The series has long vaguely intimated that something more – some bigger picture – was afoot in this story than has been revealed to this point. Too many things happened a little too conveniently, even if normal meta logic is applied; Kazuya noticed this himself, and those are the subject of the questions he directs to Albert and Elisha when he is finally able to have a sit-down with them on New Year’s Eve. He certainly gets answers, and wow, they certainly were not the answers that I might have expected.
Essentially, the whole story is a do-over driven by the former queen’s heretofore-unrevealed power: the ability to transfer memories into the past. Further, this isn’t even the first do-over. Albert has always seemed likely an oddly weak choice for such a capable-seeming woman as Elisha, but in truth, he became her husband because every other pairing she tried wound up in disaster for Elfrieden. He was also ultimately too weak to hold the kingdom together on his own, but Elisha got far closer to success with him than ever before, and he was also the first to father a daughter with her. So they decided to try one more time, with the crucial difference being that, when Kazuya was summoned this time, he was made king rather than prime minister. That set in motion the two critical differences: Liscia was drawn back to the castle and met Kazuya right away, and so was supporting him from the beginning, and no one could overrule him on using the Gemstone Broadcast this time. The latter then allowed Kazuya to gather his crucial personnel, and everything fell into motion from there.
The almost inscrutable behavior of Duke Carmine also becomes part of the scenario. He trusted Kazuya enough to go through with the plan to root out the corruption in the aristocracy because Albert filled him in about how effective Kazuya was as prime minister and how the aristocracy was the reason that situation fell apart. That’s still one hell of a lot of faith that Duke Carmine would have had to have in Albert, but doubtless he had his own misgivings about the aristocracy anyway. The ruthlessness of eliminating the other corrupt nobles and their families also makes more sense in this context, since Georg knew from Albert that the kingdom’s future stability hinged on it. A combination of that and the key personnel Kazuya gathered this time allowed the kingdom to avert disaster in its pivotal trials involving the rebellion and Amidonia and thus head down a more stable and prosperous course.
Wow. As final-episode reveals of the truth go, this one ranks pretty high on the Redefine the Series scale. It doesn’t excuse some of the other flaws the series has had, but it does put a whole new perspective on the way certain things happened. The episode then wraps up with Kazuya finally properly proposing to Liscia and a far more bland scene about reaffirming everyone’s loyalty to Kazuya. Meanwhile, Albert and Elisha plan to retire into obscurity to prevent them from being used as disruptions.
On the whole, this makes for a strong and more satisfying finish than I was expecting based on the way the previous few episodes went. While there is still more story tell and some big long-term plot threads to deal with, this seems like a worthy stopping point. I will not remember the series as one of my favorites, and overall would probably classify this as a mid-tier isekai title, but I don’t regret the time spent with it.