Cautious Hero: The Hero is Overpowered but Overly Cautious – Mid Season Anime Review
Synopsis: In the world of Gaeabrande, Goddess Ristarte is tasked with summoning a hero to save her world. The hero, Seiya Ryuuguuin, is an OVERLY cautious hero who’s obsessed with muscle training and buying armor before setting out to deal with low level creatures. It’s simply one overly cautious mission at-a-time for this invincible hero! (Official Funimation Synopsis)
Mid Season (6 Episodes) Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Cautious Hero helped open the fall season with a bang. It was part of a pack of Isekai anime that proved maybe the entire sub-genre of Isekai doesn’t have to be so stringently stale. The star of the show is Ristarte, a lively Goddess tasked with saving a lesser world from the hands of its Devil King by summoning upon it a hero capable of fending off such evil. While Ristarte lucked out and found a hero brimming with innate ability, Seiya also happens to be the most cautious hero ever, always prepping and preparing and mistrusting far more than any normal hero ever would. Watching Ristarte react to Seiya’s overly cautious nature was an immediate hook thanks to her incredible and varied facial expressions. But even in Episode 1 we feared that Seiya’s cautious nature was a joke that would wear thin. Six episodes in and while it’s certainly started to er on the side of predictable, amazingly enough Cautious Hero is still near as charming and hilarious as in that first episode.
Linny: It’s largely due to how well crafted the delivery of each joke is, managing to land each gag so well that even if you see them coming a mile away, you will still find amusement in Ristarte’s reaction faces and Seiya’s deadfaced assurance in his overly cautious decisions. To be fair, the humor does not land as hard it did early on, when the audience was still getting familiar with Cautious Hero’s particular vein of humour but still the jokes aren’t completely stale just yet. Ristarte continues to be the star of the show thanks to her million and one over the top reaction faces. Her chemistry and interactions with Seiya make for some of the best parts. A lot of the laughs come from watching her discover and deal with the mistreatment she has to put up with thanks to Seiya’s strange ways; such as secretly plucking out hundreds of her hair in her sleep to create numerous back up magical swords for himself.
Tom: Cautious Hero’s innate issue is Seiya himself. Seiya’s cautious nature is, by definition, a one note joke. He’s going to be over prepared and mistrusting with everything. Thankfully the writing here is inventive enough that Seiya’s Cautious gag hasn’t worn down completely by the anime’s midpoint, meaning it’s managed to squeeze out a surprising amount of humor for what amounts to such a thin joke. It’s something to be lauded really, as lesser writers would’ve run Seiya into the ground much earlier on. There’s enough surprising, new angles to his absurd level of preparedness that have helped keep the gag going. But as we’ve said, by Episode six you can start to predict what forms his cautious nature will take and the show finally begins to lose the luster of its early charm. Thankfully Cautious Hero isn’t ready to go down without a fight. By episode six we’ve started to explore the world in need of saving, the goddess realm and our characters, alleviating the gradual dulling comedy with some much needed fleshing out of the world and its characters. This helps to keep the show feeling like it has plenty to offer, even if its central gag is wearing thin.
Linny: As much as we love Cautious Hero, it’s not without other flaws too. It is a bit cliche and tropey in how it handles its female characters. While Ristarte and a female villain introduced early on boast of great powers, it’s always Seiya who saves the day. Even with the dragon born boy and girl duo heroes we meet later on, the girl is revealed to not have much of a penchant for magic versus the boy who quickly learns new skills and gains more power. Not to mention the extremely tired trope of having a bevy of busty women and its female lead getting hung up about breasts size and getting her breasts roughly groped by another female character. And then there’s the case of a certain goth looking goddess who gets introduced to Seiya and gets a complete makeover going from a gloomy, goth look to a giggling blushing lass who declares her love for Seiya. It’s things like these that make Cautious Hero not the most progressive of shows. Thankfully we move on from these ‘gags’ pretty quickly and the show offers enough of other, stronger content that it becomes easy to swallow or ignore these weaker elements.
Tom: Cautious Hero, Kemono Michi and Bookworm were all exemplary Isekai that showed the genre doesn’t have to feel so stale and samey. Kemono Michi’s comedy has flagged and while Cautious Hero can feel a little stale in places, it’s overall a very inventive Isekai comedy, one that still manages to position itself as one of Fall’s stronger offerings. If you like comedy and Isekai, this is a title you’re not going to want to skip.
Linny: If you’re like us and have been worn down by the nonstop parade of isekai every new anime season but are still willing to give them a chance, the good news is Cautious Hero is likely to surprise you and holds up decently well as it goes on. Yes, its comedy does get a bit formulaic and you should definitely not pick this show up expecting anything high brow. But it does have stellar reaction faces and it even manages to set up reveals and developments well for what seems like a rather silly show at first glance. When Seiya manages to pull off what would be an impossible win, the show often manages to inject little hints and sequences earlier that make his win believable and deserved. However, if you’re expecting anything truly revolutionary and unique or are extremely against the isekai set up in general, the show might not do enough over the long run to keep you invested.
Cautious Hero is available for streaming via Funimation.