Ningen Fushin: Adventurers Who Don’t Believe in Humanity Will Save the World Season 1 Review: A Glorious Adventure of Great Characters

So I honestly got into this show entirely due to how much I liked the title when I first read it and I am really glad I did. Today we talk about a show about four adventurers who have all been traumatized by being wronged in one way or another. So traumatized that it’s made them completely distrust humanity altogether and somehow these adventurers stumble upon each other and form a group. They bond over a mutual disdain for the world and set rules for their group because while they have trauma in common they also have a severe lack of trust, even for each other. What happens after that is a very interesting tale of how they turn pain into empathy.

First I’ll talk about the story which is rather straightforward and pretty simplistic, at least for season one. I found this to be a very smart decision as this was a very character-heavy narrative so keeping the story fairly simple works well in adding room for setting up character backgrounds, motivations and explaining the various reasons why the members of the newly formed group The Survivors, found themselves in the situations that led them to each other. As a whole the story is just that the adventurers are aware that alone they are unable to survive and earn money to partake in their various vices. Vices that they use to numb themselves from their prior trauma which I thought was a beautiful touch. You have one member who is an otaku and another who’s a foodie. I really loved how well they showed how these hobbies really help make a nice distraction for anyone feeling down. Now the end of the season does kind of allude to the start of The Survivor’s long journey to save the world but season one made it very clear that this part of the story is on the back burner to focus almost entirely on the characters. A bold decision that worked out splendidly.

So since I hyped up the characters so much I’m naturally going to talk about them next. I loved the characters, each and every one of them. As you go through the stories of each of The Survivors you not only get a clear explanation of their past but also a very vivid understanding as to why they are in so much pain and why they are so glued to their various vices. Honestly, they have all gone through terrible stuff so watching these characters bond over that was incredible. Naturally, they are very distrusting of each other so the bonds form very slowly but the pace in which these bonds form is really well done as it feels like every bridge mended between the members of the group is done in a way that fully explains why they would be more willing to open up to each other at the various moments of the season. So the character development is not only well done I would argue that it’s one of the best examples of character development that I’ve seen in a long time. To add to the plot the party finds something of incredible power, but that power is dependent on the bonds these characters have with each other so what you have is a literal visual representation of the bonds forming between these characters, and because it was such a path to get to that point it made these moments very exciting.

However, it’s not just our heroes that make great characters but also the antagonists. I say antagonists rather than villains because this show really dances on the moral grey area of characterization. While each antagonist is guilty of horrible crimes The Survivors uncover the reasoning behind their actions and we get characters who have also been wronged in one way or another on a scale equal to what The Survivors endured; however, these characters made very different choices as a result of their pain. The parallels between the heroes and antagonists are on full display and as a result, we see empathy. Our heroes empathize with the antagonists and it makes me think of a quote from Gaara in Naruto, “between those who have experienced the same pain there can be no hate.” Sure the heroes have to stop them, but at the same time, you can see that they truly want to help them as well as understand how they feel and they know the temptations that these antagonists fell victim to. I mean these encounters were a work of art to behold as each moment was just a myriad of emotions.

This leads perfectly to the last part I want to talk about and that’s the acting. This is a show that really puts the roller coaster of the emotions behind trauma and how to heal from it on full blast. As such you really need a talented roster that is capable of not only expressing these emotions but seamlessly transitioning from one to another and we got that here. Even though the entire roster was superb there are two actors, in particular, I really want to focus on. The first is Landon McDonald who plays the priest Zem. In my opinion, Zem’s emotional state changes the most rapidly by far in comparison to the other characters because that’s simply who Zem is as a person. Landon not only captures each emotion perfectly in his tone but the transitions are so smooth that you really go along for the ride. Once Zem starts his emotional journey it really is a gentle yet impactful one from start to finish. The second actor I want to focus on is Kieran Flitton who plays Nick the leader of The Survivors. From what I found out this is actually Kieran’s first lead role but I would have never guessed that with how well he did. Nick has a natural charm to him and there are very subtle changes to his speaking mannerisms when he’s empathizing with people and these subtle changes really helped me as a viewer get fully invested in his story and how Nick in particular impacts the people around him. Kieran does such an amazing job that I’m personally rooting for him to get more roles because Nick’s natural charisma is largely due to the talent Kieran lent to the performance.

Overall this is a story of four characters who lost faith in humanity because they were traumatized by how they were treated by it and in their shared pain they found each other and bonded initially to protect themselves. However, as time went on that bond grew to something more as these characters grew closer together tackling antagonists who’ve also been wronged by the world but as a result, made very different decisions. The season puts the story on the back burner to tell a beautiful tale of character growth but also sets up a story for future seasons. The emotions felt by these characters are all over the place and the actors really put themselves to the test in what is clearly a challenging role and rose to the occasion to tell a spectacular story. If we for some reason do not get a season two I will legitimately be upset by it because I enjoyed this show so much.

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