- Mangaka : Zappon (Story); Ikeno, Masahiro (Art)
- Publisher : Yen Press
- Genre : Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Slice of life, Shounen
- Published : January 2022 - present
Banished From The Hero's Party is another entry into the long line of fantasy stories with an unnecessarily long title. And just like most of its predecessors, it is also an adaptation of the light novel with the same name. However, unlike its long and generic title, the story promises to bring something new and refreshing to this overly saturated genre. So here's our review of Banished from the Hero's Party, I Decided to Live a Quiet Life in the Countryside Volume 1.
Gideon Ragnason is the second in command of the Bahamut Knight Corp, a member of the Hero's party, and the brother of the Hero, Ruti Ragnason. However, unlike his companions, Gideon doesn't have a specific blessing that allows him to keep up with the monstrous powers of his comrades, especially against the increasing powers of the Demon Lord's generals. So he gets kicked out of the hero's party.
Not one to mope around and be depressed, Gideon quickly finds something else that he can do. He decides to settle down in a rural region called Zoltan. Nowadays, he goes by the name of "Red" and he becomes a D-level adventurer who focuses mainly on gathering medicinal herbs. His new dream is to open up an apothecary and live a quiet life in Zoltan.
1. The Rise of the Supporting Character
In most adventure fantasy stories, no matter what the original premise is, the story usually revolves around the hero. Whether they are stuck in a deadly game, reincarnated as a slime, or become an undead overlord, the story is ultimately about them - the hero.
However, this one takes a different approach. It is not a story about the hero; it is the story about a member of the hero's party. Imagine if, instead of Kirito, Sword Art Online told the story of Klein instead. That is pretty much what Banished from the Hero's Party has set out to do.
For all intents and purposes, Gideon is in the supporting cast in the tale of the Hero Ruti. And yet this manga proves that his story can also be as interesting as the hero's journey. That novel approach is honestly quite refreshing to read.
2. Great Contrast In Pace And Intensity
For the majority of this first volume, the author tells two storylines at the same time. The first one is about the day to day activity of Red the D-level adventurer, and the second one is the flashback of Gideon during his combat days in the hero's party.
The first one is a slow-paced slice-of-life story where we get to see Red tinkering with his products and trying to sell them to the people of Zoltan. The second one, on the other hand, is a fast-paced action adventure story where we get to see Gideon try to formulate strategies on how to outmaneuver the demon lord's army and the time when he goes face to face against one of the terrifying demon generals.
The stark contrast between those two storylines creates such an interesting and unique reading experience. Banished from the Hero's Party may not be the first one to do it, but it is definitely one of the few that get it right.
1. Another Fantasy Story
One of the most common things in most isekai stories is a fantasy setting. Almost every single one of them takes place in an RPG-like world with swords, magic, elves, and orcs. As such, what used to be a rarely-explored genre now has suddenly become synonymous with isekai.
It's hard to find a fantasy story these days that doesn't feature the same old “hero vs demon king” storyline. And unfortunately, “Banished from the Hero's Party” still pretty much feels like an isekai story, even though it doesn't have the whole "someone died and reincarnated into a fantasy world" storyline.
So if you are one of the people who are tired of reading the same concept being overused in isekai manga, then unfortunately Banished from the Hero's Party might not be your cup of tea.
Banished from the Hero's Party uses a similar template as other fantasy manga that came before it. However, the decision to follow the ordinary life of a supporting character and the approach used by the author to tell the story can give a unique and refreshing reading experience for most people. We’re looking forward to reading the next volume.
So what do you think about this manga? Do you want to read it? If you have read it, what do you think about it? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.