「森、鳴動す」 (Mori, Meidou su)
“The Forest in Labour”

Don’t worry Genjitsu, I’m sure you’ll get to the conflict eventually. You know, the struggle. The fighting. The battle against those who wish you ill. It’ll happen eventually, though whether it’s anytime soon, well, remains to be seen. I admit it’s fun effectively watching Civilization (or rather Island in the Sea of Time and 1632) play out in real time – but damn I’d kill for some tension in this alternate world adventure.

Much as harped on before, Genjitsu’s main challenge is introducing actual challenge. Outside of Kazuya’s initial placement in fantasyland and his acceptance as sovereign, there has been little in the way of pushback or – heh – challenge against the plans he sets into motion. We’ve gotten hints and tidbits of this over time, whether that be the three dukes repeatedly teased every other week or so, one particular merchant girl I’m sure a few have forgotten, or the recent addition of feisty (yet adorable) Kaede, yet none of these tangents have really been built upon. It seems every time Genjitsu gets close to actual conflict it shies away in favour of another development, something great for helping illuminate its world, yet something which doesn’t help create great intrigue or suspense. Every story needs a good set of teeth after all, and so far at least Genjtisu seems to be content in fantasizing over its future chompers.

Part in parcel of my discontent at the moment is what we got this week. Make no mistake, I get a great kick out of the material which keeps popping up in this series – road building and the indomitable supremacy of nature this time? Damn rights I’ll take it all – but it’s material which now seems like treading water more than advancing a story. Right now Genjitsu feels like it’s deliberately avoiding the other half of political system building, choosing to emphasize the simple stuff over the machinations which typically drive these sorts of stories – i.e. nefarious scheming, backroom deals, and more than a few attempts at realpolitik. What we have currently is effectively filler writ large, something that technically isn’t even needed given the solid foundation Genjitsu has for building up and playing out a veritable political epic. You’ve got a transplanted king with a shrewd mind, underlings of questionable loyalty, and a world in the throes of invasion – I’m sure you can make better use of these components than what we have so far!

In the end though we’ll just have to see what the next few weeks bring. There may only be four weeks left to go in this isekai, but that’s still plenty of time to show just what dangers lie under the surface.


  1. Pacing-wise, we are nearing the end of Vol 1 (which is only introductory base stuff). Most of Realist Hero’s challenges start from Vol 2 and beyond.

    Actual (domestic-level) conflict starts from Vols 2-4, with Vol 5 bookending its events.

    Vols 6-beyond’s adventures have more international-based geopolitical adventures and conflicts for Souma to experience, including an ongoing one about a rising political rival in the vein of uniting conquerer-rulers like Nobunaga (although it’ll take several tentative seasons to even get to that point of the story).

  2. I’m in agreement with your analysis of the show’s resistance to doing anything beyond talking. I dunno if this show has any potential or not but it’s a little weird in how it has these apparently wonderful characters but does absolutely nothing with them.

    For example, with a disaster taking place in her hometown, one of the most capable figures in the kingdom is given nothing to do except explain carrier pigeons to us. It’s not like the king needed to hear it as nobody has anything to teach him. And really, the way it played out made me think that the seiyuu was guaranteed a minimum number of lines per episode to get her to show up.

    I guess I should add that I dislike how the show converts awareness of something that exists (e.g. concrete) and suddenly there is a road. No mines, no quarries, no transportation, but they suddenly have experienced craftsmen to build a great road. We’re still learning things about ancient masonry, including in recent years stuff on the Roman’s use of concrete yet the ultimate dilettante has mastered it (and engineering and construction) as an afterthought.

    1. Personally I can get behind Kazuya effectively pulling all this info out his ass. He was established very early on as being an egghead so having him pull the OP MC shenanigans on that front makes sense. This carries over into the world itself, these sorts of stories – at least the light novel versions – never go into major detail or aim for dedicated logic, it’s all about the feel.

      That feel is why I’m growing increasingly irked. It’s fine delving into this sort of eccentric material (as the average person would see it), but you need some sort of opponent to it, someone to fight against it because it what drives its development and makes you want to keep on watching. A story without an enemy is an academic essay and few ever like reading those for fun.

  3. Hey Pancakes, I like your post on this episode, but what you said right here is really up for debate. “Right now Genjitsu feels like it’s deliberately avoiding the other half of political system building,”
    Especially here. “choosing to emphasize the simple stuff over the machinations which typically drive these sorts of stories – i.e. nefarious scheming, backroom deals, and more than a few attempts at realpolitik.”

    Don’t take my response as an attack on your point of view I just find it really interesting that is all… (℧ _ ℧ )

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: My response ::: :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    I can’t comment on why Genjitsu hasn’t pushed harder on making deals or scheming with other lords, what needs to happen first for this to even be possible is successfully getting the other king/queen to respond. If I recall didn’t the other lords ignored Kazuya when he tried to communicate with them on previous episode(s)?

    Also, my best guess and this is pure assumption on my part the writer wanted to define Genjitsu and make it different from “Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken” and not have Kazuya make hard deals with others in political parties so early as you say “Typically drive these sort of stories”. The writer may also want the audience see the projects put in place to build an additional road, port, fix food shortage, human equality, raise social standards you know “The simple stuff.” The goal might be to display Kazuya not simply a king but also a servant to the nation and citizens of Elfrieden; because a King is supposed to be a surrogate of the people.

    So, to summarize the writer wanted to add realism to fixing a nation but at the same time not make the material so dry that it’s like learning about global economics three days before summer vacation. (℧ _ ℧ )

    1. Haha nawh don’t worry about calling out my opinions, I make no claim to having the sole correct point of view!

      While the writer likely does want to focus on and showcase the less glamorous sides of nation building, it’s very important IMO to note that what works in writing doesn’t necessarily do so for anime. Both novel franchises I linked above for example display a lot of what Genjitsu does: you have technological development, economic care and consideration, and the need to often create basic machinery of state (e.g. infrastructure) from nothing.

      These stories, Genjitsu included, all introduce their enemies at roughly the same time, but the key difference is they can afford to. Writing gives you time and the ability to flesh out topics that TV often does not; look no further than infodumps in typical adaptations to see this point in action.

      My concern with Genjitsu right now is that it’s seemingly missed this aspect and the need to both draw in and keep its audience invested. I’d even go so far as to argue a lot of the material these past few weeks could’ve been condensed more or even eliminated in favour of featuring its later material. It would’ve wrecked adaptation faithfulness and potentially induced pacing whiplash, but it would’ve helped a lot in creating a measure of suspense, especially if accompanied by smart work on the part of the scriptwriters.

      Ultimately, however, I’m holding off on any sort of call until the finale. A lot of my complaints would disappear if we got a second season to start playing with actual enemies for example.

  4. Minor point: During the long explanation of planting animal repelling trees along the roads no one touched on the subject that all of their transportation is animal powered.

    Larger point: What Souma voiced at the end of the episode was what I had been thinking the entire time – It’s not the king”s job to drop whatever he is doing to be in personal charge of disaster relief. I thought that putting reliable subordinates in place was the whole point of the last several episodes.

    1. It definitely is one of the main points, which is partly where Souma’s sadness at the end of this episode came from. He knows deep down he cannot afford to get attached and has to start delegating out the nitty gritty, but is still at the point where he believes his direct involvement is required. This will change at some point, it’s just a question of what event finally forces him to confront reality.

  5. It’s pretty clear this suffers from an arc/anime mismatch. Basically, if they pick a pace that works well for 12 anime episodes they don’t match up to arc structure of the story.. They seem to have take the choice to pad it out. I suppose this makes sense bc this is the type of story that would be confusing if you tried to up the pace to do one more arc.

    1. Yeah it’s the padding route. As mentioned to RenaSayers above it’s not even that bad an idea (compared to what typically happens), but it’s an approach which really needs another season to work correctly. Without it we’re largely left with lukewarm advertisement.

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