4; 12022 H.E.
Hello! Hope you’re doing well today. This is my first anime review; I don’t know the best format to follow. I think I’m the only person who will read this, so I’ll write it myself. If you’re not me, Godspeed. Shall we?
The first thing to get out of the way is the title of this show. The full title is Banished from the Hero’s Party, I Decided to Live a Quiet Life in the Countryside, which is rather long. To avoid writing it all out, I’ll refer to the show simply by Banished.
Let me tell you something from the beginning, I absolutely loved this show. I knew nothing of the show; I found it randomly on MyAnimeList. I didn’t even know what isekai meant and what the whole genre entails. I walked into the show with a very open mindset about a day or two before New Year’s Eve.
I have a weak spot for a slice-of-life style of shows. Something slower in plot progression, fewer notable battles or heroic encounters, but more of an introspective into our daily routine that life is made out of. It is incredibly calming and simply... welcoming! I would even dare to say wholesome.
Reading some reviews that people left, they criticize people for liking this genre for being too “naïve” and “simple-minded” to enjoy this isekai genre. In many ways, I can see their argument. It’s no Death Note, Neon Genesis Evangelion, or other on-the-surface-deep-thought-provoking plots with endless schemes and betrayals. Does it need to be that?
This is worth its own “opinion” post. Still, modern audiences are spoiled with the thought of feeling intelligent and profound by watching dark/tragic shows. Thinking the depth of meaning is equivalent to its respective “darkness.” The first example that comes to mind is Joker. What a horrible movie.
This fallacy leads people onto the path of pseudo-intelligence and trivialization of essential questions and topics down to bad-taste jokes and taking things too far. This needless exercise in tragedy is what prevents people from enjoying even simple shows for what they are trying to be. It sucks the fun out of anything if you are a cynical person.
Coming from that drifted-over discussion back to Banished. There is no secret to enjoying what it has to offer. Take it in for what it’s supposed to be. It can even be cheesy in some spots, and that’s what we’re here for. To enjoy the little magic that Banished holds close to its heart. The atmosphere is not the only thing it has to offer; a big question is being pondered. Let’s talk! I felt good after watching the show, which is a good sign.
Banished looks at the old question of “What is life?” and “What does it mean to be successful in life?” As Gideon was in the Hero’s Party with Ruti, battling hordes of demons, onto bringing the fight to the Demon Lord. Sounds pretty exciting, doesn’t it? It sounds very heroic and noble. What if he were instead to open an apothecary in a small village and just live a simple life?
Many would find the second route less exciting, less protagonistic, and less heroic. Would such a thought be proper? In their own right, they are. However, what is life but a series of events that can be viewed and understood from infinite angles and worldviews? What is a failure for one is a fulfilled and happy life for another. Then you might ask me, “Sandy, where is the truth then?”
I will say that is a good question. How do we live the perfect life? What is a perfect life? Again, is life about your career? Maybe stature? Your role in society? Love? Fulfilling your path/destiny? MONEY? It is indeed a great question. All I can give now in this short anime review is that it is life. What you do, how you live, just live. Instead of overthinking every step we take, let us live and put the dot right there.
This is quite a departure from any good review. We’ll keep it ongoing. Let’s talk about the characters and the show more specifically then! Mostly about Gideon, Rit, and Ruti.
Gideon had a fantastic caliber of humbleness and empathy towards those around him, which makes a notable difference for the best in your immediate surroundings. He had the skill that very few people in the world are fortunate to possess, and that’s to know who you are and be friends with yourself. Be content with life’s givings and takings by simply moving further. What’s done is done; let’s consider what we do next!
I like to entertain the possibility, a realm where we try to approach life more philosophically. We tend to expect a lot from everything we do, ranging from financial gains to love to anything else. It’s only human nature to expect an equal return for our troubles and efforts. Instead of wishing, we just do what we do now and have what comes at us. I feel it takes incredible discipline to be this much at peace with yourself.
Rit was in a similar situation to Gideon (Red), as they miraculously met again after departing from their previous adventures together. She also has expectations from her royal family, subordinates, and people. Are we then just prisoners of our destinies? By God giving everyone a path in life and a future with no way out, why are we given free will for?
Maybe we are given some path, some pre-determined set of events, emotions, feelings, people, places, etc., that we are meant to experience and live through in the time, we have in this world. Free will is given to make it more fun. One will still follow the general “flow” of their destiny, but how they can approach it entirely depends on them.
This is something I liked about the way they approach Ruti’s character. The literal Hero of the land. “Destined and Blessed by The Almighty to serve as a protector and fighter, devoid of anything that can impede such a crucial mission.” Should one follow and fulfill their path or try to pursue their own life if they feel it goes against what they’re required to do?
It is only my feeling that we have to live our own lives the way we would want to live them, of course, within the degree of freedom of our current situation. Life might be too short to care for, and you spend too much time on something that goes against your will. Banished teaches you to live your life and no one else’s.
Also, the opening song never fails to brighten up the mood for me.
That’s all! Thank you for reading. ◼︎