Junichi SuwabeYoshihisa KawaharaEmi NittaAzusa Tadokoro
I Couldn't Become a Hero, So I Reluctantly Decided to Get a Job
Also known as: Yuusha ni Narenakatta Ore wa Shibushibu Shuushoku wo Ketsui Shimashita.
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2013
Director: Kinji Yoshimoto
Writer: Masashi Suzuki
Actor: Azusa Tadokoro, Emi Nitta, Junichi Suwabe, Kanae Iwasaki, Keisuke Komoto, Kumi Takaragi, Madoka Sowa, Maina Shimagata, Mugihito, Natsumi Yamada, Yoshihisa Kawahara
Keywords: anime, fantasy, boobs
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 13 episodes including an OVA
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=15565
Website category: Anime 2013
Review date: 3 May 2024
Yuusha ni Narenakatta Ore wa Shibushibu Shuushoku wo Ketsui Shimashita
"Since the founding of the Hero Program in Continental year 1349, our country has produced several fine heroes and legends over humanity's long history during our fight against the demons. Given the collapse of the demon empire, though, we've determined through council that our initial goal has been completed and that we have no choice but to suspend the program henceforth.
"We would like to thank all of our citizens for supporting the Hero Program over the years, but we were also forced to take into account the strict budget laid out for our country when making this decision.
"Furthermore, the 132 Hero Selection Qualifiers which were scheduled to take place at the start of next month have also been suspended indefinitely. We apologise for any inconvenience."
Whoops. That's our hero screwed, then. He's about to become a shop assistant, in a fantasy world that's usually indistinguishable from 21st century Japan. The same uniforms, the same shop layouts and the same products, except with "magic" before their names. They have magical phones, fridges, microwaves, etc. (The details of the parallel tech evolution can be interesting, though, so for instance you might go outside every day and put your hand in the magic charger to power it up. People without magical potential can hire a mage to do that. This world also has strange vehicles, with chariots that are drawn by dragons and levitating sea horses.)
People who work in electronics stores apparently loved this show. Personally, I enjoyed the show's first half. It has two focuses:
(a) comparing the day-to-day drudge of a shop assistant with the glory of being a hero. There's been no market for sword-wielders since the demon lord got defeated two years ago, creating an entire class of unhappy unemployed. "No, I was even worse off than a normal person. Knowing how to navigate dungeons, how to defeat demons, trained fighting skills... none of it was useful in the new world. We wanted to become heroes. That was our only purpose in life and we'd lost everything. Of course it's great that the fighting stopped and the world's at peace, but there's no longer a place for us."
There's some interesting material here. Heroes try to restore the demon lord, because they're yearning for the old days of war. (This didn't make sense to me. Work your arse off trying to get a girl promoted to demon lord, with the plan of then going on quests to defeat her?) Those people are idiots, but it's true that the world has left them behind.
(b) tits and arse. The first two episodes were so full of panty shots and near-nudity that I realised I'd made a mistake watching this on Crunchyroll. Are there nipples on the Blu-rays? Answer: yes. This paradoxically makes the show more tolerable, since at least wanting to show nudity is straightforward and comprehensible (albeit hardly high art). The panty shots in the censored version had made the show look puerile and pointless.
I liked some of the cast. Raul has more depth than most light novel protagonists, given his ambivalence about his job and his now-unattainable goals. Fino's a fun romantic foil, because she's the daughter of the defeated demon lord and so her thought processes tend to blood, torture and death traps. She's nice, mind you. I liked her. She's excited about working in a shop and serving people. She is, though, a comedy idiot with superhuman reserves of incompetence. (And, of course, big boobs. She likes Raul and will hug him naked. Mind you, I wasn't impressed by her voice actress's Evil Declarative Voice and attempt at a villain laugh.)
The other characters, though, include too many generic buxom girls with the hots for Raul (discreetly) who can only be distinguished by their uniforms. They're inoffensive, but unmemorable. There's also a bald old geezer who keeps visiting the store and groping girls. No one seems to mind, surprisingly... but the finale reveals that he drives the NCC-1701-D, i.e. the USS Enterprise from ST:TNG. Is he Jean-Luc Picard? (He still has a little hair around his ears, mind you, so it's an imperfect match.) Star Trek fans would probably think he's a better match for Kirk.
I liked the show when it was still exploring the characters and their job. It's quite a good workplace comedy and has some interesting worldbuilding, e.g. monsters are the magical equivalent of a robot workforce, with employers who work them round the clock with no food and then say "they have a habit of dying".
Things went downhill, though.
1. The swimsuit episode (ep.8) is tiresome and has harem-ish nonsense. (Those swimsuits were doubly pointless because they're trumped by the closing title sequence.) Almost everyone with boobs joins the swimsuit promotion, whether or not they work at that shop.
2. In ep.9, Raul and Fino have another pseudo-date. Their boss ordered it. People misunderstand their relationship, but Fino says she likes being called Raul's girlfriend and asks if they could keep doing that... to which Raul's response is "don't be stupid", then when she tries to talk to him doesn't even listen to her. He's not normally a bastard. He's a nice guy. Unfortunately, harem-ish genre conventions have turned him into a dick for these scenes.
3. The story arc threat is that Fino might get forced into being the new demon lord... but surely that's an opportunity? It's like being the store manager, except that your underlings would be all demons in existence. Fino's dream is to become a manager in the demon realm, right? Bingo. Goal achieved! You could do everything you'd wanted to do, promote civilised co-operation and make it a normal place. Admittedly, it's not quite that simple since ep.12 portrays the demon lord version of Fino as physically and mentally transformed, but even so I didn't understand why our heroes weren't looking for a way to make this work.
4. The OVA ep.13 drove me nuts. Raul's little sister is visiting to marvel at his exploits as a professional full-time hero! Does he tell the truth? Nope. Instead, he embarks on an elaborate pretence to maintain the facade, even though heroes have been unemployable for the last two years, as is known even by the children in their home village. PISS RIGHT OFF. Even some of Raul's colleagues want him to tell her the truth. (Also, there's a pitcher plant that dissolves clothes.)
Also, the title sequence's dancing is rubbish. It's been choreographed for the purpose of minimising body movement and instead highlighting bosoms.
Overall, I quite like this show, despite disliking ep.8 and ep.13. I like Raul and Fino. I like the show's look at workplace issues and its world's economy. Interestingly, our heroes' rival shop is clearly a much better store and you have couldn't complained had Raul's shop gone under. Their rivals have better products, more shops, lower prices and a magical research programme that generates new patents. (However, they're not kind to their employees and I bet they use their purchasing power to bully suppliers. You'd probably buy there, but you'd look for a job alongside Raul.)
"Raul, do you think it would be better if I became the demon lord? There must be people who lost their jobs because the demon lord was defeated. I bet there were a lot of weapon and armour shops that went out of business. I heard everyone's having a lot of trouble."
"Who said that?"
"They were probably... heroes."