How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom, Vol. 11

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

After spending the last volume having all the weddings, it’s no surprise that we’re starting to see the fruits of that labor, so to speak. No, not Souma, although he does bed three more of his wives in this book (it cuts away before the sex, sorry). Instead we have Poncho, whose two wives are already pregnant, possibly as they are banging so much he is literally getting thin because of it, and Hal, whose childhood friend Kaede is also pregnant. Fortunately, the sex and babies is only a tiny part of this book, which is otherwise devoted to integrating its new problem children into the kingdom. Sometimes this is easy – everyone loves Ichiha, the milder climate means he’s healthier, and he’s written the most important book in years. Sometimes it’s a bit more difficult, as with Yuriga, who is not only a budding tsundere in training, but is also writing her brother every week telling him what King Souma is doing. What is Souma doing? Oh, y’know, starting bicycle message services, doing a Day of the Dead costume parade, staging mock battles to cool anime music. The usual.

As you can see from the cover, the other big plot twist is that Roroa has de-aged, and is now attending school. OK, no. In fact that is Lucy, a merchant’s daughter who adores Roroa and models herself after her, to the point where she’s nicknamed “mini-Roroa” in story. The other addition to the schoolchildren ranks is Velza, the dark elf that Hal rescued who has fallen madly in love with him. It’s a bit too soon for her to be going after anyone, though, so in the meantime she join’s Tomoe’s posse to get some learning. As always with this series, part of the fun is seeing not only how Souma introduces things like sewers and the like to Friedonia, nut also normal Japanese things – in this case the idea of school clubs, who recruit just as violently here as they do in Japan. The kids are cute, and we’re seeing them start to grow up – Tomoe has a bit of a crush on Ichiha, and is also trying to be more mature in general.

Arguably the more interesting part of the book is Souma giving a symposium on monsters and what they’ve learned due to Ichiha’s drawings and analysis. Publicly, it discusses classifying monsters more easily and studying them to try to help prevent things like stampedes and the like. Privately, things are more disturbing – evidence points to the monsters being ‘created” rather than born, and if that’s the case, then what about say, the beastmen, or the sea serpents, or any of the sentient races currently living reasonably peacefully with humans. The last thing Souma needs is adding racism to a world that’s trying to get rid of it. And this doesn’t even get into the potential war with the demons they have coming up. The back half of the book is, therefore, lots of talk, but it’s interesting talk.

This book takes place back in Friedonia, but apparently in the next one we go off to another country and meet some more new characters – because honestly the cast is too small, don’t you think? Till then, this gives the readers what they want, and I enjoyed it. Though for God’s sake, stop citing Machiavelli.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom, Vol. 10

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

Once we found out that the world of Realist Hero is one that supports polyamory, the romantic pairings started flying fast and furious. The main focus of this volume is the marriage between Souma and his five wives, and that does happen. But Souma wants to have a lot of other weddings at the same time. His reasoning is solid: he wants lots of babies now so that everyone is available later on, as he suspects soon he’ll be battling Fuuga and other higher-ups for control of the kingdom and other lands, and needs all the help he can get. As a result, he goes around resolving all the sort of romances we’ve had to date that don’t involve him. (Sometimes he doesn’t even need to get involved. Julius marries the princess we saw in Book 8, and Haruhi – sorry, Kuu – proposes to the Realist Hero equivalent of Yuki and Mikuru.) So Hal is marrying Kaede and Ruby, and may also get an elf bride in a few years as a third. The resident mad scientist is marrying her minder. And Poncho also resolves his OT3… well, no. All these marriages are resolved by women. Indeed, the core of this book is that the guys have the nominal power, but the women are the more mature ones who resolve things.

Having had Saber Red on the cover of the first book, we get Saber Lily here for the 10th. Of course, both are Liscia, but the artist has never quite managed to hide their Fate fanart origins. It seems appropriate for this book, which reads almost like a fanfic writer decided to resolve all the uncommitted pairings at once. The “make babies at once” edict also seems like a fan thing, and while there’s no sex in this book, we glide around the topic quite a bit, going from another “Excel Walter Explains It All For You” bridal meeting to Liscia explicitly telling Souma he’ll be bedding everyone one night after another right after the wedding (Aisha is first up) to Serina making sure that Poncho is eating aphrodisiac foods at their own wedding reception. I am not sure if Book 11 will be filled with babies, though. Oh yes, and in non-wedding news, the identity of a certain masked ninja is made a lot clearer.

The best story is saved for last, though, as Liscia’s mother Elisha tells her own life story, and how she discovered her horrible power and used it in order to marry the right man, set up the kingdom so that it would not end in bloodshed, and when all that failed at least send the memories of the one thing she did wrong to the Elisha of OUR world. Yes, that is a plot twist I am spoiling, but it’s brilliant, and I applaud. Elisha’s similarity to Liscia as a child was amusing, but it’s her compassion that is how we remember her. I also liked the callback to an earlier volume where Elisha tells Souma of the fate he and Liscia suffered in that world, and Souma suggests the old “they never saw the bodies” defense, which turns out o be rather relevant after all. In a book filled with sweet, sappy love stories, this one really made me grin.

If I recall, the webnovel this is based on slightly changed the title for future books, implying this is the end of Season 1. I doubt the official books will do the same, but I do expect a change of pace next time. Till then, enjoy all the weddings.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom, Vol. 9

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

While Souma is the focus of these books, he’s not the only ruler in town. We’ve seen some of them taken into his orbit, like Kuu. Some are allied with him but for their own reasons are separate, such as the Empress Maria (who I still say may eventually get into the Souma wife battalion eventually but not just yet). Some, like the Chima leader we meet in this book, are there to make deals using their popular and talented children as bargaining chips and marriage pawns. And then there’s Fuuga Haan, the leader of Malmkhitan, who by his sheer presence, inspirational qualities, and sheer power is the most terrifying of all. He’s compared to Oda Nobunaga and Napoleon in terms of the sort of leader who sets out to conquer. Which is not good news for Souma, who is not that sort of leader at all. Fortunately, Fuuga is on Souma’s side. For now. Fortunately, we also have Ichiha, the youngest child of the Chima ruler, who has a talent that no one recognizes. We know Souma loves those types.

That’s Fuuga Haan on the cover, by the way. No, he’s there in the background, lurking like a Kirito in a Kirito-less book. In the foreground is his little sister Yuriga, who is introduced to us when Tomoe, who has come a long way from her shy little sister days of the early books, goes exploring in the Chima castle. There she runs into Ichiha, who she discovers is not only an excellent artist for his age but is also classifying the monsters into types and seeing what they have in common. Needless to say, Souma LOVES this. No, he’s not taking Ichiha as a spouse, Ichiha being a 10-year-old boy, but he was already going to be sending Tomoe to school, so Ichiha (otherwise useless to the Chima dynasty) gets to come along. But wait, you ask, what does the little sister to Fuuga Haan do? She’s there to be a tsundere. That’s… really it. But she’s also going to the school, and given how obsessed the author is with pairings, I would not be surprised to see her, Ichiha and Tomoe hooking up when they’re of age.

Yuriga is not the only little sister we get in this volume. The main plot of the book takes up about 2/3 of it, the rest being short stories set away from Chima. We get to meet Maria and Jeanne’s younger sister Trill, who should be romanized as Drill, I expect, except it would be one cutesy name too many. Trill is a mad scientist who’s obsessed with inventing new things and blowing holes in the castle by accident, not in that order. Naturally, she too gets packed off to Souma’s kingdom of babysitters, where she can be apprenticed to Genia, their own resident mad scientist, and do mad science together. Which in this case involves building a drill. Which means they need Kuu’s not-quite-girlfriend for the steel. Realist Hero is very good at interconnecting the huge cast it has, which is good as it makes it slightly easier to remember them.

Oh yes, and I forgot to mention: Souma and Liscia’s twins are born, a boy and a girl. Also, motherhood as converted Saber Red into Saber Lily. Now that the mother and children are healthy, there’s nothing stopping the wedding, which I suspect will happen next volume. It should be fun, as this volume was.