Learning on the Job
The Crimson Vow are settling into their ‘cheap’ inn and preparing to earn a steady income as hunters. It isn’t all easy going though as part of their deal to stay so cheaply at the inn involves entertaining the guests at dinner with Mile doing her best impression of a maid from a maid cafe in a world where such things don’t exist. Still, small price to pay for cheap rent as the team set up their future.
They are soon looking for hunting jobs and take on a quest to hunt rock lizards. Despite the other three girls being fairly sensible, plus six months of hunting prep school, the girls severely underestimate the challenge finding the lizard to be huge, fast, and able to defend itself against a sword. That said, this isn’t the kind of show where the danger ever really feels actually dangerous and Mile quickly devices a strategy for taking it down using some knowledge of lizard’s from her former life and drawing on inspiration from cartoons.
This episode seems very much about establishing the world as we see how the hunters operate, learn about penalties for failing missions, and also see the girls having to negotiate the other end of the quest when a merchant tries to swindle them just because they are young. I do like that the episode takes the time to do this but doesn’t belabour the point as we move through the first quest, negotiations, other hunting quests, and finally taking on a job guarding some merchants.
However, what Average doesn’t do is subtlety with Reina’s past trauma being pretty blatantly foreshadowed from the moment she selects the quest and while they don’t linger on this point either (yet), the characterisation is pretty obvious and lacks nuance. Given the selling point so far has been cuteness and humour, the anime not really succeeding at character drama isn’t the worst thing ever, but it just felt so tacked on rather than as a point to learn about the character and her past.
Be that as it may, between giant lizards, rock monsters, and the girls trying out Mile’s old school uniforms after their hunting gear gets covered in mud, this episode is still pretty fun to watch. However, it does clearly indicate that this show isn’t going to rise much beyond just being fun because it can’t really handle more depth.
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Images from: Watashi, Nouryoku wa Heikinchi de tte Itta yo ne! Dir. M Oota. Project No. 9. 2019