Yes, the Shield Hero might have to say goodbye to his friends someday. The door of Naofumi Iwatani returning to his world is still wide open. Hence, fans want to know if Naofumi wishes to go back to his world after defeating the waves. If yes, when?
Will the summoned hero go back to his world? This is the question that is most asked by fans in almost every isekai anime. Of course, everybody is eager to have answers. The Rising of the Shield Hero is one of the hottest isekai anime right now, alongside That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, Overlord, No Game No Life, and more. So there is no question as to why people are still causing a fuss about whether he will return to Japan someday.
Naofumi is one of the summoned Cardinal Heroes in the parallel world. Not like most isekai series, Naofumi didn’t die before being summoned. He happened to encounter a book about the four legendary weapons and was forcefully called up to be a Holy Hero. But before becoming the Legendary Shield Hero, Naofumi first considered himself as someone who is unrefined and inexperienced.
Who is Naofumi Iwatani?
Before becoming the formidable Shield Hero, Naofumi Iwatani was just an average twenty years old man from Japan. He was practically a jobless geeky university sophomore who saved his younger brother from the thug life. Hence, Naofumi’s parents let him live the geeky life he wanted and offered him the allowance that he needs.
Like an average young adult, Naofumi often visits the library to find some good read-light novels. Cluelessly, turning the book page by page, he suddenly got summoned to the Kingdom of Melromac together with the other heroes.
Compared to his fellow Cardinal Heroes, Naofumi admittedly said that he is still inexperienced and unrefined with regard to being a summoned hero. His easily trusting personality led him to fall into the mischievous hands of the Princess of Melromac, Myne Sophia, and the King of Melromac. The terrible situation they put him through made him express his desire to go back to his world. But, his request is only possible when all four heroes have perished.
Therefore, Naofumi then turned his back on everyone and decided to start his journey to becoming strong in order to beat the waves himself. In the first episodes of The Rising of the Shield Hero, this was his only goal. To beat the waves, and go back to his world.
However, meeting people, such as Raphtalia, Filo, and Melty, showed him that he can trust others again despite what happened. The question now is did he alter his plans after meeting them?
Did Naofumi’s Plan Change?
To tell you the truth, Yes. Naofumi hasn’t expressed his plans to stay in Raphtalia’s world not until the final episode of season one. I know that numerous fans out there have divided opinions on whether they want him to stay or not. In episode twenty-five of season one, Naofumi made Raphtalia cry by mentioning that he might one day be gone.
After fighting during the Waves of Calamity, Naofumi went to the Queen and requested for his own base. As a reward for all of his good deeds and for ending the evil reign of the Pope, the Queen of Melromac made Naofumi the new Lord of Raphtalia’s ruined village.
Together with the demi-humans and other characters who have impacted Naofumi’s life as the Shield Hero they rebuild his domain. This gesture of Naofumi was meant to make Raphtalia happy, which she did feel.
However, rebuilding the village, making it a symbol of resistance against the waves, and training stronger troops made Raphtalia feel that his Master was preparing them for when he will be gone. She cried and beg for his master to never leave, and stay in their world forever even after the waves, which he didn’t refuse.
Naofumi is no longer the inexperienced hero he once was. Through his first companion, Raphtalia, and those he met after, he had found a reason to fight the waves, and be stronger. He admitted that before being summoned, he was lost in his own life.
But because of his friends, he had found his purpose as one of the Legendary Heroes. Naofumi reassured Raphtalia that their newly rebuilt village, Seyaette Domain, the autonomous demi-human domain will always be the place they will come home to.
SPOILER WARNING: This part of the article will contain information about the web novel and light novel of the series. Read at your own risk.
This shows that his plans have changed. From desperately wanting to go back to his world to promising to stay for his friends. Naofumi Iwatani has indeed changed a lot, but for the better of course. However, the door is not closed for Naofumi to go back someday as he will be given the options after defeating the waves.
When Will Naofumi go Back to his world?
Though Naofumi has become fond of his role as the Shield Hero. The chances of him leaving the isekai world are still high. Naofumi didn’t get summoned after losing his life like being hit by the famous truck-kun, if you know you know. Thus, he may still go back to his world and live his life as the typical university boy together with his family.
The anime adaption and original manga of The Rising of the Shield Hero is still a work in progress. For the information of anime-only fans, The Rising of the Shield Hero is actually based on the light novel that is also created by the brilliant mind of Aneko Yusagi. On the other hand, the web novel is simply considered as the rough draft of the former. Yusagi even revealed the light and web versions of the series are two different works.
Read More: What is Naofumi’s Strongest Shield?
Hence, the plot of Naofumi’s story differs greatly from each novel. In the web novel, Naofumi got the best of both worlds. He was able to create a version of himself who married Raphtalia. A version who attained immortal Godhood and eventually became a man who practiced concubinage. Crazy, right?
On one hand, Naofumi was given three options by the Queen of Melromac in the light novel. The first one is to have someone from the parallel world to accompany him in his return to his world. The second is to have the freedom to go back and forth in Raphtalia’s world and visit his friends. Lastly, if he chooses to stay he will attain the title of King and a respected hero.
Many shield hero fans have shown appreciation for the light novel. This is because it gives a more detailed plot, compared to the manga or anime. But since the franchise is basically still ongoing, we will never know how it will actually end.
Whether he will return or not is still an unanswered question. However, what we can reassure you is the ‘can‘ part. Yes, Naofumi can return to his world we just don’t know when or how.
As many of you may already be aware, neither anime nor manga may not entirely adapt the plot of the light novel for they may freely change the course of the story. But if you want to get ahead of everyone and experience a more detailed version of Shield Hero’s story, the light novel is highly recommended for you.