The Rising of the Shield Hero is an action, fantasy, isekai anime adapted from the light novels of Aneko Yusagi. Its second season was animated by the same studio as the first – Kinema Citrus. It started on April 6, 2022, and aired its last episode on June 29, 2022.
The second season follows the party of the Shield Hero Iwatani Naofumi as they dive head-on into new adventures. For this season, they try and stop giant guardian monsters and explore other worlds aside from their own. However, some say that the 2nd season was unlike the first one, and it did not meet their expectations. So let’s review everything and see if The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 2 is worth watching or not.
The Plot: Spirit Tortoise and a New World
Compared to season one, this season did not have much going on. Naofumi and his team only went through two major arcs for the second season. The first half is all about the Spirit Tortoise – a guardian beast who collects souls to protect the world. However, someone awakened it from its slumber and took control of it to wreak havoc. After the destruction that it caused, the Queen of Melromarc asked for the help of Naofumi.
Right off the bat, the series already took a new direction. With the wave timer frozen, we see our beloved characters try and stop a giant tortoise from destroying more cities. However, it wasn’t only the wave timer that was frozen – but so was the pacing. In my opinion, the pacing was way off this season. This leads to the plot being stretched out, making it somewhat of a snoozefest. However, that does not mean that the plots were not good – it was just badly executed.
Despite the slow pacing, the overall story is still decent. After they deal with the Spirit Tortoise, we get to see Naofumi and his party take a portal to another world. This is where things get more interesting as we are introduced to a new world. Here we see them struggle as they are forced to start over from level 1. Raphtalia turned back into a kid while Filo was no longer a filolial. They also meet the Cardinal Heroes of this world, which leads Naofumi to eventually team up with them.
They faced several obstacles in this new world. Comrades got captured, Raphtalia lost her slave crest, and they had to deal with a sudden emergence of the waves. The season gave enough trouble for the heroes for us to wonder how they will get out of it. However, there were fewer battles compared to the first season. The way they defeat the main villain was also unsatisfying and predictable. Furthermore, this season suffers from some of the most cliche anime tropes – such as the power of friendship and outright plot convenience.
Overall, the plot of this season was okay. Despite a few drawbacks and plot holes, it was still nice seeing Naofumi and his friends back in action. Was it as eventful as the first season? Maybe not. Still, it gives us a typical fantasy story that can be both enjoyable and boring at times.
The Villain: Lackluster and Annoying
This is one of the aspects where the season suffered the most. The main villain, Kyo Ethnina, did not have any sort of motivation whatsoever. His character was also not likable in any way, shape, or form. He just did not hit the mark and standards of a good villain.
Kyo Ethnina is the Book Hero of the new world. He has incredible intellect paired with an inflated ego. Other than that, he is also your typical annoying villain who just does not know when to shut up. Sometimes, that kind of villain can be accepted if they were powerful; however, Kyo was too weak as an individual. He mainly relies on stolen power for his attacks, making him easily vulnerable when he loses his source. His lack of strength does not make up for his infuriating personality.
Furthermore, Kyo lacked any motivation and reasoning behind his actions. He was just evil for the sake of being evil. As a villain, Kyo Ethnina was just too shallow and lackluster to be considered one of the greats.
New Comrades: The Shield Hero’s Allies
This season, we were introduced to a lot of new characters. Some of them turned out to be likable and great allies to the Shield Hero’s party. Let’s start with one of the newest members of Naofumi’s party, Rishia Ivyred.
Rishia was introduced back in the last chapters of season one. She is a shy, green-haired girl with great devotion. Rishia was once a member of the Bow Hero’s party, Itsuki, until she was kicked for being somewhat of a burden. This time around, we get to see Rishia grow as a character.
For the first half of the season, it kind of feels like she was the main character for most of it. She had plenty of screentime and dialogue, fleshing out her character as a whole. We also see her loyalty shift from Itsuki to Naofumi throughout the season. Rishia is also skilled in combat, making her a reliable comrade of Naofumi. Overall, Rishia was a nice addition to the party and one of the best parts of the season.
During the Spirit Tortoise arc, Ost Horai introduced herself to the Shield Hero’s party. She is a stoic but kindhearted woman who was a big help to Naofumi. At first, Ost identified herself as a familiar of the Spirit Tortoise- offering her aid in stopping the beast. However, it was later revealed that she was a human manifestation of the Spirit Tortoise itself. To defeat the beast, she gave her power to Naofumi – even if it meant sacrificing her own life.
Despite her contributions, she still lacked depth as a character. She did not have any backstory, and she was killed way too early for us to get attached to her. Still, the Shield Hero and his party consider her a departed member of the group.
Kizuna is the Hunting Hero of the new world. Like the other heroes, she is an otaku summoned by her world to fight the waves. She met Naofumi when they first arrived in the Infinite Labyrinth. Kizuna was stuck in the labyrinth for several years before she escaped with Naofumi.
Even with her small stature, she is not to be underestimated since she proved herself to be reliable in combat. She also disapproves of the other heroes’ methods of killing the heroes from Melromarc’s world. Kizuna wants to find a way that does not involve any bloodshed whatsoever. With all that said, Kizuna is a likable character who most of us look forward to seeing in the future.
Overall, the second season of The Rising of the Shield Hero has a lot of faults. From slow pacing to mediocre villains, it definitely was weaker compared to the first season. To add, the CGI of the Spirit Tortoise was unappealing. This was a huge turn-off for most fans – causing it to become a meme.
Still, the music of the series is outstanding. The OSTs during the fight scenes need credit, and whoever made them deserves a raise. The opening and ending were also quite good for the most part. Other than that, the animation was average at best for this season.
In terms of the series moving forward, this season sets up our characters to face more enemies head-on and shine once again. Naofumi has gained new powers thanks to the Spirit Tortoise shield, and Raphtalia is now the Katana Hero. It is exciting to see what’s in store for the Shield Hero’s party after this season.
The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 2 was by no means perfect. It has plenty of downsides but it still has a couple of redeemable qualities. Is it worth watching? Maybe not, if you are looking for a fast-paced, beautifully animated anime. But if you want to continue following Naofumi’s story, then it is definitely watchable.
For this review, I am going to give the second season of The Rising of the Shield Hero a 6/10. It was not as good as the first season, but as a fan of the series- I have no regrets watching it. You may stream the anime on Crunchyroll. You can also check out our recaps of the first seasons of Classroom of the Elite and Rent-a-Girlfriend.