I had my qualms about Cautious Hero at first seeing how the plot is one that can be easily overused with each episode to no end. That thought scared me as someone who eats variety on a daily basis. Surprisingly so, Cautious Hero has had only a small handful of repetitive moments like that which is kind of…
I mean, an anime of that standard should be pretty shit right? I mean, c’mon, who’d expect it’d actually fulfill some of my expectations at all right? Call me carzy if you must, Cautious Hero gives me major Konosuba vibes and I mean major. Yes, i’m comparing this show to one of the major leads of comedy in anime, Konosuba. I’m also going to say that Cautious Hero may become a new fav comedy. And none of y’all can stop me.
Its a bit funny because the anime made by Konosuba’s author, Kemono Michi, feels far off from Konosuba whereas this random ass Isekai show is probably the closest thing to Konosuba yet. I think i’d have to push the blame on Seiya and Ristarte’s relationship. Ristarte is a girl who comedically gets pushed around from Seiya and constantly rejected from him also. She thinks something positive (that can be interpreted as anything) and Seiya shoots it down much similiar to Kazuma’s constant downplay on all the girls around him; namely Aqua. Both parties don’t have the best relationship at first but as the series goes on, more signs of affection appear from the both of them and then the audience is like “aw” but then more affection starts appearing and the audience is like “awwwh” and then before you know it you start….you start…actually liking the pair?!?
Because of that small amount of likeness you maybe feel for the party, it makes it much easier for this supposed comedy anime to suddenly bring out the “cry card” and unlock the flood gates. It hits harder then because you’d have never expected a comedy anime to actually tug on your heart strings. Haha, well, little did you know, they’ve been planning this right under your nose!
Konosuba has done that “clickbait you into comedy but its emotional” move painful amounts of times. Sadly, I have yet to see Cautious Hero do this. Cautious Hero meets all the requirements to maybe get a good heart tug somewhere along the line so hopefully they’ll be able to do that by the season’s end. Literally all the “requirements” needed to pull such a tug is to just make attachable characters with lovable and developing relationships. I say “developing” because if a relationship starts out perfect, there’s really nothing to get latched on to and its even harder to make something entertaining out of that like Sakamoto Desu Ka? Sorry, but I hated that.
Okay, I was gonna end the post there but I have a question. Why is Cautious hero funny? Why am I finding it funnier than most comedies out there? Why do I enjoy every interaction when this is probably the most typical shit ever?
Oh, hey there! I’m glad you asked Inskidee! Thank goodness i’m here otherwise your question’d go unanswered! Let’s talk about that shall we?
Comedy is hard to make. Very hard. Not all people can be pleased by comedy. I’m here talking about Konosuba‘s success as a comedy while someone out there reading this is like “dude, wtf?” and I totally get that. Comedies are a weird thing and making a successful one truly is hard. If you don’t mind me, i’m going to make my own personal criteria for anime comedies. Its nothing professional. I don’t want anyone following this criteria. This is just my own personal list I think every comedy should have. It’s kind of like Russel’s Criteria for Horror if you’ve ever read that in your english classes.
Inskidee’s (personal) Criteria for Comedy
Starting at one. Variety. I think every comedy needs variety. Without variety, your pratically just playing the same joke over and over again on a broken record. Surprisingly so, Cautious Hero has just that variety you need. At first, it is a bit broken record like but oddly enough, Cautious Hero starts slowly straying away from that formula or maybe it begins adding things to that formula to spice it up. Lets say Cautious Hero is a sandwhich. At the beginning it’s a plain ol’ lettuce-ham-cheese sandwhich. You eat it once and you’re like “cool.” You eat it again and you’re like “eh.” You don’t think you can last another boring ass sandwhich like this. Oh? Then what happens? The sandwhich puts these special things called condiments on itself or maybe another accessory like bacon or shit. It’s a nice, fun sandwhich now! From there, the sandwhich continues adding interesting toppings on itself so you’ll never get bored.
Hopefully, Cautious Hero is like that. Right now, its on the beginning stages of adding different toppings on itself and testing it out. Sometimes it returns to its boring ass sandwhich phase but other times, you can clearly see it attempting to spice things up and even succeeding. Especially in Cautious Hero’s latest episodes. Those ones have been extra spicy.
This one can vary for anyone. I believe that an anime needs some cleverity to it. If its just plain slapstick with no clear effort gone into, i’m sorry but its a “no” from me. A direct opposite of “no effort comedy” is the breakout Oresuki. Oresuki has been rocking this “cleverness” criterium to a tee. Every episode is literally some entirely new scheme and I know i’m not the only one who still finds the running bench joke to still be hilarious and clever af. Is Cautious Hero that level of clever? Oh god no. Is it at least a tiny bit clever? You know…yeah. Cautious Hero does have those moments where it seems esepecially intelligent in setting up its jokes. Lighting, voice acting, small facial expressions, all those count in what makes Cautious Hero as a comedy tick and various amounts of times, Cautious Hero can hit those marks dead on to where it can have me laughing like hell.
When I said “No Slapstick” in that bolded statement I didn’t actually mean you shouldn’t have Slapstick!
I take it back okay! After rethinking that statement “If its just plain slapstick, I pass” I suddenly realize how false that was to me. I do watch and enjoy anime that are just pure slapstick. Nichijou is an anime that is the majority of times, slapstick, however, its difference from most majority of slapstick comedies is the evident effort gone into making it lasting and as funny as they are. KyoAni obviously tries really hard on making Nichijou have a lasting impression and they do a great job at it (as always KyoAni prevails). They adapt and make a scene that could be lame genuinely entertaining. “No slapstick” really is a stupid statement. I mean, every anime literally has slapstick, gosh, what was I thinking? Cautious Hero is indeed full of slapstick. What I like about it though is that its not brainless slapstick. You can tell thought goes into it to make it funny by using music / no music, lighting, voice acting, sound effects and etc. Plus, I have a shitty sense of humor so I find a GIF like the below GIF genuinely hilarious and stop scowling at me.
I’m sure you’ve heard this countless amounts of times but Konosuba’s shitty animation is a factor to what makes it fun. I mean, its shittiness just works really well with what Konosuba is about and its atmosphere. C’mon, if Madhouse animated that shit and made it actually good looking, do you know how much lamer it’d be? It’d take the fun out of making fun of Konosuba. I find one of the key stand out points of Cautious Hero to be White Fox’s art style. Its not the best out there but it’s fun, light hearted, and relaxed. That style sets a tone in stone. I mean, just look at those above GIFS. All that’s next is to add the director’s improvements onto it’s art style and you got the best tone ever for an anime like this.
Also, in my K-on! review, i’ll go into more depth on that.
This is like one of those white mom criterium but if I don’t see effort from you out on that soceer field, consider yourself done! No matter how good a comedy anime may be, I need some of dat effort! If you give me a bad comedy but its clear that the studio really is trying on its adaptation, I won’t lie, i’ll sit through that piece of shit just to make sure that anime gets the attention it deserves. Whereas you give me a great comedy that sucks at trying, i’ll probably drop it. Then again, i’ve never found the latter before. Only the former which I can safely say i’ve done. One of those anime was Noragami. Sorry NG fans pls don’t rip me apart. Of course, you’ve seen those above gifs have you not? You know J.C. staff is giving their all into making this series. Just to prove it to you, they included a dragon in one of Cautious Hero’s episodes and they didn’t even make it CGI. Let’s take a moment and just appreciate that…
Actually, that’s literally all my criteria is also counting the beginning paragraphs describing dynamic relationships, entertaining cast and heartstring tugs we all hate. Comedy’s tough to write so i’m always surprised when I see one come around the corner that’s on the path of hitting all my personal criteria. Do you have a criteria for comedy? Do you not? I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’m always looking for a good chat!