The Mysterious Beautiful Woman Reveals Herself! The Rising of the Shield Hero, Season 2 Episode 2 “Footprints of the Spirit Tortoise” [Review]

After a run-of-the-mill first episode to start the season, this episode progresses in a…?

This episode begins how the last episode ends. A strange lady arrives on the scene to tell the Shield Hero, Naofumi, to kill her and then disappears.

The next scene transitions us to yet, another round table. This time, the leaders that are in the path of the Spirit Tortoise are brainstorming different ways to stop it. The other 3 kingdoms that have not faced the Spirit Tortoise are convinced they have the manpower to stop it, while one kingdom has already fought it and faltered.

I always find it interesting to see how writers use new characters. These characters seem to fit typical tropes to just advance the plot, which is fine. Let’s hurry to the nitty-gritty already!

The “Old Lady” and Eclair shows up to help out with the battle against the Spirit Tortoise. We later find out that Eclair has been training all of the demi-humans, as well as Raphtalia and Rishia in using the sword. Then, out of the blue again, the mysterious woman from before shows up.

The mysterious woman is revealed to be the “concubine and regent” of the “now-deceased King of the Spirit Tortoise Kingdom,” Ost Hourai. It is revealed that she is a familiar of the Spirit Tortoise. The bats and yetis that Naofumi fought in the previous episode are familiars of the Spirit Tortoise as well. Ost Hourai is the human-familiar, tasked with gathering souls for the Spirit Tortoise to stop the waves by manipulating those in power to war with each other—giving us the answer to why the timer for the waves stopped.

If the familiars are unable to gather enough souls to stop the waves, then the Spirit Tortoise would wake up to gather the necessary amount of souls to stop the waves. Only this time, someone with an unknown purpose and wherewithal released the tortoise; causing unnecessary destruction and mayhem.

Ost Hourai continues to explain that the human familiar’s job is to tell the four heroes why they must gather the souls and revive the Spirit Tortoise themselves to stop the waves.

The new mission now is to find out who released the Spirit Tortoise and to defeat the rumbling Spirit Tortoise. Naofumi makes his demands of going with whatever plan that ends with the least casualties; using the excuse that they would need bodies to fight the future waves. We all know Naofumi has a real soft heart inside though, right?

Once Ost Hourai finishes her spiel, the leaders of the meeting get into an argument over who will take charge of commanding the troops to defeat the Spirit Tortoise. Naofumi, being the true stud of a hero he is, says what we are all thinking.

“Y’all too difficult, for that reason I’m out!” – Shark Tank Naofumi

Once Naofumi says, “deuces” to all the leaders, Raphtalia goes on to encourage Naofumi to once again take charge of the situation.

This scene reaffirms the kind of relationship Naofumi and Raphtalia has going back to when Naofumi was being framed early in season 1. She reaffirms what his goals are and that the “other leaders aren’t such bad people,” giving him the positive encouragement he needs to lead in stopping the Spirit Tortoise.

We haven’t really gotten anything new out of these two characters. So far, the first 2 episodes is focused more on these shiny new characters Rishia and Ost Hourai. The main crew’s relationships have been “to be expected.”

“There will be no rumbling in my world!” – Naofumi

Naofumi comes up with a plan to have the Spirit Tortoise come to them. The Spirit Tortoise is attracted to places with a dense population, so it can gather up souls more efficiently. Every leader has their own responsibility and Naofumi is tasking his own crew to come up with a way to cut the Spirit Tortoise’s head off.

During this time, we get a scene around a campfire with another short time skip. Eclair comes baring gifts for Rishia, Raphtalia and Filo.

Rishia was a very big part of the last episode. We get some more character development with Ost Hourai saying the quiet part out loud about Rishia’s affection for the Bow Hero, Itsuki.

Things to be Concerned About

Ost Hourai Entrance

I’m not really a big fan of how Ost Hourai made her entrance.. How does someone just randomly enter a war-room of all these leaders—then act like everything is safe and cool? Ending the previous episode off a cliffhanger was a good opportunity to build the levels of intrigue, tension and mystery for the big reveal of who she is. Having her come in this matter, makes whatever small momentum built up for this mystery, to fall flat. Personally, I believe capitalizing important reveals like this should be more emphasized with how it is portrayed. Manufacture the dramaお願いします!

Odd Pacing

“One, two, three, go team!” – Naofumi

It’s just really interesting to see the pacing of this episode. One moment we are in a room with the leaders bickering over how they are going to stop the Spirit Tortoise. Then, Naofumi leaves the meeting giving us the vibe that nothing is going to work. A couple scenes later, we are witnessing this encouraging, somewhat romantic-ish, and touching kind of scene between Naofumi & Raphtalia. All it really took Raphtalia to convince him to come up with a plan was that “he can do it because he’s the Shield Hero!” Right after that, all of those bickering leaders decides to follow the him.

Sometimes crispy sound plots just take time. Even Demon Slayer‘s “Entertainment District Arc” took at least 3 episodes before every episode ended up being a banger. So far, everything is very typical: from Naofumi having to carry the burden, the plot being very direct and the character arc for Rishia being very simplistic.

No Significant Reaction to Ost Hourai’s Explanations..

“King Fritz said you have a small..” -The Hourai life

The mysterious reveal of Ost Hourai ended up being taken in a very light-hearted kind of way. Even though, she manipulates people to kill each other to gather souls?! Did anywhere serious hear what she said? Manipulate? War? Gather souls? Sounds pretty darn evil and harsh to me, but no one really seemed to have a real significant reaction to it. I am sure they are slowly setting us up for bigger reveals down the line with Ost Hourai. I just find it odd and funny that the characters in the show are so trusting of this character, when everything she explained entails the opposite.

Last Thoughts

So far, there isn’t too many exciting things happening in this season just yet. We are at the beginning of a plot with newer characters that haven’t been put into any compelling situations yet. It looks like the next episode is going to hit us with something a bit more significant. I just hope that all of these characters end up finding an important role in the anime to make us respect and value their importance.

The storytelling has been very linear with some minor time-skips to lead us probably into more significant scenes. I hope the anime starts giving us some real moments, whether its manufactured by the plot or manufactured by the way of presentation. 2 episodes in and I still have high hopes for this anime. If you were to ask me, “if this season is any good,” then I would answer with a “not yet.”


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