How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom episode 25

Rating: 3.5 (of 5)

Duchess Excel Walter always came across as the sharpest and most potentially devious of Elfrieden’s Dukes, and she was the only one to fully scout out Kazuya when he first arrived. After seeing this episode, though, we may have been underestimating her. Saying that she was the single most important person in the kingdom for Kazuya to have on his side (even over Hakuya) would probably not be an exaggeration; I shudder to think what kind of machinations she could have gotten up to had she regarded Kazuya as unsuitable to rule.

And yes, having numerous lovers over 500 years, having children by many of them, and loyally staying with all of them until they died does legitimately make her an authority on love and so the perfect person to tutor Kazuya’s prospective brides. (It also raises some interesting questions, such as how long the fertility cycle is for her race, but that’s academic here.) This training has a lot of practical value and justification: it will keep the royal household peaceful, limit the potential for conniving individuals to make inroads, and help head off potential succession issues, like what tore the kingdom apart in the previous generation – no doubt something that Excel is keenly concerned about not seeing repeat. Having codified how Kazuya genuinely feels about each of the brides is also nice, though also a little unfair since Kazuya is not getting the same consideration from them. (And how that information was gathered was very underhanded.) However, there’s no avoiding how much of a harem dream scenario this long scene comes off as being. Other harem leads can only lament that their harems aren’t so harmonious.

Of course, all of that is kept light-hearted, as is most of the rest of the episode. Poncho reappears again just long enough to show that he has successfully produced a Japanese-style sauce. (I want to say that’s tonkatsu sauce, but I may be mistaken.) This is going to lead to further introduction of Japanese dishes, which seems to be a staple of isekai series these days; honestly, I’d love to see one of these where the protagonist learns to adapt to the food of his new world rather than try to recreate food from his old one. How that discovery seems to solve a problem is, once again, all too convenient. Maria’s conversation with Jeanne is also pleasant, though important for one thing: it shows that Maria, while she admires Kazuya, seems to have no marital intent towards him.

The one thing which doesn’t set well with me about this episode – aside from the erratic artistic quality control, of course – is the revelation that only eight months have passed since Kazuya took the throne. That everything Kazuya has done could be accomplished in a mere eight months (even if they may be a bit longer than eight months in our world – an interesting little detail) is absurd on a credibility-shattering level. Unless magic on the level of Cayna in In the Land of Leadale was somehow involved, there’s just no way all of this construction, planning, and social reorganizing could be done that quickly.

The saving grace here is the summons by Albert at the end. The series has always dangled some suggestion that much more may be going on with Albert and his queen than what has been shown so far, and revealing what that is seems like a fitting season-ender for a series which has not had substantial plot movement in a while.

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