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Heartwarming / The Rising of the Shield Hero

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"I believe in you, the man who saved me"

Warning: Spoilers Off applies to this page. Proceed at your own risk.

  • Episode 2 in general.
    • Naofumi takes in little Raphtalia as his slave and treats her very well, so well that the latter thinks of him as her savior and to the audiences' perspective, the girl is being treated as a living being for the first time in years.
    • A montage includes several sweet snapshots, such as Naofumi wiping her cheek to clean it, giving her a haircut and doing a good job of it judging by her smile, and holding balloon monsters in place for her to stab. Only that last part is directly related to level-grinding, and it is still cute out of context.
    • He notices her watching two boys playing with a ball and so he buys her one that she can play with after they finish their daily work. Seeing Raphtalia's face light up is absolutely adorable.
    • Upon knowing Raphtalia having a panic attack, Naofumi immediately came to her side and calms her down. Despite all the crap brought down upon him, Naofumi never fully loses his compassion.

  • Episode 4, despite being one of the darker moments for Naofumi, has a big one.
    • Malty cheats during the duel between Naofumi and Motoyasu, causing Naofumi to lose. As a result, the slave seal on Raphtalia gets dispelled. Naofumi, believing that Raphtalia will abandon him as well, slumps down in sorrow feeling nothing but seething anger towards the world so badly that the curse shield nearly gets unlocked (and in the Light Novel and other versions, does get unlocked). However, Raphtalia walks in and despite some initial dismissal, Naofumi comes to realize that Raphtalia will always be with him, no matter what happens. He starts sobbing while Raphtalia holds him.
    • Afterwards, Raphtalia puts together a pair of sandwiches for them to eat since Naofumi took a pass on the banquet the night before. To Naofumi's surprise, he can taste it, and it Tastes Like Friendship. His sense of taste, soured since Myne's betrayal, has returned thanks to Raphtalia's unmatched loyalty.

  • Naofumi's accomplishments are finally getting the recognition and rewards they deserve as some soldiers and mages volunteer to aid him on the upcoming Wave. Naofumi tells them that he will accept them if they can purchase a charm he made; a leftover charm at a high mark up. They do it. It takes them a while and a good bit of work, but they pull enough money together to make it happen. Aiding Naofumi and repaying him for his good deeds during the first wave means that much to them.
    • The heartwarming continues as Naofumi shows what he does with the money they collected. He gives it back to them, and tells them to use it to buy better equipment. He gives them the leftover charm for free. These are the first people he has allowed into his party that didn't have a slave crest, which is huge for him.

  • Every version of the series had King Aultclay demand how Naofumi become strong enough to take out the boss of the second wave by himself, and the latter responding by mocking him to his face before leaving. But the anime showed what happened when the King pushed Naofumi too far, and caused him to snap and respond with a terrifying death glare/threat that made the former look like he just shit his robes. What had brought this about? Threatening his companions.

  • Melty's Cuteness Proximity for Fiolials is always heartwarming:
    • She's introduced sitting among a flock of them.
    • Her precious friendship with Filo.
    • She has stars in her eyes when she beholds Filo's Fiolial crown.
    • That pure childish delight when she's granted a special request from Fitoria, riding on the head of giant Fiolial.

  • Episode 12 has Naofumi protecting Melty from an attack despite every fiber in his body asking him to not trust any of the royalty in Melromarc. He then continues to keep her safe despite his intense dislike of her family.

  • Episode 18 has a twisted kind of moment of heartwarming when Naofumi meets Motoyatsu at the checkpoint. The Spear Hero is outraged at Naofumi's supposed crimes, and is passionate about avenging his fellow heroes. It makes one think that he might be a truly great hero if it weren't for Malty's Toxic Friend Influence. Even that can be seen as heartwarming - Motoyatsu is faithful to his friends (or who he thinks are his friends), and it takes a lot to shake this faith. It is a pity that he does such a terrible job at choosing his friends.

  • Episode 19 Naofumi calls out on the heroes' blunders. He's not just speaking this, angry that he has to clean up their messes, he is speaking on behalf of all those that lost their lives because of their actions.

  • Episode 20 - the dragon's soul rage overcomes Naofumi and encases him in dragonic plate armor, and he is ready to burn the world. Then his three companions descend to embrace him, reminding him of their friendship and the goodness inside him. Naofumi breaks out of his trance, and discovers that their embrace in his trance was not a metaphor of their feelings for him. They are physically holding him back, and the flames of his Wrath Shield have burned them in several places. Yet, all they experience is relief that he is back to his senses.

  • Episode 21
    • Just when Queen Mirellia is about to execute Malty and the King for their crimes, Naofumi, of all people, steps in to spare them. In truth, he still hates them but the real reason he did it is because he saw what this sentence would do to the queen, who is so scared for her daughter and husband. Because the Queen helped him clear his name, it was the least he could do for her.
    • Melty comforts her mother who revealed that had the execution continued, she was about to sacrifice herself to save her family. But now she doesn't have to because the Shield Hero who she tried her damn hardest to appease to prevent him from abandoning her country chose to spare them by offering a different punishment. It left a big impression on Mirellia that she valued Naofumi more than the other Three Heroes.
    • Naofumi gets an honor guard as he leaves the capital. It consists of both grateful citizens and respectful soldiers.

  • In an unusual example, L'Arc and Therese don't believe that Naofumi is the Shield Hero. It isn't because they don't think much of him, but because in just two brief meetings they can clearly tell that Naofumi is a good person. He isn't anything at all like the monster the Shield Hero is rumored to be.
    • And, during the following fight, it is obvious that both of them dislike the fact that they will probably have to kill Naofumi.

  • Two at the end of LN 5 (the Cal Mira arc): Firstly, Naofumi refusing to participate in L'Arc and Motoyasu's shenanigans. Secondly, right after all the guys get kicked out of the men's hot springs as a result, Raphtalia comes hurrying along to find Naofumi, and leads him to the hot spring section she's reserved for the three of them, including Filo, because it's one meant for families to use together. The final scene - and the final illustration of LN 5 - is Naofumi kicking back in the water, Raphtalia sitting on the edge soaking her feet, and Filo standing spellbound, as all three watch the meteor shower. It just radiates positive and chosen family feels.

  • The Fourth Wave
    • The teamwork between L'Arc and Naofumi to slay the giant narwal is amazing, much better than anything the cardinal heroes have demonstrated. However, the fight between L'Arc and Naofumi is even better. Despite the stakes involved, it feels more like a friendly bout between two groups who respect each other than life-and-death (even though it totally is).
    • Naofumi learns the trut about Glass, where she came from and she what she's fighting for. He has a minor Heroic BSoD as he wonders why he's fighting her at all, when he doesn't care about this world, which has treated him so poorly. He decides that he doesn't care about this world. It can burn for all he cares. But Raphtalia and Filo need a place to live, so he'll fight Glass and the Waves and anyone else he needs to in order to protect that place. It's like an inverse of Always Save the Girl - the world only deserves to be saved because the girl lives on it.
      • When one thinks about it, Naofumi becoming the Governor of Raphtalia's old village is his answer to Glass's determination. He's committing to a place, becoming responsible for it, rebuilding it, and fortifying it with soldiers he will recruit and train. It's like he planting his stake into the ground, so he can truthfully claim that he has a stake in this world's future.

  • At the end of the fourth Wave in Chapter 25, the Queen offers Naofumi any reward he might want. He chooses to be named Governor of Raphtalia's old village so it can be reconstructed, act as a base for the army he wants to recruit to fight off the following waves and give Raphtalia and Filo a home when the time comes for him to leave.
    • Cue immigration to said village. Many of the people that Naofumi has meet or helped decide to travel to Raphtalia's village when they hear who will be in charge.
    • The anime version of this scene shows the reactions of the other three Cardinal Heroes to Naofumi becoming a governor, and they are heartwarming.
      • Itsuki acknowledges that Naofumi has become the lord of a domain, and he doesn't not express envy or resentment. Instead, he tells his party that they're going to look for ways to make the world a better place. Not glory or rare weapons, but good deeds.
      • Ren is shown fighting balloons, and thinking that he is not going to let Naofumi get too far ahead of him. In his own way, he is accepting Naofumi as a worthy rival instead of some clueless loser.
    • Motoyatsu is considering paying Naofumi a friendly visit, and he even reprimands Bitch for calling Naofumi "Devil of the Shield".

  • Both of the ED's for anime. During the first one, we watch Raphtalia aimlessly wandering through a wasted beach filled with shipwrecks, displaying how hopeless and broken she feels. The next scene shows us Naofumi wading through a wasteland under an ominous red sky. He lost his trust towards people, thanks to Malty. Then, Raphtalia notices a glimmer of emerald light emanating from Naofumi's Legendary Shield core and runs towards him as the ominous red sky disappears, and we see them both smiling. Two broken birds, finding shelter in each other. For Naofumi, a person to trust completely. As for Raphtalia, a cause to live and fight for. The credits end as we see Both of them watching the sun set.

  • At the end of the second OP, Naofumi is holding up a massive air strike shield blocking an equally massive beam of light cast down by the Three Heroes Church lead by Malty. Just as he was about to buckle under the intense weight, Raphtalia, Filo, and Melty stand at Naofumi's side and raise their hands in the air to support him, giving him the power to deflect the church's attack. Contrasting the beginning of his journey, alone and disgraced, he has now found loyal allies who will support him, no matter what.

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