Key takeaways from Shield Hero – Fallen Heroes arc overview:
- The Fallen Heroes Arc in “The Rising of the Shield Hero” is highly anticipated and considered one of the best arcs in the series.
- The arc explores the aftermath of the Spirit Turtle incident, with Naofumi trying to find the other three heroes who have gone missing.
- The arc focuses on character development, particularly for Ren and Motoyasu, as they face personal struggles and confront their flaws.
The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 3 is coming out this fall season, and it should cover the Fallen Heroes Arc. This arc, in my opinion, is one of the best arcs in the series—my favorite arc, though, is only 2nd to the initial arc. So I am very excited to see it in the anime.
Before I begin with the arc proper, here is a full disclaimer: what I am about to say is based on the LN and is my opinion. The anime usually does its own thing, so the story may play out slightly differently in the anime. Also, as we saw in season 2, the anime may have quite a few cuts as well. Lastly, this article is only for weirdos like me who get excited by spoilers. So spoiler alert for normal people.
With that lengthy disclaimer out of the way, welcome back to a random article. Today we are talking about the Fallen Heroes Arc from the Rising of the Shield Hero. I will start with a brief overview of the arc and then give my thoughts on why I think this arc is so good. The arc is pretty long, so the overview may be longer than you think. So let’s start.
In the aftermath of the Spirit Turtle arc, there is chaos everywhere. Naofumi and the team managed to stop the turtle, but it came at a cost. Their stats are significantly lower than what they used to be, and on top of that, the other three heroes are nowhere to be found. After helping a bit with the rebuilding efforts, Naofumi gets to work to find them.
It doesn’t take long for him to run into Motoyasu, but he flees from Naofumi using his teleportation skill. Trying to catch Motoyasu, Naofumi runs into Ren, Who is devastated as his party died during the tortoise incident. Melty being the b!tch that she is, appeals to Ren’s hero complex by accusing Naofumi and Motoyasu of doing evil deeds to her, just like in the first arc. Motoyasu reveals that his companions abandoned him because of his incompetence. Because of his depression, he grows obsessed with Filo as she tries to console him, which prompts Naofumi to leave him alone.
Ren goes on to become a bandit leader after unlocking two Cursed Series weapons of his own. He tries to assassinate Naofumi on multiple occasions but fails. Eventually, eclair duels him and defeats him. Motoyasu also unlocks two Cursed weapons of his own, and after Ren’s defeat, he runs away with Filo’s carriage.
When Ren wakes up in Naofumi’s village, he confesses how Malty used him and abandoned him. He apologizes and wants to work for Naofumi. Ren joining Naofumi concludes this arc in the LN. Events from this arc pick up in the following arcs: Wrath Dragon and Justice arc. This arc officially starts building toward the finale. I am not sure how far the anime will cover, so I will just leave things here for simplicity. But you know, of course, Itsuki and Motoyasu eventually end up joining Naofumi for the final battle. Itsuki’s case is probably the most complex among the three heroes.
Of course, the characters are the strong point of this arc. As much as I hate her, the reintroduction of Malty in a sleazy antagonist role helps this arc. None of the other antagonists are nearly as hatable as her. Ren and Motoyasu unlock their Cursed weapons showcasing their character flaws even better than before. We see both of them at their absolute lowest in this arc, and that leads to some interesting character moments.
Ren finally accepts his flaws and is ready to move on by the end of the arc after being betrayed by Malty and realizing his mistakes. He used to treat everything like a game till his party died. He blamed himself for their deaths, and this led to him falling prey to Malty’s tricks. The Fallen Heroes Arc makes you see the characters in a very different light. The other three, aside from Naofumi, are greedy, selfish, and careless, and they are paying dearly for that in this arc.
This arc manages to make you feel a hint of sympathy for the three (well, two, at least) stooges after all they have done.
Why do I think this arc works?
This arc works because it plays on Shield Hero’s strengths. The dark and gritty plot, the very real struggle of someone who got reincarnated and then wrongfully accused. And some amazing character work. For the most part, this arc does not involve any flashy fighting or big monsters. Even the new Curse weapons are used to further the character development of Ren and Motoyasu, which is a very clever way to utilize them.
I remember one of the early teaser visuals of Season 3 showcased Motoyasu (I think?) sitting in some ruins with a gray background and everything; if the anime manages to give that kind of atmosphere to Season 3 and a proper adaptation of the Fallen Heroes Arc, Season 3 will be hit for sure. A lot depends on how well Kinema Citrus adapts the LN, as this arc in the source material is pretty amazing. How well it translates over to the anime remains to be seen.
That is all for now. I hope that Kinema Citrus does justice to this arc. I love the Fallen Heroes arc, and I wish that the broader audience also realizes that Shield Hero is not completely dead after the Turtle arc. Let me know what you guys think in the comments. I will take my leave here. See ya!!
Solo Leveling also announced a bunch of new details; you can check it out here!