Naofumi Iwatani, an uncharismatic Otaku who spends his days on games and manga, suddenly finds himself summoned to a parallel universe! He discovers he is one of four heroes equipped with legendary weapons and tasked with saving the world from its prophesied destruction. As the Shield Hero, the weakest of the heroes, all is not as it seems. Naofumi is soon alone, penniless, and betrayed. With no one to turn to, and nowhere to run, he is left with only his shield. Now, Naofumi must rise to become the legendary Shield Hero and save the world!
Source: One Peace Books
The Shield Hero
The Slave Girl
Wave of Catastrophe
Lullaby at Dawn
A New Comrade
The Savior of the Heavenly Fowl
In the Midst of Turmoil
The Raven Invader
1) The hook A lot of people were really hyped during the early episodes of this anime because of a little thing called Outrage culture. Just like it happened with Goblin Slayer some seasons before, the touchy premise of fake rape allegations and pro-slavery themes triggered the social justice warriors. This in turn motivated the defenders of the light novel to write long essays for defending the anime. One of the usual excuses any fan says about any show he likes is how it’s a subversion. It ain’t like other isekai! This one is different! These fans were so vocal about it they managed to attract a lot of random people who got curious by the ongoing controversy. Before you know it everyone was watching and talking about the Shield Hero. And as usual what matters the most is the execution and not the initial hook or how popular a show is. Which is actually really funny when you look back at what they were saying and what the show ended up being. The hook of the premise, the same one that lured in so many people with fake rape allegations and pro-slavery themes, managed to enrage a lot and to keep them watching with a promise of justice porn. And by that I mean everyone was waiting impatiently for the protagonist to prove his innocence and make those who were responsible to pay. Something which he eventually does. Pretty easily I must say. And then most of those watchers lost their interest because they got what they wanted and the hook was no more. 2) The degradation of the plot During the initial episodes, the plot was edgy, dark, and kind of depressing in tone. It begins to fall apart after the fourth episode by becoming another generic empowerment fantasy. Up until then nothing was easy and uplifting, but then it turns into a typical isekai full of every cliché in the book. Comic relief, fan service, cockblocking romantic advancements, easy victories, constant ridicule of the opposition, and non-stop ego-stroking. -Naofumi’ shield was supposed to be weak and unable to be used for attack, but soon became able to cast every ability imaginable, and to have enough firepower for blowing up entire mountains.-The girls Naofumi travels with, which were supposed to have depth and mental issues, constantly do typical fan service shenanigans. Going to hot springs, getting molested by tentacle monsters, never shutting up about how awesome Naofumi is, fighting over who gets to be his lover, and constantly yelling about how they can’t live without him. -By the time you get to the half point of the first season Naofumi gets vindicated. His enemies, the vicious nobles who at first were sinister and sneaky in their plan to ruin Naofumi’s reputation, turn to complete idiots who exist to be constantly ridiculed. Their only defining features are being evil and idiots. It’s easy to get bored of them since they come off as incompetent and not as threatening as they did in the first episodes. -The rival heroes who during their introduction were presented as super smart and calculative, quickly turned into complete idiots who can’t even walk without tripping over their own feet. Every single thing they do turns to a disaster and it’s up to Naofumi to clean after their mess. -The world where nobody supports the Shield Hero, is quickly proven to be full of people who are constantly supporting him (peasants in need), wish to enter his team (soldiers during the monster invasion), defend him every time he is accused (queen’s spies), and even plot armor him when he is about to be killed (Fitoria). -The notorious fake rape allegations, the bread and butter when it comes to this show, like it or not, ended up being just dumb people with power incriminating a person THEY summoned for helping them out. It was a cheap shot at victimizing the protagonist for making him sympathetic to the audience. Lots of shows do that and try their best to maintain the victimizing all the way to the end of the story. This anime doesn’t do that. 3) The protagonist The initial impression you were given about the protagonist, was that he was not another overpowered self insert otaku and not everything in his second life in an isekai is rainbows and unicorns. He is not yet another neet otaku loser who gets transported to a different world that works like a generic videogame, gets ultra powerful very fast, and amasses a harem of pretty girls who all love him for being bland. Well, fancy that, he ends up becoming that as the episodes go by. Something you can’t forgive though, even if he is bland, is how he is entirely passive. Not a characteristic you want from any hero in any show. Naofumi is constantly told what to do instead of thinking for himself, and is then praised for doing what he’s told. So it’s basically double standards at play. The author can have him doing whatever he wants for the plot to move in any direction he fancies and is then retroactively proving him right for being passive. The author treats the protagonist’s actions like a heroic feat, when in reality he makes him comes off as a robot following a program imposed by others. -Buying the slaves was not the protagonist’s idea, it was proposed by the slave merchant.-Doing the missions that help the villagers was not his idea, it was the villagers asking for help. -He did not want to be a team with the other heroes, the chocobo queen demanded it or she would kill him. Plus that archbishop dude wanted to kill them. He went as far as revealing his evil plans right in front of them. He became a common enemy of the heroes by wanting to kill them and they automatically became a team in order to take down this enemy.Some elaboration on that last point. What really takes the cake is how besides being passive, the narrative is also constantly using double standards for every little thing he does, thus coming off as hypocritical. Naofumi’s idea of working together as a team comes down to mocking the very people he is supposed to work with as a team. The constant need of the author to provide justice porn contradicts what the protagonist is supposed to be doing. You don’t mock your teammates and then pretend you are a team player. In fact, you are not a team player if you were forced to enter a team. 4) The bad guys The nobles and the clergy are very shallow as bad guys since they did all their evil fake allegations just because they didn’t like Naofumi. When Naofumi eventually gets vindicated he doesn’t even allow them to be punished with public execution. No, he saves their lives just for changing their names into slurs and having them being humiliated for life. That is apparently enough of a punishment if all the viewer cares about is constant humiliation of the protagonist’s enemies. It’s otherwise very childish and done that way for a revenge porn written with the mentality of a ten year old. Haha, let’s change the big baddie’s name to kaka doodoo and call her names all the time, haha! Beyond that, nothing changes in the evil princess’ behavior. After all the crap she did, she remains in the team of the Spear Hero despite humiliating him that way, and she still constantly tries to mess with Naofumi despite having her life spared and being given the chance to turn a new leaf. Then there is the evil clergy which frankly do their best to contradict their very agenda. -The cartoonishly evil religion hates the Shield Hero because the previous heroes of the same class were allied with the furry kingdom. So basically, they hate the current hero for nothing, since he didn’t do something to hurt them. He just belongs in the same class.-The dogma of the cartoonishly evil religion is against the cute furry waifus, thus they seemingly justify their hate. And I say seemingly because they don’t, since the hate came before the Shield Hero had cute furry waifus. They hated him before he even got to have cute furry waifus.-The Shield Hero was normally supposed to be summoned at the furry kingdom. The cartoonishly evil religion cheated and summoned him in their kingdom, so they can hate him. Which means, they have the nerve to blame the guy for forcefully appearing in the place they rigged for him to appear. -If the cartoonishly evil religion hadn’t framed the Shield Hero, he wouldn’t be forced to buy cute furry waifus as aid in battles. So by framing him they got exactly what they were trying to avoid. And no, this is not smart writing by having a self-fulfilled prophecy. It’s backwards reasoning.-The cartoonishly evil religion is also suicidal. Before the second monster invasion they had the excuse of not needing the Shield Hero for defeating the monsters. After the second monster invasion they clearly need the Shield Hero, because he’s the only one who is not incompetent. By continuing to slander the only person capable of defeating the monsters they effectively doom everyone, including themselves. -The cartoonishly evil religion gets completely rewritten into a different organization. At first they needed to resort to slander against Naofumi, because they were unable to kill him directly. And then out of nowhere they have a magic weapon that is as powerful as the four heroes. Why were they accusing the Shield Hero all these months when their plan was to kill him? Everybody believes their lies, so there is no need for all this nonsense. Why didn’t they kill him all this time when they had such a powerful weapon and he was far weaker? Why were they hiding this super weapon and weren’t using it against the monsters? Why did they even need the heroes to save the world when they have weapons and chocobo waifus that are far more powerful than them? Why are the other three heroes considered blessed when they casually decide to kill them? Why do they have monarchy and not theocracy if they can casually kill the royal family in front of a thousand people and get away with it? There is absolutely no consistency. -In general all villains are one dimensional jerks. They smile smugly, love to torture and kill innocents, and they do it for fun because they can. What a better way to justify your justice porn if not by having sadistic one-dimensional nobles who exist just to make you hate them and wish to see them dead. And obviously, the only one who can stop them is the self-insert protagonist. 5) The slave girls The slaves in Naofumi’s harem have horribly rushed character progression. The author never gave them more than a single episode for growing up into the forms they maintain throughout the rest of the show. Because why should you spend years on properly nurturing anything? Just skip all the build up and go straight for the outcome. And by outcome I mean seeing them constantly antagonize each other over who gets to have the self-insert’s attention, like in any typical harem. Obviously the protagonist is written to be dense as solid rock and constantly ignores their flirting, since the age rating doesn’t allow to show sex. There’s Redo of Healer for that. By the way, isn’t it strange to have everything growing up so fast on this world, yet their lifestyle is the same one we have in a typical medieval world? Not even the world building feels right because of that. Adding to that, whether they are slave raccoons, or birds from loot boxes, or random encounters with princesses in the wilderness, the protagonist’s allies are all cute girls who make every other male to be jealous of Naofumi. Did I mention how their ages range from 12 and all the way down to… a few months old? What does that say about the author’s sexual preferences? Let’s not ignore the fetishism of the show as many fans tend to do. It’s about a male slaver saving very young girls from other slavers, who are deliberately written to be one-dimensional evil rapists so the protagonist will be ‘forced’ to protect them by adding them to his harem instead. 6) The antagonists Whatever issues you might have with slavery you can’t blame the show for having it if it’s doing a decent job at portraying it. But, as I stated several times already, the author keeps using double standards all the time, so everything comes off as disingenuous. Naofumi makes fun of the Spear hero for taking advantage of cute girls for adding them in his team, when his own team also consists of nothing else besides cute girls, whom he also took advantage of by buying as slaves. So basically, it’s ok when he does it and wrong when anyone else does it. Also, very conveniently, Naofumi’s furries do not correct him on this obvious hypocrisy and instead support him, while also making fun of the Spear Hero for doing the exact same thing thus only making the hypocrisy more obvious. Late in the show, more heroes from a different world appear. They were constantly helping Naofumi and the rest to level up, defeat the monsters, and protect the people. Then all of sudden they want to kill everyone. The reason is so convoluted it becomes impossible to follow. They want to destroy this world, so the world they came from will be spared. It’s a lie, it will be destroyed anyways, but we need some sort of new fake allegations now that the justice porn is over. That aside, they are not fighting with the monsters so the world will be destroyed, they are fighting against the monsters which is the opposite of what they are here to do. So, the ‘logical’ explanation is, they are good people, they don’t want to kill innocents, they only want to kill the four heroes so the monsters will have nobody able to stop them. It’s another lie, because there are a dozen more people far more powerful than the heroes, so the monsters can still be stopped. And also, their sense of justice is so stupid they actually believe that if they only kill the defenders of the world they would totally not be responsible for the deaths of all those innocent people. Also, even if they are here to kill the heroes, they fight the monsters and help the heroes to level up and become harder to kill, although they are here to kill them. The ‘logical’ explanation for that is that they didn’t believe those four were the heroes they came to kill because they were too weak, so they might as well befriend them and help them get stronger, although it doesn’t matter because they are going to die anyways. So basically they befriend people they know they will eventually stab in the back. And obviously they couldn’t simply ask someone to confirm if they are the heroes; that’s too much work, man. It’s not like they are here to find and kill the heroes, thus their first question should be where they can find them. Literally everybody knows who the heroes are besides them. But wait, there is a ‘logical’ explanation even for that. They didn’t ask anyone to tell them where the heroes are because they had to level up first. You see when you cross over from another world the videogame logic of this stupid show dictates that you lose your levels because it’s a different videogame, so they had to grind all over again. Only when they were strong enough they felt like asking if they are the heroes and only then they wanted to kill them. And then they proceed to not kill them and to change their minds in the next season, thus dooming their world and making their trip here completely pointless. Don’t tell me all that are not completely convoluted, because they totally are. 7) Videogame (lack of) logic The world of the isekai functions like a videogame, which is nothing uncommon, but it’s done in such a way that it makes no sense. The allegations which make up the whole conflict of the show could have instantly been proven false, if anyone had bothered to use a slave crest that forces the target to be truthful. The core conflict had no thought placed behind it since there is a way to fix it in a few seconds. The reason it didn’t happen so soon is because everybody was deliberately not mentioning the ability of the slave crests. The viewer had no idea they could be used that way and not a single character who knew about them pointed it out. The excuse in-story is that they are very expensive to use in a trial. And yet Naofumi used them three times on his waifus with no financial problems. Did you see any villages starving to death because of all the money he spent on drawing a few crests? Of course not, because they don’t exist. Even the cost excuse falls apart when you take a step back and realize the setting is an oligarchy. The king owns everything in the kingdom, so it wouldn’t cost him a thing if he uses crests in a trial. I mean, he didn’t because that would prove he is a scumbag, but the fact remains. It doesn’t cost a thing to him. As it doesn’t for the queen, who used one in the trial without starving a million children. Essentially, the author had no idea how to prevent everyone from spamming crests and said ‘errr they are expensive I guess’ before allowing everybody to use them whenever it suits the protagonist and without any penalties. More specifically, when he enslaves waifus, and gets his justice porn by placing it on the bitch princess during the trial. Oh, now the cost is not an issue! The funny part is that they didn’t need magical crests to force the bitch princess into reveal the truth. If they had bothered to ask the guy who sold Naofumi the armor, he would reveal the lies of the princess, since she didn’t find it somewhere and then gifted it to the Spear Hero. It was an armor Naofumi bought from the armorsmith and it’s now right before his eyes! On top of all this mess, the dreaded videogame logic ruins even the concept of money in general. During the pilot episode, the heroes are given coins to buy their equipment. Why do they have to pay for anything? They were summoned against their will to save the world. Just give them the best available armor so they can save your sorry ass. An excuse could be so they won’t ruin the economy, but what good is money if they are all dead? And it becomes even messier later on, when Naofumi is constantly given stuff for free as thanks for helping people out. Also, turns out the magical weapons can literally clone anything for free. There was literally no need for money since day one, so what was the point of giving them coins? The author had no idea what he was doing, and he definitely did not thought of the economy collapsing because of it. The videogame logic ruins even the need to have a team and go on missions. There is no need to do any missions, because there is nothing to actually gain from them.-Some missions give them money, which they don’t need because their weapons can clone anything they want.-Mundane stuff like food and drinks are free for heroes who are here to save the world.-Monsters during missions give you experience points for leveling up, but there is no need to bother as there are special events where you can level up like crazy by beating trash mobs. Dumb action Despite the videogame terminology, everything constantly comes down to getting power ups in the middle of the battle by triggering a hidden ability, or turning to the power of friendship. What is the point in having rules, if powers come and go depending on what the plot says will happen? -They try to make it seem like the backlash for using major attacks comes at a cost by losing enough blood to fill a swimming pool. Yet there is a scene where Naofumi casually waits defenseless for 5 minutes, as everyone else around him are busy talking to the queen than saving him, thus making it seem like his injuries are not serious. He can take it like a champ. -The villains stand still while the heroes talk in the middle of the battle.-The heroes use mostly long ranged attacks, even when their weapons are short ranged. This makes the battles dull, since they are just standing still and fire projectiles. It also makes the Bow Hero to seem like he got the crappiest weapon, since he is supposed to be the only one using arrows and be useless in close range. -The three heroes use the exact same one attack all the time, making the battles repetitive on top of dull. 9) Slavery Regarding the touchy subject of slavery, which caused the controversy and made the show so popular… it’s garbage. Naofumi was accused of owning slaves in a setting where slavery is legal and most nobles own slaves. Hypocrisy, anyone? It never gets any deeper than that, and eventually it’s just an excuse for harem shenanigans. No sir, Naofumi is not forcing cute girls to fight on his side, and is certainly not going to have naughty moments with them at the hot springs. He bought them! Plus, the slave chicks clearly state that they love being slaves. Raphtalia in particular is given her freedom when someone removes the slave tattoo from her body. But she immediately rushes to get another slave tattoo. On her boobs I need to point out, since we need fan service for this garbage to sell. This validates the victimized protagonist by having the cute animal ear waifu proudly stating how she loves being manipulated as a slave. You don’t want to disagree with a cute animal ear waifu, do you now? Look how cute she is and has a tattoo on her boobs, she can’t be wrong. And as simple as that Naofumi once again has the moral high ground to do whatever the hell he wants. 10) Plot armor There is absolutely no tension in the show. The chocobo waifu plot armors Naofumi from the dinosaur, the spy woman plot armors the 2 heroes from the energy attack, the 2 heroes plot armor Naofumi from the Pope. There is never any sense of death in the show if they can survive all the time like that. And don’t get me started on why the Pope didn’t confirm the death of the 2 heroes before trying to kill the other 2, or how they never show how Sword and Bow survived the explosion. Eventually, even the queen plot armors the heroes from the church, and proves how the allegations were false by using a slave tattoo. Something everyone could have used since day 1. And essentially Naofumi didn’t have to do a thing for clearing his name. He could have sat on a bed for months and just wait for the queen to solve everything. There never was any urgency, there never was any actual threat, and he was plot armored from all sides. 11) Retroactive answers Most of the illusion of tension in the story comes from the author omitting information from the viewer. Almost every conflict would be easy if we were told how slave crests work or how the weapons can copy everything without the need for money. Even the heroes from the other world would have an easy mission if they had asked who the heroes of this world are. The show constantly hides its problems by basically making everyone too stupid to ask about things that are free and known to most people. Furthermore it provides answers to mysteries that shouldn’t exist in the first place. Why should the way crests and weapons work be kept a secret in the first place? It’s counter-productive for what the heroes aim to achieve. As a literary device it works on people who have no critical thinking, since they will perceive it as a plot twist or a major revelation, instead of bad writing. Thus whatever complains you might have about the show are instantly shut down by the defenders, who will claim ‘you didn’t know that at first and it’s explained later in the story, thus your complaints are moot’. The thing is, nobody was watching the show just to get answers for what is going on with the monster invasion or why the church hates the Shield Hero. Everyone was watching the show for the revengeporn and the pedophilic memes concerning Naofumi’s harem. There was no mystery to solve and therefore late explanations did nothing to save face. Especially when they did not fix any problems and did not make the writing any better. 12) Everyone is dumb This last point is a culmination of everything that is wrong in the aforementioned points I made. Every single character is dumb as rocks and self sabotages his own goals that way. -The protagonist not telling the armorsmith to clear his name right away-The king mentioning money when they are not needed-The other heroes being morons who cause more trouble with whatever they do-Raphtalia forgetting she had friends being tortured somewhere until she bumps onto them. Then she refuses to kill the slaver so she won’t be like him (although she is not a slaver so WTH?)-The church hating the Shield Hero when they can’t survive without him (plus they already had a super weapon)-In general, the civilian population is a bunch of sheep with no thoughts of their own. Throughout the series they believe everything they are told right away. And before some of you say that’s exactly how the real world is like, people don’t do a 180 in a couple of seconds. One moment they demand to see the ones responsible to be punished, and the immediate next they change their minds and renounce the religion they believed in for centuries just because the validated self insert that is Naofumi said a few mean words against their god.And that is why the Shield Hero is a dumb show for dumb people that blew in popularity because of all the wrong reasons.
To be honest, I'm not sure why many are hating this due to what happens in the first EP. That crap happens in real life, and it or something like it is needed to help move the story. The overall story is pretty generic. Some person or group gets zap to a fantasy game like world. They have to do xyz to get out. During the time they can pretty much live their life like they want. The difference between this and the number of others that went down this path is unlike most of the other stories. The main person is starting from the very bottom, and the world they are trying to protect hates them. There is some of where the girls around him are wanting to sleep with him. But up to late, it really didn't show at all, and I suspect it won't get much deeper outside a few ep in the future. Note, one thing I'm not a fan of is how the main person is able to overcome mostly everything. It is starting to feel like they are moving to God like than someone struggling and in real danger. Like it is the one trap many shows fall into where the main person is way too OP sooner or later.I most likely won't edit this review. But assuming the main person keeps becoming more and more OP. I can see this becoming more and more boring. This is the problem I'm running into with other shows like that time I got reincarnated as a slime. Like if they want to go down the path of mostly everything ends up being about the fight/adventure. Then I need to feel there is a real chance that people can get hurt or die. Where right now it's just annoying until the person gets cured. ____ Side note to anyone making any anime If they want to keep making the main person more and more OP. Then I suggest any future anime makers take note and make the show about something other than the adventure/fight. With no risk, it's boring. But if the anime starts focusing on the social aspects. Then this could be worth while even with the main person being OP. But to have a great show, you need to mix the 2. Re:Zero is a good example (even if it's not perfect). There is a real risk the main person will die (and they tend to do). But it also looks at the social a bit. Re:Zero messes up because they don't use logic. In that one, the main person could simply make some easy painless poison, and use that as a reset since all the actions of EVERYTHING should be 100% the same as before.
When i started watching Rising of the shield hero i was kinda hyped and couldnt wait for new episodes because of the interesting plot of a "hated" main character and the 4 heroes that got summoned with each of their weapons, i really liked the first episodes and the way he got betrayed by almost everyone near him, but then in the newer episodes they have almost completely skipped the main plot and is just following around the mc with his wagon raccoon girl and bird loli helping random people. at this point the anime has turned into some weird isekai harem anime. the anime hasnt finished airing so i cant for sure say im completely dissapointed but the way this anime is going is dissapointing.
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