The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 2 Episode 11 felt like a hollow shell compared to what the series presented us in episode 10. From last week’s spotlight episode focusing on Raphtalia becoming the Katana Hero to this week’s botched mess, episode 11 was a giant facepalm. That is, until the very last minute when everything took a turn for the better.
The Final Minute – Kyo’s Dimension Wave
The last minute of the episode was the highlight without a single shred of doubt. It was a mix of both the episode having a ton of questionable moments and the cliffhanger being so huge that made it great. The music was bone-chilling. And Kyo’s hysteric attitude to creating an artificial Wave made it really feel like some grand horrifying event was beginning—which it was. And, thanks to that, these final two episodes of Season 2 could give us plenty of epic moments to come. Episode 11 at least ended on a high note. But the rest? Well, let’s get into that, too.
Yomogi Emarl Introduction
This episode really had a chance to be solid but it failed on every other level possible besides the ending. First, we are introduced to Yomogi Emarl, a childhood friend of Kyo’s. Possibly being the last new character that’s introduced for the rest of the season, her entrance was lackluster at best. And straight from the beginning when she promises to eliminate anyone standing in Kyo’s way, we all know it’s hot air. There’s no epic introduction to her. Nothing to make her seem powerful or a possible threat. It was just a bland introduction.
Her sit down with Kizuna talking about her childhood with Kyo was actually well done and even left viewers feeling somewhat sentimental. But other than that? It was hard to take anything regarding her seriously. Yomogi didn’t even understand the sword she was wielding, despite Kyo making it for her. She didn’t pose much of a threat to anyone. And it felt like she was just sparring practice for everyone when she attempted to attack them. And now, all in a single episode, Yomogi went from wanting to kill everyone standing in Kyo’s way, to turning on Kyo after learning he killed innocent people. That’s some mighty quick character development right there.
Notable Production Mishaps
It’s one thing to notice the smallest screw-ups in an anime episode that really have no effect on the quality of it. But it’s another when the problems slap you right in the face while you’re watching the episode. One particular problem that is unbearably noticeable is the awful action in the episode.
When Yomogi appeared in the town square, she left a loud bang with dust flying everywhere. We don’t know if she leaped there. We don’t know if she showed up and started breaking stuff. In fact, we don’t know how she got there or how she found everyone in the first place other than knowing they were heading to Sikul. But it was an “explosive” entrance with no destruction to be seen. Same when L’Arc attacked her. You see the dust fly. You hear the rubble crumbling. But you don’t end up seeing any aftermath.
This battle, if we’re all bold enough to call it that, continued to get worse the moment it started. Rishia lowered her guard mid-fight, of course. Kizuna slashes Yomogi doing no damage despite Kizuna wanting to fight her. Raphtalia yells a move called “Directional Blade of Heaven!” when all we see is her do a simple uppercut. And not to mention, Raphtalia’s first move, Instant Blade: Mist, had her swing her katana across the screen as if she completed her slash when the very next cut is her finally making contact with Yomogi’s sword. While the animations are relatively solid, it’s the odd cut that made it odd to watch.
At no point did it ever once feel like anyone, even Yomogi, was in any sort of danger nor in a real fight. But the worst part is it left viewers feeling like their time was wasted. There were a handful of moments where everyone started to notice something was off with Yomogi’s sword. And instead of finding out what it was, it was just simply a weird, vine-growing sword made by Kyo that was set to explode. The end.
And to top it all off, Therese’s hair suddenly changed from blue to red in the same scene! When everyone goes into Romina’s shop to get their armor straightened out, Therese walks in with blue hair. We hear the explosion of Yomogi’s entrance, everyone walks out to see what happened, and Therese’s hair changed to red for no reason whatsoever. This was all in the span of a couple of minutes. And to make it even worse, in the very next scene in front of Kizuna’s place, her hair is back to being blue.
Episode 11 Wrap-Up
As I said, it’s one thing to have small details a little roughed up that viewers usually overlook. But it’s another to shove roughed-up details that are at the forefront of every scene. Luckily, the episode ended up on a great note. Kyo incited the next Wave. Kizuna mentioned at the very beginning of the episode she’s never faced a Wave to actually seeing it up close at the end was solid writing. And the close-up of Naofumi going from shocked to serious (thumbnail image) was badass. His revenge tour on Kyo feels like it’s about to hit its climax and I’m ecstatic to see what happens.
Overall, episode 11 could be a testament to The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 2 in its entirety—noticeable flaws with a dash of epic moments. Surprisingly, Kyo has ended up becoming a solid antagonist despite the lack of screentime compared to others this season. And with Kazuki’s guards going to Kyo asking for power, and him giving them an evil, twisted smile, also makes me wonder what he’s done with them. Perhaps we’ll see in the coming episodes.
Episode 12 of The Rising of the Shield Season 2 will air on Wednesday, June 22, on Crunchyroll.
©2021 Aneko Yusagi / KADOKAWA / Shield Hero S2 Production Committee