Review: How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom – Volume 1
March 27, 2022
Summoning heroes to an alien world threatened with destruction is so popular in isekais that plots of the genre like to begin that way. But what if, surprisingly, those heroes were not summoned to fight, but to serve as helpers in the rebuilding of a kingdom? How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom deals with this, a new anime from the studio JCStaff, which after its premiere in summer 2021 is now being released on disc in Germany by polyband anime . Patrick Snir
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A hero is wanted…
"Found a family and always watch over you, no matter what happens" – this is the last will of Soma's grandfather before he died. 18-year-old Sōma Kazuya is just completing his training as a civil servant and does not yet know what fate will befall him very soon. Meanwhile, in an alien world, King Albert of Elfrieden and his vassals face financial difficulties in the kingdom of Elfrieden, who is ordered to pay war aid money to the Grand Chaos Imperium. In addition to humans, elves, dwarves and dragon keepers, the medieval kingdom on the continent of Landia is populated by various species who have established empires of various sizes.
Ten years ago, a myriad of monsters erupted from the room called Pandaemonium at the northern end of the realm, throwing the lands of the North into chaos. All remaining kingdoms fought back against the invasion in an alliance around the largest country, Grand Chaos Imperium. However, Elfrida underestimates how expensive it is to maintain armies and now wants to follow an old prophecy and summon a “hero” from another world with Sōma. However, instead of fighting monsters and saving the kingdom from collapse, Sōma is to be given as a tribute to the Grand Chaos Imperium instead of selling gold. Sōma is still able to persuade King Albert of Elfrieden to keep him as a support elsewhere instead.
The hope of the kingdom
As an accomplished civil servant, Sōma Kazuya wants to help the Elfrieden kingdom out of financial distress. Only three days are enough to learn everything about the kingdom and the current economic situation from Elfrieden. Before he knows it, Sōma, thanks to his knowledge and language skills, is proclaimed the new king by Albert. Liscia, the royal couple's daughter and crown princess of the kingdom, is adamant that Sōma is a criminal and is pushing things further into the crisis, but quickly discovers that the exact opposite is true of him and that he is already a practical, well-thought-out realist able to implement plans.
But with his vassals exhausted, Sōma is now looking for talent among his people, prompting the dark elf Aisha, the songstress Juna, the intelligent Hakuya and the lovable Poncho to help him. Of course, word of the change of throne also got around in all other kingdoms, which is why Sōma is a thorn in the side of three rebellious dukes who do not want to accept him as the new ruler. As the new king, Sōma still has to prove himself…
image and animation
How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom (Jap. Genjitsu Shugi Yūsha no Ōkoku Saikenki ) adapts the light novel series of the same name by author Dojyomaru and illustrator Fuyuyuki. The JCStaff studio, already known for series like Toradora! or DanMachi , took over the production of the Isekai anime, directed by Takashi Watanabe. The 13-part first half premiered on TV in Japan between July and September 2021 while Crunchyroll simulcasted it. Part two has been running on both Japanese TV and Crunchyroll since the 2022 winter season.
In the first few episodes, the anime adaptation already shows a beautiful visual implementation, which can unfold in the high-resolution Blu-ray version. In addition to a wide range of colors that make the image appear atmospheric and valuable in all scenes, the studio spared no effort in designing the backgrounds in detail and thus giving them a certain depth. The character design by Mai Otsuka fits very well into the created medieval setting, which particularly stands out due to the grandiose costume design. However, the financial limit of the production is partly noticeable, which is reflected in the disappointing animation: Many static images, only usual movements and immature changes of perspective spoil the impression. This puts the technical works in the way of the artistic ones, which have yet to achieve their balance.
German translation and music
For the German implementation of How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom , polyband commissioned DMT Digital Media Technologie GmbH in Hamburg, where Toni Michael Sattler took over the dialogue direction and Katharina von Daake contributed the dialogue book, who also provided the German voice of the crown princess and protagonist Liscia Elfrida is. Already in the season opener, the German dubbing turns out to be particularly qualitative.
First and foremost, Marco Rosenberg and Katharina von Daake are convincing in their respective leading roles as Sōma Kazuya and Liscia Elfrieden. Because both not only fit their roles vocally, but can also perfectly reflect their character traits. The dialogue book, which is kept very close to the original and partly takes up the discrepancy between modern and medieval epochs in language use, is corresponding. I also want to commend the performance of Nadine Schreier, who sang a whole song a cappella in German as Juna Douma. This is not taken for granted in anime series! All other dubbing actors also partly prove the same quality, which is why there hasn't been any criticism so far. For those who prefer to watch How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom in the original Japanese version, the OmU version included on the disc can do so without any problems.
In addition, the plot is accompanied by the grandiose music by Akiyuki Tateyama, which harmoniously enhances those with different orchestral and acoustic soundtracks and does not become too obtrusive. The opening ( Hello Horizon by Inori Minase) is an energetic start to the episodes, while the ending ( Kazanear by Aimi) is a calming finale.
How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom wants to show right from the start that it's not a typical Isekai anime, although it uses numerous clichés. But the title already revises this and reveals what distinguishes Dojyomaru's novel from other Isekais: Instead of fighting demons and other menacing creatures that are trying to take over the kingdom, the hero should bring the kingdom out of its financial misery and famine fight. So that the story does not become too monotonous due to business and politics, it is occasionally loosened up with humor that contributes to pleasant and entertaining entertainment. The heart of How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom are definitely the sympathetic characters, who form a unit despite their different characteristics.
However, the enemies and dangers spoken of are as yet unillustrated and have no presence in the active storyline, although they do suggest a dire threat. In addition, the effects of the famine on the citizens can hardly be seen when you actually see how harmoniously and contentedly the people live in the short sequences. Here, in my opinion, you cut yourself in the foot right from the start and subjected the story to a (perhaps) unintentional paradox. It remains to be seen how this will affect or possibly change in the coming episodes, especially since a certain downturn in the story is noticeable after the fourth episode, which is due to the comfortable pacing and the resulting sometimes different plot. That said, few anime series manage to pack plot information, characters, and the like as compactly as How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom .
The anime series also has a lot of catching up to do in terms of animation, which is solid at best and not as convincing as the rest of the visual implementation. On the other hand, there is no criticism whatsoever of the German dubbing, which demonstrates the possible quality and high level in the first volume. There are just as few deficits in the musical accompaniment, which was contributed by Akiyuki Tateyama. I'm really looking forward to the sequel in the second volume!
How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom presents itself in the first few episodes as an entertaining anime and a welcome change from all previous Isekai series, which is dedicated to building a kingdom and has lovable characters.
Images: ©DOJYOMARU,OVERLAP/”GENKOKU” Production Committee.