「盾の勇者の成り上がり」 (Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari)
“The Rising of the Shield Hero”

This season could have very easily ended after the Execution-That-Wasn’t. However, after watching this episode, I’m relieved it didn’t. Seeing Naofumi get some form of justice felt conclusive, but maybe that was the problem. It was too conclusive, to the point where ending the season there would have felt like closing a book and then putting it away on a shelf. By bringing in new characters in the Cal Mira arc, Tate no Yuusha revitalized itself, expanding its horizons to encompass other worlds with heroes of their own. A good last episode shouldn’t just feel like an ending, it should make its audience anticipate what’s coming next, and going by the popularity of this series, I’d say it’s very likely to get another season.

The last episode brought up an issue that had been mentioned during Fitoria’s arc and then shoved to the wayside thanks to the relentless onslaught of events that happened afterwards – Why does Naofumi want to protect a world that isn’t even his? And not only that, but a world that has mistreated him, where demi-humans are enslaved and corruption runs rampant among the Church and monarchy? When faced with Glass’ determination, he questioned his own resolve, as anyone in his position would. Ultimately, that moment of weakness allowed Raphtalia to remind him that while it’s not his world he’s fighting for, it is her world and Firo’s and Melty’s. Naofumi was willing to fight for them, even kill for them if he had to, just to keep them safe. This puts him directly in opposition to Glass, L’Arc, and Therese, since they’re fighting for their loved ones, too, and for a concept that was recently introduced, it’s fascinating. None of them are really the villains here. Of course, we’ll root for Naofumi since we’ve spent the most time witnessing his struggles and watching him grow, but you could just as easily root for Glass or the others.

Once the Queen came up with a clever plan to neutralize Glass, thus making it unnecessary for Naofumi to Blood Sacrifice himself to defeat her, the other Heroes retreated, vowing to one day return to settle once and for all whose world will be spared. This will allow Naofumi the time he needs to level up and expand his party, an idea which hasn’t seemed to interest him much until this point. He’s developed into a person who can be kind to strangers and the party members of other heroes, who can reach out over and over for the greater good. And the animation reflects this character growth by sometimes portraying him as the prettiest pretty boy to ever pretty. It seems that Itsuki has tossed Leticia out of his group due to being accused of a crime she didn’t commit, meaning she’s free to join the Shield Heroe’s group. As for the heroes, Itsuki is still confident he’s the only Robin Hood in town, Ren is striving to be the very best, the best there ever was, and Motoyasu… is actually the most chill of the three. He’s even thinking of visiting Naofumi in the future, which means I can finally unabashedly say that while he may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, and can definitely stray into creepy territory at times, he’s also one of the most thoroughly entertaining characters to watch. Seems like something Naofumi said to him finally sank through his hair and into his brain, because at this rate, they might even be friends, someday.

Final Impressions:

From beginning to end, Tate no Yuusha has proven itself to a quality adaptation of its source material. This was clear from the very first episode, which didn’t shy away from the trauma being accused of sexual assault by someone you trusted would cause, and the damage it would do to your relationships with others. In one episode, thanks to one cruel act, Naofumi went from having everything his fellow heroes had to set them on their paths to having none of it, and ultimately became stronger for it. However, if you’re like me, you may have tuned into this series to see a darker hero, one motivated by vengeance and rage, which was definitely how Naofumi started out, though he was toned down when it came to his initial callousness towards Raphtalia. Losing some of his edge had the consequence of making him more like your traditional hero with trust issues, and after a while it became a relief, because without the immediate outrage caused by his expulsion, his destructive Wrath tended to feel overblown. Though the series often seemed to attempt to rectify this by playing montages of scenes where Naofumi was wronged, since those scenes rarely changed it felt more like padding the series for run time than anything. To get around that, it might have been a good idea to shorten the first season to 23 or 24 episodes, just to streamline things so that story elements like the Pope arc didn’t have to be quite so drawn out.

It’s okay for an adaptation not to follow the source material to the letter. Other mediums allow the reader to flip through the action as quickly as they desire, but with animation there’s only one way to watch, leading to some uneven pacing. Tate no Yuusha had a tendency to progress rapidly at the start, and not to its detriment. Naofumi was cast out in the first episode, followed by him buying Raphtalia, and in no time at all, her body grew into adulthood. It was a pace that suited the series much more than the episode-long flashbacks with Raphtalia’s doomed childhood friend. Actually, let me go back to Raphtalia being mentally and physically an adult for a minute. So, from fairly early on it became easy to see that she had a crush on Naofumi. The issue with their romance doesn’t come from her end, but rather from the fact that she is emotionally dependent on him to the point of falling to her knees sobbing at the thought of losing him, and he still sees her as a child. This was something I was aware was going to happen from the start, so I’m not exactly surprised. It’s just that if this was something the series was determined to do, since we cannot exist in a world where our main lead doesn’t have a love interest, it could have lightened up on those father/daughter vibes it’s been throwing all season long.

Make no mistake, though, this was a fun and engaging series and I’m forever grateful to Pancakes for allowing me to review it. Issues with pacing aside, visually the scenes were consistently dynamic, often even beautiful, and the voice acting was, for the most part, consistently well-done. Ishikawa Kaito, Seto Asami, and Sarah Emi Bridcutt all did amazing, fantastic work for their characters. I’ve already praised Kevin Penkin’s musical score, but that certainly deserves another mention because it consistently set the tone for the events on screen, whether it simply be slow sequences of Naofumi traveling with his companions or the horror of an Iron Maiden descending from an apocalyptic sky. Another strength was the side characters. While Melty became a fully developed member of the group in her own right, characters like the Grandma, the blacksmith, and even characters with less screentime like Glass, L’Arc, and Therese, tended to feel dynamic, with thoughts and feelings that didn’t always revolve around our lead.

Following Naofumi on his journey into becoming not the hero Melromarc deserves, but the one they need right now was honestly the plot thread I was most invested in, and seeing him now, so willing to outstretch a hand to others, to show mercy to his enemies and continue trying to make amends with the other heroes is why I am earnestly looking forward to the second season.



  1. Too many threads — is the Fitoria still a threat to the heroes?
    Because even though Naofumi has tried, the others seem to be falling
    behind quite a bit now. Those 3 stooges really looked like dummies
    the last couple of eps and clearly, right now, they have no interest
    in listening to Naofumi. And they’re clearly unable to deal with this
    wave and probably any future waves. So they’re a high fail now.

    I’m a little frustrated that Naofumi is so dense to Raphtalia’s advances.
    He still seeing her as a child is not an excuse since no one else is
    making that mistake.

    So, no monsters this last wave — or did I just miss ’em. So, WTF is
    everybody fighting with the wave; is there more than two worlds involved?
    Are the number of heroes different in each world? And where the hell is
    Saitama in all of this… 🙂

    So, it was an okay series, but I have to give it a 4/10 because of all
    of the times it went south in the series…

    1. I guess it makes sense for Naofumi to be “dense” to her advances since he closed off his heart to everyone around him, not taking their emotions or situations into considerations at all, which Rapthalia scolded him for again and again throughout the series.

      Guess you were sleeping throughout the last episode. They fought off an entire army of fish-monsters one of which almost managed to drag Melty into the sea, and then of course there was the huge Narwhale-monster they spent half the episode taking down until L’arc massacred it by himself.

  2. https://randomc.net/image/Tate%20no%20Yuusha%20no%20Nariagari/Tate%20no%20Yuusha%20no%20Nariagari%20-%2025%20-%20Large%2027.jpg
    Wonder if there are any actual characters on there.
    saying those heroes are stupid would be an understatement. If I was a sentient weapon, I would be thinking “why the hell did I get this sort of hero.”
    I hope to see Naofumi in maybe Isekai Quadret.

    1. Wonder if there are any actual characters on there.

      Banner: Melromarc
      Title: Transfer Autonomy
      Interstitial: Demi Human Autonomous Region
      Footer: Naofumi Iwatani

      The actual text of the document is undetailed, though.

    2. Well, Isekai Quartet is confirmed getting a second season, and Kadokawa has the rights to Shield Hero, so it’s a logical choice to include in that crossover (alongside Kenja no Mago, perhaps). NGL, I’d love to see Naofumi interacting with Kazuma and Subaru, as well as Raphtalia talking to CZ Delta (*cough*seiyuujoke*cough*).

  3. This was a nice ending to the ANIME only, but this battle between L’Arc, Therese, Glass and Naofumi didn’t end this way it’s heavily modified compared to the Manga.

    Not to mention this rebuilding of Raphtalia’s town, it never happened in the Manga.

    1. Well the Manga is still ongoing. I i think they did not want to wait that long to fill an entire season

      Perhaps they somehow work things out to pick up the Anime only story where it ends here and jump into the new Manga flow

      Time would tell

    2. This will happen later in the Light Novel, after the Spirit Turtle Arc. So they just show some future events, but this will not affect the story if they make a sequel.

  4. I truly enjoyed this series a lot.
    Sadly they rushed some things and completely ignored some others that are important to the story, specially in the last chapters.
    I just hope that the way they rushed things at the end, won’t affect the following arc, if there is any.

  5. This series was absolutely all over the place. For the most part, it’s a pretty down the middle mediocre Isekai, nothing ground breaking, but nothing terrible. Having said that, there were plenty of both extremes in here as well. There were many, especially early on, points where the writing was just flat out frustrating and hard to watch. Most of the characters in the show, especially the other heros and definitely the Pope, are just downright stupid and irritating, and poorly written, though some of that could be by design.
    There were of course, some really good moments as well. The different attacks generated by the rage shield were some the coolest attacks I have ever seen in anime, and I honestly wish more of that creativity had been spread around throughout the battles. (The other heros in particular got just the most generic boring attacks ever)
    All in all, I pushed through a good bit of this and it’s not something that I’d care to watch through a second time, but it had enough to at least keep me entertained.

  6. Absolutely spot on review and I absolutely loved this series. Best series I have watched for the year to be frank. Every Wednesday evening was a treat and I can’t recall being dragged emotionally from one end of the spectrum to the other that often. Really engaging. Hope we get a new season as this world is fascinating.

  7. https://randomc.net/image/Tate%20no%20Yuusha%20no%20Nariagari/Tate%20no%20Yuusha%20no%20Nariagari%20-%2025%20-%20Large%2015.jpg
    Realizing this episode will be the last we’ll see of B!tch (for now): [*”Crab Rave” intensifies*]

    Realizing this episode will also be the last we’ll see of Raphtalia and (MILF) Queen Mirelia Q. Melromarc (for now): NOOOOOOOO! [*inelegant blubbering*]

    Since I’ll be watching/following only a handful of anime for Summer 2019, a full rewatch of Shield Hero is in order.

  8. As said before, they ended the anime with some events from later in the novels. When we get a second season however, we really get to see how stupid bow dude is where-as the other 2 are just scared of Naofumi his strength.

  9. I guess I wanted more out of the confrontation with Glass. It felt rushed, but we did get reason why they were attacking. Also, why she had to concede the fight for now was humorous. For it’s faults, the anime did it’s advertising job and I’ll probably be reading the manga and LN to fill in the blanks. Still need to get to Goblin Slayer first though.

    Keep Refrigerated
  10. I suppose this show is entertaining enough, but it’s really not a show I’d end up rewatching. Some parts are very jarring just as it’s supposed to be. Signs of good adaptation I suppose, but clearly not good for BD/DVD sales.

    If there’s anything I want them to expand more of, it has to be Therese’s power.
    Can’t say I know why her hair changes red and since there seem to be more than one spirit, why not other colours? It doesn’t seem to relate with other game or RPG stuff like the rest of the cast. At least not the ones that I’ve played/read.

    1. The change of the hair is in some of the rpg’s i’ve played though.
      Weird mechanic where your aura and color changes depending on the main element you are using, which also affected your elemental resistances and buffs.
      So if you picked fire as the main element, you’d get fire colored hair and aura while your fire-related stuff was getting a buff and you had an increase in fire resistance. ( think they also had heat included but that might be me mixing up different mmo’s there. )
      The downside was that the opposite of the main element was your weakness and your own spells of that element were also weaker, which encouraged switching elements on a moments notice.
      So, if you had fire active, you were weak against water but your own water spells also got weak where-as the moment you switched to water, the reverse happened. Your water spells and resistance got stronger where-as you got weaker in the fire department.

      Some older rpg mmo’s used to go with all elements, which required you to memorize a shit ton of stuff where-as others like blade and soul just reduce it to 2 elements you have to keep switching between if you want to get the most effect out of your class.

      1. The thing is, her hair only turns red. She’s also used at least two elements and perhaps up to four in ep. 24. Would’ve thought the colour represents the active spirit/element, but that certainly doesn’t seem to be the case.

  11. Well that everything, a shame it’s over.
    Hope we can see the spin off of the Spear Hero, will they show the spin off series?

    Also it picture is also that time itself will reset and everything will back it was as if all the events that he experienced had never happened, a perfect prequel that time as reset itself by the Spear hero.


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