It’s me! I’m finally back!
…you still remember me right? I haven’t faded into obscurity yet, right?
*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!
Me of the past
Me of the
- What are your general thoughts for this episode?
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.
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.
- Did the episode fit your expectations, and in which ways did it differ from it?(If it does)
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!
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
- 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.
- Which scene do you think other people would react to differently?
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.
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
- Which character did you like the most this episode? Have they done anything in particular/changed?
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.
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 ❤
- What’s the high point of the episode for you and why?
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.
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 ͡°)
- What can be improved in this episode and why? (a.k.a low point)
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!?
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)
- What situation/decision/action is the most relatable to you in this episode and why?
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.
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)
- Pick a situation from this episode. If you were put in this situation, how would you have handled it?
The accusations part. I would have gotten myself killed after getting angry, no joke.
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)
- Most beautiful scene?(screenshot)
Shield Bro x Smith Bro ❤
JK, it’s probably this:
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.
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.
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??
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