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The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 2 Episode 6 Review – Best In Show

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The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 2 Episode 6 Review – Quick Summary

In The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 2 episode 6, “Racing to Catch Up,” Kyou Ethnina’s revelation about Ost Horai shocked Naofumi and his team. Kyou also revealed the next layers of his plan, which included the Spirit Tortoise rejuvenating and renewing its attack. Mirellia Q. Melromarc and Eclair Seaetto attempted to rally the troops, but it’s clear they have no chance against the Spirit Tortoise’s renewed magical onslaught. With Kyou unleashing a new attack against Naofumi, and with Mirellia and Eclair being pushed back, is there any hope our heroes can prevail? And speaking of heroes, where are the other three Cardinal Heroes?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 2 Episode 6

The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 2 Episode 6: Generic Villain Guy is Generic

Generic Villain Guy is an idiot, but even he’s right somethings! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I won’t lie to you: I do not like Kyou Ethnina, who I will refer to from now on as Generic Villain Buy (GVG). But that’s okay, and I’ll talk a little more about why in my favorite moment. Now, it’s time for my favorite quote. I brought up GVG because the quote is his. And what could he have said to earn my recognition?

If you’ve watched the show since the beginning, I bet you can guess!

Naofumi could not figure out where GVG got his power. Even harvesting so many souls should not have yielded that much power. That’s when GVG revealed the answer: he had captured the three other Cardinal Heroes. after trapping them within some kind of gem, GVG siphoned off their magical energy.

But even to GVG, who is by his very nature cliche and generic, those three were not worthy of respect.

“These guys were weak as shit, but their Cardinal Weapons were the real thing,” GVG said (01:16). “I used them as a backup power source, so now they’re actually useful for once!”

Generic Villain Guy might be generic. But when he’s right, he’s right!

Best in Show Moment for The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 2 Episode 6

The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 2 Episode 6: Ost Horai gave Naofumi a precious gift

Ost Horai showed a lot of foresight and planning skills in this episode. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Tropes and Expectations: Nothing New under the Sun

When Crunchyroll published this episode, they neglected to include a title. So I searched Google. One of the hits Google showed me was a review that said that this episode was so terrible that it was unintentionally hilarious. The article argued that this episode used so many tropes that it did not border on ridiculous: it was actually ridiculous. 

If you’ve read a lot of my posts (and thanks if you have!), you may remember that I’ve been kicking around two ideas. First, I’ve been thinking about the role expectations play in how much I enjoy any given show. And second, I’ve been contemplating what impact my reading and viewing has on those expectations. 

The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 2 Episode 6: Rishia enacted a trope -- which is what she was designed to do

How many more of the “weak character digs deep and finds their strength” tropes will we have to endure? Well, at least one more! And it’s not a bad thing. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Taking the second point first: I’ve made it a point to read material from every epoch of human history. I’m not claiming to be an expert, but I wanted to expose myself to the writing styles, techniques, and stories from the present to the farthest reaches of the past.

One conclusion I’ve drawn from this experience: When it comes to fiction, it’s all been done before. It’s been a couple of decades since any plot development or character has surprised me. It’s not that I can predict every plot point. I actually see most upcoming plot points as degrees of probability. Even though I try hard not to think of them, because I want to enjoy the viewing experience, my brain still projects the plot points forward. I think the last work of fiction to surprise me was The Matrix (I think I saw it in 2000 or 2001).

Setup: Clicks Aren’t Everything

This perspective has an effect on my expectations. Namely, I don’t expect anything to be new or exciting. I don’t downgrade a show simply because I’ve seen a trope or a character or a plot point handled in the same way before. That’s because I’ve seen just about everything before.

The review I read when I searched for this episode’s title made me realize something else. And before I come out and say it, please understand this is not directed at anyone, including the author of that review. It’s an inward-facing judgment, and it reflects the reason I focused this site on celebrating anime. The reason is this: If I say this or that show is unimaginative or unoriginal, I am, in effect, only commenting on my experience with fiction. At the same time, I’m playing into a trend I see played out often in modern media: negativity drives clicks. 

The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 2 Episode 6: Generic Villain Guy is neither the first nor the last Generic Villain Guy we'll see

Generic Villain Guy is generic. But it’s not like he’s the first GVG I’ve seen. And he won’t be the last. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I understand the desire for clicks. The current internet eco-system is set up to reward them. But pursing negativity in that way is slowly (and in some cases, not so slowly) poisoning our culture. I see that as a justification for trying to celebrate anime. I don’t want to be part of the downward spiral of negativity.

Which brings me to my favorite moment in this episode. In terms of the action, it’s a low-energy moment. But in terms of the series as a whole, I think it’s huge. Ost Horai again asked Naofumi to kill her. This time, Naofumi, Raphtalia, and Filo could not deny the need. So Naofumi prepared his cursed shield. Even Kyou seemed alarmed that the attack would work against Ost Horai.

Delivery: Hope for Naofumi

But Naofumi couldn’t do it. He told Ost Horai that he could not summon any rage, because that was not how he felt about her. So she unlocked a new ability in his shield, and that new ability helped them destroy the Spirit Tortoise’s heart.

That setup my favorite moment. The mostly dead Ost Horai (and yes, speaking on one’s deathbed is a trope that’s been used a lot, and I would know!) said to him (20:53), “You don’t need to use that terrifying shield stained with hatred anymore.”

The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 2 Episode 6: Host Horai's words shocked Naofumi -- and liberated him

Naofumi found it difficult to accept her words. But he recognized what she said was true. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

He argued that he was not a kind person and that the rage shield suited him better. But she said, “Please, don’t forget what you feel now.”

That’s huge. That’s a turning point in Naofumi’s character. That showed him he did not need to be defined by the events early in the first season. It was one of those redemptive moments that I see so often, but that doesn’t wear out its welcome. The reason is simple: It’s a statement of profound hope. That’s a message I welcome.

What did you think of the final battle against the Spirit Tortoise? What were your favorite moments in this episode? Feel free to share them in the comments!

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