「神鳥の聖人」 (Kandori no Seijin)
“The Savior of the Heavenly Fowl”
Although this was arguably a breather episode, I found myself smiling the entire time. Not even the occasional drop in animation quality could detract from the thoroughly enjoyable A and B plots. In the first, Naofumi put his growing expertise with potions and medicines to good use by saving a village from a sickness brought on by Motoyasu’s attempts to end a famine. Therein lies the major difference between the Spear Hero and the Shield Hero – Naofumi thinks through his actions, coming up with counters to the consequences of moves he hasn’t made yet, while Motoyasu is content with providing a quick fix without sticking around to see if it pans out. As Naofumi rightfully points out, the villagers never should have accepted the seed, since they knew it could be dangerous, but they’re so accustomed to the idea of being saved that they hesitated to contradict a hero. By forcing the villagers to pay for his service, Naofumi made them complicit in their own rescuing, and hopefully more wary when it comes to asking for outside help with their problems in the future.
Now, as wonderful as it was to see Naofumi continue to build a good reputation with the people, can we all just stop a moment to appreciate how
Perhaps the best evidence of the positive influence these two have on Naofumi was the sheer number of genuine smiles they elicited from him. I didn’t count, but with the exclusion of the very first episode, it must have been more than the rest of the series combined. Being with them has revitalized his humanity, and while I wouldn’t say any of them are quite ready for romance just yet, as long as Naofumi has companions he values by his side, we can be sure that he will continue to grow into an even stronger and more capable hero.
And speaking of heroes, is anyone wondering how the others are doing with their exploits? Hopefully better than Motoyasu, at least.