Nick has had a pretty bad go of it. Kicked out of his guild and dumped by his girlfriend, it’s only a random encounter with an idol that’s kept him from going completely over the edge. Now, drowning his sorrows in beer and cheap gruel, he’s joined at a table by three other adventurers, each looking as miserable as he. After simultaneously declaring that they won’t trust anyone ever again, the individuals begin to share their stories of betrayal. Tiana is the daughter of a noble and a talented wizard, but is dumped by a fiance jealous of her skill, as well as dismissed from her school apparently. She eventually becomes a gambling degenerate. Zem is a cleric who is deposed from the priesthood following false allegations of sexual assault. He is now a drunkard and playboy. Finally, a beast warrior was also betrayed and a precious item was stolen from her. But could it be that these four adventurers who don’t have it in them to trust others might just form a party that will save the world? Well, if the final narration and series title are to believed, then yes, this is likely to happen.
Gather round and I’ll tell you the tale of four powerful adventurers, wronged by their parties and loved ones, who came together to vanquish the Demon Lord! Told mostly through flashbacks in episode one, Ningen Fushin indeed feels like a bard’s tale, almost a throwback to the classic anime, Record of Lodoss War. But although it has that feel going for it and features a likable group of protagonists, the opening episode is seriously lacking. The animation is uneven, with some character designs being better than others, while Tiana’s hat seems to change size from “fairly large” to ridiculously so. More worrisome is how quickly the episode flies through the flashbacks showing the betrayal of each of the adventurers. The structure of the episode is clear and compelling: bring the four together, have them share their stories and bond, and then join them together in an uneasy alliance. But there’s too much to pack into the episode, which would have been better suited for a double-length opening. So while most of the adventurers’ back stories (we don’t learn much yet about the dragon-ish girl) could convincingly lead us to believe they’ve lost all trust in humanity, the episode doesn’t quite hit that mark. Think about how in many fantasy series, characters who are basically only in a show for one mini-arc receive a whole episode of exposition that draw our hearts to them; well, all four main characters only get three to four minutes each before we’re supposed to be excited as the possibility of them teaming up. It’s not enough. To be fair, while the first volume of the light novel does spend a lot more time on each character, it likewise struggles to create empathy for them all in the introduction. But as with the original work (which will confuse folks all season long since it’s currently being released under a different name—Apparently, Disillusioned Adventurers Will Save the World), I’m still excited about the anime’s potential. A heartfelt, underdog tale is just what I need in my life now and at just about any time. And if you’re the same, you might overlook the shortcomings in the show and give it more of a chance than it really deserves.
Ningen Fushin: Adventurers Who Don’t Believe in Humanity Will Save the World is streaming on Crunchyroll.
4 thoughts on “First Impression: Ningen Fushin: Adventurers Who Don’t Believe in Humanity Will Save the World”
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“So while most of the adventurers’ back stories (we don’t learn much yet about the dragon-ish girl) could convincingly lead us to believe they’ve lost all trust in humanity, the episode doesn’t quite hit that mark”
Not hitting the mark is an understatement. The main OC losing all faith in humanity is a stretch, the reactions to the mage girl whenever she looks at someone are completely over exaggerated, and it boggles my mind how the girl could go from being in love with the cleric to doing THAT to him. Also, since when do fantasy stories with swords and sorcery have modern umbrellas and what seems to be plastic light sticks for idol concerts? The show is mildly interesting but is seriously all over the place.
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