As mentioned before, I’m a huge fan of Isekai anime, so it would come as no surprise that I’m loving Saihate no Paladin or The Faraway Paladin so much. I’ve started watching the anime this season but decided to keep it on hold for now until all of the episodes are out since I’ve loved the manga before the anime was even announced. The premise follows a young lad named William who is raised by three undead adventurers after being reincarnated into this fantasy world. Far away from civilisation, he’s being trained and adored by a Mummy and Priest named Mary, a Skeleton and Warrior named Blood, as well as a Ghost and Wizard named Gus. Eventually, though, Will has to embark on a journey as he has come of age and as a Paladin in honour of his guardian deity, he tries to bring light to the darkness and help people in need out there while driving away evil.
Now, I initially paused the manga as well as I didn’t want to wait for new chapters for so long… but then I picked it up again and I’m up-to-date. I love the recent developments and how they finished the last ark, so I’m incredibly hyped about the new arc that has begun here… and I wanted to share some thoughts on the manga up until Chapter 36 but I’ll try to keep it relatively spoiler-free. There might be some light spoilers here and there but I just want to talk about the world and lore of it and what I like about the writing so much.
The fantasy world into which Will was reincarnated is inhabited by many races from dwarves to humans to elves and even demons. All the knowledge that William has of this world, however, originates from his peers’ teachings. Said knowledge is about 200 years old at this point and no longer up-to-date. This leads to some interesting dynamics between him and other characters as his antiquated etiquette and mannerisms make him seem like an unusual character. His values and mysterious ways are often being contrasted by the world’s more progressive ideas. For starters, prayer is being held with your community instead of alone… and Gracefeel’s followers are scarce and rare. It’s incredibly interesting to see how this fantasy world that was depicted initially changed over 200 years and that’s the main reason why I love the show. Will’s old ways contrast a lot of the current world’s ideals and even when he gets more acclimated to everything it still creates amusing situations.
Will’s teachers were legendary adventurers whose songs were carried throughout the ages in song – and the same happened to Will. While his deeds may be seen as heroic, a lot of people think of him like some monstrous warrior on whose bad side you don’t want to get. I like that as it makes sense. If you were to see someone hurling logs around, it’d be incredibly terrifying, after all, wouldn’t it?
But more importantly, The Faraway Paladin not only features an interesting world with great writing but also it’s relatively free of tropes you may know from other works. There is no Ecchi in it and even the comedy is light-hearted and based on the current situation instead of stereotypes. I like the writing a lot and I love how Will is getting more mature and experienced over time through his hardships but he’s not overpowered and he doesn’t turn into an immortal warrior of sorts. He’s very much still human – even if he was raised by three Undead. Furthermore, I love how the Gods play a really big role in the world and in how each character’s progression turns out, and I just find the way that magic works and how it comes with its own drawbacks incredibly interesting and relatively unique. Magic consists of words that are uttered in Latin (because why not?) that essentially carry a lot of weight. Magic has a wide variety of effects and can be used incredibly freely, which I found to be quite interesting. The drawbacks are that if you can’t utter words you can’t use the spells, and similarly, you are able to curse yourself, you can’t lie, and on top of that, the effects can implode on you if you don’t control your power enough or if you get cut off. Gods on the other rule the world indirectly with the world’s inhabitants swearing their loyalty to their guardian deities and hence shaping their own path in pursuit of their desire. The dwarves generally follow Blaze, the god of flames and technique, while Gus swore to Whirl that he’d live life as he pleases. These oaths that you take are stronger the more important they are but they come at drawbacks as well, balancing everything out. If you swear to become a hero in honour of your guardian deity, then you’ll face great dangers. But in the end, you will also be able to use benedictions and blessings or receive powers through your guardian god, which makes the idea of a priest or paladin all the more interesting – in this case, William is not only helping people but also has to face great dangers due to the oath he swore.
And well, eventually, it gets more strategic and political while keeping its lightheartedness, which is something I adore in the genre. William is an interesting protagonist who finds new comrades and peers as time goes on, resulting in interesting characters that add to the world and plot in more ways than one. You can tell that I’m in love with the works and I just can’t wait for the next chapter to drop as this work might very much become one of my favourites in the Isekai genre, alongside Overlord and Slime Tensei. But yeah, I just wanted to voice some opinions on the work and I’m looking forward to seeing what y’all think about it. Have you seen the show or read the manga? The anime still has about four weeks to go before all of its episodes are out and I’m frankly not sure until where it’s going to adapt the material… but I’m looking forward to it regardless and I may even pick up the light novel eventually.