The Spear Hero // Shield Hero Ep. 18 Reivew
A Conspiracy Linked: The Rising of the Shield Hero Episode 18
I really want to like Motoyasu, the Spear Hero. In The Rising of the Shield Hero episode 18 we finally get close to Fitoria’s dream of the four Cardinal Heroes uniting. Close but no cigar, yet. This whole time the Spear Hero has been arguably the dumbest and most gullible to Myne’s suggestion. She has him wrapped around her magical finger. This episode begins no different as the Spear Hero and the Shield Hero square off for hopefully the last time.
This episode didn’t cover a lot of physical ground for as much plot and character development we went through. There is really only one long and action packed scene.
Motoyasu, the Moronic Spear Hero
Fitoria, the filolial queen, drops Naofumi and company off near one of the other Cardinal Heroes. It just so happens to be Motoyasu, the Spear Hero, also known as Naofumi’s least favorite. This is the first real test of Naofumi’s promise to the filolial queen of making good with the other heroes. Its also the biggest change in Naofumi’s character since he was emotionally beaten in the first dozen episodes. He really shows some growth in how he handles Motoyasu.
Instead of lashing out and engaging Motoyasu with the same level of aggression he has in the past, he really tries to reason with the Spear Hero. At this point some things have transpired off camera to further firm Motoyasu’s resolve. Malty has revealed to him that the two remaining heroes have been slain by Naofumi and his Demon Shield. After this episode we are going to need some more explanation as to that shield and its power origins.
Obviously Naofumi did not kill the other two heroes, and they are probably still alive. Motoyasu doesn’t plan on looking through that and continues his attack. I like the action in this scene. The animators really put some effort into really showing some of the power behind the to party’s attacks. It is one of the better action scenes in the series so far. Everything that Filo does is great. She really shows some growth The Rising of the Shield Hero episode 18 having learned a lot from Fitoria in their battle last episode.
The Pope and the Church of the Three Heroes
Once the battle is over Filo notices something that no one else can sense. She demands that Naofumi cover everyone with as many shields as he can produce. Within a matter of moments an earth-wrecking force comes down upon them breaking through everything that Naofumi has. They all barely escape and none are unharmed. It turns out that the real villain is here to introduce himself.
The Pope from earlier in the series has it out for Naofumi. He charges him with some ridiculous claims and then charges the rest of the Cardinal Heroes with their own crimes. It turns out the Pope is here to eliminate Naofumi and Motoyasu, then take over the kingdom for his own. Apparently the mild mannered Pope has been pulling the strings behind the scenes this whole time.
I love that it takes the bad guy trying to kill Motoyasu and Malty for them to finally understand that Naofumi is not evil. Were not past the battle with the Pope, but I assume that Motoyasu will finally come to realize he has been a stooge this whole time. It will be interesting to see how Malty turns since it feels like she has been in on this conspiracy the whole time.
How Many Bad Guys Are There?
So far in 18 episodes we have had quite a few bad guys. Naofumi has been made out to be almost an anti-hero. The King, his daughter Malty, and the Spear Hero have been arguably the biggest antagonists since the very first episode. Glass, one of the only few self admitted bad guys, has only been in essentially one episode . Now we have the Pope and the Church of the Three Heroes. They were definitely lumped in with the King until this episode. Now they feel like the main antagonist.
I recognize that there is more to this conspiracy. The Pope’s charges against the Shield Hero are obviously flimsy at best. He has left out something beyond the conspiracy of the Church to overthrow the ruling party of the Kingdom. If Malty has been working in conjunction with them this whole time, then she wouldn’t have any reason to if the crux of the plan was to upset the balance power.
Additionally they must know that in order for the world to survive the wave they have to have all of the heroes. They showed no motive to kill Motoyasu until they caught the other two heroes looking where they didn’t belong. His accusations against them are much stronger than Naofumi’s own. They have made mistakes, but not enough to risk ultimate destruction of the world over some poor decisions. Something else is afoot now that there plan is exposed.
Final Thoughts and Combo Attacks
I like the introduction of the combo attacks in this episode. As someone who is not always a fan of the video gaming aspect of the show, the combo attacks really present an interesting avenue to show off the teamwork of Naofumi’s party. I am definitely of using “The Power of Friendship” to defeat the ultimate bad guy, and this fits right in. Raphtalia and Filo will make an interesting pair for this.
This was a great episode of The Rising of the Shield Hero. While there is so much more to figure out, we finally get a real sense of where the show is set to go. The Waves are not everything and this episode proves that the undercurrent of conspiracy has not been for naught. The Rising of the Shield Hero episode 18 is a giant leap in the right direction.
[Sources and Further Reading]
 [Episode 11 Review]
[Episode 17 Review]
[Images via Crunchyroll]