「新しい仲間」 (Atarashii Nakama)
“A New Comrade”

Ah nothing says fun like a new character and equally amusing character interactions. With Shield Hero having already gone the distance in laying out Naofumi’s suffering and the importance (read: beauty) of Raphtalia in keeping things sane, it’s time to show that when the going gets tough there’s always a silver lining to look forward to. Or, well, an adorable little angel bird thing with a bed hogging personality, but hey, same thing I swear.

While a good degree of the satisfaction of Shield Hero comes from the retribution we all know is coming for Naofumi, a lot of the fun for me right now comes from the simple act of getting to that moment. Naofumi’s little trading adventure this week is case in point: the kid doesn’t go out of his way to do more than he’s capable of (or paid to do), but his actions slowly but surely foster a friendly set of connections which will pay off in the future. It might be funny having hero branded as the Lord of Heavenly Fowl (and what a title it is), but rumours like this go a long way to creating both reputation and opportunity. Marketing and networking is half the battle of any job, if you don’t get your name out there it doesn’t matter how skilled you are, how talented you may be—you’re just a nameless face in a sea of fellow job seekers. Small acts like transporting medicine or providing transport? These tasks prove your worth and give those satisfied customers something to chat about with their friends, coworkers, and industry contacts, which can land you more opportunities than you ever thought possible. Naofumi may only be doing small and seemingly inconsequential stuff right now, but unlike his fellow heroes he’s quietly building a friendly base of contacts who will stick with him through thick and thin.

Of course what helps Naofumi succeed is his small party of helpers, and here the show is not lacking either. For all the risk of FBI agents knocking down your door, Filo is arguably an amazing fit for the current party, a girl who provides just enough competition to keep Raphtalia on her toes, but without crossing over into romantic love herself. Going for those Naofumi babies? Who needs to do that when you can get free sandwiches all day everyday. Particularly unique as well (at least for me) is how Filo doesn’t remain in her human form all that often—the girl by the looks of things prefers staying in her true bird form. Small thing, but it’s an interesting difference compared to the likes of Slime Datta Ken where beastly power ups seem to only yield increasingly humanized monsters. Certainly makes the task of getting Filo appropriate clothing all the more interesting, and really has my curiosity piqued for how Shield Hero will handle any later character introductions. With the main party already differentiated in form and function, it’s not that that bad a guess that future party members will have their own pronounced and equally unique quirks.

It may be some time yet before Naofumi truly comes into his own, but with business looking up and new and very useful help secured, I dare say the sailing for our ostracized hero will be smoother from here on out.


    1. I almost felt like the pacing was too fast, but with how they sorta shuffled things around it still felt pretty good. Naofumi had to work for the location of the magic stone instead of someone already just knowing it, plus including Raphtalia in the cave-crawl was a nice bonus. My only complaint was that it felt like the Book Shield should’ve always been turned in. Since he was using it to disguise the fact that he was the Shield Hero he should’ve been treating it like a real book.

      I don’t know if it was just more obvious here or if I missed it in the manga, but I really liked that the foreshadowing of a certain idiot move by a certain blonde idiot was much clearer.

      1. Ridance of the seed, dealing with the plague, and trying to rid of the corpse will likely happen next episode. Pacing is quick but I don’t really mind so far. Now, if they also solve the source of the plague next episode, the pacing is indeed too fast.

        Melty Q and Glass here we come. I am really curious where they’re going to end this. It is confirmed from one of the producers that the adoption is made from the light novel. If thats so, which arc are they going to end this? Hmm.

    1. So did I, in 2003. That particular place is actually a tomb, or crypt. There’s also some Greek/Roman places like an amphitheater. But go just before dawn! Otherwise you’re chased by hawkers of all types that get bussed in around 0800.

  1. Short interview with Shield Hero’s author:

    What sparks my interest are their thoughts on ethics in the face of betrayal, when questioned by the interviewer on Naofumi’s conflicting morals on slavery:

    It is preferable to have morals, but we’ve made a world where being strictly ethical can no longer survive. There are a lot of people out there that simply don’t respond to ethics–in the face of people like that, what option is left besides emotionally insisting on your place and your views? My intention is to show that in the face of enemies like that, we often have no choice but to launch a counterattack.

    Adding their remarks that the villians were based on people they knew, I wonder if the author had gone through a similar betrayal situation before from a loved one resulting in their social outcasting, and they wrote Shield as a kind of catharsis for themselves.

  2. Not bad… Cute w/o being over-the-top try-too-hard.

    @Pancakes — did I see it right that he secretly upgraded her
                 healing potion before giving it to her?

    Yeah, this is the kind kind of anti-hero that does well in story telling.
    He comes off indifferent, but does things that show a deep compassion for those
    in need. He knows that if he had told them about the upgrade, they would have
    felt an obligation to repay something they could never repay. Shield Hero doesn’t
    want those kind of dependencies.

    So far, a decent adaptation.

    1. If you’re asking me that question, yeah he definitely did. Quite a nice and surprising act on Naofumi’s part, but it really shows he’s not as jaded as apparent. The kid still has a caring heart, it just needs the right circumstances to shine through.

  3. I find it interesting that he’s using his newly acquired contacts to find out what the other heroes are doing. Doesn’t look like they’re doing the same thing. Since they do have some emphasis in the opening, I wonder what the archer is doing? Doesn’t seem to be getting Naofumi’s legendary status.

    These guys sure love to dig their own graves.

    How many clothes did that armourer give her? I thought it rips every time she changes into a bird. Yet here she is wearing clothing of the same design.

  4. So pretty obvious that the thing that was in the empty chest is what the spear hero used to “help” that town, and Malty gave it to him, and that it will have some really horrible effects on those used on, something about being given bodies that will never go hungry; my guess is zombies.

    1. Yeah we will sure get some horrible side effect of superficially beneficial seeds…
      So much for Spear actually doing something good…
      I am interested what is going on with Bow hero though, he seems to drop from the radar, leaving only completley wild rumors.


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