Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari Ep. 4: Stupidity reigns again

So there’s a big party at the castle to celebrate the fact that they managed the survive the previous Wave. Naofumi tells us that he’s only in attendance because there’s a big fat reward. I’m surprised they even bothered to give him one considering how he was busy defending a village instead of defeating the boss. Well, even though Spear Jerk has a bevy of human girls drooling over his pole, the guy just can’t ignore Raphtalia. As a result, he challenges Naofumi to a duel. If he wins, the raccoon girl is freed from slavery. If our hero wins, then… things remain as they are, I guess.

Look, he’s not wrong. The problem is that he’s disingenuous. The problem is that Spear Jerk just wants to stick his spear into Raphtalia. And y’know, that’s my biggest problem with this show. Go ahead and defend a controversial opinion if you want, but at least do it in good faith.

Needless to say, Naofumi’s stance is terrible. People are going to keep bringing up the fact that he’s traumatized. Everything’s stacked against him, and it’s just not fair. The latter is true, but I’ll get to it in a bit. The first argument, however, is just weak. Hardships might make you a meaner person. Hardships might make you rude and uncaring. Hell, maybe you’ll even resort to petty crime like stealing. But it shouldn’t turn you into a slave owner. For instance, I’m not going to kill people just because I’m traumatized. That’s not a good excuse. I’m not going to go out and rape people because I’m traumatized. Likewise, I’m not going to go deny a person of their goddamn freedom just because I’m traumatized. There are some lines you shouldn’t cross, and you’d think that enslaving people would be one of them! I think it’s hilarious how this show acts as though being accused of rape is oh my god so bad but then turns around and has the main character casually say, “Hey, when in Rome…”

More bullshit follows as now the king jumps in to gang up on Naofumi. It’s your country. Clearly, he’s not actually outraged by Naofumi owning a slave, because his country allows slavery to exist. Again, I can’t help but feel that the show is being disingenuous. Arguing against slavery should be a slam dunk. It should be! But unfortunately, you have the egotistical Spear Jerk and this shithead of a king on your team, so you instantly lose any credibility. It’s like having Pol Pot proclaiming that murder and rape are bad.

Anyways, Naofumi would obviously be stupid to agree to a duel, but the king literally orders him to participate. Why? Beats me. I guess they just want to humiliate him. There is literally nothing to gain from this. If they wanted to free Raphtalia, they would’ve just done so. Again, he’s the king. He can force Naofumi to duel, so he can also just cut the bullshit and free Raphtalia right from the start. I repeat, there is literally nothing to be gained from this. They literally hate the Shield Hero, but they won’t imprison him because they need him. But they’ll still try and strip him of his one party member? It makes no sense. As a result, I have no choice but to conclude that this entire stupid scenario is just cooked up by the author in order to garner sympathy for his slave owning main character. Duuuurrrrr, slave owning is bad, but gee, what if you’re stuck in this absolutely ludicrous situation that defies all logic!?!? CHECKMATE IDIOTS

So the duel commences, and… the irresistible what?

They even gag Raphtalia. Clearly, they care about freeing her.

So um, does our hero just carry those balloons on him all day? Is he just a masochist? What does he do when he goes to bed? Does he still keep them on him?

Despite being reluctant to fight Spear Jerk because he technically doesn’t have any offensive capabilities, Naofumi is actually winning this duel thanks to all the new skills he’s acquired. On the other hand, Spear Jerk is just a one-dimensional DPS. It doesn’t look like he can do anything but straight damage.

But of course, the spectators in attendance (all nobles) are full of idiots. We haven’t crafted a living, breathing world full of plausible characters. This is all designed just to get the audience mad and thus on Naofumi’s side. It’s so dumb… but it does speak to a certain strange desire that we all entertain from time to time. It’s like when people fantasize about being cheated on just so they can confront their unfaithful partner and go, “Fuck you; I don’t need you!” Do people actually want to be cheated on? No, but there’s an allure to the idea of picking yourself up after you’ve been trampled upon. You can’t show your indomitable will and resiliency if everything in your life is going swimmingly. Something has to go bad in order for you to prove that nothing can keep you down.

The problem is that Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari has gone to such extremes just to craft this sort of narrative. Poor Naofumi has been summoned against his will to defend a world in which he doesn’t belong. Poor Naofumi has been forced to wield a shield and only a shield, so he can’t fight back. Poor Naofumi has been accused of rape, which we all know is the worst thing that a man can be accused of!!!!! Poor Naofumi has no friends so he has to resort to buying a slave. Poor Naofumi is hated upon by every single person (except for the weapons and armor merchant because boy would it be hard to play this RPG without equipment!). Poor Naofumi is now being humiliated in front of everyone. Any one of these things would’ve been fine by themselves, but when you package them together, it’s just pathetically transparent what the narrative is trying to achieve.

Well, Naofumi was winning up until Myne (but also Malty?) decided to interfere.

This then allows Spear Jerk to take our hero out with one move.

Naturally, everyone (well, almost everyone) ignores the fact that Myne cheated to help her hero. The entire stadium must have hundreds in attendance, but they all collectively agree turn a blind eye to the injustice before them. Again, slavery is obviously bad, but it doesn’t help when you have the wrong person arguing your case.

It’s amusing how much the internet absolutely hates Myne. There is nothing that internet males seem to fear more than being falsely accused of rape. As for a slavery… well, when in Rome as they say!

It is then revealed that Myne is actually a princess. Does this matter to me? Not really. But it does help Naofumi come to the conclusion that the king and his daughter has been conspiring to dick him over since the day he was summoned to this world. Why? Shrug. I don’t see any real gain from this considering how they need all four heroes to stop the Waves. Yeah, they get Spear Jerk to like them, but what does that accomplish?

Also, from Naofumi’s warped perspective, Raphtalia has never grown up. She has never discarded her slave rags. That’s fucked up in so many ways, but nevertheless, the story wants us to feel sorry for the guy.

He tries to discard his shield, but it just magically reappears on his arm. Then we see this screen for whatever reason. Maybe it’ll become relevant later. Whatever.

So raccoon girl is finally free, but she’s not happy about it. She tells them off for freeing her. She also defends Naofumi. It’s funny ’cause she’s just not very good at it.

Um…

…yeeeeeeeeeeah…

…she then argues that if Spear Jerk really wanted to save a poor, little slave girl like her, he would’ve had to become a slave owner too. Um, no. You could just buy a slave and then free them immediately. Plus, Raphtalia’s situation is complicated. You can’t just say that Naofumi has treated her well. It’s not that simple. I don’t want to go and retype my entire argument from episode two, though.

Finally, the other two heroes decide to speak up. They’re actually not complete idiots. They actually call Myne out for cheating. Hell, they even call the king out. Of course, I doubt that this will actually amount to anything. All that it’ll accomplish is to finally bring an end to this dumb “debate.”

Since she no longer has to deal with Spear Jerk, Raphtalia is now trying to cheer her shitty slave-owning master up. Unfortunately, he accuses her of betraying him when she’s done no such thing. B-b-but it’s his trauma, you guys!

Nevertheless, she sticks with him anyways. Even when he admits that he only saw her as a tool, in her eyes, the ends justify the means. Finally, he sees her for what she truly is… which is apparently a grown woman now. We are told that humans discriminate against demi-humans because they mature by gaining experience. I don’t even know how to respond to that. How does that even make sense? Ugh, I hate you because your age is tied to your levels! Huh? And can you just keep someone perpetually a child by depriving them of experience?

Yeah, you’re not wrong. You’re just the wrong person to make that point.

Last but not least, Naofumi can taste his food again. Nothing like the undying loyalty of your waifu to cure you right back up! Y’know, the waifu that you bought as a slave child and subsequently threatened to abandon when she was too traumatized to fight (how come her trauma doesn’t matter?), so she had no choice but to see you as her lord and savior lest yet another parental figure abandons her again. Yeah, that waifu!

The only good thing to come out of this is that maybe we can finally put the whole false rape accusation and slave arc behind us. Raphtalia’s no longer a slave, and Naofumi is supposedly cured of his trauma. Can we finally move on and introduce some characters that aren’t complete shitheads?

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17 Replies to “Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari Ep. 4: Stupidity reigns again”

  1. I’m glad this slave thing has been wrapped up. To me, the attitudes of the Spear hero were the same moral grandstanding that many initially viewed this series in. You can like this series or not, you can be against the slavery angle (which is fair) but kneecapping it before it had its full say was foolish in my view.

  2. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a piece of media try to garner so much sympathy for a child slave owner and have the antagonist you’re supposed to hate be the one to say owning slaves is bad. It’s trying so desperately to make you hate everyone but the protag and his child slave(likely works for the fans) that it would not allow another character to be against the idea of slavery without unsavory motives to make the protag look better. A lot of isekai have protags at the center of the world and have the plot and characters bend over backwards to praise them but using it for a “but he’s a GOOD slave owner” plot looks worse than usual for these stories.

  3. As a reader from the WN, I think the studio has made a pretty good job adapting it. Although it carries on a lot of problems from the original work, that you noticed in your reviews (and it’ll be more and more).

    Naofumi himself doesn’t see himself as a good guy, you can notice it when he said Raphtalia he only saw her as a tool; also he is a slave owner.

    Even with all these bad points, I think it’s a good series at this point.

    I hope you continue reviewing this series, I enjoy your thoughts about it, thank you for your time.

  4. Well, Spear Hero’s motives for fighting Naofumi are made somewhat more clear in the manga. He wants to add Raphtalia to his party. The reason he fights Naofumi is to show Raphtalia that she will be better off and safer with him in order to join his all-female team. He doesn’t want to “stick his spear inside Raphtalia”, he wants a cute mascot member. It’s still selfish and douchey, and he is treating Raphtalia like a prize rather than a person, but at least it’s not sexual -he is an item with Myne at this point and he is *completely* loyal to her.

    Speaking of Myne, the author once said in an interview that she was based on a real person he/she knew. Given how much she is villified in the story, and her eventual fate in the Web Novels, I can safely assume that this person must have *really* pissed him/her off.

      1. Nah, don’t worry mate, I know and I had a good chuckle with that line. I enjoy reading your reviews because you hit the right points. As a guy who has read both the Web Novel and the manga (liked the manga, the web novels so so), I keep coming back here, because it’s refreshing to read the take of somebody who isn’t normally into this sort of thing blast the story and points the stupidity of some of the plot points.

        That’s the problem with online comments I guess. Because you can’t see the expression of the person who is writing them, sometimes it comes off more serious and “call-out-like” than intended.

  5. It’s just ugh… to see so many slavery apologists come out of the woodwork because of this anime. To think I would see criticizing slavery is deemed nothing more than holier-than-thou attitude. The defensiveness of some people is just appalling. It’s one thing to like problematic stuff. It’s completely different to like it while justifying its problematic part. I like a number of problematic stuff, but I don’t feel the need to defend and justify its problems.

    1. The anti-SJWs killed the anime community. They were allways immature brats, now they are borderline schizos.
      Go to myanimelist, literally just pontificating how problematic slavery is and how contrived this show get’s in creating a situation to excuse it will get you a lot of “kill yourself, commie bitch” in both the thread you posted, and in your profile.

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