Just this week, the first episode of light novel series Redo of Healer has aired. Prior to its airing, there was a lot of outrage on Twitter, Anime News Network (ANN), and Reddit regarding the content of the series and the fact that it got an anime adaptation. Heck, even I was absolutely surprised that Redo of Healer managed to get an adaptation as someone who has read the manga and LN. And let me give you a solid warning if you are curious: it makes Goblin Slayer look like a kids show in comparison.
Why the comparison to Goblin Slayer, you may ask? It's due to the fact that there is rape in both Goblin Slayer and Redo of Healer. However, the way they depict it greatly contrast. That scene in Goblin Slayer Episode 1 served to establish the universe's lore. It served as a painful reminder that the world is not fair, especially to female adventurers and throughout the series, it portrays the psychological effects of goblin rape. In fact, I think it does a good job portraying how victims deal with the trauma differently like with Fighter Girl, Sword Maiden, and Noble Fencer.
With Redo of Healer, on the other hand, it is brutal in a much different fashion. And that is due to the fact that it is the protagonist, Keyaru, who both has been a victim of rape, and rapes or subjects his adversaries to rape in revenge. If that turns you off, then I do not blame you. After all, just because you may have been a victim, it does not mean you should return the favor. It does make Keyaru not much of a relatable character, let alone a relatable protagonist.
The First Episode
Though if you watch through Episode 1, while Keyaru may not be a relatable protagonist, at least you can sort of understand his motivations. During the first half, he narrates about his physical and sexual abuse experiences under Flare, Blade, and Brett, the Magic, Sword, and Cannon heroes, respectively. While his healing capabilities are potent, he has to experience what the injured patient has experienced. For instance, if the patient had his arm cut off, then Keyaru would see that experience as he heals that person. Because of this setback, the other heroes see him as useless and treat him poorly, getting him addicted to a drug to force him to use his healing powers.
Due to all of the abuse, Keyaru kickstarts his revenge plot by beating the demon lord to get the Philosopher's Stone and using it to "heal" the world to when he was not the Healer Hero yet. However, it comes at a price of his memories. Keyaru's "future" self guide him to the star spirit to obtain the Halcyon Eye, an ability that allows him to see the stats of any target. It is by looking at his reflection with the Halcyon Eye that he regains his memories of what transpired before he turned back the clock. Then, he goes on to prepare himself for the fateful day where he first meets Flare.
During the second half of the episode, we are introduced to Flare and learn about how she comes to find Keyaru to be useless. When his class is revealed in front of the king, there is a clear look of disappointment on Flare's face. When he restores Kureha's arm and (pretends to) faint, she kicks him thinking that he was unconscious and orders for him to be controlled via a drug.
Of course, that scene has not happened yet though the episode does give us the lead-up to that scene at the very beginning. Overall, the episode does an okay job at establishing the premise. The animation is pretty clean and I would expect the quality to remain decent as this is the same studio that made Highschool DxD. The voice acting has left a good impression and I thought the VA for Flare did a great job at portraying her character as a scumbag.
My main issue is how the episode glances over the universe's rules and lore. When Keyaru shows off the extent of his healing powers during his fight against the Demon Lord, the anime scratches the surface of explaining what his powers entail. If you are an avid anime watcher, you may have noticed that Keyaru's abilities are extremely similar to Shiba Tatsuya's Regrowth ability from The Irregular at Magic High School. Even the drawbacks are identical. Unfortunately, if you have not seen The Irregular at Magic High School, then that fight scene may come off as contrived.
All in all, it is not a bad start, but not great either. If the anime does a better job explaining the universe's lore, then the show should be more engaging. Now, how it will handle the more... suggestive content remains to be seen.