The Rising of the Shield Hero Episode 18

The Rising of the Shield Hero Episode 18

A Conspiracy Linked

Last week on The Rising of the Shield Hero Naofumi doubled down on not cooperating with the other three heroes and continued his journey towards the country of Siltvelt. This week we pick up with him and his party on a hill overlooking the border between Melromarc and Siltvelt, exactly as they had done before deciding to visit the queen first instead.

So, when exactly did they visit the queen? They didn’t. The entire point of turning back from crossing the border the first time was to meet with the queen of Melromarc, and instead Naofumi and his party met with the Filolial queen instead before heading back to the border.

Did they all forget the plan to visit the queen? Was that meeting simply written out of the anime despite being built up? Or, is this a mistake on the author’s part? As usual, I’m betting on the latter being the case, but I suppose they’re all viable options.

Anyway, Naofumi and his party decide to descend the hill and make their way toward the border crossing point despite seeing that Melromarc soldiers are present. As far as Naofumi is concerned, there’s a 66% chance that they’ll be able to talk their way across the border depending on who’s there protecting it.

If it’s either Ren or Itsuki, he figures they’ll at least give him a chance to explain himself. However, if it’s Motoyasu, he knows that a fight will likely ensue, in which case he’s determined to make it across the border by any means necessary.

Sword and Bow

Also at the end of the previous episode we saw Ren and Itsuki discover something which resulted in them being hit with a giant explosion. We don’t yet know what exactly it is they discovered, but we do know it has something to do with the heroes, specifically their weapons.

But, despite not knowing what they discovered, we do “know” what happened to them thanks to Motoyasu, who’s the hero standing guard at the border. Sure, Motoyasu is an idiot and Naofumi expected he would have to fight him, but it seems Motoyasu is even more unwilling to listen than usual.

As we learn, it’s because he believes that Naofumi has killed Ren and Itsuki. So Ren and Itsuki are presumably dead, but what proof does Motoyasu have to support his claim? None other than the fact that he was told this by the royal family and that since Naofumi is known as the Devil of the Shield he must have done it.

However, Naofumi points out that since Motoyasu hasn’t confirmed their deaths with his own eyes, he shouldn’t be so quick to believe that his comrades have been killed. But remember, this is Motoyasu we’re talking about, so he isn’t really smart enough to use logic.

Motoyasu and Myne (Again)

As expected, Naofumi’s talks with Motoyasu break down before they really ever begin, and Motoyasu goes on the offensive. He’s determined to avenge what he sees as the murder of his comrades at the hands of Naofumi.

Motoyasu is also still convinced that Naofumi is controlling Raphtalia and Filo with some sort of mind control power, and that he’s now used it on Melty as well. This idea of Naofumi having a mind control shield was probably the best thing Myne ever came up with because it automatically explains why anyone defends Naofumi.

And this time around Myne is equipped with a new set of skills. Naofumi was able to escape the last time they had him cornered, so this time Myne uses her magic to create an electrified barrier around both Naofumi’s party and her own.

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

I don’t really have anything to say about the battle itself, but in the end Naofumi and his party win again, as they have every time they’ve gone up against Motoyasu. Even though Motoyasu has a significant level advantage over Naofumi, he’s still no match for the power of friendship.

But, after the battle has been decided, Filo and Raphtalia suddenly feel something coming with their animal instincts. Filo piles everyone, including her opponents, into the center of the combat area and tells Naofumi to erect as many defensive barriers above them all as he can.

Divine Judgement

Within seconds of Naofumi’s last barrier going up, a giant blast comes down from the heavens and completely obliterates the surrounding area. It also broke through all three of his barriers, and was just barely stopped by his black shield which I think is the rage shield.

Once the blast subsided, the extent of the damage is revealed and it’s clear that every last one of them would have been wiped out if not for Filo’s quick thinking. But, what was the blast and where did it come from?

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

The mystery doesn’t last long, as the Pope of the Church of the Three Heroes and thousands of his disciples appear along the edge of the crater. In fact, he doesn’t even try to hide the fact that he was the one who just attempted to kill everyone there.

He also reveals that it wasn’t Naofumi who killed Ren and Itsuki, but rather it was him. And, for the record, I don’t believe Ren and Itsuki are actually dead. This isn’t the kind of series to kill off important characters who have gotten development in an aside like that.

So, why is the Pope trying to kill not only the heroes, but also members of the royal family? Is it just because the church is always evil in anime? That’s almost certainly part of it, but it also seems that the Pope is kind of the true hero of the story so far.

He wants to kill the heroes so that new heroes can be summoned who will actually work together(just as Fitoria wanted), and he believes that the royal family is to blame for many of the injustices in the kingdom (which they are). So when it comes down to it, the Pope is actually the one person who has the best interest of the kingdom at heart.

But, sure, he’s also probably evil in some other way.

Conclusion

So, what did you think of this week’s episode of The Rising of the Shield Hero? Do you think Ren and Itsuki are actually dead? Do you think the Pope is good or evil? And, what do you think about Naofumi & co. skipping their meeting with the queen? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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