What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Cautious Hero: The Hero Is Overpowered but Overly Cautious! You heard that right! This wasn’t me trying to be clever with the title of this review. That is actually the title of this anime series and one hell of a mouthful. So for the rest of this review I will simply refer to this one as Cautious Hero. That said, this one jumped to the top of my list because once more I stumbled upon a story which was much more than what it looked like on the surface. You would think this is another isekai, but it does a lot to fight the standard expectation for them.
Cautious Hero centers around one Ristarte, a novice goddess who is placed in charge of saving the world of Gaeabrande from a Demon Lord by summoning a human hero. An S-class world, Gaeabrande is extremely dangerous, so Ristarte is careful to select a hero who will be able to prevail against the enemies. She settles on Seiya Ryuguin, whose stats are many times greater than any other contender. Unfortunately, upon summoning him, Ristarte finds to her dismay that he is ridiculously cautious of everything, including her!
The plot for Cautious Hero was a solid one. It followed the standard guideline of the hero being summoned to take down the big bad of a specific world. This I didn’t have a problem with, though as I said above, it is what a series like this does differently which makes the biggest difference. To that degree they nailed creating a distinction for Cautious Hero because the rules were much more unique. First off, it’s not too often that when it’s higher beings who summon the hero, you get to interact with where they come from. It didn’t hurt either that we intimately got to know Ristarte, explore the Divine realm which she came from, and be introduced to some of the other beings who exist alongside her. In the process, this also took a lot of the guess work out of the job which both Ristarte and Seiya had to get done. After that, they made certain that it was understood that this is not one f those things where you are dropped into a game world. Don’t let all the stats and stuff fool you. For these characters, these are real worlds and people they are saving.
When it came to Ristarte, it did take some getting used to her at first. Initially the first impression you got from her is that she was another Goddess who finds herself in over her head and finds that she has little control over the mission. These things were true, but we had to see that there was more to her than that. In time we did because they wasted no opportunity to show that despite wanting to get the job done so she can rise in the ranks, this experience was not one where you could afford the regret of not saving as many lives as you can. She was given plenty of chances to act like a real Goddess, and credit where it is due since there are some series out there where they will dodge that completely. With that said, let none of this I said take away from the humor that Ristarte gave us. She was a riot from start to finish. When an anime series can actually make me laugh, I feel like they are doing something right. Ristarte did that for me through every struggle she was put through dealing with a hero who was much more than she could handle.
As for Seiya, he breaks from the mold of most characters quite easily. As the title of the series suggests, this guy is extremely cautious in everything he does. I mean, when was the last time you really had the chance to invest in a character who is this paranoid of everyone and everything around him? This was a first for me and he did not disappoint representing that kind of individual. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of main characters out there who end up not trusting a lot about the world they are summoned to, but the level of paranoia a character like Seiya suffers from was shocking. He also turned out to be pretty overpowered, but they never really allowed this to be a thing. It was always overpowered because of being over-prepared. The two really went hand in hand all the way to the end where you knew that it was going to mean the least. It was one thing if this was a character who just walked over every enemy he came across, but they took things to an extreme. It was how he used that power which further made him break from the mold too. For example, how he dealt with an enemy after his win. Normally that would just be it, but no! Seiya makes sure there is a zero percent chance that this could ever happen, and ends up going too far in the process. With that said, what was best about his development was seeing how a guy like this becomes a hero. They made sure that at a point we were given a reason to care about his success as a hero. He was given real stakes, and he was given obstacles which challenged his need to always be prepared. Real heroes sometimes don’t think before they spring into action. Seiya had to grow and find that version of himself who saw that evil waits for no one to get ready for it.
There was a huge moment of revelation for both Ristarte and Seiya that turned out beautiful towards the end. It was clever that they had us so focused on what was so incompatible about these two, that we were unable to see what was really right in front of us. There was a reason for Seiya’s paranoia that we never allowed ourselves to really question. There was a reason for Ristarte’s attraction to Seiya that seemed to hit too easily. Now at the same time what almost broke me was how heartbreaking this series got towards the end. I was not at all prepared for them to hit me the way they did as things became serious. I mean taking on the Demon King at the end was never going to be that easy, but when that moment came? The expectation was not there that you would have found yourself caring so much about the well-being of these characters, or the attachment they could have gained to one another.
Aside from those two, the rest of the cast of characters did manage to get some room to shine here and there. Maybe not as much as you would like, thought the effort was put in to make sure that you weren’t feeling as though those like Mash, Elulu, or Ariadoa were lacking relevance to justify their presence. There was growth, there was depth given to them over time, and they had their role to play when it mattered most. At first I was a bit reserved about the need for anyone else, aside from the Gods. When you have an overpowered hero like Seiya, who needs anyone else? I was happy that this feeling was allowed to fade over time. Particularly when it came to Mash and Elulu. Not only did they offer something to the team, they helped crack the exterior which keeps most people at arm’s length from someone paranoid. As for the Gods, there was nothing but appreciation for the interactions with them. They could have been the cliche depiction of them. Cold, uncaring, and endlessly needing you to know they are Gods. However, they were different for the fact that most that we are introduced to did something which helped Seiya continue getting to his desired level of preparedness.
The animation for Cautious Hero took me back. At first you would say that thing were fairly standard, but when things kicked off? I was impressed with the quality of the animation, the colors, and the overall effects. It wasn’t hard to see what grabbed me either because White Fox is the same animation studio which produced series I loved such as Akame ga Kill!, Goblin Slayer and Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World. It also showed through the way that these characters expressed themseleves. You don’t know how many times I found myself ready to bust out laughing between the way that Ristarte was drawn going mad because of Seiya’s shenanigans, or the level of nonchalant you get from Seiya himself. They really knew how to walk a line to make sure that the story wasn’t either too serious or too goofy.
So at the end of the day, Cautious Hero: The Hero Is Overpowered but Overly Cautious is a series to get around to if you want a different twist on isekai. Cautious Hero shakes things up and might actually leave you wanting more. I know it did for me. I would call that a big accomplishment since you could say that this one gives you a definitive ending.