Shield Hero: Naofumi Explores an Exotic New Kingdom in Season 2’s Premiere

The following contains spoilers for Season 2, Episode 1 of The Rising of the Shield Hero, "A New Roar," now streaming on Crunchyroll.

The spring 2022 anime season has arrived, including Season 2 of the popular isekai series Rising of the Shield Hero. The story picks up right where Season 1 left off -- when Iwatani Naofumi's group fought alongside Queen Mirellia Melromarc to fight off L'Arc, Glass, Theresia and other foes. Now peace has returned, but it doesn't last long as another Wave looms on the horizon -- and that's not all.

To Naofumi's shock, the countdown timer for the next Wave pauses and a swarm of oversized bats sweeps over the demi-human town of Lurolona. This heralds the arrival of the great Spirit Tortoise monster, and Naofumi must journey to a never-before-seen kingdom to face this new threat. His terrible luck continues unabated, however, as not everyone volunteers to join him on this quest.

Naofumi on wagon

Queern Mirellia has already cleared Naofumi's name of the horrendous crime he did not commit, and now she asks something in return from her Shield Hero champion. Mirellia summons all four Cardinal Heroes and briefs them about the arrival of the monstrous Spirit Tortoise, requesting that they all band together to slay the beast before it can lay waste to the kingdom of Melromarc and other realms. Naofumi agrees but the other Cardinal Heroes decline -- including the seemingly innocent Bow Hero, Itsuki.

The other Cardinal Heroes only want to fight the actual Waves, seeing no need to undertake bonus quests such as this one. This says much about them, and none of it is good. These heroes may be Naofumi's allies now, but they remain arrogant and selfish while making their own rules. They may be powerful isekai characters but it has gone to their head, and that continues now in Season 2.

They are technically correct that they were only summoned to fight the actual Waves, but their dismissal of this new quest bodes ill for Naofumi's future adventures. Having his name cleared means little if the other heroes can't even be bothered to fight by his side. Once again Naofumi must take matters into his own hands, but at least he has the queen backing him up. That's more than he had in Season 1 of Shield Hero.

Naofumi blue shield

This new adventure also serves as a chance to test Naofumi and his party like never before. He and his allies, including Rishia, must journey outside Melromarc's borders and into the Spirit Tortoise Kingdom, a China-inspired nation where people are already fleeing the rampaging Spirit Tortoise. Naofumi may have Melromarc soldiers by his side, but this is a new land with new customs and monsters, which may test Naofumi's creative and resourceful ways to the limit.

They must contend with swarms of oversized bats and yeti-like monsters with tortoise shells on their backs, which Naofumi never saw during previous Waves. He also doesn't have the benefit of a Wave's timer running down, since this adventure isn't based on a proper Wave. He must take down the Spirit Tortoise and won't be saved by the bell.

This journey is also a chance for the series to explore new realms. Like its fellow isekai That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, the world of Shield Hero features a handful of diverse areas that share land or maritime borders. By going on adventures outside Melromarc's borders, Naofumi and his allies will get the full scope of what this world is like, including its diverse cultures, monsters and politics.

After visiting the Spirit Tortoise kingdom, Naofumi might also see the nation of Faubrey, which Queen Mirellia sometimes visits, and even the demi-human nation of Siltvelt, which should be welcoming for the tanuki girl Raphtalia. First though, Naofumi must defeat or at least drive off the Spirit Tortoise. He's got a job to do, and luckily he takes it far more seriously than the other Cardinal Heroes.

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