Given what transpires in this understated season finale, its title – “To Fight and Conquer in All Your Battles is Not Supreme Excellence” – is a rather amusing but still apt choice. It is part of a quote from Sun Tzu which continues with “supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.” If that is interpreted figuratively rather than literally, then it mostly applies to Kazuya’s efforts to further secure the favor, loyalty and love of the veritable harem developing around him. Not that he necessarily had such a self-serving goal; he’s clearly just trying to do nice things for people he already (by his own admission) considers family. But how that would be perceived by others is what matters here. Really, how could any outsider look at what is going on around Kazuya and not interpret it as him collecting a harem?
The prominent opening presence of the leadership of the Gran Chaos Empire also marks their formal entrance into story participation, but the quote could also apply to them as well. Kazuya has apparently made a favorable initial impression on both Empress Maria Euphoria and her young sister, the warrior-envoy Jeanne. (If the names were chosen deliberately, rather than just because they sounded appropriate, then the potential references here are interesting. A whole host of Marias – including Maria Theresa, Maria Louisa, and Maria Josepha – were Empress at various points in the later stages of the Holy Roman Empire, and a Jeanne in plate armor could be a reference to Jeanne d’Arc.) That she is deemed an idealist, and thus contrasted to Kazuya’s realist nature, makes for an interesting comparison, especially since their views on many things probably are not so far apart.
I do have to wonder, though, about the practicality of it all. Doubtless Maria Euphoria being regarded as a saint has something to do with her maintaining authority, but both her and her idealism seem too soft for a period when such a great threat exists to both their kingdom and human/demi-humankind in general. And really, a skirt under plate mail? Talk about impracticality there. . . but I digress. They also seem a little too soft and apologetic towards Kazuya, even for being partly responsible for him having been pulled here. Still, bringing another major power into the mix is a good move for the story, as the setting will need to expand now that Kazuya has largely settled matters at home.
Sadly, the announcement that negotiations about Amidonia will take place essentially marks the seasonal break point for the series. It will return in January, and initial advertising art suggests that Liscia may have a more prominent role then. Let’s hope so, because she has been underused so far. In all, this season has not done anything spectacular, and I still find certain aspects of it to be a little too silly, but Realist Hero still has solid enough world-building that I will be back for more.
Other Titles That I Am Following:
I am hoping to have a Summer 2021 wrap-up post up on Wednesday 9/29, so I will reserve any further thoughts on series that I have completed (or will be completing by then) for that.