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Series: The Hero Yoshihiko And The Devil Kings Castle
A Low Budget Action-Adventure Series (low budget not visible in this picture)
"Back off the Buddha!"
Yuusha Yoshihiko to Maou no Shiro is the story of Yoshihiko, who has been given the quest to find the legendary miracle herb that will save his village from a terrible plague, as well as find his father, who has gone before him. He is then tasked by the great Buddha to destroy the Demon King, who has started said plague... and stuff. Or so the story is supposed to go.It's really a low-budget show, 12 episodes in all, parodying RPGs, especially Dragon Quest (it's an officially sanctioned love letter to the game series). The hero Yoshihiko is himself based on Dragon Quest V's hero. A second season entitled The Hero Yoshihiko and the Key of Evil Spirits is finished.
The series provides examples of the following tropes:
Actor Allusion - In episode 6 of the second season, one of Yoshihiko's challengers on a tournament kept calling him Serizawa, a character Takayuki Yamada played in the movie "Crows Zero".
Back from the Dead - All the main characters (including Yoshihiko's sister) are brought back from the dead when Yoshihiko's descendant refuses to become a hero, despite the villiage elder pleading him to.
Bag of Spilling - The whole party goes back to level 0 after being brought back from the dead, because the Buddha forgot to save.
Big Bad - The Demon King in the first season and the Dark God Destark in the second.
Informed Flaw - Oshina is nowhere near as hideous as Yoshihiko or the Mountain God would lead you to believe.
Hypocritical Humor - Yoshihiko berates his companions for not taking their search for the Demon King seriously after getting to his domain, even though, as pointed out by Murasaki, he himself spent the whole day enjoying his new apartment, and had previously abandoned his quest twice.
Idiot Hero - Yoshihiko takes his mission really seriously, but is not very bright.
Inept Mage: Melub. It's not so much that he can't cast spells, more that his spells are either weak or (apparently) useless in combat. Subverted when Murasaki learns her first spell - not only does she not know what it is, but it has no effect on Yoshihiko, who's normally very susceptible to magic. This turns out to be because it was Kazing, the spell that raises someone from the dead at full strength, making her the only party member with a useful healing ability.
Mood Whiplash: As soon as the heroes get into a conflict with a bandit or a Big Bad Wanna Be, someone they know will interrupt the conflict. Sometimes a group will fight amongst themselves, such as a group of bandits who are from a union group and demand to leave at five.
Old Save Bonus - The Buddha tried to use this to recover the main characters' former strength from the quest against the Demon King, but the only save point available was midway through the Demon King final battle.
Most episodes will start off by the party encountering a bandit.
Up to 10, every episode will close with Hisa, Yoshihiko's sister, worrying about him at a distance (and getting involved with increasingly shady crowds).
In The Key of Evil Spirits, that gag has evolved into Hisa attempting to join Yoshihiko's party after learning a different martial art, only to be knocked out by a bandit and dragged away.
Placebo Effect: Implied to be the reason why Yoshihiko appears to be more affected by Melub's magic than he should.
Punch Clock Villain - The bandits at episode two do this literally, who work from nine to five.
Quick Draw Decision: Which is funny (but sad on itself) when Yoshihiko was Wangsting on a decision to continue his quest or help a girl and her brother (who really isn't) to help their surfing and radio business. Buddha does it for him.
Red Herring: The penguin monster was built up as the main villain in the second season. Turns out he was the penguin Yoshihiko saved and turned out to be Brainwashed and Crazy.
In The Demon King's Castle, Yoshihiko is given a choice of seven swords, only one of which is the true Hero's Sword, to see if he's a true hero. All of them are rusted and poorly-maintained except one, which makes the choice obvious until the rest of the party gets hung up on whether that was deliberate, to disguise the true artifact... but then Yoshihiko just takes the well-maintained one anyway, without a moment's deliberation, and turns out to be right.
In The Key of Evil Spirits, the heroes meet a teacher who brainwashes people by explaining how a kanji is written. Yoshihiko is immune to his ability because he doesn't understand his explanations (something even a Japanese second grader could).
Welcome to Corneria - As per an RPG parody, the party arrives to towns where the people will only repeat a single line over and over.
What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway? - Melub's spells range from: changing a person's nose to that of a pig; to giving someone an irresistible urge for sweets; to making a person slightly cold, among other useless spells. Only Yoshihiko is impressed. They do become of some use during the course of their adventure.
When All You Have Is a Hammer - Riceballs are the only food Yoshihiko knows how to make. It's revealed in a flashback that he would make them for his sister Hisa all the time when they were children, as a treatment for fever or as a birthday gift.