Rating: 3.5 (of 5)
Realist Hero is not a series that sells itself on its action elements, but it doesn’t do half-bad with the occasional moments it has had. (They certainly look better than a couple of the more dedicated action series that I could name this season. . .) This episode easily has the biggest concentration of them to date, and that results in at least a couple of sharp scenes. There’s just something ineffably cool about using magic arrows to shoot cannonballs out of the air, and the whole notion of mounting a battleship on giant wheels to use for deep-inland bombardment of fortifications is just so silly that I must applaud its audacity. I’ll even set aside practicalities like how something so heavy was lifted so it could be mounted on wheels.
Improbable practicalities are also on display on one other front: the prefab fortress. Prefabrication is not a purely modern concept; it has existed to some degree since ancient times, with one of its most notable large-scale uses being the reconstruction of Lisbon, Portugal after a 1755 earthquake (and subsequent tsunami and firestorm) almost completed leveled the city. Hence assembling a prefab fortress on such short notice (and without Duke Carmine’s forces being was to it) strains credibility even with magical support, though it is not entirely unbelievable. The existence of cannons to be used for battering through the fortress isn’t at all unreasonable, though I found it interesting that they were regarded as precious commodities; since they do exist, I would have expected them to be available in bigger numbers. But perhaps they were never emphasized much since magical bombardments normally filled their roles?
In any case, the episode doesn’t just feature Duke Carmine’s efforts against the prefab fortress or Kazuya’s mast diversionary tactic and apparent bold “special forces” strike against Duke Castor. Amidonia is also on the warpath, and how they are being handled by Duchess Excel (though they don’t know that) is also interesting. She’s clearly using their sensible desire to minimize their own casualties to stall for time, but how much longer will she be able to pull that off? Kazuya has two other battlefronts to deal with as well, and with dark elves helping at the prefab fortress and Aisha and Liscia presumably on his strike team against Carmine, I’m not seeing an obvious indicator of where the back-up on that front is going to come from. Still, this is a guy who put a freakin’ battleship on wheels, so I’m sure that he has something creative in mind.
As much as I like the world-building aspect, this episode is, overall, a breath of fresh air.
Comments on Other Titles I Am Following:
Battle Game in 5 Seconds episode 8, I’m Standing on 1,000,000 Lives episode 21 – I’m putting these two together because my comments on both are the same: I must wonder how good these series would be if they actually had even decent (much less good!) action animation. Both look like an animation budget that wasn’t big to begin with has run dry.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid S ep 9 – And on the other side of the animation fence we have this one. Man, this series can dazzle when it goes all-out on the action content! Still find this season falling a bit short on the humor side compared to the first, so I’m starting to wonder if being as funny as last season was even a goal in the first place.
The aquatope on white sand ep 9 – While the series still isn’t doing much to get excited about, I continue to like the carefully measured approach it’s taking to plot and character developments. Pretty sure we haven’t seen the last of that trainee, especially since she’s neither entirely right nor entirely wrong about the impressions she took away from her stint, and both late scenes are potentially interesting plot hooks. I also like how the series is not over-emphasizing the magical nature of Gama Gama and is instead more subtly implying the important role it plays in the community.
Fena: Pirate Princess episode 5 – This one has taken a bit of time to grow on me, but I find the variant world-building to be amusing; the series’ creators are taking real-life places and making decidedly alternate versions of them, then throwing in elements like Joan of Arc and El Dorado into the mix. What will the series pull out of its rear next? And while I’ve found the lean towards humor to be a little too heavy at times (like it’s trying to find a middle ground between anime and Disney stuff), the balance is getting better.
Night Head 2041 episode 8 – After the revelation last episode about parallel worlds, I half-expected the big plot twist this episode. As with last episode, the story makes a lot more sense with this revelation.
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime ep 45 – Finally, Walpurgis has arrived, and the main villain of the moment – Clayman – is on the scene. If he wanted everyone’s attention, he certainly got it, and I suspect he’s going to regret that. Seeing all the Demon Lords assembled was interesting, and that could make next episode the juiciest of the series since Rimuru’s ascendance. On other fronts, Shuna has always been implied to be quite powerful, but she’s rarely had to show event hints of it because she’s been so thoroughly protected. Here she finally shows what she can really do, and it’s impressive indeed.
The Detective is Already Dead ep 10 – I could probably write a whole article about all the different ways that this series is going wrong (and I may well do that at the end of the season if I don’t come up with a positive candidate for the surprise of the season), but the utter lack of a sense of urgency is the most pervasive problem in this episode. Add to this the fact that they are still leaving a lot of gaping holes in the narrative to be filled – which, again, would be fine if the series were more obviously puzzle-like in its construction, but this one still seems like it’s just jumping around without a firm follow-through.