The Rising of the Shield Hero

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, 22 volumes have been published.

The Rising of the Shield Hero
First light novel volume cover, 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)
Genre
Novel series
Written byAneko Yusagi
Published byShōsetsuka ni Narō
Original run2012 – present
Light novel
Written byAneko Yusagi
Illustrated bySeira Minami
Published byMedia Factory
English publisher
  • NA: One Peace Books
ImprintMF Books
DemographicMale
Original runAugust 22, 2013 – present
Volumes22 (List of volumes)
Manga
Written byAiya Kyū
Published byMedia Factory
English publisher
  • NA: One Peace Books
MagazineMonthly Comic Flapper
DemographicSeinen
Original runFebruary 5, 2014 – present
Volumes24 (List of volumes)
Manga
The Reprise of the Spear Hero
Written byNeet
Published byMedia Factory
English publisher
  • NA: One Peace Books
ImprintMF Comics
DemographicSeinen
Original runAugust 21, 2017January 26, 2023
Volumes11 (List of volumes)
Light novel
The Reprise of the Spear Hero
Written byAneko Yusagi
Illustrated byMinami Seira
Published byMedia Factory
English publisher
  • NA: One Peace Books
ImprintMF Books
DemographicMale
Original runSeptember 25, 2017 – present
Volumes4 (List of volumes)
Further information
Anime television series
Directed by
Produced by
List
    • Hiroyasu Taniguchi
    • Kenichi Tokumura
    • Nobuhiko Kurosu
    • Toyokazu Nakahigashi
    • Yasuhiro Nakajima
    • Junichirou Tamura (S1)
    • Mitsuhiro Ogata (S1)
    • Naoki Kishida (S1–2)
    • Shou Nakata (S1–2)
    • Takashi Tachizaki (S1–2)
    • Yutaka Kashiwagi (S1–2)
    • Masakatsu Umeda (S2)
    • Kousuke Arai (S2–3)
    • Aya Iizuka (S3)
    • Masashi Hirayama (S3)
Written by
  • Keigo Koyonagi
  • Kinema Citrus (S3)
Music byKevin Penkin
Studio
Licensed byCrunchyroll[a][3]
Original networkAT-X, Tokyo MX, TVA, KBS, SUN, TVQ, BS11
English network
Original run January 9, 2019 present
Episodes50 (List of episodes)
Manga
Tate no Yūsha no to aru Ichi Nichi
Written byAkagashi
Published byKadokawa
MagazineComic Dengeki Daioh "g"
DemographicShōnen
Original runSeptember 27, 2018June 27, 2020
Volumes3 (List of volumes)
Manga
Tate no Yūsha no Oshinagaki
Written byTendou Akano
Published byKadokawa
ImprintMF Comics
DemographicSeinen
Original runAugust 21, 2019 – present
Volumes7 (List of volumes)
icon Anime and manga portal

The novel series was adapted into a manga series by Aiya Kyū and published by Media Factory, with 24 tankōbon volumes released as of November 22, 2023. 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 season, co-produced by DR Movie, aired from April to June 2022. A third season aired from October to December 2023. A fourth season has been announced.

The anime series is currently licensed in North America by Crunchyroll.[4]

Plot edit

Naofumi Iwatani, an easygoing Japanese youth, was summoned into a parallel world along with three other young Japanese 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 respectively 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 as they unravel the mystery of the Waves and the reason why they are a threat not only to their world, but to other worlds as well.

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, 22 volumes have been published. The novel series and 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 24 tankōbon volumes released as of November 22, 2023.[6] Both the novel and manga series were licensed by One Peace Books and were published in North America starting in September 2015.[7]

Spin-off edit

A comedy spin-off series was released in the 61st issue of Kadokawa Dengeki Daioh G.[8] The four-panel comedy manga, titled A Day in the Life of the Shield Hero (盾の勇者のとある一日, Tate no Yūsha no to Aru 1-Nichi), was drawn by Akagashi.

Anime edit

An anime adaptation was announced in June 2017.[9] The television series is produced by Kinema Citrus and directed by Takao Abo,[10] with Keigo Koyanagi handling series composition, Masahiro Suwa designing the characters, and Kevin Penkin composing the music.[11] The series aired from January 9 to June 26, 2019, on AT-X and other channels.[12] It ran for 25 episodes.[13]

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.[14] 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.[15] For episode 4, Asami Seto sang an insert song titled "Falling Through Starlight" as her character Raphtalia.[16] Both Crunchyroll and Funimation streamed the anime.[17][18] Crunchyroll streamed the show in both the original Japanese version and the English dub.[19] Plus Media Networks Asia licensed the series in Southeast Asia and is streaming it on Aniplus Asia, iQIYI, bilibili, Netflix, and Disney+ Hotstar.[20][21][22][23][24] Funimation started streaming the dub on May 1, 2019.[25] 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 14, the day before episode 19, "The Four Cardinal Heroes", was scheduled to release.[26]

At 2019's Crunchyroll Expo, it was announced that the series would receive a second and third season.[27] Masato Jinbo replaced Takao Abo as director, and the rest of the staff members reprised their roles; Kinema Citrus is joined by DR Movie for animation production.[28] During "Kadokawa Light Novel Expo 2020", it was originally revealed that the second season would premiere in October 2021,[29] but it was later delayed.[30] The second season aired from April 6 to June 29, 2022.[31] It ran for 13 episodes.[32] In Southeast Asia, Plus Media Networks Asia licensed the second season and is simulcasting it on Aniplus Asia, bilibili, IQIYI, and Netflix.[33][34][35][36] The opening theme is "Bring Back", performed by Madkid, while the ending theme is "Yuzurenai" (ゆずれない), performed by Chiai Fujikawa.[37] On May 2, 2022, Crunchyroll announced that the second season would begin airing its dub on May 4.[38]

The third season is directed by Hitoshi Haga, with the rest of the staff from the previous season returning, with Alfredo Sirica and Natalie Jeffreys also joining as additional composers.[39][40] It aired from October 6 to December 22, 2023.[41] The opening theme is "Sin", performed by Madkid, while the ending theme is "Suki ni Natte wa Ikenai Riyū" (好きになってはいけない理由), performed by Chiai Fujikawa.[42] On October 19, 2023, Crunchyroll announced that the third season would begin airing its dub the following day.[43]

In January 2024, it was announced that a fourth season was in production.[44]

Video games edit

A mobile game titled Tate no Yūsha no Nariagari Rerise (盾の勇者の成り上がり RERISE) was released for Android and iOS devices on February 24, 2021.[45] An adaptation of the anime titled The Rising of the Shield Hero: Relive the Animation was released for Steam on September 24, 2019, for Android and iOS devices on October 24, 2019.[46]

Reception edit

The light novel series had over 3.3 million volumes in print by December 2018,[47] and the manga series had 1 million tankobon volumes in print by January 2019.[48] By 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.[49]

The character Raphtalia was selected as Best Girl for the Crunchyroll Anime Awards in 2020.[50]

Reception and controversy in North America edit

When the anime series began airing in North America, the first episode came under controversy. Several Anime News Network reviewers criticized the show for its framing of a false rape accusation,[51] and the protagonist purchasing a girl as a slave was controversial.[52][53] When the show's producer Junichiro Tamura was asked about it, 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."[54]

Reviews of subsequent episodes have been generally positive. Theron Martin of Anime News Network 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."[55] 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."[56]

Season 2 received heavy scrutiny from both the audience[57] and reviewers[58] due to its fast pacing and changes to the source material.

Notes edit

  1. ^ Formerly known as Funimation.

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. Archived from the original on May 6, 2019. 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 January 28, 2019. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
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    Episodes 1-15 debut TODAY and new episodes will launch weekly on Wednesdays at 9:30 am. CT!"
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External links edit