They stopped the first Wave of Catastrophe, but the next one is coming. Naofumi and Raphtalia head out to train, but not before purchasing a mystery egg. Will they get a dragon or a Filolial?
The Rising of the Shield Hero (Episodes 5-8)
Episode 5 – Filo
The King tried to hold back Naofumi’s reward from the Wave of Catastrophe by offsetting the cost of removing Raphtalia’s slave crest. Surprisingly, the Sword Hero, Ren and the Bow Hero, Itsuki stand up for Naofumi demanding he is fairly compensated. With his reward money, Naofumi returns to the slave market at Raphtalia’s request. There he also purchases a mystery egg that could have a Filolial or even a dragon. They return to Lute village after receiving a couple of gifts from merchants with links to the village, but while they’re there, Myne and Motoyasu arrive and try to claim the village and impose a crippling tax on it. Some masked people show up and put Myne in her place. Reluctantly, she challenges Naofumi to a race – the winner gets the village!
Episode 6 – A New Comrade
Well, it turns out the Filo is a Filolial Queen which enables her to transform between a number of forms. One of which is that of a human girl with wings. Naofumi managed to get a crest on her to link her to him, but it was an effort. Now, he just needs to find a way to keep her clothed as she destroys whatever she’s wearing when she transforms. The only way is to use thread made from Filo’s mana, but they need a special gem to do it and they’re hard to come by. While they wait, Naofumi looks to increase his business ventures and transports another trader. However, the trader was set up and bandits attack. When Naofumi defeats them and then takes their goods in exchange for their lives, the trader decides to thank Naofumi with knowledge and connections.
Episode 7 – The Savior of the Heavenly Fowl
Naofumi’s trader friend comes to him for a job. He has a large order of herbicide that needs to be delivered to a village as soon as possible and Naofumi is the only one he can turn to. When they get to the village, it has been overrun with vines. There’s even word of plant monsters. Of course, it turns out that this is the village that Motoyasu gave the miracle seed, however, it was one that had been sealed away for centuries for fear of what it would do. Naofumi heads into the village to take on the monster. It’s going all right, although Raphtalia and Filo seem to be butting heads more and more. A trip to a hot springs town provides both a chance to do something nice for Naofumi, but they encounter a Silver Razorback and that changes everything!
Episode 8 – Curse Shield
Naofumi travelled East after hearing about a plague, but when he got there it was worse than he could have imagined. The source of the affliction was the dragon that Ren slew. However, as he believes that this is a video game, it never occurred to him to actually destroy the corpse. Its evil power and decay had changed the makeup of the mountain and created this devastating plague. Naofumi treats the sick and then heads up to clean up Ren’s mess. The dragon, however, isn’t nearly as dead as they’d hoped. As things spiralled out of control, Naofumi accidentally activated the Curse Series of shields and hurt Raphtalia.
It’s Definitely Not a Game!
As much as I wouldn’t wish what happened to Naofumi on anyone, it really prepared him for this world. Combined with the way that he entered compared to the other heroes, he came into this without the false belief that this was a game. The other heroes had all experienced the world, cultures and systems from the games they’d been playing. So, to them, this was just an extension of that reality. It must have felt like there were no consequences.
Even with how quickly they turned on Naofumi, it showed that they would follow what they believed to be the format of the game. Even the other characters must have seemed like non-playable characters (NPC) who are there to support them and give them information. With that in mind, of course, they believed Myne when she accused Naofumi. The King agreeing just confirmed it for them. This is a game and that meant that Naofumi was just an online troll that they could disregard. He might even be an NPC as far as they’re concerned.
For the record, I don’t think they think Naofumi is an NPC, but I do think that they view the other characters as such and that is why it’s not that unbelievable to them that someone would take advantage of one. If anything it speaks more to their characters than Naofumi that they were so quick to believe. Now, had Naofumi been executed for his “crime” that might have woken them up a little, but he was just dismissed.
So, who cares if they see it as a game. As long as they defeat the Waves of Catastrophe, what does it matter? Well, that is part of the issue that they are experiencing. The fact that only Naofumi thought to save the villagers shows that he has accepted this world as real. Despite everything he went through he’s still not prepared to sit back and watch innocent people die.
Of course, Naofumi is still untrusting of others and uses that to his advantage. He will help those in need, but he doesn’t want to find himself in a situation where people expect it. However, he’s always reasonable, not taking more than they can afford. Contrast that to the Motoyasu who showed up at Lute village and demanded they accept him as their lord and pay an extortionate tax. Motoyasu had no idea what the villagers had or whether his tax was even possible. He believed that Myne (an NPC in his mind) would handle that correctly.
No doubt, it was Myne’s idea to give the other village the mysterious seed that had been locked away. Naofumi originally chastised the villagers for accepting even though they knew the legends because it was a hero giving it to them. This message should find its way back to Motoyasu who is quite clearly unable to think for himself, making him the perfect tool for Myne.
Unfortunately, it’s not only Motoyasu who suffers from this delusion. Ren has been going around the country slaying powerful monsters in a bid to increase his stats. The most notable instance was when he killed the dragon but then just left it there to rot on the mountain top. This was yet another mess that Naofumi had to clean up. As with Motoyasu, Ren sees this as a game and doesn’t think about how a rotting dragon corpse might affect the neighbouring area.
We’re yet to see how Itsuki has adapted to the world, but that’s coming. Don’t worry. The biggest issue for everyone but Naofumi is that they have been praised and revered from the moment they got there. Everything has been about them. The adventurers chose who they wanted to work with. They are rewarded in a manner that doesn’t reflect the good of the kingdom, but in such a way as to belittle Naofumi.
Naofumi may not be the oldest of the Four Cardinal Heroes, but he is the most mature and level-headed. His life prior to being summoned prepared him to be responsible for his actions and others. I think that’s why the betrayal hit him so hard. He’d done nothing wrong and was constantly being targeted and framed. Unfortunately, it’s not over yet, but at least he has gotten stronger and built a team around him that he can trust.
It’s not going to be easy, but Naofumi is in a far better position than any of the other heroes to succeed. On top of that, he’s only a moments lapse away from the Curse Shield – a dark and terrible power, that feeds on his emotions. I think these details are what help to make this series feel so real. It mirrors the real world and I’m sure many people can find something that allows them to empathise with Naofumi. Just got to keep that rage in check!
Other Posts in the Series
- Season One