Title: I’m Quitting Heroing Vol. 1
Author: Nori Kazato
Release Date: January 17, 2023
Publisher: Yen Press
I’m Quitting Heroing is a manga with art by Nori Kazato and Hana Amano based on the original light novel of the same name written by Quantum and serialized in 2017. Set in a fantasy world, the story follows Leo Demonheart, the world’s strongest hero, who finds himself out of work and vying for a job in the Demon Queen’s army.
How did the hero find himself in this situation, you ask? After completely annihilating the demon army single-handedly and saving humanity, his God-like powers have left the human race fearful and paranoid that he may use them for evil and have thus exiled him leaving him without a home or job. After being outright rejected by the Demon Queen Echidna, Leo has to try and win the favor of her Four Elite Great Guardians to land this job and accomplish his own mysterious personal objectives.
Narrative and Characters
Starting with the positives, the narrative employs a unique twist on the fantasy genre, having the hero outcast and dismissed by the Holy City and slowly finding solace and acceptance in the Demon Army. By doing so, there naturally comes a unique perspective in humanizing the Demon Army and emphasizing the moral gray area of war and conflict, with both sides having good and bad intentions.
This is done by showing how various characters in the Demon Army act like normal or even decent people and don’t come across as evil for the sake of being evil. To add to that, there are hints of deeper themes, with examples of discrimination and exploitation being used to show how humanity isn’t necessarily as ‘good’ as they are initially thought to be.
However, aside from this, the manga is otherwise pretty straightforward, using job-hunting as a narrative device to tell a more light-hearted story with hit-or-miss jokes while following the usual manga tropes that result in it being a predictable affair. Additionally, the story is told through countless bursts of written exposition. Instead of showing the readers the lore or world-building, or character motives, everything is told through numerous bubbles of written text which drag down the overall experience.
In terms of the characters, Leo is the typical cool/smart/strong/handsome main that’s always a step ahead of everyone else, and all the females seem to crush on them. Two of the Elite Four are the source of focus in volume one. Sorcerer General Shutina is the smart, and ‘tsundere’ type who pretends to dislike the MC yet lowkey supports him and roots for his success. Beast General Lili is young and absent-minded but powerful and loyal to Leo due to past interactions.
Finally, the Demon Queen Echidna is a pretty, staunch, and misunderstood leader who has a fun side and strives for a world without conflict. Although the characters follow a prototypical pattern of other manga characters with no unique qualities, motives, or depth, they still provide entertaining interactions, which is the core driver for the narrative in this volume.
Looking at the art and paneling of the manga, Kazato and Amano do an excellent job of bringing the light novel to life with straightforward and easy-to-read paneling partnered with consistent artwork. Although the character art is clean and well-detailed, pages could have benefited from larger, more detailed spreads/environments and better-choreographed action to fully allow the artists to showcase their skills as plain or empty backgrounds dominate the volume.
In terms of the character designs, most characters are well drawn yet lack any distinguishing attributes. They may blur in with other fantasy or Isekai characters due to having no trademark or unique physical traits. Nevertheless, although the art doesn’t stand out, it does more than enough to push the narrative forward.
Overall, I’m Quitting Heroing provides an interesting premise and touches on unique themes however fails to capitalize on them, choosing to be a more typical manga valuing humor and cute girls over substance. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, and the light nature of the story and fun character interactions may provide solid entertainment for a quick read.
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