“Wave of Catastrophe”
First things first, Raphtalia transformed from a cute furball into a beautiful lady. Though Raphtalia gains a lot of personality, going from shy to confident, there are a couple of bones I’d like to pick. All these demi-human hating folks suddenly treat her nicely because she’s pretty seems like an odd turn. And I’m not entirely comfortable with the implication where she looks like an adult on the exterior, while remaining a little girl on the inside, because it opens a can of worms. Does that make her free real estate for Naofumi to potentially develop a romantic relationship, just because the moral outrage would be sort of vague? I mean, it’s not problematic enough to ruin my enjoyment whatsoever. But I could understand if people took issue with it. Storywise, it moves things along nicely. I’d fancy a teenager any day over a child fighting against an apocalyptic wave.
First Encounter with The Wave
The other heroes are shown to treat the invasion like a game, rushing to slay the biggest monsters that appear out of the doomsday portal without a care for the endangered villagers. As a significant contrast, Naofumi’s first reaction is to realise the town of Lute was in danger, immediately rushing over to protect its civilians. Sure, the monsters that appear are small fry. Still, we get an opportunity to see Naofumi’s noble and tactical side come to life. While Raphtalia takes down monsters as his sword and aids with evacuation, Naofumi saves villagers and tries to draw monster aggro to himself. The lack of damage on his part should definitely have been a problem. Yet he climbs up a bell tower, rings it to attract swarms of monster, then burns the tower to take down all the monsters.
Unfortunately for Naofumi, the anti-Shield Hero hate train continues on strong. A platoon of the Kingdom’s Army rains down a powerful spell on the battlefield, knowing full well that Naofumi and Raphtalia were within range. I totally empathised with Raphtalia’s fury as she angrily lashed out. For all Naofumi’s wicked grinning, he was highly benevolent to save that toad’s life. If it were me, I would have left the commander for dead. Being an extreme ingrate even after his life was saved, the commander sought to withdraw all forces to assist the other heroes and leave Naofumi and Raphtalia to continue struggling by themselves. Nevertheless, another soldier requests all men to remain and enter formation, with most staying behind to help. At least some people seem to have integrity in this universe, which makes a nice change from the usual flavour of utter scumbag.
The animation was pretty damn fluid and fantastic. Nothing extraordinary, admittedly, but certainly far beyond average. Worth of note is that Kevin Penkin comes up with something new every episode and impresses without fail, elevating the fights into a higher tier. That man is truly special and his talents are a treasure for the anime industry. Long may he contribute. For future fights that are higher stake, I don’t doubt that Kevin Penkin will remain consistent. But I hope that Kinema Citrus will endeavour to raise the bar as far as their animations are concerned.
The invasion didn’t come without loss. That said, Naofumi and Raphtalia fended off the monsters rather successfully. And it looked like the other heroes were able to wrap up things on their end. But the contrast is extremely obvious. All the other heroes are delighted and smiling at a job well done, completely oblivious to the destruction and suffering elsewhere, while Raphtalia’s first reaction is to break down crying. But most live to see another day. So, all’s well that ends well? I’ll ask for all people in the know, keep your knowledge to yourself so that those unfamiliar with the franchise can fully enjoy what comes next. Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to say. This is also the final post for me and blogging for the next few months. And at the moment, I cannot guarantee that someone else will pick up Shield Hero. Apologies, but I’d say the prospects aren’t looking too bad. As always, thank you for reading my post and let’s hope this adaptation continues going from strength to strength!