The Rising of the Shield Hero is a Japanese light novel series created by Aneko Yusgai. The first volume follows Naofumi Iwatani’s journey after he is teleported to another world. In this universe, the video games he played are a reality, and he is referred to as a hero. Kurt Kanazawa narrates the adventurous story of Naofumi making us see how he fares in a new world. The audiobook is produced by One Peace Books and it is 6 hours and 53 minutes long consisting of 23 Chapters + 2 extra stories. Let me tell you, it’s a roller coaster ride.
The Rising of Shield Hero audiobook volume 1 is on Amazon, Apple Books, Audible, NOOK Audiobooks, and Spotify.
Naofumi Iwatani likes playing games and reading mangas. One day while reading a story he suddenly finds himself in a different world along with three other people. He discovers that they were all sent to this new world to fulfil a prophecy. They are the only ones who can save the people of that world from an impending disaster. Each one of them has one legendary weapon, Naofumi gets the shield. In comparison to the other heroes’ weapons of spear, bow, and sword, Naofumi’s shield is mocked by everyone.
The heroes are expected to level up like the characters in a video game. Unfortunately, Naofumi is betrayed in the most heinous way possible, putting him in a bad position. Trying to navigate through the hostility of the people, He embarks on a quest to find trusted allies who can help him in his mission.
The story is about Naofumi Iwatani’s journey into the unknown. He takes on the role of the shield hero. What begins as a great and engaging experience for him as a hero quickly turns into a horrific situation for him. Naofumi wants to believe the best in people, despite the circumstances he is in. He isn’t one to give up easily and is the underdog we are rooting for in this story.
Motoyasu is a spear-wielding hero. He’s the bane of Naofumi’s existence. With his condensing words directed at Naofumi, he simply comes across as annoying. However, in one of the bonus chapters, we learn more about him than we do from Naofumi’s viewpoint. That kind of puts certain things in perspective when it comes to his personality.
Ren is a sword-wielding hero and is the youngest of the heroes. Yet he appears to have a better understanding of how things function in the world they are in when it comes to levelling up. Ren is all about winning and playing the game. With his “to each their own” attitude and a sense of justice, he might just surprise you at the end.
Itsuki is the bow hero. He also is in cahoots with other heroes when it comes to looking down on Naofumi for being a Shield Hero. To him, the glory that comes with being a hero is important. He has more of a rapport with Ren and Motoyasu. It feels like he is more about flocking to the majority kind of a character.
Kurt Kanazawa does a great job of giving life to the characters through his voice. The personality of the characters shines through the audio. The audiobook consists of Opening and ending credits, Twenty Three Chapters with an epilogue, and two bonus chapters that give you an amusing glimpse into one of the heroes. Throughout the novel, we are introduced to several characters, and the narration is powerful enough that you can distinguish the characters and figure out who is speaking. One thing to keep in mind is that the female characters speak in a high-pitched tone, which took some getting accustomed to. I had problems listening to it at first, but it was not uncomfortable once I became involved in the plot.
When we read a novel, we are usually drawn into the story, but the dialogues and words spoken in our heads are always in our voices. With an audiobook, you may listen to the entire story, including all of the content, as well as all aspects of the character and scenario, with the added benefit of hearing the story via the character’s voice rather than your own. That is what distinguishes audiobooks, and The Rising of the Shield Hero Audiobook Volume 1 provides us with this sense of immersion.
The tone of the Characters
With the way Kurt sets the tone of the characters, he does an excellent job of making us understand what the characters are feeling. This is the Shield Hero Naofumi’s story, and he has to deal with a lot of difficult situations. One scenario in the final chapter particularly stood out to me. Naofumi’s character is lonely because of an unfair occurrence that happens at the beginning of the story. His actions and ideas are all guided by his ultimate aim. But, as a result of what happened, his voice has a hollowness to it. While listening to the final chapter of the audiobook, I noticed a shift in his character as a result of how things played out. He seemed to be letting go of a weighty sensation and finally feeling accomplished.
The characters’ emotions come through loud and clear in the audiobook. Even with the individuals, I didn’t like, there was an aura of haughtiness about them that allowed you to see right through their motives. The audiobook does a good job of conveying the individuals’ moods, which I found fascinating. This made the experience of listening to the story more enjoyable.
What makes this plot distinct from anime?
The first season of The Rising of the Shield Hero anime is already available. There are 25 episodes in the first season. Volume 1 comprises the first four episodes of the anime’s first season. In anime, we see all of the critical moments, while the story in audiobook takes us through the events that lead up to them. We go deeper into the personalities of the characters and learn more about their behaviours than what is on the surface. The Rising of the Shield Hero Audiobook Volume 1 is a great experience to get a sense of Naofumi’s journey and feel connected to his story.
Definitely give it a go! The Rising of the Shield Hero’s story is unique. Naofumi, despite being one of the heroes, is the underdog. He has never been given a chance from the beginning. Still, he perseveres in the face of adversity, and I admire his refusal to give up and wallow. He would rather let his inner fire burn and do everything he can to achieve his goal. The audiobook was entertaining, and the characters’ voices easily drew the listener into the plot. A positive experience that will leave you feeling good and happy for Naofumi in the end.
Read – Rising of the Shield Hero Audiobook To Be Released by One Peace Books
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