How would you rate episode 6 of
The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 3 ?
Community score: 3.3
We finally get some backstory into the Sword Hero, Ren. While he doesn’t necessarily seem driven by fame or admiration, he has a lot of pride in his abilities, which got the better of him when he took on the Spirit Tortoise with his party. We all knew that Bitch was going to betray him at some point, but I’m surprised at how quickly she did. I thought it would be dragged out for a while, but she left him the following morning after stealing all his stuff and selling him out to the local bandits in the area. Don’t worry; we will see her next time when she corrupts the Bow Hero because we just have to run the gambit of this character being one of the most deplorable creatures ever written in media before we’re allowed to kill her. All of this drove Ren into a corner, and he ended up finding himself in the same position Naofumi did at the beginning of season one. Not even the average town citizens want anything to do with him because his reputation as the hero who failed the people has already made its rounds.
Naofumi was seemingly detached from Ren’s emotional resolution. There was no point where Ren himself recognized that he was going through exactly what Naofumi was going through. While Naofumi seemed to understand what Ren was going through, the narrative made another character oversee that development. This is not to say that the dialogue between Ren and was terrible. If you swapped out her dialogue with Naofumi and just tweaked the message about the end, the episode would’ve had a much more satisfying emotional payoff.
At the beginning of the series, Naofumi also wanted to get stronger as a means to an end. It was about survival and spite because of how the world treated him, but eventually, he found people worth protecting and looking after. We started this season with him traveling to find slaves to help give them a better life. Ren had a lot of skill but didn’t have any direction because he had just seen this world as a video game. Now that he knows genuine people are at stake, he can use that as the catalyst to get stronger, and Naofumi could teach him how to do that. This episode writes itself, but for some reason, they took an approach that I think lessened the value of Ren’s growth at the end.
Anything is better than leaving him as the sorry sack of edge he was for the past couple of episodes. The bad thing about Shield Hero is that some moments feel like natural conclusions could come quickly and seamlessly, but different routes are taken to focus on the least interesting things. There may be more conversations about Ren’s character, as he could work directly with Naofumi’s team moving forward. Ren’s case might be better than the Spear Hero because he might become an uncomfortable comic relief for the rest of the show. I’m at least open to the idea of being hopeful for the Sword hero.
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