Episode two of The Rising of The Shield Hero aired on Wednesday gearing fans up for an upcoming epic showdown against the Spirit Tortoise. After a questionable season premiere, episode two actually puts us back on track with what season two should be all about.
The Shield Tortoise / Rishia Contrast
In the season two premiere, half of the episode focused on the Spirit Tortoise while the other half focused on Rishia creating this odd contrast of storylines. But with episode two, the primary focus was on mobilizing everyone for an upcoming battle against the Spirit Tortoise while Rishia was put on the backburner—as it should be.
She wasn’t forgotten, but she had a small role. So small, in fact, we only see her briefly preparing for battle transitioning to a comedic heart-to-heart talk near the end. So not only did the episode manage to focus on what really mattered—the Spirit Tortoise—but it also reminded us that Rishia might play a crucial role at some point and that she’s not to be forgotten just yet. As the series keeps emphasizing her potential strength, it’s only a matter of time until we see it. Plus, this scene at the ending of the episode was a nice “calm before the storm” moment with her and our newly introduced character, Ost Hourai.
The full introduction of Ost gave the episode a touch of flavor. One moment, she’s introducing herself as the regent of the Spirit Tortoise Kingdon. The next, she’s telling Raphtalia and company that that was a lie. Not to mention that her entire reasoning for asking Naofumi to kill her at the end of the season premiere was explained ever so briefly in this episode.
As I said about Rishia bringing a new sense of character to Naofumi’s group, Ost is now the outlier shrouded in mystery. One that we’re all waiting to see what she’s also capable of. Ost does a lot of two-facing in this episode and it really gets the viewers tuned in trying to find out just who she truly is. The fact you can’t get a tell on her true motives can also be credited to great voice acting by Kana Hanazawa (Kanroji Mitsuri – Demon Slayer).
Overuse of Close-Up Shots
The idea of a close-up camera shot is to put an emphasis on the person, or object, in the frame. It can convey a certain emotion stronger than other shots can such as a medium shot or wide shot. But there was a ridiculous number of close-up shots in episode two. While the shots themselves actually look great, it was just a consistent camera shot that was noticeably overused throughout the entire episode it was hard to not realize it. If the idea behind it was to make the viewers feel the emotions of our favorite characters before the big fight then consider the emotions felt.
Episode 2 Set The Course
The big showdown of the season seems like it’s already set to happen in episode three of this season. If that holds true next episode, we’re either in for a lot of fighting these next handful of episodes or something happens during the upcoming fight that will be able to push the story along and the fight will come another day. While the season two premiere felt like way too much was happening at the same time, episode two took the season in the direction that it should be heading.
We also caught a glimpse of the possible culprit who released the seal on the Spirit Tortoise (check the image from above, row two). So season two, while feeling fast-paced, is still doing a relatively solid job of establishing the course of events soon to follow.
Episode three of The Rising of the Shield Hero will air on April 20 on Crunchyroll. Make sure to also vote for the series in our weekly poll!
Screenshots via Crunchyroll
©2021 Aneko Yusagi / KADOKAWA / Shield Hero S2 Production Committee