How a Realist Hero Rebuilt The Kingdom episode 5

Rating: 3.5 (of 5)

I will give the continuation of the foodie broadcast some credit: it did find something interesting to finish its cooking segment on. The notion of using a specially-killed slime gelin as the base for making what is essentially udon noodles is a clever twist, one that I might expect more from the manga Delicious in Dungeon. (On a side note, that is one of the two as-yet-undapted manga that I most want to see an anime version for.) Discovering things that most had not even conceptualized as food (much less considered) proves Poncho’s value to the kingdom of Elfreiden. However, he’s the least charismatic of the supporting characters so far, so I hope he fades into the background for a while.

Beyond that, the otaku-pandering nature of the series is gradually showing more and more, which gives it further separation from more dedicated world-builders like Ascendance of a Bookworm. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; it just depends on what you want from the series. This shows most clearly in the second half. I don’t at all have a problem with the notion of a ruler going undercover to scope out life outside the palace; there is plenty of literary and even some historical precedent for this, after all. But doing it in school uniforms with a suspiciously modern design to them? Trying to disguise himself behind glasses, especially after showing his face in a nationwide broadcast? Someone’s trying too hard to gimmick the story here.

The topic which comes up for discussion while Kazuya, Liscia, and Aisha are at Juna’s café is an additional bit of pandering, even if there is historical precedent there as well. With so many pretty girls around, Kazuya not ending up in a harem situation at some point would have been more surprising. To make things easier, the harem concept is built in here: polygamy is widely-practiced and accepted in this world, including both men having multiple wives and women having multiple husbands (though the latter is rare). That means that the situation of Liscia’s parents being monogamous is rather unusual, with her father marrying into royalty rather than the other way around, but they do have special circumstances and that does explain why everyone seemed to be deferring to the queen even though the king is announcing the decisions. Even so, Liscia not batting an eye at the notion of being just the first of Kazuya’s theoretical “less than eight” wives seems awfully convenient. Guess she might not end up being the resident tsundere after all?

Still not a fan of the weak way that this series sets up its hooks for the next episode, but at least it looks like Hakuya is going to be back in the picture more prominently. So far, the series feels like it is just settling into cruise mode.

Next week I will have thoughts on the English dub, which began this past weekend with episode 1.

Other Series I Am Following:

Limited list this week, partly because I am already behind on getting this posted.

I’m Standing on 1,000,000 Lives eps 16 – For all of the substandard production values that weight down the series, and for all of the weak staging of the orc fights, this one still somehow continues to land occasional moments of greater gravity and impact. That is quite evident in the chaos of the eruption, which disrupts the fight against the orcs. I loved the way the island’s songs spoke to past eruptions, hence preserving the legacy of the island’s dangers in a way later generations might appreciate if they can just remember the context; very reminiscent of a key storytelling element from one of my all-time favorite fantasy series: Moribito – Guardian of the Spirit. Stuff like this is why I keep coming back to this series.

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