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Light Novel / How A Realist Hero Rebuilt The Kingdom

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How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom (Genjitsu Shugi Yuusha no Oukoku Saikenki) is a Japanese light novel series written by Dojyomaru and illustrated by Fuyuyuki with a manga adaptation by Satoshi Ueda. The novels are licensed and published in English online by J-Novel Club and in print form by Seven Seas Entertainment.

Kazuya Souma was a university student who just graduated when his grandfather dies. Before he died, his grandfather tells Kazuya to get married and live a fulling life. After his grandfather's death, Kazuya is suddenly summoned to another fantasy world in the continent of Randia where various fantasy races exist. The King of the Elveniden Kingdom, who summoned Kazuya, asks for his help as the demons from the demon world have invaded from the North, forcing the various rival kingdoms to unite and fight the demons. Elveniden, which is suffering from various economic and social problems plus an influx of refugees whose homes were destroyed by the demons, is bullied by the Grand Keosu Empire to summon a warrior from another world to help in the war effort.


Kazuya instead tells the King and his ministers how to help the kingdom and make it stronger using his knowledge from Earth. Impressed, the King decides to abdicate the throne and make Kazuya the new King along with making his daughter, Princess Lisia, Kazuya's fiance. Thus begins Kazuya's quest to rebuild and save the Elveniden kingdom.

The novels provide examples of:

  • Abdicate the Throne: The story begins when the king of Elveniden gives his position to Kazuya.
  • Absurdly Youthful Parent: Considering some of the long-lived races in the Kingdom that's bound to happen, but best exemplified by Duchess Excel, who is Juna's grandmother but looks like her big sister, and Aisha's father, who upon first meeting, Souma thought it was her older brother.
  • Adorkable: Pancho seems to create that feeling in the women he meets.
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  • Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted. Mankind doesn't actually know anything about the Demon Lord's Domain, but they all assume that is the case. It takes Souma to point out that it could be different, since he has first-hand information from Tomoe that at least one Kobold spared her village.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Aisha. She's taller than Souma and quite more powerful. When she loses her restraint she reconfigures the landscape around a small town near the border just by swinging her sword.
  • Anti-Air: Turns out this world has specially made ballistas incorporated with enchanted arrows that follow movement. Kazuma notes the similarity with homing missiles.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Some of the kingdom's nobles despise Kazuya due choosing his ministers by merit and skill and not by lineage while wasting their time and money at brothels rather than helping the country.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Kazuya gives one to Hal, who wants to join Duke Carmine's rebellion, that if he does so, will he allow Duke Carmine and his allies to kill innocent people and commit Rape, Pillage, and Burn against those loyal to the King like his childhood friend Kaede Foxia, who's a member of the Royal Guard? This causes Hal to realize the error he was about to commit.
  • Arranged Marriage: It's actually rare to find a person of high standing inside the Kingdom who doesn't have at least one of these. Even Souma arranges a marriage for his Captain of the Royal Guard, Ludwin. Souma himself hasn't actually chosen any of his future wives, they all came from one arrangement or other.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Marx, the castle chamberlein and former Prime Minister, certainly seems to think so, since he keeps hounding Souma and Liscia to 'produce an heir' already. Later in the story all the other fianceés get on the bandwagon too, since they can't have sex with Souma until Liscia is pregnant.
  • Badass Bureaucrat: While not skilled in battle or powerful in using magic, Kazuya's greatest strength is his intelligence and his skills in bureaucracy and how to run the kingdom efficiently.
  • Bad Future: The former Queen, Elishia, has the power to send her memories to her past self. She uses to send both her and her husband's memories to the past in order to avoid total destruction of the Kingdom and says that she also used that power to win through the Succession Crisis that occured before she married and took the throne.
  • Balance of Power: The military of Kingdom of Elfrieden is set up as such that each division of the military is commanded separately by a major power. The Forbidden Army, the kingdom's elite forces, are run by the kingdom while the army, navy and air force are each run by one of the Three Dukedoms. Individually, the Forbidden Army has the most troops, but if the Dukedoms decided to overthrow the king, they could combine their armies together and outnumber the Forbidden Army. Kazuya notes that such a system would work in times of peace and stability, by discouraging the King from becoming a tyrant, but that the division of power is too risky to maintain in the Kingdom's current state. Thus, he decides to merge all the forces into one army under the absolute command of the kingdom.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Carla's costume in the tokusatsu segment during the morning educational program that Souma produces.
  • Battle Couple: Hal and Kaede.
    • The Dragon Knights are this as well, because the moment the Knight bonds with a Dragon they are essentially married as far as the Dragon is concerned.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: Almost all of volume two is one battle sequence after another, culminating in an open field battle between Elfrieden and Amidonia.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Elves of the God Protected Forest coming to aid the Fordidden Army of the Kingdom against the Army of Duke Georg and the corrupt nobles.
  • Big Eater: Poncho spent most of his money traveling around the world to find the best meals, and is that knowledge what Kazuma likes because it can help in increasing the culinary diversity of the kingdom.
    • Aisha is another example of this. There's a Running Gag that she'll always be tamed with food.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: During a visit to a museum, Souma tried to understand how evolution worked for different races in the world upon seeing skeletons of different races side by side.
  • Black Box: Even using it all the time, no one actually knows how the Jewel Broadcast works.
    • That actually is the same for several other artifacts that exist in the world.
  • Blessed with Suck: Souma is transported to another world with magic and the only thing he can use it for is to manipulate inanimate objects. Though that'll probably change with Mechadra, a metal dragon that Genia created because she was bored.
  • Bodyguard Babes: Because Kazuya isn't a warrior, Liscia and Aisha takes this role.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Aisha begins as Souma's self-proclaimed bodyguard that ends up being his Second Primary Queen, behind Liscia.
  • Boy Meets Girl: Souma's first meeting with Liscia started with him literally browbeating her into helping him with paperwork before he even knew who she was.
    • Subverted with Roroa. She tried to engineer a situation like this but Souma saw through it before it happened.
    • Played straight with Naden, but it was engineered by Tiamat.
  • Bullying a Dragon: When Halbert unknowingly threatens Kazuya, Aisha, Lisia and even Juna get ready to murder him on the spot. It's only Kazuya's reasonable approach that prevents things from escalating.
  • Carpet-Rolled Corpse: Roroa smuggles herself into an audience with Souma this way, and is disappointed by how quickly he figures it out because someone from his own world did it first.
  • Character Development: Lampshaded in volume 5 by Souma when he comments on Liscia asking him about the meaning of the new program he's producing. Before, whenever he did something like that she would ask if there was a meaning instead. It's almost the same thing, but the meaning is completely different, since the former implies that she trusts him more now.
  • Character Focus: It shifts a lot, specially when a character is being introduced. Even some minor characters receive this treatment.
  • Cheerful Child: Tomoe, after she was adopted by the former Royal Couple.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Roroa is described to sport this more often then not, specially when in relation to making money.
  • Chick Magnet: Souma, though not all of them become part of the Supporting Harem.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Genia Maxwell, the overscientist.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: The Captain of the Royal Guard Ludwin in relation to Genia. Souma even arranges a marriage between the two in order to not lose her intelect.
  • The Chessmaster: Roroa. She manipulates from behind the scenes so many things that both Souma and Hakuya are dismayed to discover that their plan to take over Van ends up with them having to annex the entirety of the Amidonian territory because of her manipulation.
  • Competence Zone: At the beginning of the story Souma said to gather anyone who had a gift at anything. If they had a gift, he would use it, it didn't matter the race, age, gender or social standing.
  • Contamination Situation: In order to avert this Souma introduced the concept of hygiene to the Kingdom and created a plumbing and sewer system on the capital.
  • Cool Big Sis: Tomoe sees Liscia as this.
  • Cool Ship: The first Wyvern Carrier, the Hiryuu. It actually acts as a research and training facility for the Kingdom.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Kazuya's magic, Living Poltergeist, is classified as dark elemental magic but he uses it for something far from evil, animating and controlling objects.
  • Dawn of an Era: A Hero summoned to the world isn't viewed as 'The One who Slays the Demon Lord' but as 'The One who brings about a New Era'.
  • Death by Origin Story: Souma's parents and grandparents.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Slavery is often viewed by the enslaved as a reasonable alternative to go hungry and homeless.
  • Demihuman: A variety of humanoid races with animals traits like cat ears or dragon wings live side by side with humans in the kingdom.
  • Divided We Fall: The Empire headed the Manking Protection Act exactly in order to avoid this, but didn't realize that the act itself left loopholes that could be exploited.
  • Don't Think, Feel: Souma tried to avert this by telling his people to study to understand the concepts of their own world, and not just chalk up to magic or work of spirits.
  • Draconic Humanoid: Duchess Walter is a sea dragon, while her son in-law Castor Vargas is a dragonewt.
  • Drunk with Power: Subverted. Souma tells Carla in no uncertain terms that if he ever becomes a tyrant she's to kill him.
  • Eccentric Mentor: Owen, Souma's educator and personal trainer.
  • Elemental Powers: The world's magic is divided in the typical six elements.
  • Enemy Civil War: Happens twice. Due to the Gambit Pile Up below, the Principality of Amidonia uses the oportunity to try and invade and later due to the machinations from Roroa, Amidonia is annexed into Elfrieden, turning it into the Kingdom of Friedonia.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Liscia comes running to the Castle after she hears her father abdicated the throne to the Hero that he summoned, thinking the throne was usurped from him. She's ready to tear the new King a new one when she finally meets him, he has bags under his eyes from working non-stop since becoming King which affected everyone in the castle, who tried to work hard as well.
  • Everyone's Baby Sister: Tomoe.
  • Everything Is Better With Princesses: Liscia from Elfrieden and Roroa from Amidonia.
  • The Faceless: Kagetora, leader of the Black Cats, a special commando unit who responds directly to Souma. His face is a Tiger Mask but it's implied that it's Georg Carmine.
  • Famed In-Story: Exploited by Souma in order to create the lorelei, which are basically Idol Singers, a concept that was adopted by the Empire later.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Kingdom of Elveniden averts this when compared to other nations, hence the loyalty of so many semi-humans towards the kingdom.
  • Foreshadowing: The first three books, and a good portion of the fourth book things are hinted that only come together at the end of the fourth volume.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Genia Maxwell.
  • Gambit Pileup: The first four volumes is an extended one of these, involving at least two kingdoms worth of people putting plans into motion:
    • The Three Dukedoms of Elfrieden all have differing opinions about Kazuya and his rule. Castor believes that Souma forced his way into the throne and wants to oust him, Excel wants to avoid needless bloodshed, but ultimately throws in her lot with Kazuya after he delivers an ultimatum, and Carmine believes that Kazuya is unfit to be a ruler and wants to reinstate Albert back to the throne. The reality is much more complicated. Castor realizes that opposing Kazuya is a horrible idea, but wants to personally back up his friend Carmine out of hope that he knows what he's doing, Excel was colluding with Kazuya long before the ultimatum, thanks to having sent her granddaughter Juna as a spy and later contact, and Carmine is actually trying to gather all the corrupt nobles opposing Kazuya in one place so that he can seize them and their dirty assets and hand them over to Kazuya.
    • The Principality of Amidonia, led by Gaius VIII and Julius, wants to exploit the brewing civil war to both seize farmland for their own food crisis and get "revenge" against Elfrieden for an earlier war. They end up Out-Gambitted by Kazuya, who tricks them into over-committing their army into the invasion, leaving their captial city of Van open. As an end result, Gaius is killed in battle while Julius is forced to escape to the Gran Chaos Empire to invoke the Mankind Declaration pact and regain control of Van.
    • The Gran Chaos Empire ultimately just wants to appease the other members of the Mankind Declaration, which is why they requested Elfrieden to perform a Hero summoning and why they have to return Van to Amidonian control, even though they acknowledge their fault in provoking the war. Ultimately, Kazuya agrees to return Van in exchange for reparations (expecting the people to revolt against Julius and bring the city back under his control), while also establishing a secret alliance between the two nations.
    • Princess Roroa of Amidonia, the only member of her family aware of how self-destructive their "vengeance" against Elfrieden is, grabs several ministers and generals and skips town with them. Later when Van rebels and requests annexation by Elfrieden, she instigates several more rebellions, all across the nation, forcing Elfrieden to annex them as well.
    • Kazuya is mostly just playing Xanatos Speed Chess in response to all the plans above, trying take advantage of the situation to strengthen the kingdom where he can. The only thing he really plans on his own is a purge of corrupt nobles who he's reasonably, and correctly, sure of would turn on him if things ever went badly.
    • And finally, the Man Behind the Man who set everything into motion was former King Albert, who had recieved memories from an alternate timeline where Kazuya became prime minister instead of king. In that timeline, everything went horribly wrong, and the King used the Queen's ability to send memories into the past to warn his and the queen's past-self. Having received those memories, his past-self abdicated the throne to Kazuya, hoping that this would change the outcome of the events to come, and only told Duke Carmine of what happened (prompting his above plan) until he was reasonably sure that the future had changed.
  • Gender Is No Object: Few people bat an eye at women in positions of power in the Kingdom but in the Principality of Amidonia they are pretty segregated.
  • Giving Radio to the Romans: A lot of Souma's reforms can be seen as this. From Hygiene to free education.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Kazuma is a good person that truly wants to improve the kingdom, but he's still capable of going to war to protect it.
  • Got Volunteered: Carla as the vilain of the tokusatsu segment of the morning educational show. It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for the Stripperific outfit that Serina made her wear.
  • Government Conspiracy: Happened in the Bad Future and Souma, unwittingly along with several others, goes out of his way to ensure that it doesn't happen in his time.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: Margarita Wonder tried to incite a sense of patriotism during the occupation of Van with her singing the national anthem of Amidonia during Souma's broadcast of his first singing show. Souma used this not only to show that he was okay with her singing and thinking whatever she liked, because he was trying to instill a sense of freedom on the Amidonians, he even complimented her singing voice.
  • Hold the Line: Interestingly, done without a single battle but with cunning and deception instead. During the invasion by Amidonia their Army was besieging the city of Altomura, but the Lord kept going to Gaius, their commander, to ask for more time to convince the rest of his people to surrender. This goes on until Souma is able to put down the rest of the rebellion and launch a counter-invasion in Amidonian territory, forcing Gaius to retreat.
    • A straighter example would be the defense of Nelva, a city in Amidonian territory that fought tooth and nail against the invaders from the Republic of Turgis when Amidonia was sent into chaos after most of their territory rebelled against the government, until the Kingdom forces came to relieve them and repel the invading Army.
  • Horse of a Different Color: There's a number of different animals used as mounts in the setting.
  • Human Subspecies: Mankind in the world is defined not as humans, but as sentient species that are humanoid.
  • Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance: During his speech at the beginning of the year, Souma goes to great lengths to make his people try to avert this.
  • Important Haircut: Liscia cuts her long hair short to show her determination to Duke Carmine is case they meet on the battlefield.
  • Impossibly-Low Neckline: Juna Doma, Liscia's mother and Duchess Excel Walter have it so low magic must be the only thing keeping them in place.
  • Interservice Rivalry: The kingdom's military don't get along with one another due to their loyalty to their respective leaders (The Royal Guards are loyal to the King and the Army, Navy and Airforce to the Three Dukes).
  • It's Raining Men: The Dratroopers that Souma is training. Paratroopers dropped from Wyverns.
  • King Incognito: Briefly Kazuya, Liscia and Aisha dress as normal students to enjoy some time off.
  • Land, Sea, Sky: The three Great Dukes control one of these each, Duke Carmine controls the army, Duchess Walter controls the navy and Duke Vargas controls the air force.
  • Marionette Master: Kazuya's Living Poltergeist can be used to animate dolls. These dolls are alot more combat proficient than Kazuya himself is, can move as if Kazuya were inside it and aren't subject to any distance limitation (unlike with other objects). Kazuya commonly exploits this by creating dolls based on a mascot character called Little Musashibo to battle and go on adventures with as well as smaller dolls which he uses for scouting.
  • Medieval European Fantasy: Most of the setting is this, with other cultures added for flavor.
  • Modest Royalty: Kazuya is so modest and wants to save as much money as possible he eats in the kitchen with the common soldiers.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: Considering that Souma doesn't have any martial prowess, his fianceés are this to him, with the exception of Roroa.
  • Mundane Utility: Kazuya gives his newfound magic a very good use, signing several papers at the same time.
    • Mundane Made Awesome: But he can also make signing papers with his "Living Poltergeist" look pretty badass.
    • Souma realizes instantly that the Jewel Broadcast is a great tool for announcing and creating revenue for the Kingdom in the form of a variety of programs, educational programs and singing contests.
  • Mum Looks Like a Sister: Liscia's mother looks more like her older sister, and Aisha's father looks more like her older brother (which is justified since they're elves).
    • And Duchess Walter looks barely older than her granddaughter Carla Vargas.
  • Never My Fault: The national policy of the Principality of Amidonia in relation of the Kingdom. All their problems are because of the Kingdom, from famine and poverty to the lack of freedom.
  • Ninja Maid: Carla, after being sentenced with Slavery is this, given that she was a Wyvern Knight before being sentenced and handed to be a Maid in the castle. She even has a mission that if Souma ever becomes a Tyrant, she's to kill him.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The defense of Nelva during the Amidonia's Uprisings and invasion by foreign nations.
  • Older Than They Look: Unsurprising for elves. Aisha's father is 81 but looks barely older than his daughter.
    • That's actually a problem for Souma, because there so many long lived races in the Kingdom, the law says that for traitors three generations of the family of the traitor, both before and after, will be slain along with him/her.
  • Only in It for the Money: The Mercenaries from Zem.
  • Only Sane Man: Princess Roroa Amidonia of the Amidonia Kingdom, unlike her brother and father, realizes trading with the Elfrieden Kingdom is a better deal to help with Amidonia's food shortages instead of wasting their country's resources trying to invade Elfrieden, which she knows is doom to fail.
  • Original Position Fallacy: Souma asks a hand-picked jury of nobles to determine Castor and Carla's punishment for treason. All but two of them call for execution - and once those two are removed, the rest of the jury is promptly decapitated for their own treasonous activities.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The series mainly features the Western kind as well as smaller and less intelligent wyverns, which are basically treated like mountable animals, but volume 6 introduces Naden, an Eastern dragon that grew up among Western dragons (much to her distress).
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Souma's attire when he wants to move around the city incognito. A straw hat and a black cape.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Liscia is at first skeptical of Kazuya, believing he trick her father into giving up the throne and making their engagement but upon learning more about him and personality and goals, she genuinely falls in love with him with Kazuya returning the feeling as well. It's eventually revealed that it was even more perfectly arranged than it seemed since the King knew due to memories from an alternate timeline where Liscia still fell in love with Kazuya.
  • Polyamory: Kazuya is surprised to learn that as King, he's allowed to have more than one wife since Kings having multiple wives is rather common in Elfrieden.
  • Power Nullifier: The Cursed Ore. It has a property that cancels magic up to a point were it instead explodes violently if too much is used against it.
  • Pragmatic Hero: To save money and run the kingdom effectively, Kazuya sells the Kingdoms most prized artifacts for funds, tells his people to eat locally made food rather than imports and hires people for their merit and not from their lineage. He even eats simple food in the castle's kitchen!
  • The Purge: Kazuya decide to perform this to get rid of the corrupt nobility and officials of the kingdom to ensure the rebuilding of the kingdom goes smoothly. However he is quick to point that Niccolò Machiavelli, the author that inspired Kazuya's plan, also warns that Purging can be only be done once since doing it every time makes the people despise you and makes it more likely for them to rebel against you.
  • Raised by Grandparents: Kazuya was raised by them, and his grandfather passed away shortly after he entered college.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Duchess Walter may look like a woman in her twenties, but she mentions she has been around for a very long time.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Liscia is not only a skilled soldier but also helps Kazuya in his work.
  • Secret Test of Character: Hakuya towards Souma during his selection of personnel. He sees that Sir Poncho is a key person to solve the problem of food shortage of the Kingdom, and wants to see if Souma will realize it as well.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The warmongering Prince of Amidonia and his son are named Gaius and Julius.
    • Gatsby Colbert shares his surname with Louis XIV's Minister of Finance.
    • The capital of the Gran Chaos Empire is Valois, one of the former royal families of France.
  • Slave Collar: There's special collars used by slaves that will instantly tighten around their necks if they so much as think something disrespectful against their master. If their master dies, they die as well.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Tomoe Inui has the rare ability to communicate with animals and demonic beasts.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Aisha is almost a head taller than Liscia, and is taller than Kazuya. She also happens to be a beautiful dark elf warrior.
  • Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: At the moment this is averted, but Souma makes a speech asking for people to question the meaning of things that they had taken for granted until now, including how magic actually works.
  • Supporting Harem: Souma is dismayed to discover that not only Liscia does not care about him having more than one wife, she actually doesn't understand what's wrong with it, since the Royal Family needs to continue, though she does put a hard cap at eight wives.
  • Technician vs. Performer: The Hiryuu's R&D Department versus Genia Maxwell respectively. Genia is a Mad Scientist with a specialization in studying and understanding out of place artifacts. She is capable of creating technology far ahead of her time like vehicular suspension and hovercraft. The Hiryuu team, drawn from the best researchers in the kingdom, are more conventional researchers who rework Genia's inventions into mass-producible and cost-effective designs.
  • This Is a Work of Fiction: To test her voice, Souma has Chris read out a disclaimer.
    Souma: Some magic words from my old world. If you say them, you can get away with practically everything.
  • Trapped in Another World: Souma has no way of going back to his own world. Later Volumes seem to imply that the world is actually Earth in the future or has some connection to an Earth with a different time-axis.
  • Universal Universe Time: Averted. There are twelve months of thirty two days in the year in the world, and each week has eight days. This makes Souma realize that he's actually younger than Juna, since they are both 19 but with the days difference between the two worlds, it adds to a whole year.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: Despite the Elfrieden Kingdom facing a possible invasion from the Demons or the Empire along with having an economic and refugee crisis, some nobles refuse to work with Kazuya to solve the country's problems as they are still bitter that he hired people based on merit rather than lineage and his reforms benefit the people more than them. Furthermore, the leaders of Army, Navy and Airforce, the Three Dukes, are planning a coup.
  • We Used to Be Friends: George Carmine used to be the King's most loyal subordinate and a parental figure for Liscia, but his resentment towards Kazuya's appointment made him rebel against the Kingdom.
  • Women Are Wiser: Well, Duchess Walter is far more reasonable than the other two dukes, while Princess Roroa Amidonia prefers a non-violent approach in contrast with her father and brother.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Unsurprising for the setting, but there are people with a variety of colors. Juna happens to have blue hair.


Example of: