Update: The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 2 release date time frame was confirmed for 2021. The remainder of this story remains as published since the last update. Please see the new story in the link for more details.
The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 2 and 3 were both confirmed to be in production at Crunchyroll Expo 2019. The surprise announcement of The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 3 was made during a special stage panel.
Considering that Crunchyroll is directly involved in the production as one of the producers, it made sense for Shield Hero Season 2 and 3 to be announced at Crunchyroll Expo.
The Crunchyroll Expo Shield Hero special stage panel scheduled for September 1st included character designer Masahiro Suwa, producer Junichiro Tamura, voice actor Sarah Emi Bridcutt, and opening music artist MADKID. The band did a performance.
Kadokawa producer Tamura had been teasing the possibility of a sequel almost the entire year but Shield Hero season 3 is likely due to the strong performance by the anime series. Earlier in the year, Kadokawa had announced that their anime profits in Q1 2019 rose largely thanks to Naofumi, Raphtalia, and Filo’s anime adventures.
Here is the first visual. Enjoy. pic.twitter.com/UoF9sbTNKR
— The Rising of the Shield Hero (@ShieldHeroEN) September 1, 2019
Manga/light novel publisher Kadokawa co-produced the anime alongside Crunchyroll, which Tamura says “tipped” him off to the series. The producer says the book publisher would “would like to animate all of Shield Hero,” but he admits those plans all depend on the support from the fans.
Tamura talked about the Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari anime in a Reddit Ask Me Anything back in February 2019. Tamura is a business producer for anime at book publisher Kadokawa, which is well-known for works like KonoSuba, Overlord, and many others.
In addition to bringing Shield Bro to the masses, Tamura also worked on Bungo Stray Dogs, Chio’s School Road, and the Prisma Ilya series.
“Definitely with everyone’s continued support. … I am very pleased [with] how the show has performed beyond my expectations, especially overseas in the US and China. I would like to thank everyone for the support you have shown for the show,” Tamura responded. “Regarding Season 2, it all depends on our fans and how much support they continue [to] give the series. … Please continue to watch Shield Hero legally on sites such as Crunchyroll and purchase Shield Hero goods/Blu-rays once they become available.”
(For more questions answered by Tamura, please see this article about The Rising Of The Shield Hero Reddit AMA. You should also check out our exclusive interview with Aiya Kyu, the artist producing The Rising Of The Shield Hero manga series.)
The Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari anime has suffered from extremely critical reviews in the Western world since the story is based on the main character overcoming overwhelming obstacles after being falsely accused of rape.
Regardless, the anime has scored well above average with anime fans on MyAnimeList and ranked number one with AT-X anime subscribers for the first half of 2019. In addition, Tamura claims “there have not been any controversies regarding the series in Japan.”
The biggest factor which decided the fate of The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 2 and 3 is its popularity on streaming platforms. In the past, the determining factor for a producer greenlighting an anime sequel was DVD and Blu-ray sales in Japan, but the market for the anime industry has shifted in the direction of international streaming and merchandise sales (figurines, etc).
“Overseas streaming services such as Crunchyroll have a larger effect each year on the financial success of anime,” Tamura explained. “I do think international demand has a huge impact on production decisions and will have even more as we move forward.”
Thankfully, that meant Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari Season 2 had a good chance early on since the TV show often dominated the top spot on Crunchyroll for both the Winter and Spring 2019 anime season.
At the same time, merchandise/figurines sales and Blu-Ray/DVD box set sales on the Oricon charts cannot be ignored. Volume 1 of the Blu-Ray/DVD box sets released on April 24, 2019. While it was not a flop, the numbers were significantly less than other popular anime that have been renewed quickly for a second season. (To be fair, Boku no Hero Academia S3 sold only about 600 units more and My Hero Academia Season 4 was greenlit immediately.)
Fast forward to late May 2019 and Kadokawa released their first-quarter profits for 2019. The report stated that anime quarterly profits rose largely due to North American licensing income from Wise Man’s Grandchild and The Rising Of The Shield Hero.
Based on these numbers, Kadokawa announced that they intend on producing at least one Isekai anime adaptation per season, which is another reason why both Shield Hero Season 2 and 3 were announced so quickly. It would also make sense for Naofumi and Raphtalia to be in Isekai Quartet Season 2, which has already been confirmed to be in production.
The second cour of Season 1 began airing on April 3, 2019. The first season ended with The Rising Of The Shield Hero Episode 25 on June 26, 2019.
The Rising Of The Shield Hero’s English dub also started airing mid-February and at first, the English episodes were airing the same day as the Japanese release. However, there were “unforeseen circumstances” in the dubbing process, so starting mid-May 2019 the Shield Hero dub will be delayed (please see our full article on the Shield Hero English dub release schedule).
Updated September 1, 2019: Shield Hero Season 3 and 2 confirmed at Crunchyroll Expo 2019.
Updated June 26, 2019: Revised light novel/manga comparison and added some extra spoilers.
Updated June 8, 2019: Added Kadokawa Q1 2019 financial results and how that may influence The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 2.
Updated May 30, 2019: Added Episode 21 comparison and changed the ending analysis. Added extra spoilers as a result.
Updated May 16, 2019: Added info regarding delay of the English dub for the second cour of the first season. Added link to the exclusive interview with the Shield Hero manga artist.
This article provides everything that is known about The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 2 and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.
The Rising Of The Shield Hero manga, light novels, and web novel compared to the Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari anime
Jokingly referred to as Medicine And Raccoon in the likeness of Spice And Wolf, The Rising Of The Shield Hero light novels were created by author Aneko Yusagi and illustrator Minami Seira starting in August 2013.
The story is based on a Shosetsuka ni Naro (Let’s Become a Novelist) web novel that reached an ending years ago. Fan-made English translation projects for the web novel were completed back in 2015.
The official Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari light novel series was up to Volume 22 as of June 25, 2019. The release date for Volume 23 has not yet been confirmed.
The official English translation by One Peace Books started publishing in 2015. The English version is already up to Volume 14 and Volume 15 is scheduled to release on December 15, 2019, while Volume 16 comes out on March 15, 2020.
There are numerous differences between the web novel and light novels, but overall it’s safe to say the light novel series is taking the plot in a different direction. For example, the fan-favorite Mad Scientist Naofumi story arc was replaced by a different story in the light novels.
The light novels also added new characters and made major changes to the story while keeping the core elements of the plot relatively intact.
However, similar to how the Overlord light novels eventually drifted away from the original web novel, it’s very likely that the Shield Hero light novels will find a new ending. (The web novel’s ending was also fairly open-ended and the final chapters were more of a side story.)
The big divergences start at around the Cal Mira Island story arc in Volume 4 (which is also the ending of the anime’s first season). It’s apparent that underdeveloped portions of the story are being fleshed out from that point on so later developments make more sense.
Overall, even fans of the web novel agree the light novel adaptation is more streamlined and more appealing to a wider audience.
The biggest difference is probably in the tone of the narrative, which (similar to the Sword Art Online light novels) comes from the first person perspective of Naofumi Iwatani.
Web novel Naofumi is extremely bitter (perhaps realistically so?) in all his interactions with other characters whereas light novel Naofumi is significantly more mellowed out. That’s not to say he’s no longer angry at the world due to all the trauma he’s experienced.
Starting in 2014, mangaka Aiya Kyu began adapting the light novel series into The Rising Of The Shield Hero manga. Published on a monthly basis, the manga has been collected into 13 volumes as of April 2019 (two to three volumes release per year).
Please see our exclusive interview with Shield Hero manga artist Aiya-san.
The English translation of the Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari manga is already up to Volume 11 as of May 2019. Volume 12 is scheduled to release December 10, 2019.
The manga version follows the light novels’ plot, but it has a tendency to skip slice-of-life elements in order to jump straight into the action. This decision makes the manga more fast-paced since it skims the bland plot points, but it makes these changes at the expense of characterization.
Both the light novels and the manga have been quite popular in Japan according to Aneko Yusagi’s official blog. Since releasing in 2013, the series has sold over four million copies, including one million copies for the manga adaptation.
When light novels are adapted into anime format it’s unavoidable that some content is skipped and some parts are condensed. The changes were most notable in Episode 1, which ran double-length so the first episode didn’t end on such a dark note.
Tamura says that in this case anime studio Kinema Citrus worked as a team to make these types of decisions.
“We do make some adjustments for marketability, however never at the cost of changing too much the original story. … We would like to not change too much of the original story, but there are things we must cut due to episode duration,” he explained. “In the case we do have to cut content, it is a decision all the staff members are involved in.”
In the first light novel, everything seemed to be going well and then it suddenly hit a switch. The anime made this transition a little more seamlessly by adding a few extra scenes of friendly interaction with the other three heroes (Spear Hero Motoyasu Kitamura, Sword Hero Ren Amaki, and Bow Hero Kizuna Kazeyama) which included subtle foreshadowing that makes the audience realize that’s something is not quite right.
The anime also presented a good-hearted protagonist who was excited about his upcoming adventure whereas narrator Naofumi of the books was more biting. These anime scenes made the eventual betrayal of Naofumi seem more believable while also making the character more likable.
Voice actor Kaito Ishikawa plays the role of Naofumi and he explained how it was necessary to put himself into a “more positive mindset through it all” when recording the first episode because he knew the betrayal was coming.
“I raised my spirits by imagining a story where Naofumi may be the hero of the shield, considered the weakest of the four, but he was going to give it his all and keep upgrading his shield in order to protect his party, and stuff like that,” he said. “The story and Naofumi’s character take quite the turn in the second half, so I was quite a bit nervous going in. Part of it was because episode 1 is an hour long and had an unusual kind of schedule. We recorded the first half on one day, and the second the next. The second day’s recording was going to start with the betrayal scene right off the bat, so I had to get into [a] mindset of voicing a whole different character. Repeating that process all over again was quite the challenge.”
When voicing Naofumi, Kaito also believes that if “Naofumi’s nice to someone, it’s not intentional. He’s not aware that he’s showing his soft side.”
The goal is for audiences to see a glimpse into Naofumi’s true character while still not adopting a “more compassionate tone to how he treats Raphtalia.”
“Naofumi only sees Raphtalia as a weapon, as his sword and nothing more. But try as he might, he can’t fully commit to treating a person as a tool. He must’ve been a really nice guy,” Kaito explained. “While he hates the other heroes and Myne, and seeks revenge from the bottom of his heart, he still can’t bring himself to become completely evil. That’s what makes him so human and charming.”
The anime did neglect to include information that changes how audiences might perceive the characters at the beginning. For example, while Naofumi was transported to this fantasy world by reading a book, the other three heroes all died in accidents before awakening to their new fate.
Worse, the anime’s opening portrayed Naofumi in a bad light. When he sees the picture of the princess in the book he describes her as “kind of slutty” based on appearance alone. However, in the light novel, Naofumi made this remark because the picture book page described how the princess made eyes at all the heroes and was known for sleeping around.
Since the anime neglected to include this critical context from the book it changes the way audiences might feel about Naofumi from the outset.
Still, the anime did a good job of showing how the strong pre-existing prejudices of King Aultcray Melromarc XXXII, the church, and the citizenry against any person who might wield the Shield allowed Princess Malty Melromarc to frame Naofumi.
Malty’s actions are the root cause of Naofumi’s original personality snapping, twisting him into a dark and cynical man willing to use slaves to build his party.
While it’s difficult to like the bitter book narrator Naofumi, the character presented in the anime’s first few episodes is shown to have goodness still inside him despite the horrible circumstances.
The book has a lot of interior monologue showing how Naofumi views the world and this rage was most evident in Episode 8: Curse Shield. But it still had Naofumi smiling in the end.
How many light novel volumes will the 25 episodes of Season 1 adapt? The first light novel volume was adapted into four episodes, and Episode 8 finished off the final Chapter 20 of Volume 2. Episodes 10 through 13 adapted light novel Volume 3.
Starting with Episode 14 the anime slowed the pacing down dramatically. Eight episodes were used to adapt the Devil of the Shield story arc that’s the focus of Volume 4. The ending of this story arc also corresponded to manga Chapter 32 of Volume 8.
Warning: Major anime spoilers in the next several paragraphs.
Shield Hero Episode 21 actually had some manga fans complaining. While, yes, Naofumi finally received sweet, sweet justice, the anime episode failed to compare with its manga counterpart. The manga’s scene was way more confrontational in nature and the characterization of Naofumi was completely changed. (The manga version of Spear Hero also didn’t give up completely on Malty even to the bitter end, which made it seem odd how Bitch remained in his party without any explanation by the anime.)
Malty even attempted to manipulate Naofumi by suggesting that he should forgive them.
“Please don’t make this about revenge!” Malty pleaded “Revenge only begets revenge. As the wise Shield Hero, surely you know that! Please, show mercy and ask the Queen to forgive us! As long as you feel better, everything is fine, right?!”
In response to this outrageous line, manga Naofumi immediately ordered the execution of Bitch and Trash by yelling, “Kill them! The death penalty!” Seeking to prevent strife in the country, the Queen offered the middle ground proposal where the two former royals would still prefer death, but she later point-blank stated, “Upon their next transgression, I won’t hesitate to put them down.”
The end result was that anime Naofumi came off as far more mellow in how he reacted to the situation. Instead of being hot-blooded and petty by reveling in watching the horrible faces Bitch was making, this kind-hearted version of Naofumi forged a selfless path for the betterment of the kingdom that unified everyone behind a common cause. So while, yes, the anime portrays Naofumi in a more heroic manner it could be argued that the emotional payoff for the readers was far greater in the manga.
Note: This article was updated after The Rising Of The Shield Hero Episode 25 aired in Japan.
After that story arc, the first season resumed the earlier pacing to finish off the first five volumes. The ending focused on the Cal Mira Island story arc and the fight with L’Arc Berg, Therese Alexandrite, and Glass, which had been teased by the OP video of the second cour. (Trivia: Melty was not present in either the light novel or web novel during this time frame, but in the anime, she helped with the wave sea battle.
Season 1’s ending roughly corresponded to the finale of Volume 5 (or manga Chapter 45), which is a good stopping point since a major new story arc that spans multiple books begins with the fifth volume.
However, the anime’s ending quickly adapted Rishia’s introduction from Volume 6 already, skimming over most of the details, and even changed the spelling of her name to Lecia. The happy ending where Naofumi received a lordship over a domain and rebuilt Raphtalia’s village also seemed to skip way ahead to light novel Volume 10, which should have been a plot point for Shield Hero Season 3.
Shield Hero Season 2 will pick up again with Volume 6 (manga Volume 12) with a story about a Spirit Tortoise that directly leads to a confrontation with a major villain (see the Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari Season 2 spoilers below for more detail).
The good news is that this stopping point leaves plenty of room for producing Season 2 immediately, never mind The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 3 and beyond. Better yet, English-reading fans can jump straight in and read ahead of the anime without waiting for new books to release.
The only bad news is that Shield Hero Episode 25 has already adapted most of the available chapters for The Rising Of The Shield Hero manga. At this rate, it’s possible Shield Hero Season 2 could get ahead of the manga version.
As for the number of episodes for Shield Hero Season 2, it’s likely that the second season will once again need to be a two-cour anime. Similar to how the first season needed two cours to find a good stopping point in the story, the next four light novel volumes are a self-contained story arc. It’s possible the story could be split into two separate seasons but that would leave audiences with a cliffhanger.
Shield Hero Season 3 should then adapt the next major story arc that begins with Volume 10.
Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari Season 2 release date coming relatively soon: The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 3 release date within a year after?
As of the last update, Kadokawa, Crunchyroll, Kinema Citrus, or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 2 release date. The production of the sequel and Shield Hero Season 3 was confirmed in September 2019 but not the release time frame for either seasons.
Once the news is officially confirmed, this article will be updated with the relevant information. In the meantime, it’s possible to speculate about when, or if, the Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari Season 2 premiere date will occur in the future.
Anime projects take years to develop. To put Shield Hero into perspective, Season 1 was first announced alongside an early English trailer by Kadokawa during Anime Expo 2017. It’s still interesting to watch, especially since it glosses over why Naofumi is in the “depths of despair.”
Assuming that Kinema Citrus were to return for animating the second season, the studio is known for only producing a handful of projects per year (unless they’re co-animating with another company). The Made In Abyss anime was their breakout hit in 2017 and they’re currently working on a sequel called Made in Abyss the Movie: Dawn of the Deep Soul.
Considering how popular that anime has become it’s likely they’ll eventually produce Made In Abyss Season 2, as well.
Such a schedule could potentially push The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 2 out into 2021 or beyond. Even if Kadokawa switched studios, the anime industry’s schedule is booked up years in advance.
However, in the best-case scenario Shield Hero Season 2 could come out in 2020. What’s more, since the third season has already been announced to be in production The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 3 release date could be scheduled for 2021 or 2022.
The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 2 spoilers (plot summary/synopsis)
Note: This article assumes that Shield Hero Season 2 will open with the events of light novel Volume 6 or manga Volume 12.
The last time we saw Naofumi, Raphtalia, and friends they’d just faced off against Glass in the Cal Mira islands. Returning to Melromarc aboard a ship, they meet a young woman named Rishia (Lecia) Ivyred, a tragic character introduced at the ending of Season 1. She was abandoned by Bow Hero Itsuki so she begs to join Naofumi’s party.
(In the manga, Rishia/Lecia enjoyed wearing full-body suits like the squirrel costume, so it’ll be interesting to see if the anime shows her wearing her penguin costume.)
Besides Rishia/Lecia, Raphtalia’s childhood friend the Siberian Husky-like Keel joins the party. There’s a bit of a plot twist involving Keel’s identity, but this article won’t spoil the surprise.
The focal point of Shield Hero Season 2 starts with Naofumi deliberating over what it means to be a hero. He’s moved past needing petty revenge and Raphtalia continues to serve as a moral compass. There’s also the mystery of the Seven Star Heroes.
It’s not long before trouble starts brewing because the heroes are asked to defeat a giant monster called the Spirit Tortoise. But this creature is so powerful that even the high-level adventurers cannot defeat it.
The problem is that the other three summoned heroes Ren, Itsuki, and Motoyasu keep treating their situation as if they’re living inside a virtual reality game. It turns out Naofumi is the only one of the four cardinal heroes to not have played a game similar to this fantasy world.
As such, Naofumi takes threats more seriously and trains hard while the other three act as if they’re game protagonists with plot armor who simply can’t ever lose and die (clearly they’re not familiar with Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash).
Unfortunately, although Naofumi attempts to train with the other heroes the way he humiliates and berates them causes the Bow Hero, Sword Hero, and Spear Hero to become alienated even further from the Shield Hero. In the past there was some grumbling about Naofumi’s methods, but now they outright accuse Naofumi of “cheating” as if he’s somehow manipulating the game-like world in an unfair manner.
Due to this conflict, Naofumi’s party finds itself standing alone in the face of the enormous threat posed by the Spirit Tortoise. This is quite the problem since Naofumi clearly remembers the warning from Fitoria the Filolial Queen that the world won’t be saved if the four heroes can’t work together.
After Naofumi and his friends defeat the Spirit Tortoise, they set out to search for the other missing heroes. Along the way, they run into Ost Hourai, a brown-haired woman with Chinese-looking features.
Ost claims the Spirit Tortoise is still alive and pleads with Naofumi to find and stop the creature before it goes on a rampage. Naofumi doesn’t believe her since he had defeated the Spirit Tortoise earlier and believes it dead. But Ost insists she’s right and claims that someone else is pulling the string from behind the scenes.
It turns out this hidden threat is Book Hero Kyo Ethnina, one of the Vassal wielders from the Second world. A rampant egomaniac pervert, Kyo openly desires to brainwash the women of Naofumi’s party and add them to his personal harem.
Kyo is attempting to siphon away Spirit Tortoise energy and is responsible for the disappearance of the three missing heroes Ren, Motoyasu, and Itsuki. But controlling the Spirit Tortoise is strictly forbidden so Glass, the Fan Hero that was introduced in the first anime season, ends up forming an alliance with Naofumi to kill the Book Hero.
Rishia/Lecia was originally taken under the wing of Naofumi because he hated how Bow Hero Itsui treated her worse than a slave. Due to Rishia/Lecia being so helpful in the fight against Kyo, Naofumi asks Rishia/Lecia to form a slave pact with him because of his ability to boost of his slaves. After much consideration, Rishia decides to accept a high-level slave crest and joins Naofumi’s party.
(In the manga version, this plot point took place earlier in Chapter 45 and both Rishia/Lecia and Keel took the slave mark to boost their abilities. But they were both very hesitant to do so since Naofumi chose to be mean-spirited and scare them both like an “evil slave trader”.)
The allies eventually track down Kyo and confront him. The battle to the death with Kyo seems like it’ll end in tragedy but for the sacrificial actions of Ost. Naofumi destroys the Spirit Tortoise’s core and Kyo manages to escape to his own world while taking away some of the energy.
Naofumi attempts to follow Kyo’s retreat only to find himself awakening in prison! Kyo managed to split Naofumi and Rishia/Lecia off and away from Raphalia, Filo, and the others, leaving the pair trapped in a labyrinth dimension. Worse, Naofumi finds his experience and skills reset back down to level 1!
The legendary hero Kizuna Kazeyama is introduced as the Hunting Hero, whose weapon limits her to harming monsters and not humans. Because of this limitation, she was captured and trapped inside the labyrinth dimension.
Friends with Glass, Kizuna is also from the same Second world. Kizuna disapproves of killing the other world’s heroes in order to save her homeworld and believes the heroes are necessary for some other reason.
With the help of Kizuna, Naofumi and Rishia/Lecia are able to escape the labyrinth and find Raphtalia, Filo, Glass, L’arc, and Therese. Kizuna is happy to be reunited with her long lost comrade, but she also punishes Glass for attempting to kill Naofumi and the other legendary heroes. Along the way, they find themselves fighting an enemy that Naofumi calls Trash #2.
With everyone reunited, they prepare to track down Kyo and prevent him from doing something disastrous with the energy collected from the dead Spirit Tortoise. But first, they must deal with a young female samurai named Yomogi Emarl, a childhood friend of the dastardly Kyro.
Yomogi deeply trusts her friends and has a strong sense of justice. What she doesn’t realize is that Kyo has been manipulating her into fighting his enemies. But will Yomogi see through his machinations?
Please click this link for more details and spoilers for The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 3.
Unfortunately, anime fans will have to wait until The Rising Of the Shield Hero Season 2 release date to watch how Naofumi resolves all these crises. Let’s just hope the wait for Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari Season 2 (never mind Shield Hero Season 2) isn’t too long. Stay tuned!