The Rising of the Shield Hero Episode 20

The Rising of the Shield Hero Episode 20

Battle of Good and Evil

The fight between the Pope of the Church of the Three Heroes and the Four Cardinal Heroes rages in in this week’s episode of The Rising of the Shield Hero. Last time I discussed the replica weapon the Pope used to fight against the four heroes, but I don’t think I mentioned his cathedral.

Basically, the cathedral is the ultimate spell the Pope can cast. As with his replica of the heroic weapons, the Pope’s cathedral is powered by the prayers of his followers. But, unlike the replica weapon, the cathedral is not a physical object. Instead, it’s a massive cathedral made out of mana.

So what does this cathedral do? The main use for the cathedral is as a barrier. Not only can shields be constructed within it to protect the Pope from internal attacks, but it also prevents outsiders from interfering with what goes on inside.

Naofumi, Raphtalia, Filo, and Melty from the anime series The Rising of the Shield Hero
Naofumi, Raphtalia, Filo, and Melty

Theoretically, if the kingdom’s army decided to show up, they wouldn’t be able to enter the cathedral and help the Four Cardinal Heroes. However, this isn’t really the case. Not only do we see that at least some high-level magic can pierce the cathedral’s walls, but also simply killing the Pope’s followers on the outside would do the trick.

If his followers are praying, they can’t defend themselves from attack. And if they’re fighting, they can’t sustain the cathedral by praying. But even if the cathedral isn’t all that effective at defending against external attacks, the other main use for it is to keep people inside, in this case the heroes and their parties.

Curse Armor

So due to the cathedral’s presence, the Four Cardinal Heroes have no choice but to stand their ground and fight against the Pope. Despite the fact that the four of them are heroes, it does seem like their plan would have been to flee if the cathedral wasn’t in place.

But how can they fight against the immense, combined power of the Pope, his followers, and the replica of the heroic weapons? As we’ve seen, none of the attacks Ren, Itsuki, or Motoyasu have launched at the Pope have had any real effect.

Well, this is where Naofumi comes in to play. Despite being the lowest level of the heroes, Naofumi has still been able to keep up with them as far as overall strength is concerned. He claims this is because he’s the only one effectively using his weapon, but the others, namely Motoyasu, believe the shield must be overpowered to make up for it.

And, indeed the shield is overpowered to an extent. I assume that any of the Four Cardinal Heroes could unlock the curse series, but Naofumi is the only one who’s really completed the requirements (i.e. he’s the only one who’s been unjustly wronged).

In order to bring down the Pope, he decides to call upon his curse shield once again even though Fitoria told him he should refrain from using it. Basically, this is probably like how Naruto is told to refrain from using his Tailed-Beast mode, or Deku is told to refrain from punching things hard, and Naofumi will learn to use it properly in time.

There’s a power like this in every shounen battle series I can think of. Initially it harms the user because they don’t have full control over it, but eventually it becomes their most powerful asset. Even Luffy‘s Second Gear apparently shortens his life span, though that’s not something we can physically see.

But the reason Naofumi decides to use the curse shield this time around is because he mistakenly thinks he’s mastered it. Last time he used it he was still in control of his mind and body, but this time that isn’t the case. The spirit of the dragon within his shield takes over and almost makes him go berserk before his allies calm him down.

He also gets a nifty set of curse armor this time around too, signifying his acceptance of the rage within himself and the curse shield.

Mirelia Q. Melromarc

Thanks to Naofumi’s curse shield, and the power of friendship (as said by Motoyasu), the Pope is eventually defeated. However, there was one more person who played a role in this victory, and that’s the queen of Melromarc, Mirelia Q. Melromarc.

I still don’t really understand why the decision to visit the queen was abandoned by Naofumi and his party, but either way they’ve finally come face to face with her.

Thanks to her secret organization of ninjas, the Queen discovered the Pope’s plot to kill the heroes and the royal family and has decided to march against him. This means two things:

  1. The queen was not a prisoner (so we don’t know why she was alone in a castle outside of the capital).
  2. The queen is, at least currently, a warrior queen of sorts.
Queen Mirelia Q. Melromarc from the anime series The Rising of the Shield Hero
Queen Mirelia Q. Melromarc

The queen has an army, she has armor of her own, she knows how to use magic, and she’s ready to fight for the protection of her kingdom. It’s no wonder that Melromarc is a matrilineal society when you compare the queen to the king.

So remember how I said that there was an example of high-level magic piercing the walls of the cathedral? Well that magic was cast by none other than Queen Mirelia, and it was an ice-type spell used to restrict the movement of the Pope.

Since Melty currently uses water-type magic, I’m interested in seeing if she ever learns ice-type magic like her mother. I think that would be a lot more interesting since water is fairly generic. We don’t really know anything about the magic system in this world yet, but I find it hard to believe water and ice-type magic wouldn’t be related somehow.

Conclusion

I also need to point out that this was the first episode of The Rising of the Shield Hero in a long time in which I didn’t think the soundtrack actively detracted from the episode. The music seemed to actually fight the scenes which were unfolding this time around, so that’s a step in the right direction.

But what did you think of this week’s episode of Shield Hero? Did you like it? Hate it? Who do you think the next antagonist is going to be now that the Pope is dead and the Four Cardinal Heroes all seem to be friends? Let me know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button ❤ down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on all the latest content and potential schedule changes.

And, 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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