The Third Wave // Shield Hero Ep. 24 Review
Guardians of Another World: The Rising of the Shield Hero Episode 24
The Rising of the Shield Hero has elicited a lot of emotion of the first 23 episodes. Anger, excitement, intrigue, and relief are the best emotions I can describe so far. Surprise is the last emotion I expect from Shield Hero episode 24. The introduction and heel turn by L’Arc is one of the best things to happen during the first season of the show.
The show does a great job at times not belaboring a plot point and gets to the most interesting parts without much issue. Any other anime would not have gotten to as many different arcs without dragging out battle scenes unnecessarily. From the start of episode 24 we are moving from place to place getting the last bit of setup needed for the final fight of the season. Nothing is wasted time-wise in this episode.
Because there is no time wasted I was mildly surprised that Naofumi’s discovery from the last episode is not contested. It helps that most of the players involved either believe or are now neutral towards the Shield Hero. It could have been a whole episode of Naofumi fighting to prove a wave is coming until its too later. Instead we are into the action within the first five minutes.
Mega Evil Narwhal
Not that The Rising of the Shield Hero isn’t a generic fantasy show, but the design of the third Wave’s boss is pretty cool. Its a massive evil looking narwhal that is much larger than the galleons transporting the heroes and their party to the battle. Its a little convenient that this battle occurs far away from the islands, but that just helps move us to the plot faster.
With no civilians or villages to protect, Naofumi can be front and center for the first time during the wave. Even after all of their bragging and recent training, the other heroes are just about absolutely useless. Two major characters, Glass and Mirelia, told the other heroes they need to step it up in order to hang with Naofumi. This episode is the point at which they hopefully realize how outmatched they are.
The action is definitely a good shounen style battle. Against the evil narwhal there isn’t much to do besides force it out of the water and hit it with everything the heroes have. Because of course they haven’t powered up enough and keep using the same variation on “Meteor Strike,” they are unsuccessful. I like that there is a consistency to the moves of the heroes. Its a great indicator of how far behind they are.
L’Arc’s Heel Turn
Since the other heroes are so far behind its up to Naofumi’s new best friend to actually save the day. Save the day L’Arc does. Without knowledge of the following scene, its almost unbelievable to see a “non-hero” defeat the boss of the wave with help from Naofumi. I am definitely a sucker for his weapon, a giant scythe. Its pretty non-conventional compared to the weapons of the Cardinal Heroes. Its even better watching him use it against those same heroes.
In a move that caught me off-guard more than anything else in the show so far, L’Arc is actually a bad guy. It makes sense in retrospect why he refused Naofumi’s party invitation. After a day of farming mobs he realized that Naofumi is the Shield Hero and therefore his enemy. Of course we the anime-only viewer don’t know that. Glass also returns this episode and isn’t as overpowering as before. That really shows off how far Naofumi has come in the last dozen episodes.
Introducing the antagonist as a friend only to be a turncoat the whole time is excellent. The last episode does a great job of spending time and making the viewer comfortable and excited to see more of L’Arc and Therese. I am as shocked as Naofumi is and I love it. We are right at the tail end of the first season and now we potentially have a whole new world to explore.
The battle against L’Arc and Therese is more interesting than the earlier battle against the super narwhal. Its more battle of the minds than brawn making it more interesting as a viewer. Naofumi knows he has to use his powers more offensively than usual to trick this other world’s hero. Even though he is able to outsmart the two other heroes, he still isn’t successful in defeating them this episode. From the challenge that Glass puts forward, the devil’s shield is making an appearance in episode 25.
There are some things left unanswered regarding L’Arc, Therese, and Glass. They are from another world to this other world. Naofumi and the other heroes are all from another world from this world. Are L’Arc, Therese, and Glass from different other worlds to their other world? Therefore making there as many as 9 different world in this anime universe? Its Isekai Inception in The Rising of the Shield Hero episode 24.
I didn’t expect to be having this kind of fun watching the last arc of Shield Hero. Throughout the series so far its been frustrating to watch Naofumi be bogged down, and now it finally feels like he is getting to be the proper center of attention and recognition his character deserves. This nice little twist the writers put in this episode feels like a nice breath of fresh air. I am more pumped for the finale than I was before the episode. That is how you bring a season to a close.
There will definitely be more questions than answers at the end of the next episode. At least The Rising of the Shield Hero episode 24 gave us something to chew on while we await the hopefully episode final.
[Source and Further Reading]
[Episode 23 Review]
[Image via Crunchyroll]