“Noroi no Tate” ( 呪いの盾)
Naofumi accidentally activated the Cursed Shield during his battle with Motoyasu this seems like it might be the first time we’ll explore what it actually is.
It isn’t just Motoyasu’s mistakes that Naofumi is now cleaning up after. Whilst thinking this world is a game Ren leaves his dead dragon on a mountain to rot away and leaves a horrible plague cursing a village close by.
A few things in this episode kind of just mirrored what I’ve said a lot. Naofumi announces that Ren just didn’t think because he see’s the world as a game and we all know that foes disappear after we defeat them in games whilst Raphtalia points out to Naofumi that he runs to help those in need but then asks for stupid amounts of money and leaves a bad taste in their mouth at first looking greedy on purpose so that they will dislike him. It is nice to have these things kind of reinforced in the actual narrative.
For example if the burying of the Dragon had gone well I don’t think Naofumi would have taken the money he asked for, he’d ask for material things he could sell on or use but because of what happened in the episode he kind of had to take the money.
So what did happen?
Well he lost himself to the Curse Shield and ended up cursing Raphtalia who did her best to bring him back.
It is a simple part of the Shield that when he is filled with negative emotions and kind of loses himself to them then he calls upon the Curse Shield which consumes him slowly. The focus of pretty much all the negativity is Malty even though it was the Dragon eating Filo that set him off, she’s the one that set him on this path and the constant road block he has to deal with so it is her face laughing at him that he see’s as he loses himself to the Rage buried deep inside of him.
Of course it is Raphtalia’s voice that brings him back and it seems anyone that comes into contact with him will be cursed as well, it leaves Raphtalia a little more bruised and battered then she should be after a fight with a zombie Dragon but it also doesn’t seem to be something that is that dangerous seeing all they need is some pure Holy water to sort her out.
I don’t think the episode made it clear enough just how important both Filo and Raphtalia are to Naofumi, there was a moment with the nurse telling Raphtalia how important she was to Naofumi in that cheeky “he likes you” kind of way but he was set off not just because of the Dragon poisoning them and him realising he couldn’t keep fighting and putting her in danger but because the bloody giant brute ate Filo. She might have pecked her way out but the episode tried very hard to show this father like love for the two kids under his control whilst also putting in that “I love you” shit from Raphtalia and it kind of, even though it was trying to show it, pushed Filo out a bit again.
That is the one thing I don’t like.
It becomes so wrapped up in Raphtalia and Naofumi because of course she was there first that even when something is about Filo she kind of gets pushed out and honestly right now just feels like the pet of the group instead of part of it. Even after the lovely ending with Naofumi telling them they’ll get stronger together every day the way it presented itself made it feel like Raphtalia and Naofumi were talking together and Filo was just there and added herself into the conversation too. It isn’t what was happening but that is the overall feeling because they are working so hard on getting over that Raphtalia helps Naofumi and is in love with him when he’s actually just fond of them in the same way someone is fond of their kids.
The one downfall of the series to be honest.