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EP. REVIEW: The Rising of The Shield Hero


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Dosmundos



Joined: 03 Sep 2018
Posts: 28
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:34 am Reply with quote
Can anybody explain what the poisoned cake was all about? He just saved her life, clearly there‘s nothing to gain from it now that the Church doesn’t exist any more, and Naofumi dead (or making an intoxicated fool out of himself, I didn‘t even get if the poison was deadly) would not restore her old name or position.
I just didn‘t get it...
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TirMcDohl



Joined: 06 Jun 2019
Posts: 2
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:55 am Reply with quote
Terrible90sDub wrote:
Lol, I had a similar thought. It's possible I've just played the wrong MMOs, but tanks are often the most in demand of all class types, and seeing as they even throw in video game menus and status bars, it clashes that everyone here scorns someone with a shield. Granted, tanks are capable of doing damage in most RPGs as well, but... you'd think when signing up for a party, more people would want to go with the person who will soak up damage for them.


You've been playing the wrong games all together. Everything about this world screams turn-based JRPG. They way they stand around in combat, the eccentric characters, traveling from village to village in your caravan, etc.

And of course, if you were paying attention it is hinted super early that the Shield Hero (presumably based on the actions of previous iterations of the Shield) is like the patron hero of Demi-humans; and Melromarc is a super racist country that still practices Demi-human slavery. That's why they set Naofumi up and tried to turn the other heroes against him.

This is a quite believable motivation. Hateful ideologies, like Melromarc's human supremacy, easily lead people to defend their bigotry at the expense of their own self-interest:

Only about of third of white Southerners at the time of the Civil War owned slave. The rest were mostly too poor to own land, yet supported to the point of fighting and dying for a system of slavery that drove their own wages down.

The anti-intellectual, anti-semetic, and anti-almost-everything policies of fascist Italy and Germany led many top intellectuals and scientists to flee to one of the Western Allies. That's why Albert Einstein left Germany and ended up in the US. Same for Enrico Fermi, an Italian physicist who led the team that created the first man made nuclear chain reaction not in Italy, but Chicago, Illinois (The Chicago Pile-1). I wonder who would've gotten the bomb first had the fascists not driven out their most powerful weapon: nuclear physicists. And it's hard to imagine the fascists losing the war if they had the bomb.

So, yeah, I can totally believe the people in Melromarc would foolishly drive out arguably the strongest of the four heroes because they fear his ability to disrupt their existing social order by helping Demi-humans. Imagine the waves and the four heroes happening in the antebellum South, and one of the heroes always ends up being an abolitionist. Would they embrace him? Or would they shun him?
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TirMcDohl



Joined: 06 Jun 2019
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:10 am Reply with quote
johan.eriksson.9003 wrote:

You can't ask me to see shield-guy as a good guy who is just going through a lot of pain and at the same time ignore how the ways that pain makes him treat people parallells some of the worst human beings on the planet. It doesn't matter if this isn't a "message show". The show asks me to get invested in these things, and that means actually using my brain and evaluating them.


I hope having watched more of the show you can realize how totally off-base your interpretation here was. Although, truth be told, it should have been plainly obvious after only a few episodes.

Shield Hero actually IS a message show. And it's message is unequivocally a progressive one. Anyone who told you to not get caught up in the slavery part because it isn't very relevant was completely wrong. Slavery is very relevant to the story and it is clearly meant to tie to the real world history of slavery.

In Melromarc Demi-humans are an oppressed race of people who are often enslaved by humans. The government openly embraces a human-supremacist system along with the practice of slavery, and there is clear bigoted animus towards Demi-humans that enter human only spaces (the castle, the tavern, etc.). It is a clear parallel to the race-based slavery in the Americas and even the Jim-Crow segregation that followed.

And what is Naofumi's role in all this? He rescues a slave girl on the verge of death. Trains her to fight. And eventually helps her exact revenge on a savagely racist, slave owning noble, thus freeing all the Demi-humans held there in bondage. Holy Black Socialist Jesus, the man lead a mini slave revolt ffs.

Of the two Demi-human nations Stivlet worships the Shield Hero, and the other is called Shieldfreeden. Raphtalia mentions her parents saying that the Shield Hero was the only one that treated Demi-humans kindly. The show doesn't expect you to sympathize with a racist slaver. It expects you sympathize with the only hero fighting for the poor and the oppressed, the one who straight up said he despises people who abuse their power for personal gain, the one who frees slaves.

The king says he is afraid of the Shield and the Demi-humans doing whatever they want again. A big part of the Shield's persecution is that Melromarc is a racist, human supremacist country that likely views the actions of previous and the current Shield Hero as threats to the existing social order - because he has historically and currently taken up the cause of the Demi-humans at various times.

The Shield's experience of this persecution in turn likely leads him to be more sympathetic to the plight of the Demi-humans, though that is a bit of my own conjecture.

In any case it seems like all this gets ignored by people who get too hung up on the use of the slave crest in the first episodes. But remember, Abolitionists used to buy slaves in order to grant them their freedom. When living under such an oppressive system it is sometimes necessary to use that system's own tools against it. Yes, Naofumi bought Raphtalia as a slave and had a slave crest placed on her. But he never USED that crest except at one point when it was necessary to save both of their lives. And he never treated her as a slave.

The argument could be made that he didn't grant her freedom voluntarily and that he should have done so. The problem is, how? He didn't know anything about the crests let alone how to remove one. Now, I admit, I too was a little off put when Raphtalia chose to have the slave crest put back on, as it seemed to portray the master/slave relationship in a positive light. Aside from the abundance of moments which portray Demi-human slavery in a very negative way, there is actually a logical explanation for Raphtalia's decision: EXP.

I'm not 100% positive, but it seemed like Naofumi was only able to get EXP and level up from the enemies Raphtalia killed because of the slave pact. Without the ability to do this the entire team would have been greatly weakened. This isn't just an ends justify the means argument, they needed that power to fight the slave owning nobleman and free his slaves. The gun was probably the most important tool in the maintenance of chattel slavery. Does that mean a slave, given the chance, shouldn't use that tool to fight back against his own oppression?

This interpretation is supported by the fact that after this point the relationship between the two characters seems completely devoid of any master/slave dynamic. And Raphtalia's slave crest is never seen, let alone activated, ever again. The only function is has served since Raphtalia asked to reapply the seal is to allow her to share EXP with Naofumi. Naofumi then uses the strength from his level ups to protect Raphtalia and in at least one instance actively fight against the enslavement of Demi-humans.

So anyone still running around complaining about the depiction of slavery in the show isn't paying attention at all. Most likely they're too busy trying to make themselves look like the Shonen Jump Weekly of the week to even even that realize Social Justice is actually a major theme of the show.

If you wanna go on a righteous crusade against an anime, please devote your energies to anime's that actually deserve it. Like the horrifically racist and blatantly fascist piece of garbage known as Terra Formars.
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maximilianjenus



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
Posts: 1903
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:52 am Reply with quote
Dosmundos wrote:
Can anybody explain what the poisoned cake was all about? He just saved her life, clearly there‘s nothing to gain from it now that the Church doesn’t exist any more, and Naofumi dead (or making an intoxicated fool out of himself, I didn‘t even get if the poison was deadly) would not restore her old name or position.
I just didn‘t get it...


Stupid anime original scene, in the other media she is also involved in the "bar fight" also (spoiler because thye might move that to the next episode, but I doubt so )spoiler[she was put a no hurt naofumi condition on her slave seal].
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Blanchimont



Joined: 25 Feb 2012
Posts: 1892
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:48 pm Reply with quote
maximilianjenus wrote:
Stupid anime original scene, in the other media she is also involved in the "bar fight" also (spoiler because thye might move that to the next episode, but I doubt so )spoiler[she was put a no hurt naofumi condition on her slave seal].

Malty trying to poison Naofumi party's food was in the novel proper.
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Calsolum



Joined: 11 May 2010
Posts: 744
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:35 pm Reply with quote
Dosmundos wrote:
Can anybody explain what the poisoned cake was all about? He just saved her life, clearly there‘s nothing to gain from it now that the Church doesn’t exist any more, and Naofumi dead (or making an intoxicated fool out of himself, I didn‘t even get if the poison was deadly) would not restore her old name or position.
I just didn‘t get it...


There's not much to explain, it's exactly what it looks like.
She, like the 3 heroes are mentally impaired or just too stupid to believe. Pick your poison.

TirMcDohl wrote:
I'm not 100% positive, but it seemed like Naofumi was only able to get EXP and level up from the enemies Raphtalia killed because of the slave pact.
Sorry to break it to you but that's not how it works, the reason he didn't get exp before with Myne is because she didn't enter a party with him so she got all the exp for killing stuff. Just curious why led you to think Naofumi needed a slave contract in order to get exp while the other 3 didn't?
Regardless, the whole master/slave thing is unsettling but not something that will make or break the series for me and for what it's worth it makes sense in the context of their world. What does raise my eyebrows is Raphtalia's insistence to keep it despite it providing no combat advantages (I'd forgive it on Filo because she's too immature for the destructive power she has, especially in rage mode).
I think sooner rather than later Naofumi should break the contract and if she wants to continue travelling with him(of course she does) then they should continue their travels as equals (of course he would still be the 'party leader')
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maximilianjenus



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
Posts: 1903
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:20 pm Reply with quote
The WN explicitly says that the slave bonus is higher than the party bonus, tho.
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Blanchimont



Joined: 25 Feb 2012
Posts: 1892
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:34 pm Reply with quote
Calsolum wrote:
What does raise my eyebrows is Raphtalia's insistence to keep it despite it providing no combat advantages

Naofumi gets the Slave Shield fairly early on, in volume 2 right after Raphtalia gets the crest reapplied, which gives slave growth bonuses. So yes, it does give her advantages. spoiler[It even becomes a plot point a lot later beyond the scope of anime involving a whole slew of minor characters...]
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Calsolum



Joined: 11 May 2010
Posts: 744
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:23 pm Reply with quote
Blanchimont wrote:
Naofumi gets the Slave Shield fairly early on, in volume 2 right after Raphtalia gets the crest reapplied, which gives slave growth bonuses. So yes, it does give her advantages. spoiler[It even becomes a plot point a lot later beyond the scope of anime involving a whole slew of minor characters...]


Ah I did forget about the slave shield, well since there's a practical reason I'd understand it but unless it was brought up in the novel and then cut from the anime I think not mentioning it makes viewers infer a very different message.
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Covnam



Joined: 31 May 2005
Posts: 1450
PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:35 am Reply with quote
I think Naofumi said it best when he said those 3 haven't learned anything. Motoyasu was still ardently defending Myne Rolling Eyes It'd be nice if those 3 had some character growth, but I guess that's just not going to happen -_-

In fact, spoiler[curious about what Myne's fate would be after this, I read a bit about what she did to the other 3 heroes on a wiki (not sure if it was based on the WN or LN), but it's crazy how those 3 end up thanks to her. They really learned nothing.]

Also I'm pretty sure I laughed out loud when they talked about an XP boosting island event.
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Iron Maw



Joined: 29 May 2008
Posts: 216
PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:00 am Reply with quote
maximilianjenus wrote:
The WN explicitly says that the slave bonus is higher than the party bonus, tho.


Which is still for no reason other than justify the story's slave fetishism. Naofumi and his party can get by without it easily as many other have.
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maximilianjenus



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
Posts: 1903
PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:37 am Reply with quote
the pv is out, do we talk about pvs here ? I will put it inside spoilers just in case.

spoiler[
It looks like the swimsuit scene will take the palce of the towel scene, considering the changes the anime has had, that's a very good decision, I just hope it's not the pv being misleading.
]
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SlackerKuwabara



Joined: 07 Jun 2019
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:47 pm Reply with quote
Dosmundos wrote:
Can anybody explain what the poisoned cake was all about? He just saved her life, clearly there‘s nothing to gain from it now that the Church doesn’t exist any more, and Naofumi dead (or making an intoxicated fool out of himself, I didn‘t even get if the poison was deadly) would not restore her old name or position.
I just didn‘t get it...


She absolutely HATES Naofumi. In the light novel he's there one who called for her execution, and the Queen talked him out of it.
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maximilianjenus



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
Posts: 1903
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:20 am Reply with quote
My theory is that she wants to get rid of all the cardinal heroes. naofumi being the "protector" only means that he has to go first.
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Hiroki not Takuya



Joined: 17 Apr 2012
Posts: 1235
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:52 am Reply with quote
Ep21 Dub- Holy cow! The adaptation of the dialog from Japanese was a step up and the English VA performances especially for the Queen and Naofumi were A++. The Japanese VA for Myne though, her performance gave me goose bumps! Don't think there was a better show so far this year...

P.S. Ep22 shows how to do a "beach episode" with class and not be total filler Smile
Also, I'm not sure if Miss Shadow is the best secret agent the way she appears and disappears or if she is the worst with her catch-phrase in about every sentence (gurl, everyone knows it's you ...)
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