The Rising of the Shield Hero S3 Ep 4 Review
Hate sink is a trope in which a character’s deliberately designed to elicit a negative reaction from the people reading or viewing the story. More importantly, seeing them suffer invokes a feeling of joy from most people. Anime has a lot of hate sink characters in it, but few are as vile and disgusting as Bitch from Shield Hero, formerly known as Malty Melromarc. She ruined Naofumi’s reputation on day one for the heck of it, and remained a repeated headache in his life since. Then she got her just desserts with her Mom stripping her of her royalty status. She even got her named changed to ‘Bitch’ at Naofumi’s suggestion, and her alias to ‘Whore.’ Alas, this was not enough to bring the menace of Bitch to heel, as this episode sees her back to her manipulative ways. And it makes Naofumi’s job of uniting the Cardinal Heroes a lot harder.
Who is S’yne? I Should Apologize for That
First, I would like to apologize for a mistake I made in my review of episode two. The “Killer Clown” that Naofumi’s party fought was not, in fact, Fohl, but an entirely different character. This is S’yne, a completely different character, and one I had to actually look up. S’yne is powerful in her own right, but also mysterious and enigmatic. Thus, when she shows up and asks to join Naofumi’s village, he refuses to let her. Thus, she winds up going off on her own, but will likely return in the future.
The strangest thing of all about S’yne, though, is how she talks. I had to double-check my earbuds, because her voice kept getting cutting off by static. This wasn’t a glitch, though. This was a deliberate act on the show’s part. I don’t entirely understand what it means, but it looks like it’s going to be something important.
Again, my bad!
Motoyasu Has Hit Rock Bottom, and it’s Pathetic.
Mysterious characters aside, Naofumi’s next task is to find the missing Cardinal Heroes, and the Queen of Melromarc has already located Motoyasu. He and Naofumi have been at odds from the getgo due to Motoyasu’s lazy, womanizing ways and for falling for Bitch’s lies. However, after failing to kill the Spirit Tortoise on his own, his party/harem abandoned him, and he’s left destitute. When Naofumi’s party finds him, he’s begging one of his former party members to come back, only for her to coldly tell him to “get lost.”
Motoyasu has never been a good person or someone worthy of being called a hero. However, seeing how far he’s fallen makes even Naofumi feel a little bad for him. And it’s only going to get worse.
In the meantime, Naofumi manages to run into Ren, who’s even worse off than Motoyasu. Whereas Motoyasu’s party abandoned him, Ren’s died at the hands of the Spirit Tortoise. Despite being traumatized, Ren refuses to blame himself for his failures, something that disgusts Naofumi. Still, he manages to make some progress with him…until Bitch shows up.
Bitch Turns into a Witch
Having fled from the Spear Hero’s party, Bitch is now effectively a fugitive, and she has refused to learn her lesson. Instead, in the latest act of petty evil, she pulls the exact same stunt she did with Naofumi on Motoyasu. She lies to Ren and says that Motoyasu forced himself on her and Naofumi freed the Spirit Tortoise, and somehow, her slave crest doesn’t call her out for her. And then Ren loses it and starts swinging his sword at Naofumi before bailing with Bitch in tow. And, to rub salt in the wound, when Motoyasu begs Bitch to come back, she uses the same akanbe taunt she used on Naofumi, and it breaks him altogether.
It’s at this point that the anime glosses over something important from the light novels. In the light novels, as Naofumi’s watching these events unfold, his hatred for Bitch reaches a new high. He even stops calling her a Bitch; in his eyes, she’s a full-blown Witch. The worst possible kind of Witch. She’s the most evil and disgusting person that Naofumi’s ever met, and will likely remain his greatest enemy until one of them dies.
Motoyasu Gets Cursed
The episode ends with Motoyasu undergoing a complete 180 in personality. Instead of being a womanizing skirt-chaser who hates Naofumi, he now treats Naofumi with the utmost respect and is ready to listen to whatever he says. That’s the good news. The rest, however, is all bad news.
Firstly, Motoyasu’s trauma with women has led him to unlock his own Cursed Series for his Legendary Spear, the Lust Spear. The anime doesn’t make it too clear, but it’s revealed in the Light Novel that he now hates almost women. Worse, his mental state’s so bad, he now regards all women as pigs; literal, talking pigs.
It gets worse, though. Out of sheer kindness, Filo tries to cheer Motoyasu up by being nice to him. As a result, she becomes the sole exception to his curse, causing him to become obsessed with Filo in the worst way possible. He even starts calling Naofumi “Father” and begs him to let him have Filo. In no universe is this okay!
Overall, the episode does a good job of demonstrating how bad things have gotten for the other Cardinal Heroes. However, it fails to go the extra mile by diving into the psychological aspects of their suffering thanks to Bitch/Witch. In addition, Motoyasu’s left in a mental state that would get the FBI called on him back home. Yet, at least Naofumi now has one of the Cardinal Heroes willing to work with him, so it evens out. Plus, Filo can always kick him if he tries anything.
I Give “The Operation to Capture the Spear Hero” a 4/5
And remember: BITCH SUCKS!