Banished From The Hero’s Party may be the most lacklustre of anime that I picked for my initial watch list this Fall season though being lacklustre isn’t actually the same as being bad. It is more that stories of adventurers, even retiring ones wanting a quiet life in the country, have become common to the point where unless it really sparkles it is difficult for a story to stand out from the crowd. And so far, this one hasn’t.
Where episode one spent a lot of time on setting up Red’s position in his village and explaining how he managed to build his shop, episode 2 decides to build a back story between Red and Rit through a series of flashbacks about a situation that might have been interesting to watch if not played out in this manner.
Banished From The Hero’s Party has all the right ingredients but still fails to really inspire.
I’ll be clear up front: I hate flash-back episodes in TV series. Where the characters sit around and reminisce about event and basically it is used as an excuse for the writers to take the week off while they reuse old footage.
Banished From the Hero’s Party uses this format except that we’re seeing flashes of scenes that have never existed because we’re at episode 2. So someone decided the most exciting way to tell the story of a Princess battling to save her kingdom from a demon army was through a series of recollections by two characters sharing tea.
I finally realised through watching this that the reason I hate flash-back episodes isn’t necessarily because they are lazy. Clearly Banished From The Hero’s Party saved nothing by doing this as they had to create each and every scene. I find it tedious to watch because the outcome is already sitting in front of us with the two characters casually chatting over-tea.
More than that, Rit hadn’t been around long enough with Red for a real desire to learn how these two characters met to have built up. And actually, despite showing it, I’m still not entirely sure why Rit is so hung up on him. If anything the flash-back actually made it make less-sense. I mean I guess people have ended up admiring someone for less than what Red does, but honestly none of this really played out particularly well.
There are however two important new revelations given to us in this episode.
The first is that Rit in the grand tradition of anime stalker girls is going to move in with Red. Apparently he get lets little say in because apparently agreeing to letting her work in his shop was an invitation for her to invite herself firmly into his home and plant herself there.
The second was right at the end and will potentially be significant later for Banished From the Hero’s Party. Largely because we get to see how the hero’s party is at the moment and the new member Ares is introducing to the group. This was one awkward greeting scene no matter how you look at it and it is hard to decide who the most suspicious person in the setting is.
Otherwise, all we really get from this episode of Banished From The Hero’s Party is that Red’s business is so far not going well, Rit uses swords that look kind of cool but seem functionally awkward, when Ruti the hero does her hero thing she ends up looking like a villain, and all things considered Red is probably better off not in the Hero’s Party.
Still, it wasn’t a particularly exciting episode and I kind of hope this one picks up in episode 3 or I may end up consider replacing it in my watch list.
You can read my full thoughts on Banished From The Hero’s Party here.
Images from: ‘Banished from the Hero’s Party, I Decided To Live a Quiet Life in the Countryside’. Dir. M Hoshino. Studio Flad and Wolfsbane. 2021
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