Crunchyroll has started streaming The Rising of the Shield Hero season 2 and the release date of The Rising of the Shield Hero season 3 is already planned for the future. And while we wait for new episodes, let’s take a look at some of the main plot points of Season 1, and how it differs from the manga, web novel, and light novel.
When you have a series as popular as The Rising of the Shield Hero, it’s not uncommon for differences to appear in different forms of media. For those unfamiliar, a light novel is the same as a regular novel except that it is similar to YA fiction as light novels mainly target middle and high school students.
Web novels are novels, except you can only find them online because they are self-published. In the case of The Rising of The Shield Hero, the web novel came first. Aneko Yusagi is the author of this fantastic story and has written the light novel, with the illustrations drawn by Seira Minami.
The manga is written and illustrated by Aiya Kyu. The studio producing the anime is Kinema Citrus. Four different versions cover the same story.
And there are spin-off series and also a sequel. The Reprise of the Spear Hero manga has six volumes available. It also has a light new version of the same name with three volumes available.
There are two more mangas that are currently only available in Japan. Tate no Yusha no to aru Ichi Nichi and Tate no Yusha no Oshinagaki.
There is also a video game called Tate no Yusha no Nariagari Rerise. It is available on iOS and Android. This article focuses on the web novel, light novel, manga, and anime versions.
What stayed the same for the Rising of the Shield Hero?
The basic plot is the same. Naufumi Iwatani, a student finds a strange book in the library. He begins to read it and describes it as a typical light novel.
Four heroes, each with their own weapons a sword, spear, bow and shield, join forces to save a world. While reading this book, Naufumi states that a shield is not a weapon, but a piece of armor.
But he keeps reading it until he reaches the shield hero chapter and finds it empty. A few seconds later, Naufumi is sucked into the book and finds himself in a new world with three other young men in the same situation.
The main differences are how much information each version has. Episode 1 includes chapters 1-9 of the light novel and 1-2 chapters of the manga.
There were 25 episodes in the first season. Given that the first episode was 47 minutes long, while the rest of the season averaged minutes, the anime had a chance to be a fairly faithful adaptation.
And in many cases, the anime is faithful. But season 1 only covers 1-5 of the light novels, a little bit part 6, and jumps to 10. It also rewrites events and characters’ personalities.
The anime gives us a nicer version of Naufumi. While the other versions show a darker version. This revolves around Raphtalia, the Tanuki girl that Naufumi bought to be his slave.
Since the shield is not a weapon, Naufumi has a great defense, but a bad attack. This means that he has to rely on his party members to rise.
But because he was falsely accused of assaulting the only woman who joined his party. And because he’s just the shield hero, Naufumi has lost all faith in others.
The anime depicts the events after the “trial” quite faithfully. But when we get to the part where he decides to buy Raphtalia, things get glossed over.
When Naufumi looks at Raphtalia, he sees Myne. The woman who betrayed him. In the manga, we see that every act of kindness he does for Raphtalia has an ulterior motive.
Medicines to treat her wounds so she doesn’t die are only bought so she can earn enough money to cover what he spent on her purchase as a slave. Weapons, clothes, armor and even a ball to play with… all this came with these selfish thoughts in mind.
To be clear, Naufumi never mistreats Raphtalia. He did not hit or demote her in any way. He teaches her how to fight and kill so that they can level up and survive.
Should you watch or read The Rising of the Shield Hero?
Many fans learn about The Rising of the Shield Hero thanks to the anime. You can now read the entire web novel for free. Though it is a good way to go for the light novel version as it has exclusive chapters and storylines.
If anything, you should read both, as Aneko Yusagi puts it: each version is self contained† Same with the anime and manga. Each version is canon.
Even if you prefer one over the other, you’ll know everything you need to know to understand The Rising of the Shield Hero. Everything beyond volume 16 of the light novel version is exclusive.
Unless season 2 or 3 decides to follow it. But since Season 2 Episode 2 is out on April 13, 2022. There’s still time to see where the anime ends up.
You can watch the first episode of season 1 free here† If you like to travel to other worlds and play video games, then The Rising of the Shield Hero is for you.
But please watch the first episode and episode 21 of season 1. Karma is a thing and episode 21 is so satisfying with how it ends with Naufumi’s character arc.
He gets justice in the best possible way: a fate worse than death for two of the people who hurt him the most. Naufumi spent 20 episodes discriminated against for false accusations and for being the Shield Hero.
In the final episode of Season 1, things look better for him and the other heroes. But they still have a lot to learn and grow before they can go home.
Can they go home? We’ll have to wait and see if the anime allows it, but readers can find out how the web novel ends.