Pick of the Geek – The Rising of the Shield Hero
This is another one of those manga series that seems to be slowly gaining popularity and it’s almost certain for an anime adaptation. We’ve recently seen a rise in the number of “transported to another world” stories, the main example being the hit series Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World-.
The Rising of the Shield Hero follows the same premise as a young man (Naofumi Iwatani), is warped into a world he doesn’t understand. He discovers that he is the Shield Hero – one of the four legendary saints (Sword Hero, Bow Hero and Spear Hero). who have been summoned to save this fantasy world from the onslaught of monsters. Considered the weakest hero the kingdom is dismissive of Naofumi, and when he is falsely accused of rape it becomes clear that there is a conspiracy to discredit and alienate him from everyone else. The story picks up with his struggle to overcome injustice, unfairness and solitude in this new world as Naofumi swears to get revenge on the king, the princess and the other three heroes.
I’m giving this as my Pick of the Geek as the plot is a very dark one and the protagonist, Naofumi Iwatani, has to fight everyone and everything to find his place in this world. The only supportive things he has are his magical shield and his rage to take on what seem like insurmountable odds not just to clear his name but carry out the purpose of his summoning. The character development in this series is amazing, dealing with the darker side of humanity and depression, and it’s not all fantasy weapons and levelling-up as Naofumi struggles every day in the harsh foreign land just to survive and somehow get stronger. The art style is fantastic and the character designs will definitely be coming to a convention near you soon. Naofumi is especially fun and cosplayers everywhere will love the interchangeable style of his shields – it will be the next big prop to make.
You can find Rising of the Shield Hero on Amazon and all other good manga stockists.