It really is the era of isekai. Every season, we can expect to see several titles in which a normal person is reincarnated as an overpowered hero in a strange fantasy world. Making these series stand out from each other leads to some wild decisions. And then you get a series like The Great Cleric—which, despite hitting many of the tropes, changes things up where it counts.
Based on the light novel by Broccoli Lion, this anime follows newly minted healer Luciel. Once an overworked salaryman, this reincarnated protagonist is setting out to be a cleric. And his journey is unique in many ways.
He Doesn’t Start Out OP
In a good number of isekai series, our hero begins their new life with a leg up. Be it in the form of knowledge, magic, or an overpowered item, they’re coming in hot. Not so for the Great Cleric himself. If anything, Luciel comes in on the back foot. He does, however, bring two very important things with him from his past life: a good work ethic and a sense of justice.
It’s these two things combined, rather than any special gifts, that will help Luciel thrive. In the early episodes, we watch him train overtime just to get his healing to a useful level. He also knows how to motivate himself and take pride in his small victories. With the help of the local adventurers’ guild, he starts to build up his strength.
A Message of Kindness
In the world of The Great Cleric, healers tend to provoke fear rather than hope. That’s because clerics have started overcharging for their services, and the higher-ups refuse to censure these bad actors. Luciel’s desire to get stronger so he can help people is downright alien to the adventurers of this new world. Not only that, many are shocked that he’s willing to heal beastfolk without hesitation.
Luciel’s dream is to open up a small clinic and offer affordable care to everyone. It’s a small, kind dream, and one he’ll have to fight for. But in a genre full of demon lords and revenge fantasies, it’s kind of lovely to see something so altruistic.
It’s a Bit Silly
As wholesome as The Great Cleric is, it doesn’t take itself all that seriously. The series is, at times, evocative of 90s fantasy comedy anime. The art style and direction lean heavily into a much more lighthearted vibe. Of course, it comes down to earth when heroes’ lives are on the line. But Luciel’s adventures are not without their silliness.
With all these things combined, The Great Cleric is a nice surprise this season. If you’re looking for a different spin on the isekai formula—with a hero who works hard so he can someday help others—it’s one for your streaming watchlist.