The Riding of the Shield Hero kicks things up a notch as Naofumi, once more, is coerced to play the villain thanks to Myne.
Introduced This Episode
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That Is It That I’ve Done To You?: Naofumi, Myne, Raphtalia, Motoyasu
We’ve come to a point where there is a serious need to question what Myne has against Naofumi? She accused him of rape, brings up Raphtalia being his slave, despite it being perfectly legal, and seems to love starting trouble for Naofumi. Later in the episode, Naofumi points out this was likely done for her to grow close to Motoyasu but is it just that?
Seriously, what is Myne’s problem? She is the princess of the country, could have easily won Motoyasu without using Naofumi, so what is her problem? Is there, as part of the Shield Hero legend, this kind of adversity and she is tasked with triggering it? Could it be tradition to give the shield hero this amount of oppression and isolation so that it triggers the “Curse Series” we see after the duel?
Also, considering what Naofumi did for that village, even if it is only days since the wave, surely the story of his heroism has to have traveled by now right? Even if by the knights who were there.
A Duel: Naofumi, Myne, Raphtalia, Motoyasu
With Motoyasu being positioned to be a leader of the great heroes, especially by Myne, he takes it upon himself to free Raphtalia by means of a duel. Naturally, since he can’t fight as well as the others, Naofumi tries to reject this duel, but King Melromarc forced his hand. Leading to Naofumi and Motoyasu facing off and, to much surprise, Naofumi almost winning. That is, until Myne interferes and Motoyasu suddenly gets the upper hand. Thus leading to Raphtalia being freed and Naofumi, as before, pointing out what happened with Myne and being seen as a liar.
Is the end goal here to position Motoyasu to become king? While it isn’t clear how the kingdom is doing economically, or how popular the king is, I would assume his reign is given quite a boost thanks to the heroes showing up. Never mind his daughter being by the assumed leader’s side. So maybe it isn’t just Myne who has a hand in all this but, as Naofumi believes, this is much bigger than her.
With that said, weren’t we told the power of the legendary items is weaker when they are within the same vicinity? Taking note of that, shouldn’t Naofumi and Motoyasu’s gear not have been as powerful as we saw? For while Ren and Itsuki were yards away, they were still all in a relatively close vicinity. Unless, with this show, maybe that rule more so applies when facing off against monsters, or when all four legendary items are active, rather than just two. Pushing the need to question why, even though Ren wasn’t fond of the idea, they couldn’t just have formed smaller parties – two by two?
There Is Freedom In Love: King Melromarc, Naofumi, Myne, Raphtalia, Motoyasu, Ren, Itsuki
With Myne whispering in his ear, Motoyasu has really taken this hero thing to heart, and in defeating Naofumi, freeing a slave in the process, he feels rather good about himself. However, with Raphtalia calling out everyone involved and consoling Naofumi, who is having a meltdown, Motoyasu is coerced to question if he was the good guy in this. Especially as Ren and Itsuki step forward and note they believe Naofumi in that Myne interfered in the duel. However, Naofumi’s accusations, alongside Ren and Itsuki’s support, doesn’t change anything.
However, it does perhaps stop what is shown to be the “Chaos Series.” Something which, as Naofumi’s mood worsened, and made it seem like Myne was causing him to have delusions, pushed the idea he could do something immensely destructive. But, luckily, Raphtalia, after much convincing, was able to break through to Naofumi and help him realize she is committed to being by his side. Also, publicly, in front of the guardians, the king, even the public, she notes all that Naofumi did for her. This is followed by the so-called hero, Motoyasu, being questioned about whether he would do the same for her? Raphtalia asking this of Motoyasu leaves him a bumbling mess and Myne trying to recover by discrediting Raphtalia because she is a demi-human.
All I want to know is, how do the people feel about what they saw? The King, Myne, and most of the heroes, assassinated Naofumi’s character a long time ago but with it being clear something is up, do they care? Granted, only the aristocracy were present, and the King likely has them on a tight leash. Yet, bringing back the idea the King needs to be on the side of the heroes, there is a need to question if this may not be seen as a major chink in his reputation?
Though, I also find myself wondering, outside of money, of course, why isn’t Naofumi seeking out other lands and kingdoms? Considering how the waves likely are hitting more than King Melromarc’s kingdom, I’m sure he could find money elsewhere. Heck, taking note of Raphtalia and how her parents died, I’m sure there have to be demi-humans out there who, taking note of the shield hero legend, would be more than happy to have him.
Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments
Demi-Humans level up, and apparently age, quicker than humans. It isn’t clear though if this also means they die sooner than humans or not.
A sense that Myne’s takedown of Naofumi isn’t just personal, for the sake of getting close to Motoyasu, but maybe political beyond what Noafumi recognizes.
Raphtalia’s reassuring Naofumi of her love and commitment to him.
It isn’t clear what Chaos Series is, but it seems like it might be cool as hell.
Naofumi v. Motoyasu was far more interesting than what we saw when he fought the wave.