Are you tired of Myne? I’m tired of Myne, and luckily the heroes are reminded that she isn’t the benevolent person she pretends to be.
The Brainwash Begins: Melty, Naofumi, Filo, Raphtalia
With defending Melty from assassination, a wizard or soldier, holding a crystal ball, records everything that happened. Then, through some kind of video editing magic, they make Naofumi, and his team seem crazed! I’m talking blood that we haven’t seen before in this series, faces which make them look possessed, and they use that to create a smear campaign. One which goes beyond Myne’s rape accusation, which was kept inside the capital, but they go around the kingdom to make Naofumi seem like a bloodlustful kidnapper. Leaving Melty to realize what is being done and shocked.
The Getaway Plan: Melty, Naofumi
Melromarc at this point is toxic. Those who are members of the Three Heroes Church seemingly want to keep Naofumi down no matter what and so he’d rather leave than fight against what is being said. Originally, the idea was to go west to Siltvert to class upgrades could be done and Naofumi could move on. The problem with that is, what to do about Melty?
Should Naofumi let her run off to her dad and be killed? No. So, it is decided she’ll come with them, and while there is some hesitation, once Melty learns the full story, it seems she trusts Naofumi and is cool with following him anywhere.
Seek The Truth: Myne, Melty, Ren, Naofumi, Motoyasu, Raphtalia
But before they can leave the country and head west, Myne and the three stooges, the other heroes, show up. This leads to Myne making it seem she is rescuing her sister, that Naofumi has brainwashing powers, and him being asked to prove he doesn’t. Because that makes sense. So, with Melty scarred, since she knows what Myne is capable of, she asks of Naofumi to protect her and he does.
However, the biggest of the three stooges, Motoyasu, keeps Filo from being their getaway runner and seems ready to kidnap her. Luckily, as Raphtalia sneaks over to save her, Melty shows she has magic like her sister – leading to a duel. One which shocks the heroes for while Melty only fired a warning shot, Myne is going for the kill. Thus forcing Naofumi to unleash his rage shield which, surprisingly, when facing off against Myne, didn’t cause him to go berserk.
But, once Filo gets free, and Raphtalia stops Myne from killing Melty and Naofumi in one blow, they escape. I should note though, before they escape Naofumi throws to Ren a symbol of the Three Heroes Church. If only because, of the heroes, he seems to be the only one willing to give Naofumi any benefit of the doubt and with what he witnessed, he is hoping he’ll finally realize he has repeatedly fought on the wrong side. Pushing the idea maybe Myne is the one using brainwash magic since she has shown her true colors repeatedly and yet the heroes remain at her beck and call. Though, thinking about it, let’s not forget their lives are largely financed by the king so they are put in a tough spot.
Excused for the heroes aside, before the episode ends we meet one of the Queen’s “Shadows,” her exclusive espionage group, who says the queen wishes to meet Naofumi. Which he naturally is meh about but with the explanation that some of Myne and the king’s issues deal with how popular he was getting, and Melty seeming cool, he seems willing to meet her.
Leaving one last thing: With Melty’s life being saved by Naofumi more than once now, she wants to cut the formalities and use first names. This, as you can imagine, flusters Raphtalia, since she has feelings for Naofumi. Yet, because Naofumi is trying to make peace and gather allies, he gives in.
Question(s) Left Unanswered
Is part of the reason the shield hero isn’t part of the Three Heroes church because, traditionally, they have been kind to demi-humans? Who, of course, are associated with demons?
Why Does This Feel Like Social Commentary?
I know it is terrible to politicize everything but there is something about The Rising of the Shield Hero sometimes which makes it seem like you can’t ignore its deeper messages. Take the whole idea of rewriting facts to support your opinion. Myne’s assassination attempt on her sister failed but, as a backup, she painted across the kingdom that she was kidnapped.
Then, to further support her position, she is riding off religious beliefs to further assert that Naofumi is an agent of the devil if not the devil himself. Thus leading to soldiers, who traditionally aren’t part of the noble class, but commoners moving up the only way they sometimes can, thinking he is evil.
Now, as to how that relates to the real world, depending upon your country, you can easily see it. A political figure rewriting what happened in order to support their position. Bolstering themselves with a faith which likely they don’t adhere to but has followers they can manipulate for their goals. It may not fit the politics of every nation but seems familiar enough to remind you that this show isn’t some basic action anime.
Will Ren Learn The Truth?
Let’s remember something: Ren is the youngest of all the heroes, and has consistently been the only one capable of giving Naofumi the benefit of the doubt or being willing to admit he was wrong. So after at least two to three incidents in seeing Naofumi wronged, will he now not only acknowledge something is up but investigate? That is a huge question since he has no reason to. Yeah, it would make handling the waves easier, but it could cut off one of his main sources of income. So how he handles dealing with what benefits him vs. what could save the world should be interesting.
Naofumi Learning To Trust Again
One of the things Naofumi hasn’t been much for is admitting he is wrong. After Myne betrayed him, he developed a shell which takes some time to find the cracks and crevices of. Yet, one could argue that he is learning that he can’t keep expecting people to keep trying to figure him out and break through his tough exterior. Sometimes, he is just going to have to trust people.
Case in point, Melty. She is a royal, clearly her side of the family has plans for Naofumi, and yet he isn’t making her jump over hoops or denying seeing her mother. Instead, he is going to trust her. Same goes for Ren. While Ren always begins things as being against him, he is learning to trust that he’ll come around as he usually does and even go beyond and handle the issues he can’t because his name has become too toxic. Which could backfire since he could use that trust to stab Naofumi in the back. Yet, it could lead to his salvation as well.
How Forgetful Are The Heroes?
With that all said, Myne has multiple times shown she can’t be trusted. Whether it was the duel between Motoyasu and Naofumi, her actions in front of the king, and how she and the king run the kingdom. Clearly, something is up yet they seem to ignore, or forget, what is going on. Which isn’t to say Naofumi helps the situation by often being a douche, but still.
On The Fence
Off To See The Queen, Which Means No Siltvert For Now
One of the annoying things about anime like The Rising of the Shield Hero is they make it clear there is a vast world unseen, yet you are only going to see a small part of it. So with the idea of leaving the kingdom existing for a few episodes, even if we are seeing a more industrial part, it makes not seeing demi-human ran kingdoms unfortunate. Granted, we have 12 episodes to go, assuming there isn’t one or two recap ones, but there is always the need to ask is that enough?
Granted, part of the reason for answering that is because not a huge amount of anime feel like they are given enough time to finish their stories. Either they rush to their finish or end where, unless they get a second season, you barely feel like you’ve gotten started. So it makes it hard to get a vibe of what is just right since we don’t get that too often or consistently, rather. So one can only hope that, even if we don’t see each kingdom named previously, we will at least feel like this world was explored enough to get a sense of culture beyond what was initially presented and solely talked about.