The Rising of the Shield Hero: Season 1, Episode 18 “A Conspiracy Linked” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

The true mastermind behind Naofumi being harassed and treated like a social pariah reveals themselves to us.

Director(s) Abo Takao
Writer(s) Koyanagi Keigo
Air Date 5/8/2019

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Facing Motoyasu: Motoyasu, Naofumi, Myne, Melty, Raphtalia, Filo

With a promise to Fitoria in mind, Naofumi decides to head straight to a checkpoint where he is told one of the heroes will be. Unfortunately for him, it is Motoyasu who, as always, has Myne right behind him. Thus leading to them fighting, as usual, but this time with the pretense being that Naofumi killed Ren and Itsuki. Two people who, mind you, he was only told were dead so they can be alive. However, with how easily manipulated Motoyasu is, he doesn’t ask questions or listens to Naofumi trying to reason with him. Instead, he just fights, and it becomes a huge brawl that includes all of their allies.

The Truth Is Revealed: Pope Balmus, Myne, Motoyasu, Naofumi, Filo

However, the battle stops after it becomes clear Naofumi and his team cannot be easily defeated, even if they all have hit a level cap. But, alongside coming to a bit of a stalemate, though arguably Naofumi could have won, Filo notes something is coming and calls on Naofumi to create multiple shields. Of which, when attacked, leads you to believe maybe Glass is attacking, but it is actually Pope Balmus.

Pope Balmus revealing what he has done and why.

To make a long story short, it seems Pope Balmus wants to turn the country into a theological society, and so he used Myne’s simple self to split the heroes who, likely, are the only ones who could stop him. Also, he split the royal family too for while he has an army of loyal nuns, clergy, and followers, there is always the question of between religion and royalty, who holds the most power.

But, with plans to murder Myne, Melty as well, and do away with the Cardinal Heroes, it seems Pope Balmus is aiming to gain absolute authority with the Shield Hero taking all the blame for what was done.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Considering how open Pope Balmus is about his plans, in front of followers even, shouldn’t the legion behind him be shocked or they see themselves rising in power once he is done? Which is all they care about?

Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments

  • Almost everyone on Naofumi’s team is at level 40, except him at level 39.


We’re Finally Getting Somewhere

Let’s be real: The chances of Myne being smart enough to create a nationwide platform to damn Naofumi and create a way for her to become queen seemed unlikely. She has been defeated way too many times when she coerced combat, and often times the defeat was public. She also attempted to raise taxes and try to make Motoyasu a lord – despite him lacking the experience to do so. Also, with her not being next in line for a reason, there is also that issue. Not to forget her influence on two of the three heroes has been wavering and her leadership abilities have been minor. Which isn’t to say she couldn’t have had allies who could have bolstered her position but with the way she is, the way the kingdom is, you’d expect them to betray her eventually.

But what matters the most is we are being presented with some sort of big evil who could help fill out a handful of episodes. One which, honestly, may not be the most exciting at first, but Pope Balmus has potential. He may have killed two heroes, has enough followers for an insurrection, and his moral compass is off.

Pope Balmus amused by Naofumi shielding everyone from his attack.

Now, considering Naofumi, at level 39, was able to block his attacks, that does damper things. But that doesn’t mean once the dozens of people behind Pope Balmus get involved that the fight will be almost even. Nevermind, be it defeating the pope or retreating to a bordering country, this represents a turning point in the show. One which feels overdue.

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We’re Finally Getting Somewhere - 80%


While the show has been a bit ho-hum, outside of Raphtalia’s backstory, for a while, the arrival of Pope Balmus and James Bond villain style reveal of his plans kick things up a notch.

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