How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom episode 20

Rating: 3.5

Last episode, I surmised that bringing up the pilfered dragon bones was going to set up an arc where the dragon shown in the opener comes into play. The issuance of a diplomatic message to the Star Dragon Mountain Range about the bones (apparently originally unearthed during a construction project) still suggests that this is going to happen eventually, but a more immediate matter arises: predictably, things are not going well in Amidonia.

Granted, Kazuya did warn Julius, but he and Hakuya clearly expected (as the audience did) that Julius wasn’t going to listen. Not only that, but Julius fell for every trap that Kazuya left behind: namely, pissing off the populace by destroying works projects and ending freedoms that the populace had begun to appreciate, all for thin reasons. That leads the people to rebel. The whole things comes across as playing out a little too fast and perfectly, however, something which both Kazuya and Hakuya also notice. In a meta sense, the former could be explained by a condensed timeline; there’s a sense that events in this episode are playing out over the course of several months. However, I am also expecting a revelation next episode that Roroa had a hand in helping things along. She previously mentioned making a big gamble, and taking advantage of Julius’s ill-thought-out actions – with the ultimate goal of getting him deposed – certainly seems to be part of it.

The other part of the gamble, as I somewhat suspected, was seeking to become Kazuya’s wife. Though obviously a play to the growing harem nature of the series, it also makes sense for her in a lot of ways. She has been impressed by Kazuya’s sensibility and the way he improved life in Van during the previous occupation, and so probably trusts Kazuya more than her brother to look after the people of Amidonia at this point. Elfrieden policies also doubtlessly look more favorable to her mercantile interests, too, and she may not have much interest in running the country herself anyway; she strikes me more as the kind of person content to do her own thing within a stable environment rather than rule. She is probably also gambling that becoming one of Kazuya’s wives would be a boon for him as well; since some of the nobles in Amidonia are loyal to her, marrying Kazuya would firm up his support during annexation. In other words, conceit about her own beauty aside, she has thought this out, and in a meta sense, the story has done a fair job of justifying her move towards being a harem member.

(As a side note, Kazuya sniffing out her trick with hiding in the bolts of wool is a reference to a stunt pulled by Cleopatra to enable her to meet and seduce Julius Caesar during his visit to Egypt in 48 A.D. The amusing irony here is that Roroa is unwittingly fully playing into that storyline, sans the nudity of the original.)

On other fronts, I am glad to see the Amidonian finance guy get acknowledged for his talents, since he seems like the most upstanding of the Amidonian officials. Carla ending up as a chambermaid is no surprise, and is the sadistic head maid becoming a trope? Or has it always been one and I just haven’t noticed? Her matter-of-fact diatribe about cleaning up after Kazuya and Liscia having sex did provide the episode’s best comedy moment. I rather doubt that we’ve seen the last of Genia’s dragon mock-up, either. Overall, the story feels like it’s moving along a little too smoothly at this point, which kinda leave me hoping for some future bumps in the road. This is almost becoming an unconventional type of power fantasy.

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