Today, I’m going to write about the second volume of The Rising of the Shield Hero light novel series. The next four episodes of the anime series finally aired, ending with Episode 8, The Cursed Shield. This episode concludes volume 2 of the light novel series, therefore, I finally get to write my thoughts about this next installment that progresses the development of the story from the somewhat controversial (?) first volume. If you’ve gotten to this point in the story, then I salute thee. If you haven’t because you’ve been triggered by some of the controversial scenes illustrated in the first volume, then you need to really learn how to be a lot more open-minded when you read or even watch, any form of fiction altogether.
In vol. 2, we are introduced to a new party member who goes by the name of Filo. Filo is a filolial 1 who was purchased by Naofumi from the same slave trader who sold the demi-human slave Raphtalia to him. Much to his surprise, he hit a jackpot when he chose a magical egg at random from the slave trader’s mysterious egg collections. Not only Filo was developed into an all-purpose filolial who can also battle against all dangers, but Filo also turned out to be a rare type known as a filolial queen – a filolial who can transform into human form. Filo’s human form is that of a little blonde girl with wings on her back.
The entire volume pretty much revolves around Filo’s early days as a new loyal party member for Naofumi, our shield hero. Compared to the much more mature Raphtalia (from vol. 1), Filo is pretty much a little girl who sought attention to her caretakers. According to Naofumi, clueless about the girls’ feelings for him, sees Filo as a pet 2 and Raphtalia as a daughter figure. 3
Regardless of Filo being a child, she proved herself truly an all-purpose party member. Aside from her transformation from her original big bird self to human form, she can don magical powers and is a very formidable physical fighter. If I’m talking about this in MMORPG terms, Filo would be another tank player aside from Naofumi himself. However, she is a type of a tank player who can be a powerful, intimidating fighter. She did crack the skull of a deadly nue monster with just one jump kick.
In this volume, we also see both Raphtalia’s and Filo’s relationship contrast with each other, especially when it comes to Naofumi. 4 Many anime/manga otaku may see this as another harem, but for me, they’re more of a family, with a father (Naofumi) and two daughters (Raphtalia and Filo).
The major focus of vol. 2’s story is the complete opposite of vol. 1’s story. In this volume, Naofumi figures out how to win the hearts of people through good deeds. With these good deeds, he is rewarded by his reputation rising up within the subjects and merchants and traders all around the land. Along with this reputation, he is also able to gain connections and hookups from many low key experts from traders to physicians and farmers, learning the tricks of the trade through everyday commerce to earn money, upgrade his and his party’s weapons and equipment, and so on and so forth.
And throughout this, the party also had to clean up the messes that the other heroes left through their “conquests.” For instance, they had to clean up the mess that Motoyasu (spear hero) and Myne/Malty left when they planted a magical seed that was supposed to “revive” the village’s crop drought. The seed they planted was stolen from a mine cave with a warning that said to never take the seed and plant it outside, for it will bring chaos and death to those involved. The seed was cultivated with plant monsters instead. Using Naofumi’s shield powers to “cure” the plants, he was able to revive the crop drought the proper way. His reward, aside from money, was more connections from the village folk.
Lastly, near the end of the volume, we are introduced to the infamous Cursed Shield series. I’d write more about this, but I would be spoiling so much already.
Overall, I really like this volume. I’ve already read vol. 3 awhile ago, so once again, I’ll wait till after the anime episodes covering vol. 3 comes out before I review vol. 3.
Lastly, MADKID is also the artist who will be performing the 2nd anime opening of Shield Hero. It’s called FAITH. It’ll come out on the anime this April (a month from today) and the single will be digitally released on iTunes (4/4) and other audio streaming platforms (4/11).
Till next time!