Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations
As I said in my reaction to episode one of The Promised Neverland, the point of a first episode is to draw people in and get them invested in the stakes of a given story, and to The Rising of the Shield Hero’s credit, it did do that for me, and probably for a many others as well. The problem I have with the show is the way in which it does this, but I will explain more in a second.
The Rising of the Shield hero follows Iwatani Naotumi, a college student from Japan who one day gets transported from his world to a vaguely familiar fantasy world. The reason? Naotumi is one of four cardinal heroes whose destiny it is to save the world from destruction. However, being the shield hero makes him the loser of the pack, and quickly after being summoned to this new world, he finds himself being accused of rape by his only other party member Myna, and is then left to train by himself.
One of the things that come across as immediately problematic about the show’s first episode is the implication of its events. Now, before you anyone decides to call me an SJW cuck, I understand your feelings about everything being called problematic, and in some cases, I would agree that things get called problematic solely to ruin people’s enjoyment of said things. However, let me explain specifically why this first episode is different.
For the entirety of the forty-five plus minute first episode, we are introduced to exactly two females characters, Myna and the slave girl at the end of the episode. Myna, who ends up joining Naotumi’s party, is portrayed as sexually deviant and only using Naotumi for his money, and the show even goes as far to show him as falsely accusing him of rape. It is then, of course, revealed that she did all of this intentionally, and she is even shown with an evil smile on her face near the middle of the episode. Now, consider this: since the slave girl at the end does not have any lines outside just crying in a cage, that makes the sole character traits represented by women in the show so far evil and subservience.
Now, in regards to Myna specifically, there is nothing wrong in a vacuum with saying what Myna did was wrong and that false rape accusations are wrong, those things are absolutely true. The problem comes with the implication. Again, since Myna is one of only two female representatives in the show, the implication is that she is representative of most or even all women, which then completely justifies any terrible behavior by the main character towards other female characters.
I do, however, want to make something abundantly clear: I am not saying that if you like and enjoy this show that you are a bad person. In fact, other than this one, admittedly large part of the show’s premise, I actually thought it was a fairly interesting addition to the Isekai genre. I would just ask that you consider these things while watching the show.
How do you guys feel about the first episode of The Rising of the Shield Hero? Let me know in the comments below. Also, if you want to support The Aniwriter or are just feeling generous, consider supporting me on Ko-fi or using one of my affiliate links to buy stuff:
If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!