OP Sequence

OP: 「HELLO HORIZON」 by Inori Minase

「まず勇者より始めよ」 (Mazu Yuusha Yori Hajimeyo)
“First Begin with a Hero”

New season, new isekai. You surprised? Better not be, because this genre isn’t disappearing anytime soon if upcoming adaptations are anything to go by. The good news at least is that we’re not beholden to the exact same concepts time and again which Genjitsu is out to prove. It may not be the most intriguing of isekai, but it’s certainly out to separate itself from the pack.

Per the always on-point (and totally never wrong) RC Preview, Genjitsu can be thought of as an isekai miscreant. This one isn’t about saving the world from some demonic threat, overeager usurper, or miscellaneous threat. Or, well, mostly. Sure, the demonic aspect of otherworldly invasion remains, but gone is the idea that the summoned hero must combat the threat through might, magic, and Gary Stu powerups alone. No, for Genjitsu the twist is that the summoned hero’s strength comes from the mind, a strength through which everything involving the embattled Kingdom of Elfrieden subsequently develops, and something the show wastes little time in squirreling away. Need look no further than casually dropping The Prince and having the summoned hero in Souma Kazuya (Kobayashi Yuusuke) immediately turn to state finances to get a good idea of where things are conceptually going. There’s a kingdom to save here, and hero Kazuya is going to use his brains to do it.

In terms of characters themselves, Genjitsu likewise doesn’t spend too long in teasing the obvious. Kazuya for example is about as vanilla as they get for isekai leads, a kid whose goal was being a nondescript civil servant (read: middle manager) before being dispensed into isekai central and shouldered with Elfrieden’s burdens. Or in other words, thoroughly vanilla and with little of the real bean. If that wasn’t enough to highlight things either, the alternate world cast themselves reinforces the point: besides the run of the mill fantasy races, Elfrieden’s ruling monarchy pulls a incomprehensible in abdicating in favour of Kazuya while embracing full modern equality in giving first princess Liscia (Minase Inori) the choice in whether to go through with the decision; fantasy or not, some awfully convenient and anachronistically dubious decision-making was used here to effectively give Kazuya full control over stately proceedings – and all before considering what could happen in the near future. Whether early days or not, Genjitsu will have to narratively show it’s more than skin deep.

Such character concerns, however, somewhat bely where Genjitsu is likely (and conversely) to draw strength: its politics. I wasn’t kidding when I related this one back to Maoyuu Maou Yuusha in the preview, domestic conflict, international competition, and state survival are effectively the names of the game here with characters more personifications of larger interests than singular powers in of themselves. Need look no further than the foreshadowing of internal struggles within Elfrieden to see where things are going while Kazuya’s proclaimed realism (the political science variety) gives a good understanding of the mechanisms through which conflicts will be resolved. Don’t expect anything too deep on the theory front mind you (at least unless the likes of Polybius, More, or Hobbes pop up), but I imagine any lover of system building won’t be disappointed by what Genjitsu has on tap.

While a few episodes will be needed to get a proper handle on Genjitsu, rest assured there’s more to this one than meets the eye. Anyone’s guess what sort of material it winds up being, but I’m certainly intrigued on seeing what ultimately lies in store for this alternate world adventure.

19 Comments

  1. There’s actually a reason why the king handed him the throne, but it comes much later in the novel and I can’t remember if he knows.
    On a side note, I’m annoyed at the minor spoiler at the end.

    Weird D
    1. So I guess this will ease some viewers who’s not pleased that the king just hands everything to a summoned foreign Hero whom he just met less than a day.

      I hope this will give flashback scenes of him discussing with his advisor(s) on whether he can trust and put all of his faith on the Japanese adult to solve the kingdom’s economic problems. Because otherwise the scene where he announces his sudden abdication & crowns the Hero to be the current king feels heavy-handed to the audience especially some of them stating out their dislike of this scene being subtle/indirect reference of colonialism.

      I mean giving a very important position of your country to a foreign adult (especially during half of an episode) sounds uneasy familiarity…

      writerRichieK
    2. IMO it should’ve been something alluded to here rather than later on. It’s the sort of nonsensical decision which requires context to make sense of, because otherwise you get confusion and the belief it was forced. It’s not a deal breaker for me personally, but it’s something that could’ve been handled better.

      1. It’s tough. I think JC staff did an okay job laying the groundwork for when the explanation happens, but unfortunately there is some rather large world building that has to get done first for it to make any sense as to why and how this all happened.

        They might still do this in the first few episode, I don’t know, but there’s a version of this where they cold open with a context-less version of the scene that explains why the King handed over the kingdom (like let’s say right after the grandfather’s speech). And it still wouldn’t make sense without additional world building,,. but it would be considerably more arresting, and would give you a clear reason for why this all needs to happen, even if you won’t understand the how it all works for weeks.

        But hey, maybe they just want to stick to the novel, where the explanation is basically a retcon to justify the weird conceit of the prototype / first chapter, so oh well.

        heiro one
  2. Realist Hero will only have 13 episodes.
    https://genkoku-anime.com/blu-ray/

    Which brings into question how much material they can adapt, and how well it could be done.

    Ideally they’d want to cover Vols 1-4 since it makes up 1 complete story arc, but source readers feel would be too rushed to fully cover in 13 eps (the novels are pretty dense, full of worldbuilding, political moves and strategic discussions; they felt 20+ eps would have been better).

    Also word is Realist Hero got an anime due to its (supposedly) greater popularity with Western/overseas readers, via its official translation by J-Novel Club (one of their popular selling titles).

    zztop
    1. Does that mean the first episode adapts half or the whole first volume? Because that would’ve explained the king’s self-abdication scene.

      I’m going in fully blind, but I can tell this episode has many condensed parts being “skimmed through”. This series might be an unfortunate Compressed Adaptation if more of the LN elements get skipped within the next few episodes given how the first episode is only being remembered about a foreign savior coming to solve the locals’ economic problems. Nothing more than that is being remembered…

      writerRichieK
      1. Iirc this episode only covered either a quarter of, or half, of LN Vol 1.
        The king’s abdication happens immediately (although it’s revealed in a much later volume that there was a strategy behind it, and the king and queen were really betting that this gamble would pay off.)

        zztop
    2. If the popularity reason is true that would be surprising, I don’t recall this one having any major western backing (e.g. Netflix) and that usually is what pushes certain series.

      Wouldn’t also be too concerned about pacing, it’s going to be 3-4 volumes max and much like similar material-heavy series they’ll just strip out all the fat – because if there’s one thing these series feature in abundance, it’s plenty of superfluous writing.

  3. What Salvor Hardin would do?
    Getting finances in order is just a start.
    Military buildup is definitely needed, but securing food for population, and solving refugees problem come as equally important if not even more. Our hero definitely has a mountain of problems on his plate…

    Ewok40k
  4. As many others have noted, this is a very condensed adaption of a relatively dense light novel series. There are story reasons for the sudden promotion and engagement.

    SadOldGuy
    1. Do you want to get spoiled? short answer, yes. full answer, go read the LN, I guarantee you, it’s one of the best because the mc is not dense compared to some isekai MC ones.. but well, All you need to know is she plays a not-so-big-but-still-large-role,. that’s it

      Fairace
    2. Well, the queen’s the daughter of the previous king and queen, and the king was just a countryside noble, so yeah, more or less. There’s a bigger backstory to it of course, but you’ll have to wait to learn more.

      heiro one

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