Why Raphtalia is the best girl of 2019
HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE! I had meant to post this before the end of 2019, but my schedule got in the way of things. Thus, I want to kick off the new year by taking a look at the anime of the old year. Specifically, I wanted to look at who many consider to be the best girl of 2019, Raphtalia from The Rising of the Shield Hero.
The Rising of the Shield Hero came out in January 2019, and it attracted controversy early on for two reasons. First, the main character, Naofumi, gets summoned to be a hero in another world. However, he’s falsely accused of attempted rape by the worst girl in anime history, which turns him into a bitter cynic. Secondly, there’s the status of Raphtalia herself, as she’s Naofumi’s slave.
I should explain some things.
Given the fact that she has tanuki ears and a tail, it’s obvious that Raphtalia’s not human. She’s actually a demi-human, a humanoid species with animal traits and the ability to rapidly mature as they grow stronger. These traits lead them to be the target of discrimination and outright enslavement in parts of her world. Unfortunately, such a fate would befall Raphtalia. After losing her parents and her village to monsters, she and the survivors were captured and sold in slavery. The poor girl went through many cruel and heinous masters until she was left sick and near death. This is where Naofumi found her and bought her.
In order for her to fight and defend them, Naofumi went out of his way to treat Raphtalia well, making sure she was well fed and happy. Deep down, though, Naofumi simply didn’t have it in him to hurt someone who’d been through the same kind of hell he went through. As a result, within a few weeks, Raphtalia went from being a shy and adorable little tanuki girl to a strong and beautiful 20-year-old swordswomen.
Calls Out the Detractors
As I said at the start, Shield Hero got a lot of flak over what happened to Naofumi. Then it got probably more flak over the fact that Raphtalia’s a slave. It gets even more meta when another one of the heroes duels Naofumi in a misguided attempt to “save” her. Raphtalia’s ultimately set free, yet she chooses to stay with Naofumi.
The anime makes it as clear as possible that this isn’t a case of Stockholm Syndrome or brainwashing. As the anime shows, Naofumi never treats Raphtalia as a slave, but as an actual person. Almost anyone else would have left Raphtalia for dead; he didn’t. As a result, Raphtalia was able to see past the Shield Hero’s bitter exterior and see him for the kind person he truly was. This, in turn, led her to develop a genuine loyalty for Naofumi. This leads to one of the best moments in anime for 2019 when she bitch slaps her “savior” and calls him out on his ignorance. You go, girl.
Overall, I think Raphtalia’s the best girl of 2019 for multiple reasons. Firstly, there’s no denying that she’s absolutely adorable as a kid, and goes to down-right beautiful as an adult. However, the true reason is her personality. In spite of everything she’s gone through, Raphtalia refused to let herself be broken. She remains incredibly kind-hearted, compassionate, and understanding of others. As a result, she helps Naofumi learn to slowly trust others once more, helping him as much as he helped her. Lastly, she’s an incredibly powerful swordswomen who doesn’t take anyone’s crap.
If you guys haven’t figured it out by now, it’s clear that Rapthalia’s fallen in love with Naofumi. Unfortunately for her, Naofumi refuses to acknowledge her feelings because he still cannot fully trust women and because of the fact that she’s still technically ten. In her defense, though, once demi-humans level up into their adult forms, they’re basically considered adults physically and mentally.
By a wide margin, Raphtalia was the best girl of 2019. She’s powerful, kind and caring, always there for her loved ones, and incredibly beautiful. Naofumi, for the love of all that’s holy, marry her!
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