The Rising of the Shield Hero: Melromarc’s four Cardinal Heroes explained

Naofumi and Malty from Rising of the Shield Hero
Naofumi and Malty from The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 1. Pic credit: Kinema Citrus/DR Movie

The Rising of the Shield Hero is among the finest Isekai anime releases. The show’s appeal is likely due to its uniqueness compared to other programs in the comparable fantasy genre. Based on Aneko Yusagi’s web novel, the first season began in 2019, with Shield Hero Season 2 following in April 2022. And it’s already been confirmed that the wait for The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 3 release date won’t be long.

To save them from the Waves, the Kingdom of Melromarc summoned four champions from distant realms. Here are four of them. The Rising of the Shield Hero had a contentious start, but the anime climbed above the criticism and gained a devoted fan base. Unlike most isekai titles, which bestow strong abilities or blessings on their heroes, Naofumi had to endure tribulations to survive. The only reason he was kept alive was that he was a Melromarc summoned hero.

The four Cardinal Heroes of Melromarc

The Queen summoned the four Cardinal Heroes to battle swarms of creatures known as Waves. Each of them possesses powerful, evolving weaponry and specialized skills. As a result, they get significant assistance from the Kingdom of Melromarc in troops and funds. Here are Melromarc’s Four Cardinal Heroes.

Motoyasu Kitamura: The Spear hero

The summoned spear hero Motoyasu Kitamura.
The summoned spear hero Motoyasu Kitamura. Pic credit: Studio Kinema Citrus

Motoyasu Kitamura, summoned as the Spear Hero, was among the first season’s highlights. Motoyasu is generally friendly and loyal to his friends, but his major flaw is his overconfidence in women. He is a likable character who is well-liked by the ladies. His whole party comprises women, including Princess Malty Melromarc, who once deceived and framed Naofumi. The Spear Hero appears to believe that they are incapable of doing evil.

Motoyasu believed Malty’s falsehoods about framing Naofumi despite the lack of solid evidence. Even after the Queen vindicated the Shield Hero’s reputation and exposed Malty as a pathological liar, Motoyasu was still certain Naofumi was to blame. He also took it upon himself to “liberate” Filo and Raphtalia from Naofumi’s control.

Itsuki Kawasumi: The Bow hero

The summoned Bow hero, Itsuki Kawasumi
The summoned Bow hero, Itsuki Kawasumi. Pic credit: Studio Kinema Citrus

The Hero of the Bow Itsuki is the first master of Rishia, the newest member of Naofumi’s party. Before being summoned as a Cardinal Hero, he was an avid gamer who quickly pointed out Melromarc’s parallels to his game. He seems to have a hero complex, justifying his deeds as acts of justice.

Itsuki frequently goes undercover to assassinate corrupt nobility to be praised. He truly believes that he is the most powerful of the four heroes and that only the elite are worthy of serving him. He also despises weakness, so he expelled Rishia from his party.

Ren Amaki: The Sword hero

The summoned sword hero Ren Amaki.
The summoned sword hero Ren Amaki. Pic credit: Studio Kinema Citrus

Ren was a typical high school student before being transferred into the universe of “The Rising of the Shield Hero,” All of his talents and abilities derive from his possession of the Legendary Sword. The sword has several magical powers, including the Comet Blade ability, which charges the sword with the force of the stars, and the Hundred Swords ability, which divides the sword into a hundred more miniature swords and causes them all to fall on Ren’s opponents. Switching between these powers frequently causes the sword’s form to change.

Ren prefers being alone, mainly because he sees the world as a game. He is the one who killed the Dragon Emperor, who was later reanimated as a Zombie Dragon, creating disease in the surrounding community. Unlike Itsuki and Motoyasu, Ren accepted responsibility for the Zombie Dragon event and apologized to Naofumi and his companions.

Naofumi Iwatani: The Shield hero

Naofumi and Malty from Rising of the Shield Hero
Naofumi and Malty from Rising of the Shield Hero season 1: Pic credit: Kinema Citrus DR Movie

The shield hero Naofumi is the only one of Melromarc’s Four Cardinal Heroes who didn’t get a weapon; instead, he is given a shield. Unfortunately, this shield rejects all weapons, leaving Naofumi with no offensive capabilities. Like the other Vassal Weapons, his shield can evolve indefinitely, yet as the Shield Hero, Naofumi was met with hostility from the kingdom. After being framed by his first party member, he got labeled an outcast.

Throughout Season 1 of Shield Hero, he had to rebuild his image from the ground up, doing everything it took to survive. While the other heroes recruited the country’s best, Naofumi had to find his party members. He had to purchase Raphtalia and Filo from a slave trader; only afterward did he begin to meet devoted followers. Interestingly, despite everything the Kingdom of Melromarc has done to him thus far, Naofumi remains objectively decent.

Have you completed The Rising of the Shield Hero season 1? What do you hope to see in the new season of this anime? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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