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by Kevin Cormack,

Banished from the Hero's Party Season 2

Anime Series Review

Banished from the Hero's Party Season 2 Anime Series Review

Finally free of her Blessing's impulses, former Hero Ruti has settled into her idyllic slow life with assassin housemate Tisse in the border town of Zoltan. She's happy to once again be close to her apothecary brother Red, the former Guide of her previous Hero's Party, while he's living his best loved-up life with his partner (and soon-to-be fiancee) Princess Rit. Unfortunately, there's a new Hero on the scene whose fundamentalist interpretation of his Blessing's urges will bring conflict and despair to sleepy Zoltan…

Banished from the Hero's Party, I Decided to Live a Quiet Life in the Countryside is based on the light novels written by Zappon and streams on Crunchyroll.


Despite the off-putting, typical-for-light-novels word salad of its full 15-word title, the first season of Banished from the Hero's Party, I Decided to Live a Quiet Life in the Countryside was one of my highlights of the Fall 2021 season. For one, it wasn't an isekai, and it mixed low-stakes slice-of-life shenanigans with a compelling backstory, fascinating world-building, and heartfelt drama. Although I felt its quality dropped slightly in its rushed concluding episodes, I was happy to learn that a second season was in the works.

Although I've not read the source light novels, I've heard from more informed sources that this animated version has rushed through them, cutting entire volumes' worth of plot in a significantly streamlined adaptation. I wouldn't have known this merely from watching the episodes. What's presented here has a strong narrative and thematic throughline, a fascinating further exploration of the fundamental nature of "Blessings," and an excellent, multifaceted main antagonist who illuminates and opposes the protagonists' values. I'm quite confident that this second season is even better than the first.

While former Guide Red remains Banished's reliable and empathetic beating heart, his sister Ruti (and by extension her sweet, timid friend Tisse) gets plenty of screentime. Perhaps not quite enough to justify the extremely, some might say problematic, focus on her feet and breasts in the overly leery opening sequence, though. Uninformed viewers might be fooled into thinking this was a show for yuri foot fetishists only. (Un?)fortunately, such expectations are dashed by its actual content, which is very wholesome – though Red and Rit are constantly and canonically banging off-screen. I'm happy for them! Their mutually beneficial romantic and physical relationship is one of the healthiest adult interactions I've seen in anime in a long time. We got over the will-they-won't-they aspect early in season one, and now they're so delightfully, subtly, in love.

A consistent background plot during this season is Red's quest to find Rit the perfect stone for the engagement ring he's desperate to give her, and its eventual resolution is so satisfyingly sweet. Ruti's main background plot follows her attempts to fit into quiet rural life without breaking her cover and announcing to all and sundry that she's the former Hero who deserted her position. Poor Ruti can't do anything about her ridiculous strength or social awkwardness, so poor, exasperated Tisse has to keep smoothing things over for her friend. I love that their "big plans" merely involve growing medicinal herbs for Red's Apothecary store. Ruti still has a disturbing romantic fixation on her brother, which I hope she grows out of one day (though her love for Red helped her break the bounds of her restrictive Hero's Blessing before). If she just looked a little closer to home, she'd notice that Tisse harbors something a little more than platonic love for her…

The main thrust of the season's plot is the arrival of the replacement Hero Van. An egotistical religious zealot, he has embraced the same Hero's Blessing that Ruti rejected, follows its urges slavishly, and self-justifies the atrocities he commits by claiming everything he does is ordained by the Blessing-providing god Demis. He's a stark warning against empathy-deficient religious fundamentalism mixed with pathological, self-serving, unquestioning certainty. He's an inhuman monster who believes he can do anything he wants, as God may as well control his actions. That means people like Ruti who have denied their Blessing are his opposites, and anyone who disagrees with his rigid, harmful viewpoints deserves little but death, in his mind at least.

Van's a compelling villain because there are people in the world with such restrictive and extreme belief systems who refuse to compromise or reflect on their failures. He's enabled by the tiny fairy-like Lavender, his constant cheerleader, who fails to care about his obvious sociopathy, reveling in her one-sided obsessive love for him. Van himself seems incapable of love, which is part of his tragedy – he was a child abandoned to the church, raised in a religiously stifling environment, who then gained a Blessing that suppressed his human emotions and magnified his obsessions.

A lesser story might kill off an antagonist like Van and have the cast move on with their happy lives, but Banished is more intelligent and nuanced than that. Red uses his Guide's blessing as an advantage – due to his ideology, Van is predisposed to listen to him. This leads to some gripping character development as Van finally begins questioning and doubting himself. The concept of God-ordained Blessings that will control your life and actions is terrifying, and Banished continues to flesh the consequences of Blessings thoughtfully and insightfully. I swear we'll probably either end up with Red and friends teaming up to kill God, or at least have an emotionally resonant chat with him that leads him to change his ways and alter the world. Either option would be fine.

Season 2 leaves the story in a good place, so I won't be heartbroken if this is the end. It's been a deeply satisfying show – never all that flashy animation-wise, but I love the character designs and music. We don't get quite as much of the slow slice-of-life material this time around, but the drama that replaces it is stronger than the first season's. If you fell off this show, it's well worth returning to spend more time with Red and his former party members, who have all pretty much left adventuring to live near their formerly banished colleague, which is lovely.

Overall (sub) : A-
Story : A-
Animation : B
Art : B
Music : B

+ Blessings are a fertile story concept, exploited well. Van is an excellent villain whose motivations fit thematically. Red and Rit are adorable. Ruti and Tisse are fun too.
The production design is very average, the animation isn't up to providing the spectacle that the larger battles demand.

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Production Info:
Chief Director: Makoto Hoshino
Director: Satoshi Takafuji
Series Composition: Megumi Shimizu
Rie Koshika
Megumu Sasano
Megumi Shimizu
Makoto Hoshino
Ichizō Kobayashi
Tetsuya Miyanishi
Tomoyuki Munehiro
Tetsuji Nakamura
Satoshi Takafuji
Episode Director:
Makoto Hoshino
Daisuke Kurose
Masahito Otani
Yusaku Saotome
Satoshi Takafuji
Ryu Yajima
Fumito Yamada
Unit Director:
Makoto Hoshino
Satoshi Takafuji
Music: Yukari Hashimoto
Original creator: Zappon
Original Character Design: Yasumo
Character Design: Ruriko Watanabe
Art Director: Yukiko Ashino
Chief Animation Director:
Yoshie Matsumoto
Mamiko Mizutani
Mihoko Ōkawa
Animation Director:
Kyung Sun Bae
Won Ha Cho
Fei Lian Di
Dae Jang Kim
Jin-Hee Kim
Min Eun Kim
Miyuki Maemura
Yoshie Matsumoto
Rakura Mizuhara
Shun Nakajima
Shingo Nishimoto
Mihoko Ōkawa
Ayumi Ōkubo
Sun Ok Park
Yoko Sugita
Won Yong Sung
Ayako Tauchi
Mi Na Won
Shōta Yoshida
Sound Director: Takatoshi Hamano
Director of Photography: Norimasa Teramoto

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Banished From The Heroes' Party (TV 2)

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