I haven’t been too critical of the kind of calm nothingness that is the overall tone of Banished From The Hero’s Party, I Decided to Live A Quiet Life in the Countryside prior to this episode and that is because each episode kind of gave me something interesting enough to watch even if not a lot happened.
Episode one established Red’s credentials as an adventurer and had him achieve his dream of having his shop built.
Episode two gave us the history of Red and Rit.
Episode three made me curious about the hero’s party and how they were coping and also did some world-building even if it was a little underwhelming.
And episode four, well it gives us characters having a sauna.
Just adding characters in towels won’t make Banished From The hero’s Party any more interesting
It didn’t help that episode 4 of Banished From the Hero’s Party decided to open with more or less the same sequence as episode 3, only this time Red is on a bed and not the floor. The audience gets a full view of Rit’s assets nearly falling out of her nightclothes and then we swap to a view of Red sitting up and blushing. The scene added nothing in episode 3 and as a repeat with a slightly different angle just feels lazy.
It’s almost as if they realise that episode 4 doesn’t really contribute anything to these characters and the plot is still just Red and Rit playing house so that’s going nowhere fast (and nor do we expect it to given the slice-of-life nature at play).
Weirdly, the early part of the episode is the most interesting as we see Red and Rit greeting customers and some of them are still a little shocked to see a high level adventurer, Rit, working in a shop owned by a supposedly nobody D Rank adventurer. While it seems weird at this point that the rumour hasn’t already spread clear around town, and even weirder that we never really see just customers in Red’s shop actually buying anything (how is he actually still in business) these interactions were the most interesting thing this episode had to offer.
We did get a return of the adventurer from episode one of Banished From the Hero’s Party with the arrogant adventurer confronting Red about the death of the owl-bear. I kind of thought the plot had just forgotten about that and moved on so it was nice to see that past actions will have flow on effects.
That this sequence also gave us the only action sequence of the episode, with Rit leaping to Red’s ‘defence’. Lesson learned, don’t mess with Red or Rit will attack. That said, Red’s efforts to play dumb probably failed because the adventurer very clearly noted that he had moved from behind the counter to the otherside of the shop so I’m assuming this will come back to bite Red later.
However, then the episode goes for a sauna.
Yep, Banished From the Hero’s Party has Red invite Rit to his favourite sauna, they go with various other characters we’ve met along the way, and then we watch characters steam.
There’s a weak tea plot here about another sauna opening and the guy running this shop being worried but it’s pretty lame and resolved so easily it barely constitutes a problem and really is just a thinly veiled excuse to draw characters sitting in a steam room.
It’s all just kind of dull and if they were hoping the fan-service imagery was enough to keep things feeling interesting they are barking up the wrong tree. Even viewers who appreciate bath scenes and fan-service in general expect the scenes to have a little more life than these ones did.
Honestly, it was a lazy plot line with lazy animation and honestly it was a bit on the tedious side to watch.
Here’s hoping things go back to being pleasantly underwhelming in the next episode and this one isn’t a sign of things to come.
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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