The Rising of the Shield Hero is a twenty-five episode Japanese series that is written by Aneko Yusagi. The novel series was adapted by Aiya Kyu into a manga series whereas Kinema Citrus adapted it into a 25-episode anime series. The anime features a young adult (Naofumi Iwatani) who is moved to a fantasy world where he becomes a national hero who is adored by all the young girls. Naofumi, the show’s protagonist, together with three other young men are summoned from Japan into a parallel world where they are tasked with protecting the land from the waves of hostile monsters. Although the others receive weapons – a sword, spear, and a bow – he was given a legendary shield that protects him from harm though it also hinders him because he cannot attack his adversaries. His luck also runs out after the kingdom’s Princess who was also his sole friend betrays him by stealing his possessions and falsely accusing him of having assaulted her.
Having been vilified by the public due to these false accusations, Naofumi finds it difficult to hire allies to assist him in his quest to protect the kingdom. Therefore, he resorts to purchasing slaves with the hope that they would become skilled and powerful warriors to help save the world. He is successful in getting a young tanuki girl named Raphtalia whom he trains into a skilled sword fighting warrior and a Filiolia which is a bird-like monster that hatched from an egg and which he named Filo. He nurtures them both and through cooperation, they are able to save the world from the mysterious waves while affording Naofumi with the opportunity to deal with his innate challenges.
This anime is unique and interesting because its plot is very different from other animes. For instance, the plot is refreshing given that the hero is exiled from his home and forced to protect himself using his own fists and shield. Besides, the character development of Naofumi is incredible while the premise is interesting and unique giving it a compelling storyline. The storyline simply deviates from the tried and tested template that other isekai anime adopt of a hero but rather, it begins with the protagonist being an anti-hero, disillusioned character whose character slowly changes as the anime continues. It allows for a slow character development process that allows the audience to become invested in the actors. It breeds curiosity as the audience is eager to know what happens next to the characters, thereby making it an interesting anime to watch.
Consequently, the twists and turns in the show are essential to explaining why the protagonist and other characters change their position in the development of the plot. In fact, the unpredictability of the plot makes it very intriguing, thereby captivating the imagination of the audience. Naufomi’s character experiences, his growth, and the presence of a great supporting cast of the three heroes make it an even better anime to watch. The characters also face real-world consequences for their actions making it feel as if they are real people. Their stories, motivations, and perspective of the challenges that they face make it even more interesting.
The style of art and animation is very well suited for this anime. The director does an exemplary work in deciding the most appropriate lighting or brightness that plays a role in setting the mood and pace of the anime. This makes it a beautiful anime especially when it comes to the battle scenes such as the battle at lute village whose camera effect was brilliant. The interface during the battles and honing of skills was made attractive due to the lighting thereby highlighting the quality of the animation.
Finally, the opening and ending songs played in the anime are ‘Rise’ and ‘Kimi no Namae’ played by MADKID and Chiai Fujikawa. These two theme songs are important as they make the anime feel fresh and relevant, while also adding to the mystery of the storyline. The anime’s director has included good music which is integral to captivating the audience and setting the mood for the anime.