Originally published as a web novel, The Rising of the Shield Hero has spawned a light novel, anime, and manga. And a sure sign of its continuing success is the fact that it’s generated a spin off series: The Reprise of the Spear Hero! Read on for my review of Volume 1.
Back Cover Blurb
Summoned to another world to serve as the Spear Hero, Motoyasu Kitamura is a pitiful young man who eventually finds himself only able to love filolials. But after being fatally injured in battle, Motoyasu wakes up yet again in the exact circumstances of when he was first summoned. It turns out that his spear possesses an ability known as Time Reversal! With his stats unaffected by the reset, Motoyasu decides to fight once more. His motivation: to once again see the smile of Filo, the filolial that he loves more than any other! Could this be considered the start of a new game in god mode?! The long-awaited otherworldly redemption fantasy begins!
The Reprise of the Spear Hero is a spin off of the The Rising of the Shield Hero. If you are not familiar with The Rising of the Shield Hero light novel, anime, or manga, this series will be nothing short of confusing. However, as long as you’ve been exposed to one version of the Shield Hero and don’t mind possible spoilers, The Rising of the Shield Hero can be a humorous take on the biggest idiot of the cast. For my part, I’ve only watched Season 1 of the Shield Hero anime, and even though Reprise makes reference to characters and events beyond that arc, the numerous summary pages and side commentaries allowed me to follow the narrative without any trouble.
As the title suggests, the spinoff’s main character is the Spear Hero Motoyasu Kitamura, whose most distinguishing characteristic is his stupidity. In fact, the prologue relates how his thoughtlessness resulted in his untimely death in Japan. In the original series, Motoyasu was so easily manipulated by Princess Malty that he became the most obnoxious of the Four Heroes and caused Shield Hero Naofumi no end of trouble. However, as the story progressed, Motoyasu’s disdain for Naofumi turned to pure devotion while his adoration for Malty and other females soured into a disgust so intense he views all women as oinking pigs.
The spinoff begins with that somewhat enlightened Motoyasu dying in battle. There aren’t details on what killed him, but that’s okay because they’re not actually important. What is important is that upon dying, he finds himself in the magic circle that first summoned the Four Heroes to Melromarc. In other words, his life has been restarted. However, while the other three heroes are as they were when they initially arrived, Motoyasu retains the stats he attained prior to dying as well as certain memories of his previous life. Those memories include the truth about Malty’s scheme to frame Naofumi. Thrilled with the chance to correct the mistakes of his previous life, he uses his overwhelming powers to protect Naofumi. Unfortunately, keeping Naofumi from getting killed turns into a greater challenge than Motoyasu ever expected.
Thus, Reprise winds up as an alternate version of The Rising of the Shield Hero. Instead of beginning his journey with no allies, Naofumi starts with one very powerful, very enthusiastic, and extremely peculiar ally. Motoyasu is telling the story so it can get confusing, especially when women enter the scene. Because he perceives them as pigs, it’s only through other male characters that we learn who their identities are and what they’re saying. Also, Motoyasu takes every opportunity to wax poetic about filofials. Filo, the filofial he’s most obsessed with, doesn’t actually show up in person, but he talks about her constantly. So to keep the narration from getting too crazy, the Naofumi from the original series occasionally pops in with explanation blurbs to guide the reader.
As mentioned above, Motoyasu’s memories and god mode powers prevent a repeat of the false charges that turned the kingdom against Naofumi. The good news is that Naofumi doesn’t turn into an embittered outcast, and he’s not forced to buy a slave to survive. The bad news is that his enemies add Motoyasu to the hit list and resort to more drastic measures to eliminate them both. After a couple false starts, Motoyasu realizes the best plan of action is to help Naofumi escape hostile Melromarc for friendlier Siltvelt. They are joined by Eclair, a swordswoman whose father governed Raphtalia’s home region before the waves. Eclair’s also a notable exception to Motoyasu’s pig-vision, and she takes the role of protector and potential love interest that Raphtalia held in the original series.
As for Naofumi’s other companion Filo, Motoyasu holds out hope that he’ll encounter her again. He even goes so far as to purchase filofial eggs at every opportunity. Sadly for him, Filo hasn’t emerged yet. However, a whole lot of other chicks do, and these filofial queens and kings provide the fun and feathered chaos that Filo did.
Extras include the first four pages printed in color, summary of The Rising of the Shield Hero, embedded character profiles, six black-and-white illustrations, and commentary from the Raphtalia and Naofumi of the original series.
The Rising of the Shield Hero meets Groundhog Day! This is definitely a series best left to existing fans of The Rising of the Shield Hero. If you’ve ever wanted the Spear Hero to redeem himself or to see a kindler, gentler version of the Shield Hero, you’ll find it here. Be warned, however. The perspective of the filofial-infatuated Spear Hero makes for a unique narrative style.
First published at the Fandom Post.