B tier shows are always fun to watch. Not everything can be a perfect 10, and it is good for anime fans, and healthy for the industry, to have shows that are middle of the pack. Sometimes though those middle tier shows can surprise you however. Whether it is good scripts, fun characters, or an interesting premise. I already gave my personal recommendation to Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent for this exact reason, but can I do the same here? After the cut let’s take a dive into the series *deep breath* Banished from the Hero’s Party, I decided to live a quiet life in the Countryside.
At first watch, I thought very little of Banished Hero. It felt like the usual factory made fantasy story, an isekai show that wasn’t an isekai. Something that was supposed to be watched, dropped, or not thought of. In many ways even after, that is still true. Banished Hero is nothing special in terms of its looks. Basic animation that steers into bad at times, basic character designs, even the performances from the voice cast seem basic. You could be forgiven to drop this show after one or two episodes and move on without a care, because there are some far better fantasy shows out there right now.
But, if you stuck around. Banished Hero starts to be something different. It starts to tell a story, and do things that are both refreshing and deeply respective of the viewers time. The first of these is the central idea of the series itself. That in a world of swords, sorcery and jobs that are dictated by callings, it might not be the perfect paradise one thinks it might. Not everyone is going to be happy or content with the life fate has given them, and might want an escape. That is what befalls the series lead Gideon who, after reaching the maximum amount of potential his blessing has, is kicked from his little sister’s party and is forced to make due in the ‘normal world’. He is able to do with this well, creating a fulfilling life for himself, and it isn’t until he is gone that his party realizes just how much he did for them. Even worse is his sister Ruti, gifted with the hero’s blessing that isn’t everything one expects.
This attempt at ‘breaking down’ the concept of heroes and fantasy is not something uncommon to the genre. Other anime have done it to varying degrees of success, and Banished Hero continues that trend. While this plotline is a central theme, there are many times when it feels unfocused, and too unexplored. It is a rich concept and asks some interesting questions, but there just isn’t enough time put into the idea. Despite some interesting moments including one with Ruti that made me audibly gasp. It is a A+ story concept that is at best, given a B-level amount of attention to it. I would love to see what this idea might have been in the hands of a better staff, but what is shown here is taken seriously, just not the way I might have wanted.
What is however, is the central relationship between Gideon (or Red) and Rit, a former party member who forsakes her previous life to live with him. Taking the best lessons from Chivalry of a Failed Knight, this relationship was hands-down the best thing about the series, deeply respecting the viewers time, and treating it seriously. Instead of the usual ‘will they, won’t they’ state of things, Red and Rit realize they are attracted to each other, get together and then live their lives. Instead of having the anime be about their relationship, the relationship is just part of the story. They joke together, fight together, relax together. They cuddle, they hug, they kiss, and even go the full distance by the end, and it all feels well paced and thought out. Better yet is just how cute these two are together. It is a real chemistry, shared by two characters who are invested in each other’s happiness. And while nothing special in the pantheon of anime romances, to see something of this quality in a show of this quality says something about its contemporaries. Romances that respect viewers time just work.
Banished from the Hero’s Party, I decided to live a quiet life in the Countryside *deep breath* is a B tier anime show that more often shows the potential for doing something really awesome. Perhaps in the hands of better writers, animators and the like, this could have been really drawn eyeballs to it, but alas that is not the case. Still, I found myself really enjoying this anime every time I put it on, and was impressed by the amount of effort put into the story and its characters. Shows like these are always gems to find because you go in with such low expectations and find yourself so surprised. While it is no Wandering Witch, or Saint’s Magic, Banished Hero is a damn fine piece of entertainment. Give it a look for yourself, if only for a look at Rit’s cleavage.