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The Rising of The Shield Hero (TV).


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Harleyquin



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:47 am Reply with quote
#10

If this episode title could be renamed differently, "The Calm before the Storm" wouldn't go amiss.

Naofumi and company have worked hard to develop themselves to the point where they cannot improve further without the gamey and very artificial ceremony of "class-up" at the designated hourglass towers in each state. Since the King and Mine from the first state have expressly forbidden the ceremony to Iwatani Naofumi and his compatriots at whatever price, he has to travel elsewhere or he'll be wasting his time fighting monsters for anything other than loot. Naofumi is resigned to waiting until they survive the wave before moving on to another state to get the ceremony done, but is the handicap going to be critical in the face of the new foe? Another case of the Kingdom cutting off the nose to spite the face.

As much as Naofumi would prefer not to party with anyone he doesn't have absolute control over with the slave crest, he is pragmatic enough to realise he needs all the help he can get. Even if the villagers are genuine in their desire to fight under his command, I can see him using them as sacrificial bodies if he had to, especially as Raphtalia has not completely healed from the Shield Curse so close to the Wave and with the help of the holy water. Betrayal at the start of the adaptation has left too deep an impression on his personality to be fixed any time soon, only his slaves are treated with some measure of friendliness. His repeated polishing of the bracelet and hair pin are testament to that.

Filo's claws could fracture skulls on their own, but the slave dealer's equipment upgrade just made her deadlier. Naofumi and Raphtalia have a few equipment upgrades of their own, so even with the level cap they should at least fare better against what's to come.

The last time viewers saw the Bow Hero Itsuki, it was shortly after Naofumi left the Kingdom after receiving his reward. Turns out that rumour about him joining a Resistance movement wasn't off the mark after all. Funny enough, why is it all three of the Heroes (bar Iwatani himself) seem to cause trouble via unintended consequences of their main actions? Spear Hero with the seed, Sword Hero with the Dragon and now Bow Hero with the coup d'etat. They may bear the burden of defeating the "Boss Monster" to halt each invasion wave, but what a price others have to pay while they're busy with Wave preparation...

If the OP animation is any indication, everything shown there has been revealed one way or another over the course of the series. The lady with the twin fans but with the obscured face so far is capable of flight/teleportation and should be assuming the role last taken by the Manticore in the first wave summoned after the heroes arrived. The series is going on for two quarters, so I'm expecting a refresh of the OP and ED animation and songs in the not so distant future.

With an episode title like 災厄、再び, I'm expecting plenty of action next week.
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Dessa



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:00 am Reply with quote
Harleyquin wrote:
Funny enough, why is it all three of the Heroes (bar Iwatani himself) seem to cause trouble via unintended consequences of their main actions? Spear Hero with the seed, Sword Hero with the Dragon and now Bow Hero with the coup d'etat. They may bear the burden of defeating the "Boss Monster" to halt each invasion wave, but what a price others have to pay while they're busy with Wave preparation...


My friend and I who watch it together have been commenting on this. I think Sword is starting to get it (Bow seems to be also, but doesn't want to admit it, and Spear is just an idiot), that this isn't just an RPG where you do the quests and then it's done. This is a real world where your actions have consequences, and you need to make sure you deal with those as well.
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DuskyPredator
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:07 am Reply with quote
My understanding can somewhat be along the lines of being possible hanging plot lines you see in the fantasy stuff, that a quest earlier in a game could create another. But really, a lot of those tropes come from acting without thinking too hard, and maybe the exact thing one might expect from those guys who are treating it with the experience of a computer game, where the extra stuff is stuff is just flavour text you just ignore. The spear hero doesn't bother to think why the seed was not used in the first place, and take a look at all the warnings. The sword hero doesn't bother to see what economic changes, and make sure the dragon's corpse get dealt with in a timely manner. And politics can be a complex matter, and thinking that you can simply solve it by picking the revolt and acting through force, it was rather childish of the bow hero to think that just taking people out would solve a situation.

A lot of the time a game written story is made by the hero being foolish, but it doesn't mean you have to just stick with that path. It is one of the reasons I think D&D can be cool, because the players could solve problems in interesting ways, and try not to fall for the common tropes. I kind of like the going into the details thing, solving problems not just in the kill the bad guy thing, adapting to a situation, and the bits that exist in the holes of a story.

Something I have been working on for a while now is a fantasy story that follows economics in a heroes way to bring good. Trading, looking out for economic opportunities and threats, and strength outside of how badly a monster can be hit. And at the moment I am trying to do a write up of all the different shops of a D&D fantasy world, with what goods and services were as an aid to fill in inventories and explain the specifics. Really didn't know what the differences could be of things like Smiths, Metal-forgers, Armorers, Locksmiths, Finesmiths, Tinkeres, Pewterers and Casters, usually just mentioned as blacksmith and call it a day, Skyrim throwing in Tanners and Leatherworker into the same building and NPC too. But I am seeing how complicated the metal working field would be with each of the above apparently having their own guilds, with politics, and an impact on things. Actually still trying to figure out what is supposed to be the difference of a Smith and Metal-forger, with what items go where.
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Harleyquin



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:34 am Reply with quote
#11

This episode is pure fun. Naofumi's latest travelling excursion prepares him well enough to keep villagers safe for an extended period of time, especially after the volunteers from last week put in a shift. The old lady from his early travelling days makes a surprising cameo appearance, I guess the moral here is help can come from unexpected quarters. I thought Iwatani's line "What on earth was that medicine I fed her?" was absolutely priceless.

The rest of the episode is devoted to the big set piece battle on that very weird flying pirate ship. It's surprising how the remaining three heroes have become so selfish and self-centred as they've gained in strength that their teamwork compared to the first wave battle is now completely non-existent. The Shield Hero's timely intervention gets them to focus on the true target at least, but it's only when Naofumi unleashes the extended power of his malicious shield that the battle is brought to a close. One interesting feature of his shield of fury: Filo goes completely berserk but loses her memory of what happened when the effect wears off. Raphtalia on the other hand is unaffected and is the one thing keeping Iwatani tethered to the shore of sanity. Something to do with Filo eating a big chunk of the Zombie Dragon Crystal earlier on?

There's considerable irony in Ren complaining about the Shield Hero's Iron Maiden ability: a brief glimpse of his own status window when he's fighting the zombie captain shows he and his party are level 65(!) and have almost certainly undergone the class upgrade ritual prior to the Wave. Numbers-wise he and his party would crush the Shield Hero and Raphtalia quickly, so he's got some nerve complaining about an ability which compensates for the Shield Hero's considerable statistical disadvantage (if the world they lived in really was a game)

Looks like the second wave isn't like just like an ordinary video game; the "boss monster" the four have to defeat isn't the soul eater that was giving them so much grief. The mysterious Glas with her fans has formally introduced herself and declares she's the target they have to take out to stop the Wave. Classic example of a third party picking up the spoils after two opposing combatants have beaten each other to a pulp, but the way she effortlessly crushed the unexpected visitor shows she's not to be trifled with. More action next week, which I'm looking forward to.
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Harleyquin



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:22 am Reply with quote
#12

If last week's show of force wasn't enough, Glas shows up in Naofumi's appraisal in the same way the Zombie Dragon did: he and his party are outgunned in the statistics department in addition to sheer combat ability. Unsurprisingly everything thrown at her direction is shrugged off contemptuously, even the accelerated Iron Maiden summon didn't do a thing (and she deliberately allowed it since the first shield prison step wouldn't have held her to begin with). Running away is the strategy of last resort as always and is well utilised by the trio. The only silver lining for Iwatani Naofumi and company is despite the statistical inferiority the Shield Hero's innately strong defences are still capable of withstanding devastating attacks just like the battle against the Zombie Dragon.

To be honest, the conclusion is half-baked since both sides are forced to retreat. Glas said something about time running out, so she was lying when she said winning the duel against her was the condition for ending the current Wave. I suspect the collapse of the monster hybrid pirate ship was the last condition for the Wave to cease. She's out to defeat the four Heroes, but wasn't able to press the attack in pursuing the trio. Perhaps viewers will learn further down the road what she's really after.

The rest of the episode is devoted to cleanup and the aftermath. The King is clearly a figurehead in the kingdom where women call the shots, but he also acknowledges Melty's point about excessive oppression of the Shield Hero leading to everyone's destruction. Don't know what game he's playing together with his elder daughter. The scene between a lone Shield Hero and an empty court is quite satisfying compared to the kangaroo court it was at the very start of the series; the balance of power has shifted dramatically in the Hero's favour even if his offensive capabilities are extremely restricted and only activated under strict conditions.

As a reward for their survival, the trio get more gear to aid them. One advantage of being a loyal customer and saving the lives of everyone in the process. With that final scene (which was hinted slightly over the course of the episode) it looks like a new arc is going to begin. I can't imagine Naofumi messing up now after parrying the first strike, so what will happen after the soldiers are cleaned up and he has to run? With a title like 盾の悪魔 I can't imagine it referring to anyone other than himself on the outset.
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DuskyPredator
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:53 am Reply with quote
Harleyquin wrote:

The rest of the episode is devoted to cleanup and the aftermath. The King is clearly a figurehead in the kingdom where women call the shots, but he also acknowledges Melty's point about excessive oppression of the Shield Hero leading to everyone's destruction. Don't know what game he's playing together with his elder daughter. The scene between a lone Shield Hero and an empty court is quite satisfying compared to the kangaroo court it was at the very start of the series; the balance of power has shifted dramatically in the Hero's favour even if his offensive capabilities are extremely restricted and only activated under strict conditions.


I have got the impression that the queen may be tied up in something, that she still exists as the leader, with him being the one who married into the role, but the queen is usually in charge. Melty's sister did say he is in charge when the queen is away, thus the way things have been is not the standard, perhaps otherwise related to the heroes and Waves. Melty is also the crowning princess, which means the mother probably at some point punished the elder sister for the sort of ways she acts.

Another addition is I think that we are looking at two factions behind the scenes that has some influence around the crown. We have largely had the church, which seems to have a grudge against the shield hero, specifically looking down on the role, and putting on a kind face while a part of the dislike of the shield hero as a role. My guess would be that the church set itself up as a humans being superior thing, and removed the shield hero as among the ones worshiped due to the one in the past apparently helping the demihumans. I think it might even go so far that the church even wants to make him a mockery as to increase its influence by glorifying the other three.

Another faction seems more directly tied to the characters like the queen and Melty, being one of the people that congratulated Naofumi on the stairs, and took messages from the queen. I think that we can take that it was the queen's word that stopped the elder princess and the spear hero just deciding they had rulership over the village Naofumi saved during the first wave. Going to guess it is sort of a secret organization involved in protecting the kingdom, outside of the politics of the church, my guess would be something like assassins under the queen, and probably could see the elder sister was not fit. Don't know if it has history, but the thing the girl gave Naofumi is of interest.

The thing Glass said makes me think of her as an opposite side of the waves, with maybe people summoned from other worlds to act as their champions. Not going to be surprised in Glass is revealed to be something like "The Fan Hero", whether she is fighting a war on her side, or they have some job like pulling together monsters to create the waves. Maybe stuff like his rage shield are like the build up of resentment that makes up the Waves, or the zombie dragon. There could be some reveal like doing things like the acting without thinking, are the sort of things that brings on the Waves.
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Harleyquin



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:34 am Reply with quote
#13

New OP and ED songs and animation, and with the refresh the Shield Hero finds himself straight back to where he started in episode #0. I didn't realise the crystal ball image manipulation was done so blatantly, but the Church has done its part to once again make the Shield Hero public enemy number one once again.

If the first season OP is any indication, there are plenty of hints to be had from this week's refresh. Regardless, there's a long road ahead for Iwatani Naofumi and his party before they can get to their next target.

What sliver of light there is at the end of this new tunnel is the emergence of the Queen's spy team aiding him explicitly (doesn't hurt having the Queen's daughter as a part of the entourage) as well as the conversion of Ren and possibly Itsuki from outright hostility to at least sympathetic ambivalence. At this point Ren suspects Naofumi has been set up, but he doesn't like or trust him enough to go out of his way to clear his name. How far he will go to chase the lead given in the form of the chalice is up for debate.
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Harleyquin



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:36 am Reply with quote
#14

The vice tightens, so the party is forced to obey the summons of Melty's mum but first have to break through their encirclement. Although they make it to a friendly town, the church is one step ahead and sends one of the king's fellow xenophobic comrade-in-arms to supervise the interrogation.

This episode feels more like a setup for next week than anything else. Melty like the other two females in the group is starting to fall for the Shield Hero, who remains oblivious to the attentions of his fellow travellers. The framing of this episode however is Raphtalia's past, filling in what happened after her parents sacrificed themselves and before Naofumi found her in the slave trader's tent in the capital city. If that final scene wasn't blunt enough, Raphtalia has it in for Idol (odd name) and if next week's episode title is any indication viewers should find out why.
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Harleyquin



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:11 am Reply with quote
#15

Hardly any action in this episode, but to compensate this episode goes all out to tug at the heartstrings of its viewers. After this episode viewers now know what happened from Raphtalia's parents getting eaten by a hellhound to the Shield Hero finding her in the Slave Merchant's camp.

Raphtalia was lucky she was sold, otherwise she would have died together with Rifana and her fellow villagers. She may have been too late to save her best friend, but her efforts weren't entirely in vain. Iwatani Naofumi finally gets to pay back the debt he owed her way back in episode 4 when he was at his lowest ebb, although from this point out I'd expect Raphtalia to be more possessive of her Shield Hero when other ladies get close to him.

Animators crafted an episode that's out of keeping with the tone of this series, but it's telling that the demi-humans look up to the Shield Hero just as Melty's kingdom goes out of its way to oppress them. Whatever god the Church believes in, it's got some sense of humour to disable a seal keeping a T-Rex in check. At the very least, this week's comparative lack of action set-pieces is going to be made up with interest next week.

Interesting episode title for next week as well. Filo is supposed to be royalty since she can shapeshift, so is the Queen in the title referring to her or an actual one who lords it over the rest of her kind?
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Harleyquin



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:51 am Reply with quote
#16

T-Rex vs. Hero and party turns out to be so lopsidedly in favour of the former that it takes a Deus Ex Machina intervention to save Naofumi and company. If the reigning Queen Filolial wasn't nearby and actively searching for a successor, it would have been death by attrition.

Fitoria (Victoria with an "F"?) has lived for so long that she knows much about the world far beyond that of the mortals who've been harrying the Shield Hero. Only person I can think of who is aware of how important the Heroes are for the rest of the world is the Melromarc monarch herself. If the Heroes were meant to serve not just one kingdom but the whole world while they're bound by the summoning, then Naofumi and the others have unwittingly cost many more lives than they can imagine with their internecine squabbling.

It appears Naofumi and the other three Heroes are not the first ones to ever be summoned to this world for its defence. Fitoria was raised by one, so her remark on how significant it is for Filolials to be raised by one of the Heroes shows what kind of role Filo will play when and if Naofumi completes his great task.

I'm also curious as to what the Dragon Emperor is since Filo and now the Queen have fragments of it.

That final declaration from Fitoria is almost certainly going to kill Naofumi and the other Heroes unless something drastic occurs. Fortunately it looks like relations between him and the other Heroes might be taking a turn for the better now that Ren and Itsuki are taking him up on the plea to investigate the Church.
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Harleyquin



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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 10:21 am Reply with quote
#17

The episode is more about Fitoria than anything else. It's not made explicitly clear, but it's heavily implied she was raised by a predecessor Shield Hero who had an outfit very similar to that of the current incarnation. She has good reason to want the current generation of Heroes to work together, but she also has a succession issue to think about. Filo probably won't become the next Queen unless the slave crest she bears is removed though.

Did Filo lose the power gloves she was using at the end of the duel? She may have received a boost after the duel, but the gloves are a counter against strength-sapping magic.

To be fair to Naofumi, he did say he was innocent way back in episode 1 but was not listened to. Like most people, it's easier to just give up and adopt a siege mentality rather than assume a course of action which is ultimately futile unless something drastic changes the situation. But Fitoria has a point; Naofumi has as good a chance to clear his name now than at any other point in the series to date. Assuming the two Hero groups didn't get killed by that booby trap, he might as well start with them instead of the thick-headed Spear Hero.

Both Fitoria and Glas have emphasised how weak the current Heroes are. I can't imagine how capable the predecessors were, but at the very least it's unlikely they were as divided as the current generation is after the kingdom of Melromarc's machinations.

Next episode title looks like it leans towards exposition rather than action.
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Harleyquin



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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2019 10:36 am Reply with quote
#18

The intermission featuring Fitoria slowed things down both on the entertainment and action stakes, but this episode more than compensates for it.

Besides getting a new wagon, the party have to force their way through the border to reach the Queen. But they have to contend with a deluded Spear Hero and his gang of flunkies. Despite the stat and level difference, Naofumi more than holds his own without resorting to the Hatred Shield, if anything Motoyasu's hidden trump card for this week actually helps Naofumi and party learn a few new tricks of their own (mana-draining shield, typhoon etc.)

So that trap which engulfed Ren and Itsuki from a few weeks back reveals its true nature. Turns out even the manipulative Malty has been played for a fool by the Pontiff of the Three Cardinal Heroes Church. I don't know how Filo suspected an aerial bombardment, but her instinct and Naofumi's powerful defences keep the contending parties alive after the bombardment. The Pontiff is so confident he's going to finish them off with that fancy sword next episode he's already spilled the beans on his plot, but if he fails to finish the job it's going to haunt him once Naofumi and Motoyasu escape and plan their vengeance.

Speaking of which, how on earth are the Hero parties in that crater going to get out of the mess they're in?! They can't fly out as they're surrounded and there's no way they can dig their way out. Someone (Fitoria? The Heroes thought killed?) will need to intervene to give them the chance to escape, at least that's the only way I can see things unfolding.
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DuskyPredator
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2019 9:24 pm Reply with quote
Looks like the church finally showed their true colours. While it is kind of funny that Melty's sister got a taste of her own medicine, but our heroes stuck in it too.
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Harleyquin



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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 10:23 am Reply with quote
#19

So the episode title spoiled what happened this week: The two "killed" Heroes survived after all. Not possible to have Four Cardinal Heroes if they've been killed while Naofumi and Motoyasu remain standing. However, most of the episode is spent on Naofumi venting his spleen against the Pontiff and his compatriots for the hell they've given him and innocent civilians in the world they've been summoned to. He has every right to be angry, but failure to attack the Pontiff while he was vulnerable has bought the relic wielder enough mana and time to deploy his final trump card. No idea what that Cathedral does, but if the Heroes and their companions can break through it and exhaust the Pontiff's supply of mana, that will be game over for the coup.

Considering next week's episode has the lofty title of 聖邪決戦, it looks like the showdown postponed from this week will be made up in full next week.

Naofumi might keep his promise to Fitoria if he gets out of this alive, but the other benefit to giving the other Heroes a dressing down is to prove he was innocent of the original frameup way back in the episode #0 double-header. At this point, surely the three of them have to admit they'd wronged him and have to issue an apology of some kind. Then again, it's Motoyasu who's only got eyes and a brain for girls so he'll probably need more convincing.
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