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Raphtalia of The Rising of the Shield Hero

Leveling Up Our Relationships // Shield Hero Ep. 2 Review

The Rising of the Shield Hero Episode 2 Review

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The second episode of The Rising of the Shield Hero really focuses on the relationship between the Shield Hero and our new found protagonist, Raphtalia. Unfortunately for Raphtalia, she is just a slave bound by magic to do the bidding of Naofumi. Fortunately for Raphtalia, Naofumi is a kind master, even if he is still her master.

We find out at the beginning of this episode that Raphtalia is a half-human & half-raccoon demi-human. She had a previous owner who abused her and she lost her parents in a previous wave of attacks. The unnamed evil ringmaster slave-driver first attempts to persuade the Shield Hero to buy a much stronger creature. At this point in the story Naofumi obviously doesn’t have enough money or power to buy and control the werewolf beast offered. When Naofumi leaves with Raphtalia instead it feels like the slave-driver had this planned all along. I want to see how that plays out in the end. More and more it feels like there is a grand conspiracy going on between some of the characters.

Good Medicine Tastes Bitter

The relationship between Naofumi the Shield Hero and Raphtalia the demi-human slave is very interesting. Naofumi obviously needs companions to fight on his behalf. With his reputation ruined he is not going to get anyone to willingly join his, hence the purchase of a slave. He doesn’t, however, really abuse this relationship. He shows quite a bit of care for Raphtalia early in their relationship.

Naofumi feeds Raphtalia probably better than she has in a long time. He notices her interest in another child’s meal and order that for her. Clearly that is the most compassion she has received in a long time. The Shield Hero cares for Raphtalia’s wounds during their adventures outside of the city. For comparison, we see another master whip his mother and child slaves who are working for him. Naofumi is turning out to be maybe a better person than depicted in episode 1. He is not perfect though.

Naofumi is still using a slave to do his bidding, even if he is treating her mostly right. He hasn’t released Raphtalia from the magical bond that binds them. He still is forcing her to fight against some rather powerful and terrifying monsters. I should have expected the show to get rather gory after such a dark pilot, but it still caught me off-guard. The battle against the two-headed dog was traumatic for Raphtalia. It reminds her of the death of her parents and paralyzes her in front of the impending doom of Naofumi. In spite of his control over her, it is actually her trust in Naofumi that allows her to strike when she is needed.

The Impending Advance of the Wave

We didn’t see anything from the other hero’s in this episode which was great. It was a moment in time to focus on the beginning of the relationship between Iwatani Naofumi and Raphtalia. There wasn’t much room in the episode to drag in the other smug heroes to bring down Naofumi any further than he has fallen. We are on an interesting track in regards to the overall plot. Not too much advancement towards the wave of monsters set to attack. Hopefully we will see the fruits of our heroes labor in the next episode.

[Further Reading – Episode 1 Review]
[Images via Crunchyroll]