While I would say at least I wasn’t feeling a little bored while watching this week, instead I had the issue of wondering if I was still watching the same anime. We had a child accused of attacking a family in their home with an axe, another kid getting weird visitors and gifted with very shady swords, the town guard being accused of harbouring an attacker, the drug issue still ongoing, people gathering and rabble rousing in the streets, exploding bodies, and the arrival of the member of the hero’s party who went looking for Gideon.
That’s kind of a lot in a single episode particularly when last week I’d have been hard-pressed to find anything of note that actually happened in the episode of Banished From The Hero’s Party.
I didn’t even mention that Red and Rit have Al staying with them and periodically we pause everything else to have a sword fighting lesson.
Banished From The Hero’s Party may have an issue with inconsistent pacing.
The one real joy from this episode is seeing Red and Rit interacting. They are super cute in every scene with every blush, tentative hand hold, and the more overt moment when Rit gets back from a late night ordeal (well seeing a body blow up is an ordeal) and she leaps onto Red’s lap. It is seriously adorable even if Rit is keeping from Red that the hero guy is in town and that she just saw a body blow up or any other pertinent information.
Perhaps my biggest issue with this episode of Banished From The Hero’s Party came about because of how much was stuffed into a short space, but so many characters that we’d seen so few times were kind of just appearing in scenes but they weren’t really establishing who they were and what their relationship with the main characters was because it was just expected we’d remember. Which fair enough if any of these characters had been firmly established to begin with but the town’s population is kind of made up of generic fantasy characters that Red kind of says ‘hi’ to occasionally. Not exactly memorable.
Though rather than being good or bad, my main impression with the overall episode this week was one of curiosity. I wonder why the story suddenly escalated so abruptly? Why did the hero party guy make the expression he did after he spoke to Rit and decided not to let Red know he was in town? What possible use are the drugs and how are demons connected to them? And why was Ares stupid enough to not realise that his own life would be in danger if all the front line fighters were no longer with the party?
On that note, Ares nearly got squished this week in Banished From The Hero’s Party and honestly that would have been pretty satisfying to watch.
Whether they answer these questions, and whether this anime sorts out its pacing a bit, will only be found out by pressing on. And honestly, the journey here in Banished From The Hero’s Party remains ‘mostly harmless’ with the occasional moment of fun so it is hardly a problem to keep going. Whether I will remember a single moment from this series even a week after it finishes airing is also yet to be determined. Right now, I kind of doubt it because until this shows up in my watch schedule I mostly forget about it between episodes.
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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