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Iwatani Naofumi

After a rather subpar second season, Iwatani Naofumi is back in The Rising of the Shield Hero season 3! And this time, the stakes are higher, and the enemies are more dangerous!

Return of the Shield Hero

Last season saw the Shield Hero going on a grand adventure in another world after destroying the Giant Turtle, learning some crucial information about the Waves and getting some upgrades for his party.

Unfortunately, it seems that a lot of things have happened in his absence, and most of them aren’t good; the other Cardinal Heroes and Malty are missing, Melromarc is slowly being surrounded by potential enemies, and the slaves from Lurolona Village are being sold off in droves. Worse yet, the next Guardian—the Phoenix—is going to be revived soon.

Iwatani Naofumi
Naofumi returns to Melromarc

It is interesting how, at this point, Queen Mirilla’s trust for Naofumi is now strong enough to let him in on a great open secret: that Aultcray, the former king, is the Vassal Staff Hero. Of course, Aultcray is still filled with hatred, so Naofumi can’t rely on him, and he may not even want to.

Besides, the Shield Hero has more problems than past grievances, namely strengthening his own lands.

The Coliseum

Knowing that he needs an army for the fight against the next Wave and the Phoenix, Naofumi’s next goal is to free all of Lurolona Village’s from slavery. But this isn’t an easy task, as most slaves have been bought and sold elsewhere for higher prices.

Thankfully, there is one solution to this problem: earn money by fighting in the Zeltoble Coliseum. For a Cardinal Hero, this shouldn’t be an issue, especially with a Vassal Hero and the future Filolial Queen at his side. But the Coliseum is a brutal and treacherous arena, and vastly different than fighting monsters or even other Heroes.

Raphtalia, Naofumi, and Filo
Naofumi and his party wins their first match in the Coliseum

Final Thoughts

Compared to season 2’s pilot episode, season 3 started off pretty well considering the rather subpar ending of the previous season. Though this episode focused more on setting up the arc, with some good fight scenes, there are a lot of character interactions that show how much Naofumi and the others have changed.

That aside, the pacing feels quite slow due to the amount of exposition, but it doesn’t take away the enjoyment of this episode.

Episode Score: 7/10

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