Collaboration: The Rising of the Shield Hero Episode 3: The first wave of cannon fodder(literally)

BIG, STUPID EDIT AFTER POST CAME OUT: I forgot to finish the title…..oh my god. I guess this is what I get for writing the post at 4AM. Title is now complete.

Hello! It’s finally back to The Rising of the Shield Hero for me! Whoo!

Except, well, doing Dororo is great too.

Either way, let’s not waste any time at all and get right into it now, shall we?

EDIT: SOMEHOW MY SHITTY BRAIN FORGOT TO PUT IN A SECTION FOR ASTRAL’S POST. Please check out Dororo’s ep 3 reviews over at this link! It’s a great episode as well. Please check it!

era90bv
Obligatory smiling screenshot. Thanks for all the support shown to us so far ❤

Legend:
Me
Astral
Editorial department of brain me at 4AM

  1. What are your general thoughts for this episode?
    Plyasm:
    Overall, a much slower episode in my eyes. There were high points, for sure, but for some reason I can’t shake the feeling that things are just…slow.It was still a good episode, that’s for sure, but still…
    Astral:
    Gosh, I just loved every part of this episode. It was so wonderfully wholesome at the start, with a very powerful finish to round things out. Seeing the relationship grow between Naofumi and Raphtalia is just fantastic, and I can’t get enough of these two dorks finally being animated and on screen. An overall very good episode once again.Now that I’ve read what Astral wrote, I feel like he’s right. Seeing your favourite characters be animated on-screen is something that always feel good.
  2. Did the episode fit your expectations, and in which ways did it differ from it?(If it does)
    Plyasm:
    To be honest, I expected a little more high energy throughout the episode to keep up with the high note that the last episode ended on, as well as good climaxes. The episode delivered in the form of an interesting climax, but the high energy I was expecting wasn’t really present.
    Astral:
    Again, I kinda knew what was coming… but goodness, was Raphtalia cute in this episode. This episode pretty much blew me away with the deliciously beautiful action sequences, adorable raphtalia, and general quality of the episode as a whole. Great job.Man…he’s just going to keep talking about Raphtalia isn’t he?
  3. How does this episode compare to the source material?
    Plyasm:

    If my memories don’t fail me(sorry, it was so long ago that this chapter was released), the adaptations stuck mostly to the source. The only difference this episode might be when he got part of the knights to stay and help, which, if I can recall correctly, didn’t really happen in the manga. It’s quite a nice change though, and shows that not everyone is hostile towards Naofumi and can listen to reasoning.
    Astral:
    I’ve said it before, and i’ll say it again… they’re doing a really, really great job with this adaptation. I’ve been waiting for this for so long, and i’m really quite happy with how faithful it all is to the source material.This feels like mindless praising, to be honest. Add one to the counter?
    Astral is a stupid counter: 9 (Ha, you thought I forgot about this didn’t you?! GOTTEM!)
  4. Which scene do you think other people would react to differently?
    Plyasm:

    Hmm. Probably the three other heroes killing the boss and calling it easy. I’m sure it’s easy to get riled up and think of the three other heroes as pricks who don’t care about the sacrifices, but to me, I can understand why they think that way–given the amount and type of information they were allowed to perceive, as well as their personalities. Either way, they did do their job as they were supposed to, and they did defeat the boss.
    Astral:
    Hmm… that’s actually kind of a tough one. Perhaps the scene where Naofumi is confused over everyone getting obsessed with Raphtalia? But that’s because I know the source material, so I kinda know what’s going on…Heh. I know there’s a hidden meaning behind it, but it’s been so long I forgot about it. Looking forward to actually seeing the reason again to refresh my memories.
  5. Which character did you like the most this episode? Have they done anything in particular/changed?
    Plyasm:

    To be completely honest, to me, not much happened this episode, and for some weird reason my mind was just focused on this one villager with the curly hair. It’s fabulous and I suppose he’s my favourite character in this episode.
    Astral:
    This section will probably just be my Raphtalia section from now on. I love Naofumi to bits, he’s such a great antihero protagonist, but Raphtalia is one of my favorite characters of all time, seriously. Her unflinching determination and resolve to stay with Naofumi, and her ability to see past prejudice to uphold her sense of justice… I just love her so much.More like, your entire review since episode 1 has just been Raphtalia and Raphtalia only. Geez, like an animal in heat. He’s not wrong though
  6. What’s the high point of the episode for you and why?
    Plyasm:

    The high point has to be the tower fight followed by the bombardment. Very well done actions in those sections and the music is just *muack*.
    Astral:
    The scene with the waves. Man, that was really well done. I mean, seriously, that whole scene in the town was so action-packed and quite nicely animated… and let’s not forget that GORGEOUS Kevin Penkin OST, yeah?I suppose we both agreed on the exact same thing. It’s quite easy to pick this out from the rest of the episode though. It’s just that good.
  7. What can be improved in this episode and why? (a.k.a low point)
    Plyasm:

    Alright, in this particular episode, there were several low points. In several scenes, it just feels way too slow and things felt bland. Examples include when Raphtalia looks at the village or when she was leading the villagers to evacuate. Though, these scenes are far and few between and plus, the action + the good first half more than makes up for it.
    Astral:
    I think there’s a few points in the show that are a bit difficult to comprehend if you haven’t read the source material. It’s nitpicking, really, especially when it’s doing a lot right, but some explanations, dialogue and exposition have been cut for the sake of the Anime that help a bit with understanding how the world works in Shield Hero.Eh, definitely nitpicking, in my opinion. Worldbuilding that doesn’t rely on a narrator or a info dump is definitely better, and Shield Hero does that right. Just because there isn’t explanations for every little thing doesn’t mean people can’t infer. In fact, trying to infer the right things is half the fun, don’t you think?
  8. What situation/decision/action is the most relatable to you in this episode and why?
    Plyasm:

    Raphtalia’s decision to strike out at the knights. God damn, they are such pieces of craps. Using bombardment without even confirming if the villagers are still in there? Despite knowing that the shield hero was still in there? Her rage is completely justifiable.
    Astral:
    Definitely Naofumi’s decision to prioritize saving the villagers over going to fight the Waves. I’m kinda similar to him in that I can’t just look away when people are suffering or in danger. I’d rather miss out on a little personal glory in exchange for saving lives.Wow. Selfless. Either that, or he’s promoting himself to any possible suitors out there. Ladies look out, we’ve got a boyfriend material here~! Be sure to swipe right!
  9. Pick a situation from this episode. If you were put in this situation, how would you have handled it?
    Plyasm:

    Meeting with the three heroes at the church. I would probably at least explained to Raphtalia what happened, but I totally understand by Naofumi didn’t. His heart was still not ready, since the betrayal wasn’t even that long ago.
    Astral:
    For the sake of diversity in my answers, I’ll go with the decision of the knights. I would definitely have been one of the ones to stay behind and help the villagers, rather than continuing on towards the heroes. It may sound like lip service, but I have some confidence I’d make the right choice in that situation.Same as above. Also, repeating your point yet again? Geez. Gotta add one.
    Astral is a stupid counter: 10
  10. Most beautiful scene?(screenshot)
    Plyasm:

    Man, it has to the hair.

    h5toh8z
    My my, such lucious locks. But of course, let’s not forget the green(?) afro man as well.

    ….I’m just pulling your legs again. It’s the bombardment, actually. At first, I didn’t remember it, and I thought it looked really pretty, like fireworks. Oh how wrong I was.

    lfgcazu
    I swear, this looks just like beautiful fireworks. Well, fireworks eventually turned into guns so…I guess this checks out?

    Astral:
    This was my favorite scene by far this episode. I just love Raphtalia so freaking much!!!

    shield-hero-episode-3-5
    Nice choice, to be completely honest. Her determined face is great.(I’m somehow getting Rem flashbacks from the words)

    Well, same point as above. 

 

And with that, that was the review for the episode done.

Of course, there’s extra things I want to say and yada yada. Can’t be a good post otherwise without stupid rants, amirite?

Alright, here’s another thing I thought of as I was editing and writing this post. It feels like the soundtrack is underused. Yes, underused. Don’t get me wrong, the soundtrack is amazing, but so far it feels like they’ve been holding back too much on the volume and quantity. Please, I want more Kevin Penkin goodness.

Also, noticable 3DCGI. Reee.

That’s about it! Hope you enjoyed reading, because I enjoyed writing and watching, as always. If anyone here has read the source, could you confirm on the knights part? My memory is really getting bad. Also, what do you think about Astral’s (clearly too much) affections towards Raphtalia? Should we put out a restraining order? Or should we commend him for only increasing the Astral is a stupid counter by 2 this time?

Either way, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW ABOUT WHAT YOU FEEL, THANKS. I’M WRITING IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE I KIND OF REALLY WANT COMMENTS AND I DON’T KNOW HOW ELSE TO GET MORE COMMENTS AT THIS POINT, PLEASE DON’T HATE ME KTHXBYE XOXO ❤

-Plyasm, barely alive at 5 AM

See you in the next post!

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Collaboration: Rising of the Shield Hero Episode 1: Start of the legend

Hello, everyone!

It’s me! I’m finally back!

…you still remember me right? I haven’t faded into obscurity yet, right?

Right?

oreigairu teehee hachiman
Tee hee ekse dee~ [Anime: Oreigairu]

*cough* Back on topic. So Astral and I decided to do a collaboration together for this season. The initial idea what to do Shield Hero and 1 other show. After much discussion, we decided to do Dororo since the summary looking interesting. (And boy did we make the right choice)

So yup. The post of the first episode of The Rising of the Shield Hero(Kitsu Link) is on me, while the post for the first episode of Dororo is with Astral. So if you want to check that out as well, head over there via this link. (Check it! Please do! Dororo was amazing!)

This is going to be a rotation, meaning I would get the second episode of Dororo, and Astral will do the second episode of Shield Hero, and so on. (If you are just here to look at Astral’s words, they’ll be here, be patient)

Anyways, let’s get to the episode review ~

First up, there’s a set of common questions that we decided that we have to answer.
Before you check it though, let’s keep a “Astral is a copycat” counter, shall we?
Astral is a copycat counter: 0
Now, let’s begin!
Legend:
Me of the past
The copycat
Me of the futurepresent

  1. What are your general thoughts for this episode?
    Plyasm:
    It was an great episode for me. The animations, voice acting and soundtrack are all on par with Made in Abyss’ so far, and that is great news, since it is literally being done by the same studio, Kinema Citrus.
    Kitsu link for Made in Abyss

    Generally, since I’ve read the manga, I already know what to expect, but this brings back a lot of memories about the start. Very nice.
    Astral:
    I have been following this series for so, so long. I started when it was still releasing as a webnovel, and i’ve watched it grow into a light novel series, and now an Anime. And I must say… I’m not disappointed. The show looks GORGEOUS, for starters. The music and the voice acting is on point as well; Kinema Citrus really knows what they’re doing. I’m super excited to get Raphtalia into the story as well, seeing as she’s got the same seiyuu as Mai-san from last season. Considering Naofumi is voiced by the same seiyuu as Sakuta, we already know they have chemistry, so i’m looking forward to seeing how they interact.


    Even though I have no idea who this “Mai-san” is, I can tell he’s about as happy as I am, just that he used…bigger words. I hope most of you(yes you, readers! I CRAVE your comments) enjoyed it as much as we did and are also looking for more.
  2. Did the episode fit your expectations, and in which ways did it differ from it?(If it does)
    Plyasm:
    Yep, it not only fit my expectations, it far exceeded them! I might just be biased, but come on, who can deny the general goodness of this first episode. What’s more, it’s a 50 minute special!

    Astral:
    You know, I was expecting it to be good, and it sure didn’t disappoint. And to have a 50-minute first episode just to get us right into the thick of things… very, very good choice. It really brought back the way I felt when I first read the webnovel so many years ago… the nostalgia is so, so good.
     

    Other than adding an extra sentence, I think we can all agree that Mr. Astral here did a little…borrowing yea? Heh.
    Astral is a copycat counter: 1

  3. How does this episode compare to the source material?
    Plyasm: I feel like there’s some differences to the manga, but then again, the manga isn’t the source, the web novel and light novel(probably light novel) are the sources. The one thing I felt was different was probably the scene where the 4 heroes all come together to match their general facts? Although, it might just be my memory failing me, I don’t quite remember that scene happening in the manga. Maybe it’s a manga only thing, maybe it’s an anime only thing, either way, it differs in that aspect.
    (My memory is not reliable, at all)
    Astral: This has got to be one of the best adaptations I’ve seen, at least in recent years. Not only is the overall quality outstanding, but it follows the original story extremely well, bringing back the same feelings I felt during my first reading of the story. The intro was absolutely spot-on.
     

    Nothing much to say here. If there’s avid readers of the light novels out there, what did YOU think of the adaptation of the source? I’m interested, since I’ve never read the light novel myself.

  4. Which scene do you think other people would react to differently?
    Plyasm:
    Definitely the entire transformation of Naofumi. The entire….fiasco before his transformation aside, I’m sure many people would be thinking that Naofumi’s change to a much more mean, realist person is jarring and just done “for the edge”. To me, it’s quite natural as an effect of what has happened to him.
    Astral:
    I’m gonna agree with Ply here. I know the internet has definitely taken up the betrayal scene as a new point of controversy, but honestly, I’ve always felt like it was pretty fitting. I mean, Naofumi is a pretty trusting, kindhearted guy at the start, which makes the betrayal only cut deeper. And really… there are definitely plenty of scummy people out there who won’t hesitate to lie for their own gain, so it’s not even that unrealistic, either.
     

    This is what it is. 😉
    Astral is a copycat counter: 2

  5. Which character did you like the most this episode? Have they done anything in particular/changed?
    Plyasm:
    As of this episode, it would be Naofumi. His realisation, from an otaku drunk on the ecstasy of a new world, to when reality hit him, really drove him the meaning of “character development”. Isekais might not be as idealised as we made it out to be.
    Astral:
    Well, Naofumi is really the only character we’ve gotten to know particularly well, so… I choose the Weapon Shop Owner. Yeah, that’s right. Branching out here a bit. Anyways, he plays a very important role in the story. He’s the only person who doesn’t blindly listen to rumors, and treats Naofumi as a human, the only person to show him kindness in his lowest point. It’s fair to say… he may have saved Naofumi, in the end.
     

    Astral is a copycat coun-
    Oh wait, he didn’t actually copy me this time? Interesting…
    But I guess his choice was pretty top notch. Smith Bro ❤

  6. What’s the high point of the episode for you and why?
    Plyasm:

    When “that” happened. When Naofumi was hit over the head by the hopes and dreams that he have had, which promptly knocked him out completely, and threw him into the valley of despair. The hints were all there throughout the episode, but Naofumi was too blind and naive. Poor boy.
    Astral:
    Obviously the high point is the betrayal. It’s one of the driving forces of the episode, and the series as a whole. The emotional beating that Naofumi takes during this is immense, and affects him almost permanently. It’s a very important part of the story, and they did it right. 

    Astral is a copycat counter: 3
    You know, even if you paraphrase my points, it’s still my points. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

  7. What can be improved in this episode and why? (a.k.a low point)
    Plyasm:
    If I really had to pick, it would probably be the pacing somewhat. Just a very small nitpick, I feel the pacing is just a tiny bit too fast. Maybe show more of the transition parts? It’s hard to pick out faults from this episode, ok!?
    Astral:
    A low point… Was there one? This was a really good episode. If I had to pick one thing specifically… I honestly can’t think of much. I’m copping out.
     

    *sigh* I guess I’ll add a counter for this as well.
    Astral is a cop out counter: 1
    Jokes aside, I think we are both probably wearing rose-tinted glasses for Shield Hero, since we like the series a lot. If you feel like there’s something that can be improved, let me know in the comments below.(In case you still don’t get it at this point, yes, I WANT YOUR COMMENTS)

  8. What situation/decision/action is the most relatable to you in this episode and why?
    Plyasm:
    Relatable, huh…probably Naofumi’s naivity as well as the other heroes’ misunderstanding of Naofumi, to be honest. Dunno why, but I feel like I’ll make the exact same mistakes as them if this were to happen to me.
    Astral:
    Naofumi’s anger. I think he was justifiably extremely upset by the betrayal, and constant poor treatment by everyone. At times when I’ve felt betrayed by people I trusted, I’ve also been extremely angry and bitter… I relate to that a lot.
     

    Well, I would be surprised if…elements of my answer were to show up in Astral’s. I mean, it says relatable to you, and I’m not him, so…yea.
    OR AM I????(cue illuminati music)

  9. Pick a situation from this episode. If you were put in this situation, how would you have handled it?
    Plyasm:
    The accusations part. I would have gotten myself killed after getting angry, no joke.
    Astral:
    I really think that I would have acted pretty similarly to Naofumi in that situation. I’ve never been one to sit by quietly and let my name be defamed… probably not the best of traits, as it’s gotten me into trouble on multiple occasions.
     

    Astral is a copycat counter: 4
    Geez, stealing the same situation as me, eh? To be honest, I was deciding between the accusations and the shop haggling part for this. And by shop haggling, I meant Naofumi teaching the merchant a lesson with balloons.(Now that I see this, I feel like that was a weird sentence)

  10. Most beautiful scene?(screenshot)

Plyasm:

 

OtSyJLH
True love

Shield Bro x Smith Bro ❤
JK, it’s probably this:

w3Dk21P
I really am a real sucker for these scenary shots.

I have to say though, there really a lot of screensaver worthy screenshots that can be made from just this episode.Kinema Citrus sure knows how to do that.
Astral:
This is my favorite screenshot from this first episode. The solitary figure, in the fog and rain, struggling just to kill the weakest monster. It was very well-delivered and I enjoyed it a lot.

shieldhero_1
Very nice. Another desktop picture it is.

 

Well, I be damned. He really chose a nice screenshot. I was actually also deciding between this scene or the plains scene, but I figured I liked the overview better than the solitary forest.

 

And thus we end!
Spectacular! Here’s the counter tallies:

Astral is a copycat counter: 4
Astral is a cop out counter: 1

Tsk, tsk. I expected more from you, Astral. This was fun though….both to watch and to write about. It’s good to expand my blogging brain for the first time in….6 months(sorry)
Right. Here’s some other thoughts I had that couldn’t really fit into the common questions.

For one, Kevin Penkin is now my second favourite OST composer. Besides the god Sawano Hiroyuki, of course. He really outdid himself with the soundtrack of Shield Hero. It gave the proper feelings that the shield hero was feeling throughout the episode. From happiness and joy, to a sense of urgency when he woke up, up till the extreme betrayal and loss of faith in humanity.

And for two…did you know? The voice actor of the kirito look-alike loner who plays a VRMMO is Harem King Matsuoka?! What a perfect choice, and an amazing reference to…a certain anime. Did you also know? The voice actor of the Smith Bro is the same as the voice actor of Agil?
Illuminati actually confirmed??

shield illuminati.PNG

With that said, I’ve been hyped for shield hero’s rise, and now he is, finally rising up!
Let us all enjoy the future Rising of the Shield Hero! (HEH PUN INTENDED I’M SO GOOD)

Can’t wait for more.

See you all in the next post!

-A totally not Astral Plyasm