Rising of the Shield Hero, Episode 21 Review/Recap
I had been wanting to post about this since the start, but I never found the time to do it. That said, I couldn’t help myself from wanting to write something for this moment.
If you haven’t been keeping up with anime, Rising of The Shield Hero was one of the big names to come out of winter 2019. It’s an Isekai story about Naofumi Iwatani, a college student who gets summoned to another world as one of four heroes meant to save it from destruction. Standard Isekai, until you learn that Naofumi is the Shield Hero, who can only use a shield to defend and nothing else. It gets worse.
The show got a lot of controversy from the first episode when Naofumi was wrongfully framed for attempting to rape a party member, Malty. Then comes the fact that Naofumi’s first real companion is a slave girl he bought. So, there’s controversy about this thing. Not that I care.
Long story short, the anime just had Naofumi take down the corrupt religion of the Church of the Three Heroes that was behind his troubles. In doing so, though, he almost died.
Naofumi wakes up in a high-class hospital after being saved by the Queen, Miriela Q. Melromarc. He’s been asleep for three days while his friends Raphtalia, Filo, and Melty have been by his side. He’ll live, but it will take a month or so to heal.
The Queen then explains that everything Naofumi went through wasn’t supposed to happen. The Four Heroes were supposed to be summoned seperately by different countries. The Church of Three Heroes, though, decided to be turds, summoned them anyway, and hogged them all to Melromarc. The Queen was all over trying to stop an international incident while her husband and daughter put Naofumi through hell.
The Queen is, understandably, furious beyond words. She outlaws the Three Heroes Church, but she goes the extra mile to convince Naofumi to stay in Melromarc. If he leaves, the international community will invade Melromarc for what they did to him.
At the Royal Palace, with the entire country watching, the King and Malty are tried for treason, incompetence, and being pieces of garbage.
Malty’s put under a slave crest to make sure she tells the truth, but despite all that, she continues to lie. About framing Naofumi for raping her, kidnapping Melty, trying to kill her sister.
The sentence for both of them: death. Yet Naofumi’s not satisfied with that, and decides to make the rest of their lives hell. Instead, the King’s name is changed to “Trash”, and Malty to “Bitch”; her adventurer name will now be “Slut”.
Good thing, too. The Queen was willing to offer up her own life in exchange for her horrid husband and daughter. Naofumi decides to stay in Melromarc, but he plans to help everyone in the world from here on out. So he, Filo, and Raphtalia set out once more, only this time, everyone knows that they’re heroes.
There were a few differences between what happened here and what happened in the manga, and light novels. First, Naofumi was the one who called for their deaths rather than wanting to spare them. It took the Queen to convince him to make them go through a fate worse than death.
Second, in this episode, even Motoyasu turns his back on Bitch after he learns the truth. In every other version, he’s on her side despite it defying all logic.
My point is that the way they react ends up being out of character for both of them. Every adaptation of Shield Hero, in fact, has gotten lighter in tone to make Naofumi more heroic. In the web novel, he could be just as bad as everyone else.
Everything that I just mentioned, though, is me nitpicking. It doesn’t tread water against the moment we’ve all waited for: Trash and Bitch get what they deserve. In regards to that moment, the anime did it better than any other version.
Having the two pieces of filth stand trial while broadcasting it across Melromarc was a great idea. That never happened in the literature or manga, so it made the whole thing more enjoyable.
The best thing, though, was seeing the anime version of Cersei Lannister crying and in pain. Every time she got shocked, I was grinning ear to ear.
I know it sounds sadistic, but let’s remember everything she’s done:
- She stole Naofumi’s gear
- She falsely accused Naofumi of trying to rape her
- She manipulated Motoyasu to fight Naofumi so she could take Raphtalia away from him, and likely hunt her down and kill her for fun.
- Charging an unfair toll to a distant village, then cheating in a race against Naofumi
- Framed Naofumi for kidnapping Melty, tried to kill her, and burned down a forest to flush them out.
That’s not even the worst of it. The Web Novels say she pulled what she did to Naofumi on other men. She’s a monster, and seeing her in pain is cathartic.
So, it may irk me a bit that the episode ends on a positive note, like everything’s right with the world. It isn’t, and there are going to be more troubles in the future. I will overlook it all, though, because it was worth seeing Bitch get what she deserves. It’s what I wanted to see Cersei Lannister go through in the end.
The anime is going to keep going for a few more episodes, but this felt like the perfect way to end the show; or at least the first season. By god, it was worth it, though. One of the best anime I have seen in years!