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The Three Cardinal Stooges // Shield Hero Ep. 22 Review

Four Heroes Council: The Rising of the Shield Hero Episode 22

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Even after the entire ordeal of the last episode Naofumi’s woes in this other world are still troublesome. In The Rising of the Shield Hero episode 22, Naofumi is still within the walls of the capital of the Kingdom of Melromarc. I had expected he would be well on his way out at this point, but obviously he has other plans. First things first as he has to upgrade he companions. Second, he has a new mission from the Queen herself.

Once the Pope and his followers were defeated a few episode ago, you know that Naofumi now has to go back and upgrade the class of Raphtalia and Filo. Apparently they aren’t able to get the exact upgrade that they want. When the screen over Naofumi popped up asking if he wanted to give them autonomy, it raises the question as to if he actually let them choose. I don’t really see any reason that Naofumi would limit Raphtalia or Filo, so I will take the Queen’s thought that they are missing special items as the answer for now.

The most hilarious part of the episode is that two of Naofumi’s previous party members are now high enough ranking to guard the Dragon Hourglass. Its always amusing when they return since as far as I remember, they should still be members of his party, and I don’t think they even have names. They just feel like such useless characters in The Rising of the Shield Hero episode 22 and through most of this series.

Ballroom Blitz

After Naofumi, Raphtalia, and Filo return from the Dragon Hourglass, the Queen asks them to stick around for just a little longer. She invites them to a dinner with the intention of a sit-down of the four Cardinal Heroes together. Its a big ask of Naofumi, but with partially repaired relations with the kingdom, he capitulates. So far this episode it feels like the events of the last couple have really turned things around for Naofumi. He is definitely more agreeable now that he isn’t stonewalled at every turn. Its not all sunshine and roses for the Shield Hero yet.

At the dinner, Naofumi’s compatriots are left to the main hall while the Shield Hero and the three stooges discuss important matters with Queen Mirelia. Rumor has it that the Cal Mira Archipelago has activated. Apparently that means if they practice in that region they will gain double the experience and become stronger. While they talk, Queen Mirelia suggests they share information in order to improve everyone. The other heroes are so pigheaded they all refuse to talk. That is until the queen points out the only one strong enough to survive the next wave is the Shield Hero.

As it turns out there is so much that Naofumi doesn’t know. His shield has so many abilities that he doesn’t know. Because he was cast aside so early, and too stupid to read the tutorial, he is only finding out the most basic stuff this episode. I have never liked the more video game-esque aspects of the show. They distract from the world and push it to be something different than I think it should be.

The fact that he has missed out on this information really piles onto Naofumi’s character. Its not just his black sheep status that has kept him from learning this stuff, but his own pigheadedness from learning. Now that he is finally working to a certain degree with the other heroes he is learning stuff he should have known a long time ago. Not knowing anything kept the show away from the video game aspects for the better.

Ballroom Blitz

All while the Heroes are in the other room fighting with each other, Raphtalia has other plans. Naofumi’s reputation among the Kingdom is still not whole. There are members of the guard who are still anti-demi-human, and therefore anti-Shield Hero. When one of the knights begins to belligerently harass Raphtalia, all hell breaks loose. At the same time Melty catches her sister up to no good. The scene where everyone awkwardly calls Malty by her new less than good names, its quite hilarious. I don’t know why she is still in a position where she could attempt to poison the Shield Heroes party, but still she seems to be somewhat unpunished.

The chaos that ensues after Raphtalia retaliates is perfectly representative of the four Cardinal Heroes. These are their party members fighting each other. At times in the show it has felt like it was a three versus one battle. The Shield Hero versus the others. This episode really highlights how much none of them are working together at all. They are completely divided and therefore unlikely to survive the next wave.

I really like how Raphtalia handles herself in The Rising of the Shield Hero episode 22. In episodes past she might have let the knight berate her and left it alone or to Naofumi. This episode she takes charge. She clearly knows the consequences of her actions, and plans it out to the best of her ability. Raphtalia is going to start a fight and make the belligerent knight submit. She is really showing some more growth to her character.

Last Boat to the Cal Mira Archipelago

In the end our heroes set off to level up at the Cal Mira Archipelago, but first a detour. Naofumi guides them back to Raphtalia village. Its sweet of Naofumi to give Raphtalia a minute to say goodbye to her friends and deceased parents. They are likely on a long journey that may take a long time for them. The Shield Hero understands that this is his family, and he has to care for them. Along the way they also meet some friendly strangers.

I feel sorry for Raphtalia. Filo doesn’t seem to understand that Naofumi doesn’t belong in this world. Raphtalia has an idea and has seen so much of what has happened to Naofumi in this world. Naofumi just wants out at this point, but is not going to just leave behing Raphtalia or Filo without leaving them better off than before. As we see in this episode there is not a lot for Raphtalia to go back to at this point. For the most part being with the Shield Hero is the only thing in her life now. The same goes for Filo, but theoretically she is poised to be the Filolial Queen eventually.

At last the Shield Hero and company arrive at the boat. In the after credits scene they are led down into the underbelly of the boat where they will have to bunk with strangers. As it turns out it is the same friendly strangers from before, one named L’Arc. He has been in the intro animation for a while now wielding an awesome looking scythe. I am frankly surprised with the pace the show has been going that we actually got him both this late in the first season and this far back from the last episode. For the thirty seconds of screen time this character has I already like him. He is friendly and a bit proud without being arrogant. I guess anybody that doesn’t immediately shun the Shield Hero is already a good person in my book.

Final Thoughts

Shoutout to the blacksmith. Naofumi comes in and basically steals everything in The Rising of the Shield Hero episode 22, which he should have done in the first place. Now its all on his tab for later. You have to wonder how Naofumi is going to pay him back, or even why he needs to pay him back.

[Source and Further Reading]
[Episode 21 Review]
[Image via Crunchyroll]