Rising of the Shield Hero is a recent entry in the anime isekai (person pulled into another world) genre, although the light novel was originally released in 2013 in Japan and 2015 here in the States. The plot of the story is that 4 heroes were summoned to a world of sword and sorcery to combat waves of enemies and save the world (dun dun duuuunnnnn). Each of these heroes are granted a legendary weapon that they need to level; The Sword, The Bow, The Spear, and the Shield. By being bestowed one of these items you are forbidden from using anything other then it for combat. And the stage is now set for the adventure to begin.
Our story revolves around the unfortunate Naofumi Iwatani. As you may have guessed from the title he was granted to only item that is not actually a weapon, The Shield. And just to add insult to injury he is told that he can’t work with the other weapon holders as being in close proximity to each other will prevent the weapons for leveling. A lot happens in the 45+ minute first episode that I don’t want to spoil, but lets just say that Naofumi is blamed for doing something he didn’t and the entire capital city with the exception of the blacksmith hates him more then they already did. This is not really a happy feel good anime for the most part. It is a “I hope that #^@*& gets what is coming to them” kind of anime thus far.
Eventually Naofumi finds he has to have a partner. Seeing that he does not trust, well anyone though, is quite the dilemma for him until he is approached by the slave merchant Berocas. Here he buys a sickly demi human girl that is part tanuki, Raphtalia. He heals her with medicine, buys her armor and a knife, and she becomes his sword. He defends while she kills. Naofumi still does not trust really as there are so few people that give him a chance, but Raphtalia is a turning point for him. She comes to care for him as he, despite his gruff manners, cares for her. Life continues to be hard on Naofumi as both the Royalty and Church of the country seem to have it out for him, and this really does wear at him as he is again wronged and almost has everything that matters to him taken. This activates a flag that will be important for the rest of the series.
In short, the show is unique. The protagonist does not have support from the other heroes. He is not seen as having any affect on the waves by the royalty or the church; but despite all this he still is doing his best. I have been reading the Manga for some time now and have been really enjoying it. I was very happy to see that it was being turned into an anime. The main character has no reason to help people and every reason to see them all burn, but he proves himself better then that and grows in the eye of the common man. If you have been on the fence for isekai anime I would advise you check this one out. It is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.