WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Episode 14 of How a Realistic Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom, which is currently streaming on Funimation.
political isekai How a realistic hero rebuilt the kingdom is back at Funimation. The titular realistic hero, Kazuya Souma, is a modern Japanese high school student who is summoned to become the king of the fantasy kingdom of Elfrieden in the world of Landia. The end of the first part of Season 1 saw Souma and his court invade the Principality of Amidonia in retaliation for their own attempted invasion.
What sets Souma apart as a protagonist is his relatively modern approach to running a kingdom, but what sets him apart as a “realistic hero” is his down-to-earth philosophy. He constantly made practical sacrifices and made decisions such as selling Elfrieden’s precious jewels to Amidonia to save its economy and streamline the kingdom’s three military forces into one united army. A discussion in Souma’s office in Episode 14 engaged with Souma’s realistic view of the world, as he discussed his realistic and more idealistic views.
Prime Minister Hakuya Kwonmin showed Souma a proposed map of redevelopment plans for the Starchy town of Van, but Souma told him that the renovations were overkill. This is a simple example of Souma’s typically realistic worldview. Ideally, Souma would probably prefer a more efficient city, having overseen the construction of new roads in Elfrieden in Episode 8. Even so, he acknowledged that Hakuya’s grand projects would be almost as logistically difficult to implement as the reconstruction of the whole city.
On the other hand, Souma wants to focus on “the will of the people who live there”. Even this concept is tinged with utilitarian and self-preservation considerations, which are typical of Souma’s realist philosophy, as Souma said, “If we decide everything for them, there will probably be a backlash.” Hakuya told Souma, “It’s likely to become a city full of avant-garde art.” This logically follows from Van’s state in episodes 12 and 13, when Souma broadcast a revolutionary variety show in the suppressed city, and Amidonia’s Princess Roroa noted that people were celebrating in the streets as he had them. was forbidden to do so during the reign of his father. .
Souma seemed quietly pleased with the proposal, saying, “An art city, huh? That could be interesting.” Unlike Episode 12, in which Souma used the entertainment to send a message to the Amidonians, Souma seemed genuinely excited about the kind of startling art the citizens of Van could create. This curiosity for Van’s artistic future goes beyond Souma’s strictly realistic considerations for the city, showing a more idealistic side to his view of Amidonia. With the practical demands of Elfrieden’s Civil War as well as the Starchian invasion behind him, Souma might finally have the opportunity to foster more ambitious development.
Unfortunately for that dream, Hakuya reminded Souma, “Van will be the city on the front lines of Amidonia. I wouldn’t recommend that.” Princess Liscia of Elfrieden agreed, “We’ll just have to make it a more comfortable town to live in while retaining its function as a military town.” Souma’s realism took precedence over his idealism when he concluded, “What choice do we have? Come up with something along those lines.” Souma’s resignation reinforced his disappointment at having to set aside his more idealistic hope for the city, but his subdued tone and the speed with which he gave in to Hakuya and Liscia’s point are reminiscent of his fundamentally realistic point of view.
Singer-turned-military leader Juna Doma then asked Souma if a refit was even necessary. Souma replied that it is important to increase employment in the military town now that the war is over and “public works” are needed to save Van’s economy. Thus, making Van “a more comfortable city” as Liscia proposed is something that benefits Souma’s idealistic and realistic claims: to improve the city through arts and recreation while providing a practical shield against poverty and unemployment.
The next item on the agenda was transportation. Hakuya lamented that the bridges built by Elfrieden in Van are likely to be demolished by Prince Julius of Amidonia, adding, “It would be a matter of prestige.” Souma said, “If it was me, I’d use anything I could, whether it was starchy or not.” Juna laughed and said, “Knowing you, Your Majesty, I’m sure you would.” Juna has become so close to Souma that she can predict his attitude due to her realistic view of the world. She already knew Souma wouldn’t care about “prestige” if it was so impractical, and she laughed because he hadn’t realized how typically realistic and Souma-esque that innocuous comment was.
The fact that Souma’s realism is so reliable is a fun but meaningful reminder that while Souma can afford to make more idealistic decisions, his politics are still dominated by his realistic approach. Souma and the others eventually planned to name the bridges after members of Elfrieden’s court, sparking dissent among the Amidonians who depended on their usefulness. When the “Anti-Kingdom Faction” inevitably tore them down, Souma resigned himself to accepting the bridges’ destruction, but decided to take advantage of it – his down-to-earth mindset prevailing once again.
The episode ended with Souma, Julius, and Jeanne Euphoria of the Empire of Gran Chaos meeting to negotiate the return of the lands of Amidonia. Souma believed the empire cared about the kingdom because, to Liscia’s surprise, he believed that Empress Maria of Gran Chaos had earned him her nickname “Saint”. Souma may be more realistic than idealistic, but he remains optimistic about the future of Elfrieden and Amidonia.
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