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Characters / The Rising of the Shield Hero - Three Heroes

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The other three heroes of the story, along with their personal allies.

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General Tropes for the Three Cardinal Heroes

     Tropes #-M 
  • 0% Approval Rating: Initially the trio were revered and loved by the citizens of Melromarc while Naofumi had the exact opposite due to Malty and the King's treachery. But over time, their reputations gradually pulled a switcheroo when the other three Heroes carelessly caused more and more problems while Naofumi was forced to fix them himself, and the three experienced this trope once they attempted release the Spirit Tortoise and failed to kill it.
  • Accidental Hero: After revealing their strengthening techniques, they accidentally help Naofumi become stronger.
  • Adaptational Villainy: The anime makes it clear the three heroes think that the world they find themselves in is just a game, but the light novels have a slightly different take on it. They not only assume the world operates on RPG mechanics, but that everyone in it (other than their fellow heroes) are just NPCs and not "real" people. More to that, they're under the impression that if they die they'll just wake up in a hospital and be able to go back to work. When the writing starts to hit the wall that they need to buckle down and really improve, they're convinced that whatever fight they're losing is a Hopeless Boss Fight meant to move the game's story along. Not that this makes their behavior any less idiotic or infuriating, but it does explain the sheer level of carelessness and dismissal they display for the world and people that's depending on them for survival.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Their "strategy" is simply this, as their belief that all it takes for any enemy to go down is to press the offense until the enemy drops because that's how things work in their RPGs. Not only has this failed them repeatedly, but the fact that most real-life RPGs still require a degree of strategy to overcome more challenging enemies shows their abject refusal to think beyond relying on this trope.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: During the Cala Mira arc, they demanded to know how Naofumi had unlocked the Wrath Shield, not realizing that they could use their owns curse variants while blatantly ignoring the side effects of using it. They each end up activating their Curse Series weapons after they become wanted pariahs and going through the same traumatic experiences Naofumi had to deal with and suffered greater consequences for fully giving into its influence.
  • Break the Haughty: Naofumi all but says they require this in order to break free of their gaming stereotypes and realize that the world they're in isn't a game. They do so after the Spirit Tortoise incident, where each of their experiences wind up hitting them with this so hard that they cross the Despair Event Horizon as a result. Unfortunately, they also each awaken their own Curse Series weapons in the process and have to be subdued in order for their Character Development to happen.
  • Can't Catch Up: All three heroes are frustrated that Naofumi, who can't even fight on his own, has surpassed them.
    • It doesn't help that Motoyasu would rather flirt with women, and Itsuki prefers fighting in rebellions than improving their weapons.
    • Ren has it even worse since his refinement method doesn't boost stats like the others do.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The four Cardinal Heroes are designated by the colors of their armor, the gemstones on their Legendary Weapons, and even their eye colors. Ren in blue, Motoyasu is red, Itsuki is yellow note , and Naofumi is green.
  • Commander Contrarian: Because of their built-in biases as gamers and their Horrible Judge of Character, Ren, Itsuki and Motoyasu tend to knee-jerk dismiss Naofumi in almost every instance. No matter what Naofumi does, they refuse to follow his command, see him as the weakest party member despite him beating more enemies than the three combined, and assume he’s a liar and a cheat when they don’t understand how he keeps one-upping them.
  • Creative Sterility: It never occurs to the other heroes that there is more than one potential strengthening method for the legendary weapons or work on their teamwork skills. Since their main strategy is Attack! Attack! Attack! and never attempt to adapt their attack methods, they aren't especially good at creative thinking or adapting to a situation.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: By design, all of the heroes are limited to the weapons that they were chosen to wield, thus cannot use any other weapon and all of them cannot use shields, just as Naofumi cannot use all kinds of weapons.
    • In the case of the Three Heroes, their insistence of not finding more ways to strengthen their weapons apart from the way they are most familiar with note  or learn abilities other than their inherent hero skills limits their abilities more. It comes across as ironic when they comment on Naofumi's advanced shield forms as a result of cheating without realizing that their weapons are capable of the same feats if they took the time to study them.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: They get their asses handed to them with a single move by Glass during the 3rd wave and L'Arc in the 4th wave. Both enemies even point out that they're not living up to their titles as heroes.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: All three of them deconstruct the typical attributes and characterizations a Stock Light-Novel Hero would have by showing how flawed the core aspects of the trope are.
    • Ren deconstructs The Stoic aspect of the trope. Similar to characters like Kirito, Ren is a heroic but overall stoic badass who prefers to let his actions speak over words, and does what he thinks is right because he is a Hero. However, his inability to express his emotions clearly means he leads by simply charging ahead of his allies and fighting so they don't have to. The result is that Ren is very bad at teaming up with people because nobody can understand what he plans or is thinking about, whether it's his own party or with the other Heroes during the waves. His stoic attitude also means when his party is killed, he is so overcome with guilt he falls prey to the Curse Sword because he has no idea how to process it.
    • Motoyasu deconstructs the Harem Seeker and Harem Genre nature of the trope. His party is all filled with girls, he's a flirt who can't help but make passes at beautiful women, and he is loyal to the harem that he forms. The result is that he is an idiot who can't tell he's being strung along by Malty, and believes her words at face value because Power of Trust. When he finally learns how terrible Malty really was, he begins to sink into depression at having been a tool all along, and he finds out the other members of his party hated him and only stuck with him because they could gain fame or power for it. By the end, he's been so hurt by this he is unable to trust a woman ever again.
      • He also deconstructs the Idiot Hero aspect as it is shown that his ignorance of many aspects of the world in favor of playing the part of a courageous and righteous hero leads to him being easily manipulated by his allies, specifically Malty. He also has a hard time understanding that his actions may have consequences, refuses to see reason, and has a hard time believing that some people that he thinks are good may have evil or selfish intentions until it's spelled out to him.
    • Itsuki deconstructs the Humble Hero aspects of the trope. Itsuki is portrayed as a overall humble hero who wants to help those in need from those who abuse their authority. Like Ren, he tends to be pretty heroic and tries his hardest to protect his party. It's revealed however that Itsuki is actually invoking this to make himself more likable to others and is ''much'' more arrogant that he lets on. The result is that he does incredibly silly actions like hold back his power to make the situation more intense so that when he deals the finishing blow, he looks more heroic. He also operates as if he was The Unfettered, meaning he sees his actions as right even when evidence is given to the contrary. This ends up making things worse when he falls prey to the Curse of his Bow and he begins brainwashing people with it, essentially forcing his views onto others and corrupting his party.
  • Destructive Saviour: Considering that; Ren killed a Dragon, whose corpse caused a plague in a nearby village; Motoyasu planted a possessed seed in another village's crops, which later tried to destroy said village; Itsuki committed regicide in a neighboring country, causing a Civil War that brought famine and poverty to the country; and they all directly caused the Spirit Tortoise to be released, which destroyed an entire country. It's safe to say, they do more damage than the monstrous forces they fight.
  • Didn't Think This Through: They never do, due to their belief that they're in some kind of game world that doesn't require any actual thought and tact to solve any challenges. This results in a string of bigger, avoidable problems that Naofumi and his party had to deal with himself, and their obvious ignorance is not lost on the citizenry and even the Corrupt Church that worships them. It isn't until they find themselves in the same situation Naofumi was because of their own incompetence that they finally start to grow out of this.
  • Entitled Bastard:
    • They fully expect Naofumi's cooperation in their often thoughtless actions (ie blindly trusting Malty regarding Melty's "kidnapping" and the fight against Pope Balmus), and act like he's the unreasonable one when he adamantly refuses to, ignoring their track record for terrible decision-making and how dismissing him as a cowardly, treacherous weakling beyond all reason and subsequently treating him like shit might've gave him every reason to want nothing to do with them. Granted they had no choice but to team up since Balmus was gonna kill them all, but still.
    • Because they were insistent that Naofumi had gotten the "loser weapon" of the four, they arrogantly saw him as a lost cause and refused to lift a finger to help him since day one. Come the "Heroes' Meeting" following the fight with Pope Balmus and Naofumi's name getting cleared, they follow the (now former) King Aultclay/Trash's example and outright demand what sort of "cheating" allowed him to succeed while their "expert gamer knowledge" repeatedly failed them, still condescendingly seeing him as the weak one and refusing to believe it involved any hard work.
    • Despite contributing next to nothing during the Fourth Wave (mainly due to their relatively flimsy stats), they still expected to loot the drops of the boss that was actually brought down by the combined efforts of Naofumi and L'Arc. Both don't hesitate to call them out on this, with the latter even calling them weaklings who don't deserve their Hero title outright.
  • Evil Weapon: The Curse Series forms of the Legendary Weapons. Each have different effects depending on the heroes most glaring negative attribute and gives them abilities tied with them. While this can be controlled and eventually utilized by the hero, they still run the risk of dealing massive penalties to the hero's stats and corrupting the hero at worst.
  • Failure Hero: This trope fits the three "Cardinal Heroes" that are Ren, Itsuki, and Motoyasu like a dirty, wet glove. (Though the first two have some redeeming qualities, especially for Ren who is usually able to hear Naofumi out for what he has to say for most of the outrageous claims made against him, but they don't have much going for them to solidify themselves as "True Heroes" like Naofumi does, even with the copious amounts of horseshit he receives from both snobbish Nobles and the Holy Church personnel. ) Throughout many, many, many events their stupidity is on full display for a fair number of people to see, including their own separate party members, showing incompetence after incompetence (one especially digging their graves of dignity after a certain Leeroy Jenkins-fueled event of their own doing) of just how pathetically "shallow" they are.
  • Fallen Hero: All three of them after the Spirit Tortoise Incident. It takes Naofumi to snap them out of it.
    • Ren loses all hope after his party is killed and attacks innocent people and stealing their weapons after he loses his equipment and money. He also loses his ability to accept his mistakes, instead blames his party for being too weak.
    • Motoyasu loses his sanity when his party abandons him and tell him off, followed by Malty further slandering his name. He literally sees women as pigs, unable to understand a single thing they say, and is even more aggressive towards Naofumi for having Filo.
    • Itsuki has his party abandon him as well, which results in him being more egoistical with his Curse series weapon that allows him to brainwash others. When he recovers, he's an Empty Shell with no autonomy and can't make any decisions on his own without someone instructing him to do so.
  • Fatal Flaw: The three heroes have personal flaws that they have themselves and share together.
    • Ren's lack of foresight, insistence on being a loner, as well as his hollow pride in his skills has allowed a rotten dragon's corpse to cause a plague, made him useless in a fight that doesn't require his sword skills, and lead him to help the other two unleash the Spirit Turtle and getting his whole party killed.
    • Motoyasu's is his overinflated ego, trust, idiocy, and his skirt chasing has made him the least popular hero. He insists on trusting everything he's told by anyone who isn't Naofumi only being convinced when he outright realizes he's being lied to, and is too stupid to realize he's some Spoiled Brat's lapdog, and the fact he'd rather flirt with girls than train has made him an annoyance.
    • Itsuki insistence on appearing to be an Ideal Hero has made him incredibly irresponsible, and holding back in fights to seem more heroic, and is so obsessed with waxing faux heroic speeches and phrases that the more people spend around him, the more they find him detestable.
    • And the flaw all of three share is the insistence they are in a game and can beat it in simple RPG fashion, refusing to actually train, or study anything to make them better fighters, ending up as Leeroy Jenkins who the rest of the world see a hindrance. It gets worse when they willingly awaken the Spirit Tortoise just to prove they are better than Naofumi.
  • For Want of a Nail: If the three had incorporated their respective strengthening methods, they'd contribute more, have an easier time keeping up with Naofumi and they might not have awakened the Spirit Tortoise to prove they are better than Naofumi and the previous heroes.
  • Genre Savvy: A minor example, but the three used their gamer knowledge to unlock one strengthening method each. It is disappointing that it never occurred to them that there were more than one strengthening method.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: They definitely believe this, thinking they can coast by with just the inherent strengths of their Legendary Weapons in contrast to Naofumi, who works his and his party's collective butts off to get as strong as they can by using every avenue they could get their hands on to compensate from the lack of royal support or outright obstruction. This ends up harshly averted, as the three are dead set in believing that this trope is in effect against all logical reason. Even when the person they decry as "useless" is the only one of the four who actually gets things done, they merely write it off as "cheating" while ignoring that their "expert gamer knowledge" has led to them underperforming in every major fight they've been in onscreen. After the Spirit Turtle fiasco and getting their psyche's put through the Curse Series wringer, they finally start looking to Naofumi for advice and start to honestly work harder.
  • Headbutting Heroes: At their worst, they're prone to get into petty arguments, and not just with Naofumi.
  • Hero Insurance: Zig-zagged all over the place. All four heroes must live in order to protect the world, and new heroes cannot be summoned until all of the originals are dead, so death as a punishment is out of the question. When they first arrive, King Aultcray showers the heroes (sans Naofumi) with attention and sponsorship, while ignoring how their actions are causing misery in his kingdom. Their misdeeds do not go unnoticed by an irritated Naofumi, the citizens who suffered, and the Queen who was fed-up with their stupidity. When Mirellia tries to limit their freedoms to get them to focus on becoming stronger, they arrogantly release the Spirit Turtle to prove themselves only to get their asses handed to them and used as living batteries by the monster. Despite being treated on release and spared from execution, the Queen immediately orders for their arrests, showing they are absolutely not above the law just because they're "heroes".
  • Heroic Wannabe: All three heroes believe that since they were summoned to be heroes, they don't have to work to live up to the title. The only one who attempts to live up to the title is Ren. Motoyasu only presents himself as a hero for the sole purpose of appealing to the ladies, while Itsuki wants to be seen as the perfect hero so he displays traits and actions that would look heroic to others so he would be praised and thus feed his ego.
  • Hero with an F in Good: Every last one of them are (arguably) well-meaning individuals who want to be "heroes", but have absolutely no idea what actions they would need to take to be one, nor what consequences their mistakes have. Ren is the least egregious, as his Fatal Flaw is understandable. Itsuki is more problematic, as he is far more willing to make selfish decisions and ignore the problems he causes. Motoyasu is the worst of them, as he actively refuses to engage in critical thinking, is unconscionably smug, and frequently acts on his own selfishness and impulses and make up excuses for them. He becomes one of the major obstacles Naofumi faces while believing that he is in the right.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Anybody that blindly listens to someone like Malty or the more clearly shady members of the suspiciously named "Three-Heroes Church" easily qualifies for this trope, and these three are heavily guilty of it. Ren and Itsuki both notably assume the worst of Naofumi even without the former's input, whether it’s unproven accusations or when he supposedly stole credit for their "heroic deeds". Motoyasu not only takes the cake, but greedily hoards it for utterly refusing to think beyond his horribly obtrusive "It's all that Dirty Coward Naofumi's fault!" mindset without needing to have it outright spelled out to him that it isn't the case. Even then, unless it's by the actual bad guys themselves (i.e. Pope Balmus and Malty), the truth will fly right over his head.
    • It's taken to the point of outright deconstruction when Naofumi is framed for kidnapping Melty and "brainwashing" the populace, as they're so deadset on blindly believing Malty and the Church over him that they're actively and repeatedly getting in the way of him trying to keep her safe and sound. No wonder Naofumi is so adamant on avoiding teaming up with them, even when everyone's lives depend on it.
    • Adding to this, their general lack of apology (and even Ren's claims of not being able to trust Naofumi in the manga despite the latter being painfully right about Malty and the Church's treachery), and sometimes even doubling down on their false assessments of others also shows that they don't even see themselves in the wrong for being so easily tricked, or for antagonizing and underestimating the wrong people once the full truth beats them over the head.
  • Hot-Blooded: They're seldom seen considering the long-term consequences of their actions, makes snap judgments, and frequently gets in over their heads because they acts first, thinks second, later, maybe.
  • His Own Worst Enemy: Each hero is very self destructive and sabotaging, especially Motoyasu. They refuse to consider the other heroes have information that could help them and refuse to work with their party members.
  • Hypocrite Has a Point: All of the other three heroes (especially Motoyasu) condemn Naofumi for his actions (such as taking slaves, acting selfishly, and other behavior) despite the fact that each of them are in some way guilty of the same or even worse actions. However, as mentioned to Naofumi by Fitoria...none of that excuses Naofumi's own decisions. For example, though he is unquestionably guilty of even more predatory and sexist behavior, Motoyasu is absolutely right that Naofumi taking young children as slaves is a pretty scummy thing to do. Though the other three heroes are all scumbags in their own right, Naofumi is certainly not doing himself favors with the choices he's made.
  • Idiot Ball: Not a single one of them stop to question their actions or to consider the possible consequences thereof, treating the whole thing as a game rather than a matter of potential life or death.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Legendary Weapons. They provide the chosen wielder the best stats and give access to a diverse set of skills that can be unlocked by any chosen method the hero believes the most effective. Deconstructed, as the other Heroes' complacency in thinking that their respective weapons are already the strongest by default, only requiring high levels, their unique strengthening methods, and little else leads to them, and by extension their owners, not being nearly as strong as they should be. They only make their owners look impressive compared to normal adventurers, and even then, possessing enough battle experience skill can allow you to overpower them as they are. Just ask Eclair and Rishia when Ren and Itsuki were driven crazy from their respective Curse Series weapons and needed to be subdued.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Ren, Motoyasu and Itsuki rely on the RPG logic they've obtained from playing video games instead of actual common sense, resulting in messes that Naofumi is the victim of or ones that he has to clean up. It proves to be another reason why they fail so miserably as heroes. They come up with the dumbest explanations with little to no evidence, refuse think about it until the truth is revealed, and then they contradict their earlier judgements to nurse their bruised egos instead of admitting fault. They try to live in a delusional sense of righteousness until the truth smacks them in the face, and it gets to the point where they're convinced that unleashing a destructive skyscraper-sized monster from imprisonment just to fight it and prove themselves was a good idea. It wasn't.
  • I Reject Your Reality: Deconstructed as one of their chief problems on why they fail so hard as heroes, and any attempt to spell this out to them just causes them to double down.
    • It's mainly in the "I refuse to believe my gamer logic could fail me in any way, regardless of blatant evidence to the contrary" sense, stubbornly seeing their poorly-thought out actions as without any consequence and the one member of theirs who can't properly attack on their own as a useless deadweight specifically because of that one limitation he was able to get around early on.
    • This also goes to their individual flaws, as Ren refuses to be anything but a lone wolf towards everyone including his own party, Itsuki adamantly believes he can do no wrong regardless of evidence to the contrary, and Motoyasu sees every cute girl he meets as a Damsel in Distress as well as Naofumi being the root of all evil regardless of context, reasoning, or even basic logic.
    • After they cause world-wide disaster that destroys their reputations and can no longer deny it, they realize that the world they are in is very real and take steps to rectify their errors.
  • Irony:
    • At the beginning, they get all the respect from Melromarc's Kingdom (mainly the King) just for being heroes who are not the Shield and Naofumi being treated like crap by just being the Shield Hero and Malty's False Rape Accusation. But when confronted by other heroes from another world on the second (Glass) and third wave (L'Arc), they only get the utter disrespect from them and Naofumi is the only one they acknowledged as a hero.
    • They repeatedly accuse Naofumi of breaking the law or instantly believe people who says he's broken it and should be arrested for his "transgressions". In the entirety of the series, Naofumi never breaks any laws as much as he'd like to, while Ren, Motoyasu and Itsuki become wanted criminals for intentionally releasing the Spirit Tortoise, causing mass destructions and thousands of deaths. It's so bad to the point a group of bandits Ren tried to turn in for a reward instead try to turn him in because his bounty is bigger than theirs combined.
    • In a more serious matter, after the Spirit Tortoise incident, each of them fall into circumstances that are the complete opposite of their status when they started. These situations cause them to unlock their respective weapons' Curse Series and drive them into despair and madness. In the end, the one hero who they always refused to help and the people they dismissed as weaklings, end up being the people helping them overcome their respective curses.
    • A downplayed example in the anime, where the three privately mocked Naofumi for becoming a village owner, saying he wasn't going to get stronger or he was ignoring innocents who needed help. Not only did Naofumi continue to grow stronger than the trio and help dozens of homeless demihumans, Ren, Motoyasu and Itsuki settle down in Rock Valley to recover from after their Curse weapon adventures and to make amends with their fellow hero.
  • Lack of Empathy: Due to their belief that any character besides the Cardinal Heroes is an NPC, they aren't near as caring as they should be, especially Itsuki, who kills on a whim.
  • Leader Wannabe: Despite they fact the Cardinal Heroes are assigned to be the leader of their respective parties, none of them are particularly skilled leaders. In addition to the aforementioned poor strategic abilities and arrogance, each hero has traits that make them poor leaders, (Ren is socially distant and stunted, Itsuki is an Attention Whore who will abuse those who don't praise him and Motoyasu is an idiot who is clearly Malty's puppet).
  • The Load: While they managed to defeat the First Wave boss, they have since been unable to contribute much to the Waves anymore.
  • The Millstone: They utterly despise working with Naofumi even after his name is cleared, they can barely form a functional party, and they refuse to learn any actual combat techniques and just let their Hero skills carry them. This leads to them causing roughly half of the problems Naofumi has to solve and becoming a liability in battle when the Waves arrive. However, because the Waves will become exponentially stronger if they don't survive and summoning new Heroes requires all of the current ones to die first, Naofumi can't simply leave them to get killed from their own messes.

     Tropes N-Z 
  • Never My Fault: They refuse to see that their failures stem from the fact that they think everything in the world works like an RPG game from their respective worlds. Whether it’s Naofumi becoming stronger or limiting their own abilities out of ignorance, they fail to see reason and continue blaming Naofumi for everything wrong that happens to them. After numerous failures, notably the Spirit Tortoise incident, they finally mellow out and start from the ground up to become better people.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Deconstructed. Because of their Wrong Genre Savvy biases stemming from their insistence on believing they're in a video game, these three do not have the self-awareness or common sense to register, learn, or even apologize for their many avoidable mistakes (although Ren had the decency to do so only once), leading to them carelessly making, or helping make bigger messes that everyone else has to deal with, especially Naofumi. With the Spirit Turtle incident being the apex of their mistakes considering the monumental collateral damage and sheer death toll, it shouldn't be surprising that everybody winds up despising the three as a result.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Naofumi and company never hesitate to remind the three of their blunders, especially whenever the trio try to act Holier Than Thou and deflect blame off of them. The entire Melromarc Kingdom refuse to let them forget the suffering they caused with the Spirit Turtle incident, and part of their rehabilitation is Naofumi reminding them of their errors to keep them in line.
  • The Poorly Chosen One: As time passed, it became clear that they were not living up to their titles as Legendary Heroes due to their poor track record and competence, with several characters lampshadding this. None of them can accept the fact that the supposed weakest hero (Naofumi) ends up being more competent and heroic than they are. It got to the point that the church that was supposedly worships the Three Heroes elects to brand them as "fake" and attempt to kill them all simply because of their incompetence. Finally, their decision to release a powerful monster just to prove a point and then failing to defeat it causes a disaster of epic proportions, leading to some personal losses and their reputations taking a nosedive.
  • Possession Equals Mastery: Averted. Their legendary weapons grant them the best stats and some basic inherent skills. However their lack of experience wielding actual weapons and different ideas on how to unlock said skills causes them to fall behind experienced fighters. Their reliance on their weapons as they are leads to them not being able to unlock their respective weapons' full potential. When they see Naofumi's more diverse and powerful shield forms, they immediately conclude he must've been cheating.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Part of their problem is their refusal to communicate their game knowledge with each other. If they had shared what they knew, they'd be far stronger than they are, due to each of their methods offering its own unique benefit.
  • Powers via Weapon: Their legendary weapons grant them access to spells and Hero Skills.
  • Pride Before a Fall: Due to King Aultcray spoiling them with patronage and their stubborn videogame ideology, the Three Heroes refuse to consider their actions or realize they're hurting dozens of citizens while living out their Wish Fulfillment escapades note . Then they cause a nationwide catastrophe the form of the Spirit Turtle, resulting in them to losing all their Royal sponsorship, party members, becoming social pariahs, and unlock their Curse Weapons only to suffer from long-term psychological side effects. By the time their beaten down by Naofumi and his team, the trio is thoroughly humbled and have to start from the ground up with varying degrees of success.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Completely deconstructed. They all stubbornly cling to their native culture's sense of right and wrong, unless it personally benefits them (Motoyasu's blind skirt-chasing, Itsuki's self-righteous spiel and Never My Fault attitude, and Ren's insistence on doing things solo), happily ignoring all empirical evidence that the world they've been summoned to, the country of Melromarc in particular, just doesn't operate the way their native cultures do. An example is the fact that in the country, slavery is legal and accepted, but they constantly kick Naofumi while he's down for adapting to the situation he's in and taking advantage of the slave system. Because they just constantly insist on being "right" rather than being correct, they remain an unmitigated disaster until reality itself gets even with them, hitting them over the head with a clue-by-four until it breaks and holding them responsible for all their nastiness, while Naofumi prospers and becomes the only real hero of the Four.
  • Signature Move: In the anime, all three of them favor the "Meteor" attacks, powerful long-ranged abilities. "Meteor Slash", "Meteor Thrust", and "Meteor Shot" for Ren, Motoyasu, and Itsuki respectively.
  • Super Zeroes: Ren, Motoyasu and Itsuki have an easier path than Naofumi from the start, with the King's patronage and the three offensive Legendary weapons. But because the three so stubbornly cling to their RPG mindsets and refuse to actually train and grow stronger beyond leveling up, they are hilariously incompetent heroes who create way more messes than they fix. It becomes more noticeable in the following waves where they can’t even put a scratch on their enemies, get their asses kicked with a single move by an opponent (thrice), and are so in denial about their weaknesses that they’d rather accuse Naofumi of cheating or brainwashing others. Glass and L’Arc tell them point-blank they’re sorry excuses for heroes and only see Naofumi as an actual challenge. It takes reality itself hitting the three with a brutal Heel Realization following the Spirit Tortoise incident to wise up and finally take things seriously.
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: Inverted. They essentially see themselves as superior to Naofumi in every way regardless of their crappy track record or combat performance. Whenever they're called out on it, they delude themselves into thinking that nothing else is wrong and that Naofumi is somehow cheating simply because his competency heavily outstrips their adamantly negative opinion of him. This only changes when reality itself has to beat them over the head with the harsh fact of why Naofumi is better than them, and they promptly follow his lead.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Whenever they have to work together, they spend most of the time trying to one-up each other instead of coordinating with each other and fighting as a team. Also, they still refuse to work with Naofumi even after his name is cleared and repeatedly proves to be more competent than they are simply because they still think he's the weakest Legendary Hero.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Naofumi tells them that their RPG mindset is really detrimental to both themselves and to everyone around them, and that this mindset is causing more problems than it solves because the world doesn't just sort itself out once they've completed their quests and their thoughtless actions have very real consequences, something that annoys Naofumi because he ended up as the one to clean up after the other heroes' messes. They don't really take his words to heart until the Spirit Tortoise Incident which leads to each of them experiencing the consequences of their actions first hand.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Hoo boy do these three go through the mill because of their egos. After they're soundly beaten in every wave they're in, losing the Queen's favor to Naofumi, and being humiliated for their sub-par fighting skills, they arrogantly try to prove their superiority by fighting a monster. Except they decide their best opponent would be a ginormous, sealed monstrosity feared by the past Heroes, only to be beaten to a pulp and used as living batteries by it and a rogue Vassal Hero. By the time they recover, they lose all of their money and teammates, are screwed over by Malty/Bitch, and are left with nothing. This despair allows them to meet the criteria to unlock Curse Weapons, only for it to damage their minds even further because they completely give in to it's toxic influence. The trauma leaves Ren and Itsuki anxious and emotionless wrecks respectively and leaves Motoyasu permanently insane. You can't help but feel a little sorry for all the humiliations they went through, even if it was by their own mistakes.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: After dealing with the fallouts of their reckless Spirit Tortoise stunt and being snapped out of their Curse weapons, they all become much better people, though the change of heart varies between each hero.
    • Ren loses his loner habits and apologizes to Eclair, training with her to become a more skilled and cooperative hero. He also works to make amends with Wyndia and defends Naofumi from the brainwashed Itsuki's false ranting.
    • Motoyasu is driven insane and never fully recovers, but he finds happiness in raising Filolial kings and queens, becoming more fatherly and compassionate in the process.
    • Itsuki takes a while because his curse removes his emotion and free will, but once he heals he reconciles with Rishia and eventually becomes a genuinely Humble Hero without arrogantly enforcing the image.
    • All three of them are grateful to Naofumi for helping them in their Darkest Hour and being allowed permanent residence in his village. They come to respect him as their superior, following him as the leader of the Heroes during the Wave battles and other skirmishes.
  • Underestimating Badassery: They are all guilty of underestimating Naofumi, since he is the Shield Hero and how useful a tank is.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: As the chosen Legendary Heroes, they are immediately on a level above normal warriors in terms of strength. They also have no problems gaining levels because unlike Naofumi, they have offensive capabilities. However, this end up deconstructed when they only rely on the default strengths afforded by their Legendary Weapons, fully convinced that they didn't need to develop actual fighting skills like tactics or leadership. They don’t bother to experiment and discover what their weapons are actually capable of, while Naofumi did so to get by the forced level restriction. While they are leagues above the latter in terms of level and in theory can defeat him in a straight fight, they often under perform during important battles because of their lack of skills, and as a result are barely stronger than the average adventurer. Especially proven for Ren and Itsuki when they unlock their Curse Series weapons and in their madness try to kill Eclair and Rishia respectively, they get absolutely schooled by their respective opponents due to a lack of skill and sanity despite the boost in raw power.
    • Motoyasu is another blatant example of this, as he needed Malty's underhanded help to win against Naofumi in an otherwise fair duel despite the latter being twenty levels lower and stuck with a "weapon" that restricts his offensive ability. Much later on when Naofumi and his party is forced to go on the run because of another false accusation, Motoyasu's party gets utterly curbstomped despite the latter's being cornered in an inescapable forcefield and their levels being stuck at forty due to the King's own unfairly enforced handicaps.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Like Naofumi, they've all been manipulated by Malty at least once.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Each of the heroes try to fix problems around Melromarc. But because their short-sightedness and refusal to believe that the people and the world are truly real, they create more disasters that harm or outright kill innocent civilians in the process. All of this causes the Church of the Three Heroes to betray them and try to stage a coup to take over just because of the trio's sheer incompetence. And not learning from that debacle whatsoever, they then intentionally unsealed the Spirit Turtle to try to prove they're worthy heroes after all these screw-ups, which led to mass devastation, their prompt defeats and their reputations destroyed (with Ren's party wiped out to boot). After a certain point, Naofumi and the rest of the cast start considering the idea that wherever the three go, hell's going to follow.
  • Useless Without Powers: Due to being Unskilled, but Strong and invoking Crippling Overspecialization, each of the heroes (Ren in particular on display the most) are subpar fighters when they cannot use any of the special skills and spells.
  • Wake-Up Call: The other three summoned heroes besides Naofumi were less than great at their jobs, often causing as much if not more trouble than they solve due to their belief it was all just a game. It was not until after the Spirit Tortoise incident, where they suffered personal losses and their reputations were destroyed they realize that the world they're in is not a game and that their actions have very real consequences.
  • Wants a Prize for Basic Decency: The moment they arrive, they began demanding rewards and respect, threatening that if they didn't get that, they'd go from allies to enemies. Naofumi's creeped out be how smug they were being at the time.
  • Worf Barrage: Frequently when the three heroes fire their "Meteor" attacks at a single target, that target will be largely unharmed to show just how powerful they are compared to the group.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy:
    • All of them assume that they are in a video game world where they can breeze through by growing in strength and completing quests like they normally would and everyone around them are non-playable characters. This reckless mindset, taken to the point of borderline delusion in Itsuki and Motoyasu's cases, ends up harshly deconstructed to the point where Naofumi ends up spelling it out to them that no; they are not in a video game world despite it running partly on RPG mechanics. The world they are in is very real and their reckless actions had serious consequences that he ended up fixing. Even after the incident with the corrupt Pope, they end up ignorantly retaining this mindset until they collectively screw up so badly that the entire country ends up seeing each one of them as a Lethally Stupid Super Zero and becoming wanted criminals, and even then they had to have the sense literally beaten into them for it to be finally driven home that their attitude needs to change.
    • On a lesser note, this also goes with how they're strengthening their weapons, as they believe that how to do so is based on the games they played in their respective worlds. They also think that only their way is the correct way at first, but it takes Naofumi experimenting with his Legendary Shield to realize that they're ALL right, and that there are actually multiple ways of doing so as long as you believe that it will work.


The Sword, Spear and Bow Heroes

    Ren Amaki/Hero of the Sword 

Ren Amaki

Voiced by: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (Japanese), Alan Lee (English)

A 16-year-old high school student summoned to be the Hero of the Sword. Due to preferring solo play in MMOs he is poor at teamwork and his party suffers from poor leadership. He tends to act without thinking things through but is quick to accept and try to atone for his mistakes. During the Spirit Tortoise incident, his party is killed and later becomes the first Hero to align with Naofumi.

  • The Atoner: After the Spirit Tortoise fiasco and his subsequent fall to the Cursed version of his sword, Ren dedicates himself to making amends for his past mistakes. He is particularly driven to make amends to Wyndia since he killed the dragon that was her foster father.
  • Benevolent Boss: Compared to Itsuki and Motoyasu he is anyway.
  • Blue Is Heroic: He has a blue color scheme and is the most noble Cardinal Hero after Naofumi.
  • Can't Catch Up: He's the only Legendary Hero whose unique refinement method doesn't boost his stats. Due to the very slow skill release time of the Sword, he's also put off stacking stat bonuses from mastering weaker weapons like Naofumi did with his Shield. By the time of the Spirit Tortoise incident, he goes from the strongest Legendary Hero as described by Naofumi to the weakest of the four, despite his very high level. Taken even further after he suffers the side effects of his Curse series, with horrible EXP gain and bad luck, and can't even pick up precious metals to power up his sword. With enough training from Eclair and the curse gradually fading away, he eventually returns to his original strength with improved skills to match.
  • Casting Gag: Being an Expy of Kirito, it's only fitting for him to be voiced by Kirito's voice actor himself.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: His refinement method solely focuses on weapon mastery but he never uses any sword other than his Legendary Weapon. Therefore, his skill set is limited to the entirety of the Sword's skills and not much else. A lack of actual sword skills because of over-reliance to the Sword's inherent skills and abilities makes Ren easy to defeat by experienced fighters when all these advantages get taken away.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: He has black as his color motif and is a Token Good Teammate with the cursed weapon set.
  • Despair Event Horizon: His entire party was wiped out by the Spirit Tortoise. Just to add insult to injury, he becomes Bitch's next victim after she abandons Motoyasu and she runs off with all his valuables.
  • Dramatic Irony: Despite having a party devoted to him, Ren insists on doing things by himself and even told his party members up front that he has no problems leaving them behind if they're not strong enough or go level up on their own. What unlocks his Curse Series weapon is not a glaring character flaw that he has but the despair of losing his entire party during the Spirit Tortoise incident.
  • Everyone Has Standards: While he does go along with the assumption that Naofumi raped Malty, he draws the line at how the King and Malty seem to be doing their damnedest to screw him over every chance they get. Whenever the King unfairly does something to Naofumi, he doesn't hesitate to call him out on it. Also, he is the only one of the three who doesn't immediately blame Naofumi for their problems, even going so far to call out Itsuki over something that Naofumi wouldn't have a reason to do.
  • Expy: Ren is a Deconstructive Parody of Kirito from Sword Art Online, being a sword-wielding hero who has No Social Skills, prefers soloing, is stoic and serious, dresses in black, and played a VRMMO called "Brave Star Online". He's even voiced by Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Kirito's Japanese voice actor.
  • Finishing Move: Like Naofumi and Itsuki, Ren unlocks a torture/execution-themed finisher with his curse series in the form of a guillotine. Taking it further, he was also shown to form a golem made of his pilfered riches and make an area rot into a barren wasteland, tying into the penalties from using such a power.
  • Fragile Speedster: Ren is the fastest of the Legendary Heroes. His defense stat is also the lowest of the four, but is still higher than that of a Seven Star Hero's.
  • The Hero: What he along with 3 others were summoned to be.
  • Heroic Wannabe: Like Itsuki and Motoyasu, Ren doesn't really need to work to be recognized as a hero because he is the chosen Hero of the Sword. What sets him apart from the two is the fact that he actually tries to live up to his title. It's just that his shortsightedness and stubborn adherence to RPG tropes that he fails to become the heroic figure he strives to be. In fact, when Naofumi calls him out on what happened after his dragon-slaying quest, he immediately tries to rectify the situation by going back and killing the dragon-zombie and only stops when Naofumi says he already cleaned Ren's mess. He also doesn't justify his mistakes when Naofumi calls him out on them, and apologizes for them, clearly ashamed of what his actions resulted in.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Invoked since he is the Hero of the Sword, and played straight since, aside from Naofumi, he, the sword wielder, is the most heroic and the Token Good Teammate of the summoned heroes.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: How he died to be reincarnated. Ren died protecting his childhood friend from a murderer on a killing spree.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Ren eventually falls for Eclair, who outright states that she's not interested in romance and that Ren isn't her type when Naofumi asks her. It eventually proves to not be so hopeless in chapter 377.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Not as bad as Motoysu and Itsuki, but he appears to be unable to realize the negative effect they have on him.
  • Make Them Rot: While it's not a power Ren directly possesses, he gains an uncontrollable form as a price for using the Gluttony Sword. For a while he cannot pick up any sort of precious metal or jewel because it simply rots away in his hand. This becomes a problem for his training and rehabilitation after losing his weapons and levels from the Greed curse. Ren is so worried about this that he refuses to carry Gaelion's egg in fear he'll kill the dragon before it hatches.
  • Mr. Vice Guy:
    • Solitude. While he is in a team, Ren prefers to order his teammate to fight by themselves while he trains solo. Naofumi compares him to the guys who play MMO alone and have high pride in their abilities, which also makes them unable to work well with others.
    • Greed: One half of his Curse Series, with gluttony as the other. Using the Greed Sword makes him into little more than a bandit attacking others for their equipment.
    • Pride: While usually not as bad as Motoyasu and Itsuki, he refuses to study, work on his swordsmanship and incorporate other strengthening methods, even though his method works best when combined with another.
  • Never My Fault: Rather than take responsibility for his party being killed, he blames them for being too weak. He gets better after Naofumi and Eclair set him straight.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • He killed a dragon, but he didn't dispose of the corpse resulting in pollution of the local ecosystem. Then it became a zombie dragon.
    • To say nothing of the fact that said dragon was the foster father of a young girl who ended up enslaved by the very people who charged Ren with the dragon-slaying quest in the first place.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • He and Itsuki come up to Naofumi's defense when he lost against Motoyasu in a duel due to Malty attacking him in the back. And when King Aultclay attempts to refuse payment for Naofumi, he points out Naofumi's efforts in defending the village while he, Motoyasu and Itsuki were fighting the monsters and thus deserves something out of it.
    • He also thanks Naofumi for treating the plague his dragon-slaying caused, mortified at his own carelessness. He even lightly calls out Itsuki for accusing Naofumi of stealing their jobs, pointing out that Naofumi would have no reason to do so.
  • Sore Loser: In the manga. In a duel between Eclair and himself where hero skills and magic were prohibited, he used a hero skill after being downed by a single parry. He then condescendingly tells Eclair that she would have been obliterated if he had gone all out.
  • Super Drowning Skills: He's completely helpless while underwater. He even struggles at a 4-feet dive and almost drowns, when he could just stand up.
  • Survivor's Guilt: After his team is killed, he feels incredible guilt for their deaths and went into denial.
  • Token Good Teammate: Of the other 3 Heroes. He lacks Motoyasu's lecherousness and Itsuki's overweening arrogance and megalomania. While Ren does have his flaws, he is the one who consistently at least gives Naofumi the chance to explain himself and does not exploit his party members. Whenever the group gangs up on Naofumi, he usually is the only one who offers any sort of sympathy to him and defend him in some way. Even how he originally died speaks to having heroic impulses.
    • Unlike the other two Heroes, he also genuinely cares about his mistakes and tries to take responsibility for them, such as when he tries to run off to get rid of the Zombie Dragon before Naofumi tells him he's already taken care of it. Right before battling the Pope of the Church of the Three Heroes, when Naofumi calls out all three for how Wrong Genre Savvy they are, he is the only one who doesn't argue against what Naofumi said, knowing Naofumi is correct and that he did make a bad choice that hurt people.
    • He unlocks the Cursed Series weapons because of the guilt of getting his party killed, rather than personal flaws like Itsuki's arrogance and Motoyasu's lust. He's also the easiest of the three Heroes to reason with and turn over by Naofumi.
    • Even Naofumi realizes, to his own shock, when Eclair questions if he hated Ren enough to kill him after the latter unlocked his Cursed Series, that aside from not standing up for him after Malty's betrayal, he didn't have as much of a reason to hate, much less kill Ren when compared to the other heroes.
    • This even extends to his own party; While Motoyasu's team consists of nothing but gold diggers, and well... Malty/Bitch, and Itsuki's team is belligerent to anyone who isn't him, Ren's companions are notably friendly and cooperative while training with Naofumi during the Cal Mira Arc, with his only real complaint being that none of them stand out to him in particular. He even considered offering to recruit them but chose not to because he realized they were too devoted to Ren.
    • His Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! moment is the only one born of bad circumstance rather than poor foresight like the other two. He was investigating and got attacked by the dragon, killing it in self-defense. What followed was not anything he could have predicted but would have dealt with had he been aware of it.
    • When Naofumi is, again, accused of kidnapping and brainwashing Princess Melty, he briefly considers handing Melty over when Ren gives his word that he will ensure her safety, implying that Naofumi finds Ren a bit more trustworthy than Itsuki and certainly a lot more trustworthy than Motoyasu.
  • Total Party Kill: His entire party is wiped out by the Spirit Tortoise, sending him into a deep depression.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Despite his flaws, Ren is the most heroic and repentent out of trio when he is with/being called out by Naofumi. Whenever he's with Motoyasu and Itsuki, their presence encourages the worst of Ren's and he becomes as arrogant and blind to his faults as the other two are naturally.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Along with Itsuki, he calls out Motoyasu for his attitude following his duel with Naofumi, pointing out that he lost, and that Motoyasu has no right to act the way he is. He also calls him out later for how he let Malty walk all over him and tell him what to do, letting her easily set up situations that she could abuse.
    • He himself gets called out by Naofumi for blaming the deaths of his party members on them for being so weak. In reality, Ren went way over his head trying to release the Spirit Turtle with Itsuki and Motoyasu in desperation to prove they're all better than Naofumi. Naofumi outright says Ren doesn't deserve to be considered a hero for his Never My Fault attitude.

    Motoyasu Kitamura/Hero of the Spear 

Motoyasu Kitamura

Voiced by: Makoto Takahashi (Japanese), Xander Mobus (English)

A 21-year-old University Student summoned to be the Hero of the Spear. He is extremely popular with women and views it as his duty to protect them and show off his cool side. As he immediately believes anything Malty tells him, he's often put in conflict with Naofumi. After the Spirit Tortoise incident, his party abandons him and Motoyasu becomes the second Hero to align with Naofumi.

  • Abhorrent Admirer: He falls madly in love with Filo, who hates him because of his annoying personality and gives him the Groin Attack regularly.
  • Adaptational Villainy: A minor case. In both the anime and the light novel, Motoyasu tried his utmost to murder Naofumi after thinking he was responsible for killing Itsuki and Ren. There's a subtle difference between the two that wasn't mentioned; Motoyasu is convinced that if any of the heroes die in this world it won't be permanent and they'll simply wake up in their original worlds. Naofumi is still pretty rightfully pissed about this (Motoyasu's belief that this will happen is a random assumption based on nothing), but at least in the Light Novel he didn't think he was genuinely going to kill a man.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: On the receiving end by Raphtalia. After winning his duel with Naofumi (by way of Malty's cheating), he has Raphtalia freed, only for her to call him out on his actions. When he tries to argue that slavery is abhorrent and therefore makes Naofumi worse as a person, Raphtalia asks if he is capable of helping slaves like her the same way Naofumi did. Her question completely causes his arguments to fall apart, as he realizes that he is ignoring the slaves he isn't trying to defend from Naofumi, and from that moment, he doesn't say anything until the next time Naofumi sees him.
  • Bad Boss: While not an abuser like Itsuki, he often turns a blind eye to Malty's and Lesty's bullying of his other party members.
  • Battle Harem: Motoyasu invokes this trope as he only allows women to join his party. However, this is also a subversion as, while they have some battle capabilities, his party serves more like his personal cheerleading squad with Malty/Myne serving as the head cheerleader. They do not hesitate to abandon him during the Spirit Tortoise incident and Motoyasu later learns that all his party members hated him and used his status as a Legendary Hero to get some perks such as money or prestige. In Malty's case, Motoyasu served more or less as her personal attack dog until he loses his usefulness and drops him as easily as she drops trash.
  • The Beastmaster: After his mental breakdown, he discovers a talent for raising Filolials.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: After Bitch finally betrays him, Motoyasu hits rock bottom and suffers a complete mental breakdown. The only one who tries to cheer him up at his lowest point is Filo, which causes Motoyasu to become utterly obsessed with her while he can only see other women as pigs now.
  • Bishōnen: He is the most handsome of the Heroes and Malty's favorite, although this is very likely less because of his looks and more because he is such an absolute moron she can play him like a fiddle.
  • Book Dumb: Despite being a university student, Motoyasu doesn't seem particularly bright.
  • Broken Ace: Naofumi repeatedly acknowledges him the strongest Hero and eventually, his most powerful ally, partially thanks to him incorporating the different refinement methods. Thanks to how the Spear works, he has access to both normal spears for close range and throwing spears for long-range. He also learns powerful offensive magic like Brionac and Judgement. The Spear also unlocks passive skills much quicker than the Sword, though not as quickly as the Shield, making him a Jack-of-All-Stats whose stats skyrocket past Naofumi's in a short time. Once the curse of Lust effectively seals his womanizing tendencies, he shows high academic aptitude and talents like making magical clothing and raising Filolials. All this just came at the cost of Motoyasu getting screwed over by Bitch's manipulations and losing his sanity in the process.
  • The Bully: This is what his "duel" with Naofumi amounted to. He full well knew Naofumi should not be able to win, and when he starts winning anyways Motoyasu immediately starts whining that he's not playing fair, which is tantamount to letting him win.
  • Casanova Wannabe: All of his party members are girls, partly due to him kicking out the guys. He was this even before arriving and got killed as a result of attracting two yandere at the same time.
  • The Chew Toy: Everyone in Naofumi's group gets a piece of him. Filo gets a special mention as her crotch kicking him is a Running Gag. There's also him getting his ass kicked by Naofumi in a forced duel that Malty had to cheat for in order for him to win, all the times Filo kicked him in the groin, losing a race despite Malty's cheating, being completely ineffectual against the Soul Eater and getting curbstomped by Glass along with the other heroes, getting decked in the face by Filo in her human form, getting curbstomped again by Naofumi and his party, among other things.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Motoyasu's Legendary Spear is great for going against mid-range enemies; because of his lack of skill, it's not so good when the enemy gets up close and personal.
  • Death by Woman Scorned: He was killed by two Yandere who wanted him to choose one of them as his girlfriend. When he tried to remain close friends with both, they started arguing over who would go to heaven with him while stabbing him to death.
  • Despair Event Horizon: After the Spirit Tortoise incident and Malty's betrayal, Motoyasu falls into a deep depression after being abandoned and shunned. Rather than emerge from his despair a better person, he suffers a psychotic break and goes completely insane. He does get better in a way, but in the "his sanity and Harem Seeker tendencies were traded in for much higher competence" sense.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: After he unlocks the Lust Spear IV, the tip of his spear becomes a rather... dubious shape. Humorously enough, only women can see it in its true state while men like Naofumi can only see a mosaic. Thankfully, it is only like that when the curse is active.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Whenever he thinks there's a pretty girl in trouble, Motoyasu feels the urge to rescue her. This is very annoying for the girls who explicitly don't want his help such as Raphtalia and Filo, especially because Motoyasu keeps unfairly accusing their master Naofumi of abusing them.
  • Dumb Blond: He's the only blond summoned hero and coincidentally, the dumbest of the four.
  • Dumb Jock: Overlaps with Dumb Muscle considering what he actually amounted to in regards to Malty. This is Motoyasu's personality and character in a nutshell. His behavior in the first half amounts to flaunting his raw strength and waving his "spear" around in an attempt to impress the ladies, and bullying the "whiny loser" (Naofumi) in an attempt to establish his presumed superiority. But the joke's on him since Naofumi not only manages to accomplish way more than he ever did by actually bothering to use his head and take the situation seriously, but his "harem" also ditches him after the Spirit Tortoise incident he helped cause.
  • Entitled to Have You: Part of the reason Motoyasu from tries to free Naofumi's demi slaves (even though Melromarc is such a racist hellhole for demis that Naofumi's slaves are actually better off under his physical and legal protection as slaves rather than being free with no rights whatsoever) is that he's creepily obsessed with one of them, Filo, and has convinced himself that if he frees her, she'll have to join his party out of gratitude. This is made even creepier by the fact that Filo is a small child, leading to Naofumi accusing him of being a pedophile.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first "duel" with Naofumi. Everything you need to know about Motoyasu is in full display: his Dumb Jock tendencies by challenging Naofumi to a one-on-one fight, his cocky attitude going into the duel, and his selfish whining when he starts losing.
  • Failed a Spot Check: He heard Rino's screams after she had been Made a Slave, but assumes it's a prostitute fulfilling someone's fantasy.
  • Fashion Designer: He demonstrates an impressive skill for tailoring and designs fancy clothes for the humanoid forms of his Filolials.
  • Foil: Of all the three heroes, he is the best one to Naofumi. Whereas Naofumi uses his head, Motoyasu is a Dumb Jock. Naofumi establishes bonds of trust, Motoyasu gets betrayed by all of the women in his life. Naofumi accomplishes all of his goals, Motoyasu gets left in the dust. He is The Casanova while Naofumi's the Clueless Chick Magnet. He focuses purely on offense while Naofumi focuses on defense but sometimes also counterattacks.
    • They have been both betrayed by Malty/Myne/Bitch but walked on different roads after. Naofumi mostly recovered and later regained his ability to trust others (especially women) and also accepted his harem in the end of the WN while Motoyasu recovered less and completely lost his trust with women with the exception of Filo and Fitoria and thus, can't form a harem anymore.
  • Glass Cannon: He has high attack stats, at the cost of low defense stats. This is why balloons, the weakest monsters in the series, can hurt him despite his high level.
  • Handsome Lech: Motoyasu is used by Naofumi as the standard by which men's attractiveness is rated, with many being described as "good looking, but not on Motoyasu's level." He squanders this by turning off any girl he might like with his shameless perversion.
  • Harem Seeker: Malty gets rid of his male followers and only recruits females, purely for the sake of being pretty freeloaders. Motoyasu is pleased with this so long as he can show off and seduce them.
  • Hate Sink: He's arrogant, self-important, completely oblivious, a complete hypocrite, and he tries to sexually assault a child. Very few felt sorry for him when he's finally betrayed by Malty and the rest of his party.
  • The Hedonist: At the end of the day, he would rather take advantage of his position as a Cardinal hero, and the Royal Favorite at that, to seduce and fool around with women than actually do his job or get stronger. This is one of the reasons Naofumi, who is constantly working to get stronger, surpassed him.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: After Malty shows him her true colors and abandons him, Motoyasu is only able to see women as disgusting pigs. The exceptions are Filo, the girls who are friends with Filo and Filolial Queens.
  • Heroic Wannabe: Like Itsuki and Ren, Motoyasu doesn't need to strive for recognition because he is the chosen Hero of the Spear. However, he only presents himself as a hero for the sole purpose of appealing to the ladies. The fact that he's too thick-headed to realize he's being used by Malty simply reinforces the fact that while he may try to present himself as a righteous hero, he is anything but one.
  • Heroes Prefer Redheads: A deconstructed example. His main party members are all red heads, but besides Elena, none of them care about Motoyasu at all.
  • Hopeless Suitor: He's instantly smitten with Filo and after he loses his sanity, he becomes obsessively in love with her. However, Filo feels nothing but disdain and annoyance for him.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: He always takes what Malty says at face value without confirmation of any kind (although this extends to pretty much any lovely lady he travels with). He then goes on to take this as an irrefutable fact, and refuses to back down when given evidence to the contrary.
    • In the web novel, when he's shown proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Malty's accusations regarding Naofumi are completely false, and the armor he got from Malty was stolen from Naofumi, he still believes Malty is an innocent victim and her punishment, though unbelievably lenient, is undeserved.
    • In the manga, he lets himself believe that Naofumi killed Ren and Itsuki, despite this being physical impossible.
    • It really says something that the only time he realizes he's being used is when the people who lied to him outright spell it out.
      • Motoyasu, as explained above, stubbornly refused to believe that Naofumi didn't kill Ren and Itsuki until Pope Balamus himself said that he lied about the Shield Hero's actions.
      • Motoyasu had blind faith in his party members until one of them bluntly tell him she actually hates him and only stayed by his side for fame and glory.
      • The biggest wake-up call however has to be when Motoyasu finally discovers that yes, Malty had deceived and used him, and all the horrible stuff he heard about her is true, when she lies to Ren that he sexually assaulted her and abandons him for Ren in front of his face.
  • Humiliation Conga: His party abandons him to the Spirit Tortoise with the expectation he'll die, he's captured by Kyo and used to power the tortoise, comes out of a coma weeks later to find the country now resents him as a failure who made the tortoise disaster worse than it already was, and spends weeks trying to maintain a low profile while searching for his party during which people threw stones at him. Upon tracking down the girls who used to support him and thinking he's about to turn his luck around, the first girl tells him off and admits that she can't stand him at all and was only mooching off of him the entire time. Witch then adds icing to the cake by not only flaunting that she's leaving him for Ren, but making up multiple stories for Ren about ways that Motoyasu threatened and sexually abused her, all while Motoyasu pleads for her to stop lying and tries to convey how worried he was about her. Motoyasu's subsequent suicidal depression leads to him breaking mentally at the first actual gesture of kindness he's shown, causing him to go completely insane.
  • Hypocrite:
    • He accuses Naofumi of cheating to win the races and duels he initiates, when in fact Naofumi played fair and it was Motoyasu's party that interfered. This is on top of the fact that Motoyasu, being over twice Naofumi's level and endowed with a weapon actually useful for attacking, forced a support character to a one-on-one duel, one he full well knew should be a Hopeless Boss Fight for the Shield Hero. As soon as Naofumi showed himself to be Weak, but Skilled, Motoyasu starts whining that he's "not fighting like a man". Apparently, a duel is only fair if Motoyasu is winning it.
    • Motoyasu repeatedly accuses Naofumi of mistreating the female members of his party, yet it is clear that he has little respect for women viewing them as unfit for battle and prizes to be won.
    • His hypocrisy reaches a phone-smashing extreme in-universe and out in the manga when he finally realizes that the Three Heroes Church is evil by virtue of it's ringleader spelling it out to him. He immediately requests Naofumi's help, who is understandably miffed since the former just tried to kill him earlier, but then his annoyance turns into outright anger when Motoyasu tries to justify their team-up by saying, "You don't want to die with a crime you didn't commit tarnishing your name, do you!?", when he stupidly went along with the False Rape Accusation against him, along with the kidnapping frame-up and blindly going along with the claims that he brainwashes people and had killed Ren and Itsuki despite Malty's increasingly obvious bullshit showing itself. This, along with Ren and Itsuki seemingly dying, convinces Naofumi that Motoyasu is just not worth saving on account of his Lethally Stupid behavior and prepares to simply let him get killed.
  • Idiot Hero: Deconstructed. Motoyasu's sheer idiocy, on top of his gullibility and ego, makes him more of a hindrance than a hero. This becomes increasingly obvious as time goes on, as he's always ready to believe Malty's lies regardless of proof (or lack thereof) no matter how obvious they are, or turn a blind eye to her insults and a sizable share of Kick the Dog moments. This reaches its zenith by the time the other heroes realized that the Church of Three Heroes was obviously up to no good, and he still followed their every word because Malty said so.
  • Insane Troll Logic:
    • Regarding the rape accusation against Naofumi, he seems especially dead set on believing that he's a helpless, cowardly, pathetic weakling and that he was fully capable of forcing himself on someone who (at least on paper since she can't be bothered to fight directly) is fully capable of both cutting him down and immolating him with fire magic. This is just one result of his so-called "chivalry"; every cute girl in his presence needs to be protected, regardless of whether they actually need it.
    • Naofumi outright spells out to him early on that the reason why he was able to buy Raphtalia as a slave is because of King Aultclay's own laws denying demi-humans any rights. Instead of registering this and immediately questioning the king, or remembering the fact that he needs somebody to fight for him (which Raphtalia herself call him out on herself later), he concludes that Naofumi is the evil monster and forces him into an ultimately duel. To add insult to injury, he never bothers looking into this and just continues on with his "harem".
  • Irony:
    • When Motoyasu first meets Filo, he insults her, laughs at her, and calls her lame. After she learns how to gain human form, he spends a few chapters trying to earn her trust. Nothing works. When she finally shows him some affection when he falls into a deep depression, he goes literally insane.
    • Motoyasu is straight-up The Casanova with a very good reputation while Naofumi's Harem Seeker got psychologically beaten out of him and is a Hero with Bad Publicity. In the end of the Web Novel, Naofumi is more famous than he is and married most if not all his female companions while due to his party abandoning him as well as Bitch's betrayal, Motoyasu loses his trust in women with the exception of Filo and Fitoria and doesn't flirt with anyone else anymore.
  • Javelin Thrower: His primary form of ranged attack, when using abilities like his Air Strike Javelin.
  • Jerkass: Even when it's clear as daylight that Raphtalia and Naofumi are an item, he still thinks Naofumi has brainwashed her.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: As bad as he can be, he does make a point that Naofumi purchasing slaves looks very bad for someone supposed to be a hero, even if Naofumi doesn't care. Not only that, while all four of the heroes are from different worlds, they all come from similar ones where slavery is seen as morally wrong. Naofumi even later agrees that he has a point; in their world slavery was morally wrong, and that it does look pretty bad on his part. He isn't wrong for thinking slavery is bad, it's how he handles it that ultimately makes him a Jerkass.
  • Kick the Dog: It comes with being an arrogant prick for someone who is supposed to be a hero. It just makes you want to strangle him almost as much as Malty.
    • Motoyasu's entire behavior during the rigged duel between him and Naofumi, partly because he has the nerve to ignore Raphtalia being bound and gagged by the King's own men prior to this, and being blind enough not to see Malty's blatant cheating. He even calls Naofumi's protesting "whining" for pointing it out, and accuses him of brainwashing Raphtalia when she defends him while the latter is weeping in her arms when he can't accept the full truth being spelled out to him.
    • In the web novel, Naofumi also protests getting nothing from the King for his services in the second wave, despite prioritizing the safety of the country's citizens above everything else. Motoyasu just calls him a "whiny loser".
    • Knowing full well that the King refuses to even lift a finger to help him, Motoyasu has no problem mocking Naofumi for having to actively work for everything he gets.
    • It says something about Motoyasu's character (at least in the anime) that he, along with Malty, calls Naofumi a coward for putting the safety of a nearby village first over dealing with the source of the Third Wave, once again ignoring the citizens in danger of being killed by monsters already swarming them.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: He ends up in the exact same situation Naofumi was at the beginning of the story; falsely accused of rape by Witch, alone and abandoned by his party, and publicly shamed as a terrible Hero. But unlike Naofumi, he never gets out of it.
    • More specifically, Motoyasu was dead set on believing Malty was a "good girl" despite all her vile actions committed right in front of him, that she was unfairly wronged no matter how much blatant evidence is shoved into his face, and believes every last lie out of her mouth, especially the ones about Naofumi, no matter how painfully flimsy or contradictory it was. For all his blind devotion, and to the point of making you wonder if he was really all there to begin with, it's rewarded with casually being discarded by her once things went south and left with nothing but a brutal Heel Realization to crush away at his sanity.
  • Lethally Stupid: Generally speaking, Motoyasu is (questionably) well-meaning, but he is so thick-headed and naïve that he fails to think critically about anything and will believe most people who lie to him right to his face. As Naofumi tells him at one point, he crosses a line where it doesn't matter if he's a decent person being led astray because he's so easy to fool, and so insufferably arrogant, that he's a danger to not just the people around him but even the entire world as a whole.
  • Like a Son to Me: He sees all of his Filolials as his children and denies any romantic interest.
  • Long-Range Fighter: After Itsuki, he has the longest attack range of the four heroes, thanks to the length of his spear and being able to employ javelins in his attacks.
  • Love at First Sight: Motoyasu falls head over heels when he lays his eyes on Filo's humanoid form because he has an Angelic Beauty fetish.
  • Lust: His defining attribute, which unlocks his Curse Series Weapon.
  • Mad Love: He becomes the epitome of this towards Filo after he goes crazy. While the Filolial Queen wants nothing to do with him, Motoyasu is too insane to notice. Naofumi finds a way to exploit this by using Motoyasu's crazy love for Filo to get the Spear Hero to do his bidding.
  • Manchild: Whenever things don't go his way in a fight, he will often accuse his opponent of cheating even when the battle was deliberately stacked in his favor. Tends to reach Psychopathic Manchild levels when he fights Naofumi and after his Sanity Slippage.
  • Mr. Vice Guy:
    • Lust. Motoyasu practically embodies this vice more so than the other heroes. He recruits only women who act as buffers and cheerleaders when in a fight, he will listen to Myne no matter how obvious her lies get and he will routinely use Raphtalia and Filo as an excuse to keep hating Naofumi. Even his Cursed series is based around Lust, the Lust Spear capable of inducing temptation on its target at the expense of one's own ability to feel pleasure of any kind.
    • Pride. While Ren and Itsuki have this as well, Motoyasu is most likely to let his own delusions of grandeur cloud basic common sense, usually ignoring basic facts and refusing to admit when he's wrong to I Reject Your Reality levels in an attempt to wash his hands of responsibility.
  • Minor Living Alone: In his old world, he lived on his own since middle school because his parents were always away in business trips.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: Naofumi is rather surprised to learn that he hasn't done anything to the Filolials he's raised later in the web novel.
  • Never My Fault: He absolutely refuses to ever admit when he's made a mistake or is in the wrong about something. It takes a complete and total breakdown, driving him to irreversible insanity to overcome this, and even then, he still struggles with it from time to time.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: He cured a famine by unsealing a seed that produces all manner of fruit at an absurd rate. He didn't stop to consider that it might be sealed for a reason, such as growing uncontrollably and mutating to spawn plant demons.
  • Parental Substitute: He eventually starts taking in Filolials as his pets and acts like a father figure to all of them.
  • Phrase Catcher: "Ugh... Spear Guy's so annoying!" and variants from Filo.
  • Playing with Fire: He has an affinity for fire magic.
  • Prince Charming Wannabe: He fantasizes himself as an irresistibly handsome Knight in Shining Armor who must recue the poor Beautiful Slave Girls from the despicable sex offender Naofumi. When Raphtalia and Filo tell him Naofumi is a kind-hearted master who treats them well, Motoyasu is sure Naofumi is so evil that he has brainwashed them.
  • Psychological Projection: Until he goes completely and irreversibly insane, he always accuses Naofumi of having his flaws, such as being a cheat, liar, and sore loser while thinking himself completely innocent of them, even when he sees with his own eyes that his party is cheating on his behalf whenever he forces Naofumi into any kind of contest with him and his own cheating is brought to light.
  • Red Is Heroic: He wears a lot of red, but it is subverted, since he isn't that heroic.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: As made abundantly clear up to now, Motoyasu is not exactly the brightest bulb among the heroes, which is not helped by being Malty's knight and getting extra privileges from the king as a result. This comes to a point when he's made lord of Lute Village by Malty and she tries to enforce a tax of fifty silvers to enter and leave. When Naofumi asks him how much it costs to stay in the village, he bumbles with the answer. At this Naofumi sets him straight: One silver for a days worth of lodging and food. If he were to be made the lord he would've ridiculously overcharged the country just to enter and leave a town.
  • Rousing Speech: Subverted. He tries to deliver one to the Three Heroes Church and the Pope, but his speech is so cliched and forced that Raphtalia notes his words are hollow and even he doesn't believe what he's saying.
  • Royal Favorite: Out of the four heroes, Motoyasu finds himself getting the most favor from the king of Melromarc. This is due to Princess Malty/Myne being on his team. This is shown by how, after the first monster invasion, he gets a heftier monetary reward than the other three, and nearly being made the lord of a town. Eventually subverted after the King is forcibly kicked off the throne.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Because of his Harem Seeker and Beauty Equals Goodness mentality, this is to any sort of evidence regarding Malty's true nature as a downright repulsive excuse of a human being. His knee-jerk response is to flat-out deny it and blame Naofumi, and either tries to justify it with either the "cowardly, evil monster" excuse or the "brainwashing shield" kind, both having been debunked repeatedly. It's not until his sanity breaks that he becomes a more tolerable, and in Naofumi's case, exploitable version of this trope as the latter's "son-in-law".
    • You know you're this trope when your charge is dead-set on trying to kill her own sister right in front of you, to the point of trying to immolate her to a crisp herself while barely hiding her true intentions, and you still buy her bullshit because she's an "honest, good girl".
  • Self-Proclaimed Love Interest: After he becomes obsessed with Filo, Motoyasu proclaims her to be his lover and also calls Naofumi and Raphtalia his father-in-law and sister-in-law respectively. Filo just thinks he's annoying.
  • Sequential Artist: After going insane, he displays surprising skill as a Doujinshi artist and his mangas prove quite popular. Naofumi is a bit squicked that the major character in the erotic ones is Filo.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: After he is betrayed by Bitch, his mind is so broken that he can't even see women as human anymore. When women speak to him, all he sees are pigs oinking at him. He later does learn to see some females as people again, but the only female he will ever be able to take a romantic interest in is Filo the Filolial.
  • Skewed Priorities: Anime only. Despite being a so-called "Hero", Motoyasu along with Malty has no problem mocking Naofumi over prioritizing the safety of the citizens over dealing with the Third Wave. To add insult to injury, he's later stubbornly convinced that Naofumi had brainwashed everyone into praising him instead of earning it the right way.
  • Sore Loser: He's unable to accept that he would have lost the duel if it were not for Myne's interference, and when Naofumi and Filo beat him and his dragon he spitefully claims he let Naofumi win even though the latter won in spite of Myne's cheating.
  • Stalker with a Crush: He falls obsessively in love with Filo after going insane. Among some creepy things, he made a life-sized Filo doll and sleeps with it every night.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Displays shades of this due to his "chivalry" towards women. According to him, Naofumi is an evil coward for "forcing" Raphtalia and Filo to fight "for" him, never mind that they voluntarily choose to fight alongside him (which is spelled out to him but he ignores), his low attack power means that he needs someone to act as his sword (something that he flat-out knows but also ignores), or the fact that, compared to his party full of Pretty Freeloaders that mostly just cheer him on, Naofumi's actually pull their weight as formidable Action Girls that don't need rescuing, especially his when his form of "rescuing" just causes more problems and ends up putting them in danger in the first place.
  • Teleportation: The Portal Spear allows him to teleport to places he has saved before.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Zigzagged as the first time this happens to him it utterly breaks him to the point of irreversible insanity after hitting his life's rock-bottom, head first. But gets played straight as he finally catches a break when he dedicates his life to become a better person and begin raising Filolials in earnest.
  • Undying Loyalty: He swears loyalty to his "father-in-law" Naofumi after he goes insane and becomes obsessed with Filo.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Even when he initially intended to leave Motoyasu and Malty to die at the hands of the Pope for everything they did to him, Naofumi still ended up protecting them and ultimately saved their lives. Despite requesting his protection in the first place after trying to kill him, Motoyasu went right back to blaming him for everything wrong once the Queen returned and forced Malty to be held accountable for her actions along with the King, stubbornly calling him "the evil one" and even trying to fall back on the faulty brainwashing excuse before being repeatedly shut down.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Malty no longer deems Motoyasu useful in her plans following the Heroes' battle with the Spirit Tortoise.

Tropes that apply in The Reprise of the Spear Hero

After Motoyasu gets killed in the timeline of the main story, his death unlocks a new skill for his spear called "Temporal Reversion". He gets sent him back to the day he and the other heroes were summoned. Wanting to atone for his behavior at the start of the story, Motoyasu prevents Naofumi from being framed by Malty and sets on a journey to Siltvelt where Naofumi will be treated like a god.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Just one encounter with the Filolial obsessed Motoyasu was enough to leave Fitoria utterly terrified of him.
  • The Atoner: He takes the opportunity of traveling to the past to try and make up for how he treated Naofumi before by doing everything in his power to protect him and take him to Siltvelt safely, starting with preventing him from being tricked and framed by the "red pig". It's mostly Played for Laughs, since nobody knows what he's talking about half the time and his tendency to go to the extremes out of the belief he's doing the right thing is still present, he's just doing it for Naofumi now.
  • Berserk Button: Tact's very existence is one to him. Due to him, his boss Medea and her avatar Malty being responsible for his madness and death, he hates him so much he cannot see his face and goes all out to kill him and his followers as brutally as possible.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: He's completely bonkers and his erratic behavior weirds everybody out. Despite all his wackiness, he can be terrifying when he's angry.
  • Breakout Character: The only one of the heroes to score his own spinoff series.
  • Comically Invincible Hero: Despite being sent to the past, Motoyasu's overpowered skillset from the future stays the same. The result is that right from the moment he's summoned, Motoyasu can obliterate pretty much any enemy he comes across and destroy mountains without breaking a sweat. This is Played for Laughs due to the comical nature of the story and him being trapped in a time loop because his absurd power can't solve everything.
  • Death-Activated Superpower: His new spear gives him the ability to go back in time to the moment of the summoning every time one of the Four Heroes is killed.
  • Fan of Underdog: Very ironically, Motoyasu becomes the Shield Hero's number 1 supporter, repeatedly stating how his "father-in-law" is the greatest, most amazing and smartest hero of all the fantasy world, even though the Naofumi of the new timeline has barely accomplished anything on his own because he counts with Motoyasu's loyalty from the beginning.
  • Groundhog Peggy Sue: Motoyasu gets sent back in time to the moment he and the other three heroes were summoned into the fantasy world. He tries to Set Right What Once Went Wrong by preventing Malty from framing Naofumi for sexual assault like in the original timeline. However, things keep going wrong because the changes to the timeline often cause one of the Four Heroes to die and Motoyasu is back to the starting point all over again. Eventually, Motoyasu realizes he needs to make things go exactly the same as the original timeline to get out of the loop, but his meddling keeps messing everything up.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Motoyasu is totally nuts, doesn't give a damn about anyone who isn't Naofumi, one of Naofumi's allies or his Filolials, threatens, steals and murders in a hilariously over-the-top manner.
  • I Hate Past Me: Motoyasu travels back to the day of the heroes' summoning and Itsuki takes his place as the one believing Malty's False Rape Accusation against Naofumi. Motoyasu feels disgusted at seeing a representation of his old self getting so easily fooled by the "red pig". Motoyasu later states he would like to kill his own past self for badmouthing Naofumi.
  • I Will Find You: His main goal, aside from protecting Naofumi, is finding Filo in the past. He even buys every Filolial egg from the slave trader in hopes that Filo hatches from one of them, but he still can't find her. It gets complicated because even if Motoyasu finds Filo's egg early on, Filo technically can't be born as the Filo he knows without Naofumi becoming her owner under the exact same circumstances as in the original timeline.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: He does this almost every time Naofumi is nice to him.
  • Mr. Exposition: Plays this role, though it's not really for the readers' sake and moreso to get Naofumi ahead.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: His immediate answer to any problem he encounters is suggest murdering everyone who might threaten him and Naofumi. Thankfully, Naofumi always talks him out of it.
  • Nominal Hero: The one thing that technically makes him a good guy is his promise to Filo that he would obey Naofumi and create a peaceful world. He doesn't care how many people he needs to kill to keep Naofumi safe.
  • Pervert Dad: He tries to peep at his Filolial Queens in the hot springs to, according to him, teach them about modesty and make them more attractive as any father should.
  • Poisonous Friend: He wouldn't mind to destroy the entire kingdom of Melromarc if that means no one there can hurt Naofumi anymore.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: Downplayed. Motoyasu travels back in time to the beginning of the story when he and the other heroes were summoned. He does retain basic knowledge of the original timeline, but his memory gets fuzzy whenever he tries to remember the details. It took him a little while to even recognize Naofumi as Filo's owner.
  • Save Scumming: Every time one of the heroes dies, Motoyasu returns to the moment he and the other heroes were summoned to the fantasy world.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: Since we get to see from his perspective at a point after he went through his Despair Event Horizon, the story shows that the main novel really wasn't exaggerating when it said he could only see and hear women besides Filo as pigs, with every interaction involving women besides Filo and his Filolial daughters literally having their faces be replaced with those of pigs, along with every attempt they have at speaking to him being replaced with oinking. He sees Malty as a red pig, due to him hating her the most. When he sees Tact again, he's unable to perceive his face due to his hatred of him.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: The entire spin-off novel could be considered as one giant bone for Motoyasu, as the will of the universe basically grants him a personal New Game+ Alternate Universe Sandbox to play around with for his own delight and quest of redemption for his many, many, past mistakes.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: While he's completely insane and psychotic, Motoyasu has grown from an arrogant, self-righteous jackass into a friendly and funny guy who honestly wants to protect Naofumi to make up for how badly he treated him.

    Itsuki Kawasumi/Hero of the Bow 

Itsuki Kawasumi

Voiced by: Yoshitaka Yamaya (Japanese), Erik Kimerer (English)

A 17-year-old high school student summoned to be the Hero of the Bow. He wants to appear as the "humble hero" who appears when others are in danger to protect them and then disappears, but only so he can receive praise.

  • Atrocious Alias: He calls himself Perfect Hidden Justice.
  • Ax-Crazy: He's the least sane of the Three Heroes. Get on his bad side and he will kill you. Don't get on his bad side, and he will still kill you anyway.
  • Bad Boss: He's horrible as a boss. Even mildly contradicting him can result in an agonizing death at his hands.
  • Bishōnen: It is said that he would fit in female clothing with no one doubting his gender.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Pretends to be a Humble Hero when he is really a narcissistic Attention Whore.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: He can weaponize this through his curse series.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Hits this during the Spirit Tortoise incident along with Ren. After getting himself and his party arrested for trying to free it, the whole latter tells him to his face that he's no "Hero of Justice". After being forced to fight it off anyway, his party abandons him.
  • Didn't Think This Through: It never occured to him that trying to do heroics in secret would cause people to not recognize him and allow others to take credit for his actions and deeds.
  • Empty Shell: He becomes this after being freed from his Curse, but gradually recovers with Rishia by his side.
  • Extreme Doormat: Like Motoyasu's Lust Spear, the side effects of Itsuki's Pride Bow damages his mentality. After being subdued by Rishia, Itsuki loses all emotion and becomes spinelessly obedient. He'll heed anyone's command without emotion or question, to the point he almost hanged himself when ordered. He eventually recovers his autonomy, but is much more humbled and willing to listen to others.
  • Finishing Move: Like Naofumi and Ren, Itsuki unlocks a torture/execution-themed finisher with his curse series in the form of a bronze bull.
  • For Great Justice: Subverted. Despite him constantly spouting out justice speeches, he only cares about being seen as the perfect hero.
  • Freudian Excuse: He was bullied in his world due to being a rank E esper. It's why he's a borderline Attention Whore; he wants everyone to see him in a positive light, even if his attempts to do so make him come off as an egotistical jerk. This is also the reason why he kicked Rishia out of his party as callously as he did, though it varies from each version of the story. In the Web Novel, he wanted to get rid of her partly because she reminded him of his past self with her timid nature and weak stats. In the manga, it's because he couldn't stand a supposed weakling outshining him during the wave at Cal Mira.
  • Glory Hound: When fighting with his party he deliberately delays attacking until they are in danger and then swoops in with a perfectly-timed save, invoking a Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • Gun Nut: Heavily implied and lampshaded by Naofumi. He has extensive knowledge of how firearms operate, and starts adding them to his repertoire upon learning that he can Weapon Copy guns.
  • The Hero: What he along with 3 others were summoned to be.
  • Heroic Team Revolt: Itsuki gets betrayed by his own party and left to shoulder a mountain of debt. While he is rather flawed, Itsuki is far more heroic than most of his party making this one of those rare occasions where the hero is abandoned by his party because they became increasingly villainous. The addition of Malty/Bitch certainly did not help matters.
  • Heroic Wannabe: Like Motoyasu and Ren, Itsuki doesn't strive to be recognized as a hero since he is already one simply by virtue of being the chosen Hero of the Bow. However, what he wants is to be seen as the perfect hero so he displays traits and actions that would look heroic to others so he would be praised and thus feed his ego. Deep down, he's such an egotistical jerkass that he absolutely refuses to acknowledge anything he does could be wrong or have negative consequences. This line of thinking escalates once he unlocks his Curse Series weapon, as to him in his power-mad state, anybody who says otherwise must be either be forced into submission via brainwashing or just outright killed.
  • Hidden Depths: He is a gifted musician. This serves him well when he is chosen for the Vassal Musical Instrument.
  • Humble Hero: Invoked by Itsuki himself to make himself look better. He's later humbled for real once the side effects of his curse series wore off, and Rishia helps him recover.
  • Hypocrite:
    • In Episode 22 of the anime, he calls Ren out saying that all he cares about is to make himself look good. This is the man who tries to play himself up as the Ideal Hero, not to mention that he killed a ruler for taxing citizens.
    • Earlier on, he had the nerve to drop the iconic "With great power comes great responsibility!" line on Naofumi despite refusing to even acknowledge how he screwed up in dealing with a noble he assumed was heavily taxing his people out of pure malice.
    • In the web novel, right after brainwashing Mald with his curse series bow, Itsuki shows he readily believes Witch and the Three Heroes Church claiming that Naofumi possesses a "brainwashing shield". Overlaps with Irony.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: He's actually an ESPer, and his ability grants him perfect accuracy. It's implied that it's the reason why he was chosen as the Bow Hero.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Shows the most shades of this when he's the first to accuse Naofumi of "cheating" just because he and his party is stronger than theirs despite him not having an actual weapon. It really just comes off as his Fatal Flaw showing itself again; he's simply too full of himself to admit that the guy with the Shield is doing better than he is.
  • Insane Troll Logic:
    • In the web novel and manga, and during the Cal Mira arc. Seeing that Naofumi and his party had become the strongest of the four heroes despite his Legendary Shield's (mostly) non-existent offensive ability, Itsuki comes to the conclusion that the former had "met God" and had granted him the power to cheat. It's more blatant in the web novel, when Naofumi goes out of his way to explain how he and his party got so strong, but Itsuki's not having any of it. The "meeting God" thing is even based on a mere rumor from a game forum, showing that Itsuki's really grasping at straws. Also slightly overlaps with I Reject Your Reality since it's clearly a mix of jealousy and his own massive ego that's making him come to such a ridiculously stupid conclusion.
    • Not to mention how he personally witnessed the deadly side effects of using the Wrath Shield, including seeing Naofumi nearly die from having all his blood burst violently from his body, and yet he's still convinced that the former is using some kind of cheat power.
    • In chapter 109 of the web novel, Naofumi confronts him after kicking Rishia out of his party in the most callous manner possible, and notes that Itsuki's so-called "Justice" was what compelled him and his party to treat her like a villain for just having sub-par stats. He points out how ridiculous his logic is, and Itsuki's response is, "A battle for the fate of the world cannot be won on feelings alone!"
  • Irony:
    • He readily believed that Naofumi had the ability to brainwash people with his shield. Guess what power his Cursed Series Bow gives him?
    • Chapter 109 of the web novel had Itsuki arrogantly reaffirm the trust between himself and his comrades, minus a recently kicked out Rishia. Three guesses on who bails on him after the Spirit Tortoise incident, and who chose to stick by him at his very lowest.
  • It's All About Me: Itsuki only cares for himself and himself only.
  • Jerkass: Just as bad as Motoyasu and Malty/Bitch in this department.
  • Kick the Dog: Frames Rishia for breaking an item of his and then has her kicked out of his party just because she had become an inconvenience. And then has the gall to claim he was just being Cruel to Be Kind.
  • Kill Steal: On Cal Mira, he partakes in this despite the archipelago's explicit rules for adventurers during the bonus exp raids. This earns him the entire islands' ire and, as Naofumi points out, is something even Ren and Motoyasu are polite and smart enough not to do.
  • Knight Templar: What he becomes due to the Legendary Bow's curse of pride affecting him. His massive ego already made him insufferable to deal with prior to the Spirit Tortoise incident, but under its corrupting effect, he's prepared to either brainwash or kill anyone in the way of his "Justice".
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Out of all the cardinal heroes, Itsuki was by far the most arrogant and antagonistic while trying to pass himself off as the Ideal Hero. He only kept party members who stroked his ego, kicked out Rishia in the cruelest way possible, and was most adamant about giving Naofumi grief over "stealing credit" or "cheating" despite Itsuki's own deeply flawed and lackluster actions. Come the Spirit Turtle incident, he loses everything as result of his arrogant belief he could kill the monster. His allies ditch him, his reputation is in the gutter like Ren and Motoyasu, and he finds himself used and thrown away by Malty. He even gets a "cheat skill" like the one Naofumi had, only for Risha to be the one to defeat him. By the time he recovers, his overuse of the Curse Bow of Pride leaves him an Empty Shell under Rishia's care until the effects dissipate.
  • Long-Range Fighter: Justified as by being the chosen Hero of the Bow, he is prohibited from using any weapon other than his legendary weapon.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Pride/Vanity. While he comes across as sweet, humble, and chivalrous, everything Itsuki does he does is to bolster his own self-image, routinely fabricating excuses or attempts to change the subject whenever anyone or anything threatens this. When he hits the Despair Event Horizon after the Spirit Tortoise fiasco, his ego becoming so fragile that he either kills or brainwashes anyone who contradicts him, unlocking the Pride series that helps him accomplish this. After he is freed of the Pride series' influence, he develops humility reaching Extreme Doormat levels.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: He kills a king who was supposedly imposing exorbitant amounts of taxes on his subjects. When Naofumi calls him out on this because of what happened to that kingdom afterwards, he questions why Itsuki didn't ask the king's reasons for imposing high taxes and just opted to kill him instead.
  • Narcissist: Itsuki is always about Itsuki but the Legendary Bow's curse of pride takes this Up to Eleven. Anyone whose worldview contradicts his is met either with brainwashing or instant death.
  • Never My Fault:
    • Unlike Motoyasu who refuses to admit when he's wrong out of sheer ignorance, Itsuki's ego is so big that admitting he can be wrong is a blight on his image of being a perfect, magnanimous hero. Instead of just being honest and telling Rishia that she doesn't fit the dynamic of his team, Itsuki concocts a lie and has the entire team shun her.
    • Implied when Naofumi tells him that his actions in assassinating a supposedly corrupt ruler didn't fix the high taxes and resulting famine, and that he was credited for it partly because he fed the starving refugees and that the latter was acting more like a stealthy Robin Hood-esque assassin. Itsuki's response was "Don't change the subject!".
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: He took down the king of a small kingdom because the he was taxing the citizens too much. The new government had to tax just as much to fund the military to protect them against monsters. To add insult to injury, Itsuki's ego refused to let him acknowledge his mistake when this was told to him.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: He is an esper, specifically Accuracy level E, and always knew he was special. But after enrolling to a school for espers, his pecking order is low and he gets bullied as result.
  • Official Couple: With Rishia, surpisingly enough.
  • Out of Focus: Of the Three Heroes, he tends to get the least amount of focus due to styling himself as something of a Robin Hood like Hero. Naofumi only tends to see him during the Waves or when all the other Heroes are summoned together. It isn't until the Spirit Tortoise Incident that he starts to get more focus and has his personality expanded.
  • Pet the Dog: He and Ren come up to Naofumi's defense when he lost against Motoyasu in a duel due to Malty attacking him in the back.
  • Power Copying: He's the first to discover that his bow to copy the attributes and abilities of any other bows he touches. He focuses mostly on copying rare and powerful ones.
  • Pride Before a Fall: eventually gets beaten so soundly and affected by his Curse Series Weapon that afterwards, he's turned into an Extreme Doormat.
  • Single Tear: After recovering from the curse, he can only shed a single tear when he sees Rishia by his side.
  • Skewed Priorities: A non-comedic example, given how it highlights one of Itsuki's flaws. When Itsuki confronts Naofumi along with Ren about him supposedly stealing credit for their quests, the former adamantly refuses to believe his explanation. He's more concerned about how Naofumi "stole" credit for assassinating a supposedly corrupt noble than the detrimental effect it had on said noble's people, and that the latter simply fed the starving refugees that fled to Melromarc.
  • Smug Snake: Itsuki has an over-inflated ego and fancies himself as being the perfect hero, when in reality he has shown himself to an ultimately incompetent person with the title of "Hero".
  • Stupid Evil: Itsuki frequently does things to glorify his own ego, even when doing so would ultimately bite him.
  • Tautological Templar: Due to his overwhelming arrogance, Itsuki always dismisses anyone's views on him as being against him, even when they clearly have a point.
  • Tiny Schoolboy: He's the shortest of the Cardinal heroes at 155 cm.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Even by the standards of the other Three Heroes, he is the most self-serving of the four heroes and first and most likely to commit murder. He is the only one to be abusive to his party members.
  • Token Super: He is the only one of the Cardinal Heroes confirmed to have had powers before coming to Melromarc.


Three Heroes' Party Members

    In General 
  • Out of Focus: Besides Malty, none of the party members of the other Cardinal heroes receive focus.



A member of Itsuki's adventuring party, and the de facto second in command.

  • Aristocrats Are Evil: His status as a noble has convinced him that he's inherently better than most people around him, and he behaves accordingly.
  • Break the Haughty: The main reason why Mald hates Naofumi is because, as the Shield Hero, he practically spits on every arrogant belief, from hatred of commoners to racism, that Mald takes to heart. It got worse as Naofumi and his friends (one of whom was a former companion Mald abused regularly) continued to grow in power, to the point where they overtook the so-called Three Heroes in both deed and popularity, with Queen Mirellia's full support. As a result, Mald joined Malty's coup for the purpose of restoring what he considered to be the Good Old Ways to the Melromarc Kingdom, even though his megalomaniacal desires far outstripped his actual abilities.
  • The Brute: A direct, frontline fighter, and not a nice person at all.
  • The Bully: Many of his interactions with anyone who is not Itsuki consists of him trying to intimidate them into doing what he wants.
  • Butt-Monkey: He gets his ass handed by Raphtalia quite easily.
  • The Corrupter: It is safe to assume that, similar to Malty, he fed Itsuki's more negative impulses to manipulate him.
  • Evil Is Petty: Mixed with Ambition Is Evil. It's partly what motivates him during the Three Heroes Church uprising, that and his hatred of demi-humans. He hates the "Demon of the Shield" and the other "fake" heroes because his reputation plummeted following Itsuki's failure to stop the Spirit Tortoise. Meanwhile, Naofumi's reputation soared as he not only helped defeat it, but also helped countless others through his peddling of much needed goods. Mald's actions in trying to kill him and his followers is both motivated out of pure spite and a selfish desire to be seen as the epitome of "Justice".
  • Face of a Thug: L'Arc notes that he looks like a thug.
  • Fantastic Racism: Like most people in Melromarc, he hates demi-humans.
  • Hate Sink: Moreso then Motoyasu, strip out every sexual perversion and all you get is an entitled, self-righteous Hypocrite, who is ten times more deluded with himself, even Ren thinks very little of him in the Light Novel.
  • In-Series Nickname: Naofumi just calls him "Armor".
  • Jerkass: He's pretty much just a deplorable person, with no real redeeming qualities.
  • Karmic Death: He and the other former members of Itsuki's party were burned alive via the bronze bull for their betrayal and attempted overthrow of Queen Mirellia. Bonus points for their method of execution being based on Itsuki's curse series-exclusive Finishing Move. Just before his execution, Mald collapsed on his knees and begged pathetically for mercy.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: He's a smug, self-righteous bastard that touted himself as "Justice", and yet had no problem abandoning Itsuki to the Spirit Tortoise when things went south. Then comes Chapter 237, when the followers of the Three Heroes Church tried and failed to back him up with support magic and saw fit to abandon him (using a smoke bomb, no less) after it was clear that Naofumi was too strong for him to handle in 1v1 combat. That failed, and Naofumi had Atla "poke" Mald until he dropped the Spirit Tortoise shield he stole.
    • Later on in Chapter 241, he tries to sic a curse series-addled Itsuki on Naofumi as a last resort, but winds up brainwashed himself using the very Legendary Bow used to create the brainwashing daggers.
  • Smug Snake: He's awfully overconfident and prone to looking down on his opponents.
  • Tin Tyrant: While he's not a ruler, he does behave like a tyrant with the people he considers inferior to him, and he's almost always seen in armor.

    Elena Haven/Woman 1 

Elena Haven

One of Motoyasu's female followers. She eventually leaves him and returns to her family's mercantile business.

  • Brilliant, but Lazy: She's a very good and trustworthy merchant, but she just doesn't want to do the work.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: A deconstructed example. She regrets joining Motoyasu rather than Naofumi at the beginning of the story because while Motoyasu started out as the strongest hero, he didn't put in any effort to keep being the strongest. Naofumi on the other hand clawed his way out of the mud with nothing but hard work and determination, and it wasn't long before Motoyasu was eating his dust.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: She's not nearly as vapid as she let Malty or Motoyasu believes. She's well aware that if Malty realized she was intelligent she'd be driven out.
  • Pretty Freeloaders: She played this role most of the story under Motoyasu, but really she was keeping an eye on Malty, and following Motoyasu to gain business opportunities for her family.
  • The Smart Girl: She is easily the smartest member of Motoyasu's party by far. She is a gifted business woman, and Motoyasu and Malty really should have let her be in charge of the finances.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: After Motoyasu and his party are branded as criminals for releasing the Spirit Tortoise, Elena is only able to avoid jail time with her parents business connections and making a deal with the Queen to set up a trap to let Naofumi catch Motoyasu.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: She strikes this relationship up with Naofumi. For example, Naofumi only agreed to work with her to increase her work load.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: In the web novel, when she is assigned to Naofumi on Cal Mira, she makes no secret that she dislikes him, but still makes an effort to work together (unlike her teammates) because she respects his strength and business acumen.
  • Token Good Teammate: Besides Rino, she was the only team member with any real loyalty to Motoyasu.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Eventually develops this dynamic with Naofumi. Between all the insults, he enjoys teasing her and she aids in the construction of his new village.



Another of Motoyasu's female followers. Malty disliked her and decided to sell her as a slave. She later joined the queen's spy unit.

  • Heroes Prefer Swords: A swordswoman and probably the most heroic member of the Spear Hero's party.
  • Made a Slave: Malty sells her as one, and when she begs for help, Motoyasu was in the other room, but figured that it is a standard hentai catchphrase she's using.
  • Nice Girl: She was this before Malty betrayed her.
  • Revenge: She sought revenge on those who made her a slave.
  • Token Good Teammate: Pretty much the only member of Motoyasu's party who never planned to manipulate him. She defected to the Queen and became one of her spies to get her revenge on Malty.

     Lesty/Woman 2 


A noble woman and a member of the Spear Hero's party. She was Malty's accomplice in many of her crimes.

  • Aristocrats Are Evil: She is about as much of a bitch as Malty.
  • Deader Than Dead: Her soul is eaten in the Light Novel.
  • Only Friend: She and Malty are probably the only friend both of them have. It is implied that this is one-sided and Malty sees Lesty as just another pawn in her manipulations.


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