With that cliched line, Kazuya Souma found himself summoned to another world and his adventure—did not begin.
After he presents his plan to strengthen the country economically and militarily, the king cedes the throne to him and Souma finds himself saddled with ruling the nation! What's more, he's betrothed to the king's daughter now...?! In order to get the country back on its feet, Souma calls the wise, the talented, and the gifted to his side. Five people gather before the newly crowned Souma. Just what are the many talents and abilities they possess...?! What path will his outlook as a realist take Souma and the people of his country down?
A revolutionary transferred-to-another-world administrative fantasy series starts here!
Genjitsu Shugi Yuusha no Oukoku Saikenki has been published digitally in English as How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom by J-Novel Club since February 23, 2017. The series has been licensed for physical release by Seven Seas Entertainment.
since I'm the one who suggested this be added I think I should say something about it but I'm no critique so I'll keep this short. I'm a guy that likes isekai light novels, but while I've read a lot of LN's I tend to read one series until I catch up to that series then read the next one so I haven't read too many series and thus it's hard for me to judge ccompared to other series however, though I've only read 2 of them and read 8 shield hero LN's, I like it just as much if not more than it already,
this is partly cause the translation I read of shield hero has so many mistakes and partly because I like the characters of each series as much as each other, the staple of how much I like a LN is how much I like the characters.
Anyway, I wanted to say a lot isekai LN's in general but I kept erasing it cause it was too long and strayed of topic a but too much but I will say my favourite series is arifetura, you can read up to vol 2 on kindle and up to vol 4 online so money or not, read iittttttt. but yeah characters are cool, story progresses nicely and lets you think more about the hard decisions someone has to make to lead a country, you can't please everyone and this and a lot of other isekai LN's touch on this (*cough* arifetura) but yeah, this is worth reading if you're considering it.
When I started reading this, I fully expected it to include harem antics. It is so common in light novels that it is always a solid guess. But this went way beyond my expectations. With every new volume, the number of fiancées is going up and the number of political opponents is going down. One after another, all the domestic and foreign powers are becoming his best friends and never pose a threat afterwards. And the harem doesn't feature much rivalry either. Every member of the harem is perfectly fine with every new addition into the harem. Add in long rants about idol shows, anime
songs, cooking, children's superhero tv shows, etc., and there was barely any time left for meaningful politics or any other interesting content, really.
As mentioned above, the harem doesn't have much rivalry or conflict going on, which makes it mindnumbingly dull. The whole point of romantic comedy and drama is that people are fighting for the attention and feelings of their love interests against their rivals or at least overcoming some problems in their relationships. Here there is apparently no rivalry or competition worth mentioning. I will say this again for good measure: every member of the harem is perfectly fine with every new addition into the harem. They are great friends with each other, practically flawless. For the most part, they can patiently wait for their turn to receive affection. They don't even seem to have any relationship issues with Souma. Everything goes smoothly. There is zero tension here, nothing yet to be resolved, nothing to look forward to.
So... where is the romantic (or even "romantic") drama or comedy? There is none. They all love him and will be happy ever after. Which may be great for Souma, but how am I supposed to find this entertaining? The only funny part is that his harem is actually mildly relevant politically. Getting new fiancées sometimes results in obtaining more territory, etc., though this is not always the case. Some side characters are also getting married or even building smaller harems, but there are never any serious problems in their relationships either. Well, maybe there is one pairing that has potential because they are among the slightly more interesting characters and their relationship is slowly teased, but that is the exception and they barely do anything with it anyway.
The same is true of his inner circle of friends, advisors and other acquaintances. Everyone loves Souma or at least gets very well along with him. They praise him all the time. Some of the praise is deserved and some of it isn't, but either way it results in a total lack of opposition. I suppose Hakuya is a bit of an exception in the sense that he doesn't praise Souma too much, but his policy goals are usually neatly aligned with Souma's, so he supports him all the same. Souma doesn't have to worry about any of these people. This guy wouldn't get backstabbed in a million years. If he did, it would be pretty hilarious though.
This is a side note, but apparently workplace bullying is alright if you call it "buwwying." I'm dying over here.
...So yeah. Judging by the title and synopsis, I was also expecting political conflict. If the title of the novel is "How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom," it is only fair. Even with all the harem antics and other exposition, there must be some room for it, right? Well, there is some politics, but don't get your hopes up. The local populace immediately loves Souma. In some ways, this is justified because some of his policies seem effective, but you'd expect an old-fashioned feudal society to be a bit more resistant to a sudden cultural shock. Souma never has to deal with any riots in the street or anything like that. At worst, a few corrupt noblemen are causing trouble.
With every new volume, there is less political conflict left. There are fewer domestic malcontents, fewer hostile countries. As a particularly ridiculous example, Souma had a bitter political rival with personal reasons to hate him. Even though his power was limited after his fall and he didn't pose a huge threat, the fact is that he had reasons to hate Souma. However, he later patched things up with Souma because he had apparently reformed himself offscreen and learned the errors of his ways. Seems legit. There is allegedly some demon lord, maybe, but who knows? Even after so many volumes, we haven't met him. The best we've seen are a few demons who are probably organized in some vague manner. And there is some stuff about ancient ruins, but that isn't a political conflict to begin with. It is more of a run-of-the-mill RPG plot device.
Another fun fact: the local "republic" isn't a modern democratic republic or anything, more like a bunch of local chiefs voting for a head of state from amongst themselves. Well, they never properly try the "Kingdom vs Republic" argument anyway, so it's pretty irrelevant either way.
In terms of more policy-related stuff, the narration sometimes features a lot of technical detail. For instance, forestry and waste management are allotted page after page of explaining every small detail. Cooking receives a lot of attention as well, including both local and Japanese dishes, all the way to spelling out their recipes. Now, I don't mind infodumping if it is relevant for the plot or themes of the novel, but it shouldn't overtake the main topic. A political drama is better off focusing on scheming and political philosophy than reprinting civil engineering textbooks. I suppose the author was trying because he inserted walls of quotes from Machiavelli and Sun Tzu, Souma's favorite authors. I would call them overrated, but what do I know? Maybe Machiavelli truly is the best source for political philosophy and Sun Tzu for the pro strats. Sometimes they are poorly timed too. Right when there was a dramatic moment, Souma went off on a tangent on Machiavelli's writings for several pages. It could have waited for at least a short while. Also, in later volumes the number of their quotes drops pretty dramatically. Maybe the author ran out.
Speaking of tangents, they are a broader problem. Souma and other characters can go on tangents for half a dozen pages before returning to the matter at hand. Now, this wouldn't necessarily be a bad idea, but the tangents may be incredibly dull. Like, some report about trivial things that have been taking place offscreen or more engineering stuff. Sometimes, tangents are interrupted by second-tier tangents, concluded by something like "And now back to what I was saying" to return to the original tangent.
Still, this novel isn't actually about engineering or Machiavelli. No, the true point of the novel is having endless rants about idol shows and the like. Souma explains in excruciating detail what is appealing about them, to him at least. This includes lists of anime songs he likes. You know, in the "I changed a few letters" kind of way. Or at least that's what I think; I have never actually heard of any of them. Maybe I am a filthy casual or something. Of course, this is what the kingdom starts producing for entertainment: idol shows. Later on they also air a children's superhero tv show that takes up forty pages. If you think this is hyperbole, think again. It literally takes up forty pages. Who asked for this? Of course, they throw in silly-looking fanservice for good measure because that's what kids' shows are about. Hey, apparently it was a hit among the adult demographic.
When writing a political drama, you should actually remember to include the "drama" bit. It can't always be smooth sailing for the protagonist, or there is no point.
The same for the romantic drama and comedy. Where is the drama? Where is the comedy? All I can see is that "everything is perfect." The size of the harem keeps increasing, but it doesn't fundamentally matter whether he has four or five fiancées if they never bring about any interesting drama or comedy. The harem is growing without any problems whatsoever, which is great for Souma but not so great for the audience that has to sit through this exercise in "romantic" tedium.
Isekai is an oversaturated light novel genre. They are, in my opinion, the light novel equivalents of Hollywood blockbuster action flicks.
With oversaturation comes a dramatic decline in quality, as authors write highly derivative works that do nothing to enhance the genre as a whole. Enjoyable as they may be, the recent upsurge in these novels have resulted in a sense of complacency both for authors and readers alike. Gems like “Grimgar” and “Re:Zero” are hard to come across, which is why for the longest time, I have avoided premises revolving around being lost in another world.
However, one day, as I was browsing the web
for more light novels to read, I came across a series by the name of “How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom.” Tagged as being isekai, I nearly brushed it off completely. It had an unremarkable cover, with its only selling point being its rather interesting title.
Little did I know that that very night, I would be using my precious sleeping time to binge on the adventures of an economics student and his quest to reform a declining kingdom. It’s a tale that, while not necessarily outstanding, has enough of a spin on the genre that makes it fresh and fun to read.
“Realist Hero” focuses on protagonist Kazuya Souma, who finds himself summoned to another world and promptly crowned the king of the land. It is there he finds that he is essentially a chosen one whose destiny is to bring change to the era. What distinguishes this from other isekai is that his way of bringing change is not through some mystical power (which he does possess), but through the laborious task of reforming the entire country’s infrastructure. His first task is not defeating some demon lord, but cross-checking the nation’s finances to see if additional funds and resources can be scrounged to pay off a neighboring country.
Using his knowledge of economics and social engineering, Souma leads a gang of motley characters on a quest to bring societal change one paperwork at a time. Never had I expected to be given a review on national fiscal policy from a light novel, but “Realist Hero” manages to make such boring topics not only interesting, but a focal point of the entire story.
Although “Realist Hero” does fall under common isekai tropes, it does so in a way that fits within the context of the story. Examples include how the plain-looking Souma becomes the centre of attention of a harem. Its standard isekai fare in a sense, but “Realist Hero” explains a lot of these logically within the context of its setting. In the aforementioned example for instance, a character explains that given the high mortality rates, having multiple spouses was not only acceptable, but recommended. Some may look as this as a way to simply justify the novel having a harem, but I appreciate the effort made by the author to at least make it realistic in a sense (even if I personally don’t condone harems and polygamy).
Of course, the story isn’t perfect by any means. Aside from Souma and his (arranged) fiance Liscia, the primary cast of characters have very little meaningful depth to them. They are enjoyable to read about, but very few characters outside of the main duo really stand out aside from being there to support the two. With the high amount of side stories present in each volume, I found myself skimming over chapters in hopes of getting back to Souma’s point of view.
For a light novel, the art is (extremely) reminiscent of Type-Moon. It does the job in my opinion, although I do find that the character designs leave much to be desired. They come across as being extremely generic, although these did not detract strongly from the experience, given that light novels, in my opinion, should be judged primarily from its writing.
All in all, aside from some weak characterization at times, “Realist Hero” is an enjoyable isekai series that stands above its competitors thanks to its interesting take on what it means to be a hero in another world.
This is quite average for its Political themes and average for it's Slice of Life Theme... but I don't like its unjustified scores it's getting because of some people who can't understand this Novel. (Val) (RN: it's getting a lot of Hate with 3-1 scores out of 5 which in the other site Novel Updates which I made this prior posting this one in this site.)
Oh seriously Val, putting stressing yourself in some useless argument because someone doesn't agree with you. (Tsugumomo)
I have to make a justified review of this Novel, this one is not bad, but there's a lot of Negative Reviews with
a lot of Likes which placing them in the top, and I don't agree with them (Val)
And that's what I'm talking about, sighs... Anyway "How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom" is already popular, and it's getting a lot of sales right now, so I don't think trying to defend it while pointing out its flaws at the same time will benefit us from reviewing this. I would rather promote Sevens, since that Novel is truly beautiful when it comes to "How a Villainous Hero built the Empire" but it's underrated and it doesn't have a Manga adaptation or ranking spot in the of Sales in Oricon Charts. (Tsugumomo)
Well I don't want to promote Sevens due to its complexity and hard emphasis on implied writing, a lot of readers get bored at it, and worse they will just spread their immature review that does not justify the novel itself, and it will be like a falling domino, rating it very low when they can't understand it. Honestly Seven's a Veteran Level Novel almost close as Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings with a lot of Japanese Elements, so it's like telling a grade schooler to learn Advance Calculus while the appropriate math level for them is basic Algebra. "How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom" is what should grade schooler read... I mean people who wants to learn complex politics without knowledge about them beside from the Lying news (like: Fox news and CNN) or Basic History (Val)
Ok, I understand... so what are we gonna talk about? (Tsugumomo)
Let's focus first on the Story... you review it (Val)
When you are the one who's trying to act like high and mighty about justifying it, but you're just going to make me do the work? Give me a reason why I should not leave right now. (Tsugomomo)
Well, I might not be able to speak it on a rational way, since I let my emotions speak for my self, and you know... (Val)
Hmm... As much as I hate your irresponsibility, I'll do the job since I agree in some of your idea when it comes to reviewing this novel (Tsugomomo)
Ok let's Start (Tsugomomo)
"How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom" is a generic story by utilizing the common tropes of being transported to another world with a twist of focusing on politics, domestic affairs, economics, rehabilitation wars and diplomacy. Most of the problem revolves in the Kingdom of Elfrieden, the country of the royalty who summoned the Protagonist Souma who eventually became the King due to his Vast Knowledge and Realistic Mind (but the author didn't said anything about him liking history or politics) (Tsugumomo)
Now that's the basic story, but here's some problem, the Author has granted the MC too much convenience that there's no people from the lower levels tried to question the legitimate king about his decision, also there's a lot of problem of how the author tried to utilized Souma's Authority, it was so quick that I don't find it realistic at all, quite ironic to its title. (Tsugomomo)
The Reason why I still wanna defend this series because it's still a Decent novel with a lot of educational preface, I've learned a lot from this novel, and without reading this, I wouldn't learn basic war strategy and political stuffs. Realist Hero is my first Political Novel Aside from the Anime Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Realist Hero did a good job on giving me some education when it comes to Political Novels (Val)
It has a lot of historical references too which are books essential made for leaders, the notable book of Sun Tzu's Art of War and the book of Machiavellianism references which were always used in this novel. It makes Realist Hero acceptable as a Political Novel and recommendable to newbies who wants to try Complex Novels like Sevens (Tsugomom)
Ok back from reviewing the story (Tsugumomo)
When it comes to technical writing, the Author has used Future Perspective which gives a lot of spoiler, and a lot of people like me doesn't like spoilers, especially in a Political Novel. But again, this novel is not for veteran political readers, but for newbies. Also the Author is using a lot of Slice of Life theme like "The Cook of the Mercenary Corp" which also uses a lot of similar elements of Realist Hero. And it's too smooth as a political novel which requires a lot thinking and logic, not some simple preface of strategy and diplomacy. (Tsugomomo)
And the biggest Problem was there's too much emphasis on the Entertainment industry made by Souma, this is the same with Release that Witch, but Realist Hero has taken it too far to the point of making use of modern entertainment like promoting Idols and Singers, the story focuses too much on it that it's quite ridiculous on how impossible it is to be acceptable as a norm. Also It hit me hard when the MC tried to recruit one of the enemies that has indirectly insulted him, in Sevens, that person will be punished. Tsugomomo)
While some negative reviews pointed out what they saw, I don't think their reviews can be considered as a cautionary to stop you from reading this. This one of the most Acceptable Novel even with glaring flaws, since there's also a noticeable of Strength and exceptional elements which are rare to mainstream Japanese web novel. (Val)
That's right, also this is surprisingly relaxing, easy to read, unlike our favorite Sevens which is quite stressful that requires thinking while reading it. (Tsugumomo)
Yep, as far as concerned, I don't have to think about cliff hangers because of the future perspective by spoiling the future, there's also too much convenience that makes novel smooth, and lastly, the happy interactions of the characters when it comes to Slice of Life scenes. (Val)
Overall it's 5/10 for the story alone, it's Average (Tsugumomo)
Ok Let's talk about the Characters (Val)
Sure, I'll wrap it up nicely (Tsugumomo)
The characters in Realist Hero are quite exceptional, albeit predictable, sometimes they are being used as a reaction pieces and plot device, sometimes they do realistic actions. If you're talking about strengths and weaknesses, then the author failed in some area, while he excelled in the other, but it's still in realm of typical mainstream writing. (Tsugomomo)
What about the Main Character? (Val)
Souma, the main character is terrifyingly smart, but it was mentioned in the future that he just knows how to utilize his personnel, which is true. Though most of the supporting characters are flawless in assigned area, which destroys the redeeming part of the novel, which is realism. Souma also is not good with woman, like most of the mainstream novels, and he's worse than Lyle when it comes to interaction with his harem. The Harem interaction of Realist Hero and Sevens are too wide if you're going to compare their gap when it comes to quality, and honestly I didn't like Realist Hero when it comes to Romance. Speaking of Government Capability, Souma is quite decent so far, not bad but he still lacks the quality to become a leader, which is acceptable in some ways or not, since the Author bragged about his references, he should have been consisted on that references. There's only one war that has happened in the story, unlike the War Story Sevens, this one is quite light. He's acceptable as a main character, but he has so much flaws to fix, and I don't think the author knows what he was doing when it comes to developing Souma. (Tsugumomo)
How About the Supporting Character, care to review them (Val)
This is biggest flaw in Realist Hero, the Supporting character are practically a plot device to move the plot easily, and sometimes they were used as a reaction pieces to MC's idea and items. Though I did like the commend of the Duchess who predicted the genocide of the real world. But there's an exceptional Supporting character in this novel whom I can't Forgot, Carmine, the General, I love his character, one of the best supporting character I've ever seen in my Novel Milestone.
Ok, how about the Antagonist which is easily being written cheaply by a lot of novels? (Val)
It's quite a surprise that Realist Hero are good on making Antagonist, I've never seen a lot of novels which depicts the reasoning and the purpose of the antagonist. Realist Hero did a good job on this area, which is also one of the reason why I rate it higher than RTW. If there's anything that I love on this novel, it's the philosophy which the antagonist leaves, they don't easily die as a fodder, but as a human threat that needs to be killed, and even after being killed, they still leave a lot of legacy which would make another antagonist, and these antagonist also acts like a real human, quite interesting that Realist Hero showed a potential of improving in the later Volumes which I don't find in RtW. (Tsugumomo)
Overall 5/10 for the Characters (Tsugumomo)
I'm quite tired, just go and give them what you want say (Tsugumomo)
Ok, thank you for your hard work. (Val)
Realist Hero is truly an average if you're going to score it. It has a lot of flaws and a lot of exceptional factors which keeps me from scoring it higher and lower. (Val)
First of all, this Novel is comparable to a Burger, it taste good but it's bad for your health, and I think this is truly enjoyable to many readers. It's not bound by desires, it's just a story of simplicity rather than showing the intelligence of the author. (Val)
What I like in this novel is this is easy to read, easy to binge, and easy to recommend, only a few handful of people will not like this especially like me as an Practical Realist or Tsugumomo as a Veteran Reader and Researcher. This Novel is truly captivating if you're a casual, and being a casual has a lot of advantages than being a veteran, since being a casual does not hold you back from reading a lot novels and liking them, unlike me who's quite reluctant on reading some novels and I judge so much that I forget my real purpose of reading a novel, another reason why I missed a lot of simple yet good stories. (Val)
Realist Hero is not pretentious, it's just a political novel with a lot of generic writing and slice of life themes, therefore, I truly recommend this story if you're clueless on realistic politics which are present in Sevens. (Val)
Overall my Enjoyment in this novel is 8/10 (Val)
You;re the one who'll decide whether you'll read it or not, reviewers like me can give you some insights. Recommending it is part of my objective, but I won't force it to you. (Val)
Thank you for Reading (Val)
I did the most work though... (Tsugumomo)