The Rising of The Shield Hero Season 2 Episode 5 Review
Remember when this show used to be about Naofumi? I understand that his arc is over and I’ve been somewhat expecting to see what his character can do when bouncing off of others who are going through similar existential issues, but I don’t think the show is open to exploring those possibilities. This episode focuses on the familiar Ost and…she’s fine. Her moral dilemma is clear and easy to understand on paper, but it just comes off as weirdly disconnected in execution considering how she had seemed very open and comfortable during her introduction about the fact that it was her job to incite war and cause people to die for the sake of collecting their souls. All this talk about fighting to protect people makes it seem like she never really thought about what she was doing before she actually started seeing people die… while consciously causing people to die in order to collect their souls. Similar to Rishia, I feel like this is another case of the show overcomplicating a character arc that should otherwise have been straightforward and easy to communicate by overemphasizing some aspects while not elaborating on others. And I’m sorry, using the random amnesia and realization trope here isn’t really helping the situation.
The show also seems to be setting up some kind of dramatic noble sacrifice for Ost, but because of the aforementioned issues, it’s hard to care about what will eventually happen to her. Yes, she has been an asset to the party and I do sort of believe in the bond that she’s developed with the other girls, but it doesn’t feel as earned because I don’t fully understand the weight of what she’s dealing with. To be honest, I don’t even think the other characters do either, which makes the whole situation come off very cheap and easy. None of this is helped by the fact that Naofumi, our protagonist, barely has any connection or insight into these moral dilemmas when there are plenty of grounds for that to be the case. Maybe I would care more if he was also part of that moment of all the girls coming together; as of now, Ost simply feels like a temporary addition to the harem.
Speaking of, the main villain of this arc has revealed himself and he is by and large the best part about this episode. He’s super one-note and over-the-top, but at least he’s entertaining, and you can tell that his voice actor is having a lot of fun hamming it up. Aside from that, it’s just really hard for me to generate any kind of investment five episodes into this show when it seems to keep squandering the good stuff it has established so far while shoving the poorly thought-out stuff front and center. Also, we still don’t know where the other three heroes are? They’re talked about here and it’s implied that the turtle did…something to them, but again, they don’t put that much emphasis on them. I just want a better understanding of what’s going on, where everybody is and why I should care. Is that too much to ask?
Rating: 1.5/5 Stars.
The Rising of The Shield Hero Season 2 Episode 5 is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.