How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom - General Discussion


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    Re: How a realist hero rebuilt the kingdom .

    I am not used to this kind of encouragement to create new topics, but I am happy to give this one a fresh start. As you can tell - with this one too, there was an pop-up made by the forums engine which said it would be better to start anew...

    Anyroads... who loves this series as much as I do?! Ahaha... weird way to start, but yeah... I love this one...

    With all the things happening by the end of second story arc, I am really curious if anyone knows more about what is going on with Zem and the daughter of Kagetora. There are so many more or less obvious events, like the Genghis Khan plot in the north, the food shortage with the union in the south and the fights within the holy state. But Mio's appearance was so short and I cannot stop wondering what story is going to be developed that way.

    Thoughts? Opinions? Questions? Even if you are just starting the series - just join the discussion. Spoilers are possible but the series is so fun - would be sad not to share. I love Naden so much - she alone would make it worth to see an animated version of the series. <3



  • I still remember the day of the J-Novel Club announcement for this series, my first thought was “this looks like it will have world building out the wazoo”...and it did!

    For the absolute longest time this was my favorite title on J-Novel Club. World building aside, I loved to read what Souma did, the reforms he enacted, the relationships he formed, the bullets he dodged, every volume, every chapter, every paragraph, every sentence captivated me.

    Unfortunately all good things must come to an end, when the series slowly started shifting to less and less world building and more and more of the war preparation I started to lose a bit of interest, if I had to pin point when, it was around when Nadine was introduced. Nadine is one of my favorite characters in the series and she in no way diminished the story, it was just right around her introduction when we discovered there is some “greater being” whom our protagonist may have to fight.

    After that with everything in Turgis, the union’s crisis, the introduction of Fuu and everything he stands for I started to stop reading immediately when a part launched and just waited, so times for 2 or 3 parts to be out.

    It is still a story dear to me, and I am adamant to see it to its end...


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    I absolutely agree with the feeling of a shift of the story. I think you could say when the first story arc "How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom" ended and the follow up "How a Realist Hero Redeveloped the Kingdom" started, the feeling changed from a world building story towards a more adventurous one.

    I too would love to read more about how Souma introduces reforms and changes the stuff to the better in huge scales. I am imagining that the major stuff already happened, and just minor stuff in that regards are to be discovered. Like the event with the state religion or how he is changing the slavery system towards banishing it completely.

    Though the sudden appearance of the Three-Eyed-race was a little too sudden for me, despite it gave the background for the medical alliance.

    Maybe there will be more "old fashioned" stuff coming up if the story of the 11th volume is focused on Friedonia again, with the king and queens focus on making babies during the peaceful time. By that I mean more world building stuff again, since there is reason for Souma to stay at home. I would also not mind more side stories about stuff like the religion in the Godbeast Protected Forest, after they found out that the Godbeast is no longer around.

    Thankfully, even if it does not end or goes into a weird direction, I am already happy that the series has already 2(3) endings so far, which could be taken as conclusions.


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    @serah said in What can lead to a LN having a Spike in Popularity?:

    How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom

    It's interesting you like a story about modernising a medieval fantasy society but don't like Bookworm because Bookworm is basically the same but much much slower (or Realist is just much much faster). In Realist the MC is thrown into a position of absolute power with everything done to ease his changes that take place with no resistance from the population who all think the ideas are great as soon as they are in and nothing really goes wrong. In Bookworm the MC starts life as a sickly commoner with nothing to her name and does see a lot of resistance to changes from the population to the status quo, which does benefit a lot of people who don't want things changed, as she tries to modernise things.

    Just a quick aside: While the MC of Bookworm says she just wants to read "Books" the second line of the prologue describes what "Books" mean to her (and this becomes a point of contention with other characters). Near word for word "Books" to her are the product of an advanced civilisation that crystalise the knowledge and history of humanity and all the books she lists are heavy science and technology books. So the MC wants to read the output of a advanced society with an educated population doing R&D. This manifests in the story as things like trying to convert the Church from what it is into a place of education for the common folk to improve the literacy rate and mathematics. To give an idea of how long bookworm takes on things she started this idea in vol4 and it isn't close to being complete by vol5.

    In comparison to many other series Bookworm heavily focuses on interpersonal conflict as each character is developed enough to have their own goals and opinions about different situations. Bookworm sticks to its core concept in this case as many conflicts arise from poor information and knowledge sharing which is one of the virtues of "Books" the MC extols.

    Not saying Realist is bad, I did read it, didn't hate it and I appreciate you love it, but if someone said they wanted to read the realistic moderisation of a medieval fantasy society I would recommend Bookworm to them rather than Realist for the following reasons:

    Bookworm takes a lot of time to describe each layer of society whereas Realist does not. I can describe the life of a commoner in Bookworm and how that will change in detail but I can't in realist.

    Bookworm has actual push back from established parties who don't want the status quo changed who need to be negotiated with. In realist the MC has sweeping powers to do whatever he wants and everything changes extremely quickly.

    Bookworm's MC fails more often than she succeeds and she has to adapt many things to fit into the current society whereas huge changes are easily implemented with success in Realist. Example: Both Realist and Bookworm want to improve the literacy rate: In Realist the MC signs a paper to implement changes and we only hear and see things second hand. In Bookworm the MC has to convert the Church's orphange to a place of learning by producing learning tools for children and producing printing methods for text books. This is after ~1/3 of a volume was spent on her becoming the orphanage director and hasn't covered how she will get the commoners to go to class (reading, writing and maths are held in low opinion by them), how she will run classes or anything of the sort that happens after.


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    @Serah I thought they'll would at least touch upon Archipelago, Zem, and Georg Carmine's Daughter in Volume 10 but I guess the author wanted to have Souma finally ascend the throne and also have all the side characters in relationships wed.


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    @justaidan

    Bookworm's MC fails more often than she succeeds and she has to adapt many things to fit into the current society whereas huge changes are easily implemented with success in Realist. Example: Both Realist and Bookworm want to improve the literacy rate: In Realist the MC signs a paper to implement changes and we only hear and see things second hand.

    Even though I enjoy it I agree with your criticism of Realist Hero, I think things went way to easily for Souma as his plans always seemed to work and he always seems to have an easy answer to most of his problems. Even when things do go wrong its never his fault. Don't get me wrong though I don't want Souma to be a failure but him making a mistake and having to deal with the consequences is something I'd like to see.


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    @eternal-wanderer There are reasons why things went easier for Souma this time.


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    @someoldguy The perfect reply.


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    @eternal-wanderer said in How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom - General Discussion:

    Even though I enjoy it I agree with your criticism of Realist Hero, I think things went way to easily for Souma as his plans always seemed to work and he always seems to have an easy answer to most of his problems. Even when things do go wrong its never his fault. Don't get me wrong though I don't want Souma to be a failure but him making a mistake and having to deal with the consequences is something I'd like to see.

    A book can have flaws and you can still enjoy it. A flaw doesn't make something instantly completely bad. Hell a friend of mine and I both completely agree on the things we look for in a story or game but we've only lined up on a specific story or game we really like about 10% of the time.

    The best example of the difference for Myne/Bookworm and Souma/Realist is that to improve health and hygiene Myne will have to teach people why it's needed, convince them to take the time/effort to do it and develop infrastructure to stop people just throwing their bodily waste out the window into the street. Souma/Realist just happens to find a magic race with special vision that can see bacteria who have a already developed a special spray to kill bacteria and an obsession with doing so.

    Realist doesn't get a pass for that one by premonitions or multi-verses.

    [An aside for a pet peeve with Realist but the focus on making needles for injections just annoyed the hell out of me; Why do we need to make needles? Does a society with no prior knowledge of injections have developed anything that needs to be injected? Has society developed any medicines at all since healing magic is around? What is the current state of healing magic? *Why do we even need them?*Needles aren't really all that impressive and the book had a weird fixation on it. Bookworm would have taken 1-2 volumes to explain everything before you start seeing very slow changes take place that make use of what is currently present.]

    It's a shame that Souma in Realist has it so easy in changing/improving society as now the series will need to have another overarching plot to focus on.

    If I am going to advocate for Bookworm over Realist I would also say that each character in Bookworm has a defined goal, opinions and perspectives that shapes their character that lets you predict what each would do in a situation.

    Take three examples: Benno, the merchant who Myne gets involved with, Mark, Benno's main assistant, and Corrina, Benno's younger sister.

    While Benno is helping Myne there is a bit of an undercurrent from Mark and Corrina's interaction that those two are against Benno getting too involved with her. While Benno says he is helping Myne, and taking great risks to do so, because she is bringing him profit in reality Myne reminds Benno of his fiancee who died young from illness, this is why Benno treats her somewhat like the child of a relative who has been sent to his workshop to learn, however Mark and Corrina don't want Benno to suffer through the same tragedy again because they care about him more than a child they hardly know. Corrina even suggests that Myne marry Benno once she comes of age but Mark shoots it down with Myne's health as the reason and Corrina agrees on learning about Myne's illness. It's not until it is certain Myne will probably survive that Mark (and Corrina I suppose but it wasn't explicit in any side stories but she is a lot friendlier to her afterwards) are more amicable with the relationship.

    Every character in Bookworm has a reason for their actions and their own view on things. It's literally the thing Myne learns at the end of vol 4 when dealing with the climax Lutz's family issues (built up over four (4!) volumes at this stage) and then employs in vol 5 when dealing with her own attendants' problems.


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    I absolutely love Realist Hero, and at the moment it is my straight-up favorite light novel (though Bookworm is a close second and the main reason I put Realist Hero ahead of it is simply that more stuff has happened in Realist Hero, as far as official English translations go, so they might switch places later).

    When it comes down to it, though, Realist Hero is ultimately another feel-good "MC solves all the problems" power fantasy LN, hence why things ultimately come fairly easily for him. The fact that there's an in-universe justification for why things are easy for him just highlights the nature of this series. It's ultimately different in nature from Bookworm, so I wouldn't really make any direct comparisons between the two. If anything, as far as its tone and nature goes, it's closer to Smartphone (albeit with less of the silly stuff, but hey, both have polygamy and country-building so...).

    However, the way Realist Hero executes its power fantasy, at least for me, just works so well. Of course, it helps that Souma has no real OP powers and largely has to rely on his smarts and making good use of the more OP people around him. But I think what makes Realist Hero so good is how the story ultimately revolves not around "saving the kingdom/world" (despite the title), but rather about the characters' feelings and how they all have their own stories within the larger story. The frequent changes of POV helps a lot in this way, and I really like how many side characters have their own relationships outside of Souma's harem.

    It's very telling that the very first scene of the story is Souma's grandfather telling Souma to find a family to care for. The first scene of a story should set the tone for the rest of the story, so why have a scene like this rather than, say, Souma talking about Machiavelli with friends or something actually related to "rebuilding a kingdom"? I think it really shows how the focus is really on "family", with the "rebuilding a kingdom" part being the framework that feeds into this theme. And that's what makes Realist Hero such a great series for me; it is a power fantasy that goes beyond just "doing stuff" and feels more like a personal story.