Aneko Yusagi’s The Rising of the Shield Hero novel series is something that is following the current trend in Japan. It is yet another series where virtual reality becomes the new reality in a game-like world and the hero must save the world from whatever the ultimate evil is. While the plot is similar, the execution and storyline of The Rising of the Shield Hero is unique and entertaining.
I want to get the major negative out of the way first, the publisher called One Peace Books has a troubled history with spelling, grammar, and just flat out bad translations errors. Unfortunately, Shield Hero has all those errors in its English publishing. The good thing is that it’s only the latter part of the book that contains most of the errors. Unlike in the Book Girl series the way the story is written makes it very easy to read in terms of ease and language.
The MC, Naofumi, Hero of the Shield is not like the classic heroes in books and instead is more cast as an anti-hero. The world he gets summoned to supposedly worship the 4 Hero’s, each hero receives during the summoning a special weapon that only the hero can wield. Sword, Spear, Bow and Shield. Unfortunately, due to the previous Shield Heros action’s, the current Shield Hero aka Naofumi is despised. Before he even gets his bearings Naofumi is framed for a heinous crime he did not commit and is cast out on his own, to live as the despised Shield Hero with no support. Being ostracized, Naofumi develops a deeply rooted anger at the world and its people while forced to find his own path to becoming strong and to become the Shield Hero. Realizing that as a shield user he doesn’t have the attacking power needed to defeat monsters he decides to buy the heroine, Raphtalia, who is slave knowing that she can’t betray him due to the loyalty spell cast on her.
Since this is the beginning of the series, the first novel is only setting the stage for the larger world and is only showing the path the Naofumi and Raphtalia need to walk. In other words, it’s a little bare with a cookie cutter type world. I like the book and think its a good beginning. Buy It.