The Rising of the Shield Hero Episode 11

The Rising of the Shield Hero Episode 11

Catastrophe Returns

It’s time for the second wave, which means today’s episode was action-packed. However, I want to start off today’s review with a complaint I’ve made about this series in the past, the music.

Kevin Penkin, the one behind the Made in Abyss OST, is also doing the OST for The Rising of the Shield Hero. After the amazing success of his music in Made in Abyss you would think that anything he touches would be turned to gold, as is the case for Yuki Kajiura, but this doesn’t hold true.

Yes, Penkin’s atmospheric and dramatic music worked perfectly for the mystery and adventure of Made in Abyss, but I’d like to reassert that he doesn’t know how to compose music for an action series. His music is just way too slow, and uses instruments that don’t fit the setting or situation.

I actually think the music detracted from this episode as a whole because it made all of the fast paced action feel slow and lethargic. Perhaps this soundtrack would work in a different series, but it definitely doesn’t work in Shield Hero.

Also, on the topic of music, there are four basic tiers of music within an anime:

  1. Good music that you notice.
  2. Good music that you don’t notice.
  3. Bad music that you don’t notice.
  4. Bad music that you notice.

At the top we have music that’s good and takes the spotlight. These are your Devilman: Crybaby or Madoka Magica OSTs. Next we have music that’s good, but you don’t notice it because it’s either used sparingly, or just fits so well you don’t think about it. I’d say that OSTs like Violet Evergarden and Made in Abyss fit this category aside from a few standout songs.

Lower down than that is the bad music that you don’t notice. This music is bad, but since you don’t really notice it, it’s not the worst possible scenario. And, finally, the worst possible scenario is bad music that’s either so bad or so out of place that you can’t help but be bothered by it, the Shield Hero OST.

The Four Heroes

Now that I’ve gotten my complaints about the music out of the way, we can get on with the actual events of the episode at hand. Unlike the first wave in which Naofumi protected the village of Lute on his own while the other three heroes went off in search of glory on the battlefield, this time they all actually fight together.

It wasn’t their intention to all fight together, but the Spear, Sword, and Bow Heroes were all together, so Naofumi decided to show up as well because they were taking too long to defeat the wave boss. The issue was that although those three were in the same location, they weren’t working as a team.

Itsuki was shooting enemies from the ground, while Motoyasu and Ren were aboard a flying pirate ship each fighting different enemies rather than working together. With all three doing their own things, they weren’t able to figure out how to make the final boss spawn.

Itsuki, Motoyasu, Myne, and Ren from the anime series The Rising of the Shield Hero
Itsuki, Motoyasu, Myne, and Ren

Enter, Naofumi. Shortly after arriving on the pirate ship, he discovers that the raid boss is actually hiding in the shadows of the various monsters, and rather than killing the monsters to make it spawn, they need to kill the shadows. But, just because the Heroes now know the secret doesn’t mean they’re working together just yet.

While Ren is a reasonable guy who’s willing to listen to Naofumi and fight with him, the same isn’t true for Itsuki and Motoyasu. Itsuki recognizes that Naofumi may be right all the time, but he doesn’t want to admit it because he doesn’t like him. And, Motoyasu is just stupid.

Dimensional Soul Eater

So, our heroes finally get the boss, the Dimensional Soul Eater, to spawn, but they have no real way of defeating it. Attacks from Ren, Itsuki, and Motoyasu all do basically no damage, and even after a barrage of attacks from Filo, its health has only decreased slightly.

But, again, Naofumi comes to the rescue by realizing that maybe the monster has some sort of weakness. Since the other three heroes all used lightning attacks to no avail, Naofumi has Filo try a wind attack, and while still not very effective, it at least does more damage.

We later see Ren begin to use fire-type attacks against the Dimensional Soul Eater as well, and these seem to be decently effective too. However, the problem still stands that although the heroes are chipping away at the boss’ health, they’re not doing so at a fast rate.

You might think that slow and steady wins the race, and that’s often how I opt to play in games (shout out to my fellow stall mains), but this isn’t a strategy that works when it’s a race against the clock. While the heroes are struggling to defeat the wave boss, the villagers are struggling to hold out.

Completing the wave won’t count for much if all the people of the kingdom have been killed off in the meantime. As the only one of the heroes to recognize this glaring issue, Naofumi decides to use his curse shield once again.

Dragon’s Rage

But, although he’s using his curse shield, there are quite a few differences from the previous time he used it. For starters, it doesn’t seem like anyone gets cursed by it this time around, though to be fair nobody got close enough to Naofumi while he was using it for this to be an issue.

The second, and most obvious change from a visual perspective, is that the curse shield has been upgraded. After using the materials he received from defeating the zombie dragon, the curse shield has been imbued with the dragon’s hatred.

The dragon hates Ren for slaying it, and it hates Naofumi for taking parts of it and using them to upgrade his shield. This hatred is the compounded with Naofumi’s own rage and hatred when using the curse shield to upgrade it and make it even stronger.

Finally, we have the fact that Naofumi is apparently able to overcome his rage, to an extent, and properly use the curse shield alongside his other shield skills. This is effectively like Naruto learning how to work with Kurama, but to a lesser extent.

Maybe in the future we’ll actually see Naofumi ally with the dragon’s rage that’s inside his shield and it really will be the same as Naruto and Kurama. I kind of hope that isn’t the case, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it ended up happening. This isn’t a shounen anime, but that’s peak shounen right there.

And, so, once Naofumi has his rage somewhat under control, he’s able to use two skills to defeat the wave boss all on his own. First he uses the skill which restricts his opponent’s movement (which he used against Motoyasu in their duel), and then he uses a more offensive skill which impales the restricted opponent.

While these two skills are fair game as far as I’m concerned, as is the combination of the two, what doesn’t seem fair is that this somehow turned into an ultimate technique. Not only did these two skills essentially function as an iron maiden, but an iron maiden actually appeared as well to one-shot the boss.

I didn’t realize that Naofumi and Carmilla from Fate/Grand Order had the same Noble Phantasm. Next thing you know, Motoyasu is going to be shouting “Clarent Blood Arthur” and completely become male Mordred.

Glass

But, even after Naofumi defeats the wave boss, the wave doesn’t end. Instead, a second Dimensional Soul Eater appears literally out of the woodwork. However, the heroes don’t have to worry about this one because it gets one-shot by a mysterious woman who introduces herself as Glass.

Glass is the woman with the fans who we saw at the end of the previous episode, as well as in the OP. We don’t yet know anything about her, but since she defeated the Dimensional Soul Eater, we can assume that she’s not an enemy spawned by the wave.

That said, she still does refer to her self as the enemy of the heroes, so just because she isn’t part of the wave doesn’t mean she’s an ally. Previously I theorized that she may be an agent from another country or underground organization, and this seems to be the case.

Glass from the anime series The Rising of the Shield Hero
Glass

She also only recognizes Naofumi as a hero, not the other three, and subsequently challenges him to a duel. If I had to guess, this isn’t going to be a duel to the death, but instead she simply wants to fight him in order to gauge his strength.

I’m thinking that she’s probably a member of some organization that summoned the waves initially, and after fighting Naofumi she’ll report back to her comrades that he’s someone they need to be careful of. But, will her fight with Naofumi actually go uninterrupted?

My guess is no. Either Naofumi is going to use Raphtalia and Filo, because he’s known for using any means necessary to win, or the other heroes are going to jump in on the action. While Ren might genuinely want to help, I think the other two would be driven to fight by the fact that Glass doesn’t recognize them as true heroes.

Conclusion

So, what are your thoughts on this week’s episode of The Rising of the Shield Hero? Do you want to see more of the heroes working together? I know I do, or at least Naofumi and Ren. And what do you think is the reason Glass suddenly appeared before Naofumi? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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