「そうだ、国を売ってトンズラしよう」 (Sou da, Kuni o Utte Tonzura Shiyou)
“The Prince Who Would Sell His Kingdom”

With all of the cooler premieres I’ve covered within the past week where neat worlds and interesting characters come together, it’s disappointing to see how bland Tensai Ouji no Akaji Kokka Saiseijutsu’s first episode turned out. While Tensai Ouji no Akaji Kokka Saiseijutsu rides high off of its premise of Wein being upset that he can’t sell his nation and retire as a wealthy traitor, much of this is squandered in favor of reveling in Wein’s tactical mastery and high-flying swordplay from barely bloody battles.


The most distinct feature the anime has to offer is Prince Wein’s uncouth personality. As soon as the doors close and he only has his assistant Ninym in the same room, he breaks down and has a childish tantrum about wanting to find any way he can to betray his country and strike it rich. It’s not an inherently bad thing to have such a cowardly, selfish protagonist considering that it sounds hilarious to see a self-absorbed, over-privileged twerp constantly have his accidental success get in the way of his retirement plans.

But it’s not really fun to watch Prince Wein complain because of how it’s presented. Rather than having him be all-around selfish and outwardly charismatic, he spends most of the episode being calm, cool, and collected. He comes off as a far more generic protagonist whose only defining personality traits are expressed in the beginning and end of the episode.

Wein comes off like a blank slate, wish-fulfillment protagonist who is only flawed because he writhes on a table when he doesn’t get his way. It’s as if they’re desperately trying to convince us that he’s entitled and flawed despite his confident demeanor, his love for his sister, and his victories on the battlefield.

You know how people joke about how flavored sparkling water tastes like someone shouted the name of the flavor into a can of TV static? Wein’s complaining is presented like somebody showed me a picture of a generic intelligent anime protagonist and shouted “HE HATES HIS LIFE, YOU KNOW?”

It doesn’t help that his whinier side is presented as quirky, quippy banter between him and Ninym. I knew this show was an instant drop the moment Wein made a request for Ninym to end every sentence in “nyaa”. It’s groan-worthy writing that only an otaku who assumes they’re clever because they learned the wrong lessons from Monogatari’s quippy dialogue would add.


It feels unearned for Wein to regulate his bratty personality towards having full-on childish tantrums when he spends most of the episode with a straight face because they want us to think he’s cool. As soon as he decided to be a brilliant strategist to make the country sell for a higher price, it was a kiss of death towards any riskiness the show would have because he predictably ends up endearing himself to his new role as the country’s leader.

With his sister Falayna, the mobs of adoring citizens, and all of the soldiers he came to inspire in the first episode, he’s already solidified himself as an admirable commander. It’s no accident that he is surprisingly inspiring and on better footing than the nations around him because if he wasn’t, there wouldn’t be any cool moments on the battlefield.

The worst part about it steering towards relishing in Wein’s brilliant strategies is that none of it actually looks appealing. So much of the flashy action it wants to reveal plays out through stiff combat that would be practically bloodless if the head commander wasn’t decapitated and didn’t have his head paraded around the battlefield like we’re in Devilman.

For Tensai Ouji no Akaji Kokka Saiseijutsu, the major problem with the first episode is the same problem that Wein faces; it wants to act like it has venom in its fangs for what it has to go through, but gets far too invested in the glory of the battlefield to commit to the sardonic tone it’s desperately trying to achieve. It wishes it could have the same bite and tone as a wackier, more subversive fantasy anime, but is far too caught up in how awesome it would be to be Prince Wein that it doesn’t realize that it’s not fun to watch someone fall upward if he’s having a good time doing so.


  1. Yeah, that was a disappointing start.
    Not sold on Wein’s character. Doesn’t help that I generally dislike the use of SD characters. Those are NOT funny and just look awkward to me.
    Well, I’m sure there’s a (tragic?) back story to be explored, so I’ll at least give the next episode a chance. And maybe we’ll have more of Emili…err Ninym, who’s obviously a prime reason why I was interested in the first place.

    Gotta say, for a first episode the production was a bit lacking which doesn’t bode well for future episodes.

  2. I agree with your points as I was very disappointed in the first episode, mainly in the pacing. I just read the first LN recently and thought it was decent, I also thought it would take 2-3 episodes to cover the point where Natra takes the mine. Much to my surprise, it was all stuffed into one episode with a lot of the details removed or rushed through.

    As for the characters so far, Wein is as expected from what I have read. I actually like his design more in the anime compared to the LN illustrations. Ninym seems okay so far as well. It was touched upon a bit in this first ep, but there is prejudice against her “kind” for a lack of a better word.

    I’ll continue to read the LN and watch the anime in the meantime before I decide to drop or not. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if this doesn’t get picked up RC.

  3. A lot of Genius Prince’s humour and appeal comes from “task failed successfully” and Murphy’s Law. If a plan is made to intentionally fail for gain, the plan will accidentally succeed instead. Also no matter how well a plan is thought out beforehand, some unexpected shit will happen that fucks up said plan.

    There are political-themed similarities to Realist Hero, but Genius Prince’s greater focus is on political double-dealing, intrigue and machinations (albeit in a more humourous air).

  4. I’m enjoying the light novel a lot, but am very disappointed with the adaptation so far. One of the LN’s strengths is unexpectedly thorough worldbuilding, which this episode skips completely, including the first arc that explains why on earth an empire would arm and train a neighbour’s army in the first place. The same can be said for all kinds of other good moments that happened before this point in the novel chronologically, like characterisation (Wein and Ninym’s relationship has a lot more bite to it, even in the meow scene). Even Wein is a better character on his own terms–yes, he has plenty of whining brat moments, but they don’t drag on the way they do in the anime, and with access to the worldbuilding, we get to see the reasoning behind his decisions.

  5. These type of stories need some creativity to animate (Realist Hero had the same issue).. I would have skipped the battle scene to focus on other aspects (and they DID skip him taking the mine!). So it basicly didn’t end up giving a good view of anything, Weins character, , the world building, how his schemes mess up….anything really. Not to mention even the battle was his enemy being flat out dumb. Enemy commander gives chase…runs into ambush. sigh.

  6. Watched this anime after reading this review and it still manages to disappoint. lol

    After reading some of the comments above, it seems like it’s probably best to view this from a romcom perspective. Noticed there are a lot of girls around the guy. The girls and their interaction with the MC would be the focus. Though it is worrying seeing his interaction with Ninym.

    They really should’ve shown them taking the mine. The only thing that piques my interest was Ninym’s words after taking the enemy commander’s head.

  7. Completely disappointed so far. I know that anime adaptations range from good to bad, but this has been a shit show so far. It feels like this will just be to advertise the LN and nothing else, showing and telling very little story.


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