Review of The Rising of the Shield Hero - Isekai Onegai! (SPOILERS)
by: Gari Chutney
This right here is quality isekai. As a non-isekai watcher I had my doubts jumping into the show. A lot of the premise is uncalled for and the way certain characters behave is a bit contrived. But all in all, the show was enjoyable enough to finish. Upon finishing the show I am left with questions.
Naofumi was the only Hero unaware of the world where the Four Cardinal Heroes operate. The other three heroes understood the world in depth and even some of the niche history surrounding it. If they were so intelligent about this world early on, why do they continue to do so poorly throughout the show? Sure, each hero came from a different dimension so it is possible that the Melromarc franchise has been iterated with differing stories, but within the first few episodes it is shown that there is a central understanding between the three heroes and how this new world works. It's just weird to me how all three of them completely fall off by the end. I almost wonder what motivation they have to do what they do.
Melromarc is a matriarchy. Not only that but the Queen herself acts like a commander in chief and goes to battle. Her husband and first daughter are back at the kingdom to manage the state of affairs. But they seem really incapable of doing that because of an immense hatred toward the Shield Hero. Perhaps I missed it somewhere, I will admit there were times while watching this I was folding laundry, preparing meals, and brewing tea where my attention had been completely reassigned elsewhere... -- but what did the previous Shield Hero do to make the King hate future Shield Heroes to the point of sabotaging the safety of welfare of his kingdom? I'm not sure if the hatred is fully fleshed out. It's definitely mentioned but not entirely explained. Same with how the Queen is probably more than enough to take out the Pope but was restrained by her own men when a monster tried to bring Melty into the sea? Like how counterproductive is that. Let the next in line die (she didn't die, just a hypothetical), and the current leader suffer and somehow be incapable of performing ranged magic like she did just episodes ago... but I digress
Why did the Pope hang on to the replica so long anyway? If he didn't want the heroes to be there all he has to do is fight the waves himself right? Or, at least kill all four heroes earlier on and not months after they entered the world... WHAT EXACTLY WAS THE POPE'S INTENTION? If heroes aren't needed then kill them from the beginning when they are vulnerable.
And WHAT are waves? I am much confused by the last few episodes where the goal isn't even waves anymore but heroes from another world. WHY. CAN'T. THE. HEROES. FIGHT. IN. THEIR. OWN. WORLD? Why must they fight each other? Listen. You can live your life as a soldier. Fighting hard and well. But before you and after you, there will always be unrest. This notion of ending one world to stop waves makes no sense to me. What exactly is the mechanism behind that? Perhaps I misunderstood, but why are these neo-isekai-lites so hung up on defeating Naofumi and others, how does that save their world from the wave? I dunno... and I guess I care a lot.
It may seem like I hated the show or I was too nitpicky. But the show was honestly entertaining enough for me to finish. I tend to drop series like this in a heartbeat for being unable to follow. But the element of an anti hero and constantly proving everyone wrong made it much more interesting. Having a ridiculous amount of loli action also made it funny pretty funny. All in all, if isekai is your thing, then this is one of your shows.