The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 3 has already been confirmed to be in production during a special stage panel at Crunchyroll Expo 2019. Better yet, the Kadokawa producer has confirmed at Virtual Crunchyroll Expo 2020 that the wait for the third season won’t be too long.
The original announcement was something of a surprise since the third season was announced at the same time as Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari Season 2.
At the same time, it’s not too much of a surprise that Shield Hero Season 3 was confirmed so early based on its financial success. Crunchyroll is directly involved in the production as one of the producers, and streaming revenue has become the most significant factor in the success of any TV anime series.
In the past, anime production committees would greenlight an anime sequel if the DVD and Blu-ray sales did well in Japan. In recent years, the anime industry has shifted in the direction of merchandise sales (figurines, etc.) and overseas streaming services, with companies like Crunchyroll and FUNimation having an increasing effect on the financial success of anime TV series.
Plus, the first season performed so strongly that publisher Kadokawa, which publishes both the manga and light novel series under the Media Factory label, announced that their quarterly profits rose mostly thanks to the Shield Hero anime. Thanks to this success, Kadokawa added Naofumi and Raphtalia to Isekai Quartet Season 2.
Kadokawa also plans on producing at least one new isekai anime each season. Hopefully, those plans will include KonoSuba Season 3 and Overlord Season 4 in addition to adapting other popular isekai light novels.
The Shield Hero anime is produced by animation studio Kinema Citrus, which is also producing Made in Abyss the Movie: Dawn of the Deep Soul (and, hopefully, Made In Abyss Season 2). Presumably, the same primary production staff will be returning for The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 3.
Director Masato Jinbo is helming the anime series while writer Keigo Koyanagi is handling series composition. Masahiro Suwa is the character designer. The soundtrack was created by composer Kevin Penkin, who also worked on the Made In Abyss anime.
The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 3’s opening (OP) and ending (ED) theme song music have not yet been announced.
In the past, the Shield Hero English dub has released the same day as new episodes release in Japan. The first season of the Shield Hero dub suffered a dubbing process delay, but hopefully, the third season will keep up with the simuldub schedule.
For those who haven’t caught up with watching the anime, the second season has not yet aired. The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 2 release date has been confirmed to be in 2021, but the total number of episodes has not yet been announced.
The second season may be a two-cour anime season. A “cour” is a three-month TV broadcasting unit based on the physical seasons, and animes usually have between 10 to 13 episodes per cour.
This article provides everything that is known about The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 3 (Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari Season 3) and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.
The Rising Of The Shield Hero manga/light novels compared to the anime
The story for the anime is based on The Rising Of The Shield Hero light novels by writer Aneko Yusagi and illustrator Minami Seira. But the first version of the story was a Shosetsuka ni Naro (Let’s Become a Novelist) web novel that reached an ending years ago.
Starting in August 2013, the Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari light novel adaptation began publishing. As of June 2019, the books were up to Volume 22. The release date for Shield Hero Volume 23 has not yet been announced.
Fan-made English translation projects for the web novel were completed back in 2015. Also, in 2015, One Peace Books licensed the official English translation for the Shield Hero light novel series. Volume 17 released in July 2020. Volume 18 is scheduled to release on November 12, 2020.
Comparisons can be made between the web novel and light novels, but overall the light novel series is changing things up by taking the plot in a different direction. For example, the fan-favorite Mad Scientist Naofumi story arc was replaced by a different story in the light novel version.
The light novels also added new characters and made major changes to the story while keeping the core elements of the plot relatively intact. The most significant divergence from the web novel begins around the Cal Mira Island story arc in Volume 4 (which is also the ending of the anime’s first season). Underdeveloped portions of the story were fleshed out from that point on, so later plot developments make more sense.
Similar to how the Overlord light novels eventually drifted away from the original web novel, the Shield Hero light novels may create a new twist on the ending. The web novel’s conclusion was also fairly open-ended, and the final chapters were more of a side story. Still, it’s not as extensive as Arifureta’s web novel, which has an after story that’s getting longer than the main storyline.
Overall, even fans of the web novel agree the light novel adaptation is more streamlined and more appealing to a wider audience. The most significant difference is probably in the tone of the narrative, which (similar to the Sword Art Online light novels) comes from the first-person perspective of Naofumi Iwatani.
Web novel Naofumi is exceptionally bitter (perhaps realistically so?) in all his interactions with other characters, whereas light novel Naofumi is significantly more mellowed out. That’s not to say he’s no longer angry at the world due to all the trauma he’s experienced, but he’s certainly not an Arifureta edgelord.
Still, it’s not like it’s all sunshine and rainbows in the light novel series, either. In the books, Naofumi is the narrator, and there’s a lot of interior monologue showing how Naofumi views the world and why he feels so much rage.
Light novel Naofumi knows what’s coming to him, so his attitude was somewhat caustic from the get-go. In contrast, the anime showed how his emotional state transitioned due to the betrayal by Malty. Her actions are the root cause of Naofumi’s original personality snapping, twisting him into a dark and cynical man willing to use slaves to build his party.
Beginning in 2014, manga artist, Aiya Kyu began adapting the story of the light novel series into The Rising Of The Shield Hero manga series. It was published monthly, two to three volumes release per year, and the Shield Hero manga has been collected into 16 volumes as of July 2020.
You should also check out our exclusive interview with Aiya Kyu.
The English translation of the Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari manga is already up to Volume 14 as of September 8, 2020.
The manga version follows the light novels’ plot, but it tends to skip slice-of-life elements to jump straight into the action. This decision makes the manga more fast-paced since it skims the bland plot points, but it makes these changes at the expense of characterization.
At the same time, many manga readers agree that the manga was better than the first season of the anime version, especially in regards to Episode 21, when Naofumi finally received sweet justice against the treacherous Malty and her father. The manga version was way more confrontational, so the characterization of Naofumi was changed in the anime.
Instead of being hot-blooded and petty, the anime version had Naofumi putting aside his ego and forging a selfless path for the betterment of the kingdom that unified everyone behind a common cause. This episode portrayed Naofumi more heroically, but it could be argued that the manga provides a far higher emotional payoff for the readers.
When anime staff writers condense the story of a light novel series, it’s unavoidable that specific details are skipped to fit the seasonal format and episode duration. Changes are sometimes made for marketability, but anime studios prefer not to change too much of the original story.
All in all, the first season of the anime adapted the story up through the first half of light novel Volume 6, which corresponds to manga Volume 11. Therefore, readers who wish to read ahead of the anime adaptation can jump to light novel Volume 6 or manga Volume 12.
One of the issues with the first season’s ending is that it skimmed the story of Lecia Ivyred. This quirky character was the hero of the ocean battle against Glass thanks to her quick thinking regarding the luchol berry barrels, but the anime made many changes.
The anime even changed her name from Rishia to Lecia. The reason for her suicidal despair at the hands of the Bow Hero was also developed throughout many chapters in manga Volume 11 (and the first half of light novel Volume 6). In contrast, the anime quickly skimmed over the highlights, which significantly lessened the emotional impact.
Worse, the anime removed her most charming character element since Lecia was known for wearing full-body furry suits! In fact, during the Cal Mira Island battle, Lecia was wearing a squirrel suit with a Santa hat, so no knew her identity at first. She also wore a penguin suit. No explanation was ever provided for these changes, but perhaps the staff at Kinema Citrus felt this character was just too quirky?
The biggest change made by the first season impacts The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 3. The ending had Naofumi receiving a lordship and rebuilding Raphtalia’s village, but that scene did not occur in the original timeline until light Volume 10. Therefore, Shield Hero Season 3 will need to be changed to compensate for this difference.
Note: This article was originally published before the second season of The Rising Of The Shield Hero anime aired in Japan and will be updated over time with further comparison and analysis.
The second season of the anime series will likely adapt light novel Volumes 6 through 9. That would be the perfect stopping point since the next four light novel volumes are a self-contained story arc.
Similarly, The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 3 should adapt the next three books, Volumes 10 through 12, since those three books follow a similar theme. It would be best to start The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 4 with Volumes 14 and 15 since those two books also share a story arc.
However, it depends on whether Season 2 is a single cour anime season with only 12 or 13 episodes. If that’s the case, then Shield Hero Season 3 could potentially adapt Volumes 8 and 9, and this article will be revised to reflect that information.
Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari Season 3 release date will not keep anime fans waiting long
As of the last update, Kadokawa, Crunchyroll, Kinema Citrus, or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 3 release date. The production of Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari Season 3 was confirmed in September 2019, but not the time frame for the premiere on Japanese TV.
Considering that The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 3 began early production at the same time as the second season, Kadokawa producer Junichiro Tamura is already promising anime fans they won’t have a long wait between seasons.
In the best-case scenario, the second season could come out in the first half of 2021. That would mean The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 3 release date could be scheduled for late 2021 or early 2022.
As for The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 4, Tamura has already said he would “would like to animate all of Shield Hero,” but he admits those plans all depend on the support from the fans.
“Definitely with everyone’s continued support. … I am very pleased [with] how the show has performed beyond my expectations, especially overseas in the US and China. I would like to thank everyone for the support you have shown for the show,” Tamura said back in early 2019.
The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 3 spoilers (plot summary/synopsis)
Note: This article assumes that Shield Hero Season 3 will open with the events of light novel Volume 10. However, if the second season is only a single cour then these spoilers will instead be describing the story of The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 4.
The last time we watched Naofumi, Raphtalia, Filo, and the gang, they had finally defeated Kyo and escaped the other dimension. Having saved the world from the rampaging Spirit Tortoise, the queen of Melromarc decides to reward Naofumi once again.
Naofumi is granted his own land where he can create a settlement, and he decides to build upon the ruins of Raphtalia’s hometown. As previously noted, the ending of the anime’s first season already covered this particular plot development, but The Rising Of The Shield Hero Season 3 will need to develop it further.
After all, it’s not like Naofumi is allowed to settle down to a peaceful existence! Naofumi is invited to visit Zeltoble, a country of mercenaries that’s famous for its Coliseum. Fighters and teams compete, people make bets, and even heroes are allowed to participate.
Hidden underneath the surface of all the glitz and glamour of the sports-like battles is the fact that the Coliseum’s basement hides a slave market. The Shield Hero must fight in a Coliseum tournament to free demi-human slaves who came from Raphtalia’s village.
While in the Coliseum, they run into Sadeena, an old friend of Raphtalia’s family. The strong Sadeena had protected Raphtalia’s village when she was younger, but Sadeena was away fishing during that fateful Wave that killed Raphtalia’s parents. Upon returning, Sadeena tried to find the young Raphtalia, but she had already been dragged away into slavery.
Both Raphtalia and Sadeena are disguised, so they do not recognize each other until they fight in the Coliseum. When the adventure in the Coliseum is over, Naofumi purchases the slave contract to free her from Zeltoble.
While Raphtalia views Sadeena like an older sister, these two start having friction fairly quickly upon returning to the village with the freed slaves. Sadeena believes that her man must be someone who can drink more than her, so when Naofumi beats her in an alcohol drinking competition, she set her sights on marrying him. Naofumi turns down her blatant flirting, but that doesn’t stop angry raccoon noises from erupting!
Shield Hero Season 3 will largely focus on Naofumi’s efforts to track down the Spear Hero, Sword Hero, and Bow hero. Will he be able to force the other Legendary Heroes to change their ways and confront reality?
Naofumi organizes a manhunt to capture the Spear Hero Motoyasu only to stumble upon yet another tragedy involving Malty and the Sword Hero. Worse, Naofumi finds himself being targeted by assassins!
Having defeated yet another round of invaders from another world, Naofumi can make peace with the Sword Hero, Ren Amaki. With one success behind them, Naofumi’s party decides to head back to the Coliseum to level up their battle skills.
They are shocked to find Itsuki Kawasumi, the Bow Hero, fighting in the Coliseum for money while disguised under an alias… and he’s been hit by a curse. Dealing with the curse-corrupted Bow Hero is another matter since he’s in the hands of a powerful witch.
Unfortunately, anime fans will have to wait until The Rising Of the Shield Hero Season 3 release date to watch how Naofumi deals with the Legendary Heroes. Let’s just hope the wait for Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari Season 3 isn’t too long. Stay tuned!
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