The Rising of the Shield Hero – First Impressions

The Rising of the Shield Hero – First Impressions

A double length first episode plus a second episode totally counts as a three-episode test, right? Regardless, this series has had one of the strongest starts of the 2019 winter season. This isekai (“ugh, another isekai” is probably what you’re thinking) follows the legend of another world that summons four great heroes to their world to fend off the waves of an apocalypse. These four heroes are the great heroes of the sword, of the spear, of the bow, and of the shield. Each of them hailing from their own alternate dimension Japan with all of them, except for our shield hero Naofumi, having played a video game that was an exact representation of this world.

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Unlike the other isekai currently airing, Naofumi isn’t the all-powerful being that started being revered as a god. He was treated as a weak and inept individual. The shield hero has an excellent defense but next to no attack power. One adventurer that was going to be the spear hero’s party member decided to be the lone party member for the shield hero. After some leveling and new gear purchases for both him and her, they retire to an inn. In the morning, Naofumi seems to have been robbed but he quickly finds out his female party member stole everything from him and accused him of assaulting her.

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There have been some discussions going around reading too deep into this situation, but how about we disconnect our own personal agendas from this work of fiction for a moment. We learn this world doesn’t tolerate men taking advantage of women and the penalty for acts such as this is death. However, the world is in such dire need of the four heroes that they had to let the shield hero free and leave his reputation as more than enough punishment. But once he embraces the anti-hero within him, he starts making his own way forward.

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Being a solo adventurer doesn’t work in this world, however. He is approached by a shady salesman who offers him a slave for purchase. Will we get to see a dark side of Naofumi? Will he become a villain? No. He becomes a father to this young racoon-dog girl named Raphtalia.

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All his scenes with Raphtalia is so adorable.

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She’s the best character this season. Fight me.

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She has had a lot of character development in episode 2 which pleased me. She goes from a beaten and broken slave girl to a fresh, but a capable fighter to help Naofumi level up. When she gets stronger, he gets stronger thanks to the experiences sharing the last girl didn’t tell him about. I personally cannot wait to see what more the show has in store for Raphtalia and how she’ll grow from here on out. I also low key can’t wait to screenshot more adorable clips of her.

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Overall, The Rising of The Shield Hero is going to be one of my top shows this season. I never thought I’d enjoy an isekai as much as this. It’s not as dark as my favorite isekai, Re:Zero, but it definitely feels a lot more realistic and has less supernatural ways to screw over our hero. I look forward to this show every week, it airs on Wednesdays on Crunchyroll. Lemme know what you think in the comments? Is Raphtalia already in the running for best girl?

2 Replies to “The Rising of the Shield Hero – First Impressions”

  1. “She’s the best character this season. Fight me.”

    I’m finding it just about impossible not to root for her! She’s as much protecting the Shield Hero as he’s protecting her; they make a great team!

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