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Ren Amaki (In Japanese: 天木錬, Amaki Ren), commonly referred to as the Sword Hero (In Japanese: 剣の勇者, Ken no Yuusha), is an anti-heroic antagonist-turned-major supporting character in the light novel, manga and anime series The Rising of the Shield Hero. He acts as the main antagonist of the eleventh volume of the light novel. Amaki also appears in the spin-off series The Reprise of the Spear Hero, which is based in an alternate timeline.
Ren was originally a 16-year-old high school student from an alternate version of Japan. This Japan was a lot more technologically advanced then the average version, where every game was virtual reality. One day, Ren and his best friend were assaulted by a serial murderer. Ren died saving his best friend, and the murderer was apprehended.
He soon woke up in a fantasy world. Amaki had been summoned alongside three other Japanese men from different versions of Japan to save the world from the Waves of Calamity. These four men (including Amaki) received a Legendary weapon each, becoming the Four Legendary Heroes who were destined to protect the fantasy world. Ren was given the Legendary Sword, making him the Sword Hero.
He is voiced by Yoshitsugu Matsuoka in the Japanese version of the anime, and by Alan Lee in the English version of the anime.
Ren is a sixteen year old teenager of Japanese ethnicity who stands at 5'2". He has blue eyes and black hair, befitting the image of a contemporary isekai protagonist, something Naofumi mentally made note of. According to Naofumi, Amaki is somewhat handsome and androgynous.
Ren always dresses in black or some other dark color. His basic adventuring gear consists of navy blue trousers, a white and black overcoat, a navy blue scarf, and black gloves. As protection, Amaki adorns a black chestplate, black shin guards, and a spiked black pauldron on his right shoulder.
Amaki is very anti-social, preferring to work alone in most situations. He treats his party more like a resource than trusted colleagues, only requesting their help when up against an opponent he can't defeat. He originally treated the fantasy world like some kind of video game, not taking any of the stakes completely seriously. That being said, Ren was able to understand the consequences of his actions after the zombie dragon he killed caused a plague.
Before his infection by the Curse Series, Ren was less inclined then Itsuki and Motoyasu to treat the Shield Hero with contempt. He stood up for Naofumi when Motoyasu and Malty tried to secure the release of Raphtalia through cheating.
- Ren Amaki shares several similarities with Kirito from the Sword Art Online series:
- Both predominately wear black and have black hair.
- Both originally preferred to work alone until accepting their friends.
- Both wield swords as their preferred weapons and have nicknames based off of their use of swords (Sword Hero for Amaki, Black Swordsman for Kirito).
- Both come from technologically advanced versions of Japan where virtual reality games are the norm.
- Both characters are voiced by Yoshitsugu Matsuoka in Japanese.