I could spend this episode review of Banished From The Hero’s Party bemoaning the lame resolution to the town nearly tearing itself apart as a mob was whipped up (through relatively obvious means) and almost as quickly the mob decided the kids made friends so we can all go home.
But you know what, the fact that the plot here was really lame is pretty obvious and given the build up happened in an extremely accelerated fashion over the course of pretty much a single episode so we were given little reason to care in the first place just means that I’m not really all that invested in the fact that it didn’t resolve well.
So, rather than pointing out every idiocy that went along with that particular storyline in Banished From The Hero’s Party, I’m going to look at a couple of things that this episode did really well.
Banished From The Hero’s Party has pretty much confirmed itself as a fairly sub-standard fantasy (enjoyable in places but don’t think about it too much).
Let’s be clear, it doesn’t matter how much this anime decides to fail in some areas, one area it has impressed me on is Red and Rit’s relationship. Admittedly, with all the fantasy stuff and various subplots, they aren’t as well developed as romantic leads might be in a straight romance. But there’s been some consistent build up in their relationship with one another and this episode gives us one of the best anime confessions of love I’ve ever seen.
What makes it so great isn’t just that Red is ridiculously sweet and Rit’s blush never gets old. This was kind of like the final moments of The Princess Bride where the grandfather explains that the kiss between Wesley and Buttercup surpassed all of the previous greatest kisses of all time. The reason it works is because it didn’t come out of nowhere.
Over the past few episodes of Banished From The Hero’s Party these two have been getting closer and closer and this episode started with them sharing a double bed for the first time. I love that neither of these two characters are ridiculously aggressive or ridiculously shy about showing how they feel. It makes them feel so much more real than so many other fantasy anime couples. That and they are just super sweet.
Also, they don’t ask the other one to change who they are.
In fairness, Rit does ask Red if he considered returning to the hero’s party after all this time. I loved his response. He didn’t just say no. He made it clear that he may have when he first moved to Zoltan. But things had changed. And one of those things was that he was now very clearly with Rit.
You know, if we take the communication and trust these two characters have in their relationship and move it to a much better story, it could truly be an anime for the ages.
However, Banished From The Hero’s Party is not that story and probably never really wanted to be that story. It’s a B Grade fantasy plot with a really solid romance running alongside it and unfortunately the romance is outshining everything else and just kind of makes the rest look worse than it actually is.
But going forward, I guess we’re getting more demon contracts and more of the fantasy elements because it seems like Red’s quiet country life must be thoroughly disrupted before we reach the end of the season. I do wonder if we’ll actually see Red reunite with the hero’s party or not but I do hope his apothecary survives whatever is coming because he has put so much time and effort into building his business.
Anyway, I guess we’ll see what they do in the next couple of episodes. Though if they kill off Rit just to get Red motivated I am going to flip a table. You know, just as soon as I find one that is light and has nothing on it and won’t damage me or anyone else.
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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