Ahead of the anime adaption beginning in October, Yen Press have begun to publish light novel series The Hero is Overpowered but Overly Cautious. Telling the story of a goddess who summons a hero to help her defeat a demon lord, does the series offer anything new to the isekai genre? Let’s find out!
The story revolves around the goddess Ristarte who is tasked with summoning heroes to save various worlds she’s in charge of. With quite a few demon lords defeated and worlds saved, Ristarte is moving up in the god rankings and has been given the challenge of saving the S-ranked world Gaeabrande. The road ahead is long and fraught with peril, so whoever Ristarte summons to be her hero will have to be the best of the best! Eventually Ristarte settles on Seiya Ryuuguuin, whose impressive stats and handsome appearance win over the goddess – but she gets more than she bargains for once Seiya is summoned…
Seiya is everything you could want in a hero. He’s attractive, smart and powerful. Unfortunately, there’s also a downside to his personality: this hero is overly cautious! Upon being summoned, Seiya chases Ristarte out of the summoning room, locking himself inside. He proceeds to spend multiple days in the room training, refusing to leave until he feels ready. Once Seiya is finally prepared, Ristarte transports them both down to the world, only to find that his cautious nature is even worse than she expected! Buying three sets of armour (a spare for the spare), more holy water than he can carry, and wasting the strongest magic even on weak enemies like slimes, Ristarte is quickly exasperated.
Matters only become worse when Seiya sets the town on fire in an attempt to burn away the ashes of the powerful demon he’s just defeated. He’s sure to save the world, but at what cost? Ristarte’s sanity is surely at stake but, nevertheless, she fights on with Seiya, hoping to overcome the hardships ahead.
If you haven’t already realised, The Hero is Overpowered but Overly Cautious is a comedy akin to KonoSuba and Defeating the Demon Lord’s a Cinch (If You’ve Got a Ringer). The series takes the trope of an overpowered hero and twists it into something unique, thanks to Seiya’s eccentric personality. The author, Light Tuchihi, assures us in the afterword that Seiya does care about people in his own way, and that we’ll see more of that going forward, but only time will tell. The other selling point for this book is that, for once, we see the story from the goddess’s perspective. It’s a fairly unusual approach for an isekai series (as usually the goddess is simply a recurring character or summons the hero and leaves them to their own devices), so it’s a refreshing change from the norm.
As far as Ristarte’s character is concerned, she’s fairly likable. She’s not ditsy or dumb by any means, and although the fact she’s clearly attracted to Seiya leaves you questioning her life choices, it’s hard to feel any malice towards her. In fact, by the end of the first volume you’ll undoubtedly feel for her and the situations she ends up in because of Seiya.
The writing for this volume is entertaining and the plot well thought out. Author Tuchihi heavily leans into the comedy angle rather than taking anything overly seriously. The world is your stereotypical medieval European style era (at least from what we’ve seen), but that works out okay, given the story is driven by its characters more than the setting. I can see the comedy translating well to the anime too, so this will be one to keep an eye on going forward.
As previously mentioned, this release comes to the West thanks to Yen Press and has been translated by Matt Rutsohn. The translation reads well and is problem-free. Rutsohn has also done well to capture Ristarte’s witty dialogue. As always with Yen Press’ light novel releases, there are numerous colour pages at the beginning of the book. Illustrations for the volume have been handled by Saori and wonderfully capture Ristarte’s exasperated expressions. My only criticism is that while Seiya is described as being handsome, I actually find his design rather dull.
Overall, The Hero is Overpowered but Overly Cautious is off to a strong start. While it doesn’t do much to break out of the mould of isekai series, it does deliver an entertaining read, thanks to its strong comedy. If you’re looking for your next crazy light novel read then this one’s worth your time. The promise of more development for Seiya ensures that I’ll be coming back for Volume 2.