With Ruti’s brief bout with madness quickly quelled, the finale of Henkyou de Slow Life suru Koto ni Shimashita tries to wrap up the show in a neat little bow. But as they sunset all of the adversity that the characters have faced along the way, it calls attention to how the story is at its best when it aims for a quieter atmosphere.
ENEMA OF THE STATE
With all of the antagonists that pose a serious threat dead and gone, the show makes it clear that they want all of that out of the way for the remaining 3/4ths of the final episode. There are a few hints at what’s to come with what the Almighty could have in store or Yarandrala wanting to meet with Red after sharing a campfire with the drug maker.
But aside from an awkward funeral where Red has to offer Ares’ corpse a final farewell, it was a relatively easy-going finale. Needless to say that it’s a little bleak that the outcome of Ares banishing Red was dying in disgrace as he earned more respect lying dead in a casket than being alive.
A SLOW-LIFE IN THE COUNTRY-SIDE
Even crazier is how the final episode has an extended scene where Rit tries her best to initiate in the bedroom as Red finds himself unable to control himself. While the show never shied away from showing that Rit and Red seem to have a healthy and active sex life, it is funny to see how they tried to act shy about it actually being a foreplay scene when she’s clearly trying to arouse him and he’s trying to clear his nerves to get in the mood.
I laugh, but it’s a relief to see that Rit and Red love each other to the point where we see their gushy pillowtalk and tableside flirting. Red confessing his love for her and planning an entire life with her and possible kids/grandkids is not only adorable to watch, but a refreshingly different conversation than I’d expect from anime. I feel bad for being as hard as I was in the last episode because the show never treats Rit and Red like your average weird, sexless married couple, but it still feels like the cutest love story trapped in an action fantasy that just isn’t up to par.
The Ruti scenes were very touching too since it showed her finally being able to live out the dream life she thought she could never achieve. Now that she doesn’t have to worry about being locked in an eternal battle for the almighty, she can be a normal person and act as a hero for Zoltan while she reconnects with her brother and hangs out with her closest friend Tisse. What impressed me the most from Ruti’s scenes is how it reveals that pizza exists in this universe as Ruti and Tisse demolish a pepperoni and green pepper pizza. It’s a bit of an odd order, but I love small details like that which go against the grain of a fantasy setting by giving characters slices of pizza instead of defaulting to stews or roasts.
I wish I had kinder words to give to this anime. The love story between Red and Rit was tooth-achingly cute and a beautiful depiction of two people actually falling in love with each other. But in the process of explaining the lore behind the Blessings that drive people towards their respective roles in society, we are given a drug-busting plotline that completely sucks the charm and atmosphere away from the series.
A PASSIONATE CONCOCTION
It’s rare to see an anime where love and sex aren’t depicted as either a book-end to culminate episodes/chapters worth of sexless, passionless, unrequired romance or a weapon to force on our heroes for shock value. But Rit and Red’s love story is so wholesome and natural that it ends up carrying a bulk of the show.
Most of the cozy warmth the anime has can be owed to both the small-town feeling and the chemistry between Rit and Red. I was skeptical about whether they’d have the gumption to show their relationship blossom, but as we see them interact more, we actually see them as an established couple. Instead of talking over issues on a table or on a walk, they’ll take it to the bath or the bedroom and discuss matters as if they know what intimacy is after all. It’s a bit cynical to act like it’s a miracle that they got together, but it’s a fresh breath of air to see that these two really love each other.
The Blessings are also an interesting concept in itself. To see characters bent towards sociopathy or compulsiveness because they were given the short end of the stick makes for some juicy potential for the show’s dramatic moments. Ruti herself is an interesting character because her Blessing made her the hero she never wanted to be. Instead of being able to kick back and retire as her brother did, she is compelled by her Blessing to ruthlessly murder the Demon King’s army and resort to violence for most solutions.
JUST SAY YO
Unfortunately, the push for a heavier plot is focused less on the impulse brought on by the Blessings of Zoltan’s residents and more by how geopolitics can be affected by influential people with messy Blessings. At most, I figured the relaxing OP and the first episode’s atmosphere would make the show more of a carefree love story where the most conflict that Red and Rit face are fixing the problems of villagers with unfortunate Blessings or dodging members of Red’s old party. It might’ve been my mistake for assuming the carefree introductory episodes meant that it would only be a slightly plot-heavy version of Cheat Kusushi no Slow Life with more focus on Red’s inner circle. That might just be me misplacing my expectations and then getting miffed when my expectations are proved to be misplaced.
But once narcotics became front-and-center of the plot, any kind of charm or whimsy the show had at that point were thrown out the window in favor of mirroring the tropes common with fantasy world geopolitics. Jealous warlords, petty sorcerers, and duplicitous crooks take center stage as the show becomes more obsessed with creating villains worthy of punishment than offering Red or the townspeople of Zoltan any kind of development.
It’s a bummer because it definitely has the potential to shine through with its interesting lore regarding the Blessings and heart-warming love story. It just comes with too much baggage for me to recommend as a good fantasy anime to watch for a consistent experience. It does have some more light novel volumes that follow so there is a way to continue the story. But I’m content leaving it as-is with the positive memories of Red’s interpersonal relationships with Rit, Ruti, and the average denizens of Zoltan.