The Rising of the Shield Hero (Tate no Yūsha no Nariagari) is a Japanese isekai light novel series written by Aneko Yusagi.
The series focuses on Naofumi Iwatani, an otaku, known as the “Shield Hero”. He was given this name as he bestowed with a shield to protect the country of Melromarc from disaster.
Due to having a defensive instrument compared to the other three heroes who were granted strong weapons, he is considered to be weaker than the others.
An anime television series adaptation by a 25-episode anime television series adaptation produced by Kinema Citrus aired from January to June 2019. A second and third season has been announced for the same.
1. Quick Review
The story takes form in the catastrophe riddled country of Melromarc. The nation’s been plagued by inter-dimensional monsters called Waves. The people’s only hope is four heroes who are granted four weapons- a spear, bow, shield, and sword to take down these creatures.
An ordinary otaku university student Naofumi Iwatani finds a book in the library that transports him into an alternate world.
Now known as the “Shield Hero”, he is constantly teased because of the instrument bestowed upon him giving him no offensive abilities. When the heroes begin training, Naofumi partners with Malty Melromarc, the only person willing to give him a chance.
Naofumi sets out on a journey to become stronger and prove himself to those who belittle him. On his lonesome journey, Naofumi buys a demi-human slave named Raphtalia who becomes his travel companion.
The story follows Naofumi and Raphtalia as they work together to fight for the sake of the kingdom and its people.
The isekai fantasy has an interesting plot that gives us a perspective of the hero’s struggles to achieve greatness. Besides Naofumi, we get to see great character development from his slave and ally Raphtalia as well.
2. Info Card
The Rising of the Shield HeroAir Date: January 9, 2019 Status: Upcoming Season 2 Studio: Kinema Citrus No. of Seasons: 3 No. of Episodes: 25
3. Is it Worth Watching?
The main character of The Rise Of The Shield Hero is baffling. We’re introduced to Naofumi who seems to be an underdog based on his unfortunate weapon, a shield.
Having said that, we also witness the fact that he owns slaves and though he treats them well, there is also stern punishment for those who disobey. The most interesting part of the anime is the well-written characters.
With puzzling characters, great animation, and a well-paced plot, the show is a great choice if you’re looking for an isekai or fantasy series.
A carefree youth named Naofumi stumbles into a parallel universe along with three other young men from their worlds to defend Melromac, a country plagued for centuries by monsters called Waves.
These four men are considered heroes in Melromac and provided each of them with heroic weapons. Three heroes are granted with exceptional offensive weapons – a sword, bow, and spear respectively while Naofumi is stuck with the Legendary Shield, the only defensive equipment in the lot.
Being stuck with an instrument used for offense, Naofumi is constantly mocked and sets off on a journey of his own to become stronger and prove everyone wrong.
The Rising of The Shield Hero does a great job of building anticipation for the series through remarkable world-building and by paying attention to details in the scenes, making it a wholesome experience.
Naofumi Iwatani is the protagonist of The Rising of the Shield Hero series.
He was summoned to another world where he became the Shield Hero and is one of the Four Legendary Heroes. When he was first summoned to this kingdom dominated by Waves, Naofumi had been an optimistic and trusting individual.
His initial carefree personality faded away as time went by when he encountered Malty Melromarc who betrayed him. His optimism was also shattered due to constantly teased for his shield as it had no use for offensive attacks and would not help him in fighting the Waves.
Raphtalia is the main heroine of The Rising of the Shield Hero series.
She is a demi-human slave bought by Naofumi during his travels. Raphtalia’s character is portrayed as a shy and terrified slave.
She thinks of Naofumi as a hero and is often disappointed by some of the choices he makes that go against the ideals of a hero. Raphtalia stays by Naofumi’s side as he gets stronger and sets off to battle the Waves.
Malty Melromarc is the primary antagonist of the series.
She initially agrees to be Naofumi’s training partner but betrays him by falsely accusing him of sexually assaulting her.
Her character is shown to be a pathological liar and manipulates people for her selfish gain and is not above insulting and making them as miserable as possible.
- Location: The series is set across multiple parallel universes. The primary location is Melromarc, the country to which all the four heroes are summoned defeat the monsters that terrorize their kingdom.
- Animation: Directed by Takao Abo, the series showcases some great animation, including the well-composed angles that add intensity to the scenes. The show uses 2D animation to create the characters’ well-timed and fluid movements. The animation of the backgrounds and surrounding elements is done in such a way that it appears realistic.
- Artwork: The characters designed by Masahiro Suwa represent the typical shonen characters in terms of style. All the characters are designed to appear realistic and represent the dark theme of the anime. The backgrounds are vibrant and well-detailed.
IV. Theme Songs
- Opening Theme Songs :
|Title||Original Artist||Genre||Episodes||Reference Links|
Both the opening theme songs of the series are by Madkid. The music is well-suited for the show as it starts the anime off with a high note that keeps the anticipation at its peak.
- Ending Theme Songs :
|Title||Original Artist||Genre||Episodes||Reference Links|
|“Kimi no Namae”||Chiai Fujikawa||J-Pop||2-3, 5-12||Youtube|
|“Falling Through Starlight”||Asami Seto||OST||4||Youtube|
|“Atashi ga Tonari ni Iru Uchi ni”||Chiai Fujikawa||J-Pop||13-20, 22-24||Youtube|
All three ending theme songs are a perfect fit for the show. However, Asami Seto’s ED “Falling Through Starlight” sung as her character Raphtalia creates a strong sense of recall with the character and her story.
- Original SoundTrack (OST): Kevin Penkin composed the music for the series. He is best known for composing the Crunchyroll Anime Award-winning score of Made in Abyss. His work in The Rising Of The Shield Hero was also nominated for Crunchyroll Anime Award for Best Score 2019.
The OSTs used in The Rising Of The Shield Hero reflect Penkin’s interest in electronically synthesized music as well as acoustic instruments. “Sunshine with Shields” is a wonderful example of one of the many soul-stirring OSTs in the series.
- Background Score: The show indulges in high-quality background music giving the audience an intense and all-round experience. The use of electronic music in the fight scenes adds an unexpected and unique element of surprise.
- Sound Effects: The Rising Of The Shield Hero uses sound effects as a tool to create a more engaging world by adding sound to almost every object and movement, thus ≈creating a more all-round experience.
- Voice Acting: The voice actors for both the Japanese and English dubbed versions were great and did justice to the characters, their different expressions, and tones.
V. Action Sequences
The series has promising action scenes that progress at a satisfying pace. The audience gets to see the gradual development of the protagonist’s skills as he builds his fighting skills from each fight.
As the show moves forward, the characters are seen using new attacks based on various combinations of their skills which is yet another thrilling addition to the action in the series.
4. Grade: 5 out of 5
5. Final Thoughts
The plot of the series takes its audience on an emotional journey of ups and downs without losing sight of the main storyline. We also get to witness some fantastic visuals such as backgrounds and fight scenes owing to beautiful artwork and animation.
The Rising Of The Shield Hero is an absolute hit as it ticks all the boxes on the list required to make an amazing fantasy series.