The Rising of the Shield Hero Episode 19

The Rising of the Shield Hero Episode 19

The Four Cardinal Heroes

Remember how last week I said that Ren and Itsuki were still alive because there would be no purpose in building up their characters like they did just for them to be killed mostly off-screen? Well, look who was right. I’m not saying they won’t die eventually, but this wasn’t the right time.

But I don’t really want this opening section to be all about how Ren and Itsuki are actually alive, because I don’t think that surprised many people, if anyone. Instead, let’s talk about some of the things that don’t quite make sense in this episode (and somewhat last episode).

So let’s start with the giant crater made by the initial attack from the pope. I don’t necessarily have an issue with the crater existing in the first place, but I do have an issue with how the center of it is undamaged due to Naofumi’s shields, yet still at the bottom of the crater.

How was the ground beneath Naofumi pushed directly down like that and remain intact? I’m pretty sure the pathway they were originally standing on is still there too. If everything else got blown away, the ground under Naofumi should have as well.

Or, if the ground under Naofumi wasn’t going to be blown away, then the rest of the crater shouldn’t exist either and the force of the blast should have been redirected. You can’t have it both ways, that’s not how explosions work.

The other thing that bothered me, even more so than the bottom of the crater being intact, is Ren’s new ability which launches a bunch of energy swords in the direction of his opponent. If he can just send volleys of swords flying, then why is there even a Bow Hero?

Each weapon is supposed to have its own area of expertise. The sword and shield are close range, the spear is mid-range, and the bow is long range. But if anyone, even the Sword Hero, can use mass, long-range attacks, then what’s the point of the Bow Hero?

The Replica Weapon

Originally I thought that the sword the Pope was wielding was supposed to be some holy object passed down by the Church of the Three Heroes, but in this episode we learn that isn’t the case. Instead, while it is passed down within the Church, it isn’t a holy weapon, but rather a replica.

Specifically it’s a replica of the weapons wielded by the four Cardinal Heroes. Originally he was using it in its sword form, but it’s revealed that it actually has the ability to transform into any one of the four Cardinal Heroes’ weapons, including the shield.

So far we’ve only seen the Pope use the sword and the spear variants of the replica, and it should be obvious that he won’t want to use the shield variant. However, my prediction is that he’s going to use the shield variant as a last-ditch effort, but be killed anyway.

Ren vs. the Pope from the anime series The Rising of the Shield Hero
Ren vs. the Pope

But if there’s a weapon as powerful as the one the Pope is using, then who made it and why was there even a need to summon the Cardinal Heroes?

The answer to the first question is that the replica was devised by the royal family. They had hoped to mass produce this powerful weapon and arm their soldiers with them, but it had one fatal flaw. The replica requires massive mana reserves to use, and as is the case in most fantasy anime, mana is one’s life force.

This is why the four Cardinal Heroes were still necessary to fight off the waves. They can each wield their respective weapons without any issues, but for the Pope to wield the replica, he needs literally thousands of his followers to be channeling their mana into him. It’s simply not practical for regular use.

A Temporary Alliance

And now we get to what I consider the good stuff; the point of the episode in which all of the heroes are pointing fingers at each other and insisting that everything is everyone’s fault but their own. Really, Naofumi is the only one who hasn’t directly caused problems for the citizens of this world.

To recap, Motoyasu released a plague of giant, carnivorous plants, Itsuki cause a kingdom to collapse and its people to become refugees, and Ren caused a plague due to leaving the corpse of a dragon he killed out to rot.

Of the three, I’d say that Ren’s actions were the most understandable. Not so much the fact that he thought the dragon’s corpse would simply despawn (that’s pretty stupid), but more the fact that I don’t know how he was supposed to dispose of it properly anyway.

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

However, the real highlight of this scene was Naofumi refusing to work with the other three heroes and instead focusing solely on his own party. All this time, the other three heroes have been causing trouble for him and refusing to cooperate, but now that they see his true value, they come crawling back.

While the other three are trying to come up with a plan of attack, Naofumi is instead having his own party apply buffs to themselves and each other, but only the members of his party. He isn’t bothering to apply damage reduction buffs to the other heroes or Motoyasu’s party.

At least in the end he doesn’t let his pettiness get in the way of their victory. He agrees to work with the other three heroes, but just this once. As soon as the Pope is defeated, he’s going to continue on his way and wants nothing to do with his supposed companions.

Conclusion

So, what did you think of this week’s episode of The Rising of the Shield Hero? Do you think the Pope’s replica weapon is overpowered? Do you think Ren’s long-range attack makes Itsuki obsolete? And, do you like when Naofumi acts petty? Personally, I find it pretty entertaining.

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Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about becoming a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

My review of the next episode is available here.

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