Hitomi OhwadaYumi UchiyamaKensho OnoMinori Suzuki
I'm Quitting Heroing
Also known as: Yuusha, Yamemasu
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2022
Director: Yuu Nobuta, Hisashi Ishii
Writer: Shigeru Murakoshi
Original creator: Quantum
Actor: Hitomi Ohwada, Kaede Hondo, Kensho Ono, Minori Suzuki, Shizuka Ito, Tetsu Inada, Yumi Uchiyama
Keywords: anime, fantasy
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 episodes plus 2 specials
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=24886
Website category: Anime 2022
Review date: 19 February 2024
yusha yamemasu
I underestimated this one twice. This show is seriously underrated and deserves to be better known.
Well, that looked generic. A super-competent hero who's the strongest being in the world? (He's even called Leo Demonheart, of all eye-rolling names.) A Demon Army that in practice boils down to a small group of generals who look quirky and lovable-ish? (There were more of them until Leo trashed their entire army single-handedly.)
The only interesting thing here was Leo strolling up to the demon army he'd defeated... and applying for a job. I didn't believe its set-up, though. (The behaviour of the humans is both shitty and too dumb to live. If you have Superman on your side, BE VERY NICE TO HIM.) I didn't like Leo applying for a job with demons who'd invaded us and started a war. Frankly, I'd have dropped this show if we hadn't learned that Demon Lord Echidna had banned her troops from unnecessary killing (during a war!), which suggested to me that these demons might be capable of improving the human world's standard of governance.
It's a surprisingly sensible and thoughtful workplace series. Leo basically turns himself into the demons' management consultant... and they really, really need him. Shuutina the succubus is the only general with her head on straight, but that means she's working herself into an early grave due to an inability to delegate. Lili the beast-girl has the brain and outlook of an eight-year-old. (Charming girl, but giving her management roles hasn't worked.) Edvard the dragonoid is big, fearless and an absolutely great bloke. If he were my superior commander, I'd follow him into hell... but that doesn't make him a good leader and teacher. Mernes the human/demon assassin is a moody teenager whose conversational skills are only slightly higher than a deep sea amoeba's.
Leo gives them good advice. You could use this show as a handbook both for management and workers. Some of its advice is a bit Japan-specific (i.e. the social obligations of being invited for a drink by the boss), but the majority of it is universal and it's always intelligent. His advice to Mernes goes beyond the glib homilies I'd expected and says interesting truth. It's also not just a load of talk, with Leo regularly being forced into creative solutions.
To my delight, the show isn't worshipping a perfect hero who knows everything and can do anything. Leo's capable of overlooking things and getting it all wrong. Sometimes it's the people he's helping who get to be cool and save the day.
EPISODES 8-12 (there's overlap)
The show then finds a higher level still.
Leo isn't what we'd thought. He's absolutely not just a generic Mr Perfect. "I have no gender, but I was designed to appear masculine." (That makes sense. If I were designing those Leo-things, I wouldn't want them to breed either. That also casts another light on the show's absolute rejection of both fanservice and romance subplots.)
For my money, Ep.8 is the show's best episode. I cried, a bit, even though the episode's ultimately just an extended walk-and-chat. I love Eibrad. Then, later, Leo does something extreme.
This is what anime should be doing, instead of all those drama-free masturbation exercises (often based on either light novels or web novels) I initially confused this with. It's not Shakespeare or Chekhov, obviously, but it's a meaningful story about a character with far more going on than we thought at first. The things I thought were implausible in ep.1 are either deliberate or, in the long view, either inevitable or hitting the nail on the head. I could imagine some arguing that the three-episode finale drags a bit, but I thought it earned its length and I was on board for all its decisions.
There's also a two-part OVA special. It's a tagged-on extra that doesn't add much, but I enjoyed it.
This show is refreshing, thoughtful and sensitive. It's also capable of being goofy and funny, thanks to its premise and subject matter. I almost hope they don't make another season, because the ending we have here is definitive enough that I don't want to see the narrative dragged out artificially despite having nowhere particular left to go. Ep.1 didn't impress me at all, but I'm delighted I went out on a bit of a limb and kept watching.