[12 Days of Anime] Day 3: The Faraway Paladin (but just the start)

Sometimes I forget that the 12 Days of Anime can be as flexible as the writer likes; I have this habit of assuming each post should match an entire series, rather than something smaller like an arc, or a single episode, or even a popular theme of the year across multiple series.

And so after my barely-related FFXIV post, I follow now with admiration for the beginning arc of The Faraway Paladin—a fully contained story with complex characters, an intriguing setting, and just the right amount of tension.

Do you remember the Pixar film, Up, and the way its opening scenes had the audience tearing up within minutes? That’s essentially what The Faraway Paladin does with its first handful of episodes; when you realize that these people we’ve come to love are stepping stones to the start of a journey, it’s heart wrenching.

These are the best teachers a kid could ask for.

The anime starts us off with a familiar premise—our protagonist is reborn into a new, fantastical world.

Don’t be scared. Rebirth has very little bearing on the rest of the story.

The main character is discovered as an infant seemingly abandoned at the edge of civilization, far from any known human settlements. His saviors? A zombie nun, a skeleton warrior, and a ghost magician. Together, these three raise Will to be a strong, thoughtful, and caring young man. Summarizing his childhood like this makes it all sound so simple and trite, but actually experiencing his life and lessons together turned this family into one of the warmest any child could hope for.

By the time outside forces came to put an end to this elaborate start of a show, I would have been happy to end it all. No more continued life outside of here. Just leave The Faraway Paladin at five episodes and consider it a success, because in my view that’s exactly what it is.

I’m not crying—you’re crying!

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