Anime’s spring season 2022 is almost over, paving the way for the hot summer. Which means we also have to say goodbye to Naofumi and his group, but only temporarily, since a third season has already been announced! So what do we do in the meantime? That question is fairly easy to answer: watch anime similar to The Rising of the Shield Hero!
Without further ado, here are five anime you should watch if you’ve enjoyed The Rising of the Shield Hero! There may be a surprise or two waiting for you.
Makoto’s parents come from an alternate world, which now summons Makoto to fulfill a contract between his parents and a goddess. The goddess has absurdly high beauty standards and considers Makoto too ugly for her liking… so she sends him to the remote wasteland. Fortunately, he receives a blessing from the Moon God Tsukuyomi to awake undreamt-of powers within him.
Unlike Naofumi, Makoto is overpowered and doesn’t have to undergo a training arc, unsurprising for a fantasy world anime. Both protagonists, however, share social exclusion. While Naofumi is accused of doing evil deeds, Makoto is ostracized from interpersonal contact because of his looks and overwhelming aura. Both are excluded from the very world that conjured them and tore them away from their lives.
They both make friends over time, which in Naofumi’s case, cracks his tough shell. Makoto makes friends quickly with non-humans who immediately follow him because of his unique abilities. Unlike The Rising of the Shield Hero, TSUKIMICHI -Moonlit Fantasy- also plays much more with fantasy world tropes, stultifying the genre en masse. Makoto has no interest in a harem, yet one forces itself upon him!
… and daily greets a fantasy world! As the name suggests, Life With an Ordinary Guy Who Reincarnated Into a Total Fantasy Knockout and The Rising of the Shield Hero share the same genre, but this is far from the only similarity. Tachibana and Jinguji are best friends and are conjured into another world, in the process, Tachibana turns into a beautiful blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl who always enraptures men (and women).
Unlike Tachibana, Jinguji is blessed with downright divine power, which is somehow connected to Tachibana. In any case, both protagonists present the Four Cardinal Heroes in The Rising of the Shield Hero. Spear, sword and bow are potent weapons to pierce their opponents and can be actively used on the front lines, as well as Jinguji’s fighting power. Tachibana, on the other hand, could be compared to Naofumi — both seem weak and have useless abilities initially. They cannot fight independently and rely on others, in this case, Jinguji and Rapthalia. Both characters grow throughout the series and gain more and more self-confidence but probably couldn’t win a fight on their own, with rapture already being an ultimate weapon.
While Shield Hero is primarily subject to a severe tone, Reincarnated Into a Total Fantasy Knockout offers a healthy serving of humor and slapstick. Some jokes may be straightforward, making them even more potent amidst the fantasy setting.
No fantasy worlds for a change! Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid may stand out as it seems to only share the fantasy element with The Rising of the Shield Hero, but that’s not entirely true. Tohru enters the human world in her dragon form after being severely wounded in her homeland and meets a buzzed Kobayashi, who enthusiastically offers her a place to stay.
Tohru instantly falls in love with Kobayashi and appears on her doorstep as a maid, but she has no clue how to actually be a maid. Like Naofumi, Tohru has to learn many things about a world that is foreign to her. Yet she’s trying to fit in, even though she, a dragon, should consider humans as lower beings. It’s not always easy for her to abide by the rules, but she has Kobayashi and other dragons at her side, which always makes life amusing.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is admittedly not about a fight for survival but shares the difficulty of finding one’s place in a completely alien world and being accepted there. In Tohru’s case, it works out more or less right away and she instantly gets rid of her ingrained hatred and distrust of humans. Naofumi, on the other hand, has to wander the world alone until he finally finds his chosen one — Raphtalia. With her by his side, Naofumi can finally enjoy the new world and gets back his will to live. Of course, there are also wonderfully staged fights in Dragon Maid by studio Kyoto Animation to experience, a lot of humor, and so many scenes with the cutest dragon ever: Kanna!
Yep, that’s right: another fantasy world! Leon is an office worker who falls down the stairs after long nights of gaming. Shortly after, he wakes up in the world of the dating sim he previously completed for his sister. The only catch is that he is a simple NPC and has no say in this new world. As a result of his gaming experience, he plans to have an easy life, but many events deviate from the actual course of the game because of a mysterious girl…
Like Naofumi, Leon is completely ostracised and avoided by his peers, apart from his parents — in both worlds! While Naofumi is accused of deeds he never committed, Leon doesn’t even try to fit in. He gains strength through his actions and with his “cheat” of knowledge. I love characters who don’t give a damn about anything or anybody else. That’s a trait Naofumi possessed at the beginning of his journey until he met Rapthalia. Unfortunately, he shed his ruthless nature too soon, which is why I was immediately pleased to learn that Leon acts like a complete jerk to those who look down on him — especially the princes of the world. He doesn’t care about his status and he doesn’t mince words, making it incredibly refreshing that he doesn’t shyly follow anyone around trying to charm them.
If alternate worlds and fantasy aren’t your preferred choice of genre but you still loved The Rising of the Shield Hero, don’t worry; we got you covered! You were probably interested in Naofumi’s bitter view on human society — a trait you’ll also love about My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU.
Hachiman is a disillusioned and cynical high school student. He doesn’t have any friends and has no interest in making any, so he spends his day isolated from others. He’s ordered to join the one-member Services Club run by an intelligent and attractive girl who considers everyone inferior to her. You probably know how well that could go.
Like Naofumi, Hachiman is cynical and apathetic because he often experiences betrayal. He outright refuses to get close to others and has a hard time when he’s expected to show emotions. In Naofumi and Hachiman’s cases, they try to overcome their weakness and are inclined to show vulnerability. They want to find someone in life who doesn’t betray them, but it’s hard to unlearn a trait you’ve cemented over time by negative experiences.
Duh. Is there even an explanation needed?
Alright, a short one then. The commonality of The Rising of the Shield Hero and That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime probably lies within their differences, apart from the apparent genre mix of alternate worlds and fantasy. Rimuru was respected from the get-go because of their strength, even though they are a slime — a monster considered the weakest. They overcame all their troubles and have since built the Jura Tempest Federation, while Naofumi is still fighting partial humiliation and ostracism. Rimuru is maybe all Naofumi is thriving to be, except for the harem situation. The Shield Hero so far only gathered women around him, yet they are not entirely devoted to him only. Rimuru charmed a crowd of people, but their closest circle doesn’t favor a specific gender.
All in all, these hand-picked series provide you with more than 150 episodes to enjoy until the famous Shield Hero Naofumi, and his group start their new journey. Whenever that will be, you’ll be ready for an epic continuation and have a backlog of knowledge to compare it to.
Which anime would you recommend to someone who loves The Rising of the Shield Hero? Let us know in the comments below!
Melanie Höpfler is the editor-in-chief for Crunchyroll in Germany. She is passionate about the genres boys love and sports. You can find her Twitter here.