The Banished Former Hero Lives as He Pleases, Vol. 1

By Shin Kouduki and Chocoan. Released in Japan as “Dekisokonai to Yobareta Moto Eiyū wa, Jikka Kara Tsuihōsareta node Suki Katte ni Ikiru Koto ni Shita” by TO Books. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by bedi and Joshua Douglass-Molloy.

I’ve always been something of a nerd for “publishers”. What I mean is, I always try to figure out what books or manga are coming out where, and what they might have in common. Sometimes this is easy (Weekly Shonen Jump, Gagaga Bunko). Sometimes it can be trickier (whatever Wings is). And TO Books is sort of the anti-GC Books for me, in that I’ve always had a lot of good luck when trying books from this publisher. Bookworm and Tearmoon being the obvious winners. And so, when I saw this newly licensed title with, let’s face it, a very familiar premise, I thought “eh, I’ll take a flyer on the first book”. And I have good news, I was rewarded. Oh, this is not really all that original. And it has its character types, most notably the “too cool for school” hero. But it doesn’t feel like it’s being written for teenage boys. 20-something boys, perhaps.

The book opens with the banishment in the title, as Allen is thrown out of his family and told to leave the city by his father, Evil, and his younger brother, Evil, Jr. (They have names, but trust me, that’s how you’ll remember them.) In a world where so much depends on raising your level, Allen hasn’t raised his one bit, and thus a former prodigy is now regarded by most nobility as a disgrace. But Allen has a secret: he’s actually a reincarnation from a different fantasy world, where he spent his days saving the world for little glory, only earning the terror of the populace. He asked to be reborn in another world where he can live a peaceful life – which he did not get, until now. Oh yes, and he also has all his skills from the other world. So, um, he’s actually super duper ooper powerful.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Sean’s been drinking the Kool-Aid again. Trust me, Allen is not why I enjoyed this book. Though he’s fine, I guess. As generic heroes go, he’s on the more serious side of generic, and he doesn’t have any annoying traits. Kinda boring. But it’s the women in the series that interested me. Allen’s former fiancee, Princess Riese, her bodyguard, Beatrice, the world’s Champion, Akira, and the elf blacksmith, Noel. They are not introduced by telling us their breast sizes. There are not gratuitous scenes of them in a bath, or stripping. There is, in fact, no fanservice at all. Sure, Riese clearly is in love with Allen, but it’s handled very sedately, and the other characters do not all seem to have fallen for him as well (though this may change). It is, once again, a series that clears a bar that should be easy to clear but which most other isekai fail at. Oh yes, and no slavery yet, either.

Now, this is getting an anime soon, which may add in all the stuff I just said was absent. And, I mean, he’s still a ludicrously OP guy with minimal personality. But I liked the women. I want to see more of them, and have them help Allen more (I would like then to get their own subplots, but I’m not THAT delusional.) And the “elf is a blacksmith” thing was genuinely amusing and great. I’ll read more.

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