on a food tasting-related cliffhanger. Hopefully, the carry-over of this one to the next episode will prove to be as significant as last episode’s cliffhanger about the little wolf girl’s secret was.
And speaking of that, I was not expecting that to amount to much more than a throwaway moment, but it actually does turn out to have been at least partly worth the cliffhanger treatment. The revelation that communicating with the seemingly-inscrutable enemy might be possible is, as Kazuya correctly surmises, one that could rock the entire continent to its core, so Kazuya’s caution over both who might have heard it and over protecting Tomoe is certainly warranted. Proclaiming her to potentially be one of the kingdom’s most important people is not an exaggeration, either, so the time and care spent in sorting out how best to protect her without raising suspicions is welcome. I also especially liked how both this episode and the last one took pains to show Kazuya crouching down to Kazuya’s level, so she would not feel so intimidated. This is a markedly different approach than seen in a series like Ascendance of a Bookworm, which regularly emphasized that Main was at a seeming disadvantage in dealing with adults because she had to always look up at them. While that wouldn’t intimidate a child with the mentality of an adult, it would a true child in most cases. (Another potential parallel is the situation of Tomoe needing to be adopted for her own protection, a situation that Main will probably be facing if a sequel of her series ever gets made.)
Tomoe’s part is, by far, the most interesting part of the episode, even if it does lean a bit too heavy on narrator exposition about some relevant details for my tastes. The scene with Kazuya and Liscia after that is also cute. Sadly, the whole episode could not be spent on those because two other new inductees need attention – or, more specifically, the point to the enthusiasm over Poncho needs attention. As expected, Poncho’s desirable expertise is in his knowledge of food alternatives for a country facing a food shortage. I don’t necessarily have a problem with the concept here – i.e., using palace personnel to show off how edible and even tasty local delicacies can be – and some of the foodie details are a little interesting, but did a whole half an episode (and potentially then some, since the scene is not complete at the end of the episode) have to be devoted to this? I wonder if there wasn’t a better way to streamline this.
The one other note here is that artistic quality control is starting to look shaky. This is particularly noticeable in how the exact placement of Tomoe’s tail on her backside seems to shift around, but it also shows in the Kazuya/Liscia scene and occasionally others as well. This is hardly a major concern yet, but since this series is more visually detail-conscious than a concurrently-running isekai series like Tsukimichi, it bears paying attention to going forward.
Other Series I Am Following:
The Detective is Already Dead eps 1-4 –I really want to like this series, and I do like the concept of a former sidekick having to step up when the “great detective” unexpectedly passes on, but I feel like it is still settling into its long-term format. The introduction at the end of episode 4 of the blond girl seen prominently in the opener should help fill that out. This one seems like a fine view as long as it is not taken too seriously. 3.5/5.
Battle Game in 5 Seconds eps 1-3 – As much as I recognize that this is just a straight super-powered death game format, I still find myself getting drawn in by it. I still do not like the main catgirl villain at all, but the quirks and intricacies of each person’s powers still holds a lot of potential and Yuri is starting to grow on me. Not so much the personality of lead protagonist Akira, but we’ll see how things go there. 3/5
Seirei Gensouki – Spirit Chronicles eps 1-4 – Though arguably the weakest of this season’s crop of isekai titles on visuals, this one is also offering at least some appeal even to those not won over by the girly-cute character designs. The path to collecting the scattered isekai cases is the biggest draw for me so far, which makes Rio’s encounter with the little girl-reincarnate in episode 4 a potentially intriguing point. I do like how Rio has not fully accepted yet that he was Haruto, instead talking about him like a different person; this would, I think, be a more common reaction. Might hang on this one a while longer to see where it goes.
That Time I Got Reincarnated as A Slime eps 38-40 – The meeting has been going on now for four friggin’ episodes? What the hell? Even by shonen action standards, that’s one hell of a long meeting. I continue to watch this one because nothing else is being released on Tuesdays, but it is doing absolutely nothing right now to get me enthusiastic about it.
Tsukimichi – MoonLit Fantasy- episodes 1-4 – Somehow this series does not feel as generic and cheesy as it actually is, for it is a mostly-pure power fantasy with harem elements attached. The attitude that none of this should be taken too seriously is the right fit for the series, and as a result, each of the four episodes so far has been loads of fun. Even if you’re not looking for another isekai title, I do recommend this one.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid S episodes 1-3 – So far this season is not quite as crisp as the first one, and some of its content is edgier. However, I feel it is at least close to recapturing the spirit which made the first season such a fan-favorite title.
Night Head 2041 episodes 1-2 – Haven’t had time to get to episode 3 as I write this, but this one is showing some potential as a much heavier take on controlling those with special abilities. I am not ruling out going to episode reviews on this one since Anime News Network is not covering it this season.
Scarlet Nexus episodes 1-4 – This is probably the most tenuous title on my watch list at this point, as I am not being won over by the nihilistic spirit of its apparent villainous plot. Will give it maybe one more episode to impress me.
The Aquatope on White Sand eps 1-3 – This one is a major winner, quite possibly one of the season’s best. It is fully in the spirit of predecessors like Hanasaku Iroha and Iroduku, and the dynamics between the two lead girls are shaping up quite nicely. Seeing in episode 3 that other characters are going to be allowed in on the magic of the setting was also a nice touch. This will likely be a priority view each week.
I’m Standing on 1,000,000 Lives eps 13-15 – This is a series that I will probably continue watching even though I will never consider it a favorite or priority view (especially with Kahvel apparently permanently sidelined). Its technical merits are also still as lame as ever. Still, I find myself not quite able to drop it yet.
Remake Our Life! epis 1-3 – Although I like this series, I am already an episode behind on it, and that puts it at risk of being dropped. (This may be a series that I will watch in chunks as the season progresses.) Still, it is a good series with strong technical merits, and I like how the character developments are setting up so far.
Kageki Shoujo!! Eps 1-4 – Somehow I am still watching this one, and episode 4 was impressive in how it handled the situation with Ai and the not-really-a-stalker guy. On the downside, the upcoming bulimia story arc does not interest me at all. The one thing kinda keeping my interest is seeing how Sarasa’s kabuki background might emerge, but I’m not sure if that’s going to be enough when I have to start cutting back on my view list (due to the imminent restart of school for the season).