The little show that could, The Genius Prince’s Guide to Raising a Nation Out of Debt was a surprise hit this season, and for a good reason. The show is unique despite being surrounded by shows of its kind. Let’s see what made it unique in this review!
The Genius Prince’s Guide to Raising a Nation Out of Debt Overview
The Genius Prince’s Guide to Raising a Nation Out of Debt, or Tensai Ouji no Akaji Kokka Saisei Jutsu in original Japanese, is a comedy and fantasy anime that is a part of the Winter 2022 season of anime. It is based on a Light Novel of the same name written by Tooru Toba and Fal Maro. We covered this show weekly, and those reviews are helpful if you want to watch the series after reading this review or are rewatching it after a certain period of time. Click here to check those out!
The anime is being produced by Yokohama Animation Lab, a studio that has been primarily known for creating short-form anime series, such as Miru Tights and Monster Strike, alongside some full length shows like MAGATSU WAHRHEIT. The show is being directed by Makoto Tamagawa, who has been involved with the productions of The Pet Girl of Sakurasou and Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic.
– Tensai Ouji no Akaji Review does not contain spoilers –
The Genius Prince’s Guide to Raising a Nation Out of Debt Review- The Characters
The most important aspect of the quality of this show is its main character, the titular Genius Prince, Wein Salema Arbalest. He is the life and blood of the show and a hard character to get right. His faults are too visible to be ignored at any given moment and to make the audience root for him despite all of them required a lot of effort and some careful writing. Somehow, the show was able to accomplish that and much more with his character.
Wein is proud but not vain. He’s lazy while being extraordinarily smart, and he would do anything to retain the possibility of keeping his kingdom safe for when it comes time to sell it. With the help of his trusted aide and dear friend Ninym, he unwittingly learns to care about everyone while still using unorthodox tactics to solve the realm’s problems. His and Ninym’s dynamic is amazing and one of the best couple dynamics you’ll see this year. If only it didn’t have Marin and Gojo to compete with in the same season.
Their conversations feel natural and dynamic while flowing very well and being highly entertaining. Ninym also serves as a moral and intellectual equal to Wein, and the plight of her people drives a lot of the show’s plot. It also shows the wise and kind demeanour of Wein. At the same time, he maintains a childish monologue underneath that showcases that he is still a lazy kid at heart, despite being the smartest and most capable person in his entire realm.
There are other characters in The Genius Prince’s Guide to Raising a Nation Out of Debt that are somewhat important in the overall plot, including Zenobia, Falanya, Llowelmina, and several others who play their role well and never outstay their welcome. The voices behind these characters are pleasant to hear, and Rie Takahashi, the voice of Ninym, has a fan for life. Who cares about Emilia or Megumin? This is a Ninym only zone.
The Genius Prince’s Guide to Raising a Nation Review- The Plot
“The king of Natra has fallen ill, leaving the only hope for his kingdom to his son, Prince Wein Salema Arbalest. Known to be capable and wise, he is the perfect candidate to become the prince regent. However, if the prince has anything to say about the matter, he would rather sell off the Kingdom of Natra to the highest bidder!
Since he wields the authority of the throne, no one can stop Wein from auctioning off the country and using the profits to retire in comfort. All he needs to do is raise the value of the small kingdom to maximize his gains. But whether Wein’s grand plan will succeed remains to be seen, as his wit often surpasses even his own expectations—much to the benefit of the oblivious citizens of Natra.” Source- MAL Rewrite.
The plot excerpt that you read above tells you only half the story of this show, despite being interesting on its own. The selling the kingdom part doesn’t really come into effect for the entirety of the show’s runtime and only exists to showcase how the main character, Wein, looks at his kingdom and its citizens. In the beginning, he couldn’t care less about his denizens’ well-being besides them being good enough to be pawned off to another kingdom to benefit his causes.
Throughout the events of The Genius Prince’s Guide to Raising a Nation Out of Debt, we see him butt heads with several other regions and their premiers. The storylines varied a bit in levels of interest and believability, but never for a second did the show go beyond a certain level of realism. The region and politics of this show were more realistic than Realist Hero can even dream of, and the worst Genius Prince episode is several magnitudes better than the best Realist Hero outing.
There was a specific method to Wein’s madness, and the formula did get a little tired by the end, but the show tied everything together very well in the final episode to go back to its roots. It wasn’t always great, and there were some bumpy rides, but this was a highly believable and entertaining plot. The show’s original concept had altered greatly by its end, which will bum some people out who are intrigued by the show’s concept and don’t like anything else about it, but what it did end up doing was also great.
The Genius Prince’s Guide to Raising a Nation Out of Debt Review- Animation and Music
This isn’t the highest budget or best-made show out there, and that’s fine. The animation isn’t the most highbrow and is somewhat generic, but it still manages to look decent and true to its source material. There are a lot of empty canvases to make the animators’ job a little easier, but the show overall looks smooth and pretty. The character design is also great and fits the environment of the universe. This would have felt extremely generic if it was an isekai instead of a period piece, so there’s that, at the very least.
The music also leans in the same direction, but the opening and ending are both great songs. The only problem is that you don’t get to hear them much. The Genius Prince’s Guide to Raising a Nation Out of Debt skips the opening and ending themes a lot in favour of cold opens and endings. That’s fine as a choice for a couple of important episodes, but this show did that entirely too much. The OST was pretty forgettable and didn’t have many memorable tunes, either.
The Genius Prince’s Guide to Raising a Nation Out of Debt was a neat show that excelled as a show about politics and human interaction and showcased some of the best that the genre has to offer. Pick to watch this over realist hero any day of the week.Follow us on Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.