The Rising of The Shield Hero season two premiered on Wednesday leaving many fans with mixed feelings. A series that was voted as the third-most anticipated anime for the Spring 2022 season started off strong in some areas and weak in others. With odd contrasting dilemmas, rushed moments, and surprisingly solid fight scenes, the season two premiere for The Rising of The Shield Hero was undoubtedly a questionable one.
Odd Contrasting – Rishia and The Spirit Tortoise
A specific problem with the season two premiere is the contrast between Rishia’s problems and those that the Spirit Tortoise is creating. It made the episode feel as if the fans didn’t know what direction the season was going at times. While it’s not necessarily jarring to have many moving pieces and different stories happening in the same episode, it’s also not the best way to set the tone for a new season.
Rishia herself is not bad a character—quite the opposite. With Naofumi, Raphtalia, and Filo’s bravery and confidence when the going gets tough, Rishia’s shyness and lack of self-esteem bring a new sense of character to the group. However, it’s how the episode set her up that’s the problem. It’s established that Rishia is a magic user and that she’s a master of manipulating her ki. And her resolve to gain Itsuki’s trust was a solid foundation to set her up for some prove-him-wrong moments—just as it was done for Raphtalia in season one. Sounds promising, right?
The issue with the season two premiere is that it quickly gave her chances to do such but the execution fell dramatically flat. It’s a weird feeling to have an entire episode build up a proving moment for a character, just to not have them do anything at all. But if that was Jinbou Masato’s intent when directing the episode, to make the viewers feel like Rishia is worthless just as she views herself the same way, then it was executed flawlessly.
On the other hand, having her as the focus on the other side of the impending destruction the Spirit Tortoise is bringing just feels out of place. When the episode is not focused on her, it’s about fighting cross-breed animals ravaging the nation because the Spirit Tortoise has awakened and how Naofumi and company plan to stop it all. The episode would’ve benefited greatly if it focused solely on the Spirit Tortoise and establishing the main conflict so the rising action of season two can be that much more impactful for the climax, especially seeing as how it is the centerpiece for season two.
Shield Hero Season 2 Premiere – Rushed Moments
The biggest gripe with the season two premiere is that many fans thought it was rushed—and they have a good reason to feel that way, too. The simple fact of the matter is that the episode was, indeed, rushed. The traveling montage in the middle of the episode contributed greatly to this. It wasn’t necessarily a gigantic problem for season two overall, more so it was out of place. Having it in the middle of a season premiere that’s supposed to set the tone for the next 12 episodes was a very strange choice.
The second rushed moment comes from the disappearance of the other three heroes. The symbolism throughout the episode of them possibly disappearing at some point was conveyed multiple times. But to have a handful of dark foreshadowing moments only for it all to be wrapped up by Fitoria telling Filo that they’re alive was underwhelming. Not to mention, we even see them alive, though in a desperate situation, in the after-credits. If the series just mentioned the rumor of them disappearing and left it at that, it would have created a sense of alertness and established another interesting conflict for the season.
Rushing the episode while involving a contrast dilemma between Rishia and the Spirit Tortoise could’ve been an effect of having 13 episodes this season rather than 25 like season one did. But only time will tell how the rest of season two will pan out. The Rising of The Shield Hero still has a lot of great characters and an intriguing plot leaving it to be one of the better isekai anime out there. So to throw away season two after just one episode is a step too far.
Great Voice Acting, Fantastic Soundtrack, and Solid Animation
The one bright spot about the season two premiere for The Rising of The Shield Hero was the action scenes. They weren’t top of the line nor were they laughable either—they were solid. The highlight of the episode was undoubtedly Naofumi using his Wrath Shield. The crater left at the end is almost reminiscent of the climax fight in season one as well—so that was a nice touch. Combine that with the incredible voice acting of Kaito Ishikawa, the chilling soundtrack composed by Kevin Penkin, and the introduction of a new and mysterious character, the season two premiere at least ended on a high note which you can watch in the video below.
Luckily, episode one of season two was good enough to land the episode at number two on our first weekly poll of the Spring 2022 season! Make sure to vote for your favorite anime in our second weekly poll of the season. Episode two of The Rising of The Shield Hero season two will air on April 13 on Crunchyroll.
Screenshots via Crunchyroll,
©2021 Aneko Yusagi / KADOKAWA / Shield Hero S2 Production Committee