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Young Raphtalia the Demi-Human

Raphtalia’s Bittersweet Memories // Shield Hero Ep. 15 Review

Raphtalia: The Rising of the Shield Hero Episode 15 Review

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I really love a lot of what episode 15 of The Rising of the Shield Hero tries to do. It wasn’t just that the title of the episode was “Raphtalia”, but this is Raphtalia’s episode. She was the star of episode 15 and really drove home the message of how far this world has crumbled.

In the last episode we left off with Raphtalia threatening to end the life of nobleman Idol Rabier. I wholeheartedly thought this would mark a turning point for Raphtalia. Execute the man who clearly tortured and enslaved you Get revenge to the wrongdoings of a greasy evil man. That isn’t Raphtalia though. She believes in something else and revenge is not her game. Idol Rabier, still not an honest man, tries to take advantage of her hesitant, and ends up falling out of a window after being stabbed with Raphtalia’s light sword.

There are a few points in the episode where some things aren’t clear. I don’t feel like we have a good explanation for Raphtalia’s light sword for example. Its definitely not a lightsaber, since it has failed to kill two individuals when she has driven into their chest. It still does affect them, because both Idol Rabier in this episode and Myne in a previous episode felt it. It is not the most important part of the episode, but what is the point of a weapon that can’t kill in a world where it is kill or be killed?

Before the Waves

A lot of this episode is full fledged flashbacks. Nothing wrong with that, but not much of the plot is advanced. That is fine since this is a character spotlight, and a good one at that. We get to meet two of Raphtalia’s demi-human friends, and see her world before the waves started. They had a simple and peaceful life right up until the first wave struck. Its all down hill from there.

Two things struck me about the flashbacks. The first thing is that there is a lot of talk about the Shield Hero. Very specifically, Raphtalia and her friend Rifana are enamored with the idea of meeting the Shield Hero. We know that up and until this point they are only talking about the heroes of the past since Naofumi is not summoned yet. I can’t tell if it is a retcon to the story or not. There isn’t much explicit evidence that Raphtalia was into the Shield Hero while she was being bought by Naofumi. It does feed into her persistence to stay, but it feels a little late to be adding this minor obsession with the Shield Hero.

The second thing that struck me was how unprepared the world is for the wave. It feels as though the wave catching the demi-humans off-guard was deliberate on the part of Idol Rabier and other nobles. Its unclear if the clock in the capital was able to predict the first wave, but its not like the nobles sent their army to protect the demi-human village either. Then they simply took everyone in and sent the children off to slave merchants.

Bittersweet Memories

One of the best parts of the episode is how much they focused on Raphtalia’s past relationships. The episode reminded us of her parents sacrifice, and really showed the maturity she had afterward. I found it a little tough to believe that a young Raphtalia is the uniting force behind the demi-human village. Not entirely unbelievable having seen her supportive nature in the show, but I am not fully convinced of that leadership as a child.

Her friend Rifana was MVP of the episode. It got a little dusty in the room watching this episode. Seeing her and Raphtalia living a normal life in this world. Watching them captured and carted off as they begun to rebuild. Viewing the actions of the world aristocracy commit atrocity against the two girls. It was difficult to watch.

Finally we end the episode with Idol Rabier back from a two story fall, resurrecting a demon of the past. These people are so swept up in their petty issue with the Shield Hero, that they will summon an evil tyrannosaurus rex to fight him. They are beyond delusional, and I don’t feel sorry that he was stepped on. Episode 15 of The Rising of the Shield Hero was not about the Shield Hero. This is Raphtalia’s episode, and I can’t wait to see what comes of it. And how they deal with a T-Rex. When will they ever get to meet the Queen?

[Sources and Further Reading]
[Images via Crunchyroll]
[Episode 14 Review]