Why Does Everyone Hate Naofumi In The Rising Of The Shield Hero?

By Jonathan Klotz | Updated

The Rising Of The Shield Hero is a recent isekai anime, and it’s now one of the hottest shows airing today. Following Naofumi, a normal high school student who finds himself transported to the fantasy kingdom of Melromac, it starts off as a fairly standard series but takes a drastic turn before the end of the first episode that makes it stand out. Naofumi is robbed and falsely accused of rape, so instead of journeying with the other Legendary Heroes, he’s an outcast, hated and hunted by the Melromac royal family, but why was he set up in the first place?

The Shield Hero And The King Of Melromac

Turns out, it has nothing to do with Naofumi himself, at least not at first, and everything to do with the previous Shield Hero. The world of The Rising Of The Shield Hero is beset by Waves of Calamity, catastrophic events that will destroy everything if the Legendary Heroes, The Sword, The Spear, The Bow, and The Shield, are not able to stop them. This cycle has been in place for generations, and it’s why Naofumi is so hated before he even sets foot in Melromac.

The prior Shield Hero worked against the King of Melromac, uniting the demi-humans of the world into an army. The King was a great warrior in his time, but following the murder of his family at the hands of demi-humans, he fell apart into the easily manipulated figurehead he was at the start of the series. He did everything possible to sabotage Naofumi, assuming that he would be a harbinger of destruction for the kingdom.

The Church Of The Three Heroes

Making things worse is that the main religion in The Rising Of The Shield Hero is The Church Of The Three Heroes. Naofumi notices this halfway through Season 1, but it isn’t explained until much later. Since there are four heroes….why are only three worshipped?

The Shield Hero is viewed as a devil by followers of the religion, which includes Princess Malty, and helps explain why she falsely accused Naofumi in the first episode and then continued to do everything possible to undermine his progress. Pope Balmus went so far as to decree The Shield Hero as a monster and, essentially, an enemy of the state. With the deck stacked against him, Naofumi struggles throughout most of Season 1, until, finally, everything starts to take a turn.

The Rising Of The Shield Hero consists of multiple kingdoms and then different worlds on top of that, with Melromac only one of many, and it’s upon his arrival in the kingdom of Siltvelt. Unlike all the other kingdoms, Siltvelt is comprised of demi-humans, and it’s here that The Shield Hero, acting as their champion, turns from a negative into a positive. Even then, Naofumi is suspicious of everyone based on how he was treated in the beginning, and his instincts turn out to be right when prominent demi-human families try to win his favor.

The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 3

With The Rising Of The Shield Hero picking up after the Four Legendary Heroes have been scattered to the winds, Naofumi is starting to fully rise as the savior of not just one world but all of the worlds. His unique way of solving problems, from the Spirit Tortoise to dealing with Waves of Catastrophe, may earn accusations of cheating from the other Heroes, but it’s effective, and finally, three seasons in, it seems the general public is starting to get on his side.

It’s a start, but to get there, Naofumi has to deal with another kingdom that treats him like dirt, in this case, Zeltoble. Engaging in underground fights to rescue slaves, The Shield Hero is again fighting against society and not the Wave of Catastrophe. The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 3 is airing now on Crunchyroll, with new episodes arriving every Friday.