The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 4 release date predictions

The Rising Of The Shield Hero S4
The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 4 will feature Naofumi starting a revolution against the Heavenly Emperor of Q’ten Lo. Pic credit: Seira Minami

TL;DR Anime Geek predicts that The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 4 release date will be in 2025 due to the historical release pattern and the time typically required for anime production by Studio Kinema Citrus. Read more below for a much deeper dive!

The story of Naofumi Iwatani, Raphtalia, and their allies continues to captivate audiences, with many eagerly awaiting the release of The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 4. But when will the 4th season come out?

Kadokawa producer Junichiro Tamura has already said he would “would like to animate all of Shield Hero,” but he admits those plans all depend on the support from the fans.

“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 said back in early 2019.

The 2nd and 3rd seasons were both a single-cour anime season. A “cour” is a three-month TV broadcasting unit based on the physical seasons, and animes usually have between 10 to 13 episodes per cour.

The 3rd season had a total of 12 episodes across three Blu-ray & DVD volumes. The finale, The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 3 Episode 12, released on December 22, 2023.

This article provides everything that is known about The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 4 (Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari Season 4) 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.

Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari Season 4 release date predictions

As of the last update, publisher Kadokawa, Studio Kinema Citrus or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed the The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 4 release date. Nor has the production of Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari Season 4 been announced.

Once the news is officially confirmed this article will be updated with the relevant information.

It’s likely that the announcement will be made in December 2023 when the The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 3 finale episode airs.

In the meantime, it’s possible to speculate about when, or if, the The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 4 release date will occur in the future.

In the past, anime production committees would greenlight an anime sequel if the DVD and Blu-ray sales did well in Japan. The anime industry has long since shifted in the direction of merchandise sales (figurines, etc.) and overseas streaming services, with companies like Crunchyroll, Netflix, Disney/Hulu, and HIDIVE having an increasing effect on the financial success of anime TV series.

Crunchyroll was directly involved in the production as one of the producers of Shield Hero Season 1. Notably, Hulu is streaming Seasons 2 and 3, but not the first.

To put things in perspective, the 2nd and 3rd season were both initially confirmed to be in production during a special stage panel at Crunchyroll Expo 2019. The 2nd season was planned out for Fall 2021 but then it was pushed back to Spring 2022.

Given that both Season 2 and 3 were announced on the same day, there was a promise of a shorter wait time between seasons by Kadokawa producer Junichiro Tamura. Even with this promise, anime fans had to wait more than a year for the continuation. But I guess a short wait is different in producer land since they’re used to thinking in terms of multiple years.

This long “short wait” was most likely due to the availability of Studio Kinema Citrus. Founded in 2008, Bushiroad and Kadokawa each purchased a 31.8 percent stake of the animation studio back in 2019. Even so, they’re not a big animation studio like MAPPA since they only release around 2 to 3 anime projects per year.

Unfortunately, the studio hasn’t officially confirmed too much about their future plans. My Happy Marriage Season 2 has been greenlit for production, but it’s not confirmed that Kinema Citrus will return for animating the sequel.

It’s also possible that Kinema Citrus will be releasing Made In Abyss Season 3 (or another movie) in 2024 or 2025. since a sequel was confirmed in early 2023 But that’s an educated guess since the 2nd season of that series almost completely caught up with the source material the Made In Abyss manga back in 2022. (See the article in the link for more details.)

Since The Rising of the Shield Season 4 has not been officially announced yet, it’s plausible that the wait time could be longer this time around. The timing depends on whether the producers have already secretly scheduled out the future production or if they waited to see how well the 2nd and 3rd seasons performed on streaming platforms.

All in all, it seems more realistic that the The Rising of the Shield Season 4 release date will be in Spring 2025 at the earliest given the typical production schedules of anime. But if the 4th season is not already in the production pipeline fans may be waiting for multiple years, especially if the studio already has other projects slotted for that year.

The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 4 English dub release date

Crunchyroll’s The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 4 English dub release date hasn’t been announced yet. In the past, the Shield Hero English dub was released the same day as new episodes were released in Japan, but then the Shield Hero dub suffered a dubbing process delay.

The previous seasons were available on streaming platforms like Crunchyroll and Funimation, which also hosted the English dub. The English dub cast for previous seasons includes:

  • Stephen Fu as Naofumi
  • Erica Mendez as Raphtalia
  • Brianna Knickerbocker as Filo
  • Jackie Lastra as Melty

New episodes were streaming on Crunchyroll in North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Africa, Oceania, the Middle East, and CIS.

The Shield Hero Season 2 and 3 dub included English, Latin American Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, and Russian.

Shield Hero 13
It’s predicted that The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 4 will pick up the story again in light novel Volume 14. Pic credit: Minami Seira

The Rising Of The Shield Hero manga/light novels compared to the anime

Ah, let me regale you with the tale of The Rising of the Shield Hero. So, picture this: Aneko Yusagi, the mastermind behind the story, once unleashed creative genius on the wild plains of the internet as a web novel on the service “Shosetsuka ni Naro (Let’s Become a Novelist).”

Fast forward to August 2013, when the Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari light novel adaptation came galloping onto the scene with illustrations by Seira Minam. By June 2019, they had already summoned forth 22 volumes of this isekai adventure.

Unfortunately, The Rising of the Shield Hero manga Volume 23 release date has not been announced yet, leaving loyal readers grinding their teeth like Trash and B*tch every time Naofumi wins the day.

The reason for the large gap between novels is not as mysterious as a dragon’s lair. You see, our esteemed author is a bit of a multitasker, juggling multiple projects at once, which is why the next installment is taking longer to cook than a slow-roasted wyvern.

Now, let’s talk translations, shall we? In 2015, diligent fans completed their own English translations of the web novel. But wait, there’s more! One Peace Books valiantly stepped in and snagged the official English rights for the Shield Hero light novel series. As of December 21, 2021, they’d already caught up to Volume 22, proving that heroes in the publishing world work at a breakneck pace.

Similar to how the Overlord light novels eventually drifted away from the original web novel, the Shield Hero light novels may create a new twist on the ending. The web novel’s conclusion was also fairly open-ended, and the final chapters were more of a side story. Still, it’s not as extensive as Arifureta’s web novel, which has an after story that’s already longer than the main storyline.

Overall, even fans of the web novel agree the light novel adaptation is more streamlined and more appealing to a wider audience. The most significant 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.

But here’s the twist, my dear readers: The light novels aren’t content with simply retelling the web novel. Oh no, they’re like a wizard casting a spell to rewrite fate itself. They introduce new characters, toss in plot twists like confetti, and stir the cauldron of storytelling with a new direction. Even the beloved Mad Scientist Naofumi story arc got a makeover by being replaced by a different story!

The light novels also added new characters and made major changes to the story while keeping the core elements of the plot relatively intact. The most significant divergence from the web novel begins around the Cal Mira Island story arc in Volume 4 (which is also the ending of the anime’s first season). Underdeveloped portions of the story were fleshed out from that point on, so later plot developments make more sense.

And speaking of makeovers, the tone of the narrative in the light novels has undergone a transformation worthy of a reality TV show. The web novel’s Naofumi was a bitter, grumbling soul, probably in desperate need of a vacation to a tropical island. But light novel Naofumi? By comparison he’s mellower than a summer breeze (well, sort of). Sure, he’s still mad at the world, but he’s not the edgy Arifureta type who needs to be called out as a chuuni, thank the literary gods.

But don’t be fooled! It’s not all sunshine and rainbows in the light novels either. With Naofumi as our trusty narrator, we get a front-row seat to his thoughts, rants, and the source of all his pent-up rage. Light novel Naofumi knew what he was getting into from the beginning since he was narrating the story, so his caustic attitude was there right from the get-go.

By contrast, the anime externally showed how his emotional state transitioned due to the betrayal by Malty. Her 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.

The art style of the light novel series translated well into the anime. Pic credit: Minami Seira

Beginning in 2014, manga artist, Aiya Kyu began adapting the story of the light novel series into The Rising Of The Shield Hero manga series. It was published monthly, two to three volumes release per year, and the Shield Hero manga has been collected into 21 volumes as of June 22, 2022.

But fear not, fellow adventurers, for The Rising of the Shield Hero manga Volume 23 release date is confirmed by Kadokawa to be November 22, 2023.

You should also check out our exclusive interview with Shield Hero manga artist Aiya Kyu.

The manga adaptation of the epic Shield Hero saga faithfully follows the plot of the light novels, but it’s like the espresso shot version, skipping over the leisurely “slice-of-life” bits and diving headfirst into the adrenaline-pumping action. It’s like they took a machete to the mundane and said, “No time for that, we’ve got dragons to slay!”

Now, while this turbocharged approach makes the manga a rollercoaster ride of excitement, it does come at a cost—characterization. Yes, dear reader, it’s the classic speed-versus-substance dilemma. Those nuanced character moments might get left behind in the dust.

Even so, many manga enthusiasts argue that their version outshines the first season of the anime, especially when we talk about the climax of Episode 21. You know, the one where our hero, Naofumi, finally gets the sweet taste of justice as he faces off against the dastardly Malty and her dear old dad the king.

In the manga, this showdown is like a sizzling pot of confrontation, and it molds Naofumi’s character in a whole different way. In the anime, gone is the hot-blooded, petty version readers might remember from the manga. Nope, Naofumi decides to tuck his ego away neatly and don the cape of selflessness. He becomes the hero who unites the kingdom, rallying everyone behind a noble cause.

But here’s the kicker: Some argue that the manga serves up a juicier emotional payoff for its readers. It’s like a rollercoaster that not only gives you thrills but also tugs at your heartstrings, leaving you with a sense of satisfaction that’s just as sweet as victory itself. So, dear reader, whether you prefer your Shield Bro with extra speed or a side of deep characterization, there’s a version for every adventurer to enjoy!

The Rising Of the Shield Hero Manga Chapter 31 Naofumi Death Bitch
In the face of selfish pleading for mercy, all Naofumi could think of was revenge. Pic credit: Aiya Kyu

When anime staff writers condense the story of a light novel series, it’s unavoidable that specific details are skipped to fit the seasonal format and episode duration. Changes are sometimes made for marketability, but anime studios prefer not to change too much of the original story.

The first season of the anime adapted the story up through the beginning of light novel Volume 6, which corresponds to manga Volume 11.  The biggest change made by the first season impacted The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 3. The ending had Naofumi receiving a lordship and rebuilding Raphtalia’s village, but that scene did not occur in the original timeline until light Volume 10. Therefore, Shield Hero Season 3 shifted details around to compensate for this difference.

The first two seasons both had their pros and cons, but the first season definitely was better received by fans. The first season performed so strongly that publisher Kadokawa, which publishes both the manga and light novel series under the Media Factory label, announced that their 2019 quarterly profits rose mostly thanks to the Shield Hero anime.

On the other hand, the 2nd season was criticized by many fans due to its pacing issues. It squandered opportunities to better develop the characters and the world by rushing through adapting a larger number of books. The first season had 25 episodes adapt 5 books (albeit by ending with brief references to book Volumes 6 and 10), whereas the 2nd season had only 13 episodes to adapt 4 books.

As for the 3rd season, Volume 10 was adapted by only three episodes. But that allowed for the remaining 9 episodes to better adapt Volumes 11 and 12, which arguably contained more important plot developments.

One of the shortcomings of the first season’s conclusion was its treatment of the character Lecia Rishia Ivyred. She played a pivotal role in the ocean battle against Glass, thanks to her ingenious use of luchol berry barrels. However, the anime made several alterations to her story.

The anime not only changed her name from Lecia to Rishia but also glossed over the backstory behind her deep despair caused by the Bow Hero. In contrast, the manga, particularly in Volume 11, and the first half of the light novel, Volume 6, delved into this aspect, creating a more profound emotional impact.

What’s more, the anime omitted one of her most distinctive traits – her penchant for wearing full-body furry suits. During the Cal Mira Island battle, Lecia would sport outfits like a squirrel suit with a Santa hat or even a penguin suit, concealing her true identity from others. Unfortunately, the anime chose not to explore these eccentricities.

The reasons behind these alterations remain unknown, but it’s possible that the team at Kinema Citrus deemed Lecia’s quirkiness to be a bit too much for the anime adaptation. However, fans of Shield Hero got a pleasant surprise in Season 2, as the cosplay suits returned, complete with an explanation for why she wore them.

The Rising Of The Shield Hero Manga Rishia Ivyred Squirrel Suit
Rishia Ivyred’s quick thinking with the luchol berry may have made her the MVP of The Rising Of The Shield Hero Episode 25, but in the manga version she was seriously wearing a squirrel suit so no one knew who she was. Pic credit: Aiya Kyu

The second season of the anime series faced a significant drawback that became apparent right from the start—it was sprinting through the source material like a caffeinated cheetah. The first six episodes of the season hurriedly breezed through the Spirit Tortoise arc, seemingly in a mad dash to reach the climactic showdown with Kyo.

In doing so, the adaptation of light novel Volumes 6 and 7 was crammed into just three episodes each, a pacing adaptation that far exceeded Anime Geek’s initial predictions before the season began. Episode 7 of The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 2 picked up the story again in light novel Volume 8, introducing new characters such as Kizuna Kazayma.

What made matters worse, though, was that this episode diverged from canon by having a smaller Raphtalia accompany Naofumi, Rashia, and Kizuna in the Infinite Labyrinth. In the original storyline, Raphtalia and Filo were supposed to be transported separately from Naofumi.

However, it was seemingly inevitable for three significant reasons that the anime would devise a new scenario for Raphtalia’s separation from the main group. Firstly, it was a plot twist in the light novels that she became a Vassal hero, receiving the Vassal Katana and becoming the Katana Hero, which was a surprising revelation for Naofumi upon her return.

Secondly, Naofumi’s profound concern for Raphtalia’s well-being led to the creation of a new character, Raph-chan, formed using some of Raphtalia’s hair and Naofumi’s blood. Raph-chan was specifically created to aid in finding Raphtalia, necessitating her separation in the anime’s narrative.

Thirdly, Naofumi’s intense worry about locating Raphtalia and Filo served as a pivotal character development moment in both the light novel and the manga. It was rather unusual that this separation anxiety arc was shifted to a later point in the story, significantly altering its overall tone.

Instead of being centered around the theme of separation anxiety and Naofumi’s simmering anger, the initial adventure in Glass’ world took on a more lighthearted tone, with the girls enjoying moments of laughter and frolicking in the snow. Additionally, the return of Merchant Naofumi added a touch of humor to the proceedings.

On one hand, it could be argued that the anime heightened the emotional impact by having Raphtalia become separated from Naofumi right before his eyes, knowing Kyo was responsible. In the books, Naofumi did hear Kyo’s voice upon entering the portal, but the anime’s portrayal made the situation feel even more intense.

During this phase in light novel Volume 8, Naofumi grappled with separation anxiety, and his darker personality traits began to resurface. After Malty’s betrayal, he had been slowly healing, but in Volume 8, his darker and more cynical side started to emerge once again.

The anime did make an effort to depict Naofumi’s internal turmoil by showing flashes of the wrath shield, even having it physically manifest when he realized the mistreatment of Filo. This was in stark contrast to Episode 6, which emphasized his difficulty in summoning enough rage and hate to power the wrath shield, leading to the manifestation of the spirit tortoise shield.

Moreover, the anime notably toned down the extent of Naofumi’s torture of the noble’s son who had captured Filo. While it did depict the use of the Nue Shield to mentally break the man, it omitted the more sadistic aspects of Naofumi’s actions, which included combining the Nue Shield with illusion magic to exploit the man’s deepest fears. Naofumi also used the lightning shield to electrocute him, and he subjected the man to the horrors of the Prison Shield and the Nue Shield’s Night Terror at increasing intensity, all while Raph-Chan watched. Even after the man collapsed unconscious, Naofumi continued to inject nightmares into his subconscious, leaving him a broken and terrified wreck.

Naofumi angry insane
The manga and light novels both did a better job at depicting just how far Naofumi’s mental state had declined. The palpable rage exuded by manga Naofumi was a far cry from the quiet anger that anime Naofumi displayed. Pic credit: Aiya Kyuu

Certainly, this scene was undeniably excessive, so it’s probably a good thing that the anime chose to simplify it into a more straightforward act of revenge. Nonetheless, it did vividly illustrate the sheer magnitude of rage unleashed by the separation anxiety, not to mention when Naofumi witnessed the abuse inflicted upon poor Filo.

After this tumultuous ordeal, Kizuna couldn’t help but quip, “Remind me never to get on your bad side…” On a related note, the anime also toned down the scolding she delivered to the men who accused Naofumi. Her commanding presence sharply contrasted with the demeanor she had previously exhibited around everyone in the Infinite Labyrinth.

It’s possible that these alterations to the story were made to facilitate the condensing of the narrative. In the original version, the story unfolded from multiple perspectives, with characters embarking on separate journeys, exploring new nations, and encountering new faces. Adapting this complex narrative into just a handful of episodes was undoubtedly challenging, so events were rearranged by the series composition writer to allow only a small portion of the separate perspective story arcs to run concurrently.

Furthermore, it’s plausible that the producers recognized Raphtalia’s immense popularity and wanted to ensure she remained a prominent presence throughout the season. This choice also provided an opportunity to bring back child Raphtalia, which surely delighted fans. Additionally, the light novels didn’t delve as deeply into Raphtalia’s character development as they could have, making this change arguably positive in terms of execution.

For instance, in the original material, Raphtalia’s point of view during her imprisonment and acquisition of the katana wasn’t depicted in the manga or the light novels. As a result, Season 2 Episode 11 was almost entirely an anime original creation. However, as previously mentioned, it can be perceived as a downside that she needed to be rescued by Naofumi rather than the other way around. This shift also inadvertently shifted the spotlight away from Kizuna.

Shield Hero Season 3
The August 2022 key visual for The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 3. Pic credit: Kinema Citrus

All in all, it’s predicted that the third season’s finale, The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 3 Episode 12, will find a stopping point corresponding to the ending of light novel Volume 12.

It’s the perfect number of books to adapt since light novel Volumes 10 through 12 are a self-contained story arc mostly focused on reclaiming the three fallen heroes. The Wrath Dragon arc and the Bow Hero arc involving Malty also made for a good stopping point for Shield Hero S3.

On the other hand, ending with the next story arc would have allowed the 3rd season to finish with a focus on Raphtalia and Q’ten Lo’s Heavenly Emperor. The problem is that this story arc spans two books, so rather than speedrunning the adaptation pacing again it would be best to start The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 4 with Volumes 14 and 15.

Better yet, the light novels’ English translation is already caught up with Volume 22 so English-only book readers who wish to read ahead of the anime can jump straight ahead to Volume 10.

The only bad news is for Shield Hero manga readers who wish to read ahead. As of manga Volume 22, the manga series still hadn’t finished adapting the story arc from light novel Volume 10, which means the anime’s third season greatly surpassed the manga.

The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 4 cast

The main Japanese cast from the previous season is expected to return, with the following voice actors:

  • Kaito Ishikawa as Naofumi Iwatani
  • Asami Seto as Raphtalia
  • Rina Hidaka as Filo

The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 4 studio and staff

The main staff making The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 4 hasn’t been announced yet. However, the previous seasons were produced by different combinations of studios and directed by different individuals, so it’s likely that the 4th season will at least have a new director.

Season 1 was directed by Takao Abo and animated solely by Kinema Citrus, while Season 2 was directed by Masato Jinbo in a collaboration between Kinema Citrus and Studio DR Movie​​. The 3rd season saw yet another director change since Director Jinbo was replaced by Hitoshi Haga, while this time the animation was handled only by Kinema Citrus. 

Otherwise, most of the same primary production staff returned for making the sequels. Masahiro Suwa was the main Character Designer, Chief Animation Director, and Animation Director for the first 3 seasons. Writer Keigo Koyanagi handled series composition and screenplay. Composer Kevin Penkin, who also worked on the Made In Abyss anime, is also likely to return.

The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 4 OP and ED music

The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 4 OP (opening) and ED (ending) theme song music hasn’t been announced yet.

The earlier seasons featured compelling opening and ending themes. The opening theme for Season 3 was “SIN” by MADKIDTV​​.

Here is the music video:

Ending (ED) theme song music video:

The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 4 spoilers (plot summary/synopsis)

Note: This article assumes that Shield Hero Season 4 will open with the events of light novel Volume 13. However, it’s possible the third season’s pacing will be different than expected.

The last time we watched Naofumi, Raphtalia, Filo, and the gang, they had finally awakened the the other three Legendary Heroes to the harshness of their circumstances and forced them to face reality. After an arduous journey, they eventually reach Q’ten Lo, a nation that has repeatedly targeted Raphtalia’s life.

Initially, their intent is to infiltrate the country and hold its inhabitants accountable for their tyrannical actions. Yet, they soon discover that the citizens themselves are suffering under inept leadership. Determined to make a change, Naofumi declares, “We’ll begin by bringing aid from Siltvelt to the town, and then we’ll charge towards victory!” With this declaration, they initiate a rebellion to overthrow the oppressive government.

However, right in the midst of their efforts, Naofumi and his companions find their abilities nullified by mysterious weapons specifically designed to counter the Legendary Heroes! What lies ahead for them? What fate awaits their expedition into this uncharted territory?

Unfortunately, anime fans will have to wait until The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 4 release date to watch what happens next. Stay tuned!

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