The Rising of the Shield Hero Episode 7

The Rising of the Shield Hero Episode 7

The Savior of the Heavenly Fowl

Just like with the episode review of TenSura earlier this week, I have a lot to say in this week’s review of Shield Hero. So, let’s started by briefly explaining this whole Savior of the Heavenly Fowl thing.

The Heavenly Fowl is the name people across the kingdom have given to Filo due to her size, speed, and the fact that she carries medicine to various villages. Therefore, the Savior is Naofumi, the one who actually administers the medicine and uses his abilities to increase its effectiveness.

So, why are these titles significant? The title of Shield Hero is infamous throughout the land, and so people typically wouldn’t give Naofumi the time of day if that’s what they knew him as. However, the Savior of the Heavenly Fowl is someone the various townspeople have heard good things about.

Basically, by being introduced to a village as the Savior, Naofumi is able to slip past their bias against the Shield Hero temporarily. Then, by the time the villagers learn of his true identity, their preconceptions about the Shield Hero have been washed away.

It’s also significant to notice that Raphtalia isn’t included in this “Savior of the Heavenly Fowl” title. Is this because she hasn’t done anything specific to help villagers which has been passed around as gossip, or is it because she’s a demi-human? If she does eventually get a title, I wonder what it will be.

The Monster Tree

This week’s episode starts off with Naofumi and company hauling a large shipment of herbicides to a nearby town. However, as they get closer they notice large vines covering the land, and a makeshift village encircled by a wall nearby.

It turns out that this is the town which was suffering from a famine that Motoyasu, the Spear Hero, “saved” with the magic seed I mentioned last week. And, as we know, that magic seed wasn’t actually a blessing, it was a curse, which is why it was sealed away.

So, basically Naofumi performs his duty as the Savior of the Heavenly Fowl by curing the sick in the makeshift village, and then the village elder pays him to go reclaim their town from the invasive plants. Why they need an adventurer to retake their town is because these plants transform into monsters.

Naofumi, Raphtalia, and Filo vs. The Monster Tree from the anime series The Rising of the Shield Hero
Naofumi, Raphtalia, and Filo vs. The Monster Tree

Upon arriving in the town, the party find that there’s a large tree with a single flower on it, and Naofumi rightfully assumes this is the “boss.” The flower has an eye in the center and seems to be controlling the various vines and other plant monsters around the town, so if they destroy it, the incursion should end.

And, this brings us to my first issue with this fight, which is that although a way of defeating this monster was established, it wasn’t actually implemented. We saw that when Filo kicks the eye of the flower, it regenerates instantly, which gives Naofumi the idea that they need to pour enhanced herbicide directly onto the eye.

But, after setting up that they’re going to pour the herbicide into the flower’s eye, this plan is almost immediately forgotten, and the herbicide is instead just poured onto the roots of the tree. Why even bother setting up a way to defeat the monster if you’re then just going to have your characters do something different without reason?

My other issue with this fight is the battle theme that plays during it. Kevin Penkin did an outstanding job on the Made in Abyss OST, but I have to say I’m not entirely sure why this particular song was chosen for this particular battle. It felt very out of place.

Spice and Raccoon II

So, after the monster tree was defeated, Naofumi orders Raphtalia and Filo to pick all the fruit and seeds off the tree so that they won’t cause any more harm. They then take these back to the village where, Naofumi begins experimenting on them with his new shield upgrade.

This upgrade allows him to manipulate plant life to an unknown extent. However, what we do see him using it for is to alter the makeup of the seeds from the tree so that they retain their enhanced fruit-bearing properties, but lose the ability to mutate into monsters.

Essentially, he’s taken the cursed seed which Motoyasu unleashed and turned it into an actual blessing. It will be interesting to see if Naofumi actually gets credit for this or if it will be assumed by the masses and nobility that Motoyasu never did any harm in the first place.

After fixing the cursed seeds and making them viable, Naofumi then trades them to the villagers in exchange for some of the fruit they produce. He then takes this fruit and the remainder of the seed to his merchant friend and sells them to him.

Seriously, I’d like to know how much of an influence Spice and Wolf was on the author of Shield Hero. Both series have a merchant and his female, demi-human partner going around making themselves rich by either tricking or bullying others into giving them good deals.

Though, I’m not quite sure who I like more at this point, Raphtalia or Holo. I like that Holo’s more mature in the way she acts and carries herself, but Raphtalia just has an overall better character design which really adds to her cute factor. Let me know who you like more in the comments.

Obligatory Hot Springs Section

Next up, Naofumi is contracted to deliver a mystery shipment to a nearby hot springs town by his merchant friend. And, thus the obligatory hot springs portion of the episode begins. Maybe we’ll even get an obligatory swimsuit episode before the season ends, or a summer festival episode.

The first thing I need to say about this portion of the episode is that Raphtalia looks extra cute with her hair up. That may be what pushes her over the edge and officially makes her a better demi-human girl than Holo. I like how her ears also look like a bow holding up her hair when she has it like that.

It’s also during this section of the episode that Raphtalia and Filo’s rivalry gets turned up a notch. Apparently, it’s said that bathing with the one you love in these hot springs will make your relationship last forever, and so Raphtalia imagines bathing with Naofumi, which shows that she not only wants him to see her as an adult, but as a romantic partner.

We also learn that Raphtalia believes kissing leads to pregnancy, but for all I know, maybe that’s how things work for demi-humans in this world.

Unfortunately for her, she ends up bathing alone because rather than joining Raphtalia, Filo ends up joining Naofumi in the bath. And, this brings up an interesting question. Naofumi is fine with Filo bathing with him because she’s a child, but would he feel the same way about Raphtalia?

On one hand I think he wouldn’t want to bathe with her because he’s begun to see her as more of an adult, but on the other hand, he’s also dead inside and doesn’t really care about what other people think. My guess is that Raphtalia would have been embarrassed, but Naofumi wouldn’t have cared or paid her much attention, which would have made her mad.

The Boar and the Bird

After Filo’s resounding victory in the hot springs, Raphtalia needs to come up with a plan to assert her dominance in Naofumi’s heart. Her solution is to get him a present, because she remembers that her mother and father got together after her father got her mother a gift.

The gift she decides on is a crystal which is rumored to be effective as a love charm when turned into a pendant. These crystals can be found in the nests of a certain kind of bird that lives nearby the hot springs because it collects them.

However, Filo has a similar idea. She plans to get Naofumi the eggs from this same bird because they’re supposed to be tasty, and to her, that’s the best present you can give someone. So, the race is on between these two to get their gift for Naofumi first and cement their place in his heart.

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

But, of course it wouldn’t be that easy. On their way up the mountain, Raphtalia and Filo disturb a giant boar which then chases them. The pair is able to escape by working together, but then it’s every girl for herself once they get closer to their quarry.

And, just when they’re about to get their crystal and eggs, the boar reappears. It charges, sends the crystal flying over a cliff, and smashes the eggs. This transgression causes the two girls to once again put aside their differences and team up to defeat the beast.

They then bring the boar back into town where they sell it and buy a joint present for Naofumi with their earnings. They get him a metalworking hammer, although I’m pretty sure he would have rather had the money instead.

I should also mention that it’s not only Raphtalia who sees Naofumi as a romantic partner, but Filo as well. In fact, Filo said that she wants Naofumi to become her mate, which means she’s planning even further ahead than Raphtalia. All I’ll say on the matter is that Raphtalia is better than Filo and Naofumi better recognize that.


So, what did you think of this week’s episode of The Rising of the Shield Hero? Are you team Raphtalia or team Filo? And, are you team Raphtalia or team Holo? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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