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Naofumi Iwatani (In Japanese: 岩谷尚文, Iwatani Naofumi), often referred to as the Shield Hero (In Japanese: 盾の勇者, Tate no Yuusha) is the titular main protagonist of the light novel, manga and anime series The Rising of the Shield Hero. He also appears as a major supporting character in the second season of Isekai Quartet, a crossover anime featuring characters from the "Isekai" genre of anime.
Originally a layabout from Japan, Naofumi was transported to another world by the Church of the Three Heroes alongside three other Japanese men. These four Japanese men became the four legendary cardinal heroes, each wielding a legendary weapon.
Naofumi was given the Legendary Shield, becoming the latest Shield Hero. Unfortunately the possession of the Shield gave Naofumi a natural disadvantage, as he didn't have any means of offense. To make matters worse, the Church and part of the monarchy held a prejudice against the Shield Hero, and defamed him as a pariah to the kingdom.
He is voiced by Kaito Ishikawa in the Japanese version of the anime, and by Billy Kametz in the English version of the anime.
At first, Naofumi was a kind and trusting man. However after being framed and hated by the country, he grew bitter and resentful. He hates Malty and her father for their cruelty, and the other heroes for their incompetence.
After Raphtalia became his slave and joined his party, he began to go back to his kinder nature, albeit still somewhat bitter.
Powers & Abilities
Legendary Shield: As the Shield Hero, He wields the Legendary Shield which can adsorb materials, store items, and gives him great defensive power.
- Air Strike Shield: Creates a Shield-shaped barrier. Can be thrown at opponents or be used as a platform. Can create two.
- Shield Prison: Used to trap opponents.
Merchant Skills: Due to the country hating him, he had to make money on his own. He became a merchant to do so, allowing him to learn many skills from haggling to negotiating.
Crafting: After becoming a merchant, he learned how to craft things, from Potions to Accessories.
Healing and Support Magic: As the Shield Hero, he has a natural talent for healing and support magic.
- First Heal: A basic healing spell.
- First Guard: A basic defense boost spell.
- Hate Reaction: Causes monster to chase and attack him.
Shield of Wrath: A shield created from Naofumi's anger. When he uses this shield he can counter enemy attacks with a evil flame that create burns that put enemies in weakened state. However it corrupts Naofumi's mind when he uses it.
- Naofumiìs English voice actor, Billy Kametz, also voiced Josuke Higashikata in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Metal Lee in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, and Kyouya Mitsurugi in KonoSuba: God's Blessing on this Wonderful World!.
- Naofumi has similarity of his Arifureta counterpart, Hajime Nagumo:
- They were once weak-willed from the start.
- They become the strongest when the journey has began (Although Hajime strength is stronger than Naofumi in the Anime and Naofumi is stronger than Hajime in the Web Novel).
- They were betrayed but survived from their supposedly death.
- They became killers to kill anyone who gets in their ways or harming his comrades.
- They defeated their abusers (Naofumi defeated Motoyasu before he redeemed himself, while Hajime killed Hiyama).
- They killed their tormentors (Naofumi burned Malty alive and Hajime fed Daisuke Hiyama to monsters).
- They were originally from Japan before they were summoned by the "gods".
- They have a lot of lovers from their own harems.
- They are leaders of their own parties.
- They are arch-enemies to the fake gods.
Naofumi also shares some similarities with The Count of Monte Cristo
- At first they appear to have an ideal life, e.g. Edmond is a future captain and he is betrothed to the beautiful Mercedes, and Naofumi having peaceful life as an otaku.
- Their life changed entirely when they were punished for their crimes that they did not commit.
- Both of them treated their female slaves like their own daughters.
- But their slaves loved them as much as a woman loves a man. (Haydeé fell for Edmond and desires to be seen as a lover not a daughter, Raphtalia also fell for Naofumi and she desires to be with Naofumi)
- They were deserted by the first woman they met. (Malty was the first woman who approached Naofumi in Melromac and then she betrayed him, meanwhile Mercedes was the first woman who is betrothed to him and she ended up with another man.)
- Naofumi and Edmond started out as a naive person, however their personality changed drastically due to the betrayal.
- Naofumi and the Count were betrayed by their "allies".
- Naofumi and the Count has rage issues that they have difficulty to distinguish between those who have wronged him and the innocent bystanders.