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Dragon Emperor, The Rising of The Shield Hero

Action-packed and twist-filled, episode 8 fully delivers an exciting journey to stop a dragon while giving insight on Naofum and Ren’s past actions.


The Dragon’s Curse

Following last episode’s cliffhanger, the hunt for Gaelion begins as Naofumi sets out with his growing circle of allies. It is really impressive how he has a lot of capable friends by his side, allowing them to tackle different problems at the same time.


And he needs all of them in this particular situation. Due to complications regarding Gaelion and the core he ate, Filo is now cursed, gradually reducing her level while making her suffer from extreme agony. Strange enough, Atla could dampen its effects, showing that she’s not just a fighter.

But where did she learn this? And how?

From right clockwise: Ren Amaki, Ratotile Anthreya, Sadeena, Naofumi Iwatani, Raphtalia, Atla, Fohl, Wyndia
Naofumi and his allies


Hunting For A Dragon

Despite Filo’s condition, it’s cute and endearing how she still joins the hunt for Gaelion as she’s the only one who can pull the carriage, which means everyone aside from Ratotile and the village garrison comes along.

Which is just as well. The road to the cave where Gaelion has decided to take residence is filled with monsters. Coincidentally, the place is familiar; this is where Ren killed a dragon, which became a zombie that Naofumi had to kill, resulting in him unlocking the Wrath Shield.

But even stranger, Wyndia can actually use magic and is capable enough to help against monsters.

Wyndia, The Rising of The Shield Hero
Wyndia uses magic


Gaelion’s Fury

Naofumi has fought dragons before, and those weren’t easy fights. As a top tier monster, a dragon is one of the most dangerous opponents even for a Cardinal Hero.

The same is true in the fight against Gaelion, who is tremendously boosted by the dragon core. Even with two Cardinal Heroes and powerful demihumans like Sadeena and Raphtalia, Gaelion has evolved to the point that their attacks barely affect him. And despite the cool fight scene, it feels genuinely suspenseful.

Gaelion, The Rising of The Shield Hero
Gaelion’s evolved form

The situation further worsens when Filo arrives in a berserk state only to get eaten by Gaelion. At this point, it is clear that the poor creature must be put down to rescue the future filolial queen, even if it is a cruel end.

And yet that would mean fully orphaning Wyndia.


Wyndia’s Secret

Ever since her appearance, we consider Wyndia as a minor supporting character who simply loves dragons. We wouldn’t think that she hides a secret until now.

The revelation that the zombie dragon is her father comes as a total shock, then, particularly because the events leading up to this point are heavily tied with Ren and Naofumi’s previous actions as heroes.

Wyndia, The Rising of The Shield Hero
Wyndia weeps for her father

Indeed, Wyndia is taken as a slave after her father died, and her life has been filled with suffering until Naofumi saved her. In a way, she hated the heroes for what happened to her.

But that was all in the past, and now Wyndia just wants her father to rest in peace. However, it might not be possible.

After all, Gaelion is possessed by another dragon.


Dragon Emperor

It is now obvious that Wyndia’s father isn’t the one possessing Gaelion. Not fully, at least. For the core has both the zombie dragon and the dragon emperor from Kizuna’s world.

Dragon Emperor, The Rising of The Shield Hero
The dragon emperor from Kizuna’s world

And it is the worst combination possible, especially if the dragon’s own core is Filo herself. Out of all monsters Naofumi has faced, this is the toughest one yet. Not only it is powerful enough to wipe out most of the party, it is filled with so much hatred as well.

But the most terrifying part? It can make itself stronger by briefly overriding Naofumi’s Wrath Shield. Now Naofumi has to fight it with none of his strongest allies.


Final Thoughts

More than the excellent action scenes, this episode shows us how Naofumi’s actions in the past will always affect his future. Obviously, we are rooting for him to overcome his current predicament. But it is interesting to see how he has fallen into the same pit as the other Cardinal Heroes, which might result in a tragic sacrifice.

Episode score: 8/10

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