The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 3 Review

The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 3 Review

The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 3 anime series cover art
The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 3

Another Season Speedrunning the Plot

The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 3 (Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari Season 3 / 盾の勇者の成り上がり Season 3) is pretty much what you’d expect. It’s another season of the Rising of the Shield Hero, with all the negative aspects that come with it. If you like Shield Hero, that’s fine. But, let’s not pretend it’s good.

At this point, I don’t remember much about Season 1 of the series. So, maybe that season was better in terms of pacing. But, I definitely remember that Season 2 had some major pacing issues. It felt like it was speedrunning through the plot. And, this is still true of Season 3.

Now, at the end of Season 2, we learned that the next beast the heroes need to defeat is the Phoenix. So, you’d think that’s what this season would be about. But, that’s not the case. This season is about bringing the Heroes together in preparation for that fight.

Naofumi and Raphtalia in a colosseum from the anime series The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 3
Naofumi and Raphtalia in a colosseum

This could have been interesting. However, other than Naofumi, the Cardinal Heroes aren’t very good characters. And, because we’re speedrunning the plot, they don’t really get any meaningful development.

Motoyasu’s development is that Malty abandoned him because she realized he’s useless. Then, his other comrades abandoned him as well. And he realized that nobody actually likes him.

Ren’s development is that he has to come to terms with the fact that he killed his comrades. They died because he was unprepared for the fight against the Tortoise. And, Malty capitalizes on this and influences him.

Finally, Itsuki’s development is that he has a hero complex (funny, considering he’s a hero). And, you guessed it, Malty influences him, as well.

There Were Already Too Many Characters

One of the main complaints I’ve always had about Shield Hero is that it has way too many characters. There are a lot. And that’s a problem for multiple reasons. First, it makes it harder to keep track of all the characters.

Do you remember even half of the names of the characters from this series? I sure don’t.

Second, the more characters there are, the less screen time they each get. And, less screen time tends to mean less character development. Some series can make a lot of characters work. But, in general, it’s better to have a smaller cast to focus on. A few good characters is preferable over a lot of bad characters.

So, who are the new characters in this season. And, do any of them actually matter? The answer to that second question is, probably not.

Rishia Ivyred from the anime series The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 3
Rishia Ivyred

The two characters I assume will have the biggest impact going forward are Fohl and Atla. These are beastkin children whom Naofumi purchases as slaves. However, they aren’t the same as Raphtalia and Filo. Instead of adding these two to his party, Naofumi has them live in his kingdom.

Another new beastkin is Sadina, who’s an Orca beastkin. That sounds cool until you see her Orca form. Her human character design is way better. She’s also an old friend of Raphtalias. And, the last new beastkin is Wyndia. She has a mini-arc featuring Gaelion, a dragon that Naofumi hatches from an egg.

Then, there’s Ratotil Anthreya, an alchemist and monster expert. She played a bit of a role during Wyndia and Gaelion’s arc. And, finally, there’s S’yne Lokk, the Sewing Vassal Weapon wielder from another world. I guess the other Vassal Weapon wielders will play a bigger role in the future.

We Need to Talk About the Opening

I don’t hide the fact that I’m a Shield Hero hater. But, I’ll still admit when it does something well. And, there’s something Season 3 did very well – the OP. In fact, I’d say the Shield Hero Season 3 OP was one of the best OPs of any anime this season.

When I saw the OP, I thought Shield Hero might have turned itself around. Of course, I didn’t think the whole season would be animated as well as the OP was. There aren’t many anime that can manage to do that. But, the OP managed to make the series look really good.

If you didn’t know any better, you might get tricked into watching Shield Hero after seeing this OP. And, to test that, I showed this OP to one of my friends who isn’t into anime nearly as much as I am. I showed him a bunch of good OPs.

Atla and Fohl fighting from the anime series The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 3
Atla and Fohl fighting

Guess which OP he singled out as the one that made him want to watch the rest of the series? Shield Hero Season 3. Unfortunately, I had to break it to him that he shouldn’t actually watch this series.

Anyway, there are a lot of things that go into this OP being good. The animation is, obviously great for the majority of the OP, especially in the second half. That’s very important. But, what makes this OP stand above most others I’ve seen is that it also includes some great character acting.

The scene that stands out the most, to me, is of Raphtalia and Filo having a pillow fight. Filo is standing on a bed with a pillow ready to be thrown at Raphtalia. And Raphtalia is preparing to catch it.

Final Thoughts

The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 3 is a pretty solid 3/10. It’s very bad. But, as I said, it does have one good thing going for it: The OP. Unfortunately, since I’m already in this deep, I’ll also probably watch the next season. I can only hope it’s not any time soon.

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Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about supporting this blog, check out DoubleSama.com/support.

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