Kenneth Rocher's Blog

Books, anime and writing

Naofumi Iwatani, The Rising of The Shield Hero

With the penultimate episode concluding the Bow Hero’s subplot, we finally reach the conclusion to the third season.

And this time, the focus shifts back to Naofumi and Raphtalia where we learn just who Raphtalia is.



The first few minutes of this episode might give audiences a sense of false peace. Everything begins rather normally. Naofumi’s life as a lord, as always is a relaxing moment of fun character interactions. There’s even a bit of insight regarding what he thinks of Raphtalia, which is purely a daughter (or does he?).

But this is the season finale, and it would be odd without ending season 3 without some conflict. In fact, it’s not just “some” conflict but one of epic proportions.

An attack from another nation.

And the target? It is none other than Rahtalia herself. But why would Q’Ten Lo, the aggressor, send assassins after her?

An assassin from the nation of Q’Ten Lo

As it turns out, Raphtalia’s miko outfit is heavily tied to the country’s culture. Raphtaliua’s world is an amalgamation of various real world cultures, and while Naofumi never bothered to learn how each country works on the cultural level because of his responsibilities, it is clear that some of them have strange laws.

Specifically, wearing a miko outfit is a sign of declaring claims to the throne—a declaration of war against the emperor himself.

Raphtalia, The Rising of The Shield Hero
Raphtalia in a miko outfit


High Born

Princesses and royal-blooded characters play an important role in the story. Indeed, Naofumi’s current life is caused by ex-princess Malty. But who would think that Naofumi’s most trusted friend and companion is also of royal heritage?

Much of Raphtalia’s past has been shrouded in mystery. Whatever her past was and whoever she was prior to the destruction of Lurolona, it doesn’t affect her character during the past three seasons.

But now her past is the catalyst for Naofumi’s decision, as we learn that she is actually of high status back in her homeland, perhaps even a Princess (and Sadeena is her family’s loyal guardian). This is also why the assassins have been spying on her since before even Naofumi was summoned, viewing her as a potential threat.

And by wearing that miko outfit, Raphtalia has only solidified the assassins’ fears.

Raphtalia’s parents


New Enemy

An attack against a Cardinal Hero’s territory is an attack on the Cardinal Hero themselves. As such, it is only natural that Naofumi would retaliate quickly, especially with the revival of the Phoenix drawing near.

But there is certainly another reason for that; namely, protecting Raphtalia. We all know that Naofumi cherishes her more than anyone else, and we saw how he reacted before whenever her life was in danger. While his love for her still wavers between familial and romantic, there’s no doubt that he’ll do everything to protect her.

And unleash his wrath upon the enemy.

With a new obstacle in his way, Naofumi sets out on a journey. There are several scenes show new and old characters, and we have another sweet encounter between Aultcray and the White Tiger siblings.

As the season finally ends, it is clear that Naofumi’s life is just about to get more difficult.

Naofumi Iwatani, The Rising of The Shield Hero
Naofumi sets out for Q’Ten Lo


Final Thoughts

For a season finale, episode 12 feels short and anticlimactic compared to previous season finales. It’s like the end point for a cour, with the expectation that the next one will follow soon.

Nevertheless, it’s still a satisfying conclusion to the third season, finishing plot threads introduced earlier in the series while unraveling new ones. We learn more about Raphtalia this time, and Naofumi is once again back in the spotlight. Of course, one question remains.

When is the next season coming?

Episode score: 7.5/10

Leave a Reply