The Rising of the Shield Hero is a fantastic anime in many aspects. It hooks in anime viewers with a premise that weebs and intro-anime lovers know all too well — a human from the “real world” gets teleported into a world that’s just like a video game. The primary difference between the usual setting and the world of Shield Hero, is that the four characters summoned are from four different Earths with slightly various histories (i.e. who won World War II). Another new addition is that the four characters symbolize chosen heroes and the world is very. very similar to a video game that all four worlds have in common (but the title varies). The final interesting addition to this expose is that the protagonist that is not into playing video games in the slightest. (If you haven’t watched the show yet but now are intrigued, feel free to watch it for free on Funimation here.)
Without spoiling anything, The Rising of the Shield Hero is subjectively one of the best overall anime to come out in a while for video game lovers and fantasy lovers alike. However, the season has ended with bombshells of information dropping and will not be out for at least another year (due to COVID-19). You can either sit re-watching the show relentlessly (which is not a bad decision), or start watching an anime with a very similar preface that is still pretty decent.
Welcome to BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, So I’ll Max Out My Defense
As you can tell from the picture and title alone, the story here is one of a girl playing a video game in something not so different than the NerveGear featured in the popular anime Sword Art Online. This device seemingly replicates all senses (including an actual minimized version of pain), but to entirely avoid feeling pain, the protagonist, Maple, when prompted to choose a starting weapon, chose the great shield. Also, when prompted where she wanted to put her skill points, she maxed out vitality (aka Defense). Without spoiling anything, she realizes that she can earn special skills in the game solely by being attacked. What she lacks for in any form of skill, she more than compensates with creativity. Do not expect the game to glitch and trap her in it (as I did), because this anime is significantly more lighthearted than either SAO or Shield Hero.
However, if you have the craving of a good video game anime, what this anime lacks in depth, is more than filled by awesome boss characters, and a good relationship between two girls (and others, at times). Additionally, the circumstances presented in this game are done well (such as their Battle Royale event). If you’re interested in watching it, feel free to watch it for free on Funimation here. Let me know how you like it!