The new anime season continues, and as usual the flow of new series has gone from a trickle to a flood, as I try to arrange my schedule so I can cover a dozen or more new shows weekly. I’m super happy to have the return of The Rising of the Shield Hero, a fun show that easily made the list of the best isekai anime series in the history of the genre. What does the second cour of Tate no Yuusha have in store for us?
The Shield Hero Returns! What New Adventures Will We See?
The return of the show brings back all our favorite characters: summoned hero Naofumi-sama, raccoon waifu Raphtalia, adorable bird-brain Filo, plus the other worthless heroes that make Naofumi’s job harder as he builds up his skills. We also get to see good old
Malty Bitch, the backstabbing female antagonist that raised the ire of anime fans everywhere with her false sexual accusations against the main character last season.
The new season will follow the light novels, extending the story as Naofumi adds new waifus to his party, starting with Rishia Ivyred, who needs an upgrade to her archery skills. Rishia is a cute character who lacks confidence, but will surely grow in skill as she undergoes training and, um, becomes Naofumi’s slave. Because anime.
In a world where you can throw a stone and hit an isekai anime, what makes The Rising of the Shield Hero so enjoyable? Here are a few reasons.
- I personally enjoy its straight fantasy story, and the way it doesn’t try to be anything it’s not: an escape from reality into a fantasy filled with magic, battles and cute characters.
- The isekai genre is generally built around power fantasies of super-strong male heroes who readers/viewers want to self-insert themselves into. I liked the way Naofumi turns this trope on its ear, starting out as the weakest of the four heroes summoned from our world. In the same way that Batman is way more interesting than all-powerful Superman, we get to follow the journey of Naofumi and his friends as they slowly increase in level despite many obstacles.
- Anime wouldn’t have become the worldwide cultural juggernaut it is today without a unique ability to create emotional bonds between characters and us. Ever since *that episode* we’ve all had a special place in our hearts for Raphtalia.
- You can’t tell a good story without a good villain, and The Rise of the Shield Hero has several good ones to choose from, especially Malty and the Spear Hero Motoyasu.
What Makes a Good Seacon Anime Season?
The first Rising of the Shield Hero anime arrived back in 2019, which seems like a decade or so ago, but it’s just three years. Do you think this is a good amount of time to make fans wait, or was it too long?
This is one of the questions I think about, both as a long-time anime blogger and student of Japan’s animation industry. There’s nothing more frustrating than when creators of a popular anime series fail to properly signal their intentions for future continuations of a given story, so fans can decide whether they should remain active in that show’s fandom, or move on to new things.
The biggest mistake I see is when studios let fans think that the series in question is gone for good, like the four-year gap between Attack on Titan seasons 1 and 2. Or the decade between season 2 of Code Geass and the continuation films. Or the decade between the hugely popular The Devil is a Part-Timer season 1 and its recently announced continuation. Do they expect us to consider ourselves active fans even after all those years?
Of course I understand that no one knows what the future holds, including anime production committees, and they can’t announce a new season if it’s not actually being funded. And often new anime seasons are dependent on whether fans will buy the required number of limited anime Blu-rays, which is a big source of funding for future seasons. And a decade ago, no one could foresee the rise of anime streaming.
My motivation for hoping that anime creators don’t waste the potential of future seasons of popular anime isn’t entirely pure. As an anime retailer, we have to sell anime figures to stay in business, and shows that give us lots of great figures to sell are good for everyone, from J-List to anime licensors to figure companies and fans. Happily we’ve gotten quite a few outstanding Tate no Yuusha figures for this show in recent months.
From my point of view as both an anime retailer and fan of the industry overall, the best-executed anime ever was the Zero no Tsukaima series. Between 2006 and 2012, we got a new season of the show every 1-2 years, ensuring fans could stay active in the fandom, reading the manga or novels in between anime series. During that time, we were blessed with more sexy anime figures than any series I can remember.
Thanks for reading this blog post about the second season of The Rise of the Shield Hero. What shows are you excited about in the new anime season? Tell us below, or chat with us on Twitter!
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