The Rising of the Shield Hero Episode 6: A New Comrade

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This sixth episode of The Rising of the Shield Hero finds our traveling adventurers in search of some clothes for Filo – ones that won’t be destroyed every time she transforms. Such clothing requires magical thread made of the wearer’s own mana. The hag at the magic shop offers to sew the thread, except that the gemstone for her spinning wheel is broken. We also learn that Filo is a queen filolial, which explains her massive appearance and her ability to transform into a humanoid. In the meantime, Naofumi and crew decide to travel around and make some money. They deliver a haggard man to his village so that he can give his ailing mother a potion, and Naofumi ends up using his Shield ability to make the medicine more effective. We then see a montage of the experiences the three of them share over the course of their travels.

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We then find the trio transporting a merchant who has heard of Naofumi’s exploits. A group of bandits stop the wagon and demand that the merchant be handed over to them. Here we finally get to see Filo and Raphtalia’s magical abilities in action: Raphtalia turns invisible and Filo uses her wind magic to blow the bandits away. Unfortunately, we don’t actually get to see the battle. With the highwaymen subdued and tied up, Naofumi threatens to kill them all if they don’t turn over all of their possessions. In return for Naofumi’s help the merchant teaches him the art of processing precious metals and gems, and how to imbue them with mana. The merchant also introduces Naofumi to some of his contacts, expanding the Shield Hero’s business exponentially.

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While conversing with the merchants, Naofumi learns what the other Heroes have been up to. Motoyasu saved a famine-stricken village by introducing a legendary crop, Ren has been looking for powerful monsters to slay, and the rumors about Istuki are insubstantial and unreliable. The last item that the merchant provides Naofumi is a deed for any gemstone he wants. Naofumi requests the gemstone used to make magic threads, and learns that it is located in a temple that was once the base of operations for an evil alchemist. Naofumi and friends, with the old hag from the magic shop in tow, head into the tunnel in search of the gemstone they require.

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Once inside, they discover an empty chest that once contained a seed that was a horribly twisted manifestation of the creator’s wish that nobody starve. This seems to be an obvious allusion to the crop that the Spear Hero granted to the famine-stricken village. Traveling deeper into the tunnel, the party is afflicted by treacherous thoughts. Filo believes she hears Naofumi saying that he doesn’t need her around anymore, and Naofumi believes that he hears Raphtalia’s admission of wanting to kill him. The hag informs them that this is the work of vicious bats in the area, and the group quickly dispatches them. Coming upon the chamber that contains the gemstone, Naofumi and company find it guarded by a beast called a Nue. It is a ferocious battle but, due to the party’s cooperation and Naofumi’s new Shield ability gained from the bats, the Nue is destroyed. With the necessary gemstone and thread finally acquired, Filo finally has the clothing she needs.

This episode, much like last week, felt very much like filler to me. The entirety of it revolves around getting clothes for Filo. There are some interesting things here – mainly we learned that Motoyasu has most likely brought some kind of doom upon a village, unwitting though he may be. Overall I’m not liking the character of Filo or what she brings to The Rising of the Shield Hero. I’m also missing the darker atmosphere of the first four episodes. I hate to say it because I risk sounding like an elitist snob, but this was a much more mature anime before last week’s episode. I will continue watching, but my expectations and ratings of this series have been lowered considerably.

Score: 3/5 (It was okay)

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