This page contains spoilers from The Rising of the Shield Hero.
The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 2 has finally graced our screens this month, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.
With the first episode diving straight into the mystical action we know and love, we can’t help but be proud of team Naofumi as they absolutely demolish scores of monstrous beasts with insane new level-ups.
While it’s great to see Naofumi soar to new heights, we got to remember it wasn’t always rainbows and sunshine for our Shield Hero.
Even though he was initially ecstatic to be isekaied into a whole new parallel world, Melromarc crushed his enthusiasm in record time.
Mocked for no apparent reason, falsely accused of a heinous crime, and disgraced for the sake of the other Heroes, Naofumi couldn’t catch a break from the moment everything went awry.
But why did things turn out this way? And was the animosity solely directed towards him?
The Shield Hero has been resented in Melromarc for time immemorial because of an inherent bias deep-rooted within the country’s religion and royalty, stemming from strained political relations and racism.
Naofumi simply drew the short straw and had to face the heat of bearing the Shield Hero’s mantle despite having no choice in the matter.
4 Reasons Why the Shield Hero’s Discriminated.
I. False Accusation
Kicking off Naofumi’s nosedive into a detestable and demonized outcast is Princess Malty’s false accusation of sexual harassment.
She cunningly played the role of a caring companion only to rob him of his possessions and frame him for an appalling crime one could ever commit in a matrilineal society – Rape.
As a stone-cold narcissist, she adeptly vilified the Shield Hero’s name by playing the victim card and tarnishing Naofumi’s reputation as a predator and lowlife scum.
And to top it off, she even made sure the Spear, Sword, and Bow Heroes were glorified as pillars of righteousness by pretending to seek “refuge and comfort” in Motoyasu, Ren, and Itsuki.
With a horrible felony plastered on his back, Naofumi became a pariah everyone treated with contempt and disgust, making life even more challenging as he now had to struggle to level up without anyone’s assistance.
But what’s worse is Malty’s treachery resulting in Naofumi’s warped personality of a traumatized calculative cynic blinded by rage, on the verge of losing hope in friendship.
II. The Church’s Ideology
The fact that the Melromarc’s clergy went by the name of “The Church of the Three Holy Heroes” was an enormous red flag hinting at Naofumi’s hellish struggle long before Malty’s betrayal.
The writing was on the wall when Naofumi first noticed only the Shield was missing from the Church’s spires. It is later confirmed in Episode 13 that the Church solely worships the Spear, Sword, and Bow as symbols of divine justice, while the Shield is regarded as the Devil.
With a widespread indoctrination of such a belief, Naofumi was pretty much screwed the moment he set foot in Melromarc.
While it’s frustrating that he’s unfairly demonized for no fault on his part, the real reason the Shield Hero’s held in poor light will enrage you even more.
Despite the catastrophe of the Waves, Melromarc’s at loggerheads with a particular nation it considers its archenemy for the primary reason of inter-racial conflict.
Since the enemy country reveres the Shield Hero as a god, Melromarc’s clergy has vilified the Holy Hero’s mantle as evil incarnate, all while making Naofumi’s life a living hell to uphold that narrative.
The Church even interfered with Naofumi’s missions on multiple occasions despite the significant role he plays in defeating the monstrosities brought on by the Waves.
Whether trying to swindle him with low-quality holy water or charging a ridiculous sum of money for a class-up and then changing the rule to deny it altogether, the Church impeded Naofumi’s progress to prop up the other Heroes.
However, ironically, the three heroes prove to be the most incompetent bunch the Church could have ever summoned.
III. Connection to Siltvelt
Another nail in the coffin for Naofumi is the high regard the previous holders of the Shield were held in the Demi-Human supremacist country of Siltvelt.
While Melromarc’s clergy are openly racist towards its neighboring country’s inhabitants and vilify the Shield Hero, Siltvelt is the exact opposite.
Humans are heavily discriminated against and sold as slaves, while the Shield Hero’s worshipped as a god. So, it’s no surprise Naofumi’s under fire for his association with such a nation.
But with twisted international politics causing the raid of Lurolona Village, the trafficking of Demi-Humans, and the brutal battles of the past, tensions have now escalated to a war-breaking point.
Melromarc now fears that Naofumi will rally the Kingdom of Siltvelt and cause an uprising that could sack the country.
King Aultcray is especially resentful against the Shield Hero, as Naofumi and his predecessors protect the very race that had cost him several members of his family in a previous war.
IV. Enslaving Raphtalia
After his rep received a damaging blow, Naofumi was kicked to the curb without remorse. Since he lacked offensive moves and couldn’t wield any other weapon besides his Shield, he was now a sitting duck.
Defenseless and unable to power up quickly, Naofumi had no choice but to resort to the slave market since he wouldn’t receive aid anywhere else.
While the technicalities of leveling up were met with placing the slave crest on Raphtalia, it also assured she wouldn’t betray him.
Although he never intended to treat her coldly, he was still hounded by the paranoia of being backstabbed and needed assurance to ease his mind. Unfortunately, this only added insult to injury.
Naofumi’s already marred image, coupled with the fact that he stooped to slavery, bolstered the Anti-Shield Hero propaganda and actually made him look worse.
Although he paid no mind to the verbal abuse flung at him, he was humiliated in a sick and twisted form of “justice” when Malty’s illegal interference resulted in his defeat against Motoyasu.
And to make matters worse, he was belittled and used yet again to glorify the Spear Hero for defeating the “Evil Shield Hero” and “saving” Raphtalia.
Thankfully, Naofumi had his very first silver lining when Raphtalia swore her loyalty to him after rightfully putting both Malty and Motoyasu in their place.
Why was He Summoned Despite the Resentment?
Although summoning the supposed “Devil Incarnate” in your own country seems puzzling, the Church and the King had Melromarc’s best interests in mind when Naofumi was brought to the Kingdom.
It was an underhanded move to monopolize control over the Four Holy Weapons and grant the Kingdom security from potential invaders and the Waves’ hideous beasts, all while dealing with their archenemy’s beloved champion in one fell swoop.
Fitoria explains that each one of the nations should ideally summon a single hero to counter the Waves ravaging their territories. However, Aultcray was ready to sacrifice diplomacy and stability for military advantage and revenge.
Naofumi was only summoned to be watched, weakened, and potentially killed so that Siltvelt’s chances of gaining a scintilla of power and waging war on Melromarc could be reduced to nil.
Fortunately, Naofumi evaded the dire fate planned for him by finding true friends in Raphtalia, Filo, and Melty.
Will Melromarc Continue to Despise him after Season 1’s Events?
The last few episodes of Season 1 finally cleared Naofumi’s name, gave him his due credit for risking his life against the Waves, and even propped him up for his impressive growth throughout his journey.
Melromarc’s citizens have received an eye-opener about Naofumi’s true character and the shady schemes the Church and King pulled to tarnish it. So, it’s a given that most of them will now respect him.
For starters, exposing Malty’s poisonous lies restored his reputation. It also garnered respect and sympathy from those watching the broadcast of her trial and the infamous naming ceremony of ‘Bitch’ and ‘Trash.’
Secondly, the destruction and the near endangerment of the three Heroes caused by the Church’s treason certainly put people on team Naofumi when Queen Mirellia praised him for his efforts in defending the country.
Thirdly, a new religious order equally revering the Four Heroes established by the Queen could undo the toxic brainwashing of the previous Church. Besides, since the true ruler has returned, people are bound to follow her lead.
But there’ll also be a few sour apples that will continue to loathe him out of the fear of his potential defection to Siltvelt or plain blind belief in the Church’s doctrines.
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About The Rising of the Shield Hero
Tate no Yusha no Nariagari or The Rising of the Shield Hero is an isekai light novel series written by Aneko Yusagi. It was initially published as a web novel on the Shosetsuka ni Naro website from 2012 to 2015.
In August 2013, Media Factory started publishing the light novel series with an expanded storyline featuring illustrations by Seira Minami.
Later on, Kinema Citrus adapted the light novel into an anime television series. The first episode aired on 9 January 2019.
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