「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.