“Cal Mira Archipelago”
What They Say:
On the ship to Cal Mira, Naofumi once again runs into L’arc, who keeps throwing him off. However, the strange man’s friendly nature shines through, and Naofumi quickly takes a liking to him. After having a fun time grinding levels and a lively meal, Naofumi feels happy and fulfilled for the first time in this world.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With part of me expecting to hear that there’s another two-cour season to come for the series, the epilogue-ish episodes we’re getting after dealing with the Pope and events in the opening kingdom have been decent. But they’re also kind of mellow and low stakes, focusing more on getting the characters ready for what’s to come and, most importantly, getting Naofumi on the right page for understanding how to operate in this world. He’s done so many things the hard way without the right knowledge since coming here that it has ground him down in some good ways, but there’s no need for that any further and I’m glad they kind of wiped a lot of that out of the way. It was good character building material but the show and storyline are moving past that now.
With the group making their way to Cal Mira, we get something that’s definitely low-key here as Therese and L’arc are on the ship and they all kind of get along. You can see how Naofumi just isn’t all that thrilled with interacting with people in general but they’re both so friendly that it kind of wears him down until they finally reach the island. And even then they end up planning to partner up for a bit since it’s to their advantage to do so with a limited amount of time. It’s actually kind of nice to get back to some of the basics here with leveling against the basics and all, making for a cute montage that isn’t much of a challenge. It’s a nice and simple thing that works more for just having the core trio together for a while and being like “old times” more than anything else for a while. There’s a kind of charm to it and I’ll admit that the pre-Filo days are still my favorite of this run.
With the show spending a good bit of time on this, it’s later in the second half that we get the actual joint-training going on and it’s amusing from the start with Naofumi giving Therese an item that they had come across as a kind of gift and she’s just in tears over it. They also pay up well with Naofumi to do their training, though it’s amusing that they don’t really know that Naofumi truly is the Shield Hero. There’s a lot of lighter moments to all of this that works well and it’s the kind of episode where it’s pretty much all about the downtime and just moving along nicely. But it also sets for a big finale as when they get to their upgrade phase we discover that a Wave is two days out from hitting the island, which will be a huge disaster for a place like that. I didn’t expect that the series would go out quietly with its second cour but this is about in line with what I expected so it should be a fun run.
Rising of the Shield Hero gets to its more serious material at the very end but I really like a lot of what’s going on here. It’s laid back and relaxed, though Naofumi gets a little frustrated from time to time, and the end result is something that does feel like a vacation episode as they head to Cal Mira. I do like the way it builds things nicely at the end so that we get something difficult to deal with in what remains but I’m also just really enjoying all the simpler episodes that we’ve been getting as it does a lot to fill in the blanks and just let the characters exist without always being on the go or having things to deal with that are world altering.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll