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The Usefulness of the Dragon Hourglass – The Rising of the Shield Hero Anime Episode 3 Review

The Hardcore Look of Naofumi

The Rising of the Shield Hero (Romaji: Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari) anime episode 3 dropped, depending on the time zone or where you live, anytime between January 23 and January 24 of 2019. Right now, this episode can be streamed in many countries online at the website known as Crunchyroll. In episode 3 of The Rising of the Shield Hero, the Dragon Hourglass proved its usefulness by letting the Four Cardinal Heroes know a Wave of Catastrophe was approaching as well as where it all will take place.

The Four Cardinal Heroes getting signaled by the Dragon Hourglass to participate in the fight against the wave was a self-contained plot, meaning that they didn’t drag out the whole event into another episode. There were important character moments showing true strength, which greatly impacted other characters. The episode starts out with giving the audience comedic relief, but the tone eventually becomes dramatic and full of serious challenges. I also applaud the great direction in cinematography and the action was something else.

Down in the paragraphs below, I will break down more in detail about the plot of this episode, the significance of certain characters, and a few other points I made above.



The Dragon Hourglass

It seems a week has passed since the coal pit incident, and Naofumi has developed new skills and Raphtalia also improved exponentially. Many people gather as the Dragon Hourglass shows that it is almost time for the Four Cardinal Heroes to fight the Wave of Catastrophe in battle. As this dangerous battle begins, three of the heroes go to a specific location to fight, while Naofumi and Raphtalia defend a nearby town against the wave threat.


Character Setup

Raphtalia Gets Character GrowthThe main character Naofumi has not only grown in physical strength, but in mental fortitude as well. Still, he doesn’t trust people and has conflicting thoughts about whether people are worth saving. I can tell that he’s trying to develop a change in heart with his pessimistic views about people in this world. Based on his heroic actions in this episode, it seems he has the ability to inspire those around him, and I see now that this is the true superpower of being the Shield Hero.

Raphtalia, who plays an important supporting role in the series, is one of those characters that got inspired the most by Naofumi to become stronger. She is grateful for the kindness and strength she received from Naofumi, and after living in unfair circumstances for so long, she has finally found her purpose fighting alongside Naofumi. Also, Raphtalia’s cute when she is angered by those who disrespect Naofumi, and this episode showed that she has more spunk which is a vast contrast from her timid nature in the last episode.

Boss continues to have a friendly relationship with Naofumi and is greatly obliged to give him equipment whenever he needs it. Motoyasu is still just as flirty as ever, and Sophia is a humongous bitch who I can not stand looking at. Ren and Itsuki have an awkward reunion with Naofumi, but other than that these two guys have become strong heroes.


Tone & Themes

Naofumi Ready for the Wave of CatastropheOne of the main characters remained brooding throughout the entire episode, but the first half of the episode was positive and had its moments of comedic relief. About midway through the episode this is where a tonal shift takes place when Naofumi runs into the other Cardinal Heroes, so things get a little dramatic and Naofumi’s frustrations are very apparent.

In the last half of the episode, the Wave of Catastrophe begins, but the battle was a life or death situation mostly for Naofumi, Raphtalia, and a town of people. Some good things happen by the end of the episode, but there is emphasis placed on the Dragon Hourglass showing the ever looming threat of the waves.

A theme that I noticed at the beginning of the episode is that you should always assess your strengths and weaknesses before going into a fight, whether it be sports, war, or a game of poker. Another theme is that you should do the right thing when it comes to helping certain people even if it seems they’re not worth helping.



Wave of Catastrophe ZombieThis episode shows what the animators are actually capable of doing with the art and animation of this series.

Naofumi and Raphtalia, including the other three Cardinal Heroes, get new designs that make them look like tough fighters. I like the use of lighting such as the perfect timing with the sunlight, the illumination of sunlight in a couple scenes, and the glaring amount of red used during the Wave of Catastrophe.

There were many great camera shots and angles, but the ones that stood out the most is whenever Raphtalia was in attack mode, and there was a fantastic shot showing the great teamwork between the two main characters.

I will say this in every anime episode review of this series, and that is the music is always great in each scene. Also, the voice actors always bring the best performances to their roles, and so far the best voice acting occurs with the two main characters.


The Rising of the Shield Hero Anime Episode 3 – Final Thoughts

Noafumi and Raphtalia Contemplating Their SuccessThis was a great episode with the best action in the series so far. Of course, the characterization and character development still played a significance in this episode just like it has in the previous two episodes. I can see that the character Naofumi is slowly trying to become that nice and positive guy he used to be at the start of the series. Raphtalia has not only developed physically, but she also has developed a mind of her own and I like to see where that goes in future episodes.

The plot of this episode is definitely more entertaining than the last couple of episodes. I like the actions the two main characters took and how they make more of an impact to the story than those other heroes. I like how the tone starts off with giving the audience comedic relief, and then halfway into the episode the tone shifts to being serious and deep. The animators did not make any mistakes with their use of cinematography, especially with the great amount of action in this episode.

Based on my analysis, I give this episode a score of 9 out of 10.

Please tell me your thoughts about this review or the episode down in the comment section below.

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