How a Realist Hero Rebuilds the Kingdom episode 17

Rating: 3.5

This episode is a tale of two parts: a part about death and a part about life going forward. For many reasons, it feels right to put them together in the same episode.

The death part concerns the greatest lingering consequence of the internal strife within Elfreiden: the fate of the lionel, Duke Carmine. That Kazuya regards him as an upstanding figure important to the country has always been clear, and Kazuya has been equally clear about not liking killing people, especially ones that still have great value to the kingdom. Purges of the kind that must be done here – indeed, of the kind that Duke Carmine was specifically trying to force – are a fact of practicality in this world, much as they were throughout the centuries in many places in our own world, but they do fly in the face of modern sensibilities in First-World countries. Indeed, Kazuya is the only one who seems to have a big problem with it, since even Liscia – whom Carmine was close to – only barely flinches on the report of his death. Perhaps because of what she’s said about her own family’s history, she was clearly fully prepared for this eventuality.

But as much as Kazuya has proven to be an innovator on other fronts, he’s completely trapped by circumstances and practicality here. Not carrying out executions is only courting trouble, and Duke Carmine clearly knows that; in fact, he was probably counting on it. He sees his own death as both a noble way for an aging warrior to go out and a way to protect the kingdom’s future even in death – and as a bonus, it conceals the truth of whatever the heck is the grander scheme in play. Based on the prison scene and other scattered comments, the vague implication here is that Liscia’s mother, the former queen, is the ultimate mastermind, but if so, the scope of this scheme must be enormous if it involves cleaning house on a kingdom level and installing a new king as a means to an end. There’s also the matter of Duke Vargas and his daughter to be settled, though I cannot imagine Carla being killed off.

For the most part, the Kazuya-Carmine scene was handled well, with both ably expressing their viewpoints even though it ultimately changed nothing. The one knock on this part is that the music a bit overenthusiastic about trying to play up the tension.

The second part involves life going forward. Roroa is still waiting for her opportunity to act, while Hakuya is chatting up Jeanne remotely, and reveals his ambitious – if also mundane – life plan. The other part is one we knew had to be coming at some point: Kazuya formally getting a harem. While there are, admittedly, practical considerations in play here, and while this is another case of culture clash for Kazuya, Liscia seems a little too comfortable with this all to be fully credible. She’s not concerned with how many other wives Kazuya eventually has, as long as she’s #1, and she welcomes both Aisha immediately and eventually Juna as other in Kazuya’s harem. This is the one part which feels like pure wish fulfillment, but hey, Kazuya has at least both proved his merits and is in a position to warrant it. I’ll roll with it, especially since it balances out the weak, entirely too vague epilogue scene.

In all, it makes for another solid but unspectacular episode.

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