Now that we’re fully into the first and second weeks of the new spring season, I’ll be finishing up my winter reviews a bit more succinctly for my own sanity. This in between time is always a bit crazy trying to finish up one season’s shows but still stay up to date with trying all the newly airing ones. Thankfully, most of the remaining winter anime I have yet to discuss are mostly pretty mediocre, or in the case of this Realist Hero sequel, completely forgettable.
I still look back on season 1 fondly, but part of me wonders if that nostalgia comes from a seasonal drought at that time. Even now, I can’t really think of much that is notable from the first installment other than the idea of a hero that rules with self-proclaimed realism rather than idealism. But as my friend draggle has pointed out, this notion doesn’t actually play out in the series where almost everything enacted comes from the hero’s ideals. This sequel pushes even further into his aspirations and drops almost all of the silliness I liked in the original series. Instead of inventive culinary uses of slime monsters as a mean of addressing food shortages, the writing delves into treason and slavery.
Normally a turn like this to arguably darker and touchier topics seems a natural progression, but the manner of Realist Hero’s pursuit lacks actual tact and depth. The show mistakes excess dialogue for complexity, forcing the viewer into multiple episodes of single-room settings where the characters sit around talking in circles for entirely too long. And then there’s the attempt to fix slavery, opting for a point-of-view from a “likable” slave owner who just wants to do right by his slaves without going into debt himself. I can see where they’re going with this angle, but it definitely doesn’t feel well done.
The show then chooses to end with a strange mix of messages and a final plot twist, starting with discussion about Souma’s marriage prospects by all the major women in his life. This is supposed to be humorous, his partners-to-be pouring over notes extracted from a drugged Souma, notes that detail his sexual preferences and desires for each of the girls. Then the subsequent episode tries to sell us on the love story between him and just one of them, Princess Liscia. Telling these stories back-to-back doesn’t work, neither on their own nor placed together as they are. This love story is then hammered in even more with the revelation of why Souma was summoned to this world in the first place, which involves a mix of magic and time travel (of a sorts). I promise you, this is way less interesting than I might make it sound. Do yourself a favor, and just skip Realist Hero from the very first season.
Rating: 0 dango
- 0 dango – average and forgettable.
- 1 dango – very good in its category.
- 2 dango – excellent show that is worth a try.
- 3 dango – exceptional show one must watch.