Sora TokuiSora AmamiyaAya UchidaKazuyuki Okitsu
Banished from the Hero's Party
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2021: B
Also known as: Shin no Nakama ja Nai to Yuusha no Party wo Oidasareta node, Henkyou de Slow Life suru Koto ni Shimashita
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2021
Director: Makoto Hoshino
Writer: Megumi Shimizu
Original creator: Zappon
Actor: Aya Uchida, Kanon Takao, Kazuyuki Okitsu, Ken Uo, Kenta Miyake, Kentaro Tone, Kohei Amasaki, Masahiro Yamanaka, Nao Toyama, Naomi Ozora, Rie Kugimiya, Ryota Suzuki, Sora Amamiya, Sora Tokui, Takeru Mishina, Taku Yashiro, Toshiki Iwasawa, Yoji Ueda, Yu Serizawa
Keywords: anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 13 episodes
Website category: Anime 2021
Review date: 1 March 2023
Shin no Nakama ja Nai to Yuusha no Party wo Oidasareta
I quite liked this show, but not enough to recommend it or keep the episodes for rewatching. The animation looks damagingly cheap, for a start. It's a light novel fantasy series that isn't an isekai or a fantasy RPG world, but might as well be. (They eat food like sandwiches and pizza, rather than anything more authentically pseudo-medieval.) As usual with light novels, the show's basically designed to stroke the ego of an insert-your-face-here protagonist... but, that said, it does actually have a meaningful plot and some interesting worldbuilding.
The show starts with our hero (Gideon Ragnason, aka. Red) having been booted from his high-level party of adventurers. His ambition now is to be an apothecary. He'll have a little shop, in the little nowhere village where he lives. Red will never do anything interesting or surprising, but he is at least likeable and good at what he does. The show's ego-strokes include:
(a) his old party meeting a chain of disasters because our hero isn't with them. If only Gideon was here! We never had this kind of trouble when Gideon was around. I'll go and look for Gideon. Naturally, the backstabbing teammate who kicked him out (Ares) looks more desperate and beaten-up every episode.
(b) a saintly and infinitely forgiving buxom princess (Rit) showing up at the end of ep.1 and moving in with Red. She basically appoints herself as his wife. The two characters have some history, admittedly, but we learn it all in flashbacks. (Amusingly, she even had character development that similarly we never see in real time. She used to be a tsundere.)
The show also looks cheap. The inking and computer colouring are so lazy that the fanservice doesn't work. If Rit gets her boobs out, you won't care because it'll look like shit. In fairness, though, we see enough naked well-muscled men for the fanservice to be equal-opportunities. (To some extent.)
That said, though, I still enjoyed the show.
The worldbuilding's interesting. All humans in this world are born with a Divine Blessing, which gives you a magical talent and can even affect your personality. If you're lucky, you'll have been given a magic superpower. If you're unlucky, your Blessing will make you a thief or a torturer. You have no choice over this. God gave it to you. Also, if you're particularly unlucky, you'll be Gideon's little sister, Ruuti, who has the world's most powerful Blessing. She's the Hero. She's invincible in combat and can't be affected by anything... including emotions and the need for food or sleep. This basically turned her into a robot. Similarly, the show's antagonists tend to be people with heroic Blessings that set them into a warped path towards ostensibly noble goals.
Also, killing is the way to level up your Blessings. People murder each other to make themselves more powerful. The show doesn't dig into it, but having that in the background is dark as hell.
The show has a message. It's about personal choice vs. fate and/or predetermined future. If the world has decided that you're an A, can you reject that and try to be B? Also, would that still be the case for someone like Ruuti, who's so powerful that her being the Hero could change the fate of the world?
This show starts out light and disposable. Red and Rit invent new kinds of medicine, solve their neighbours' business problems and flirt comfortably with each other. After a while, though, the narrative introduces addictive drugs and homicidal axe attacks. You're certainly not scared or anything, but it's a bit darker and capable even of being occasionally sinister. Then, eventually, Red and Rit's old friends all return and the show gets still more serious. (Mind you, there are quite a few should-have-been-fatal attacks where the victim's okay afterwards because there's a high-level magician or healer nearby. In a grittier story, "dead" would have meant "dead".)
This is a nice but inconsistent show. It has some dramatic plotting and interesting worldbuilding, but it's also ultimately a cheap-looking light novel adaptation with yet another perfect protagonist who's loved by everyone (especially ladies). I enjoyed it, though.