「百戦百勝は善の善なる者に非ず」 (Hyakusen Hyakushou wa Zen no Zen Naru Mono ni Arazu)
“To Fight and Conquer in All Our Battles Is Not Supreme Excellence”
And with that our grand political adventure is over. Kazuya did the thing, the girls did the thing, and the next big threat has made its (her?) presence known. Is there more coming? You bet your cute little sister – wait what, more Genjitsu in the near future? Damn right, which sort of takes the wind out of my sails. I might have my issues with how this season went, but the knowledge of further material come winter 2022 is a very nice boost for showing I need to shut up while ahead and acknowledge current problems are never indicative of later face plants. Genjitsu might arguably feature the worst excesses of light novel infodumps, but damn if they weren’t fun infodumps! Yes, I might in fact be looking forward to round two of this geopolitical festival – as final impressions might so in fact reveal.
To be honest I had a whole spiel already prepared for Genjitsu’s finale. About how it was only glorified advertisement. About how it was all tell and not show. About how it gave everything but the tension needed to secure a true and proper story. So what do I get in the end? A surprise sequel announcement (linking twice in case you missed it) and humbling over how not to count your chickens before they hatch. Genjitsu’s first season might have its issues, but they’re ultimately problems almost certainly solved by looking on them with an extra thirteen weeks of material in hand – and I for one couldn’t be happier.
The main problem I have with Genjitsu as it stands is the lack of dedicated direction. For all the intrigue of nation building and all the fun of societal development, we have precious little in the way of true threat. Kazuya more or less does as he intends, effectively rolls over the competition present, and rarely encounters a hiccup which impacts or forces him to adjust to the circumstances. Newly summoned hero at risk of ransoming? Local elites out to put him in his place? Foreign powers looking to take advantage of the circumstances? Barely speedbumps on the apparent path to isekai greatness, as every single one quickly gives into the power that is Kazuya. It is your typical isekai development, yet stands out here in part because there’s no unifying threat, no enemy to direct the events as we see play out. It’s effectively a slice-of-life dressed up as political theatre, with all the internecine issues accompanying such a strategy.
Such issues as mentioned at the start, however, are quickly nullified by realizing that this season is simply the part of a greater whole. For all my concerns with how Genjitsu came across here, there’s no denying it has laid the foundations for stronger development. Beaten princesses, superpower emissaries, looming dangers: all have been teased, and all now have their time to shine. While it remains to be seen if Genjitsu can leverage these pieces into a greater narrative, given how long has been spent on revealing and fleshing them out it’s (in my opinion) unlikely such a thing will not transpire in some sense. One way or another Genjitsu is primed to move into more strategic and consequential territory, and we shall simply have to see if it can live up to the expectations of such.
While I may have some doubts as to whether Genjitsu can blossom into a proper political epic, there’s no denying it’s set to start exploring those waters. It’s wholly up in the air what’s coming, it’s anyone’s guess whether it will succeed, but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing just what Genjitsu does once the new year finally comes around.