- Titles: Shinchou Yuusha
- Genre: Comedy, fantasy, isekai, adventure
- Episodes: 12
- Studio: White Fox
Sometimes, a title is long enough as is and you don’t need to add anything to it! Seiya Ryuuguuin is a young Japanese man. And you know what that means! It means he has a way above-average chance of getting summoned to a fantasy world in order to defeat some huge evil and save everyone. Also, a pretty girl or 5 will probably be involved. And wouldn’t you know it, that’s exactly what happened. But Seiya isn’t your average everyday man become hero of legend. He has one thing that sets him apart from the masses. Seiya is a very careful guy. And when you have to deal with thirsty goddesses and overpowered demon lords lurking around every corner, you can never be too careful. Or can you?
I like a good fanservicy isekai comedy once in a while. They generally make me giggle or at least tend to be mostly harmless. And that’s what I expected from Cautious Hero as well. Just from the cover art if nothing else. But just like the goddess Ristarte, I didn’t get exactly what I bargained for. Let me tell you why.
I gotta say, the production here isn’t really much to write home about. It’s fine but I would go as far as to claim that it’s probably the least impressive looking Isekai that I have watched. Maybe aside from KonoSuba that isn’t exactly an animation powerhouse either but I think has more interesting character designs than Cautious Hero.
Basically, Cautious Hero looks fine. It’s fine, ok!
However, I should give some kudos to the voice actors. Both the casting, directing and performance of the actors was delightful and brought a lot to the experience. And because I of course accidentally watched bits in English, I can even vouch for the English cast that seemed to have done a really good job on this one.
So what do you sign up for in 12 episodes of Cautious Hero that caught me so off guard? For one, it’s freakin hilarious. Of course, comedy is highly subjective and I’m sure Cautious Hero is bound to be a bot too low brow for some of my readers, but I was honestly laughing through most of it.
And surprisingly, the humour is very tongue in cheek and meta. Jokes are derived from poking self-aware fun of the genre or exaggerating archetypes mostly. Although there are a few very dirty jokes but they tend to be subtle and could go over the head of viewers that aren’t familiar with the references.
I would say it’s 90% comedy. The jokes are quickfire and pretty much incessant, except for a few genuinely dramatic stretches towards the end. I’ll get back to that. And for me, those jokes mostly landed which means I had a great time with the series.
The surprising thing that was missing is the fanservice. Don’t get me wrong, there is some but it’s mostly in the form of goddesses wearing really sexy costumes. That’s about it. There’s no wardrobe malfunction, accidental groping or pervy camera angles. As far as the fanservice goes, it’s got to be one of the most innocent series I have seen in a while and I guess that could disappoint some viewers. I dunno, I guess it would be a bit like going to vegas to see a sexy burlesque show and ending up watching a Carlin stand-up routine. Both are good but in different ways, you know.
Now I did mention a short dramatic stretch towards the end of the series. Despite being a parody, for the most part, Cautious Hero does in fact have a continuous arc. The plot is a bit superficial and straightforward, also very cliché but that works extremely well for the format. Also, not having to develop that plot too much means that the show had more time to send on the characters.
And by “the characters” I really only mean the two leads, Ristarte and Seiya. Being parodies themselves, they never really evolve past the caricature stage much but they are crafted in such a way that you do start to care about them. Or at least I did. So when the plot demanded that I genuinely worry about them and their fate to make the final stretch of the show engaging, I did and it worked.
In fact, I cared so much that when the very last reveal came in the final minutes of episode 12, a reveal I had guessed 3 episodes ago and never doubted would come, I was crying. Just to be straight with you, it’s one of those super predictable cliché reveals, you will guess it too. But if you’re like me, it won’t matter, it will still hit you.
Basically what I’m saying is that I got emotionally involved with these characters and their story without even noticing it because I was just laughing the whole time. And that was extremely refreshing as I have been reviewing beloved fantasy adventure series on a seasonal basis for a while now and haven’t been able to connect with those shows as I have with cautious hero.
If you are in the mood for a pure comedy in a fantasy setting, I think you should give Cautious Hero a chance. It did remind me of KonoSuba a bit but it’s its own show and I wouldn’t say there is much overlap. It certainly was a very pleasant surprise to me.
One last point I would like to make. Although I really enjoyed the series and would gladly watch another show from the same team or based on works by the same author, I’m not sure how I feel about a second season of Cautious Hero: The Hero Is Overpowered but Overly Cautious. A big strength of the series is that it knew when to let a joke go. It didn’t insist too much on anything or become repetitive to the point of getting boring. And I think that’s a real risk if they try to recapture it for another 12 episodes. I would still watch it though. I hope it would prove me wrong.
Favourite character: This was really tough. There are a lot of likeable folks in Cautious Hero. If you twist my arm then maybe Adenela?
Suggested drink: Do Be Careful
- Every time Seiya refuses something – take a sip… aw c’mon, please?
- Every time Rista loses her cool – get some ice
- Every time Rista gets thirsty – get some water
- Every time Seiya is shirtless – fan yourself
- Every time Seiya goes into overkill mode – take a sip
- Every time its goddess tea time – raise your pinkie
- Every time Seiya is sulking – take a sip
- Every time anyone says “bro” – take a sip
- Every time a new goddess appears – raise your glass in respect
- Every time Rista worries for the children – take a sip
- Every time it gets bloody – take a sip
- Every time Elulu gets depressed – awww cheer up
- Every time Seiya is nice to someone – make sure you’re not completely drunk
- Every time Ishtar is looking for Rista – take a sip
- Every time we see Rista’s wings – take a sip
In case you’re new here, I have a Pinterest with all my screencaps (there are a lot!). If you can’t find a show you are looking for in my main boards, just go to Anime Screenshots. I move the shows I have reviewed there. Of course, I’m still going to add a few images here!