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This page is for Naofumi Iwatani, the eponymous protagonist of The Rising of the Shield Hero.


Naofumi Iwatani / The Hero of the Shield

Voiced by: Kaito Ishikawa (Japanese), Billy Kametz (English)note 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/naofumi_anime.png
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Naofumi Iwatani is a regular college student and otaku who found a book titled "Four Heavenly Weapon's Manual" which told the story of four Heroes summoned to defend another world. In an instant this became his reality as he found himself in a new world and declared one of the Legendary Heroes. Summoned as the Hero of the Shield Naofumi briefly fantasized about the adventures he would lead only to be betrayed and have his name dragged through the mud. His eyes opened and filled with deep anger, Naofumi vows to get his revenge.


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Tropes from The Rising of the Shield Hero

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     Tropes A-G 
  • Adaptational Heroism: While Naofumi does eventually take a level in kindness, he's more callous and cynical in the original source materials after being betrayed.
    • He comes off as less brutal and nasty in the anime, because the anime doesn't adapt all of his inner monologue from the light novel about how much he hates the world he was summoned to or how he plans to torture Raphtalia as vicarious revenge on Malty.
    • In the anime, Naofumi stops Malty and Aultcray's execution, which Mirelia was the one to propose, due to a precognition the night before and under the fear that he might become just like them. He also notices when Malty is begging him to save her that her Slave Crest was dormant, meaning that she can beg to a man she tried to kill and be genuine because she doesn't care. This leads him to stop their deaths and deciding on their name change by thinking as dying being too light a punishment. In the light novel (and the manga, too, but the light novel is the source material) Naofumi was adamant about putting them to death after Malty tried ask him to forgive them and take the moral high ground, which Naofumi saw the hypocrisy in due to what he'd suffered with them. Mirelia is forced to agree with Malty about the repercussions of the deaths of royalty and suggests they be given a life not worth living, which leads to Naofumi deciding on the name change.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Played With. Like the other three heroes, Naofumi was an otaku who could not help but compare Melromarc and its magical and cosmological rules to that of a video game. However, he was not as familiar with gaming clichés as the others. This combined with being denied all of the perks of being a Cardinal Hero by the royal family had caused Naofumi to learn how to survive in this world slowly through trial and error, him and his party eventually becoming more powerful and more effective against threats compared to the other heroes.
  • Almighty Janitor: And not by choice either. With the King refusing to give him any respect or acknowledgement in any form and his fellow heroes seeing him as next to useless, Naofumi is this in the grand scheme of things as he not only protects people from monsters (albeit, for a fee) restores crops, cures the sick and feeds the destitute, but also makes it clear he's not above going out of his way to fix their mistakes. He'll complain about it the whole way, and its not until the Queen returns to set things right that the "Janitor" part is undone.
  • The Antichrist: Also The Un-Favourite. The Church of Three Heroes believes that the Sword Hero, Spear Hero and Bow Hero are deities in human form, while the Shield Hero is a "Devil of the Shield" sent to deceive the people. Given Naofumi's track record, however, the opposite is the reality.
  • Anti-Hero: He became this because of his early treatment. While he's firmly an Unscrupulous Hero, he does play with all the heroic tropes imaginable, and a few villainous ones.
  • Arch-Enemy: He definitely perceived Malty as this since she was responsible for framing him of rape and having her kingdom turn on him. The King also counts (at least after the rigged duel) since his blind hatred of Naofumi solely for being the Shield Hero is what partly caused the latter's bad reputation, along with trying to sabotage him at every turn.
  • Babies Ever After: The Historical documents about his legacy reveals he went on to have children with Raphtalia, Sadina and Melty.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: While incredibly powerful, all Curse Series weapons are Evil Weapons by default, drawing on the user's negative qualities (in Naofumi's case, his hatred), is dangerous to his party due to its indiscriminate cursing potential and tendency to corrupt the user if they are weak-willed. Unlike the Three Heroes, Naofumi has learned to control it through Raphtalia's faith in him, not allowing it to corrupt him completely and using it against threats that he and his party are otherwise hopelessly outmatched against.
  • Battle Couple: With Raphtalia. They can read each other's thoughts very well, and his near-perfect defense mixed with her powerful offense makes them a force to be reckoned with in battle. Not to mention, if one is injured or threatened, expect the other to go on the warpath. Naofumi doesn't want to view himself and Raphtalia as a romantic couple for a long time, though.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • Naofumi initially cursed the Shield's pitifully low attack power, as well as its inability to allow him to wield any weapons. The Wrath Shield fixed this, but it wound up being restricted to being more of a trump card due to its dangerous side effects.
    • Naofumi cursed the other three Heroes' sheer stupidity in not only causing problems, but still seeing him as just a liability who cheated to get where he was despite his accomplishments, and noted that it would take seeing "hell on Earth" like he did to really break them out of this obtrusive mindset. It takes the three unwittingly unleashing an immensely powerful monster from its seal, resulting in untold amounts of death and destruction, and each of them going crazy from their own Curse Series weapons awakening as a result of the sheer emotional toll of their crushing failure and subsequent utter destruction of their reputations for this to happen.
  • Benevolent Boss: Even when he purchased Raphtalia, right after being framed by Myne and becoming warped and bitter, he was rather harsh, but still cared and treated her properly as well as curing her sickness. Later on, when he had started his own village and gathered up slaves to do work to prepare for the waves, they said the work they got was just the right amount and were not forced to do anything more than they can handle, not to mention they are gaga over their master's cooking; they were actually rather happy and content with their work. Although, Naofumi does try to look like an evil, cruel boss to make the impression that he's not a soft-hearted master.
    • On the contrary, hilariously enough, seeing how hard and tirelessly Naofumi works and cooks for the village, some like Ren and Rishia have said that Naofumi could be considered the slaves' slave himself, much to his utter chargrin.
  • Birds of a Feather:
    • Part of the reason he and Eclair get along is that both know what it's like to be betrayed by King Aultcray.
    • When Rino reveals her true colours and allegiances to Naofumi and Co mid-battle, she does so via stabbing Malty and delivering a merciless beatdown with the stolen Whip Vassal Weapon Malty was using. This demonstration of anger and rage towards her abuser impresses Naofumi, as he finds it comparable to his own negative emotions about the ex-princess. He semi-seriously considers forming a support group with her as fellow victims of Malty, and even offers her to join his party as a reward in the aftermath. Both Raptalia and the Revived Female Demon Dragon are concerned by how quickly Naofumi bonds with this newcomer, due to their issues with making any headway with Naofumi on a romantic front, and Naofumi's usual trust issues with strangers. For her part, Rino gladly accepts his offer, and even seems to bond with Naofumi as an actual friend rather than a potential Love Interest.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Ironic, given how the plot started. While he always manages to save himself in the nick of time, Naofumi has been on the receiving end of this trope on at least three separate occasions:
    • In the web novel, Filo, who was both in heat and controlled by Motoyasu's curse series, tries to steal his virginity. He decides to let her have Melty instead.
    • In the light novels, he nearly gets gang-raped by an entire room full of lustful demi-humans while visiting Siltvelt. One of them was even part elephant.
    • And at some point during the Valentine's Day side story, he's sexually assaulted by a monster made of chocolate. This particular incident was horrific enough to traumatize him.
  • Bloody Murder: The Rage Shield spell "Blood Sacrifice". By expelling enough of his own blood, it summons a terrible maw to appear and bite down on his victim before dragging their bloodied corpse into a pool of bubbling blood.
  • Boring, but Practical: His magical affinity is geared towards healing and support, less impressive than offensive spells but extremely useful in helping both his party and others. Likewise, Naofumi learns several non-combat skills such as making medicine and magical trinkets which help support his party both directly and financially, a necessity due to the King paying him the minimum possible.
  • Break the Cutie: He was such an idealistic young lad with a happy outlook on life who was all for going on epic quests in a fantasy world when he was first introduced. That changed really quick after Malty was done with him.
  • Broken Bird: Male example. The mistreatment he gets from the people of the other world and Malty's nasty betrayal changes the friendly and naïve guy hopeful for adventure into a brooding and cynical Anti-Hero who refuses to trust anyone but his slaves. He gradually recovers after he sees there's good and grateful people in the other world.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: The Brooding Boy to Raphtalia's Gentle Girl. Malty's betrayal and the very poor treatment most of the people in the fantasy world give him has made Naofumi jaded, antisocial and highly troubled. Raphtalia offers her maximum support to Naofumi and comforts him with her love and kindness, which lets Naofumi know he has someone he can trust fully.
  • Brought Down to Badass:
    • Late in the series, Naofumi briefly had his Legendary Shield stolen by Tact, but his level and devoted training in other areas still left him on par with his allies. In fact, losing it actually gave him the capacity to attack under his own power.
    • Some time after Naofumi acquires the Seven Star Cane, he purposefully allows Tact to steal it just so he can show the latter how pathetically outclassed he was against him and a similarly Seven Star Weapon-deprived Fohl.
  • Byronic Hero: Naofumi is brooding, jaded and world-weary because he can't trust anyone in a country where everyone treats him like a criminal. Because of Malty and the king framing him, he feels no respect for royalty. He's also fairly smart and has skill as a merchant. Despite his emotional struggles and ruthless ways, Naofumi is a noble man deep down.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: The only reason the King didn't outright execute him at the start of the series is because as the Shield Hero, he is too important to kill. Doing so would make the Waves stronger and would make the other three Heroes have to fight stronger enemies without one of their allies. Only Malty and later the Three Heroes Church truly doesn't care about this and is willing to kill him whenever possible, though the latter only does so because they planned on killing the other three heroes as well. King Aultcray also winds up averting this later in a blind rage when he demands how he got stronger than the other heroes, and Naofumi responds by telling him to prostrate himself and insulting him to his face.
  • Cassandra Truth: L'Arc initially thought Naofumi's only using the Shield Hero's name as an alias despite the latter's insistence that he is the Shield Hero. L'Arc even thought that Naofumi's use of the shield is just him going in-character.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Blood Sacrifice, which violently rips the blood from Naofumi's body in order to summon the construct.
  • Celibate Hero: After the whole fiasco with Malty, he now sees any form of romance as a needless waste of time, and somehow convinced himself that Raphtalia feels the same despite blatant evidence to the contrary. In fact, he's so much of a celibate hero at least at first that he flat out bans romantic relationships of any kind in his new village.
  • Character Development:
    • Naofumi was weak-willed and timid till he was betrayed by Myne which caused him to become aggressive, cynical, and pessimistic. Once he finds Raphtalia and he sees that she is truly his ally and that he's not only in this world, he starts to trust at least some others again and protect her and Filo like his own family. Later on, after his his name is cleared by the queen, he's still a Jerk with a Heart of Gold but has more emotions than he use to and can fully trust the right people again.
    • After being essentially kidnapped from his home world and betrayed in less than three days by Malty, Naofumi justifiably wants nothing to do with the world he's in and is happy to let it all burn down if means he can leave. Meeting Raphtalia, Filo, and Glass' party makes him realize what is really at stake for all the worlds, and Naofumi chooses to find a way to stop the Waves to save everyone, not just to find a way back home.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Thrust into a new world, friendless and near-penniless, he’s forced to hone whatever of his shield’s skills he can figure out without a user’s manual, learn to read the local language the hard way for the sake of learning magic, and parlay both of the above into peddling things like potions for money. These actions earn him valuable personal connections in the places he visits early on, as well as Achievements in Ignorance with his shield that the other heroes couldn’t manage because they relied too heavily on video game logic for knowledge and the flashier features of their respective weapons that were worthless in combat.
    • Arguably his interest in fantasy fiction is one as well. While the other three cardinal heroes are expert gamers and treat their new world like a video game without a second thought to its “NPCs”, he learns to live in the world and sees those around him as people (in spite of his misanthropy). He is thus all too cognizant of the effects his actions have on others, a perspective his counterparts decidedly lack.
    • It’s also stated at the beginning that while he does play MMO’s, he’s often more interested in trading and getting money then leveling up.
  • Cherry Tapping: Naofumi's attack with the Balloon monsters that latch onto him early in the story.
  • Close-Range Combatant: Zig-Zagged when it comes to using the Wrath Shield's base function. Naofumi can only activate its cursed flames either at point-blank range of a target or when countering melee attacks, but once it gets going, it's capable of blasting away a huge swathe of enemies. Just ask the Three Heroes Church fanatics who were stupid enough to charge at him trying to "rescue" Melty.
  • Combat Pragmatist: A necessity when most of his attacks are effectively useless. Can't attack? Lob monsters at them.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Ever since Malty framed him, Naofumi suspects everyone who isn't his slave is planning to set him up or taking advantage of him in some way.
  • Counter-Attack: Naofumi's only way to deal damage, justified in that his only weapon is his shield, and his attack stats are very low. It would take several minutes of striking starting level Mooks if he wanted to kill by his own hand.
  • Crippling Overspecialization:
    • The Shield Hero's skillset is entirely focused on defense, healing and support abilities, making him the best Support Party Member there is. Unfortunately, this also means he can't fight on his own like the other heroes and needs his party members to handle the offense. In addition, as the chosen Hero of the Shield, Naofumi cannot use any kind of weapon because the shield blocks his ability to even touch a weapon.
    • It's also deconstructed as one of the reasons why most of the royalty and the other Heroes callously treat him like shit, since they can only see the "crippling" part of his Legendary Shield's capabilities to the point of outright ignoring any evidence to the contrary.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Malty's betrayal causes Naofumi to have a Heroic BSoD, which leads to him being distrustful of everyone he meets, especially women, for a while. Well, until the aftermath of Queen Mirelia's return at least...
  • Damage Reduction: Naofumi's most powerful stat, which eventually climbs high enough that even when attacked directly, he takes no damage from being slashed with a sword.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: His use of the Wrath Shield turns into this. Not only does it run the risk of Naofumi losing himself and becoming a rage-filled individual hell-bent on destroying everything around him, anybody that tries to get near him gets afflicted with a high level curse. In addition, his Blood Sacrifice spell runs the risk of killing him by blood loss at worst or afflicting him with a high level curse that severely penalizes his stats at best.
  • Death Glare: He always has one reserved for anyone he hates, but he gives a very frightening glare to the king after he threatens his party.
  • Defrosting Ice King: The cruelty of the fantasy world makes him cold and aloof to everyone who might betray or mistreat him. He also tried to keep Raphtalia at arm's length under the belief she only was loyal to him because of her slave crest. When she proves her devotion to him is sincere, Naofumi finds it in himself to trust someone again and gradually opens up to his party members.
  • Deity of Human Origin: Starts out as a regular human, but at the end of the web novel, he becomes a god in order to fight Medea.
  • Despair Event Horizon: He undergoes a major one when Malty and the entire kingdom turn on him thanks to the former's actions.
  • Determinator: No matter how much he hates the world and suffers, Naofumi keeps pushing forward to become strong and protect the few people he cares about. The spirit of the Shield in particular praises him for this.
  • Discard and Draw: After losing the Shield to Tact, temporarily wields Trash's Seven Star weapon, the Cane. Then he trades the Cane for his Shield before sending all Tact's stolen legendary weapons to new owners.
  • Doesn't Trust Those Guys: After being set up by Malty and King Aultcray, Naofumi develops a severe distrust towards the nobility. He immediately forbades Filo from interacting with Melty after learning that she's the Second Princess and initially is dismissive of Melty's requests for reconciliation. It takes a while for him to actually trust nobles because of both Melty and the Queen's efforts to rectify the situation caused by the other half of the royal family.
  • Draw Aggro: His "Hate Reaction" spell, fitting for a shield user.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: At first, he quickly finds out that despite being a "Hero", he's treated a lot differently than the other three guys who were summoned to the world. The king barely acknowledges him after he protests, and when some adventurers volunteer to join the heroes, none of them join him. Malty does briefly, but only so she could quickly pull a Wounded Gazelle Gambit against him after stealing his money and gear.
    • The King is the most guilty of this towards him, refusing to even acknowledge he can even get anything done on his own, let alone when he's actually done anything worth noting, as shown following what happened after a duel he and Malty rigged to try and keep him useless. He even refuses to believe he worked to get as strong as he did by the time of the second wave's conclusion, and would rather believe Naofumi stole power from the other heroes instead. By this point however, Naofumi gets fed up with it all and gives him a taste of his own medicine, insulting him to his face, mocking him when he tries to threaten him with his royal knights, and rubbing it in further by pointing out how easy it would be to simply kill the King and leave without much issue.
    • The other Heroes are equally as guilty due to their inherent gamer bias and refusal to think critically, dismissing him as a weakling who could only get by either through brainwashing or cheating no matter his accomplishments, or how sound his arguments are.
    • This ends up deconstructed, as the one Hero that was actually getting things done feels about as much responsibility to the country as you'd expect for being treated like dirt for so long regardless of how competent he was compared to the other Heroes, and actually planned on leaving Melromarc for a place like Slitvelt as soon as he had the chance. It's only Queen Mirelia's intervention (which involved outright pleading and a contract that put her own life on the line) that got him to stay.
    • Overall zig-zagged, and soon averted once the Queen returns. While most of the royalty condemn him and the other heroes want nothing to do with him, the fact that he's the only one actually focusing on the "saving lives" aspect of being a hero winds up garnering him the respect and admiration of Melromarc's civilians. Eventually, this is done away with entirely when Queen Mirelia steps in to clear his name, and Naofumi is actually seen as something of a celebrity.
  • Empathic Weapon: Considering part of what makes the Legendary Weapons what they are is their ability to change and grow depending on the chosen Hero's thoughts and feelings, it's heavily implied that the Wrath Shield perfectly represents Naofumi's desire to inflict pain and suffering onto those who wronged him.
  • The Enemy Weapons Are Better: He is the Shield Hero, one of The Four Cardinal Heroes meant to fight against the Waves of Calamity that threaten the world. However unlike the other Heroes who have skills and power suited for attacking, Naofumi's relies solely on Defense, meaning he has to rely on Raphtalia and Filo and the other members of his Party to pull the slack for him in taking down enemies and monsters to get stronger. As a result, Naofumi has to resort to either purchasing better equipment or to scavenge the corpses of their fallen enemies in order for his party to get better armor and weapons to fight with.
  • Enraged by Idiocy: And not played for laughs, either. Having to put up with Motoyasu and his sheer stupidity, as well as the blind fanatics composing the Three Heroes Church and its royal knights has left him understandably pissed off.
  • An Entrepreneur Is You: Since he gets the bare minimum of official funding, unlike the other Heroes, Naofumi resorts to manufacturing potions and peddling to get by. This turns out to his great benefit later on.
  • Everyone Can See It: Rishia, Sadina, and even the Spirit of the Shield itself know that Naofumi cares for Raphtalia more deeply than he lets on. It takes Atla's dying words to finally open his eyes.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Naofumi always demands payments for his service to the public due to Malty's betrayal and the King denying him funding. But when he comes across war refuges who have nothing to give and are dying from starvation, he immediately prepares food for them without asking for anything.
    • Despite Naofumi wanting to see Malty suffer, in the worst way, and for good reason, there is a limit to what even he can stomach. When he was forced to watch King Faubley torture Witch to death to avoid provoking a war with Faubley, he was visibly disgusted, and had to ask the guard who was there as a witness (and holding a magic crystal recording him watching the scene) to fake him watching it to the end, and the guard agreed. Chapters 342-345 takes this Up to Eleven.
    • In spite of the people playing into the idea he was some kind of creep, he still tries to protect the common people. He might not have liked being mistreated by people, but them dying when he could save them is a pretty dick move. He even calls out some knights during the first wave battle for putting the town at risk and not trying to save the townsfolk.
    • He hates his fellow heroes and doesn't sugarcoat when they cause their own messes, especially after the Spirit Tortoise. That said, he doesn't want them dead and empathizes with them when Malty screws them over and they're soon brainwashed by their Curse Weapon series. He lets them move to his village permanently to recover, makes Ren a recurring teammate on his adventures, allows the newly-insane Motoyasu to take care of the town's filolials, and relieves Itsuki of the debt that Malty and his corrupt former party members forced on him.
  • Evil Weapon: The Wrath Shield. Downplayed, as even though it's evil-looking (and grows to look more sinister the stronger it gets to the point where its lampshaded in-universe), it's more a physical manifestation of his sheer, unbridled hatred against the people who ruined his life, as well as what he wants to do to them via their attacks (hellfire, torture implements). However, it's also deconstructed as the Wrath Shield is more of a last resort weapon due to its heavy costs to use, and to the point where it also serves as a metaphor for Naofumi's need to control and focus his anger in the right direction if he wants to make proper use of it. Even then, there are times when its usage at full power leaves him and his allies far from unscathed, from suffering cursed burns due to accidental friendly fire to completely draining his MP and SP. It's latest form used against the Pope and the Spirit Turtle even had a real doozy of a drawback with it's Next Tier Power-Up, as it required his blood to be violently drained from his body, followed by an exhaustion-induced coma, and finally a severe debuff on all his stats except his defense.
  • A Father to His Men: Almost literally. Most of the slaves he purchases are children, and like a parent, he both rewards them for good behavior and disciplines them for bad behavior. In exchange, each and every one of them will gladly march into battle for him.
  • Foil: He is one to the three other heroes in 4 categories
    • The others are attackers, while he is the defender.
    • The other three heroes are Unskilled, but Strong from relying solely on the raw power and flashy techniques of their Legendary Weapons, while the Weak, but Skilled Naofumi has to constantly make clever use of all the variations of the Legendary Shield as well as unrelated and external sources such as his allies to compensate for his low offensive power. Though the Wrath Shield helps with this.
    • The others are loved by Melromarc and are optimistic of their own future, while he was (initially) hated by the public due to being accused by Malty/Myne/Bitch and developed Jade-Colored Glasses. Ironically, he winds up beloved while the other heroes have their reputation take a nosedive after the Spirit Turtle incident.
    • He is the Only Sane Man that thinks that anyone can die in the other world so he had to protect them, while the others are always thinking that it's a game and they can respawn, thus they're always Leeroy Jenkins.
    • He treats his party like family and are True Companions rather than not working with them (Ren), treating them as a harem (Motoyasu), or allowing them to worship and stroke his ego while one is seen as a burden (Itsuki to Rishia).
    • Naofumi is also this to Kizuna the Hunting Hero. Both of them have problems attacking people due to their weapon restrictions and have plenty of loyal allies rather than minions like the other three heroes. However, Kizuna is upbeat and friendly, consciously harnessing the Power of Friendship while Naofumi acts more like a Knight in Sour Armor whose his actions soon earn him loyal comrades regardless.
      • Naofumi was the first choice for the Shield Hero while the other three were back-up choices.
    • Naofumi and Malty are opposites in every way.
      • Naofumi started out naïve and optimistic, but quickly turns into a Jerk with a Heart of Gold while Malty is a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who drops the "sheep" act when she thinks no one is paying attention (which is most of the time).
      • Naofumi is (technically) just a civilian who is initially hated, but gradually becomes beloved by the peasantry, praised as a true hero, and even given a noble title late in the story. Malty starts out as a princess whose country gradually wisens up to her rotten behavior before being exposed as a manipulative sociopath and stripped of her royal title.
      • While Naofumi helps as much as he can (albeit with a demand of payment most of the time), Malty seems to actively blight the lives of everyone around her either for her own gain, amusement, or petty spite.
      • While Naofumi treats his party members like Raphtalia and Firo like his own surrogate family, Malty not only regularly booted out other members of Motoyasu's party without his awareness out of petty jealousy, she also actively plotted to murder her own biological sister Melty (whose just barely older than ten years old, no less!) in cold blood, to the point of trying to burn her alive with fire magic. Bonus points for irony in that it's implied Melty sees Naofumi as a protective older sibling instead of (or because of) Malty.
      • Naofumi's party all volunteer (in Raphtalia's case, volunteer after being freed) to become his slaves because of the immense Level Grinding advantage that will help keep them alive, and because Naofumi's too traumatized from Malty's actions to trust anyone who isn't magically bound from lying to or betraying him (any other controls are immediately released). In the first short story from Motoyasu's POV, it's heavily implied (not outright stated only because Motoyasu has a bad case of Love Makes You Dumb) that all the women who join up with his party except Malty and her two friends haven't simply 'decided to seek other opportunities'. Malty has been selling them into slavery, mostly in brothels, because she doesn't want any competition for Motoyasu's 'heart'.
      • Naofumi fights as a defensive tank with healing and support magic at his disposal, while Malty is a fire mage that essentially uses Motoyasu as a meat shield while she hangs back with the rest of his party. While Naofumi also uses fire through his Wrath Shield, it's tempered by the love and care he has for his party, while it's obvious that Malty is incapable of feeling such things.
      • Naofumi's parents gave up on him early for being an otaku and focused on his brother's education, but rewarded him with a higher allowance for helping the latter when he was stressed out. Meanwhile, on top of spending the royal treasury on frivolous things, Malty was spoiled rotten by her father while her mother tried her damnedest to teach her humility as she groomed her younger sibling Melty for the throne. Malty responded by trying to kill the latter during the coup being staged by the Three Heroes church in order to have the throne to herself, only to be stripped of her princess title, renamed Bitch/Bitchie/Whore/Slut (depending on the version), and made to pay off a massive tab as punishment by her mother.
      • Naofumi was chosen by the Legendary Shield to become the Shield Hero and save the world, while Malty stole the Vassal Whip using an enchanted accessory and sides with the Vanguards of the Waves to use the waves' influence to destroy multiple worlds.
      • In the web novel, Naofumi is an ordinary human who becomes a god to protect multiple worlds across the universe. On the other hand Malty is one of many fragments created by a world-destroying goddess to slowly drive the world to ruin.
      • While Naofumi gets much better after the brutal kick into the dirt given to him near the beginning of the story and eventually gets numerous allies, a harem of his own, and a happy ending out of it, Malty unrepentantly sinks lower and lower with each crime she commits, screws over each and every person she encounters until she has no one left to turn to, and is eventually burned to death like the witch she behaves like.
    • Much like Naofumi, Kyo's "weapon" was designed more for support than direct conflict, he has a Mad Scientist knack for magical experimentation and his fellow heroes possess a knee-jerk hatred of him. While everyone's hatred of Naofumi is built on lies, bad publicity and everyone underestimating him, the vitriol towards Kyo is well-earned to the point where his own vassal weapon bent the rule that cardinal heroes aren't allowed to invade other worlds specifically so that Naofumi could go after him.
    • He has another one in Kizuna. They're both heroes from another world, and both have weapons that prevent them from directly harming other people. The main difference between them is their experiences with the people of their new world. Naofumi had been framed and wrongly persecuted, which led him to become a sadist and a cynic with trust issues. Kizuna, on the other hand, was fortunate enough to run into Glass, and the two of them hit it off immediately. She has no shortage of friends who care for her, and while Naofumi eventually gets the same, he notices with envy how much Kizuna trusts her friends, and how overall tight-knit they are.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • Naofumi and the gang finally go to Siltvelt (a demi-human country), and are forced to put up with the citizens' overzealous worship of the Shield Hero and other inappropriate behavior. Why were they there? To gain permission to travel to Q'ten Lo, an isolationist demi human country, and take down their government. Why did they need to do that? Because Q'ten Lo sent assassins to attack the village and kill Raphtalia. Why would they do that? Because Naofumi put Raphtalia in a miko outfit.
    • In the Motoyasu-focused spinoff, Naofumi doesn't go through the betrayal at Malty's hands and instead becomes a traveling companion of a severely female-aphobic Motoyasu that came back in time. The result is a completely different character that acts a lot more like a traditional light novel protagonist - and a completely messed up timeline of events as a consequence because Naofumi being betrayed and becoming so cynical was integral to the series' plot.
  • Founder of the Kingdom: The tiny little village he restores eventually expands into a large and prosperous country, complete with its own monarchy and nobility.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: The nobility and other heroes have expressed dismay about his personality and reputation. The sole exceptions are his friends and the peasantry he goes out of his way to save. That is until Mirelia exonerates him of his crimes, which earns Naofumi everyone's respect.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Starting from day three, Naofumi goes from a young man with nothing but a false crime to his name, a weak "weapon", and the clothes on his back to someone with a powerful, versatile shield, a formidable party and a notable reputation amongst the citizens, easily capable of outshining the other heroes despite their clear advantages. Ironically, the ruling nobility and church of Melromarc had intended for him to stay a helpless, hated nobody since the very start while the other heroes were handed party members and resources, and were far from happy when their efforts resulted in the exact opposite.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Despite his ruthlessness and seemingly self-serving attitude, Naofumi is the only of the four summoned heroes who actually cares to do good and help people in trouble. He just doesn't like to show how benevolent he really is because he fears people might take advantage of him like Malty did.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Though rough around the edges, Naofumi is still a good guy at the end of the day. He even goes out of his way to clean up the other Heroes messes, albeit with a request for some compensation. It's just that after all the unjustified abuse and mistreatment heaped on him since day 3, he has no qualms about fighting dirty (against Motoyasu in a rigged duel), outright threatening to kill his enemies (like the King after he threatened his companions first), or allowing Motoyasu and Malty to die at the hands of the power mad pope (since their stupidity led to them all being cornered in the first place, and Ren and Itsuki were seemingly dead anyway).
  • Go Through Me: Weaponized. As the Shield Hero, he cannot fight with any other weapons except punching or using his shield to damage people. Thus, his preferred strategy is to charge in and tank damage, drawing the attention of his enemy so that his allies can kill it for him. This means he tends to put himself in harm's way, but his shields' abilities allow him to invoke this trope and make it work.
  • Grumpy Bear: Naofumi finds most everything that happens around him annoying, even when it's an entire village treating him with genuine love and respect. When he's not angry or taking sadistic joy in another's misfortune, he usually looks bored.
  • Guilt by Association:
    • The king of Melromarc is outright dismissive of Naofumi as soon as he met him because he simply happened to be the chosen Hero of the Shield. Over the course of the story, he's done nothing but undermine Naofumi's accomplishments or outright try to prevent him from getting ahead in life. It turns out that the king was doing this because of his prejudice against Demi-humans, which the legend of the Shield Hero is mostly associated with. Whether the Shield Hero who was around when the two incidents that formed his prejudice happened either supported them, or at least did nothing to stop them is questionable, though it did involve his parents dying at the hands of the Hakuko (white tiger-based) Demihumans (his homeland, Faubrey had a treaty with Siltvelt, a Demihuman country, but there was no telling if those were rogue/renegade Hakuko who ignored the treaty or this was a sponsored operation by Siltvelt's ruler), and his blind sister being kidnapped by them later on (and he's made to believe they murdered her).
    • Naofumi himself also subjects this on the female gender. Despite Myne being the sole woman who betrayed and ruined his life, he immediately extends this hatred to all women. He even (in the Light Novel) specifically purchases Raphtalia as a slave for the pleasure of seeing a woman get hurt so that he can imagine it happening to Myne.

     Tropes H-M 
  • Had to Be Sharp: He can't fight on his own and needs someone to fight for him. He quickly learned leadership skills, situational awareness, and coordination with Raphtalia to utilize his shield's abilities. The exceptional teamwork he builds with his party as a result allows them to stay competitive with the other Heroes' parties despite being underleveled.
  • Harem Seeker: Shortly after being summoned to the world of the story, he wanted a harem. Malty's betrayal changed his mind in the cruelest way possible.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Everyone makes fun of him for his only weapon being a small shield. Soon enough, Naofumi learns his shield can assimilate the abilities of anything it absorbs, including monsters, and he becomes by far the most competent of the summoned heroes thanks to knowing how to use the potential of his shield to the fullest unlike the others who think they don't need training.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: After what Malty did to him, he gained trust issues with any woman he met. It takes a while for him to realise that not every woman is like Malty — even with nearly every other woman he meets being exceedingly kind.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Naofumi has a huge one after Malty turns on him at the beginning of the story. Unlike most examples of this trope, Naofumi's Heroic BSoD stays around for a while, and it isn't until people actually started treating him better that he got over it.
    • Naofumi suffers another one after his first duel with Motoyasu, when Malty blatantly cheats to help her new boyfriend win and no one acknowledges it.
    • Later on, he hits another major one when Alta dies protecting Naofumi from the Phoenix. He's left inconsolable until Sadeena urges him to move forward, and later he avenges Atla by killing Takt.
  • Heroic RRoD: After he used his Shield of Wrath, he is bedridden for a few days and his stats aside from his defense are greatly reduced.
  • Heroic Wannabe: An inversion. Unlike the other heroes, Naofumi doesn't sell himself as a hero and, during his first few months of adventuring, actively fosters the reputation of a guy who'll only offer his services for the right price. However, anybody who has spent more than 10 minutes with Naofumi know that he is, deep down, a genuinely heroic person.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Played with and then ultimately subverted. While the nobility and other heroes hate him at first, the fact that he's the only one doing a proper job of protecting the peasantry makes the people love him. Once Mirelia returns, the truth about him is revealed and his reputation gets even better.
    • He does this on purpose to his Demi-Human slaves to get them to fear him but either Raphtalia tells them otherwise or they quickly learn to adore him.
    • This is also justified in that Melromarc's king is prejudiced against the Shield Hero because of its legend being tied to Demi-humans that the king is prejudiced against. Later on, he learns from the queen that if he had been summoned in a country with a significant Demi-human population (especially in Siltvelt, a Demi-human country), he would've been treated like a deity walking the earth.
  • Hidden Depths: Although he had no such abilities when he became the Shield Hero, Naofumi quickly gained several marketable skills over a short span of time. By the time of the Spirit Tortoise arc, he is an excellent artisan, capable of producing excellent grade accessories and jewelry, an expert cook, a formidable businessman and a skilled apothecary.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Though even he would deny it, Naofumi doesn't want anyone else to suffer or come to harm. It's just that after being betrayed and burned by everyone he met after being summoned, he is justifiably worried about being tricked, betrayed or taken advantage of by just about everyone. For that reason, he sees material compensation for his heroism as the only gratitude worth receiving, although he's still compelled to help others first before haggling over a price.
  • Hourglass Plot: Naofumi's story in the new world starts off with him being betrayed and treated like crap simply because he was the chosen Hero of the Shield, while the other three become instant celebrities who are revered and respected in the kingdom. After the Spirit Turtle incident, Naofumi has become the only Legendary Hero that's treated with respect and reverence while the other heroes were betrayed by their party (except for Ren whose otherwise loyal party all got killed during the incident) and treated like crap.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Naofumi had to discover what his shield can and can't do by himself since nobody was willing to instruct him after he got framed for raping the princess and he didn't have the stock knowledge that the other heroes had when it comes to how magical weapons worked in a world that ran on RPG mechanics. Due to this however, he's not only able to exploit and master the various forms of his shield, but also discovers one of the Legendary Weapons' most potent functions; being able to make use of multiple strengthening methods.
  • I Gave My Word: Naofumi always keeps his promises, for good or ill. Always.
  • Intrepid Merchant: After getting his Wagon and a Trader's Pass, Naofumi spent the month between the Second and Third Waves traveling Melromarc's countryside delivering goods and making connections with other merchants.
  • Iron Maiden: A powerful Finishing Move spell unlocked to Naofumi by the Wrath Shield.
  • Irony:
    • When he wanted a harem, he got Malty who psychologically beats having all desires for a harem out of him. As he spends his adventuring not even looking for one (and he considers his female party members as trusted companions instead of possible love interests), the female members of his party are all vying for his affection, thus he ends up with a harem. For even further irony, he winds up married to three of the girls by the end of the Web Novel.
    • At the start, his offensive abilities were lacking, and was one of the reasons why he was ignored and ridiculed. The very injustice and abuse heaped on him reaching its zenith via the rigged duel that threatened to take Raphtalia away led to the unlocking of the Curse Series, namely the Wrath Shield, an evil power that turns him into more of a hard-hitting berserker. For bonus points, Naofumi looked he was mere inches away from unleashing it on the King (one of the people unwittingly responsible for him unlocking it in the first place) in the anime after the latter stupidly threatened his companions.
    • Despite being near-constantly accused of brainwashing people into serving him and maligned for it, he and his faction are the only ones who never do, while those that do the accusing are the ones actually guilty of it. What's more, Itsuki is the one who gains the ability to brainwash others with his bow later on once he gives into despair and unlocks his own Curse Series, and even accuses Naofumi of it once more just after brainwashing one of his former companions with it.
    • Despite being labeled as the "Devil of the Shield" by the Church of Three Heroes, Naofumi was not only the one doing a proper job as a hero, but even went out of his way to fix the messes caused by the other heroes. Even most of his skills and magic are mainly geared towards protection, healing, support, and utility. If he wasn't high off his own power, you'd almost expect the Pope to lampshade this himself before trying to blast him and his party to bits.
    • Finally, he is immediately thought of as the most incompetent of the four heroes because he is a light-novel otaku who hasn't played a single RPG in his entire life, in contrast to the other three who are explicitly gamers specializing in different forms of RPGs. He ends up being better and more competent than all of them simply because he had to learn everything first hand and not rely on stock RPG tropes.
  • Item Amplifier: One of the benefits granted by the Legendary Shield once he masters the right form is the passive ability to boost the efficiency of potions, and even give them an AoE effect once administered. He takes full advantage of this to cure the village that fell victim to the disease spread by the rotting dragon's corpse, and to dispatch a parasitic plant monster that terrorized an entire town.
  • It Is Beyond Saving: Shows shades of this in the manga by the time the High Priest shows itself and gets ready to kill Naofumi, Motoyasu, and their respective parties. On top of learning that Ren and Itsuki are (seemingly) dead, and Motoyasu's sheer hypocrisy in requesting his help despite either causing, helping cause, or blaming him for everything wrong, Naofumi deems Fitoria's promise to cooperate with the other Heroes a lost cause and just gives up. In fact, he even tells Motoyasu and his party to their faces to "Go ahead and die", showing that the little patience he was already struggling to exert was now gone. Malty especially doesn't take it well.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Downplayed. The King, Malty, and the more bigoted members of the Royal Knights couldn't even be bothered to refer to him by name, simply calling him by his Legendary Weapon. While there are others who refer to him by this and other variations in a more admiring tone, Naofumi is understandably peeved by this since he can easily detect their disgust, dismissal, and lack of respect for him through it despite doing more to help the country than the other heroes combined, though he later gets even with the former two once he is allowed to legally change their names to something just as humiliating with the Queen's approval.
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: While he, at first, didn't mind being chosen as the Hero of the Shield, Naofumi immediately thought he drew the short end of the stick after realizing that the King and the people of the kingdom didn't have too much respect for the bearer of the title, and that was before they frame him for a crime he didn't commit. Once he learns that he's stuck with being the Shield Hero until either he dies or the Waves are completely stopped, he decides to just say "Screw It!" and find ways to become strong enough to handle the Waves by himself. After a while time, he learns that while Melromarc was prejudiced against the Shield Hero because of the king's prejudice against demi-humans, the neighboring countries, especially those that have a significant demi-human population would treat whoever was chosen to bear the title with reverence and respect because the Shield Hero championed for equality between all races and was especially kind to demi-humans.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: Sees everyone out to get him and that the only one he can trust are slaves after what Malty did to him. The glasses are so thick that he loses his sense of taste and doesn't notice when Raphtalia grows up into a strapping young woman overnight, still seeing her as the little girl he first bought her as. Then Raphtalia restores his humanity at a celebration party...
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Although he can be rude towards his allies, he's still a compassionate man beneath it all. The reason he acts like a jerk is because of what happened between him and Malty and he doesn't want himself or anyone else around him to get tricked, turned on or taken advantage of.
    • While he demands pay for any act of heroism he performs, he'll take payment other than money (such as goods or information) and is willing to delay payment for those who can't currently pay, saying he'll take his pay the next time he visits.
    • In the anime, when Mirelia orders her husband and eldest daughter executed for all the trouble they caused, Naofumi realizes how much the act is hurting Mirelia to do so which results in him requesting her to spare their lives in exchange for renaming them "Trash" and "Bitch".
  • Kick the Dog: Naofumi's actions in the early chapters/episodes don't tend to paint him in a positive light. While it's true he got a raw deal, in the LN it's revealed that the main reason he chose to purchase Raphtalia was to use her as an outlet to take out his rage against Myne. He got better in time but his early depiction still colors him in a negative light for some people. There's also how he initially forbade any kind of romantic relationships among the citizens of his village.
  • Ki Manipulation: Eventually learns how to harness this along with Atla and Rishia. Good news is, one of its applications is nullifying one of his biggest weaknesses, attacks that work off the target's defense. Bad news is, he can only use it for defensive purposes due to the Shield's restrictions, so that means still having to rely on the Wrath Shield for more direct attacks.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Thanks to the Shield's status as a Morph Weapon, Naofumi often put whatever material and shield he can put into his weapon to unlock more forms and abilities.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: At first he's hesitant to take on the responsibilities of a Hero, and as the Waves continue he insists he's only fighting to defeat them so he can go home despite repeatedly risking his life to save the people he claims not to care about. Thankfully, Raphtalia and others are able to help him shed this attitude over time.
  • The Leader: In addition to being in charge of his own party, he becomes this to the other Three Heroes after their Curse Weapon incidents and they look to him when their planning Wave tactics.
  • Level Drain: In addition to the upfront costs, Blood Sacrifice places a curse on Naofumi that reduces his maximum stats until it is lifted.
  • Like a Daughter to Me: When Filo asks what Raphtalia means to him, Naofumi answers she's something like his daughter. Needless to say, Raphtalia isn't happy about it.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: All the other heroes got money, status, party members, and information - Naofumi had to learn the hard way or by the generosity of a few individuals. Even without the planned exclusions, Naofumi came into the world with only the briefest introduction to the concepts while the other Heroes each had spent dozens of hours in games based on the waves. This turns out to his advantage when he figures out crucial elements they couldn't, due to the others sticking rigidly to their game knowledge.
  • Logical Weakness: Being the Shield Hero, Naofumi possesses high physical defense and magical resistance in exchange for abysmal attack power on both fronts. While this means he can take a LOT of punishment, this also means attacks that work off said defense will give him a bad time. Just ask Glass, L'Arc, and any trained practitioner of the Hengen Musou.
  • Loser Protagonist: Deconstructed. As the Shield Hero, Naofumi is heavily mistreated by pretty much everyone around him upon his arrival, to the point of being falsely accused of a crime he didn't commit not even a full day after arriving. By being labeled as a Loser Protagonist and never being given a reason why, he ends becoming an Anti-Hero who embraces the negative attitude thrust onto him and turns to only finding trust in people who are similarly mistreated by society. While this does make him stronger and he does soften up over time, he remains bitter and hateful towards those who accused him and those who believed them, making it nearly impossible for him to actually work with the other heroes. Fitoria later calls him out by saying that regardless of how justified his anger was, he's basically giving people further ammunition for treating him like crap since his Then Let Me Be Evil approach has let his accusers get away with their lies, and that if he wants to stop being seen as a Loser Protagonist, he needs to prove he isn't one.
  • Love You and Everybody: He tells Raphtalia that he loves her... as an adopted daughter, to her chagrin. But given she was a little girl when he found her, then aged quickly according to her leveling up, it's understandable.
  • Lover Tug-of-War: He's on the receiving end of this in chapter 376, and once he learns to deal with the pain, actually finds the situation hilarious.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: He was summoned as the Shield Hero into a fantasy world. His status has both its pros and cons.
  • Mad Scientist: He briefly becomes one during the New Deadly Sins arc as a result of accidentally unlocking the new Deadly Sins series of his shield.
  • Magikarp Power: While the Shield Hero's default stats are much lower than the other heroes, leveling up is way harder for him due to his nonexistent offensive power, and being falsely accused of assaulting Malty has robbed him of what little royal support he has, Naofumi slowly began to outclass the other heroes because unlike the other heroes, he was willing to put the work into getting stronger. He learned the ins and outs of Melromarc and its properties, he out-thinks his foes instead of charging at them blindly, is willing to work with his party instead of leaving them behind or making them do all the work, and is the first to unlock his Curse Series. Whenever he has to work with the other heroes, the disparity between him and them is even more obvious, with the Queen rightfully pointing out that Naofumi is the only one among them likely to survive the coming Waves if they don't work together.
  • Manly Tears:
    • After suffering a substantial amount of abuse at the hands of Malty and the kingdom at large, Naofumi finally breaks down when Raphtalia becomes the first person to declare that she does not believe any of the false charges placed upon him.
    • In the web novel, he breaks down again during the New Seven Deadly Sins Arc after believing that Raphtalia was killed and replaced with an imposter. The people around him are understandably shocked at this display of emotion.
    • Atla's death was also more than enough to move him (and everyone in the vicinity) to tears.
  • Marry Them All: The fragment he left behind ends up having children with Raphtalia, Melty, and Sadina in the web novel.
  • Me's a Crowd: After becoming a god he leaves mortal copies of himself in his and Raphtalia's home worlds to live normal lives alongside their friends.
  • Mistaken for Gay: This happens after he makes Fohl sleep in his bed to keep Atla away.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: He's almost always surrounded by children, so it's inevitable. He even lampshades it in his monologue.
  • Morality Chain: Ironically, the Shield itself, despite being the cause of a good deal of the problems Naofumi faces in Melromarc, is clearly this to him, especially in the early light novels, before he meets Raptalia. His inability to attack forces him to bargain and haggle with merchants for resources he needs to survive, as well as forces him to cooperate with others in a party to be at all efficient, despite his understandable misgivings with he idea after Malty's betrayal. Additionally, it prevents him from lashing out and directly hurting others around him to vent his frustrations with his current situation. Given the machinations of the Church of the Three heroes, if Naofumi had been able to attack on his own, they'd have had an easier time putting a negative spin on his reputation, but the same hurdles that handicap Naofumi's effectives as a solo hero also make it harder for his enemies to paint him as the 'Shield Demon' when he lacks the ability to directly harm others around him- in fact, they are only able to do so once Naofumi has gathered a party of allies who can attack under his command.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Due to a mix of being a Hero with Bad Publicity and being forced to practice morally ambiguous things out of imposed limitations, Naofumi doesn't care as much of looking like a hero as the other heroes do. He is very cynical, is very open about how he'll only do hero work if there are some kind of tangible rewards waiting for him, he is willing to buy and own slaves and his most powerful weapon runs on The Power of Hate that could potentially hurt and kill his own allies. With that said, all of this stems from him being a realist. Unlike the other heroes, Naofumi understands that the world they're in has real, tangible consequences and isn't just an escapist fantasy where they could do whatever they want. Since he did not have the crown's aid after he was falsely accused of raping Malty, he had to learn how to conduct business, learn the language and learn how to craft-potions and accessories. When the people who need his help cannot pay his price with money, he is willing to barter with what they do have. While he practices slavery, he only did it because no one wanted to join his party (with one false exception, but it was a mere trio of shitty thieves that only really wanted to steal his remaining paltry possessions after he was falsely accused) and he has little to no offensive capability, and even then he acts less like their owner and more like their dad (especially since Raphtalia and Filo were children when he bought them) and will tend to their needs, fostering loyalty in him. All of this combined ironically makes him a better hero that Ren, Itsuki and Motoyasu, all of whom had everything handed to them.
  • Mundane Utility: Due to the supportive abilities the Shield provides him, Naofumi is more than capable of using the Shield to in ways that are not really what you would expect, such as using it to develop medicine or even materials. A scene in the anime for example shows Naofumi using his shields' absorption ability to clean up after giving Raphtalia a haircut.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution:
    • When Mirelia finally returns and clears his name, Naofumi demands that the King and Malty be put to death without hesitation. Mirelia however convinces him to instead subject them to a life of suffering by removing their titles and royal privileges as well as renaming them "Trash" and "Bitch" respectively.
    • Averted in the anime where the death sentence is not only bestowed upon them by Mirelia herself but Naofumi finds that despite his hatred for the King and Malty, he can't stomach the thought of having their blood on his hands (thanks to a scary premonition of him eagerly wanting their deaths) and in an act of Cruel Mercy, convinces Mirelia to spare their lives and have them renamed as "Trash" and "Bitch" with the addition of having Bitch change her adventuring name from Myne to "Slut" (or in the English dub, "Whore").

     Tropes N-S 
  • Naïve Newcomer: He's initially this, but due to Malty's actions, he became a very cynical and jaded individual.
  • Never Gets Drunk: And never gets seasick or poisoned either. The cohol fruit has such a high alcohol content that a single fruit must be diluted in a barrel of water to create something safe to drink. Naofumi snacked on them like they were peanuts, while another person eating just half a fruit nearly died of alcohol poisoning. It's part of his secondary power that being the shield hero has, though the web novel implies he never really got drunk before the summoning either. Itsuki thinks it's a psychic power.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: It is theorized by Melty that the Church of the Three Heroes may have formed due to Naofumi's actions during their time travel to Mamoru's time line where Naofumi completely routed Piensa's forces from invading Siltran nation. If this hypothesis is true, then Naofumi is the reason for the shield hero to be called Devil of the shield.
  • The Nicknamer: When he's not resorting to Hey, You!, he comes up with nicknames for just about everyone based off of his first impression of them. He only calls a handful of people by their real names such as Raphtalia and Filo. Everyone else is fair game and several he only knows by the nicknames he created.
  • No-Sell: Naofumi's Defensive stats are so high that he can shrug off or flat out ignore most weaker attacks. His shield's magic also makes him immune to poison and curses.
  • Oblivious to Love:
    • Thanks to Malty's betrayal, he cannot see Raphtalia, or rather anyone's affection towards him. In addition, many of the ladies who are interested in him are not only his slaves but technically children by age.
    • When his rage is temporarily absorbed by the Wrath Dragon, he sees Raphtalia and the others in a new light and immediately becomes flustered... which weirds them all out enough for them to immediately return him to normal.
    • Averted by the conclusion of the Web Novel. He is fully aware of the girls' feelings toward him and plans to answer them all honestly.
  • Papa Wolf: Though he never says this outright, Naofumi sees his slaves like Raphtalia and Filo as his surrogate children. Threaten them, and he'll chase you down and make you wish you were never born.
  • Parental Substitute: He views himself as Raphtalia's and Filo's caretaker in place of Raphtalia's parents and being Filo's master. Later on, he becomes a father figure for virtually all of his slaves.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: His life philosophy. He also Pays Good Unto Good.
    • Seen in the trial of Malty and the King. He's ready to demand in the manga and light novel that the two be put to death for their crimes against him and Melromarc, but the Queen suggests making them suffer living hell instead of a too-quick-and-easy death. In the anime, he has a premonition of him demanding their executions, and it scares him. When the Queen is ready to execute them, he proposes they be stripped of their names instead, being renamed "Trash" (the former King) and "Bitch" (the former Malty) with her getting the extra indignity of being dubbed "Bitchie (manga)/Slut(anime)/Whore(English dub)" when adventuring.
  • Pelts of the Barbarian: Doesn't appreciate his party and Elhart the blacksmith outfitting him with furs and buckskins as he thinks it makes him look like a bandit leader, which is the last thing he needs with his already bad rep. Raphtalia and Filo think he looks dashing, however.
  • Personality Powers: After Naofumi became the Mirror Vassal Hero of Glass's world, his friends note it suited him given how he always 'reflect' other people's treatment of him right back at them, insulting those whom insulted him first and helping those whom helped him.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • He doesn't recruit Ren's teammates out of respect of their Undying Loyalty to him.
    • When he learns that Itsuki was tricked by Malty and his former teammates to use his Curse Weapon and left him with a massive debt, Naofumi orders the debt to be transferred to him to relieve his fellow hero's burden.
  • Physical God: Naofumi and Raphtalia gain immeasurable power by traveling through the space that links all worlds together and decide to use said power to hunt down those who abuse theirs.
  • Playing with Fire: Fittingly, the first attack granted by the Wrath Shield is basically a souped-up version of Hellish Rebuke from D&D. If enemies get near him, they're hit with an explosion of cursed flames.
  • Poisonous Person: The Chimera Viper Shield grants the exclusive skill "Venomous Fang", summoning a snake to bite Naofumi's victim with a fatal toxin.
  • Polyamory: He takes on Raphtalia, Sadina and Melty as his wives. He does however love them equally, while Raphtalia is the Top Wife, as all 3 are confirmed will bear children for him as well.
  • Power at a Price: The Shield of Wrath evokes this. Read Heroic RRoD.
  • Power Copying: By absorbing various items and monster parts into his shield's core, he can unlock new shields with abilities and/or permanent stat boosts based on whatever he fed it. He later learns from the other Heroes that he can copy any shields he finds wholesale with the Weapon Copy ability.
  • The Power of Hate: What his Shield's Cursed Form runs on. It's also something that Raphtalia and Firo try to keep Naofumi from overdoing to a great extent, as he runs the risk of great physical harm with each time he uses it.
  • The Power of Trust: As the Shield Hero, trusting others and being trusted empowers Naofumi.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: With the capital dead set on outright hindering Naofumi, he ends up the only Hero that's succeeding at his job against all odds while the others continue to blindly cause problems, severely underperform, irrationally blame him while amassing a large track record of embarrassing defeats and poor decisions. While it seems Zig-Zagged in Naofumi's case, it was never framed as anything but bad, more of a Necessary Evil since it was stressed that he needed someone to fight for him, and he could only afford Raphtalia at the time, and the entire issue had to be put on the backburner in favor of saving the country from threats in and out of it. They're happy to be his slaves since, in a country where demi-humans only have some rights as someone's property, and even then they can still be be abused, beaten, and killed at their owner's discretion without suffering any legal trouble, Naofumi gets brownie points for treating them with basic decency, and later fatherly affection to the point where he arranges for them to live in a village where they're just slaves In Name Only at Raphtalia's behest. Contrast this with Motoyasu who, despite rightly pointing out how slavery is an inherently evil practice, just uses it as an excuse to antagonize Naofumi and attempt to force Raphtalia away from him and into his own party without caring one bit about context or her personal feelings, or bothering to call out the king for turning a blind eye to his own kingdom practicing it, or really doing anything about it despite the latter calling him out on his unwanted help.
  • Punch-Clock Hero: Zig-Zagged. Naofumi helps others when they need it, but is not above turning away from it if the personal cost is too great. He will also demand material compensation for his service instead of going for the standard Think Nothing of It, which earns him the respect of a merchant he meets on his travels. He is also very flexible about how he gets paid. Any kind of material compensation is good enough; don't have 1 silver coin? How about goods worth about 1 silver coin? Naofumi has some villages running a tab; he collects payment for a delivery when he makes the next delivery.
  • Rage Breaking Point: It's what led to him unlocking his Curse Series in the first place. The rigged duel, most everyone else's refusal to acknowledge Malty's blatant cheating, and the two-fold realization that the latter was not only King Aultcray's daughter, but his unjustified suffering due to the rape accusation, as well as Raphtalia being forcefully taken away from him despite the law being on his side made him realize it was all arranged to keep him kicked firmly into the ground out of pure spite and sheer cruelty. It's only due to Raphtalia sticking up for him and refusing to leave his side that kept him from fully succumbing and burning all of Melromarc to the ground (with Malty, Aultcray, and Motoyasu most likely being the first casualties) with the Wrath Shield.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: This is what he is blamed for, courtesy of Malty. It turns out to be a ploy from the very beginning to publicly undermine the Shield Hero.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Verbally tears the other heroes a new one during their fight with the Pope, citing all the trouble they caused by not taking their roles as heroes seriously which he wound up having to clean up.
    • He also gives a brutal one towards Tact after the Curb-Stomp Battle he handed him. For all Tact's arrogant boasting about his power and heroics, he was really just a self-righteous Miles Gloriosus who couldn't do anything without the powers he stole from the other, genuine Heroes. Even the one-sided fight itself was really just Naofumi showing that even with him being 250 levels higher than his opponents and with all the Legendary and Seven Star Weapons in his possession, Tact couldn't do anything against someone who was sufficiently skilled and trained.
  • Red Baron: Aside from his actual title "Hero of the Shield", he went by the moniker "Devil of the Shield" because of the local Corrupt Church. He was also saddled with another title, "Savior with a Divine Fowl", because of his reputation of saving the downtrodden masses from hardship who also happened to have a divine looking bird as his pet/mount/beast of burden.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When under the sway of the Wrath Shield, Naofumi's eyes glow a hateful red.
  • Required Secondary Powers: The Legendary Shield not only gives him unparalleled defensive abilities but also grants him near immunity to negative status effects such as poison or curses (except those granted by use of the Wrath Shield). This protection also explains why he never gets drunk and can eat a fruit with an extremely high alcohol content as it isnote  or get seasick.
  • Restored My Faith in Humanity: Raphtalia telling him "You didn't do it" at celebration banquet. Or rather restored his faith in women; it's a long time before he can trust anyone other than her and the Blacksmith.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Downplayed, and even averted depending on the version. Despite having every reason to see Malty and the King suffer for the injustice inflicted on him, he never actively pursues vengeance against them. Rather, he's more concerned with other things, partly because of his party's positive influence keeping him on the right track. He only gets the revenge he seeks because of the Queen handing it to him on a silver platter, and partly because she had her own (equally justified) reasons to see them punished.
  • Rightly Self-Righteous: He treats the other three Chosen Heroes dismissively at best and with outright contempt at the worst. When he does interact with them (usually because he's forced to), he doesn't sugarcoat how lackluster their abilities are, how many problems they cause that he has to fix, and how little help they are in a crisis. While Naofumi is a jackass about all this, he's also entirely right; the Sword, Spear, and Bow heroes are short-sighted, entitled, gullible, brainless, and incompetent. They not only cause as many (if not more) problems than they solve, but are of limited help in a disaster, meaning Naofumi usually has to shoulder everything himself. All that said, he does gets called out on his behavior because, whether he likes it or not, Naofumi DOES have to work alongside the other three heroes, and while his attitude isn't the main reason they can't get along, it definitely doesn't make things any easier.
  • Rude Hero, Nice Sidekick: He develops this sort of dynamic with Raphtalia, who urges him to show a more compassionate side to the common people they meet. She understands his Hidden Heart of Gold, but is (rightfully) worried that others will not and that his actions will only hurt his reputation more.
  • Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: Due to having been Locked Out of the Loop due to his ignorance about MMORPG mechanics and a royal conspiracy to destroy him preventing him from sharing info with the other Four Heroes, went for ages completely in the dark about basic functions of his shield (including the ability to copy pre-existing weapons of the same type just by touching them and his shield's built-in Item Crafting and fast-travel functions,) being forced to do these things the long and hard way like any normal person. However, despite this handicap, he actually ends up stronger than the other Four Heroes due to his intense bitterness from being the victim of the aforementioned conspiracy causing him to unlock the Curse Series.
    • It also inverts in that, due to having to learn and do things like a normal person, Naofumi winds up actually being much better equipped to interact with the world, because he’s spent time learning the ins and outs of it, whereas the other three heroes were basically handed everything they needed on a silver platter, and instead focused on leveling up and powering up their weapons. For example, because he didn’t have access to the tools the other heroes had to learn magic easily, Naofumi had to study magical texts instead, which necessitated that he actually learn to read in the world’s language (the heroes’ weapons’ translation ability only applying to spoken language), which resulted in him being able to learn magic the other three were unable to access.
  • The Scapegoat: After being framed, Naofumi becomes this for the King, Malty, and Motoyasu, being blamed for nearly everything bad or wrong that is happening because of things out of his control, only stopping short of the Wave invasions themselves. This gets put to the stop by Mirelia, and his reputation starts to improve.
  • Scratch Damage: Naofumi can only do 1 point of damage when attacking, which means even a weak balloon monster takes minutes to kill.
  • Self-Made Man: The other heroes all receive significant funding and rewards from the King for their deeds which allow them to comfortably afford the best equipment and other luxuries without having to do anything for it, other than just fighting off the Waves. Naofumi's starter money is invalidated by Malty's treachery forcing him to start off with literally just the Legendary Shield and the clothes on his back. He subsequently receives very little in the way of compensation compared to the other heroes at the best of times or nothing at all if the King's court can help it. In order to make a living, he turns to trade, selling monster parts, then later potions, as well as his own services as monster slayer and healer. This helps him improve his reputation little by little and leaves him with a far better understanding of the world than the other heroes. This is illustrated when Motoyasu, at Malty's behest, attempts to introduce an entry and exit tax of fifty silver coins in a village. Naofumi, who actually knows the value of money for the common man, is well aware of how absolutely exorbitant that price is, while the spoiled and arrogant Motoyasu seems to be completely unaware that a night's stay at an inn, complete with food, is a minuscule fraction of that amount.
    • In addition, his skills as a trader, potion maker, and monster slayer eventually grant him and his party enough connections and income that they are able to afford high level equipment and items as well as afford to feed themselves well (especially Filo, who has the largest appetite among them) without needing financial support from the kingdom. Eventually, Naofumi becomes wealthy enough to be able to found his own village.
  • Sense Loss Sadness: He's frustrated when he realizes that he hasn't been able to taste anything since he arrived in Melromarc, ordering the cheapest meals for himself because he can't enjoy them. After Raphtalia manages to help him work through some of his anger and regain his grip on reality, he regains his sense of taste and starts eating with gusto.
  • Ship Tease:
    • The latter half of the web novel has a lot of this going on between him and Raphtalia. The two of them even form a relationship in later volumes of the Light Novels.
    • Episode 7 of the anime has Filo bluntly tell Raphtalia that she intends to make Naofumi her "mate". But this is quickly brushed aside since she simply content to have Naofumi's attention in any capacity, even as his surrogate daughter. Indeed, it sounds like Father, I Want to Marry My Brother rather than something romantic.
  • Slasher Smile: Whenever misfortune happens to those he hates, he naturally let's these out. People comment on it.
  • Sleeps with Everyone but You: In the original epilogue of the Web Novel, Filo laments that "[he] did so many things with everyone, but never with Filo"
  • The Slow Walk: He does one when he gets into an altercation with Itsuki in the Light Novel. Steadily advancing towards Itsuki while shrugging off all the arrows being shot at him.
  • Small Steps Hero: Naofumi is one of four heroes summoned to a fantasy world to fight against a Regularly Scheduled Evil known as the Waves of Catastrophe. However, the weapon he receives, the Shield is considered the most useless of the four, and Naofumi himself is not only disrespected but also accused of things he didn't do. Despite this, during the first Wave of Catastrophe, rather than meeting up with the rest of the Heroes to fight the source of the Wave, he instead chooses to defend a small village from the hordes brought forth by it.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: His ordeal with Malty leaves him deeply bitter and angry at how unfair the fantasy world is to him. He sees the worst in people and pushes everyone away because he's terrified of being abused and betrayed once again. He slowly gets better thanks to the support of people who are truly loyal to him like Raphtalia.
  • Squishy Wizard: When using the Cane, Naofumi's defense drops lower than Ren's. However, it reduces his casting time and most importantly, grants him offensive abilities.
  • Stern Teacher: He has to put Raphtalia through a very rough start in order to get her to the point where she is useful in battle.
  • Stock Light-Novel Hero: Starts out as this, only to become a Subverted Trope when Malty's betrayal completely ruins his life and turns him into the familiar, miserable jerk. The trope slowly starts to become Double Subverted as the series continues, with Naofumi unlocking greater powers, gaining a harem of Love Interests, and proving that he's a better hero than the other "heroes".
  • Stone Wall: Standard as the Hero of the Shield. The Shield gives Naofumi incredible defensive and support powers, but outside of the Wrath Shield, he has only a handful of weak attacks. He is easily the slowest of the Heroes and his party, but he is so durable that despite being lower level then them with gear of lower quality then theirs, he is able to flat out tank most damage with ease. He takes this trope even further after he becomes a god and sacrifices all attack abilities in exchange for a perfect defense.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: He's very cold-hearted, standoffish and ruthless when dealing with people after being exposed to their worst sides. He can still loosen up and smile when he's alone with the few party members he trusts.
  • Super Loser: Because he was chosen as the Hero of the Shield (and because of Malty and the King running his reputation into the ground on the third day, no less), he's seen and treated like this by everybody. It ends up deconstructed as Naofumi ends up doing nothing to deserve the negative reputation as he's the only one of the four actually accomplishing anything positive, something that the civilians of Melromarc end up realizing before long.
    • This reaches it's logical conclusion past the (chronological) Third Wave in the web novel version, where the King thinks so little of him that he's convinced that Naofumi somehow stole power from the other heroes instead of working for it the hard way when he's the one who defeats the boss and fends off Glass. His dismissive behavior is little better in every other version too, as he just flatly demands how he became so strong, barely giving him any acknowledgement regardless and ignoring how his callous attempts to handicap him beforehand would make him decide to bluntly refuse. Fittingly, Naofumi's fed up response is to essentially tell the Entitled Bastard to go fuck himself before leaving no worse for wear.
    • Ironically, Naofumi (and later on, his allies) also give Ren, Itsuki, and Motoyasu the same treatment, and for good reason despite them being (initially) praised by Melromarc.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: The Wrath Shield is Naofumi's strongest weapon, capable of powerful fire magic and deadly finishers like the Iron Maiden and Blutopher (Blood Sacrifice). But drawing on its power runs the risk of Naofumi losing himself to either his own rage or that of the Zombie Dragon, and attacking everything indiscriminately.
  • Support Party Member: He's forced into this role because the Shield Hero only possesses skills that usually act as support such as defense and healing. He needs his party members to fight for him instead.
  • Suppressed Rage: Barely suppressed and constantly simmering, especially until his duel with Motoyasu.
  • Supreme Chef: Everyone loves his cooking - EVERYONE. He was already a decent chef at the start of the series, but the Shield allows him to enhance his cooking even further.
    • Explored more in the cooking-focused spinoff manga, Menu of the Shield Hero
  • Surrounded by Idiots: How Naofumi feels when he's forced to work with the other 3 heroes. He thinks their stubborn refusal to go beyond their RPG knowledge when tackling situations is both incredibly stupid and would most likely get them all killed someday. At one point, he even refers to them as "The Three Cardinal Stooges."
  • Sympathetic Slave Owner: Double Subverted. Initially, Naofumi had no intention of being nice to his slave Raphtalia because his ability to trust and be kind was effectively shattered by Malty's False Rape Accusation, and everybody easily turning against him as a result. With no one to be his offense, being a complete Stone Wall, his only option was buying a slave to be his offense. He was pretty harsh to the girl at first, making her fight against her will. Ironically, it's realizing she has her own trauma and problems that reawaken his humanity, after which this trope fully applies. This in turn leads to him further restoring his sense of trust and kindness when Raphtalia vouches for the real kind person that he is that everyone else says that he isn't. By the time he buys Filo, Naofumi treats his two slave girls more like his daughters and is constantly looking out for their well-being. Though despite his benevolence towards them, he still refers to himself as their Master.
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     Tropes T-Z 
  • Taking the Bullet: The primary method he uses to protect people is standing in front of them and raising his shield. He is the Shield Hero, after all.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Has black hair, is taller than the girls in his team, and is a looker.
  • Taught by Experience: Most, if not all, of Naofumi's skills as the Shield Hero were learned either through experimentation, practice, or self-education (and in the case of the Wrath Shield, entirely by accident). In addition, all his non-combat skills like potion making, trading skills, and item crafting were learned through similar means. All of these skills made Naofumi both the most competent hero during combat and independent enough that he can afford to keep himself and his party (one of which is a filorial with a huge appetite) well taken care of and properly equipped.
  • Team Dad: He is the oldest member of his party that acts as The Leader and a Stern Teacher to his teammates. While he can be rather gruff, he does show enough kindness to his party members to be mostly adored by them. It also helps that he did technically raise several of his party members.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: He hates the other Heroes and they hate him, but he can't go back home unless they finish their mission to stop the Wave Invasions so he's stuck having to cooperate with them. After the trio are humbled by their Spirit Tortoise failure and Curse-Weapon manias, they become much more cooperative and allow Naofumi to be their leader. He in turn is strict with them, but learns to get along with each of them on different levels and grants them asylum in his village.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Played with in that while he becomes much more cynical and ruthless because of his treatment, he still remains relatively moral and tends to claim his more heroic actions are just investments.
  • Think Nothing of It: Defied. Naofumi does not care for personal thanks or kind words for performing heroic deeds. After being driven to cynicism, the only gratitude he holds any stake in is material compensation like money or other things he may need, in large part because he was screwed over and thus had to work to get where he is. The closest he gets to this trope is if the people he's helping cannot at all repay him right away, at which point he makes it clear he'll be returning to get a reward for it and may even demand a slight increase in pay.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: Due to the psychological trauma he received, for a while, he was not only unable to taste the food, but his perception of the world got so twisted he honestly didn't notice that Raphtalia grew up from leveling. When Raphtalia is (briefly) taken from him after the rigged duel against Motoyasu, he is so close to giving into despair, he rationalizes her being taken away from him as her betraying him like Malty did. Once his perception returned to normal after the duel with Motoyasu, for a moment he couldn't even recognize her, having seen her as the little girl he purchased as a result of his sheer anger.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: At the start of the story, Naofumi's friendly, open, and optimistic, even if a little naive. Then along came a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who robbed, framed, and turned an entire kingdom against him. After that, he spends much of the story as a cynical, sadistic young man who believes that the world he is saving is nowhere near worth the pain it puts him through and develops something of an aversion to women. He also becomes very distrusting of others and is more than willing to use and carry out threats in order to get the information he needs.
  • Took a Level in Idealism: After meeting Raphtalia and Filo, he learns to place more trust in other people, that not every woman is a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, and that while this world definitely has its fair share of rotten people, there are some decent folks who want nothing more than to help him however they can. After restoring Raphtalia's village, Naofumi gains his own gathering of wacky but loyal True Companions, and slowly opens his heart to both platonic and romantic love. By the time of the final arc, he resolves to protect the world with everything he has, not out of forced obligation like before, but because he genuinely doesn't want it to fall to ruin.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: At the beginning of the series, he quickly becomes a snarky and pessimistic hero. It's not hard to see why given how Malty betrayed him. However, he's still a good guy at the end of the day.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Something of an In-Universe example. When he first bought Raphtalia, he treated her coldly and ordered her via the slaves brand to do what he wanted, namely fighting, even as she tried and begged not to. However, once he saw that she suffered from nightmares over the death of her parents, he quickly changed to treating her like a real person, no doubt finding she was like him in that way. He did things like let her play like a child would, ordered her good food while he ate plain food, and went out of his way to work on a cure for her illness. It's worth noting that the next time he forces the slave brand, it's not because he is telling her to do something extreme, but instead trying to help her conquer her fears.
  • Too Desperate to Be Picky: Naofumi initially buys the sickly and weak Raphtalia from a slave trader because he needs a way to damage enemies to grow stronger, and she's all he can afford.
  • A True Hero: Naofumi was summoned into another world in order to serve as one of its Four Cardinal Heroes, destined to save the world from catastrophic Waves of Calamity. Three of these heroes fit perfectly into the standard Stock Light-Novel Hero archetype and remark that this new world is similar to an RPG they've played in the past. These three heroes are also worshipped by the populace as demigods and have powerful divine weapons to back it up. Naofumi, on the other hand, is the only one of the four who is unfamiliar with the game in question and is given a very weak shield as his divine weapon. These reasons, as well as various inherent prejudices within the world, make him the target of ridicule and hatred by the people, especially after he is framed for several crimes. This horrific experience turns Naofumi into a bitter, cynical person who commits several acts of questionable morality while trying to make himself strong enough to help fight the waves. However, over time, his struggles and turmoil give him a greater understanding of how the new world works and it turns out that the other heroes haven't been taking their quest seriously because they think they're in a game. In addition, Naofumi's cynical pragmatism lets him see through the lies of many of the story's villains and see the world's bright exterior for what it truly is. In time, several characters remark that of all of the "heroes" summoned, only Naofumi has truly lived up to the title.
  • The Un-Favourite: The Hero of Shield, and Naofumi by extension, is treated as being inferior to the other three Heroes.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: Particularly early on, though he never really grows out of it entirely. Even with Raphtalia it takes him a long time to fully process that he wouldn't be comfortable trading her in for a better slave if the chance presented itself.
  • Unwanted False Faith: The regular people call him "Saint Shield", and the Demi-humans revere him. His new cynical outlook on life makes this a situation he'd rather not have to deal with.
  • Utility Party Member: Naofumi has shades of this. Although he is quite a powerful tank, his Holy Weapon has no attack options. It does however have several Mundane Utility functions (such as the Rope Shield that helps in traversal) and allows Naofumi to craft potions, equipment and alchemical compounds. It also gives XP boosts to the Shield Hero's pets and slaves.
  • Unwanted Harem: Over time, this includes Raphtalia, Filo, Melty, several other Demi-human females, and by the end of the series, is still growing.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: In the anime, It's hinted to be the reason why he calls off Malty and the King's executions at the last moment, opting instead to subject them to a Cruel Mercy in what could be considered a Restrained Revenge.
  • Weapon of Choice: In the anime he tends to default to the Chimera Viper Shield in combat, as it's one of the few shields with a counterattack ability.
  • Weak, but Skilled: He's the lowest leveled Legendary Hero with virtually nonexistent offensive capabilities. He's also the most competent among the heroes because of his more diverse skill set, actual fighting experience, and practical knowledge of things like merchantry and crafting.
    • Also deconstructed since, in-between the inherent prejudice of Melromarc's royalty, the other heroes suffering from a severe case of Wrong Genre Savvy, and his undeserved reputation as a cowardly rapist, this leads to them unfairly choosing to only see the "weak" part of this trope in him, belittling and mocking him for it as The Load of the four Heroes in the process, and refusing to lend him any help or credit no matter how hard he works to make do with what he has, how successful he ends up being for his hard work, or how much the citizens themselves end up acknowledging him as A True Hero for helping them. What's more, it turns out that certain elements of Melromarc wanted Naofumi to remain as weak and helpless as he was, and weren't happy when he managed to prosper under his own power regardless. It takes the Queen essentially brute-forcing the truth out of his two most adamant enemies that he starts getting the proper respect.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Briefly and Justified. Once people thought he was some kind of evil rapist, many shopkeepers refused to service him, nobody would party with him, and he had no equipment. To even be able to fight, he had to threaten shopkeepers to get a fair price, purchase a slave to have someone who could fight, and was forced to be rude to people who wouldn't bother dealing with him. All of this was so that he could protect the world from the Waves. It isn't until he starts to stop seeing the world as just a messed up place that he becomes more traditionally heroic.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back!: When fighting Galeon a 2nd time, all of his anger and negative feelings got transferred out of him, leaving him behaving very similarly to Motoyasu and he even started to flirt with a few of the girls. His party at the time were so used to his anti-social behavior that when this happened, they were both shocked and disgusted.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: The general view on the Hero of the Shield by the other Heroes. The shield is designed for defense and is slanted towards support magic, naturally so to reach its full potential requires at least someone else to swing a sword. As a result, Naofumi excels once he actually has followers.
  • When All You Have is a Hammer…: Due to the Crippling Overspecialization forced upon him by the nature of his shield, Naofumi has had to rely on his party to attack for him. When forced into a situation when he has to face a threat head-on himself, he has proven to be resourceful and creative enough with what little he has to survive the encounter. This is most illustrated in his duel with Motoyasu, nearly winning through creative use of his various Hero Skills (his two-headed dog shield being his only attack-based shield he had at the time) and balloon monsters he keeps with him.
  • When He Smiles: Naofumi is always so cold and guarded that seeing him smile is refreshing for his party members.
  • White Mage: Besides his defensive ability, he has an affinity for support and healing magic, and he fully takes on the role once he's able to read magic books and learn spells. He can also use offensive magic, but the damage he deals is pitiful because of the Shield.
  • Wife Husbandry: He took Raphtalia under his wing when she was still physically a child. While he intended to be a father figure for her, Raphtalia ended up falling in love with him. Although, Naofumi refuses to view her as anything but his adopted daughter, both because he still thinks of her as a child in an adult body and his trauma with Malty left him sour towards romance. Eventually, he gives in to Raphtalia's affections and they marry.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: If it weren't for Filo, this would have occurred when Naofumi used his Wrath Shield for the first time. Very much occurs when he unlocks the new Seven Deadly Sins.
  • The Worf Effect: To defeat the Soul Eater during the Third wave, Naofumi used a new ability called the Iron Maiden. In the literal next episode after getting it, the villain that came after was completely unaffected by it, showing that it could not be relied on entirely.
  • Wrath: His defining attribute, which unlocks his Curse Series Weapon. While he certainly has plenty of reasons to be angry, his willingness to give in completely to his anger and act purely out of revenge is his greatest flaw. At the least, he recognizes this and tries after unlocked his Curse Series Weapon and tries to avoid it.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: During the conference with Mirelia and other three Heroes, Naofumi learns that the Legendary Weapons have several innate skills, including ingredient/material analysis, auto-crafting of items, teleporting to previous locations, and copying weapons. This rather annoys Naofumi since he had to learn all these skills the hard way due to the King and Malty screwing him over near the beginning.
    • He has another twofold reaction in the Web Novel during the Cala Mira arc when the other Heroes ignorantly tell him that they believe that they all have "Divine Protection" preventing them from actually dying. On top of that, they STILL adamantly believe that he is the weakest one of the group and that his strength is nothing but a "cheat" despite the second wave and Three Heroes Church uprising showing otherwise. Itsuki even accuses him of either "meeting God" or being some kind of "Demon King" that he could've killed during the Fugitive Arc. Naofumi tries to spell it out to them that the world they're currently in is very much real, but they refuse to listen and he just comes to the conclusion that they need a harsh dose of reality to get them to take things seriously.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: At first, everyone brushes off Naofumi's insistence that he never even tried to rape the princess. After his name is cleared, Motoyasu desperately tries to pull this against him in the web novel, insisting that Malty is completely innocent and that Naofumi is the evil one despite the monumental amounts of evidence against her. Both Naofumi and the Queen are not impressed.

Tropes from The Reprise of the Spear Hero

In an alternate timeline Motoyasu is sent to, Naofumi is protected by the Spear Hero and travels with him to Siltvelt where he will be safe. Because of not having experienced Malty's betrayal and the cruelty of Melromarc, this Naofumi is much nicer and mostly relies on Motoyasu.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: While already a nice guy, Naofumi became bitter and angry after being accused of raping Malty, though he never let his hate actually affect his kinder actions during this period. He even got better overtime thanks to Raphtalia and the people who genuinely believed in him. In Reprise of the Spear Hero, Naofumi does not undergo a period of hate and mistrust thanks to Motoyasu's actions.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Naofumi may be naive and gentle in this timeline, but he can display some of the nasty traits of his original timeline-self when pissed off. After the demihumans of Siltvelt try to poison Motoyasu's Filorials, Naofumi expresses his anger at the demihumans and warns them that he could make Motoyasu destroy the entire country just by asking.
  • For Want of a Nail: Without Malty's betrayal and with Motoyasu to protect him, Naofumi retains his initial naivety and never becomes the aloof, jaded Anti-Hero of the main timeline.
    • Without his misanthropy or the presence of Raphtalia as his constant companion and foil, his relationships with other characters are all over the map. In one loop of the web novel, he even ends up in a relationship with Sadeena, because Raphtalia isn't there to keep her from acting on her affections. (Raphtalia eventually does show up, becoming a surrogate daughter with a chance at a normal childhood.)
  • Future Me Scares Me: This Naofumi freaks out whenever Motoyasu mentions his alternate self's twisted personality traits and vows he won't become like that.
  • Glad He's on Our Side: He says this about Motoyasu who is both dangerously violent and powerful enough to curb stomp almost any enemy in their way.
  • I Owe You My Life: He feels grateful to Motoyasu because without his great help, Naofumi would have been murdered early in the new timeline.
  • Kid with the Leash: The only reason why Motoyasu doesn't kill everyone in his path is because Naofumi tells him to not do it and Motoyasu can't go against the wishes of his "father-in-law".
  • Nice Guy: Without the trauma that would sour his personality, Naofumi is a perfectly friendly guy.
  • No Guy Wants to Be Chased: As soon as he arrives at Silvelt, Naofumi has countless demihuman girls aggressively trying to get in bed with him all day long. After just a few days, Naofumi comments on how much of a turnoff it is when women won't stop throwing themselves at him.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: When he encounters the very slave traders that attacked Lurolona Village (Raphtalia's and Kiel's home), he captures and sells them into slavery in Siltvelt.
  • Protectorate: Motoyasu does whatever it takes to protect Naofumi from any threat.
  • Stock Light-Novel Hero: As a result of Motoyasu preventing Malty's False Rape Accusation, Naofumi outright becomes this archetype wholesale as a much more typical sort of hero, with all the pratfalls that implies.
 
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Naofumi Iwatani

After dealing with a group of Bandits that attacked them, Naofumi threatens to have them eaten by Filo unless they hand over all their stuff as a "toll".

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

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Main / StealingFromThieves

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