The Rising of the Shield Hero

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The Rising of the Shield Hero
The Rising of the Shield Hero light novel vol 1.jpg
Cover of the first light novel volume featuring Naofumi Iwatani (left), Raphtalia (middle) and Myne Sophia (top-right)
盾の勇者の成り上がり
(Tate no Yūsha no Nariagari)
GenreDark fantasy,[1] isekai[2]
Novel series
Written byAneko Yusagi
Published byShōsetsuka ni Narō
Original run20122015
Light novel
Written byAneko Yusagi
Illustrated byMinami Seira
Published byMedia Factory
English publisher
One Peace Books
ImprintMF Books
DemographicMale
Original runAugust 22, 2013 – present
Volumes22 (List of volumes)
Manga
Written byAiya Kyū
Published byMedia Factory
English publisher
One Peace Books
MagazineMonthly Comic Flapper
DemographicSeinen
Original runFebruary 5, 2014 – present
Volumes15 (List of volumes)
Manga
The Reprise of the Spear Hero
Written byNeet
Published byMedia Factory
English publisher
One Peace Books
ImprintMF Comics
DemographicSeinen
Original runAugust 21, 2017 – present
Volumes6 (List of volumes)
Light novel
The Reprise of the Spear Hero
Written byAneko Yusagi
Illustrated byMinami Seira
Published byMedia Factory
English publisher
One Peace Books
ImprintMF Books
DemographicMale
Original runSeptember 25, 2017 – present
Volumes3 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed byTakao Abo
Produced by
  • Hiroyasu Taniguchi
  • Jun'ichirō Tamura
  • Kenichi Tokumura
  • Mitsuhiro Ogata
  • Naoki Kishida
  • Nobuhiko Kurosu
  • Sho Nakata
  • Takashi Tachizaki
  • Toyokazu Nakahigashi
  • Yasuhiro Nakajima
  • Yutaka Kashiwagi
Written byKeigo Koyonagi
Music byKevin Penkin
StudioKinema Citrus
Licensed byCrunchyroll[3]
Original networkAT-X, Tokyo MX, TVA, KBS, SUN, TVQ, BS11
Original run January 9, 2019 (2019-01-09) June 26, 2019 (2019-06-26)
Episodes25 (List of episodes)
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

The Rising of the Shield Hero (Japanese: 盾の勇者の成り上がり, Hepburn: Tate no Yūsha no Nariagari) is a Japanese light novel series written by Aneko Yusagi. Originally published as a web novel in the user-generated novel site Shōsetsuka ni Narō, the series has since been published by Media Factory with an expanded story-line featuring illustrations by Seira Minami. As of June 25, 2019, twenty-two volumes have been published.

The novel series was adapted into a manga series by Aiya Kyū and published by Media Factory, with fifteen volumes released as of April 7, 2020. Both the novel and manga series were licensed by One Peace Books and were published in North America starting in September 2015. The 25-episode anime television series adaptation produced by Kinema Citrus aired from January to June 2019. A second and third season have been announced. The anime series is licensed in North America by the Crunchyroll-Funimation partnership.[4]

Plot[edit]

Naofumi Iwatani, an easygoing Japanese youth, was summoned into a parallel world along with three other young men from parallel universes to become the world's Cardinal Heroes and fight inter-dimensional hordes of monsters called Waves. Each of the heroes were respectively equipped with their own legendary equipment when summoned. Naofumi happened to receive the Legendary Shield, the sole defensive equipment, while the other heroes received a sword, a spear, and a bow, weapons meant for attack. Unlike the other heroes who are fully supported by the kingdom and gain several strong allies each, Naofumi's luck turns to the worse after his single companion, revealed to be the kingdom's Princess, betrays him, steals all his belongings, and leaves him devoid of all assistance and supplies after she falsely accuses him of sexually assaulting her.

Mocked by the nobility and shunned by everyone from his fellow Heroes to peasants, a now cynical Naofumi is forced to train as a hero alone while working to make ends meet, until he buys from a slave trader a young tanuki demi-human girl named Raphtalia and an egg that hatches into a bird-like monster whom he names "Filo", both quickly growing into adulthood and becoming powerful warriors under his care. As they little by little gain the trust and gratitude of the people with their heroic actions, Naofumi and his companions work together to carry out their mission as saviors of the world as they unravel the mystery of the Waves and Naofumi deals with his inner darkness.

Media[edit]

Light novel[edit]

Originally published as a web novel, the series has been re-written with an expanded story-line. The series is currently published by Media Factory and features illustrations by Seira Minami. As of June 25, 2019, twenty-two volumes have been published. The spin-off novel The Reprise of the Spear Hero was licensed by One Peace Books.[5]

Manga[edit]

The light novel series was adapted into a manga series by Aiya Kyū and published by Media Factory, with thirteen volumes released as of April 23, 2019. In an interview, the manga artist said, "Comic Flapper’s editorial department told me about the opportunity, and I gleefully took it."[6] Both the novel and manga series were licensed by One Peace Books and were published in North America starting in September 2015.[7]

Anime[edit]

An anime adaptation was announced in June 2017.[8] The television series is produced by Kinema Citrus and directed by Takao Abo,[9] with Keigo Koyanagi handling series composition, Masahiro Suwa designing the characters and Kevin Penkin composing the music.[10] The series aired from January 9 to June 26, 2019, on AT-X and other channels.[11] It ran for 25 episodes.[12]

The first opening theme is "RISE", performed by MADKID, while the first ending theme is "Kimi no Namae" (きみの名前) performed by Chiai Fujikawa.[13] The second opening theme is "FAITH," performed by MADKID, while the second ending theme is "While I'm Next to You" (あたしが隣にいるうちに, Atashi ga Tonari ni Iru Uchi ni) performed by Fujikawa.[14] For episode 4, Asami Seto sang an insert song titled "Falling Through Starlight" as her character Raphtalia.[15] Both Crunchyroll and Funimation streamed the anime.[16][17] Crunchyroll streamed the show in both the original Japanese version and the English dub.[18] Funimation started streaming the dub on May 1, 2019.[19] Originally intending to air the English dub simultaneously with the original Japanese, Crunchyroll announced that there would be a two-week delay in the release of the English version on May 14th, the day before episode 19, "The Four Cardinal Heroes", was scheduled to release.[20]

At 2019's Crunchyroll Expo, it was announced that the series will receive a second and third season.[21]

Reception[edit]

The light novel series had over 3.3 million volumes in print by December 2018,[22] and the manga series had 1 million tankobon volumes in print by January 2019.[23] As of April 2019, the light novels and manga have sold a combined 6.2 million copies in Japan, after their sales increased by 1.2 million copies in two months, mainly due to the success of the anime series.[24]

When the anime series began airing in the United States, the first episode came under controversy, with several reviewers criticising the show for its depiction of slavery, raising the question of slavery apologism, and the framing of a false rape accusation with many claiming that this was in poor taste following the Me Too movement. When the show's producer Junichiro Tamura was asked about the controversy, he responded that there "have not been any controversies regarding the series in Japan, so it is difficult to say. In the case there were any controversy domestically, we will try to address all issues with the staff and people involved to bring our customers a better product the next time."[25]

Reviews of subsequent episodes have been positive. The reviewer Theron Martin gave a rating of B− for the first two episodes, stating "the series looks like it's gotten over its initial problematic hump and should hopefully slide into a more agreeable story flow."[26] He gave a B+ rating for the third episode, stating that "the series seems like it's angling to build Naofumi up more as a folk hero than the famously brazen heroes we're used to seeing in fantasy stories" and that "episode 3 gives the best argument to date for the series' possible potential."[27]

Reviewer Timothy Donohoo heavily criticized the anime for having an "overpowered protagonist who's seemingly never wrong" and for the "socially contentious undertones", noting that "the series has gotten its fair share of well deserved flak", and adding that "the show's own reputation and critical reception are lower than dirt, and for good reason". He further described the show "as just another generic isekai show, and a poorly done one at that", even without what he describes as "unsavory elements". He speculates that some viewers may sympathize with the protagonist, noting that this would "justify the show's label as an 'incel fantasy'".[28]

The character Raphtalia was selected as Best Girl for the Crunchyroll Anime Awards in 2020.[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "話題のダークファンタジーや超人気シリーズの最新刊登場! MFブックス6月新刊、6月24日発売! そして『盾の勇者の成り上がり』アニメ化決定です!!!". Animeanime.jp (in Japanese). June 24, 2017. Retrieved May 6, 2019. 異世界で二度目の生を受けた元勇者の復讐劇を描く注目のダークファンタジー!(Featured dark fantasy depicting the revenge of a former hero who received his second life in a different world!)
  2. ^ Luster, Joseph (December 8, 2018). "The Rising of the Shield Hero Anime Kicks Off the Fantasy in Second PV". Crunchyroll. Archived from the original on 2019-01-28. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  3. ^ "Global Anime Brand Crunchyroll Reveals Inaugural Slate of Crunchyroll Originals". Anime News Network. February 26, 2020. Retrieved March 28, 2020. Crunchyroll has co-produced more than 60 series since 2015, working directly with partners in Japan to fund the production and creation of original anime including “The Rising of The Shield Hero”
  4. ^ "Funimation President: 'We Tried to Renew Deal with Crunchyroll'". Anime News Network. December 14, 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-12-16. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  5. ^ "One Peace Books Licenses Hinamatsuri, I Hear the Sunspot: Limit Manga, Reprise of the Spear Hero Novels". Anime News Network. April 10, 2018. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  6. ^ "Interview with The Rising Of The Shield Hero manga artist Aiya Kyu". Monsters and Critics. April 13, 2019. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  7. ^ "One Peace Books Adds The Rising of the Shield Hero Fantasy Novel, Manga Series". Anime News Network. March 30, 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-04-01. Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  8. ^ "The Rising of the Shield Hero Fantasy Novels Get Anime". Anime News Network. June 22, 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-06-22. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  9. ^ "Kadokawa Announces 2 New Anime Titles, Rising of the Shield Hero, Chio's School Road Staff". Anime News Network. July 1, 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-07-02. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  10. ^ "The Rising of The Shield Hero Anime Unveils Main Cast, Staff". Anime News Network. August 9, 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-08-09. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  11. ^ "The Rising of The Shield Hero Anime's 1st Promo Reveals January Premiere". Anime News Network. September 1, 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-09-01. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  12. ^ "The Rising of The Shield Hero Anime Listed With 25 Episodes". Anime News Network. January 11, 2019. Archived from the original on 2019-01-11. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  13. ^ "The Rising of The Shield Hero Anime's Theme Song Artists Revealed". Anime News Network. November 25, 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-11-26. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  14. ^ "MADKID, Chiai Fujikawa Perform Rising of the Shield Hero Anime's New Theme Songs". Anime News Network. February 28, 2019. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  15. ^ "Rising of the Shield Hero English Dub Will Include Alternative Insert Song for Episode 4". Anime News Network. January 31, 2019. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  16. ^ "Crunchyroll to Stream The Rising of the Shield Hero, A place further than the Universe Anime". Anime News Network. July 3, 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-07-08. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  17. ^ "Funimation to Stream Rising of the Shield Hero Anime, Crunchyroll Announces Dub Cast". Anime News Network. December 20, 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-12-20. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  18. ^ "Rising of the Shield Hero English Dub Debuts, Future Episodes to Debut Simultaneously With Japan". Anime News Network. February 13, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  19. ^ Funimation (2019-04-30). "The Rising of the Shield Hero comes to FunimationNow dubbed!
    Episodes 1-15 debut TODAY and new episodes will launch weekly on Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. CT!"
    . @FUNimation. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  20. ^ "The Rising of the Shield Hero Reveals New English Dub Release Schedule". Anime. Retrieved 2019-06-14.
  21. ^ "The Rising of The Shield Hero Anime Gets 2 More Seasons". Anime News Network. September 1, 2019. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  22. ^ "Roundup of Newly Revealed Print Counts for Manga, Light Novel Series - December 2018". Anime News Network. January 1, 2019. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  23. ^ "Roundup of Newly Revealed Print Counts for Manga, Light Novel Series - January 2019". Anime News Network. February 2, 2019. Archived from the original on February 2, 2019. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  24. ^ Komatsu, Mikikazu (April 11, 2019). "The Rising of the Shield Hero Novel/Manga Series Has Printed 6.2 Million Copies in Japan". Crunchyroll. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  25. ^ "Exclusive 'The Rising of the Shield Hero' Clip Sees Naofumi Become a Father". ComicBook.com. February 14, 2019. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  26. ^ Martin, Theron (19 January 2019). "The Rising of The Shield Hero ‒ Episodes 1-2". Anime News Network. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  27. ^ "The Rising of The Shield Hero ‒ Episode 3". Anime News Network. 24 January 2019. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  28. ^ Timothy, Donohoo. "The Rising of the Shield Hero Is Absurdly Popular for NO Good Reason".
  29. ^ https://www.crunchyroll.com/animeawards/en/vote/index.html

External links[edit]