The Rising of the Shield Hero has powerful moments throughout the series. Here are some of the reasons that explain why.
Warning: Spoilers Off applies to this page. Proceed at your own risk.
- After having enough of Itsuki and his spiel, who first spoke that Rishia broke his special bracelet that sped up the level-up process (whose effect was fake anyway) even when presented a witness and facts to the contrary, then when driven into a corner admitted that he put the blame on her to drive her away from the party because she was weak, Naofumi expresses his surprise and utter disappointment in him. Itsuki, deeply affected that someone else's opinion of him has sharply dropped and due to the fact that Naofumi kept talking him down, aims his bow at him and threatens to shoot him. Not only does Naofumi call Itsuki a coward, but he also goads Itsuki into shooting him, Which he does. Naofumi tanks the arrow shots, and they all ineffectively bounce off him while slowly walking over to Itsuki. Cue Itsuki and his companions calling him a monster. Cornered, Itsuki shoots his Eagle Piercing Shot, and Naofumi, knowing full well it is an attack that ignores defense, manages to grab the eagle's throat and crush it with his hand. And once he is face to face with Itsuki, with cold-hearted indifference he tells him: "You say Rishia is weak? Ha! And you think you're strong?" which makes Itsuki mad to no end.
- Often overlooked is the Queen's actions up to and including the reckoning on Naofumi's behalf. After Melomarc violated the agreement for summoning the four cardinal/holy heroes, she's been easing relations so that the other countries don't go to war with Melomarc. This culminates in her giving Naofumi free reign in choosing punishment for Myne and Aultcray, but when he immediately calls for death she skillfully manipulates him into only have their status, authority, and Myne's birthright removed, then having them renamed. Naofumi initially got upset with her asking to spare them, but she slowly lists the options and why they would likely bring more trouble than they're worth, eventually getting him to settle.
- The feast taking place after the first in-story wave provides quite a few:
- After Motoyasu starts acting like a white-knighting, self-righteous asshat accusing Naofumi of mistreating Raphtalia solely based on the fact she's his slave, then gloating to Naofumi's face after the duel that he won with his own strength despite only winning because of Malty's interference, which no one bothered to point out, seeing Raphtalia bitch-slap him is incredibly satisfying. "The Reason You Suck" Speech she delivers immediately after for "saving" her when she never asked for his help in the first place and wherein she counters each and every one of his flimsy excuses with hard facts is nothing short of epic.Raphtalia: Tell me, would you ever reach out to a filthy, sick slave? Naofumi-sama provided me with proper meals and medicine that was effective against my illness...using up his precious money and ingredients...are you capable of that?Motoyasu: O-Of Course...Raphtalia: If that were true, you would have a slave by your side too!
- She tops this awesome even further by telling Naofumi the words he needed, and deserved to hear since Malty first screwed him over:
- The duel itself deserves a mention. Motoyasu is a good 22 levels above Naofumi, and the Shield Hero has nigh-nonexistent offensive power, while Motoyasu is offense-oriented. Yet through careful exploitation of all of the skills/shields he's acquired, quick thinking, and some good old Combat Pragmatism, Naofumi actually manages to gain the upper hand over Motoyasu despite not having a way to directly attack him. In fact, it's outright implied that Naofumi would have actually won that duel if it weren't for Malty's interference.
- Itsuki and Ren get some glory for themselves as well for finally showing a shred of decency when they actually stand up for Naofumi, call Malty out on her helping Motoyasu by shooting Naofumi in the back and then call out Motoyasu on how he couldn't win with his own strength and only won because of Malty's help. They then drive the point further by pointing out how much of an asshole he is after he tried to justify his actions by accusing Naofumi of brainwashing Raphtalia after witnessing Raphtalia comforting a crying Naofumi.
- After Motoyasu starts acting like a white-knighting, self-righteous asshat accusing Naofumi of mistreating Raphtalia solely based on the fact she's his slave, then gloating to Naofumi's face after the duel that he won with his own strength despite only winning because of Malty's interference, which no one bothered to point out, seeing Raphtalia bitch-slap him is incredibly satisfying. "The Reason You Suck" Speech she delivers immediately after for "saving" her when she never asked for his help in the first place and wherein she counters each and every one of his flimsy excuses with hard facts is nothing short of epic.
- Chapter 17: The first use of the Iron Maiden.Naofumi: Foolish Sinner, I hereby grant you a punishment. Piercing your whole body with a virgin's embrace. Suffer in pain, your cries muffled! Iron Maiden!!
- Chapter 22: Raphtalia avenging her dead friend Lifana and killing the lord that enslaved her, Filo breaking down everything in her way to save her friend, and Naofumi for his use of a Poison-and-Cure Gambit.
- The queen of Filo's kind appearing and oneshotting the demon, when Naofumi and his party couldn't scratch it.
- Naofumi averting the usual hero tropes and outright refusing to save Motoyasu and Malty for their sheer, constant stupidity putting all their lives in danger when they're confronted by the Pope of the Three Heroes Church. Leaving them to die might not have been the heroic thing to do, but for all the trouble they caused, and the very real possibility of them making up a flimsy excuse to attack him and his party in case he did save them, it was definitely the smart thing, and it was only Ren and Itsuki later showing up to back them up that forced him to change his mind.
- Chapter 39: L'Arc SHREDDING the Boss Monster (which was basically a fantasy Moby Dick) with his scythe, horn included. This was followed by a short but MASSIVE diss towards the other heroes for essentially being dead-weights compared to Naofumi. Especially so when you compare his weapon with theirs and realize his Vassal Weapon is supposed to be fundamentally weaker in potential than their Legendary Weapons.
- Following this is the battle between Naofumi and his party and L'Arc, Therese, and a surprise reappearance by Glass. Thankfully, the former have shown just how strong they've become since the last Wave by handling her along with the other two all at once.
- Chapter 76 of the web novel. After the Queen arrives, she beats the crap out of the king for being so cruel to Naofumi and helping the Three Heroes Church to nearly cause a war. We also find out that Malty was disowned by her mother, which is why it's her little sister that's the heir to the throne. She forces the two to kneel before Naofumi, redeems his name, reveals to the whole kingdom that he was framed, strips the King and Malty of their royal status and all of their influence while renaming them Trash and Bitch respectively, and throws the most luxurious banquet in the story so far just for Naofumi—the other heroes are not invited.
- While shutting down Malty's flimsy rape accusation, the Queen elaborates on her past history and reveals that she has slept with numerous other people prior to the Four Heroes summoning. Naofumi himself finds it hysterical that, for all her bullshit towards him, Malty also literally turned out to be an actual shameless slut.
- Later on, Trash and Bitch attempt to get revenge by pretending to have learned their lesson and offer him food. The Queen forces them to eat the food they brought. Bitch is taken to healers for poisoning and Trash spends hours on the toilet because of laxatives. The Queen enslaves Bitch after she recovers so she never does it again.
- Chapter 79: Motoyasu returns to demand a duel with Naofumi in order to have Bitch's punishment undone. The Queen refuses to approve of the duel and reminds him of how she falsely accused Naofumi of rape and how Bitch nearly got her sister killed, and states that Naofumi's chosen punishment was rather lenient, all things considered.
- The succeeding chapter 80 also has it FINALLY sink in to Motoyasu that Naofumi is the superior fighter despite his defense and support focus, and he gives up wanting to duel him despite the latter agreeing to it in the end. Him conceding to calling Malty "Bitch" and "Whore", and her reaction to the whole thing just makes it sweeter.
- Chapter 85: Malty/Bitch refusing to learn her lesson after having her princess title taken away and trying to burn Naofumi alive despite the slave seal getting in her way. Not only is she easily caught by Shadow, but Naofumi challenges her to blast him with her strongest fire spell anyway with the slave seal briefly disabled. The result is said spell easily being bounced back at Bitch, and her being set on fire as a result. The slave seal activating WHILE she's set on fire as punishment just makes that insufferable little brat's potent dose of karma even more cathartic.
- Chapter 118: Raphtalia and Firo's Combination Attack that outright DECAPITATES the Spirit Turtle before it could react. It doesn't permanently kill it, but the fact that they did so to a literally mountain-sized monster that had destroyed several cities by that point, it's still a monumental show of strength from the two.
- Chapter 126: A coordinated attack on its head and heart between Naofumi and his teammates allows the Spirit Turtle to finally be slain despite its month-long rampage. Bonus points for Naofumi being willing to use Blutopher (Blood Sacrifice) to destroy the head despite it's severely debilitating (and possibly fatal) costs to use.
- Chapter 244: Mirroring Eclair's battle with Ren, Rishia dominates in the battle against a Curse Series-empowered Itsuki, to the point of the former using her Hengen Musou-enhanced sword strikes to destroy his armor piece-by-piece. She even manages to destroy his equivalent of Naofumi's Iron Maiden, a technique called the Bronze Bull, from the inside.
- Chapter 245: All of it.
- Rishia earning her Vassal Projectile weapon directly from the Legendary Bow itself for the express purpose of putting an end to Itsuki's madness needs to be mentioned. With it, she both defeats and saves Itsuki by literally breaking the hold that the Curse Series of Pride has on him through the corrupted Legendary Bow.
- Chapter 248: Calling the fight between Raphtalia and Witch one-sided is a HUGE understatement. Bonus points for the former listing the latter's crimes as she's pummeling her, and even the web novel itself calling it a "torturous barrage of attacks".
- Chapter 249 follows up on this, as even with the help of her brainwashed followers and the strongest fire spell she could cast, Raphtalia casually dismantles Witch's attack and even manages to turn the "justice zombies" against her with a cleverly cast illusion spell. The result is Raphtalia receiving healing that she never needed, and Witch getting attacked by her own allies.
- Starting from chapter 328 was Naofumi's second battle with Tact. He completely dominated the battle to the point of being able to idly turn his head away from the fight at one point. He also channeled his inner Josuke Higashikata and healed Tact mid-fight just to prolong his one-sided beatdown, and even purposely allowed him to steal his Seven Star Weapon just to crush his pride even further.
- Chapter 333: For all his bullshit about being the rightful owner of all the Legendary and Seven Star Weapons (despite barely being able to use anything beyond their basic functions), when Naofumi was done crushing Tact into the dirt, the former simply takes his Shield back before stripping him of all the Weapons he stole.
- Raphtalia and Firo even Take a Level in Badass as a result of Tact's stolen Weapons being taken from him as they become the new owners of the Seven Star Hammer and Claw respectively, and both use it to finish off their respective opponents.
- Chapter 343: The well-deserved public executions of Tact and what's left of his harem, family, and followers starts, with all of the latter being executed first to prolong the suffering of the former. While this would be fitting for a villain to do, especially considering the number of ways they were killed off one by one, it is TACT...
- Naofumi also lied to Witch and the other disloyal members of Tact's harem, saying that they would go free if they joined in on denouncing and torturing Tact. He had absolutely no intention of doing so, as he only did so to break Tact even further.
- Naofumi even made sure that Tact and his followers never reincarnate by having the Soul Eaters (the same as the boss of the third Wave) devour their souls to make sure they're all Deader Than Dead.
- The icing on all this is Trash denouncing Witch as nothing but a shameless traitor, cementing his Character Development for the better before the latter is finally burnt alive at the stake and her soul is devoured as well.
- Naofumi's first hint of resourceful badassery comes when he uses the Orange Bubbles first to intimidate a shopkeeper into giving him a fair deal for a pile of dead orange bubbles and then using them to deal with a group of bandits who try to rob him. It's also quite hilarious.
- The scene where Raphtalia and Naofumi fight the Wave monsters together as a team in Episode 3 is brilliantly animated and really shows how in-sync they are as a Battle Couple.
- The unnamed scarred captain gets a couple first by blocking Raphtalia from killing his superior (in retaliation for indirectly putting Naofumi in danger). Then later defying the superior by helping Naofumi defend the village, much to the delight of his troops. Said troops later ally with Naofumi for the next Wave.
- Episode 5, When the King was going to take Naofumi's reward from the 1st Wave on completely unfair reasons, Itsuki and Ren, playing off from their scene of calling out Malty and Motoyasu for cheating, call out the King too for the cheating and trying to charge Naofumi for the Slave Crest charges, something that was forced onto him to begin with. The King, desperate to save face, had no choice but to give Naofumi his promised reward because of this.
- In Episode 6, the way the party defeats the Nue. After learning that it's sensitive to sound (thus rendering Raphtalia's stealth useless), Naofumi uses the bat shield he just acquired in tandem with a scream from Filo to fire off a sonic attack that outright ruptures the Nue's eardrums. Then, after eating a fire spell and getting Impaled with Extreme Prejudice by Raphtalia, Filo leaps into the air and hits it with a flying kick - and we're treated to a spectacular x-ray shot of the Nue's skull cracking and utterly shattering from the force of Filo's kick, in a display akin to a Mortal Kombat finisher.
- Episode 7: Naofumi no-selling the demon plant's vines and using his Potion Enhance ability on the herbicide to completely destroy it in a few seconds, when seasoned adventurers couldn't even get near it. And then uses one of his abilities to modify the plant and turn it into an actual plant that the nearby town can now use to recover from its woes.
- The Cursed Shield finally makes an appearance in episode 8. And both the Japanese and English voice actors nail Naofumi's anger perfectly.
- In the same episode, Filo managing to neutralize the Zombie Dragon by essentially eating it from the inside.
- Episode 11: Despite lacking in the level compartment, not only does Naofumi and his comrades manage to evacuate the village in time but they also show how it's done to the other three heroes after chewing them out for their lack of competence after a fruitless four-hour fight with the source of the Wave. Naofumi also manages to keep it together against the Wrath Shield's amplified effects due to the single-minded hatred of the dragon soul stone which would rather focus on Ren than anything else. The Iron Maiden finally makes its appearance, combined with awesome background music.
- Glass's introduction in Episode 12 is chock-full of this.
- When all of the heroes and their parties (minus the Shield Hero) engage her at once, she No Sells all three of the heroes' attacks, before knocking them all out with a single attack.
- One by one, she handily takes care of Naofumi's party. Raphtalia and Filo couldn't even land a single hit on her, and she dispatches them in short order, even breaking Raphtalia's sword.
- While Naofumi is able to land hits on her, Glass shrugs them all off with no visible damage. Even his trump cards, the Wrath Shield and the Iron Maiden, completely fail to damage her.
- One of Glass' attacks actually pierces the Wrath Shield, destroying Naofumi's dragon gauntlet.
- Naofumi deserves credit: throughout Glass' relentless assault, he manages to tank it all and keep standing - which is remarkable considering that one of Glass' magic attacks resulted in a team wipe for all of the other heroes, who are significantly higher level than Naofumi's entire party. Once he learns that the Wave is about to end, he even manages to formulate a plan for his party to distract her and get the hell out of dodge, and succeeds in their escape despite Glass raining Beam Spam on them. Even Glass compliments his defensive power.
- When the King orders Naofumi to tell him the secret behind his newfound power, Naofumi does the unthinkable and orders the king to grovel at his feet first. Obviously, the King is livid, but Naofumi tells him exactly what he and his soldiers are probably thinking - they don't have any power over him in that situation. Not in a legal or royal sense, but in the "I can easily kick all of your asses without breaking a sweat." kind of way. It's cathartic as hell to see the King being put in his place.Naofumi: As I am now, I could kill you here and walk out the front door if I wanted.
- Then the King makes the mistake of threatening Naofumi's companions. The Death Glare Naofumi shoots him in return makes the King physically recoil in surprise and fear.Aultclay: ...I know. I'll have your wretched slaves pay for your crimes, and...
The King and his soldiers are stunned as Naofumi turns around, a Death Glare on his face
Naofumi: Use all the dirty, underhanded tricks you want. I will protect my party through it all. You'll never take anything from me again. I dare you to lay a finger on them. I'll chase you to the ends of the earth and make you regret ever being born.
- To put it simply, Naofumi not only tells the person partly responsible for all the crap he had to put up with that not only is he all but powerless to restrain him despite being the king of the country, but straight-up tells him to his face that he's going to KILL him if he so much as thinks of taking his blind hatred of him out on his closest companions. In that one scene, he doesn't just imply that he sees King Aultclay as a complete joke that isn't worth acknowledging, he also makes it VERY clear that he's ran out of what little patience or mercy he has for him, and like a petty bully that finally realized his former victim has rendered him completely neutered of any threat, all the king can do is curse his name in frustration.
- Melty arrives to talk with her father and try to have him reconcile with Naofumi, when Malty butts in and starts her as an ignorant child. Melty proceeds to verbally pwn her with the most innocent smile on her face, also reminding her that it's Melty, the younger sister, who is the heir to the throne.
- Episode 18: Naofumi vs Motoyasu - Round 3. This is on top of the sweet catharsis of seeing the unfathomably stupid Spear Hero and his harem consisting of Malty and two other spell casters get completely swept away by a combo spell between Filo and Melty.
- After that, it's Naofumi saving everyone from the spell Judgement, an immensely destructive skybeam that completely razes the surrounding area into molten pudding and was thought to have even vaporized Ren and Itsuki. Naofumi tanks the entire attack by himself, but it takes using Shield Prison, two Air Shields, and his own second stage Curse Shield to ward it off completely. Even the Pope seemed impressed by this. Lets not forget he's VASTLY under-leveled, compared to the other Heroes.
- While Naofumi prepares to shield everyone from the impending Judgement spell, Melty gets a small one for simply telling Malty to shut up after protesting what he was doing. Considering all the crap she pulled prior to this, it's satisfying to see the young princess sum up her feelings towards her spoiled bitch of an older sister in one sentence.
- Episode 19: Naofumi's "Reason You Suck" Speech to Motoyasu, Ren, and Itsuki about how their Idiot Hero tendencies lead to the Three Heroes Church attempting to kill them, Malty and Melty, in addition to other incidents their escapades have caused, which spurred on the Church's decision. Motoyasu's blind faith in Malty and near cosmic levels of stupidity lead him to being so easily manipulated by her, especially in regards to the dangerous seed he planted nearly devouring an entire village, which was under her suggestion to help the people of that village with their food famine, despite the fact that it was sealed for a very good reason, and the villagers should have known better than to trust him because of his Hero status. Ren neglecting to dispose of the dragon's rotting corpse caused an epidemic in another village, thinking it would disappear after it was defeated. Itsuki believed acting like a vigilante and assassinating a supposedly corrupt king in the name of justice would free the oppressed people in that kingdom, but that only lead to it being overrun by monsters and the resistance force that took over had to raise the taxes much further than the previous king, and without funds to support themselves, they wound up in poverty. Had Naofumi not been around to fix everything, things would have been much worse. In short, they allowed their hero status to go to their heads, never took responsibility for their actions, never learned to work together as a team, and failed to realize just how real this world is, and now they have to deal with the consequences. It's of little wonder Naofumi initially refused to work with these loose cannons, and why the Church wants them all dead.
- Episode 20: The entire battle between the Pope and all four of the Cardinal Heroes. It is the very first time in the series that all four of the heroes work together, and probably the only time in the entire series that Naofumi and Malty are on the same side (thanks to the Pope wanting to get rid of the Royal Family and set up his own government in place of it, something Malty didn't know about and never would have agreed to if she had).
- As Naofumi rides upon Filo in her Filolial form, the Pope charges up his Phoenix Blade attack, forming a literal bird of fire as the name implies, launching it to seek out Naofumi, only for Naofumi and Filo to ready a spell to literally absorb said flame, reshaping it into the form of a dragon and redirecting it back toward the Pope, with said zealot screaming in anguish afterward.Filo: As source of thy power, the Shield Hero and I order thee!
Naofumi: Decipher the laws of creation, consume the flame, and give me power!
Filo & Naofumi: Wrath Fire!
- And then Naofumi finishes him with Blutopher, something that almost kills him but which he powers through with sheer will.
- As Naofumi rides upon Filo in her Filolial form, the Pope charges up his Phoenix Blade attack, forming a literal bird of fire as the name implies, launching it to seek out Naofumi, only for Naofumi and Filo to ready a spell to literally absorb said flame, reshaping it into the form of a dragon and redirecting it back toward the Pope, with said zealot screaming in anguish afterward.
- Episode 21: The IMMENSE catharsis of seeing Malty and the former king being brought to their knees in an open-and-shut trial by the Queen, the true ruler of Melromarc, for all the problems they caused. Even then, Malty wouldn't stop lying to everyone's faces and had to be given a high-grade slave seal that would deliver something akin to Electric Torture every time a lie escapes her lips. The seal gives her a big jolt when she is directly asked if Naofumi raped her, one so strong it knocks her flat on her back, finally dismantling the bad reputation she crafted for Naofumi.
- And then there's the execution. As much as they had it coming, Naofumi wound up stopping it just before they were beheaded. Not out of mercy (that Malty had shamelessly begged for), but because he believed that it would be letting them off too easy for all the lives they destroyed, and made his all-too-familiar proposal after both trash-talking the King and giving Malty a massive burn during his verbal roasting of her. This also winds up granting him the Queen's gratitude, as she admitted that if he didn't stop it, then she would have out of lingering sentiment for her husband and eldest daughter.
- Despite the Troubled Production endured, the first 6 episodes of the anime in English Dub were finally released and not only that, the Opening was sung by the same group MADKID in Surprisingly Good English and the Insert Song in episode 4 was also sung in English by Amelia Jones (in the original version of the Insert Song, it was sung by Raphtalia's voice actress, Asami Seto).