Shield Hero’s 3rd Season Needs a New Villain, Not a Controversial Princess

Summary

  • Season Three of Shield Hero foolishly brings back Princess Malty, who adds little value to the story.
  • Princess Malty’s presence in the anime has caused damage to the narrative and Naofumi’s character, hindering his growth as a protagonist.
  • The Shield Hero anime needs a stronger main villain to keep the story cohesive, and Princess Malty does not fit the role. The anime needs its real demon king, cliché or not.


The Rising of the Shield Hero has begun its third season, and unfortunately, the anime is slow to move on from its most problematic elements. For example, Season Three is still treating the heavy subject of slavery too lightly, and to make matters worse, the show’s most controversial character, Princess Malty, has also returned. Despite her defeat at the hands of Naofumi and the queen, Malty has somehow still not learned her lesson.

Princess Malty’s false accusations against Naofumi put a bad taste in many anime fans’ mouths back in Season One, and no matter where fans stand that controversy, few of them actually like Malty as a character. Now Malty is back for more, bringing out the worst in the four Cardinal Heroes and promising to become one of Season Three’s most prominent antagonists. However, Naofumi Iwatani and his friends deserve a much better villain than that, and so do Shield Hero fans.

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Princess Malty Doesn’t Belong In The Shield Hero Anime Anymore

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From the very beginning, Princess Malty was a real problem for The Rising of the Shield Hero anime. She is the character who stirred up a serious controversy about her false accusations toward Naofumi, which made her one of anime’s most hated characters of all time. Once the damage was done, Malty continued to appear in the Shield Hero anime as an obnoxious antagonist, convincing the other three Cardinal Heroes to hate Naofumi and resist him at every turn. She also cozied up to Motoyasu Kitamura, another unbearable anime character, and wrapped him around her little finger. Finally, queen Mirellia Melromarc and Naofumi exposed Malty’s and the king’s scheme and had them both punished, but neither of them were written out of the show. Ideally, they would have disappeared forever, closing the book on their controversies.

Season Two features a brief Malty appearance, but now that Season Three is underway, she’s back up to her old antics once again. Now she is now cozying up to Ren the Sword Hero instead of Motoyasu, and worst of all, she casually repeats her accusations against Naofumi. Once again, the Shield Hero anime sees fit to use these dark and delicate topics as a convenient plot device to make an antagonist more despicable, and it’s done in bad taste.

Princess Malty is simply too controversial for The Rising of the Shield Hero anime at this point, and while it’s too late to undo her actions in Season One, the show can at least write her out in later seasons. If that means diverging from the source novels, then so be it. The anime already has a rough reputation, and flaunting Malty will just make it worse.

Unless the anime has some big plans for Malty’s character , there’s absolutely no reason to keep her around, and her villainous actions can almost certainly be done by some other antagonist. The show must move on from Malty’s character immediately and find better ways to challenge Naofumi as an isekai protagonist.

The Shield Hero Needs Its Demon King Character

The Rising of the Shield Hero has rotated through a number of villains, and none of them have truly sufficed as Naofumi’s archenemy. At first, Princess Malty and the Melromarc king are Naofumi’s enemies — as was the bishop of the Church of Three Heroes. However, all of them face defeat by the end of Season One. Then, Season Two ushers in the Spirit Tortoise and the vile Kyo Ethnina, a hardcore gamer turned isekai villain, but he is ultimately vanquished, too. By Season Three, the Shield Hero anime is conspicuously lacking its token “isekai demon king” character, and no matter how cliche demon kings may be, Shield Hero has a need for such a thing.

Even if isekai anime series are largely about escapism and wandering freely in a “sandbox mode” narrative, action/fantasy series like The Rising of the Shield Hero benefit greatly from a main villain to keep the narrative together. There must at least be a main antagonist for Season Three (if not the entire story), and Princess Malty Melromarc must not assume that role. Between her controversies and her lack of appeal as a villain, she’s not suitable to be Naofumi’s worst enemy. She’s not even a real threat anymore, given her limited combat power and the failure of her plan to ruin Naofumi’s reputation. Malty doesn’t benefit the narrative in any way, not even as a despicable villain who wants to ruin Naofumi, so ideally, Season Three will write her out as a red herring villain at most and then introduce the series’ true antagonist.

Princess Malty Brings Out The Worst In Naofumi Iwatani

Naofumi Iwatani is evidently not intended to be a highly idealistic and charismatic isekai protagonist like Rimuru Tempest from Tensura or Katarina Claes from My Next Life as a Villainess. Even then, Shield Hero fans have already seen too much of his worst side, primarily thanks to Princess Malty Melromarc. Naofumi was a generic self-insert at first, and then Malty’s twisted scheme turned him into a bitter, mistrustful antihero. Repairing his image has been a slow process, and, arguably by design, Malty has ruined Naofumi’s character. The mental wounds that she inflicted are still present in Shield Hero‘s third season. Other characters try to bring out the best in Naofumi, but whenever Malty or Motoyasu shows up, Naofumi’s worst side returns at once.

At one point in Season Three, Naofumi shows his worst side simply because Malty shows her face and causes trouble like usual. Anime fans may not be asking for Shield Hero to turn Naofumi into a bubbly ray of sunshine to make up for Season One’s dark twists, but even so, the drama between Naofumi and Malty just brings out the worst in everyone, no matter who wins their arguments. Shield Hero is a serious and gritty anime by design, but Malty’s and Naofumi’s drama is still not necessary or desirable. Naofumi doesn’t have to be a bitter, rough antihero anymore — the anime is about the rising of the Shield Hero, after all, so his personal growth should reflect his strength as a fighter. By getting rid of Malty, the Shield Hero anime may finally allow Naofumi to truly grow and become the inspiring hero he was always meant to be — on the inside and outside.

Rising of the shield hero season 3 poster

The Rising of The Shield Hero

A gamer is magically summoned into a parallel universe, where he is chosen as one of four heroes destined to save the world from its prophesied doom.

Release Date
January 9, 2019

Main Genre
Fantasy

Studio
Kinema CitrusDR Movie

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