May 2, 2019
Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari (Rising of the Shield Hero) is an isekai anime, where the main character is transported to a fantasy world, and in this case, it’s a semi game-based one.
Just with this information alone, you can probably guess the entire plot. He’s a loser in real life, super overpowered in the game world, the ladies love him, there’s a mysterious yet uninteresting bad guy to defeat, story logic is constructed by toddlers, and a fantasy world backstory as bland and generic as dollar canned soup.
Yet, as of today, the series has a score of 8.36 on myanimelist (anything above an 8 is typically decent).
So I checked it out. It went like this:
It’s fascinating to me that this run-of-the-mill cookie-cutter series is, in fact, rather addictive, and I think it boils down to this: Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari is a rags to riches story. Hollywood loves this trope, especially in gangster movies—this is the anime equivalent. Instead of impoverished immigrant to mafia boss, this is more along the lines of fun monkey boy to alien Super Saiyan.
Without spoiling the story too much (although let’s not kid ourselves here, there’s little to spoil), Tate has a few other quirks going for it.
The main character starts at what appears as a disadvantage—stuck with only a shield instead of a legendary weapon — but this turns in his favor, which we’re all expecting, but unfortunately, it happens all too quickly.
The story also plays with the MMORPG “party” concept a bit—where you’ve got one character that’s a tank and one that’s the DPS hitter.
Oh, and of course, our MC has slave girls.
Let’s be honest, this is a major draw for male anime audiences, myself somewhat included if I’m honest.
But from a prefrontal cortex point of view, I can’t help but feel bad for the voice actresses that have to spout the most ridiculous and embarrassing lines imaginable.
What makes it worse is that Naofumi, our honorable “Yuusha” (hero), is a grade-A emo whiner (it’s actually one of his shield skills), so the girls have to continuously hold up his ego or else he gets all sad and insecure.
I have an uncomfortable gut feeling that this aspect is actually what a lot of aforementioned male audiences enjoy.
I don’t get it myself, but it seems like there’s some kind of mental masturbation and wish fulfillment going on here, where the guy acts like a huge immature dick and the girls love him anyway.
Will I finish the series?
It would be a done deal if every episode were out already. But I don’t know if new episodes are wait-able… as in, there’s a good chance I’ll start something new and forget all about the sniveling shield hero.
I hear it’s interesting to be reincarnated as a slime…