The Rising of The Shield Hero Season 2
How would you rate episode 6 of
The Rising of The Shield Hero Season 2 ?
Community score: 2.9
So I guess that was the ending of the spirit turtle arc? In another timeline where the arc received proper, well-executed build-up, I can see how this episode could be an amazing payoff where all of its moments feel properly earned, but alas, we'll just have to contend with what we have here. Let's start with the biggest thing that everyone has been harping on for the past couple of weeks: Rishia's arc. I genuinely have no idea what I was supposed to feel when she stood up and had her badass moment against the villain. Even though we are told that she has this talent to manipulate ki that her teacher saw in her a few episodes ago, we don't really get to see how the ability manifested itself or how her training with the animal costumes even allowed her to better harness it. It feels like there's a step missing here, which is not helped by the inconsistent writing throughout the entire segment. For example, I don't know why Kyo bothered to dodge Rishia's attack initially when he just established that he has a power shield. I thought maybe it needs to be consciously refreshed, or maybe he was caught off guard, but the shield seemed to react on its own later on in the episode. Plus, Ost is the one who eventually undid the gravity magic, so I'm not really sure what Rishia actually…accomplished that the rest of the party couldn't?
The emotional component of the whole thing also feels confusing, because the episode tries to make it about comparing her to the villain with her big speech being about how they are both weaklings that need to rely on the powers of other people. That might've worked if Rishia's issues with her self-worth are properly handled up to this point, or if we even knew anything about this villain before the speech. Instead, the whole parallel just comes off as weak at best.
Then there's Ost's sacrifice, which we all saw coming three episodes ago. I'm not a fan of how that sacrifice was related to Naofumi going through some kind of significant change recently when the show has barely focused on him so far. I like the idea of her transferring the spirit turtle's power over to the shield in order to give him another buff, as well as the fact that Naofumi wasn't able to use the rage shield because he wasn't angry anymore – after all, everything that informs that power has been resolved in the previous season. But the way Ost talks about it feels like it's supposed to be a payoff to something more recent, and it also doesn't help that Naofumi and Ost barely talked during the past couple of episodes. I mentioned in a previous review that you could actually make an interesting parallel between the two, but the show didn't capitalize on that connection, and its current attempt at turning Ost's sacrifice into a catalyst for Naofumi's growth just feels very cheap.
Still, the animation for this episode was great – probably the best-looking episode of the season so far – and it was fun watching a big chicken fight a giant turtle. I also wasn't expecting the ending where we immediately transition into traveling to the other heroes' world. That could potentially lead to something interesting, but we're six episodes into the season and I've not been given much reason to be hopeful. This season of Shield Hero is starting to feel like a perfect example of what NOT to do as a writer, and I really want to be proven wrong about this soon.
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