So episode 2 of The Rising of the Shield Hero started out pretty dark, a lot darker than I expected Naofumi Iwatani to become after just one episode.
The first few minutes of the episode showed a pretty messed up slave trade scenario. For a split second I thought Naofumi Iwatani wasn’t going to show her kindness but instead literarily treat her as a weapon when he dragged her out of there, but of course I knew that Naofumi Iwatani wasn’t going to mistreat the demi-human known as Raphtalia like that. Soon enough she started warming up to him. I’m sure the idea of a little slave girl doing all the dirty work for Naofumi Iwatani isn’t going to sit well with most people but that’s the narrative we’re going with now.
It was also pretty interesting to hear about her past and mental conditions, which I’m sure will end up playing a role soon enough, like the fact that she’s afraid of blood but quickly got over it. The entire episode to be quite honest felt like a father-daughter moment, which was pretty cool to see but kinda weird when you realize that she ends up growing up hella fast in the opening for the anime. Really hoping the keep the Father-Daughter vibe going till then end and leave it at that.
Anyways, it’s pretty clear that Naofumi Iwatani will be the one to help Raphtalia get past her PTSD from her past. Especially, when they got attacked by the dog-monster. Once he realized that forcing her to fight was wrong, he ended up telling her to leave, which triggered another PTSD that lead to her making up her mind in helping Naofumi Iwatani fight the beast. So we will be seeing more of that throughout the run of this anime. I was kinda glad to see that Naofumi Iwatani wasn’t completely immune to damages as I previously thought. They made it seem like he doesn’t get hurt due to being the shield hero.
Also, we know that Naofumi Iwatani will get Raphtalia to help him gain EXP points, but he’s still at a disadvantage. The smith guy mentioned why Naofumi Iwatani didn’t make Mein a companion, which you imply that the other three heroes will receive a considerable amount of EXP thanks to their crew, leaping way ahead of Naofumi Iwatani. Maybe they’ll introduce more team members in the future to balance things out. Or Naofumi Iwatani will get that MC treatment and pull a power-up out of his ass.
Overall, it was a pretty good episode, hopefully next week we’ll get to learn more about this world and maybe see what the other heroes have been up to since departing on their quest.