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EP. REVIEW: Cautious Hero: The Hero Is Overpowered but Overly Cautious


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Yuvelir



Joined: 06 Jan 2015
Posts: 435
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:47 pm Reply with quote
XerBlade wrote:
I'm really confused by all the reactions I'm seeing here, both from the reviewer and the commenters. I have yet to see a single scene in this entire series that wasn't being played for comedy. Not one. [And by the way, I confirmed this with marathoning my way through all 5 episodes.] Sure, the very end of the credit-scene in episode 5 was pretty serious (although the rest of that scene before that was still comedy, making my point about the scenes still stand), but I'm sure the punchline to that will come next week regardless, because this series revels in how nonexistent the stakes are. Although I guess this is one of those rare anime that doesn't constantly explain every single joke (only the main one), so maybe people are just so used to that that they are not recognizing the comedy and thinking it's cheese instead?

Because sometimes the comedic elements are so weak and subdued that ti feels like it's just playing the tropes and cliches straight (the whole necromancer deal after the Skype session was in session barely had any comedic element, and the ones that were there didn't pack any punch).
And since most isekai series nowadays play with a degree of self-awareness and comedy sprinkled, to not be one more in the mountain this show needs to be more than slightly amusing for every trope it "explores". Otherwise it's just playing it out like every other series in the genre.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2521
PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:04 am Reply with quote
XerBlade wrote:
I'm really confused by all the reactions I'm seeing here, both from the reviewer and the commenters. I have yet to see a single scene in this entire series that wasn't being played for comedy. Not one. [And by the way, I confirmed this with marathoning my way through all 5 episodes.] Sure, the very end of the credit-scene in episode 5 was pretty serious (although the rest of that scene before that was still comedy, making my point about the scenes still stand), but I'm sure the punchline to that will come next week regardless, because this series revels in how nonexistent the stakes are. Although I guess this is one of those rare anime that doesn't constantly explain every single joke (only the main one), so maybe people are just so used to that that they are not recognizing the comedy and thinking it's cheese instead?


If a scene is 5 minutes long and has one weak joke at the end, it's not being played for comedy, it's played straight. The entire fight against the fire monster wasn't comedy, there wasn't any joke about it, it was just a pure "look at how awesome the main character is".
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Nojay



Joined: 20 Jan 2016
Posts: 33
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:03 pm Reply with quote
I like this series and not just for the humour. It pokes fun at standard isekai tropes -- Seiya has zero Goddess-given cheats unlike most other series, the regular on-rails levelling-up process with the Devil Maoh feeding the Hero EXP and level-ups by throwing minor mobs and cannon-fodder at him got tossed out the window in episode 1 with the result that half of the Four Heavenly Kings have already been disposed of. Seiya is, by his own efforts in training, study and development able to go head-to-head with Gods and defeat them handily and it's only episode four.

Ristarte, bless her empty little head, is still trying to follow the standard Hero's Journey rulebook, the quests, the gathering of the Party, defeats and failures turned into lessons learned and eventual victory. Seiya is ignoring her advice and orders and by doing so he's winning every time which she regards as cheating, somehow.

The show's not really about the Hero Seiya, it's about Deplorable-sama Ristarte -- note that she's present in every scene, the camera follows her and not the supposed main character, the Hero who you only ever encounter when she's there to react to him and what he does. That's a big giveaway that this isn't a regular isekai-type Hero's Journey plot.
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Skyletv



Joined: 11 Dec 2017
Posts: 39
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:24 pm Reply with quote
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I'm not really sure what Cautious Hero is doing anymore.


Being funny? I don't know, I find it odd to say something like that.
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steelmirror



Joined: 22 Oct 2015
Posts: 314
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:10 pm Reply with quote
Nojay wrote:
That's a big giveaway that this isn't a regular isekai-type Hero's Journey plot.
It sort of is though, isn't it? Sure the show pokes fun at some of the cliches by calling them out explicitly, but then it goes on to follow those tropes in their own right. Seiya is just as overpowered as you'd expect in a show like this, and he follows the same path as other isekai MC's in other interchangeable-except-for-the-proper-nouns fantasy worlds before. He might complain about it or comment on it, but in the end he hits the same beats.

Excuse me as I indulge myself for even more of a digression...

Also the "hero's journey", the term codified famously by Joseph Campbell, I would argue isn't actually a central or necessary part of the isekai genre. Most isekai stories AREN'T this type of hero's journey. Tvtropes of course has a good outline of what the classical hero's journey entails: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheHerosJourney

Not all isekai stories involve "refusing the call", for instance, as plenty of MCs (especially in the contemporary flavor of self-aware isekai stories) are enthusiastic about being reborn or transported to the new world, with their genre awareness often being an in-universe tool they use to increase their own power.

Also the standard hero's journey involves several steps in achieving the "reward" of becoming powerful; Luke didn't start as a jedi master, he spent most of 2 movies having to work for that. By contrast most isekai protags skip over that learning curve and go straight to the overpowered supernatural abilities, as befits a genre that is arguably more about power fantasy and less about mythologizing.

Probably the least used aspect of the classical hero's journey in isekai is the "return", whereby the hero returns to the place they began, but transformed by their ordeal.

Sorry for the tangent, I just had that thought when you mentioned "regular isekai-type Hero's Journey plot", that the isekai formula is kind of like a shortening of the traditional hero's journey, filing off all the parts of the structure that aren't necessary for the power fantasy. I thought it was interesting anyway, feel free to disagree. Smile
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Nojay



Joined: 20 Jan 2016
Posts: 33
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:44 pm Reply with quote
It's not Seiya that's growing in this series, it's the main character, the Goddess Ristarte. Oh sure Seiya is doing a lot of levelling up and gear improvement but he's not doing it in response to fighting and losing which is part of the classic Hero's Journey. He wins every time because "ready perfectly", he's already done the levelling up before the fight begins. The one time he faces a challenge he knows he can't win (his first engagement with Chaos Machina) he runs away immediately, not something an isekai Hero would regularly do.

It's Ristarte who's gone from doctrinaire D-level Goddess following the standard D-level world saviour script (summon Hero, starter village, defeat mobs, level up, next village, more mobs, level up, gear up, fight Big Bad minion etc.) to the point where she's willing to accept that in this case that script isn't going to work because the Big Bad in this world is equally unwilling to follow any sort of a script. That's progress.

Luke Skywalker's Hero Journey involved fighting and losing and generally messing things up before he learns better. Seiya isn't planning on losing, ever. I like that.
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Yuvelir



Joined: 06 Jan 2015
Posts: 435
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:14 pm Reply with quote
At the end of this episode when they were out of the village, I expected Seiya to take a look at the sword's stats, see that they're lower than the ones he's already using and toss it into the vault.
Instead they went all grave and serious with some kind of foreshadowing and I think that scene best exemplifies why this anime is being so puzzling.
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Chrono1000



Joined: 05 Oct 2013
Posts: 1321
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:59 pm Reply with quote
Cautious Hero is very comedic but it was never a parody and considering the dangerous nature of the world Seiya is trying to save he is the type of hero that is most needed. There are lots of isekai shows that have strong comedic elements but that have a serious main plot. This is a show where a villager gets beheaded in episode 2, a child was almost killed in a torture chamber in episode 4, and the people wanting to save the world attempted a child sacrifice in episode 6.

This show has an unusually grimdark world for this level of comedy but fot the most part it works. I thought that episode 6 made Seiya a lot more sympathetic in that he is blunt and pragmatic but he also has a strong sense of morality.

Nojay wrote:
The show's not really about the Hero Seiya, it's about Deplorable-sama Ristarte -- note that she's present in every scene, the camera follows her and not the supposed main character, the Hero who you only ever encounter when she's there to react to him and what he does. That's a big giveaway that this isn't a regular isekai-type Hero's Journey plot.

Seiya is the protagonist of the story but Ristarte is a viewpoint character for the audience. To have a different character be the viewpoint character is rare for a light novel series but it useful for a story where the author wants the audience to be surprised by the actions of the protagonist.

steelmirror wrote:
Also the standard hero's journey involves several steps in achieving the "reward" of becoming powerful; Luke didn't start as a jedi master, he spent most of 2 movies having to work for that. By contrast most isekai protags skip over that learning curve and go straight to the overpowered supernatural abilities, as befits a genre that is arguably more about power fantasy and less about mythologizing.

Power fantasies are more popular nowadays and don't forget The Last Jedi where Rey defeats her version of Darth Vader in their first fight and it was the first time she had even used a light saber. From what I have seen most people like power fantasies and it is merely a question of what type they prefer.
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steelmirror



Joined: 22 Oct 2015
Posts: 314
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:53 pm Reply with quote
Chrono1000 wrote:
Power fantasies are more popular nowadays and don't forget The Last Jedi where Rey defeats her version of Darth Vader in their first fight and it was the first time she had even used a light saber. From what I have seen most people like power fantasies and it is merely a question of what type they prefer.
I don't have a problem with power fantasies. Campbell-esque hero's journey stories can be power fantasies too, and plenty of them are.

My only point was that most isekai aren't really structured like classical "hero's journeys" at all (as a response to Nojay's reference to the standard hero's journey). In fact rejecting about half of that formula is central to the modern isekai's appeal and popularity. That's not a bad thing, necessarily, people like what they like. It's just an interesting thing (to me).
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Lord Vaultman



Joined: 03 Mar 2017
Posts: 553
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:54 pm Reply with quote
The slapping scene was hilarious. "Oh your gonna slap me? Well think again"
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PMC



Joined: 23 Aug 2019
Posts: 3
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:05 pm Reply with quote
From the Episode 7 review:

Quote:
I'm not sure how much Cautious Hero's unplanned break early in the season affected its episode count or space for the production to finish telling whatever amount of the source story it's set out for, but it's hard to deny that things are feeling rather rushed in places.


That's the fault of the light novels rather than White Fox's production staff. In fact, White Fox is adapting the story source at a much slower pace in comparison to most other isekai anime. I'm expecting the ending of the first season to correspond to Volume 2.
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Kamijou Touma



Joined: 01 Oct 2017
Posts: 63
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:48 pm Reply with quote
I really love this series and Toyosaki Aki is just so good.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 8562
PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:42 am Reply with quote
I guess I don't share many of the complaints of the review. My main one is that I didn't quite understand (which is probably my fault) why the guy summoned the monster at the beginning. Was he mad that Seiya hadn't saved his family, or that he'd inadvertently killed them while wiping out other demons? How is unleashing hellspawn on the world any kind of revenge? Not that we had much time to ponder that, just seiyan'. Razz

For a woman whose outfit consists almost entirely of chains, I really like Valkyrie. She wears her nudity well. She's far and away preferable to Ristarte, who I can barely stand. And I didn't really need any explanation of how that position constituted "training." Valkyrie might've had another agenda with it, but I think Seiya's utter lack of interest in sex is genuine, so for him whatever was going on was just training, and that's all I need to know.

The face in the thumbnail was...different. Very Happy
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NeverConvex



Joined: 08 Jun 2013
Posts: 875
PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 1:34 pm Reply with quote
Somehow the tonal whiplash in this show hasn't bothered me too much. It is certainly there, and I suspect without it Cautious Hero might move from entertaining to hilarious, but it's consistently made me laugh so far - silly, crude, and conflicted as it is - and I can't ask for much more from a comedy anime. Most fall pretty flat in that regard.

The scenes where they suddenly play everything straight do make me wonder how good a standard fantasy show they could have made. Usually those scenes don't fit very well into the overall tone of the show, but taken as isolated pieces feel very well executed.

Gina Szanboti wrote:
I guess I don't share many of the complaints of the review. My main one is that I didn't quite understand (which is probably my fault) why the guy summoned the monster at the beginning. Was he mad that Seiya hadn't saved his family, or that he'd inadvertently killed them while wiping out other demons? How is unleashing hellspawn on the world any kind of revenge? Not that we had much time to ponder that, just seiyan'. Razz


He says in the end of the prior episode that he's "The Demon Lord Forces' general staff and one of the Four Heavenly Kings," then a title box shows his name as "Summoner Kilkapul". So, not much explanation -- just another Heavenly King doing Heavenly King things.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 8562
PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 8:31 pm Reply with quote
That was a whole week ago! You can't expect me to remember anything that long! Very Happy Thanks for the explanation.
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