Anime Spotlight: Rising of the Shield Hero
Welcome back Blerders! I hope everyone is having a decent day, week, and month. I hope everyone is being safe in these Corona times.
Okay, first thing first…Rising of the Shield Hero is absolutely awesome. Originally written as a light novel series by Aneko Yusagi, it was published as a web-novel on the website “Shōsetsuka ni Narō”(I can’t get the website to pull up). After gaining popularity, it was adapted into a manga series by Aiya Kyū and published by Media Factory. A 25 episode anime television series aired from January 2019 to June 2019. They already announced seasons 2 and 3 (HYPE!) but that dates haven’t been released just yet.
I originally started watching Rising of the Shield Hero by accident. I will continue to blame Hulu for me finding random anime to watch (totally not a bad thing). I had finished watching Log Horizon (Again) and saw Rising of the Shield Hero in the suggested section while the credits were rolling. I clicked on it thinking it wouldn’t be like Log Horizon and more like Sword Art Online, season 2. And technically I wasn’t wrong. Though it was similar, RoTSH was different altogether. It gave me everything Log Horizon in plot along with the “I’m stuck in a video game” scenario of Sword Art Online.
“Naofumi Iwatani, an easygoing Japanese youth, was summoned into a parallel world along with three other young men from parallel universes to become the world’s Legendary Heroes and fight inter-dimensional hordes of monsters called Waves. Each of the heroes were respectively equipped with their own legendary equipment when summoned. Naofumi happened to receive the Legendary Shield, the sole defensive equipment, while the other heroes received a sword, a spear, and a bow, weapons meant for attack. Unlike the other heroes who are fully supported by the kingdom and gain several strong allies each, Naofumi’s luck turns to the worse after his single companion, revealed to be the kingdom’s Princess, betrays him, steals all his belongings, and leaves him devoid of all assistance and supplies after she falsely accuses him of sexually assaulting her.
Mocked by the nobility and shunned by everyone from his fellow Heroes to peasants, a now cynical Naofumi is forced to train as a hero alone while working to make ends meet, until he buys from a slave trader a young tanuki demi-human girl named Raphtalia and an egg that hatches into a bird-like monster whom he names “Filo”, both quickly growing into adulthood and becoming powerful warriors under his care. As they little by little gain the trust and gratitude of the people with their heroic actions, Naofumi and his companions work together to carry their mission as saviors of the world as they unravel the mystery of the Waves and Naofumi deals with his inner darkness. “ -Description came from here.
What makes this anime different, well at least to me, is the fact it becomes less about Naofumi realizing that he’s been pulled into a game-like world and more about how to survive and truly understanding the world around him (sounds a bit like “Log Horizon”).
Interesting story: To be honest, the story starts out a little slow. We really don’t start grasping the story until a few episodes in and even then, you end up with more questions than answers. That may sound bad to you but I actually find it to be a redeeming quality for this anime. Everything eventually ties into the overall plot of the first season seamlessly while at the same time setting up yet another major story for us to look forward to. Is this the best story? No but it is worth watching I believe.
Character growth: I’m a sucker for good character development, especially in one season of an anime. The main character and his party experience the most growth (of course) and it is amazing to see what it takes for that growth to come about. There are three characters where they don’t grow at all and you can see how this affects the dynamic of supporting characters. One of the characters literally “levels up” causing her to grow in age and maturity.
Some characters are unbearable: Many shows have characters that viewers don’t like and some shows have characters you cannot stand. “Rising of the Shield Hero” has two characters like this and you will find out who there very quickly. Their actions add to the Shield Hero’s development but they are so insufferable (at least to me.) I don’t want to spoil too much of the first few episodes but one of the characters is an absolute Karen to the main character.
Pacing: I mention pacing because of the fact that there are parts of the show that seem to move faster than other parts. You think you are about to get some clarification on a character or something and BOOM, next part of the story. Now that isn’t as bad as I make it sound, but you will notice what I mean when you get around to watching it (and you will :-)). It could be a reason for the pacing to be the way it is (I just started reading the manga) but as I see it now, it’s sort of off-putting.
The Verdict: 8/10- Would be great as a second or third anime for an budding anime watcher.
Great characters, decent story and some good action. This anime is great for someone still testing the waters as they begin their anime journey. It isn’t super flashy and has a dash of realism so you won’t have a hard time getting into it. I would even say it can be seen as an anime to watch for the first time but I’ll leave that up to you. You can watch this series on Crunchyroll, Funimation or Hulu. The second season should be coming out soon, so be on the lookout! If you want to start the manga before watching the first season, you can get the book from your local manga store, Barnes and Noble or on Amazon here (Thanks for clicking our affiliate link!)
What did you think of this anime? Have you seen it before? If not, I hope you take a gander and let me know what you think of it! Also, in the light of everything going on during this time, #BlackLivesMatter #BlackTransLivesMatter and until next time, Nerd out!