In Volume 2 of Banished from the Hero’s Party, I Decided to Live a Quiet Life in the Countryside protagonist Red was tasked with defending the town from a drug called False Prophet, which was driving people to become killers. Now with that incident behind him, our hero dreams of returning to his quiet everyday life, but perhaps Volume 3 of the series has other ideas…
At the end of Volume 2, we saw Red’s little sister Ruti head for the town of Zoltan, where Red currently lives. Her goal is to use the False Prophet drug to quell her Hero’s Blessing and allow her to live a quiet life with her brother once more.
Knowing that the other members of the hero’s party won’t agree with her decision, Ruti splits off from the group and only brings assassin Tisse Garland along on her journey. Ruti never imagined that her brother would be living in Zoltan and she’s both surprised and ecstatic to be reunited with him and while Red is also happy, he’s concerned about Ruti’s odd behaviour having left her party behind…
I must admit that I wasn’t sure I liked the idea of Red and Ruti encountering one another so soon, since the whole premise of this series is supposed to be about Red’s quiet life away from the heroics of defeating the demon lord. Although, to the credit of author Zappon, Red does immediately lay down the law for Ruti and tell her that he has no plans to do anything but keep running his apothecary alongside girlfriend Rit.
Again, to the authors’ credit, I was surprised that Ruti took the news of Red living with Rit as well as she does. Given Ruti’s (often romantic) attachment to her brother, I felt for sure there would be a lot of jealousy aimed at Rit and the usual melodramatic arguments. For the most part, however, the series manages to avoid any such confrontation and Ruti warms to Rit.
Having dodged most of the usual tropes, what we’re left with in Volume 3 is an enjoyable read as brother and sister are reunited. This book is setting up for a notable showdown in Volume 4 as Ruti’s party follows her to Zoltan and Ruti gets more addicted to False Prophet, so while Volume 3 is a fine instalment in itself, it still feels like a stopgap on the way to a bigger piece of the journey.
Having Ruti and Red reunite does make me wonder where the author plans to take the series going forward. This always felt as if it should have been a big turning point, or at least a climactic midpoint for the story, but Banished from the Hero’s Party is still ongoing at nine volumes in Japan so clearly there is still a lot more to come after this point. My biggest concern is that we’ll simply lose what made the series so interesting, which was having Red’s fairly comfy slice-of-life sections and Ruti going off to defeat some powerful enemies. The contrast worked surprisingly well and kept the reader engaged by swapping back and forth, so I hope we return to that in the future.
Banished from the Hero’s Party Volume 3 comes to the West thanks to Yen Press and has been translated by Dale DeLucia. The translation reads well with no issues to note. Volume 4 of the series is due out in English in October and the anime adaptation is also starting in the 2021 Autumn Season, so plenty more to look forward to from this series in the coming months!
Overall, Banished from the Hero’s Party, I Decided to Live a Quiet Life in the Countryside Volume 3 offers readers a fairly notable development while also setting up for something even bigger to come in Volume 4. Readers will appreciate the fact that the author manages to sidestep most of the tropes you’d expect from this particular storyline!