The Rising of the Shield Hero Episode 3

The Rising of the Shield Hero Episode 3

Wave of Catastrophe

The day of the Wave of Catastrophe is here, and we’re only three episodes into this two-cour series. I’m not sure if all the waves are going to have different titles, or if they’re all Waves of Catastrophe, but I kind of hope it’s the former. It would be nice if each wave was slightly different.

But, as I mentioned in my review of the first episode, I don’t really like this whole idea of waves of enemies appearing every set amount of time. As far as I’m concerned, it’s just a cheap way to make sure there’s always a new battle looming on the horizon.

Think of it this way, normally a series would have to have some sort of new story for each battle to provide context and a reason for the viewers to care, but not this one. Instead, the premise was set up that there’s going to be a massive battle every x-amount of days, and other than that there’s really no plot driving it.

However, that’s not to say that this premise can’t be spun in different ways to make it at least a bit interesting. For example, as I’ll go over later in this review, this waves battle was centered around the protection of Lute village.

Plot aside, I also have an issue with the way in which we know the time of the next wave, the giant hourglass in the church. No, I don’t have an issue with the fact that a giant, magical hourglass is used to count down the time between waves, what I have an issue with is that the hourglass seemingly ignores physics in how it functions.

The hourglass in question has five functional chambers, when in fact, all hourglasses, no matter the shape, only have two. Even if you were to build an hourglass with this same five-sphere shape, the sand wouldn’t “puddle” in any of the central spheres, just the top and the bottom, meaning that there are still only two functional chambers.

Sure, physics gets thrown out the window all the time in anime, especially in fight scenes, but still, just make the hourglass work like an hourglass.

Naofumi the Barbarian

Now that I’ve complained about the general plot and usage of incorrect physics, let’s actually get to what happened in this week’s episode. Naofumi and Raphtalia have spent the last few days (or weeks?) leveling up and becoming stronger, and so it’s time to stop by the blacksmith’s place to get some new equipment.

The first thing the blacksmith points out is how Raphtalia now looks significantly older. I’d say she appears to be around 15 now compared to the 10-year-old version of herself seen in episode two. I’ll explain why this is the case in the next section.

However, despite Raphtalia’s obvious change in physical appearance, Naofumi doesn’t even notice, and still thinks of her as the same 10-year-old he bought from the slave trader. This is probably due to a combination of him seeing her physical appearance change gradually over time, and how he sees himself as her legal guardian.

Naofumi Iwatani and Raphtalia from the anime series The Rising of the Shield Hero
Naofumi and Raphtalia

From the blacksmith, Raphtalia gets a new sword, while Naofumi gets a custom set of armor which the blacksmith calls “barbaric” armor. This armor set features sparse plate and leather armor pieces along with fur trim for decoration.

It’s not exactly the most practical armor, but then again, he’s the Shield Hero, so he doesn’t really need full armor to begin with. If he wasn’t the Shield Hero, then his armor would really only be slightly better than wearing no armor at all. Yes, the leather parts would help, but his chest plate is pretty useless.

The point of plate armor is to essentially work as a wearable shield on parts of the body, and so it’s purpose is to take blows that are otherwise unavoidable. However, since he’s not wearing any other real armor along with his chest plate, any attack that would be deflected by it would simply be directed down towards his unarmored stomach, resulting in death.

But, as I said, he’s the Shield Hero, so theoretically his plate armor shouldn’t ever actually need to be used for protection against anything other than maybe an arrow which he fails to block.

Demi-Humans and You

Going back to Raphtalia’s drastic change in appearance considering the short amount of time which passed between episodes two and three, the reason is that she’s a demi-human. This was almost explained in this episode, and maybe it will be in a future episode, but something tells me this is a “go read the light novel” situation instead.

But, if you don’t feel like reading the light novel to figure out why Raphtalia’s appearance changed, I’ve got you covered.

While the appearance of humans changes as they age, the same apparently isn’t true of demi-humans. Instead, the appearance of demi-humans is directly linked to their level, meaning that as Raphtalia levels up, she physically grows up as well.

However, from my understanding, the mental age of demi-humans doesn’t scale up with their physical appearance. This means that while Raphtalia may have the body of a 15-year-old, she still has the mind of a 10-year-old. Interestingly, this is something which the anime seems to have dropped, since Raphtalia does appear to “act her age.”

I actually think making Raphtalia act as she appears is a better way of handling this than keeping her at a mental age of 10. There would simply have been too much of a disconnect between her personality and actions if she was still mentally 10 years old.

But, there are a few issues I have with this system of demi-human growth. The first is that, does this mean all adult demi-humans are above level 21 (the most recent level we see for Raphtalia)? She fights pretty well as a level 21, so adult demi-humans such as her parents should have theoretically been pretty strong if this is the case.

The next issue is that the only way we currently know of to gain experience is to fight. This means that any demi-human who doesn’t fight wouldn’t grow up physically, leaving them with “the body of a child and the brains of an adult.” And, no, that wasn’t a Detective Conan reference, that was a Monogatari series referencing Detective Conan reference.

The third and final issue I can immediately see with this system of aging is if a demi-human becomes too powerful. If level dictates physical age, then at some level adverse physical effects are going to begin to appear, such as the loss of bone and muscle mass.

But, with all those issues in mind, I’m sure none of them will actually come up in the story because the author didn’t think of them when planning out his aging system for demi-humans.

Lute Village

Getting back on track with the episode, the Wave of Catastrophe finally arrives and our heroes are teleported to the chosen location which is to be ground zero for the attack. While the three other heroes charge forward to attack the wave head on, Naofumi and Raphtalia head to the nearby village of Lute to help the civilians evacuate.

It’s clear that actions such as this are going to slowly change the public opinion of the Shield Hero, and the “rising” in the title most likely refers to him rising up as the true hero of the people. But even so, Naofumi still isn’t completely heroic at this point in time.

While Naofumi won’t stand by and simply let the innocent villagers die, he still holds a grudge against the kingdom at large and his fellow heroes. It’s also worth noting that Raphtalia is still unaware of exactly why Naofumi and the other heroes had a falling out.

After effectively saving the village, Naofumi and Raphtalia are suddenly caught up in a barrage of flaming arrows which burn down everything in sight. As it turns out, these arrows were fired into the village by the royal guard, with no regard for the safety of the villagers or Naofumi and Raphtalia.

Naofumi Iwatani and Raphtalia from the anime series The Rising of the Shield Hero
Naofumi and Raphtalia

At this point Raphtalia threatens to behead the leader of the royal guard for disrespecting her master, though Naofumi orders her to stand down. He then considers leaving the royal guard on their own to be killed by the monsters coming up behind them, but saves them at the last second.

I was really hoping he was going to allow the royal guard to die and cement his stance against the kingdom, but unfortunately that will have to wait. Seriously, I hope Naofumi’s character continues to go down a darker path rather than turning back into your standard isekai protagonist.

In the end, a section of the royal guard sees that Naofumi is a just warrior and decide to help him defend the village from the remainder of the wave. By the time the battle is won, Lute village is barely recognizable, but at least the majority of the civilians are alive.

Conclusion

How are you liking The Rising of the Shield Hero so far? Do you think it’s better or worse than TenSura? (Hint: It’s better.) But, more importantly, do you care about inconsistencies in how the world is set up, such as the aging system for demi-humans or the use of the skill tree I mentioned last week?

If you enjoyed this post or my, completely valid, complaints about the breaking of physics and nonsensical way demi-humans age, then be sure to let me know by clicking the like button ❤ down below. Also, give me a follow over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you get notified every time a new post goes live.

And, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month! To learn more about how you can support the blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

My review of the next episode is available here.

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