Banished From The Heroes' Party
Episode 7

by Richard Eisenbeis,

How would you rate episode 7 of
Banished From The Heroes' Party ?

There's no dancing around it: this episode is the weakest of the series so far. Now, this is not due to animation quality or bad characterization or plot holes. Rather, it's because the story is incredibly rushed. There is so much information thrown at us—be it character development, political intrigue, or general story beats—that it's difficult to sort through on a casual watch. There's simply no time to breathe—no time to decompress and absorb what's going on. So, let's take the time to do that now.

In the most general sense, someone is orchestrating a violent class war in Zoltan. The citizens are living in fear of a new drug that turns people into axe murderers that the police are unwilling or unable to contain. Worse yet, the latest attacker is the chief of police's kid, Ademi. And while other people who have gone axe crazy have been murdered in the streets by guards and adventurers, the police are said to be protecting Ademi from justice. The police, on the other hand, don't actually know where Ademi is and are trying to gather evidence to show things aren't what they appear.

The big problem lies in the middle. There are clearly members of both the police and the general population that are doling out misinformation to make the situation reach a violent boiling point. Key orders from the Chief of Police are being misconstrued. Brining in Tanta for a statement becomes violently going into his yard, kidnapping him, and not letting his parents confirm he is alright. Meanwhile, “concerned citizens” are out on street corners, using a mixture of the truth, rumors, and outright lies to whip the people of the slums into a rabid mob.

But what's really interesting is that the people who could de-escalate the situation are being kept away from the general public. Al's parents are “being protected” in the Thieves' Guild. Ademi is missing in action. The Chief of Police is working non-stop in his office. And Al has been placed in the custody of the city's most powerful warrior—i.e., Rit.

Throughout the episode, one name keeps popping up in conjunction with the worsening situation—to the point, it's pretty clear who is responsible for the terror gripping the city—Bighawk, the Leader of the Thieves' Guild. Now whether he is doing this for his own gain or due to demonic interference is unknown but he is priming the city for a fire of bloody revolution—and Al himself is the match to start it. I mean, a young child calling for justice for his parents will tug on the heartstrings of most people. And how better to get the boy to follow your lead than by buying him an expensive present like a sword (especially one with a location spell on it so you know where the boy is at all times)?

The other big revelation of the episode is what the drug actually does: it gives a person a different Blessing. With two Blessings warring against each other, it seems that a person's free will is temporarily in control. With that in mind, it's easy to see why so many would want the drug—including Ademi as his Blessing has turned him from kind friend into violent bully. It's also easy to see why so many would overdose on the drug—be so eager to keep their long-denied free will that they end up overdosing and accidently let the crazy-axe-murderer Blessing take control.

And if that wasn't enough, the episode hammers home the tragedy of Blessings once again in its final scene. First we see Ruti forced by her Blessing to protect a man she hates—the man who drove her brother away from her. Then, when they find the airship and gain the ability to go anywhere at anytime, we see Ruti lament that she is no freer than she was moments before. Her Blessing forces her to push on as the hero while everything in her heart and soul longs to search for Red. The airship is like a dagger in her heart: it's the power to quickly and easily find her brother but she is not allowed to use it.


Random Thoughts:

• Last review I was mistaken about Al's connection to Red. Al is not Red's friend's son. He's Red's friend's sister's son's friend. I hope that makes things clear.

• I guess we're supposed to assume that Al has chosen the shotel as the weapon for his weapon master Blessing.

• Even without the evil grin, I think it was pretty clear that the “Dannan” we see in this episode is the creepy guy that approached the real Dannan in the bar the last time we saw him.

• Rit will be reaching her breaking point soon it seems. Even when she does what her Blessing asks of her—i.e., fighting injustice—she resents it because it keeps her away from where she wants to be: living a simple life with Red.

• It's good to see that after their talk last episode, Rit has taken their relationship to the next level—sitting on Red's lap and kissing him on the cheek.

• Ruti really is baring her soul to Tisse at the end there. I wonder how long it will take Tisse to realize that Ruti considers her a friend—perhaps her only friend.

Banished From The Heroes' Party is currently streaming on Funimation.

Richard is an anime and video game journalist with over a decade of experience living and working in Japan. For more of his writings, check out his Twitter and blog.

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