The Rising of the Shield Hero Episode 8

The Rising of the Shield Hero Episode 8

Curse Shield

In today’s episode of The Rising of the Shield Hero, Naofumi, Raphtalia, and Filo travel to a village which has been devastated by a plague. While they didn’t plan to go to this village for that reason, a plague now and then is a great source of income for the trio who act as traveling merchants and healers.

Once in the village it’s revealed that the source of this plague is thought to be the corpse of the dragon slayed by the Sword Hero, Ren Amaki. This is significant because it’s a confirmation of the rumors about Ren which I discussed in last week’s review.

The Sword Hero Ren Amaki from the anime series The Rising of the Shield Hero
Ren Amaki (Sword Hero)

Since we’ve now learned that the rumors about both the Spear and Sword Heroes are true, what does this say about all the wild, conflicting rumors which have spread about the Bow Hero? Has he really defected from the Melromarc Kingdom and joined up with a rebel force in another country?

Well, we’ll probably learn more about what the Bow Hero has been up to in the next episode or two, so for now let’s get back to the Sword Hero. After slaying the dragon which lived on a nearby mountain, Ren left the corpse out to rot, and it’s believed that the wind has blown this miasma down into the village.

It seems that, like Motoyasu with the magic seed, Ren probably defeated the dragon with the thinking that it would be good for the locals. And, just like how the seed Motoyasu used turned out to be a curse, this defeat of the dragon actually made things worse for those who lived nearby.

However, unlike Motoyasu who was tricked, Ren just doesn’t understand that his actions have a complex set of consequences beyond what he immediately sees.

The Dragon’s Plague

Our heroic trio then sets out from the village to properly dispose of the dragon’s corpse so the villagers stop falling ill, however, when they get there they’re met by a surprise. Although the dragon has indeed been killed and its corpse is rotting, it’s now come back to life as a zombie dragon.

With this in mind, it’s likely that the plague which has beset the village isn’t actually a result of the wind blowing miasma in its direction from the rotting corpse. Instead, I think it’s probably a result of the poison breath skill the zombie dragon possesses.

But, although Naofumi is the only one of the three party members who has an immunity to poison, Filo charges in to defeat the dragon on her own. This results in her being eaten by the monster, which then activates Naofumi’s Curse Series skills.

I’ll dig into the benefits and drawbacks of using the Curse Series in the next two sections, but for now let me just say that I hated the fact that the English translation of it activating was in “leetspeak.” I don’t know what the Japanese version of this is, but it can’t have been as stupid as those English subtitles.

Skipping ahead to the end of the battle, Raphtalia breaks Naofumi out of his Curse Series rampage and Filo is actually the one to defeat the zombie dragon from the inside. Once she was swallowed, she found the monster’s core in its stomach and ate it, this re-killing the dragon.

When she then clawed her way out of the dragon from the inside, it was also revealed that the “blood” Naofumi and Raphtalia saw when she was eaten was actually Filo just throwing up the red fruit she ate. This seemed like a pretty cheap explanation.

Curse Series Benefits

Alright, so now it’s time to get into the interesting stuff which you’ve probably been waiting for, the Curse Shield and Curse Series. So, why would someone want to activate something called the Curse Series? Clearly that’s going to be a bad thing, right?

Well, yes and no. Obviously the Curse Series has drawbacks, which I’ll get to in the next section, but as we see from this episode, it also grants significant power to the user. In fact, just from what little of it we saw Naofumi use, there were hints of:

  • Super strength
  • A wind-type ability
  • A fire-type ability
  • A pure energy/destruction ability

We can also assume that these abilities aren’t all there is to the Curse Series because it appears to draw its power from the rest of Naofumi’s skill tree. When this series of skills is activated, we see that it spreads throughout the rest of his skill tree and “infects” all of his unlocked skills.

Naofumi using the Curse Shield from the anime series The Rising of the Shield Hero
Naofumi using the Curse Shield

My assumption is that the Curse Series then draws upon these various skills as a base and increases their power. For example, Naofumi has one shield that can use wind-type skills, and so the Curse Series versions of those wind-type skills would be much more powerful.

Another hint towards the idea that Naofumi’s skill tree is directly tied to the Curse Series is that when he goes into the curse mode, his body becomes “tattooed” with the red skill tree. And, further evidence is that Naofumi mentions that the Curse Series isn’t shown on his skill tree, implying that it isn’t merely another skill.

So, basically the Curse Series just appears to power up Naofumi’s skills and his physical abilities, but at what cost?

Curse Series Drawbacks

The first and potentially most obvious drawback to using the Curse Series is that it turns the user into a berserker, i.e. a mindless killing machine. This might be something Naofumi can control once he’s a higher level, but for now that’s the most significant drawback to this power because it causes the rest of the drawbacks.

The next issue is that just about all of the Curse Series attacks Naofumi used appear to be area of effect (AoE) attacks. This means that they don’t distinguish between friend or foe, which isn’t the best type of attack to use when fighting in a party as Naofumi tends to do.

Taking a look at the skills he uses, the wind attack hits everything around him, the pure energy attack disintegrates everything in a small radius around him, and the fire attack burns everything around him, including Raphtalia. If Raphtalia had been hit by the pure energy attack, she’d probably have been killed.

Again, this might be something Naofumi can control later on in the series, but for now, since he’s in a berserker state when using the Curse Series, he can’t control these skills. This also extends to the curse of the Curse Shield, for which it probably got its name.

That’s right, not only is the curse of the curse series referring to the demerits it applies to the user in return for extreme power, but it also has an actual curse as well. When Raphtalia grabs onto Naofumi to stabilize his emotions, she’s afflicted with the curse from the Curse Shield.

The Curse Shield’s curse also isn’t something that can be cured by normal means. Instead, Raphtalia must be brought to a church in a large city where she can be treated with holy water.

Conclusion

So, what did you think of this week’s episode of The Rising of the Shield Hero? And, what do you think of the Curse Series based on what we’ve seen so far? I mentioned it in my review of the episode in which Naofumi first unlocked this series, but I really hope this doesn’t become an ability he constantly relies on.

I’m fine if there are certain situations in which he’s pushed into using the curse series, but if it ends up being like Naruto‘s use of the Shadow Clone Jutsu, I just think it’ll get old fast.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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