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Light Novel / The Rising of the Shield Hero
aka: Tate No Yuusha No Nariagari

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From left to right: Raphtalia, Naofumi, and Filo.
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Naofumi Iwatani, an Otaku from present day Japan, was summoned into a parallel world along with three others to become Heroes and protect it from calamity. Each of the four Heroes receive a legendary weapon unique to them, with Naofumi becoming the Hero of the Shield. However, the Shield was looked down upon as useless, so Naofumi was left without companions, while the other Heroes gained several. One person took mercy on Naofumi and agreed to fight by his side, but within one day she had betrayed him, robbing and falsely accusing him. His name dragged through the mud and treated like a criminal by the people he was summoned to save, Naofumi becomes unable to trust anyone. Like this, his journey in a parallel world begins.

The Rising of the Shield Hero (盾の勇者の成り上がり Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari) began as an ongoing Web Novel on "Let's Become a Novelist" written by Yusagi Aneko and illustrated by Seira Minami, with over 900 chapters released as of 2019. The series was later picked up by Media Factory Books with the first volume published on 22 August 2013. The series currently has fifteen volumes and a drama CD out.

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Has three side-stories and a spin-off web novel, Start Over of the Spear Hero. The manga and light novel adaptions that have also been produced diverge from the original web novel. The light novels and manga have been licensed for English release, currently with 6 LN volumes and 5 Manga published by One Peace Books.

An anime adaptation was announced on July 7 2017. It premiered on January 9, 2019.

Beware of unmarked spoilers.


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The Rising of the Shield Hero provides examples of:

    #-C 
  • Accidental Proposal: After becoming Queen Melty, annoyed with Naofumi's teasing, gives him the title of Archduke. As this is usually reserved for the future King, Trash immediately seizes the opportunity to push them together.
  • Actor Allusion: This is not the first time Ren's VA played a black clad swordsman who played VRMMMO in an Isekai series.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: The Light Novel generally establishes new abilities and elements of how the world works as Naofumi acquires or learns about them. The manga regularly waits to reveal a new skill or other system exploit until Naofumi actively uses it and an explanation is required, if any explanation is provided at all.
  • Aggressive Negotiations:
    • In early volumes Naofumi's tactic when merchants tried to rip him off was to unleash balloon monsters on them in addition to threats about spreading rumors. As his fame and connections grow he changes his method to focus on threats.
    • The queen of Melromarc does this when news of the heroes' summoning reached everyone at the conference she was holding with the nobles of other countries.
  • Agitated Item Stomping: In volume 4, it's revealed that the Queen of Melromarc has her shadows set up framed pictures of Trash and Bitch to burn with fire or shred to pieces with ice as stress relief whenever news of their incompetence reach her ears.
  • Alternate Continuity: The light novel (and therefore the manga) is wildly different from the web novel. While the characters remain the same, for the most part, the events they go through are vastly different. Even the events that introduce the characters to each other and the audience change immensely.
  • Alternate Universe: The Heroes eventually determine that while they all came from Japan they all originate from Japan in different universes.
  • And the Adventure Continues: In the final chapter of the web novel, Raphtalia and Naofumi head off to fight against another god while leaving mortal fragments of themselves to have a new adventure in Raphtalia's world.
  • The Anti-Christ: The Church of Three Heroes believes that while the Sword, Spear and Bow Heroes are deities in human form, the Shield Hero is a devil sent to deceive the people.
  • April Fools' Day: The 2019 celebration had the writer post an Affectionate Parody of "otome isekai" stories, in which the heroine is a Yaoi Fangirl Earth woman reincarnated into Malty's body before she has a chance to stir the pot.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: The Hengen Musou style of combat was devastated when a genius practitioner declared that his skill with it meant he should rule the world, in direct conflict with the style's philosophy. The various members fought and many died, with the survivors vowing not to pass on the art. Naofumi suspects the genius was one of Medea's reincarnated minions sent to destroy a threat.
  • Ascended Meme: Or rather ascended Fan Nickname. In the dub, during their first confrontation after the False Rape Accusation, the Weapons Dealer actually calls Naofumi "Shield Bro".
  • Asshole Victim: It's hard to feel sorry for the King even when you find out the reason he hates Naofumi is because the demi-humans worship him and because his sister was taken as a concubine of one of the demi-humans.
  • Babies Ever After: Chapter 377 has most, if not all the main characters founding a long line of descendants.
  • Badass Adorable:
    • Raphtalia, even when she physically ages as she levels due to the unique traits of demi-humans.
    • Filo, you have to be when your attacks are stronger than the Sword Hero, who has the highest attack power, and you are 20 levels below him.
  • Battle Harem: Subverted with Naofumi, played straight with Tact. Naofumi's battle force consists of his harem and non-harem alike; Tact's battle force consists solely of harem members.
  • Beach Episode: An extended one. All the heroes are sent to Cal Mira Island to level up. There's a bit of relaxation and fun in between political machinations and monster fighting, mostly to serve as a Breather Episode before another Wave and other story complications that occur at the same time.
  • Big Damn Heroes: On returning from the dimension gap, Naofumi is rather annoyed that he arrives just in the nick of time to save Melty.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The song playing in Episode 15 during one of Raphtalia's moments is actually a beautiful song sung in Swedish, not Japanese, catching many Swedish viewers by pleasant surprise and adding a whole other layer to the scene it played in.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing:
    • Malty, who not only tricked Naofumi into purchasing her items but also robbed him before accusing him of rape. She never gets better.
    • The king as well. He does gets better...after 300 or so chapters.
  • Bizarre and Improbable Ballistics: Firearms, planes and armed vehicles in the world that the heroes are summoned to behave somewhat differently than their earth counterparts. Bullets are subject to status magic, which makes their effectiveness scale with the user's level. This has the effect of making them comparatively weaker to magic or plain arrows at the same level, so users need to have a high level to make effective use of a gun. Most, if not all the people who have guns use magic-based propulsion rather than gunpowder due to the fact that it's stronger (at the cost of bullet speed) and that gunpowder incurs maintenance and other costs that are not worth it in the long run.
  • Blatant Lies: There are several told throughout the story which hold absolutely no water if given even a second of thought. Unsurprisingly, they usually involve Malty.
    • That the Shield Hero tried to rape Malty. The Shield Hero at the time is level 1 and Malty is already an accomplished fire mage. If he had tried, she could have subdued him easily with her magic if not simply fried him extra crispy.
    • That the Shield Hero was drunk when he forced himself on her. Later chapters show that Naofumi never gets drunk.
    • That the Shield Hero has a brainwashing ability. Considering that the genesis of his problems is that he was accused of rape, this is patently false since he would have used it then to cover his tracks. Even if he had unlocked it sometime later, he would have stayed in one place to build an army rather than wandering around the countryside with a couple of companions. Strangely he never uses this supposed brainwashing ability when accused of having one which would have been the best time to use it. Fortunately, Motoyasu is the only one of the heroes genuinely stupid enough to believe this, and the rest are fanatical cannon fodder that were more likely brainwashed themselves by the Church itself.
    • That Naofumi, the Shield Hero, somehow kills both Ren and Itsuki along with their parties with no survivors. For one Naofumi's party would have been heavily outnumbered. Secondly Naofumi's Shield has very little in way of offensive capability. Thirdly, the Bow and Sword heroes, along with their party, left no remains due to the power of the attack that killed them. Face it, if Naofumi had access to that kind of power the capital city of Melromarc would be sporting way more blast craters than intact buildings.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: By some bizarre logic (and probably due to misunderstanding of the German inserts in the original text), Erst Shield, Naofumi's signature skill, somehow got turned into the "Air Strike Shield". Even Kaito Ishikawa calling the skill out so many times apparently didn't help the cause.
  • Book-Ends: In the first few chapters Naofumi, on learning that Motoyasu was killed due to having too many girlfriends, curses him. In the epilogue Naofumi, caught in a tug of war between Raphtalia and Atlas, is cursed out by every one of his net friends, his brother, and a priest for having two beauties after him.
  • Brainwashed:
    • When Melty stands up for Naofumi, Malty claims he's used the Shield to brainwash her. Despite there being absolutely no proof, and the obvious In-Universe Fridge Logic of Naofumi not using his alleged Brainwash to get out of that mess, the other Heroes buy this.
    • A dagger used by the rebel conspirators is cloned and infects anyone it cuts, turning them into "Justice zombies" who are subordinate to the conspirators.
  • Brought Down to Normal: During the first meeting with Tact, Naofumi loses his shield. He adjusts quite well to the situation and even voluntarily loses his replacement weapon, the Cane, so he can demonstrate to his enemy that he doesn't need that power to win.
  • Came Back Wrong: When Naofumi becomes a god, he believes he can resurrect people but decides to hold off for fear of damaging their souls and mind. Medea doesn't care about that and never told her minions about the penalty of her reviving them repeatedly.
    • Back from the Dead: However after Medea lost, the revived people stay (alive) in the living world and regained their free will.
  • Canis Major: The Cerberus-like monster that attacked Raphtalia's village was bigger than your average person. The LN adds a twin-headed black dog that attacked Naofumi and Raphtalia in the mines and was at least as large as Naofumi.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Raphtalia in Episode 2, having nightmares of her parents' death during the first wave.
  • Cherry Tapping: Naofumi, much to his dismay.
  • Chick Magnet: Motoyasu tends to attract women and loves showing off to them but is largely oblivious to their true personalities. This comes back to royally bite him in the ass. Not only does Malty betray him the same way she did Naofumi, but one of his traveling women is revealed to have been mooching off from him the entire time.
  • The Chosen Many: The Seven Star Heroes and the Vassal Heroes. They possess abilities similar to the Four Legendary Heroes, and are considered heroes themselves. However, there are some important differences.
    • Their weapons are much more lenient with selecting their wielders. A ceremony can be performed to summon a wielder from another world, but if it fails, then anyone can become its wielder. Most of the Seven Star Heroes are natives of the world, and normal adventurers becoming one is considered common knowledge.
    • The death of a Seven Star Hero has no effect on the Waves, unlike the Four Legendary Heroes. If one is killed, their weapon can immediately choose another wielder if an eligible candidate exists. There can even be multiple candidates for a single weapon at the same time.
    • They exist independently of the Waves, and will select their wielders in times of conflict. Most of their wielders were chosen long before the Four Legendary Heroes were even summoned, and many of them have heroic accomplishments predating the Waves.
    • There are two of them to each of the Legendary Heroes. They can copy weapons and absorb materials to learn new skills like the Legendary Heroes, but each also possesses a unique method of strengthening their weapons. An individual Seven Star Hero is weaker than a Legendary Hero, but still much stronger than a normal person. As a whole, they are powerful enough to drive back the waves should the Legendary Heroes fall.
    • Whereas the Four Legendary Weapons are distinct from each other, most of the Seven Star Weapons overlap with the Legendary Weapons or each other to some capacity. They often share identical uses, unlockable and copied weapon types, and even skills.
  • The Chosen One: The Four Legendary Heroes, who are summoned from different worlds to fight the Waves. Their Legendary Weapons grant them abilities and skills that allow them to surpass the abilities of an ordinary person, as well as unique functions like alerts about the Waves and automatic language translation. The four are also connected to each other, since if even a single Legendary Hero is killed, the Waves will grow stronger. Furthermore, another set of Legendary Heroes cannot be summoned until the rest of the current set has been killed.
  • The Church: There are several, with the Church of Three Heroes being especially prominent early on. The Church worships the Bow, Sword, and Spear as gods while demonizing the Shield. Other Churches worship all Heroes equally, while the Shield is worshipped in Demi-Human countries.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: While all the legendary armaments share a base power such as absorbing material for new forms, each one is different because of the hero's belief in what they can do. If the hero believes that another hero's strengthening method works then it will also become available.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: The legendary weapons must always remain on the hero's person, though their size, appearance, and location can be adjusted to render them inconspicuous. Fitoria reveals that the heroes can eventually take them off. Granted, her weapon is a carriage, and had 10 generations to figure it out.
  • Combination Attack:
    • Skills and magic can be combined to make more powerful attacks.
    • In volume 4, Motoyasu and his party attack Naofumi with this, then Firo and Melty later uses this method of attack to retaliate shortly after.
  • The Corrupter: The soul of the Zombie Dragon Naofumi slew and absorbed into his shield now rests within him. When using the Rage Shield, the Dragon soul tries to urge Naofumi into giving in to his Unstoppable Rage and destroy everything around him.
  • Corrupt Church: The Church of 3 Heroes, not only do they have a human supremacy mindset, they try to kill off the heroes with cloned Legendary Weapons once their hold on the country was to be removed.
  • Cosmic Retcon: The Weapons have the ability to rewrite parts of their wielder's home worlds to allow them and anyone they take with them to return. Ren had died in his world but this was reversed when sent back. Naofumi's world was revised so that Raphtalia had been his penpal and after coming to Japan as a foreign exchange student became his girlfriend. When Atlas was retconned in she became the daughter of a wealthy businessman and Naofumi's childhood friend.
  • Counter Attack: Naofumi's only way to deal damage, justified in that his only weapon is his shield, and his attack stats are so low that he had spent minutes to kill a low level Mook if he wanted to kill by his own hand.
  • Crapsack World: High-level monsters appear and kill indiscriminately until they are stopped by deadly force? Check. There is a giant magical hourglass showing when it will happen, each and every time? Check. Humans Are Bastards? Check. One of the most honest and upright merchants in the setting is a slave trader? Check.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • The Pope gets eaten alive by Naofumi's Blood Sacrifice magic at the end of their battle.
    • For noble women the worst possible fate is being sent to the King of Faubley as a bride. He views women as entirely disposable tools for his pleasure and them being in agony provides at least half of his pleasure; most only last a few weeks. Malty lost an arm and an eye on her first night with him. Naofumi compares a recording of said night to a guro film.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Filo for Melty.

    D-H 
  • Damage Reduction: Naofumi's most powerful stat, which eventually climbs high enough that even without a shield he takes no damage from being attacked with a sword.
  • Deconstructor Fleet:
    • Of the typical "summoned to another world" tropes. Despite the four Heroes being considered the chosen ones to save the world, the denizens treat the Shield Hero's defensive focus as garbage, the other Heroes recklessly treat the world like a game and leave no small amount of misery in their wake by accident, and the Heroes being summoned in the first place caused a massive political shitstorm since the country did it without any other country's consent. Even worse, the Church dedicated to said Heroes pulls a Face–Heel Turn because of their ineptitude.
    • More on the Chosen One trope, as it shows that the Legendary Weapons' idea of choosing their wielders involves essentially kidnapping random people from other worlds (or at least nabbing their souls right after they died) based solely on their gaming experience from alternate universes and expecting them to just get the hang of things like actual combat in time for the monster-spawning waves. Even if the world's RPG mechanics means that game-savvy otakus would seemingly fit in with their designated roles as Heroes, not only does the series show how this a HORRIBLE idea since three of the four heroes chosen wind up causing a LOT of problems simply because they couldn't be bothered to take the situation seriously enough, but the one that did so enough to take it upon himself to fix them personally had even lampshaded himself that he only have done so after getting screwed over by a manipulative sociopath and being FORCED to take things seriously in order to stay alive. The result is that the Sword, Spear, and Bow heroes are, to put it bluntly, underpowered liabilities who can't be bothered to put in actual time and effort to get stronger while the titular Shield Hero is actually able to get things accomplished. And this is before the Spirit Turtle incident...
      • In fact, considering their dismissive attitude towards Naofumi for his defense-oriented Legendary Shield, their constant use of flashy SP draining skills over more practical abilities, and only putting the bare minimum of Level Grinding, it also raises the question of whether the other Heroes were even all that knowledgeable in RPGs as they claim to be, or if their games were properly balanced when it came to character classes.
    • Weapons that change and evolve based on the user's thoughts and feelings also sound great on paper, but what if it also reacted to negative emotions like hate and greed? The result is the Curse Series, the 'special' variants of the Legendary Weapons only accessible after the user has gone through the Despair Event Horizon. While they possess tremendous power and grant powerful finishing moves, they also eat away at their user by intensifying the respective emotion to the point where the user is motivated solely by it, among other detriments.
    • The concept of Level Grinding is also deconstructed due to how seriously its treated in-universe. It's pointed out in a conversation between Naofumi and Shadow that there are only so many monsters to slay when it comes to gaining levels, which is why they can't simply have an entire army of properly trained soldiers ready for the waves. It was also why "hunting etiquette" was introduced in the Cala Mira arc in order to properly ration out the high-exp yielding monsters on the awakened island.
    • Also, despite the setting taking place in a world with RPG mechanics, Naofumi and his allies show that having high levels isn't enough to succeed at fighting off the monsters in the waves or the heroes from the other world. Ren, Motoyasu, and Itsuki fall behind him despite their higher levels because they lack the stat investment, skill, and pragmatism Naofumi and his party put time and effort into utilizing, and their initially stubborn refusal to acknowledge his strength as anything other than "cheating" or heed his warnings about needing to train instead of relying solely on their Legendary Weapons bites them royally after they personally kick off the Spirit Turtle incident.
    • And touching on the other Heroes treating it like a game, this also becomes a plot point as they're both confused and angered at Naofumi's increasing power. As it turns out, they're so deadset in believing that the world operates on the mechanics of the games they played in their individual worlds that they don't realize they're stunting their growth by not exploring other methods of strengthing themselves and their weapons, or utilizing strong emotions - like Naofumi's sheer, festering hatred for them and the world.
    • The Sociopathic Hero gets a work-over because the other Heroes act like sociopaths because they are for the most part idiots and Naofumi (who acts like one because he's been Maddened Into Misanthropy) still can't bring himself to be one of these all the way, at least not to innocent bystanders, and when he finally gets the horrifying revenge on Malty that he's been fantasizing during the whole story, it eventually gets to a point that is just too horrible for him to actually behold and savor like he wanted all this time.
    • Malty's the perfect deconstruction of the invokedRoyal Brat archetype by showing just how rotten to the core someone like her can be when their personality can be mainly summed up as It's All About Me. She gets away with everything because she manipulates people, her father helps her by essentially protecting her from blame, and because she is a princess, she holds political power that allows her to get away with it everytime. Due to this, she takes advantage of everyone around her without care for any long term results, especially considering just how much downright sociopathic behavior she gets away with prior to, and after meeting Naofumi, and just keeps getting worse and worse even after her mother exposes her and the King's disgusting behavior on top of confiscating their royal titles. Eventually, its taken to a point where her horrendous personality is literally what gets her killed in the end, as EVERYONE wants her dead and gone by that point, even her previously doting father. Turns out, screwing over everyone you know will mean nobody will actually stick up for you when it most matters, and she undermines her own plans because she simply cannot stop trying to Kick the Dog.
    • Also of Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe. The heroes are summoned into the kingdom of Melromarc and spend most of the series taking care of events there such as dealing with the Church and the King. Turns out later the rest of the world is not happy that Melromarc is being seen as the only place in need of the Heroes help, as it turns out the Waves affect the entire world and not just Melromarc. Also, Melromarc summoning the Heroes caused massive political issues because by hogging them, the rest of the world is unfairly stuck without the ability to rely on the Heroes to help them. Its later explained by Fitoria that the only reason things haven't gotten worse is because she has been doing her best to assist with defenses of the rest of the world.
    • The concept of the Idiot Hero gets deconstructed through Motoyasu, showing that despite being a genuine good guy with childish ideals, he's far too trusting for his own good and far too naive to even consider that people would take advantage of him with the latter none the wiser. His childish ideals also prove far too unrealistic and blinds him to reality in a way that even when committing hypocrisy towards said ideals, he don't notice and stubbornly insist he's in the right. All evidence on how well a Idiot Hero would fair outside the fairy tale it came from.
      • And even the "Hero" part of the Idiot Hero is put into question regarding Motoyasu considering how, for a supposed hero, he's more of a Nominal Hero at best. He had no problem forcing Naofumi into a duel at Malty and the King's behest, ignored how the girl he claimed to be "freeing" from him was bound and gagged, arrogantly boasted about having an easy win against someone who was twenty levels lower and had no offensive focus, started whining about Naofumi's "foul play" when he started losing, and kept insisting Raphtalia was brainwashed despite the lack of evidence after winning due to Malty's clear cheating. And that's not even getting into his behavior towards Filo, or at least in the manga and anime when he went so far as to shackle her in magic cuffs and made it clear in a blatant show of hypocrisy that he planned to exploit her while she was (seemingly) helpless. Calling him Obliviously Evil would be a serious stretch, but its safe to say that his idiocy, lack of common sense and blind faith towards Malty causes him to trample all over his own "noble" ideals and act obtrusive to the ones genuinely trying to fix things prior to the fight with the power mad Pope.
      • The Power of Trust also gets deconstructed by Motoyasu since he even CLAIMS to be running on this in regards to his party. In truth, it's just another example of his naivety getting in the way of his judgement since Malty is clearly taking advantage of him.
    • What the Ideal Hero would really be like in a realistic standpoint gets shown through Itsuki Kawasumi, as even if he got enough moral code to be classified as "heroic", it also comes with a gigantic ego and narcissistic tendencies that leaves him utterly incapable of admitting his own mistakes, wrongdoings and apologizing to others for his mistakes, due to believing himself and his judgement being always right even when the facts themselves are right in front of his face. His narcissistic traits also leave him incapable of consider other people's feelings and opinions about him, making it impossible for anyone to spend a prolonged amount of time with him without coming to detest these traits in the process. It all ends up with everyone keeping their distance from him and him from anyone else in return, fitting the "Hero of the Bow".
    • Ren deconstructs the Ineffectual Loner archetype because despite it being made clear to the heroes that it's important to have a team of other adventurers (ignoring how Naofumi got dicked out of a traditional party from the start), the Sword Hero insists on doing things solo to the point of grinding for levels alone. Not only does this leave him the most unable to work in a group (not just with the other heroes, but in a party with actual cooperative cohesion like with Raphtalia and Firo), but this ultimately resulted in the death of his companions in the Spirit Turtle incident.
    • The Then Let Me Be Evil trope gets deconstructed throughout the story, at first subtly and then much more overtly. Naofumi makes things a lot harder for himself by letting his rage and resentment take over, and not accepting genuine help or gratitude from anyone. While this behavior is understandable considering what happened in the beginning, and does have several practical advantages (making himself a successful merchant and toughening up his more naive allies rather than coddling them), the Jerkass Façade also works against him at several points and makes it that much easier for King Melromarc, Malty, and the Three Heroes Church to lie to the public about him. It isn't until several people (Melty and Fitoria primarily) point this out that Naofumi finally starts to leave his shell, although he admits that he's still unlikely to ever become the person he used to be again.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: For the modern Japanese Heroes the existence of slavery and public execution as a form of entertainment seem barbaric. Naofumi is squicked by crowds cheering for executions but reminds himself that even on Earth this used to be considered perfectly normal.
  • De-Power:
    • The Hourglass of the Dragon's Era can be used to reset a person's level to 1. This is most often used as punishment for criminals such as Bitch and Tact as it renders them virtually harmless. Naofumi inflicts this on Tact when he orders his Seven Star Weapons to find a new host.
    • Naofumi has most of his slaves undergo the level reset so they can take advantage of his stat and growth corrections his shields provide once they level up.
  • Didn't Think This Through: A group of bandits Naofumi's party defeats claims they'll get away with their crimes by claiming the Shield Hero attacked them for no reason. It didn't occur to them that hearing their plan would convince Naofumi to kill them instead (though it was a bluff on his part).
    • After her royal status is revoked by the Queen, Malty, them named Bitch, is VERY prone to this, bordering on Too Dumb to Live.
  • Did You Actually Believe...?: While preparing the executions of Tact's harem and family they were told that if they spoke against him they might survive. When it becomes clear they won't, Naofumi demands to know if Malty actually believed he would let her get away.
  • Deceased and Diseased: The zombie dragon whose corpse Ren leaves behind.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Two in-universe examples.
    • The Vassal Katana possesses equivalent skills to the Sword, such as the former's Stardust Sword to the latter's Shooting Star Sword. Eclair receives the Katana in the Web Novel, while Raphtalia takes up the role in Light Novel.
    • The Bow's counterpart is the Vassal Projectile, which has also access to skills such as the Air Strike line. The Bow itself bestows Rishia with the Vassal Projectile so that she can stop Itsuki.
  • Distant Epilogue: In the epilogue Naofumi and Raphtalia return to her home village after centuries have passed in the world while they were fighting gods elsewhere.
  • Dracolich: The Dragon that Rin killed came back as an undead until Naofumi slayed it a second time... even then, its spirit still dwells in the shield.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: This gets showcased quite handily in chapter 377.
  • Eaten Alive:
    • The fate of Raphtalia's parents during the First Wave, devoured by a Cerberus-like monster.
    • Subverted by Filo. It looks as if the Zombie Dragon killed her in one bite, but she'd only been Swallowed Whole and dug her way out from inside.
    • Naofumi's Blood Sacrifice magic eats the Pope alive, screaming all the while.
  • Embarrassing Damp Sheets: A young Raphtalia ends up wetting her bed. In tears, she expects Naofumi to hit her but insteads he comforts her.
  • Empathic Weapon: In volume 5, Naofumi crafts a bracelet at Therese's request. The Bracelet ends up being so high-quality that Therese conveys to him that it's overjoyed and can't wait to be used into battle. It also expresses sadness at being used against him when Therese and L'Arc turn on Naofumi.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: In episode 21 of the anime when Malty is about to be executed for treason and for framing Naofumi she looks up to Motoyasu for him to save her. To her surprise and her dismay he looks at her with a look of shame, literaly turns his face away and stays completely silent. The subsequent look of shock on Malty's face encapsulates this trope perfectly and makes her desperate enough to beg the man she originally betrayed, Naofumi, to show mercy and save her.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: They're not evil per se, but Ren and Itsuki are still pretty much uncaring jerkasses. And yet even they were disgusted by the treatment Naofumi had received during the banquet and his following duel with Motoyasu, such that they spoke out on his behalf against Malty and the King. Afterward, they were even more disgusted when Motoyasu claimed Naofumi had brainwashed Raphtalia, even when the latter was comforting an obviously crying Naofumi after fervently declaring her belief in him.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Averted with Malty. Played straight with Melty.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • Ren, Motoyasu, and Itsuki have one when the Pope of the Church of the 3 Heroes uses a weapon that allows him to mimic their Legendary Weapons. Naofumi would have had a similar counterpart but the Church views the Shield as a devil and so the Pope did not use it.
    • Tact serves as one to the four Heroes and Trash as he has all of their negative qualities while lacking any of their redeeming factors. Notably the most prominent members of his harem act as counterparts to Naofumi's companions.
  • Evil Weapon: All of the Legendary Weapons can become evil through the Curse Series, corrupting their users with the Seven Deadly Sins.
  • Evolving Weapon: The Legendary Weapons. Letting the gem of the weapons absorb materials from monsters and other objects unlocks weapon forms based on those materials, granting new skills and stats.
  • Extreme Close-Up: After Naofumi is cornered and accused of kidnapping Princess Melty, he appears willing to cooperate to avoid as little bloodshed as possible. That is until someone shouts "You mustn't listen to him!" and the camera quickly zooms onto Malty.
  • Faking the Dead:
    • Itsuki and Ren faked their deaths, and the deaths of their companions until the right time to strike against the priest of the church of the three heroes. To be fair, said enemy didn't bother to check for corpses because the attack he used should have left nothing to look for.
    • Malty is sent to her certain death and her corpse is later returned. This is later revealed to have been a homunculus created by Tact's harem to hide her survival.
  • Fantastic Racism:
  • Festival Episode: Naofumi's village hosts a large festival, which Naofumi views as a great opportunity to make money.
  • Forced Level-Grinding: After Tact is defeated the level of monsters around the world rises dramatically. Just to survive everyone has to level grind.
  • Forced to Watch: Tact's execution is delayed so he can watch as every one of his comrades, friends, and family members is executed in inventive fashions. Made even worse by them calling out for him to save them.
  • Fugitive Arc: Naofumi's party ends up on the run due to a conspiracy by the Church to kill Melty and frame him for it.
  • Gainax Ending: This would have been the case if chapter 356 was the ending, as originally planned.
  • Genre Savvy: Experience with games, light novels, and manga leaves the Heroes far more prepared for their adventure than expected. Naofumi is even able to deduce the nature of the Big Bad due to his savvy.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The Spirit Beasts function as this. The more people they kill the longer the Waves are delayed; the Waves can be completely stopped at the cost of two-thirds of the world's population. Naofumi deems this a last resort.
  • The Goomba: Balloon-type monsters are to this world what Slimes are to Dragon Quest.
  • Groin Attack:
    • When Naofumi used his balloon monsters during the first duel with Motoyasu he made sure to place several in the groin, kicking them to make sure they stayed in place.
    • After Filo sends Motoyasu flying with one of these, Naofumi teaches her to do it whenever she sees him. This happens frequently enough off-screen that Motoyasu ended up buying a groin protector, which Filo promptly broke.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: A few characters will temporarily join or accompany Naofumi's group mostly to fill in necessary roles and firepower he's missing. Melty, for example, joins the group during the Fugitive Arc and serves as the resident wizard.
  • Happily Married: Many characters get this in chapter 377. The chapter is read as a treatise that occurred centuries after the main story.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Naofumi's slaves. While his actions are intended for Pragmatic Villainy, it resulted in this and Undying Loyalty from his slaves. This rather annoyed him while his allies defended him from Controlled!Itsuki's accusations.
  • Harem Seeker: A common trait among Medea's reincarnated minions. They are apparently of the belief that they can convert anyone into a harem member, no matter how unwilling.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Naofumi's ability to boost his party member's growth with his shield's supportive powers allows them to surpass the other Heroes for a brief time.
  • The Hero: Four of them in fact: Hero of the Sword, Hero of the Spear, Hero of the Bow, and Hero of the Shield. There are also the Seven Eight Star Heroes and the Heroes of Glass' world.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Naofumi suffers a bad one after his first duel with Motoyasu, when Malty blatantly cheats to help her new boyfriend win and no one acknowledges it.
    • Motoyasu, Ren, and Itsuki all had this after they bring about a disaster. Motoyasu never really recovers from his.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Atlas. Made even more ridiculous in that she doesn't have to die, if only they were not interrupted midst war with Houou.
    • Granny also sacrifices herself so the Heroes can escape from Tact's trap.
    • Ren died protecting his childhood friend from murderer on killing spree. Then he got transported to another world.
  • Heroic Team Revolt: Motoyasu and Itsuki's parties eventually get fed up with their antics and abandon them.
  • Hero of Another Story: The other Heroes count as this for Naofumi as each is fighting their own battles and working on behalf of the people off-screen. This ends as a result of the Spirit Turtle incident destroying their credibility and Naofumi becomes their de facto leader.
    • Fitoria crosses paths with Naofumi periodically and has been secretly fighting any waves that occur too far from populated areas for the Heroes to reach.
    • Glass has been fighting an on-going battle to protect her entire world from destruction and even after allying with Naofumi still returns periodically to continue her fight.
    • Arc becomes this to Naofumi and Raphtalia after they become god killers, mostly fighting on his own but periodically teaming up for difficult enemies.
  • History Repeats: One of Malty's first acts in the story is to rob Naofumi, falsely accuse him of raping her, and join Motoyasu's party for 'protection'. Later, after convincing his party to abandon him during the Spirit Turtle arc, she hooks up with Ren and makes the exact same accusations against Motoyasu. And then she betrays Ren...
  • Hoist by Her Own Petard: The final battle against Medea ends the same way Naofumi's previous battles with her fragment Witch ended: Naofumi reflecting her own magic back at her. Since the magic this time was the one that can wipe out an enemy's existence in all of space-time, this destroy her completely, despite her main body not being in the same world.

    I-P 
  • Illegal Religion: In the aftermath of the fight with the high priest of the 3 Heroes Church, the Queen of Melromarc deems said religion heretical and promptly abolished.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Blood Sacrifice and the other abilities Naofumi uses creates Iron Maidens designed to do this. He kills the High Priest using it.
  • Irony: The first person to prove themselves trustworthy to Naofumi by always dealing with him honestly and never betraying him is a slaver. Whereas even the blacksmith briefly believes Naofumi is a rapist, the slaver just treats him as a recurring customer who also brings good business indirectly.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Motoyasu calls Naofumi out on owning a slave. While initially dismissive of his outrage, much later Naofumi concedes that from the perspective of most modern Japanese it really was something that could be seen as villainous.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Motoyasu. He might be a jerk to Naofumi every time they meet, but his heart is always in the right place. Exemplified by the fact that Motoyasu tried to take away Raphtalia and Filo away from Naofumi because he thought they would end up being abused by him, and once again with Melty included in the mix because he believed Naofumi brainwashed them.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: After getting away with many of her earlier actions towards Naofumi, Malty has her noble titles revoked by her mother.
  • Karmic Death:
    • The Pope is killed by Naofumi's Blood Sacrifice after he tried to kill the latter as a false hero.
    • Malty wanted to live like a witch. She had to settle for dying like one.
    • After causing so much needless pain and misery across the various Worlds, Medea finds herself stopped and beaten into the ground by Naofumi and Raphtalia, who had just become Physical Gods themselves. Her first counterattack is rewarded with the former two restraining her and buffing their allies, giving them the opportunity to vent their own feelings of frustration and hatred on her as well. After getting free, she attempts to use her powers to erase Naofumi from existence like she tried to before, only for him to bounce the attack right back at her and completely wipe herself out of existence instead. Having been killed in every world, parallel timeline, and alternate universe, not only are the various worlds finally liberated from Medea's destructive influence, but barely a trace of her memory was left as a result.
  • Karmic Jackpot: As bad as things start out, Naofumi's selfless actions (no matter how much he tries to deny it) have done a lot for him in the long run.
    • His fatherly attitude towards the members of his party have made them both unquestionably loyal to him, his desire for them to be capable of defending themselves leading to them becoming very skilled against the various monsters and mad men they encounter.
    • Unlike the other heroes, Naofumi has no interest in personal glory and has often prioritizes the protection of the common folk. Because of this, the peasantry of the kingdom come to know of him as a hero in-spite of the lies that the nobles and the other heroes spread about him and will often compensate him for his help generously.
    • His desire to avoid escalating conflicts, as well as his Pragmatic Heroism has caught the attention of the Queen of Melromarc Kingdom, leading to the King and Princess Malty to be dually punished for their corrupt actions against him. Out of all of the heroes, he seems to be the one she respects the most, even encouraging him to marry his second daughter in the light novel.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: People were delighted when Naofumi was proven innocent and the King and Malty were punished.
  • Killed Off for Real: The Queen of Melromarc Kingdom, Granny, and Atlas. In revenge for this Tact and Malty are killed off for real.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Read Meaningful Rename.
  • Level Cap: There are two level caps which can be uncapped.
    • The first cap is level 40 which can be overcome by visiting the Hourglass of the Dragon's Era and paying a small fee. This prevents most monsters and outlaws from moving past this level, reducing the overall danger they pose. Naofumi is temporarily stuck at this cap due to the King forbidding him from using the Hourglass.
    • The second cap is level 100 and is believed to be the maximum level. Gaelion confirms it is possible to go beyond level 100 but lacks the knowledge of the required rituals until he becomes the Dragon Emperor.
  • Level Grinding: Naofumi starts off spending his days slowly grinding through balloon monsters to gain a few measly levels. Once he gets Raphtalia he is able to eventually branch out.
    • Cal Mira Island's awakening offers an efficient version of level grinding as the monsters provide extra XP until the adventurers reach a point of diminishing returns.
    • Filo's carriage is used to grind the level of Naofumi's slaves. Filo can kill monsters simply by running them over with her carriage so Naofumi loads it up and has her run at high speed across the countryside, with the people in the carriage receiving large amounts of XP for no effort.
  • Lighter and Softer: The manga adaptation is this to the light novel. It should be noted that Naofumi is still the same Anti-Hero, and he does almost the same things, it's just that we don't get to read his more hateful inner thoughts and opinions. The anime is lighter than both of them since it removes certain scenes that portray Naofumi in a much less heroic light. And the dub tones down the darkness even further, by making the dialogue a bit more civil.
  • Little Bit Beastly: Demi-humans are largely human aside from their ears and tails.
  • Lost in Transmission: The various shrines located on the Spirit Turtle had detailed explanations from past Heroes on how and why they sealed it, rather than killed it. The writing has deteriorated to the point that the key phrases are illegible. Naofumi later attributes this to intervention by the entity behind the waves.
  • Lover Tug-of-War: In the epilogue Naofumi is subject to one between Raphtalia and Atlas. On the day of his wedding to Raphtalia.
  • Magically Binding Contract: The queen of Melromarc signs one to gain Naofumi's trust. If something bad happens to Naofumi or his slaves, she will suffer the consequences alone.
  • Manchurian Agent: "Justice zombies" are able to act completely normal and fool even their close friends and family. Thanks to this enough people were populated to stage a country-wide rebellion. When their sabotage or infection is revealed they become actively hostile and attempt to infect others while shouting propaganda.
  • Manipulative Editing: A band of knights use a crystal ball to record Naofumi's party fighting off their assault after the knights tried to kill Princess Melty. They then retreat and have a group of mages alter the recording with thier magic to make it seem like "the Devil of the Shield" and his minions butchered the knights with wicked smiles while "kidnapping" Melty.
  • Matriarchy: The Melromarc Kingdom.
  • Meaningful Rename: As part of their punishment for abusing Shield, the Queen lets Naofumi rename the King and Malty to Trash and Bitch. Much later Trash willingly accepts his new name after his wife's death.
  • Merged Reality: The waves are caused by two worlds coming into contact. If this occurs often enough eventually the worlds will begin to merge, destroying one or both of them. Previous instances of this occurring resulted in the presence of Demi-Humans, who were not originally native to the world, as well as half of the Legendary and Seven Star Weapons.
  • Monster Is a Mommy: Ren is devastated when he learns that the dragon he killed was the father of a young girl who was enslaved by the same people who convinced him to kill said father.
  • Morton's Fork: In chapter 336, the legendary Whip has two candidates to wield it, Rat and Taniko. However neither wants to become a Hero due to their respective bad experiences with Heroes.
  • Never Gets Drunk: Naofumi is a type 3. He is able to safely consume handfuls of a grape that need to be diluted for safe consumption. Even eating half of one is enough to cause alcohol poisoning in most people; Naofumi doesn't even get a buzz.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The heroes aside from Naofumi are all guilty of this as the results of their actions lead to consequences that are just as bad or even worse. These include:
    • Ren kills a dragon but doesn't properly dispose of its corpse. Its rotten corpse not only polluted the land, it comes back as a zombie dragon.
    • Motoyasu tries to save a famine village by planting a magical seed. Unfortunately it turns out to be a Man-Eating Plant.
    • Itsuki kills a king that was heavily taxing his people. It doesn't solve anything as the government continue to tax the people.
    • Naofumi's "Reason You Suck" Speech in Episode 19 enables the Pope the recharge his weapon, while he's wasting time bringing up arguably petty grudges instead of dealing with the actual threat in front of them.
  • Not Completely Useless: The Ø series Weapons are flashy and completely useless against virtually every opponent, doing 0 damage and, in Naofumi's case, having 0 defense. However they are the only series that can hurt gods such as Medea.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Malty and Aultcray when they realize that Mirelia is going to dethrone them for their actions.
    • Medea's last words are her screaming in terror and desperation when she realizes the Attack Reflector is going to Ret Gone her.
  • Otaku: The Legendary Heroes are all otaku and Naofumi eventually determines that all of the previous Legendary Heroes were also otaku. Medea's reincarnators are also otaku whose minds are notably warped by her influence.
  • The Peeping Tom: In Chapter 100 the other Heroes attempt this while Naofumi deliberately abstains.
  • Pet the Dog: Ren and Itsuki come to Naofumi's defense when he lost against Motoyasu in a duel due to Malty attacking him in the back.
  • Petting Zoo People: Beastmen of various types appear, from typical reptile and werewolf races to the less standard mole race.
  • Physical God: Naofumi and Raphtelia eventually becomes this. At least in the Web Novel.
  • Pixellation: The combined Envy and Lust Curse series of Motoyasu's spear turns the blade into something that is covered with mosaic in-universe.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: In Episode 2, Raphtalia says the trope verbatim when Naofumi tries to perform a You Shall Not Pass! on the two-headed dog monster. After they defeat it, she hugs him and tearfully begs him to please not to die and leave her alone.
  • Poison-and-Cure Gambit: In Chapter 22, Naofumi poisons a guard, who he then tells will die unless he receives an antidote from him. He uses it to turn the guard into a guide to find Melty.
  • Popcultural Osmosis Failure: An interesting non-generational example in episode 10 of the anime. Itsuki mentions the Comes Great Responsibility line verbatim, which causes Naofumi to do a Spit Take all over Filo. When Itsuki asks him what's so funny, Naofumi responds that he didn't realize he was bitten by a spider. Itsuki, coming from an alternative universe version of Japan, doesn't get it.
  • Power at a Price: The Cursed Form of the Legendary Weapons each evoke different consequences that linger for months.
    • The Wrath series is the most direct, causing serious physical harm to the wielder and reduced stats.
    • The Gluttony and Greed series reduce EXP and levels, lower quality of drops and turns any high-quality equipment and money that the wielder touches with their hands into dust.
    • The Pride and Sloth series inhibit SP gain and in later stages it reduces the wielder's willpower to nothing, turning them into yes-men
    • The Envy and Lust series supposedly have effects that would affect severely the user's mind, but Motoyasu was already broken before that could happen so those had no effect on him.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The Light Novel and Manga go into great length about the various shields Naofumi finds on his travels, as well as the effects they give him. Since stopping to explain each shield, how he got it, and what they do is harder in an animated format than a book or manga, the anime adaptation will usually show Naofumi getting certain important shields, but show that he has collected several other shields during the background by way of showing all the various shields he has on his status screen.
  • The Promise: In volume 4, Fitoria talks a bit about the vow she made to the first shield hero to defend the world. She will make good on this promise by killing Naofumi and the other heroes if they do not stop fighting amongst themselves and start cooperating in the waves.
  • Psychic Powers:
    • Itsuki is revealed to have come from a world where people with ESP is common, himself having an ESP ability which raises his accuracy when aiming.
    • Itsuki guesses that Naofumi also has both the ESP abilities of intoxication immunity and animal charisma which somehow also includes demi-humans and beastmen.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: The reincarnated minions of Medea are delusional and have no consideration for anything other than their own satisfaction.
  • Public Execution: Happens twice, both times being large public spectacles with cheering citizens. Naofumi finds both the executions and the cheering disturbing but understands it's part of Melromarc's culture.

    R-Z 
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Itsuki takes out the king of another kingdom because said king was heavily taxing his citizens and making things pretty bad for the commoners. After doing so, he basically leaves the kingdom to rebuild itself and create a new government, only for said government to heavily tax the citizens again because its military needed funding for its army to protect the kingdom from monsters. Removing a government just because they were heavily taxing the people doesn't mean the new government automatically can fix the issues left behind, especially ones that are needed for basic protection of the people.
    • Ren kills a Dragon later to protect a village. However, he fails to actually dispose of the body, resulting in it causing disease and pollution to the nearby wildlife, along with it becoming an Undead Dragon. Just like in real life, not disposing of corpses properly creates disease and other health issues. Naofumi even invokes this trope upon hearing it, thinking to himself that Ren should of known that just like in real life, leaving meat out will cause it to go bad.
    • Ren, Motoyasu and Itsuki rely solely on their raw strength and treat everything that happens as a fantasy game, usually ignoring the long term effects of their actions and endangering their respective parties with their egos. In-contrast Naofumi takes the very real threats of the world seriously and relies on skill, teamwork and pragmatically useful non-combative skills like crafting and learning the world's alphabet. This makes Naofumi a much more effective hero in comparison, earning the love and respect of the peasants that he saves and outclassing the other heroes despite his lower levels.
    • Because of the overwhelming power of the Four Legendary Heroes, each kingdom is supposed to only summon one to avoid upsetting the balance of power. The King's decision to summon all four results in the Queen spending the first several arcs putting out the political fires her husband started.
    • The Shield makes Naofumi immune to things such as poison and curses, but this doesn't extended to his party members. As a result, when he confronts and slays the Undead Dragon, Raphtalia gets hit by both poison, and a curse, and ends up being out of commission for a while. Even if they tried to take precautions to avoid the poison, venturing into an area filled with an airborne toxicant means simply covering your mouth doesn't serve as a good enough defense against it.
    • The fact the Four Heroes were all random people from different worlds means they have no actual combat experience with their weapons. While the weapon's special abilities help them grow more powerful and they learn to fight because of this, it's shown repeatedly that at best their skills are average, so any sufficiently strong fighter can match the raw power of the weapons if they are skilled enough. This is demonstrated later on when Eclair and Ren have a duel where no magic or hero skills are allowed. Despite the Sword's power up to that point, Ren is overwhelmed by Eclair's battle skills because while Ren is one of the chosen heroes, he's just a gamer who only recently started fighting while Eclair is a knight who has been training most of her life. When you remove the weapon's Story-Breaker Power aspects, you have four regular people without the needed training to stand up to any reasonably skilled fighter.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Almost the entirety of episode 19 is given over to this and both the Church and Naofumi virbally rip Ren, Motoyasu and Itsuki a new one. Deconstructed for Naofumi's in that the timing is horrible and just distracts everyone from the actual threat while the Pope is able to easily recharge his weapon without opposition. The Pope calls them out on how stupid that was.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The Queen.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Naofumi in the anime, when he triggers the Cursed Shield.
  • Reincarnation: In Glass' world it is believed that souls eventually reincarnate, so Soul Eaters are used to prevent criminals from reincarnating. Tact is more-or-less confirmed to have been reincarnated with his memories from an alternate Japan as are Medea's other minions.
  • Revenge by Proxy: What Naofumi's summoning as the Shield Hero amounts to. Melromarc hates demi-humans and beastmen, and the latter worships the Shield Hero for the benevolent actions of the previous one. Not only does this result in the Church of Three Heroes demonizing the Shield prior to the events of the story, but this also led to Naofumi being ignored and treated like garbage even before Malty threw a fake rape accusation at him. It's also implied that just the first three heroes could be summoned without the Shield Hero, but was done so anyway just to spite its legacy even further by making the current wielder out to be both a malicious demon and a useless liability to the public. Unfortunately for the main conspirators involved, this gradually backfires on them BIG TIME.
  • Rpg Mechanics Verse: Everyone in the world of the story explicitly speaks in RPG terms, such as levels, stats, hit points and so on.
  • Sacrificial Lion: The death of Atlas has a massive impact on Naofumi and avenging her becomes his short-term goal, her death also angers Ren to the point of unlocking his own wrath series weapon. the Queen and Granny are killed to prove Tact and Malty are the new villains and to complete the King's move toward redemption.
  • Scratch Damage: Naofumi can only do 1 point of damage when attacking, which means even a weak balloon monster takes minutes to kill.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Justified in that the users are the King and his daughter Malty. Averted in that the Queen has to clean up his mess when he decides to summon the heroes without the consent of the other countries.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Averted as Naofumi doesn't have the funds to do so and he totally intended to do this, if he did not have other methods to go back to his own world.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: See Fantastic Racism above. The Shield Hero was revered by demi-humans and beastmen, humans at Melromarc Kingdom refused to give him proper capital and information. Later he turned to ask help from demi-humans and later treat them fairly like the previous Shield Heroes.
  • Send Me Back:
    • On his third day, Naofumi demands this right after being dragged to Melromarc castle and finding out Malty lied to everyone about him raping her. To his chagrin, he won't be able to until the waves are taken care of. Or so he thinks.
    • Naofumi is banished to his home planet at one point and is able to return to a comfortable life alongside Raphtalia. Despite this he can't stop thinking about his comrades stuck in battle with the goddess Medea and wishes to return. The Shield obliges.
    • Ren is similarly banished and jumps at the opportunity to return.
  • Seven Deadly Sins:
    • The Curse series of the Legendary Weapons align to the sins. Unless a trusted person can snap them out of it, the sin consumes the wielder's mind.
    • The new Seven Deadly Sins as outlined by the Vatican in 2008 appear as a separate Curse series which Naofumi accidentally unlocks, turning him into a megalomaniac.
  • Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing: Normal clothes don't change along with Filo when she switches between human and bird form, so Naofumi and Raphtalia need to get her some tailor-made clothes made of a special magical thread that change with her.
  • Ship Tease: Hilariously defied. When Raphtalia and Motoyasu spend an entire day together on Cal Mira, the latter does everything in his power to woo her and treat it like a date. The day ends with her opinion of him being drastically lowered—largely because he insisted on hitting on other women as the day went on.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts:
    • How Naofumi and Raphtalia's interaction is seen at times.
    • Lampshaded by Naofumi himself when he see's Itsuki's interaction with Rishia
  • Spell My Name with an "S": It is to be expected as this is still a new project that multiple translators are working on, and opinions will differ.
  • Staged Populist Uprising: A rebellion in Melromarc is revealed to have been masterminded by Malty, the Church of Three Heroes, and Itsuki's former companions using mind control to make the people support them.
  • Stat-O-Vision: The heroes have this ability thanks to their weapons. It allows them to see their levels, stats, and weapon trees.
  • Status Quo Is God: Deconstructed. As the Shield Hero, Naofumi was looked down on from the very start as the useless liability of the four heroes by seemingly everybody, and it appeared to be because of his purely defensive focus. Things only got worse for him when a false rape accusation was dropped on him, and everyone wanted nothing to do with him as a result. Turns out it was part of a conspiracy by Melromarc's Church and royalty to undermine the Shield Hero legacy for it's connection to the demi-human and beastman history, and Naofumi himself was basically collateral damage by unwilling association. They WANTED him to be (or at least be seen as) both a useless liability and a repulsive monster from the very start, and the moments he shows to be much more capable then they expected him to be or becomes more beloved than the other heroes, their response is to either go out of their way to deny him any chances to grow stronger, or try to pin more false accusations on him in a desperate attempt to keep his negative social status the same.
  • Stone Wall: Naofumi. Being the Hero of the Shield naturally makes him one. Once he reaches a high enough level, basic enemies literally cannot hurt him, allowing him to grab lower level monsters and use as weapons. During his duel with Motoyasu, Motoyasu is able to hurt him thanks to having a higher level, better gear, and an actual weapon, but most of his attacks don't do much damage. Taken to an extreme in the final arc. After becoming a Physical God, he adjusts his power so that his defense is through the roof and his attack stat is zero. He can't even do a single point of damage.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence:
    • The heroes aside from Naofumi believe they cannot die because they have "Divine Protection". It leads to them unseal the Spirit Turtle believing they can kill it when the four heroes of the past could only seal it.
    • The reincarnated minions of Medea all have delusions of grandeur which leads them to act in destructive manners.
  • Summon Everyman Hero: The four Legendary Heroes were ordinary otaku until their summoning. Past Heroes were also Japanese otaku.
  • Tautological Templar: Every last person who falls under the influence of Madea or one of her fragments becomes absolutely convinced that he/she is the epitome of righteousness whose actions are invariably noble and just regardless of the actual consequences. It takes being directly betrayed by their patron to snap them out of it, and even then a few, like Tact still don't get it.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The four Heroes can't stand each other, even after Naofumi's innocence is proven. Despite Fitoria and the Queen warning them that they will surely die and doom the world if they can't cooperate against the Waves, it's an uphill battle for them to actually fight as a team.
  • Theatrics of Pain: While fighting Naofumi, Raphtalia and Filo, the Melromarc soldiers fall grasping their vital areas as if they're dying. This is because when when the footage is edited, they can make it look as if Naofumi's party were brutally murdering the soldiers instead of defeating them non-lethally.
  • Tyrannosaurus rex: The monster sealed in the obelisk within Idol's property is one of these. It quickly goes into a rampage and No Sells every single attack from Naofumi and his companions. Only the intervention of Fitoria saves them.
  • Unflinching Walk: Raphtalia does it in Episode 14 when she confronts Idol, the noble who enslaved her and her village after the first wave. She doesn't even twitch when he hits her with his whip and once she's close enough, she swats it out of his hand with her sword.
  • Unstoppable Force Meets Immovable Object: Brought up by Motoyasu during his duel with Naofumi, referencing the story of the unblockable spear and the unbreakable shield. Naofumi reminds him that in that story, the spear broke first.
  • Unwanted Harem: Naofumi has one consisting of Raphtalia, Filo, Melty, Atlas, and more.
  • The Victim Must Be Confused: The Church of the Three Heroes try having Naofumi branded as a wanted criminal for kidnapping the Princess Melty. When Princess Melty tries explaining to the three heroes that she had left with him of her own free will, the Church and her sister Princess Malty tries rationalizing this as being the product of an ability to brainwash people that they believe the Shield Hero possesses. This is quickly shot down by Naofumi, citing that the other three heroes do not possess such an ability and that it would be very unlikely that he would have it.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Filo in her gigantic Filorial form has the exact same little-girl voice as her human form. This applies to all other Filorial Queens as well.
  • Void Between the Worlds: When Naofumi returns from his home dimension he perceives the gap as an infinite black space filled with shining lights which are each dimensions.
  • "Wanted!" Poster: When Naofumi is framed for killing Melty the knights use doctored recordings of him apparently strangling her as a wanted poster.
  • War from Another World: The Waves of Calamity are the result of two or more worlds being fused together, with wars and battles with creatures from one world being poured into the other.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Due to the many handicaps that come with being the Shield Hero both on a metaphysical level (having high defense but absolutely no offensive abilities) and on a social level (the King possessing a personal vendetta against him and the bad reputation he was dealt with), Naofumi and his allies are forced to focus more on thinking on their feet in the heat of the moment, as well as a variety of non-combative skills (such as crafting and magic). This is in heavy contrast with Ren, Motoyasu and Itsuki, each of them valuing raw strength and whatever perks that come with being The Chosen Many. This is deconstructed later in the series, Naofumi's CombatPragmatism, his willingness to work together with his teammates and general Street Smarts of the world around them having made him and his team much more effective as heroes despite being on a much lower level then the rest of them. Not only that, but the fact that Naofumi takes the dangers of the world seriously and takes responsibility for his actions has earned the respect of the many people he has saved.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: The general view on the Hero of the Shield.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • After dealing with the messes the other Heroes caused, Naofumi berates them for their short-sightedness.
    • Melty calls out Motoyasu when he attacks Naofumi in the middle of the capital and causes a lot of collateral damage, pointing out that no real hero would carelessly put people in danger.
    • The Queen calls out Naofumi on his harsh attitude making things harder for her, including turning down offers of help during the deepest parts of his depression.
    • The Church of the Three Heroes is doing this towards the Heroes in what they believe to be a Well-Intentioned Extremist method. Well, up until the Pope tries murdering them in cold blood, being entirely willing to wipe out Malty AND Melty in the process, and the Pope proclaiming himself to be God as he tries to wipe out everyone that dares challenge him.
  • World of Jerkass: The moment Naofumi is summoned into Melromarc, we get a sense that something isn't right when he is treated somewhat differently compared to the other three heroes. It soon escalates when he is accused of forcing himself on Malty and almost everyone treats him with fear or scorn.
  • World Tree: Naofumi is not amused when he returns in the final chapter and discovers that the crepe tree he created during his Mad Scientist phase has become known as the "God Tree".
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: The Fatal Flaw of the other three Heroes. All three embrace their roles as Heroes, acting like you would expect the protagonists of a generic fantasy world of its genre. However, later arcs show this as a bad thing; by thinking and acting like the protagonists of a fantasy world, they all make incredibly stupid mistakes that hurt many people and cause many to question how they even can be heroes.
  • Yandere: Motoyasu was killed by two before he was summoned.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside: Time in Glass's world moves at more than double the speed of Melromarc's. Time in Ren's moves even faster.
    • The game Kizuna booted up as she was summoned let players experience five years in a single day.
  • Younger Than They Look: Often the case with Demi-humans, who grow up to match their Levels and Stats rather their age. This is particularly obvious for the Shied Hero's party members who level up a lot faster because of their Adverturer life style and the plethora of growth bonuses that the Shield Hero can unlock and use. Raphtalia goes from malnourished 10-year-old to looking like a healthy young adult in a matter of weeks.
    • Filo can count considering that she looks like an elementary school girl in her human form after a month or so after hatching from her egg. Fitoria later proves that this is a trait among Filorial Queens, whose human appearance looks no older than Filo's despite being Really 700 Years Old.
    • This trope later applies to most of Naofumi's demi-human slaves and Motoyasu's filorials.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: Soul Eaters from Glass' world are monsters that devour the souls of their victims. Domesticated ones are used to prevent the souls of criminals from being reincarnated, as happens with Tact and his comrades.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: In Episode 2, while facing the twin-headed dog monster and Raphtalia becomes paralyzed with fear, Naofumi tells her to run away while he holds it back. Considering that he had no offensive capacities whatsoever, it was unlikely he could have survived hadn't she snapped out of it.

Alternative Title(s): Tate No Yuusha No Nariagari, The Rising Of The Shield Hero

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