The Rising of the Shield Hero: Season 1, Episode 8 “Curse Shield” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Naofumi harnessing the power of the Chaos Shield.
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Remember that dragon Ren supposedly killed? Well, Naofumi and his girls end up having to face it because Ren didn’t finish the job.


Episode Information: Episode 8 “Curse Shield”

Network
Crunchyroll
Director(s) Abo Takao
Writer(s) Koyanagi Keigo
Air Date 2/27/2019

Recap

The Zombie Dragon: Naofumi, Filo, Raphtalia

A new week, a new village, and this is one which has experienced one of the legendary heroes recently – specifically Ren. He killed a dragon, or so he thought, and left. However, with the death of the dragon seemingly came a shift in the local population. It began with an influx of people traveling up to the mountain and then monsters moved in since a major predator was gone.

Leading to, naturally, Naofumi going up there for the zombie dragon not only has released a poisonous mist over the area but, as the name implies, is very much alive. However, with everyone’s level in the high 30s, a dragon is a bit much to handle. At least, in theory. Filo decides to go for it since, despite only being a month old, and this being her first dragon, she biologically hates them.

But she ends up being swallowed whole when trying to fight it. Something which partly happens because she gets distracted and with what looks like blood squirting out, Naofumi assumes death.

The Curse Shield: Naofumi, Raphtalia

Raphtalia helping Naofumi back from a dark place.
Raphtalia: Thank goodness… you’re back.

Remember the fight Naofumi had against Motoyasu that Myne interfered in? The one which led him to have a mental breakdown and nearly be consumed by hate? Yeah, once more that happens, but Naofumi goes deeper into the darkness which reveals the Curse Shield. From what it appears, this shield is a glitch. One which gives Naofumi some form of offensive powers at the cost of his sanity, if not consciousness.

Luckily, though it may have hurt Raphtalia to do so, she brings him out of it just in time before he goes to the point of no return.

A Smile: Naofumi, Filo, Raphtalia

However, despite cutting off the dragon’s tail, and his defensive powers off the scale, he doesn’t have the means to kill the dragon. Add in Raphtalia faints from exhaustion and the two seem doomed. But, then we see Filo claw her way out of the dragon, without a mark on her, and then dragon appears dead at last. Especially since Filo consumed its core crystal.

Leaving us to wonder what is Raphtalia’s state after the poison breath and apparently being cursed? Well, she’ll live but will need to be hit with some holy water to rid her of the curse afflicted on her. Something that seemingly doesn’t affect her much, but she does try to use it to sleep with Naofumi in the same bed. However, he curves her and offers Filo instead. Not before offering a smile though, which both girls make a huge deal out of.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. How powerful if Filo to be swallowed whole, by a dragon, and yet not have a scratch on her? Also, what are her feathers made out of since she wasn’t wet either?
  2. Why does Filo have an instinctive beef with dragons?
  3. What exactly is up with the Chaos Shield?

Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments

  • It has been 1 month since Filo was born.

Review

Highlights

An Epic Battle Which Leaves You Guessing

Filo kicking the hell out of a dragon.

This show will probably end up one of the best this season, live action or otherwise. It started out strong on the emotional end, and that seemed to compensate for it’s less than thrilling battles. However, increasingly we have had more and more appealing and arguably epic battles. This time even presenting the idea a character could die, and it seeming believable.

That in itself is a big deal since most shows try to have a Game of Thrones type of element of anyone could die, but it doesn’t feel believable. Yet, The Rising of the Shield Hero has this hard to describe tone which makes it seem the worst could happen. Maybe because it has a lingering rape accusation which still haunts Naofumi? Perhaps it is because these emotional connections are so strong that you can’t imagine them not being under constant threat?

Either way, thanks to the relationship Naofumi has with his girls, it ups the ante in ways which were not expected when this show began.

On The Fence

Does This Qualify As Filler?

One of the things I’ve always had a hard time deciphering when it comes to anime, especially when they go beyond 13 episodes is what filler is? When it comes to this episode, while it is great we are seeing Naofumi grow closer to the girls and this grand battles, there is a need to question when the story will move forward? Who were the ninjas and industrial kingdom we saw? Things like that linger as we see what is slowly becoming a pattern of Naofumi showing up in a no-name village and cleaning up behind his fellow heroes.

Not to say I’m not enjoying these open-ended episodes, I’m just wondering when we are moving forward instead of laterally.


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