The Rising of the Shield Hero S3 Ep 10 Review
Two Cardinal Heroes down, one to go. Naofumi managed to find Ren and Motoyasu and, more or less, got them under control. However, there’s still one Hero unaccounted for: Itsuki, the Bow Hero obsessed with being this symbol of “Hidden Justice.” Or, in other words, he’s a kid who’s trying too hard to be Batman, but he’s coming off as Red Hood or Damian. If Naofumi and the others want to help Itsuki, talking won’t work for him. They’ll have to use force, no matter how much his former companion, Rishia, might not like it.
It’s worth it. He needs to get taken down a peg for his own good.
“Perfect Hidden Justice” Sounds So Cringe
Thanks to the Gaelion debacle, Naofumi sends Filo and Melty out to gain more levels to compensate for the loss. Beyond that, though, life in Naofumi’s village has returned to normal. The peace proves short-lived, though, when S’yne (conveniently away fighting in the arena) returns with surprising news: she’s found Itsuki.
Ever since the Spirit Tortoise incident, Itsuki has handled things very poorly. Rather than figure out what he did wrong, he decided to double down on his negative traits and step into full-on cringe territory. Now he’s fighting in the arenas as the gladiator “Perfect Hidden Justice,” a name everyone agrees is cringe. Worse, when Rishia tries to talk to him, he slaps her out of the way, much to everyone’s disgust.
Itsuki’s Paradoxical Hero Complex
This is something other than what gets touched upon in the anime, but web and light novels gave us greater insight into the character of the Three Cardinal Heroes. In Itsuki’s case, he’s a contradiction. On the one hand, he wants to be like Batman or Spider-Man and deliver justice from the shadows. On the other hand, he also wants people to sing his praises and to look cool while saving the day. This contradiction makes him very ineffective as a hero; he has a bunch of insecurities, and unlike Naofumi, he’s not with people with his best interests at heart. At least not anymore. Now, he’s working with the personification of the corrupt elite, Witch. She and the rest of his party have him fight in the arena to get money to save slave children. However, no, but Itsuki buys that. Witch is using the cash for herself.
What’s incredibly frustrating about this is that Itsuki should have no excuse to listen to Witch. He knows that she framed Naofumi; the slave crest the Queen put on her made it clear she’s a liar. Yet she continues to get away with this well past the point where she can. Either she’s got a silver tongue on the level of Starscream, or the Heroes mental states are so fragile since the Spirit Tortoise that they’ll listen to anyone who says anything nice to them.
It also doesn’t help that Itsuki’s unlocked his cursed series for his bow.
Rishia Steps Up to Knock Some Sense into Itsuki
So, to recap, Itsuki’s unlocked his cursed bow and is being strung along by the Witch. He’s entirely given in to his delusions of being a Batman, but he’s coming off as a Damian or Red Hood. And he’s using an alias that sounds like an edge-lord would come up with. As Atla points out, there’s only one way to make Itsuki see reason: they have to beat him up.
There are better solutions than this, but it’s their best. When people can’t see eye-to-eye or reason in real life and fiction, settling things with fists and weapons might be the only option left. It’s like when Naruto had to defeat Sasuke at the end of Naruto to get him to see reason. Except in this case, Rishia is Naruto, and Itsuki is Sasuke.
The decision to have Rishia fight Itsuki is important on several levels. Rishia has always struggled with self-esteem, which Itsuki and his party made worse. She’s grown more substantial and more confident since Naofumi’s group took her in, but beating Itsuki will prove to herself how strong she’s gotten. Additionally, losing to the person he thought was weak might be the reality check Itsuki needs.
Gearing Up For the Season Finale
This episode was a pause for what was to come. Itsuki is the last of the three heroes Naofumi needs to help see sense, thus the toughest. Motoyasu buckled after Witch, and the other girls turned their backs on him. Ren went through that bandit phase, but Eclair beat him and Wyndia helped him start to come to terms with his past mistakes. However, Itsuki pushed away the one person who could help him, Rishia. Now, Rishia needs to beat him to bring him to his senses. It happens a lot in anime, but the emotional weight of a friend fighting another friend to save them from themselves works.
There are only two episodes left in the season, and I’m hoping that the next episode gives us a good showing. It’s time for Itsuki to get help, whether he wants it or not. That, and his alias is super-cringe.