Bikini Raphtalia // Shield Hero Ep. 23 Review
Cal Mira Archipelago: The Rising of the Shield Hero Episode 23
Its been pretty heady for Naofumi and company recently. They fought the Pope, watched the King and Princess almost become beheaded, and became at least tolerated by the other heroes in the last couple of episodes. Its time for fun and relaxation at the Cal Mira archipelago in The Rising of the Shield Hero episode 23. Not for long though.
Special to the islands of Cal Mira is the most video game like aspect of this other world. Its a double XP weekend where even the lowest level monster you can kill is worth fighting. Adventurers of the world are flocking to the otherwise touristy archipelago. Its such a special place that even Naofumi is respected. Before Naofumi can arrive it is time for some proper introductions.
Briefly introduced in the last episode are L’Arc Berg and his companion Therese Alexanderite. Both are rather cheerful adventurers looking to take advantage of the islands’ boon. I like how L’Arc is boisterous but not to the point of obnoxiousness. So many of the characters on the show, especially the Spear Hero, are pretty petty and L’Arc at least seems like a good future teammate. His reaction to Naofumi’s name shows how deep the propaganda against the Shield Hero still goes. He only knows the Shield Hero as the Devil incarnate. Based on Therese’s language barrier, the rumors about Naofumi must have traveled very far.
L’Arc and Therese
After Naofumi and his party get comfortable on the island, smashing the smaller mobs, the rest of the heroes turn up and the in-fighting begins again. At least it shows it really hasn’t been all against Naofumi this whole time. They all can’t get along with each other equally. Naofumi is the first to leave and tackle something stronger.
Later he meets up with L’Arc and Therese. It turns out that they make a great team the five of them. Naofumi’s crafting skill comes in handy creating a very powerful bracelet for Therese which she puts to good use. The crew is pretty surprised at the unique magic that Therese wields. It is a fire that doesn’t burn Naofumi, but rather the evil penguins attacking him. Some mighty ugly penguins.
There is some synergy here that even Naofumi sees. Looking at it from an RPG standpoint, he is missing a mage and warrior in his party. Raphtalia counts more for a rogue, he is the tank of the party, and Filo is somewhat of a DPS. He has gotten around with only two additional members, totally forgetting the half dozen guards he brought on for a hot minute during the second Wave. While L’Arc and Therese don’t join in The Rising of the Shield Hero episode 23, its pretty clear once the events of the next couple of come to pass they will be in his party.
As it turns out this isn’t just a setup episode for the next arc, but it a beach episode. The teaser for this episode was all about Raphtalia, and the episode delivers. Its all about bikini Raphtalia. The outfit is super cute and feels like some great cosplay bait. I can’t wait to see all of the fan art and cosplay that is going to come out of this episode. Filo also looks cute in her outfit. Interesting to see a beach episode and a hot springs episode in a single season.
Even earlier in the episode are some great casual moments between the Heroes and the party. After a hard day of grinding monsters they are all able to sit down at a bar together and actually not start fighting each other. Even the gruff soldier from the last episode that fought with Naofumi is more amicable, only challenging Raphtalia to an arm wrestling competition. Surly Raphtalia is my favorite facial expression of the episode. She is determined to pretend not to care the whole time she is drunk.
The Coming of the Cal Mira Wave
Naofumi, Raphtalia, and Filo go diving, and discover something ancient underwater that Filo caught sight of earlier. It looks like an ancient temple sunk into the water. This scene moves pretty quickly through the logic of Filo seeing the temple to Naofumi deciding to go check it out. Once at the front gate of the temple, it opens with extreme ease. The power of the Shield Hero definitely powers the door open revealing a pocket of air deep under the ocean. In there they discover another Dragon Hourglass.
As far as we know, the Dragon Hourglasses of the world do not go off at the same time, but the Wave in Melromarc has arrived twice already. I am surprised this island filled paradise hasn’t been struck by disaster yet, or remembered that the Wave does strike Cal Mira. I guess it is a good thing they have so many adventurers here a mere 48 hours before disaster strikes.
The discovery of the Dragon Hourglass is a great setup to end the first season. It is obvious from the explanation of the Waves at the beginning of the show that the first season is meant to end with a bang. We are now right in time for hopefully an action packed last couple of episodes. Additionally, there might potentially be some drama setup between all of the heroes. Throughout The Rising of the Shield Hero episode 23 there is some tension between the heroes, and I imagine they might not trust Naofumi yet to believe the Wave is going to hit Cal Mira.
[Source and Further Reading]
[Episode 22 Review]
[Image via Crunchyroll]