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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 1 is an absolute clusterfuck of epic proportions for Naofumi after being framed for rape, but a ray of light comes from Erhard, the blacksmith. While Naofumi thought at first that Erhard was about to hit him, the blacksmith was actually there because he was certain Naofumi was innocent and wanted to check for himself, rather than toeing the party line. Erhard then gives Naofumi a pep talk, some clothes and a cloak so he won't have to go around in his underclothes and tells him he can pay back whenever he's able. This kernel of generosity is what allows Naofumi to not only survive, but thrive, rescue Raphtalia, and help save the world.
  • 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.
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    • 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 seeing Raphtalia having a panic attack, Naofumi immediately comes to her side and calms her down. Despite all the crap brought down upon him, Naofumi never fully loses his compassion.
  • Episode 3:
    • The Four Heroes being brought to Lute Village to deal with the Wave happening in the region. While the Three Heroes just run off to go and find the Boss Monster, Naofumi and Raphtalia simply go to save as many of the villagers and evacuate them. Seeing the Shield Hero putting his life on the line to save them raises the villagers' spirits that many of them work to help him fight off the monsters.
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    • When the Knights arrive, their commander is antagonistic towards the Shield Hero; especially after Raphtalia accuses them of failing their duty of protecting the people. Naofumi gets between them and a group of monsters and asks the Knights to get into formation while he holds them off, the Captain is quick to write the pair off as a lost cause and orders them to go support the other three Heroes, his Vice-Captain on the other hand...
    Vice-Captain: Phalanx formation, to support the Shield Hero!
    • Blink and you'll miss it, Ake is one of the Royal Knights that goes along with the Vice-Captain in helping out Naofumi protecting Lute Village.
  • 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 Ake alongside some soldiers and mages (one of which is a Demi-Human no-less) volunteers 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 the money 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 has King Aultcray demand to know how Naofumi has 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 shows what happens when the King pushes Naofumi too far, and causes him to snap and respond with a terrifying death glare/threat that makes the former look like he just shit his robes. What brings this about? Threatening his companions.
  • Melty's Cuteness Proximity for Filolials 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 Filolial crown.
    • That pure childish delight when she's granted a special request from Fitoria, riding on the head of the giant Filolial.
  • 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's 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 because he's 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
    • A brief one between the Knight Captain and Vice-Captain during the trial, The Knight Captain cringes backwards at the truth finally coming out that Malty had set the Shield Hero up for failure due to her accusations and towing the line with everything that both the King and Malty said regarding the kidnapping plot, while his Vice-Captain gives his commander quite a stern look; having seen the Shield Hero as a good man and not believing a word of what the Church or the government said about Naofumi.
    • 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 as she valued Naofumi more than the other Three Heroes.
    • Naofumi gets an honor guard heroic farewell as he leaves the capital. It consists of everyone he had helped out on his journey to this moment: both grateful citizens and respectful soldiers that gladly and openly praise their Hero.
  • 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.
    • During the following fight, it's 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 truth 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 rebuilt, 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.
  • Season 2, Episode 3: When Naofumi raises his personal banner before the battle with the Spirit Tortoise, the Melromarc knights and soldiers cheer on him, a far sight from where he had started from.
  • Season 2, Episode 7: Kizuna's utter joy at finally escaping the Infinite Labyrinth.
  • Season 2, Episode 9: Naofumi rescuing Filo.
  • Season 2, Episode 12: When Naofumi starts to get consumed by the Shield of Wrath IV, Ost shows up to remind that he is the one that decides his fate, bringing him back from the Despair Event Horizon and giving him the power to defeat Kyo.