The Rising of the Shield Hero: How Naofumi’s treatment of Raphtalia differs from the manga, light novels, and web novel

Rise of the Shield hero anime scene
A Rising of the Shield Hero anime battle leaves Naofumi and Raphtalia injured. Pic credit: Studio Kinema Citrus

Crunchyroll has started streaming The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 2 and The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 3 release date is already planned for the future. And while we wait for new episodes to arrive, let’s take a look at some of the major plot points of Season 1, and how it’s different from the manga, web novel, and light novel.

When you have a series as popular as The Rising of the Shield Hero, it’s not uncommon to see differences appear in different forms of media. For those not familiar, a light novel is the same as a regular novel except that it’s similar to YA fiction since light novels primarily target high school and middle school students.

Web novels are novels except that you can only find them online since they are self-published. In the case of The Rising of The Shield Hero, the web novel came first. Aneko Yusagi is the author of this fantastic tale and has written the light novel, with the illustrations drawn by Seira Minami.

The manga is written by and illustrated by Aiya Kyu. The studio producing the anime is Kinema Citrus. Four different versions cover the same story.

And there are spin-off series and a sequel as well. The Reprise of the Spear Hero manga has six volumes available. It also has a light novel version of the same name with three volumes available.

There is two more manga that are currently only available in Japan. Tate no Yusha no to aru Ichi Nichi and Tate no Yusha no Oshinagaki.

There’s also a video game called Tate no Yusha no Nariagari Rerise. It’s available on iOS and Android. This article focuses on the web novel, light novel, manga, and anime versions.

What stayed the same for the Rising of the Shield Hero?

The basic plot is the same. Naufumi Iwatani, a college student finds an odd book in the library. He begins to read it and describes it as a typical light novel.

Four heroes, each with their own weapons a sword, spear, bow, and shield, band together and save a world. While reading this book, Naufumi states that a shield is not a weapon, it’s armor.

But he continues to read it until he reaches the chapter about the shield hero and finds it blank. A few seconds later, Naufumi is sucked into the book and finds himself in a new world with three other young men in the same situation.

The major differences are how much information each version has. Episode 1 covers chapters 1-9 of the light novel, and 1-2 chapters of the manga.

There were 25 episodes in the first season. Considering the first episode was 47 minutes while the rest of the season averaged minutes, the anime had the opportunity to be a fairly faithful adaptation.

And in many cases the anime is faithful. But Season 1only covers 1-5 of the light novels, a little bit of volume 6, and skips to 10. It also rewrites events and characters’ personalities.

The anime gives us a nicer version of Naufumi. Whereas the other versions show a darker version. This centers around Raphtalia, the Tanuki girl Naufumi bought to be his slave.

Because the shield isn’t a weapon, Naufumi has a great defense but poor offense. This means he has to rely on his party members in order to level up.

But due to being falsely accused of assaulting the one woman who joined his party. And due to him simply being the shield hero, Naufumi has lost all trust in others.

The anime shows events after the “trial,” pretty faithfully. But when we get to the part where he decides to buy Raphtalia, things get glossed over.

When Naufumi looks at Raphtalia, he sees Myne. The woman who betrayed him. In the manga, we see that every kind act he does for Raphtalia comes with an ulterior motive.

Medicine to treat her wounds so she won’t die is only purchased so she can earn enough money to cover what he spent on her purchase as a slave. Weapons, clothes, armor, and even a ball to play with… all of this came with these self-serving thoughts in mind.

To be clear: Naufumi never mistreats Raphtalia. He didn’t beat or degrade her in any way. He teaches her how to fight and kill so they can level up and survive.

Should you watch or read The Rising of the Shield Hero?

A lot of fans learn about The Rising of the Shield Hero thanks to the anime. You can read the whole web novel for free right now. Though going for the light novel version because it has exclusive chapters and story arcs is a good way to go.

If anything, you should read both as Aneko Yusagi states that each version is self-contained. Same thing with the anime and manga. Each version is canon.

Even if you pick one over the others, you’ll know all you need to know to understand The Rising of the Shield Hero. Anything past volume 16 of the light novel version is exclusive to it.

Unless season 2 or 3 decides to follow it. But since episode 2 of season 2 comes out on April 13, 2022. There’s still time to see where the anime ends up.

You can watch the first episode of season 1 for free here. If you like journeying to other worlds and playing video games, then The Rising of the Shield Hero is for you.

But please watch the first episode and episode 21 of season 1. Karma is a thing and episode 21 is so satisfying with how it wraps up with Naufumi’s character arc.

He gets justice in the best way possible: a fate worse than death for two of the people who hurt him the most. Naufumi spent 20 episodes being discriminated against by false charges and for being the Shield Hero.

Things are looking better for him and the other heroes by the final episode of season 1. But they still have much to learn and grow before they can go home.

Will they get to go home? We’ll have to wait and see if the anime lets them, but readers can find out how the web novel ends.

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