The Rising of the Shield Hero has emerged as one of the biggest isekai series in the light novel and anime community of today. The original light novels, along with a manga adaptation, are a big success, both in Japan and overseas. The fact that it is one of the first light novels to receive an audiobook version in English only speaks to that fact. And after receiving thousands of reviews for the first volume, The Rising of the Shield Hero Audiobook Volume 2 is finally coming to fans everywhere on May 3. One Peace Books is once again publishing the audiobook, with Kurt Kanazawa as the narrator.
“We were thrilled with the success of the audiobook for volume 1. Delivering a title as beloved and celebrated as The Rising of the Shield Hero in audio format was a huge step. Above all else, we’re just glad that fans of the series get to experience this new medium as the story continues to thrill and inspire. We see Naofumi start to struggle with his darker side in Volume 2, so we’re hopeful that the audio format will allow readers to experience the world of the Shield Hero in a brand new light.”One Peace Books editorial department
The Rising of the Shield Hero audiobook saw its fair share of success, along with the original novels and the anime. Anime Corner had an exclusive opportunity to check out Volume 2 before the release. While the narrator Kanazawa made a solid first impression in The Rising of the Shield Hero audiobook’s first volume, it is quite clear that he took into account the feedback from the fans seriously. He commented on the challenges of adapting material that already has “living” characters in fans’ minds and the difficulties with Rapthalia’s lines.
“People have strong reactions to how each of these characters sound and speak,” said Kanazawa, while adding that he was amazed by the fandom. “One challenge, though, is that there are essentially two (sometimes conflicting) pre-conceived versions of these characters already existing in people’s minds due to the anime – the Japanese voice actor’s version and the English voice actor’s version. In the first book, we skewed more towards the Japanese version of the voices, especially in pronunciation and tone. After some feedback, we realized that listeners are often more familiar with the English dubbed version, so we have made quite a few adjustments, especially to Raphtalia’s more mature voice, which I’m excited for the fans to hear.”
When asked about the protagonist of the Shield Hero series, Naofumi, Kanazawa states that he enjoyed playing someone who is so human in his flaws:
“Naofumi is a fun, moody, and sarcastic character. Playing someone like him who is such a full human, with all his flaws on display, is so refreshing! I also feel like he’s pretty different from the way I am in real life, or at least the way I may appear to others. But, admittedly, so many of his internal thoughts are very recognizable to me. His frustration about his physical limitations as the Shield Hero is also a totally universal human feeling, about anything really. That’s really one of the brilliant cornerstones of this entire series.”
The second volume of the light novel covers the Filo Rial Arc and Peddling Arc, which span from episodes 5-8 in the first season of the anime adaptation. Kanazawa briefly commented on his favorite moments, without spoiling much for the new fans.
“Not to give anything away, but the Voice Gengar and the Nue fight scene with the Witch in the cave… That was fun,” said Kanazawa. “It’s a balancing act for me whenever a large group of characters – Naofumi, Raphtalia, Filo, and the Witch – all start fighting together because I have to change voices rather quickly. Story-wise, I always love it when everyone pitches in, or doesn’t, for whatever reason. Again, not to give anything away! Also, saying “Zweite Fire Place” was fun. Every time.“
The release will be available on most audiobook stores: Amazon, Apple Books, Audible, NOOK Audiobooks, Spotify, Audiobooks.com, and more. Kurt Kanazawa is an American actor who recently appeared in Grey’s Anatomy.
The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 2 is currently airing in Japan and streaming overseas.
© 2013 Aneko Yusagi