The highly anticipated second season of The Rising of the Shield Hero released this month and fans have more questions than ever about the ongoing plot and character dynamics.
The Rising of the Shield Hero anime is based on the light novel by the same name, created by Aneko Yusagi.
The light novel itself is an adaptation of the web novel, which serves as the original story. Both novels are considered as separate works, and this becomes the source of confusion for anime fans searching for answers.
The controversy surrounding this risqué series is only lending more fuel to the fire, and the Legendary Heroes seem to be getting a lot of flak from only-anime viewers.
The prominent question today revolves around the intentions of the Shield Hero, Naofumi Iwatani. Is he for or against slavery? Does he view Raphtalia as his daughter or companion? Does he ultimately fall in love with her?
This page contains spoilers from The Rising of the Shield Hero.
The Shield Hero Naofumi Iwatani will eventually fall in love with Raphtalia and marry her.
As of season 2, episode 2 of the anime, he is only just beginning to see her romantically. For all this time he has seen himself as a father-figure to her but things are changing.
Do Naofumi and Raphtalia Kiss in the Last Episode of Season 1?
In the finale of season 1 of The Rising of the Shield Hero anime, Naofumi and Raphtalia hug even though it looks like they share a kiss.
An illustration released by the director Takao Abo and an image from the official Shield Hero art book, show that they merely hug.
It was intentionally shown to be ambiguous. The staff wanted to make it look like a kiss in an attempt to foreground Naofumi and Raphtalia’s future romance.
This bait makes it even more certain that Naofumi will eventually fall for Raphtalia. Naofumi even blushed when they let go of each other, clearly indicating that he is beginning to view Raphtalia as something more than a child.
Even the other characters in the show are waiting for Naofumi to realize his true feelings. They had an entire audience waiting behind closed doors while they hugged.
In the manga and the light novel, the scene is more romantically inclined; I guess the anime creators want to give more time for the characters to develop before making them end up together.
Why it will Take Time for Naofumi to Love Raphtalia Romantically
Narratively speaking, it is still too soon for Naofumi to get over his trauma. He was too scarred after Myne aka Princess Malty Melromarc betrayed him and framed him as a rapist.
He was left without a single penny, hated by all the world.
He becomes emotionally screwed up after what happens to him, and begins to hate the entire female gender merely because Malty is a woman. He is apathetic or wary when any woman makes a romantic advance towards him.
Naofumi clearly needs to overcome his trauma before he is even open to receiving romantic overtures from women without thinking they have some ulterior motive.
When it comes to Raphtalia, he has always seen her as a child, despite the fact that she is almost as mature as him given her demi-human super growth.
The master-slave, father-daughter dynamic between the two is as troublesome to the characters themselves as it is to the viewers.
Raphtalia is Naofumi’s first companion after Malty, and she becomes the only person to gain his trust after Erhard. He loves her as a friend or a daughter but cannot view her as anything more because of his past.
In the light novel, Raphtalia even tries to gain his romantic attention by stripping naked, but all Naofumi does, is compliment her abs.
The anime needs to build up these moments and pace it out so the development of the romantic relationship comes across as natural and believable.
Naofumi unlocks the Shield of Compassion in volume 15 of the light novel. This lifts the curse of the Curse Shield which had for so long supressed his emotions. This is the first step to him realizing his true feelings for Raphtalia.
Why Naofumi and Raphtalia are Meant to Be Together
It’s obvious that Naofumi and Raphtalia are meant to end up together. She is the sword and he is the shield – they complement each other symbolically, thematically, and emotionally.
Raphtalia fell in love with Naofumi almost instantly, despite being afraid of him when he first bought her as a slave. After learning about his past and who he is, she decides to give her all to him.
She is physically, mentally, and emotionally devoted to him, willing to sacrifice and fight for him.
At the same time, despite what his past has done to him, Naofumi develops feelings of trust and compassion for Raphtalia. Seeing her loyalty and devotion, Naofumi vows to take care of her and keep her happy.
His love for her starts off as paternal, since she was only 10 when he first saw her. But Raphtalia matures into a young adult within a week, and the two become closer, and become each other’s pillars of support.
Their bond begins to get more complicated when in the anime, Naofumi gives Raphtalia the exclusive jade bracelet that signifies how much he values their time together.
Naofumi and Raphtalia just make sense. They are yin and yang, shield and sword. They fight for and protect each other, and are thus meant to be together.
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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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