How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom, Vol. 8

By Dojyomaru and Fuyuyuki. Released in Japan by Overlap, Inc. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by Sean McCann.

After a book that was mostly politics last time, we spend much of this book with warfare, as the tiny kingdom of Lastania is under attack by a horde of monsters from the demon territories. This is relevant to Souma and company because Roroa’s brother Julius, who has been wandering around ever since he got his ass handed to him in the early books, has settled down in this kingdom due to falling for the kingdom’s insufferably cute and plucky princess, Tia, who is on the cover despite not getting nearly as much focus in the book as I expected. Julius is a bit desperate here, as the Kingdom is falling to the monsters, so asks Souma for aid even though it may mean his own death. That said, readers of this series know that Souma is (usually) not one to carry grudges, especially not against members of his fiancee’s family. He also has the ability to show up and lead a charge to wipe everything out, which he does.

Given the nature of this series, there’s not really much of an actual threat here. We do see a few of the regulars get to show off their skills, including Hal, Kaede and Ruby, now pretty much working as a well-oiled OT3; Kuu and Leporina, who remain the perfect overenthusiastic royal and harried bodyguard; and Komain and Jirukoma, who are reunited here as Jirukoma is part of Julius’ forces. Honestly, despite all the battles, you get the feeling that the author is more interested in the romance. Leporina clearly has feelings for Kuu, but is waiting for him to mature enough to see them. Poncha, Serina and Komain appear to be forming an OT3 of their own, but Komain may be the only one who actually realizes this. Jirukoma hooks up with one of the Captain’s of Lastania’s forces, Lauren, in a classic “I am too dim to recognize obvious signals” sort of way. Oh yes, and on Souma’s end, Maria is still hinting she would not mind hooking up with him, Excel is hitting on him to the displeasure of ALL the fiancees, and we also hear about a beautiful young warrior from not-China as a tease for the next book. (Hopefully Realist Hero’s not-China holds up better than Smartphone’s not-China.)

There are a few drawbacks to this volume. I’ve talked before about the “Native American” stereotype for the refugees, and we get more art showing it off here. Still don’t like it. Given we’re focusing on how Julius has been reformed, partly due to the power of love, I wish we’d had a bit more time spent with him and Tia, who pretty much exists as a thing to protect. That said, I approve of villains who can reform, and Julius’ guarded conversations with Souma were excellent. I also liked an exhausted Souma confessing his fears of becoming too jaded and uncaring when he becomes king, and Roroa and Naden’s reassurances. I would like to see Liscia again – we do get a scene with her, revealing she’s pregnant with twins, but the nature of the universe, and the “realist” part of it, means she’s still being treated like fine china.

So a mostly solid Realist Hero here, and we’re edging closer to the actual coronation and wedding(s). That said, it appears we have another detour coming up next. Does Souma need an artist?

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