The Executioner and Her Way of Life is a twelve-episode anime adaptation of the light novel series of the same name written by Mato Sato and illustrated by nilitsu. The director of the anime was Yoshiki Kawasaki, and the writer was Shogo Yasukawa. J.C. Staff was the studio responsible for animating it.
The anime aired during the spring 2022 season of anime, and it is available to watch on HIDIVE.The Executioner and Her Way of Life focuses on a priestess named Menou – the “Executioner” referred to in the title. It is her role to execute lost ones that end up getting transported into her world, to prevent the powers they are granted from going out of control.
For the first episode, the show presents itself as pretty typical isekai fare – the bland male protagonist being summoned into another world with an overpowered ability. However, it quickly smashes a dagger right through the skull of that idea – if anything, The Executioner and Her Way of Life is actually anti-isekai.
The show then goes on to establish itself properly, setting up the plot of Menou’s quest to kill one Akari Tokitou. Another otherworlder, but one who possesses a power that makes her effectively unkillable. There’s a catch, though: Menou steadily develops feelings for Akari.
So as it turns out, The Executioner and Her Way of Life is an anti-isekai yuri story, and that is far more interesting than your typical isekai stuff.
Menou is not alone in her efforts to execute otherworlders. Accompanying her, often in the shadows, is Momo. Out of all the protagonists, she might just be the most fun character. Momo holds nothing back when it comes to carrying out her missions, resulting in some of the more brutal scenes. She is almost single minded in her devotion to Menou, too – she has no qualms about expressing her love towards her.
Rounding out our main cast of characters is Ashuna. She tends to be within the vicinity of any trouble going on that involves Menou and Akari, and always willing to get involved. So effectively, what The Executioner and Her Way of Life gives to us is a cast of badass women. Ashuna also has some pretty great chemistry going on with Momo, too.
Menou’s quest to execute Akari is far from an easy one, and she meets with plenty of enemies to fight along the way. Fight scenes tend to be pretty well animated, thus making them a lot of fun to watch. Menou’s strategy of ending battles as quickly as possible is also translated over pretty well from the light novels, so that probably helps.
There are some noticeable points where the show reuses animation, but that tends to happen during more quieter scenes. It’s pretty evident it’s a case of making some sacrifices in order to provide higher quality for more climactic scenes later on. It’s not like the show ever has really terrible animation, though, and those high points it does have are incredible.
These episodes adapt the first and second volumes of Mato Sato’s light novel series, and for the most part, it remains faithful to the source material. However, there are some things that didn’t make the cut, particularly when it comes to Momo and Ashuna.
The light novels delve into Momo and Ashuna’s pasts a little more. A key point from Momo’s past does make it into the anime, but Ashuna has no such luck. Either way, Momo and Ashuna are both great characters, and it’s a little bit of a shame that anime watchers don’t get the same kind of insight into them.
The Executioner and Her Way of Life also happens to be a bloody anime. The first half seems to dial back the gore described in the light novel, but it then goes on to fully embrace it for the second half. Which is good, because the introduction of a certain character later on would just not hit quite the same if that element remained dialled back.
The Executioner and Her Way of Life has a lot to like – an interesting cast of characters, a compelling story, and some great action scenes. As a light novel reader, I do wish that we did get those extra scenes for Momo and Ashuna. Although to be fair, they still get some pretty great scenes anyway, but it would’ve been neat to have just that little extra knowledge of their backgrounds.
But I will say that this adaptation has impressed me overall. Obviously it was never going to be a 1:1 match for the light novels, but J.C. Staff have definitely managed to take the tone and themes from the light novels and expertly presented them to us in anime form.
An excellent adaptation for an excellent light novel series. The Executioner and Her Way of Life is a superb watch, and one that I will happily recommend people should check out.