The Hero Is Overpowered But Overly Cautious, Vol. 1

By Light Tuchihi and Saori Toyota. Released in Japan as “Kono Yuusha Ga Ore TUEEE Kuse Ni Shinchou Sugiru” by Kadokawa. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Matt Rutsohn.

As I was reading this book, the one thing that came to mind over and over was that this was aimed squarely at the KonoSuba crowd – at least here in North America. It’s not QUITE accurate to describe it as “KonoSuba if Aqua were the narrator”, but it’s probably a decent starting point. Ristarte is a young, somewhat shallow goddess whose job it is to summon heroes and assist them in saving worlds. This time around, though, the world she has to save is in need of a very, VERY strong hero. So she summons Seiya Ryuuguuin, a handsome Japanese man whose stats are much better than the other starting heroes. It does say that his personality is “overly cautious”, but Rista just glosses over that. As it turns out, he IS a very capable hero… it’s just that his personality is appalling, and, as we said, he’s overly cautious. Will he even bother to save the world? And will Rista go bald before he does?

First things first, if you hate tsukkomi, drop this title right now. About 90 percent of it is 1) Seiya does a thing; 2) Rista screams “Why are you doing the thing?!?!” over and over again. This can get a bit irritating after a while, and honestly I would normally wish that Rista would simply be quiet and accept Seiya a bit more… except he really does inspire shouting. He’s not socially inept per se, but he doesn’t care about politeness of niceties, and his paranoia and need to be prepared have led him to attack allies just as much as he does enemies. He’s not a very likeable person, and you can absolutely see why Rista is the narrator. That said, she’s a bit flighty herself, and also frequently pauses to imagine herself and Seiya in a romantic mood, as he is quite handsome. But just being around Seiya for more than five minutes will tell you this isn’t going to happen.

The humor is mostly character-driven, which is good. There are a number of other goddesses that show up, including one who hints that Seiya’s past may not just be “typical Japanese guy” (in fact, we learn absolutely nothing of his past). There’s also two dragonborn teens whose job it is to help the hero on his quest and also grow and get stronger… except Seiya is so ludicrously strong that they’re reduced to carrying his things, which crushes their spirit. That said, there are hints that Seiya is not, in fact, a complete monster, he’s just completely unable to frame an action in any way that makes him look kind of helpful. (The author hopes to develop this in the second book, showing that they are well aware of how exasperating it can be.) There’s enough here for me to try a second volume, but I do feel that the Cautious Hero was more exhausting than humorous at the end of the day.

And I will admit, sometimes when he says “I’m perfectly prepared” he does look a bit cool.

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