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This Article is based on the Official Translations of the Light Novel series!
The Light Novel series is the source material for the adaptation of the Anime and Manga series. The information and terminology on the article will be based on the source material rather than the adaptions.


I hoped the whole place burned to the ground, the whole damn world.

—Naofumi, Volume 1, Chapter 7

Naofumi Iwatani (岩谷尚文 Iwatani Naofumi?) is the protagonist of The Rising of the Shield Hero series. He was summoned to another world to serve as the Shield Hero (盾の勇者 Tate no Yuusha?), one of the Four Legendary Heroes.

Appearance

Naofumi has short black hair that spikes in all directions, sharp green eyes and he often wears a scowl on his face because of his cynical outlook towards the world. However, he does express gratitude from time to time.

The armor he primarily wears is Barbarian Armor +3, which has gone through numerous upgrades and transformations. Depending on the situation, he may switch to different sets of armor or clothing.

The weapon in his possession is the Legendary Shield, which was granted to him when he was summoned to another world.

Personality

Naofumi was initially an exceedingly trusting and positive person - excited about being summoned as a hero. However, his mentality abruptly changed after Malty S Melromarc, the princess of Melromarc, betrayed and framed him.

Being left near-penniless, falsely accused as a criminal, and hated by nearly everyone, Naofumi became extremely distrustful towards everyone and cynical about life. He could not trust anyone and started to assume that others were trying to get something from him. The result of the Princess's betrayal has left him in an almost permanent state of anger and hostility, which he masks behind a calm and level-headed personality. This mentality bites him back as he unknowingly pushes away genuine believers of the Shield Hero and Siltvelt envoys.

Fortunately, being a Shield Hero meant that Naofumi was essentially useless by himself which forced him to eventually seek help. He was convinced to get a slave - someone who could not betray him - so he eventually finds Raphtalia. Naofumi treats her deadly illness and teaches her to fight. After spending time with Raphtalia, and eventually Filo, Naofumi starts to heal mentally and trust his close companions. However, this is a long process and Naofumi is still unable to fully trust or be intimate with others. Unlocking the curse series weapon Shield of Wrath also placed a block on his psyche which prevented him from empathizing others around him.

After losing nearly everything, Naofumi deeply values what he has built up since being summoned. This is especially true of the relationships of those around him. Therefore, he is protective of people like Raphtalia. It is also shown several times that Naofumi is at his most vulnerable when he loses, he has left. This can be seen when Naofumi thought he had lost Raphtalia, after losing the Duel with Motoyasu. It is also seen during the time he traveled to Glass' World, Where he was separated from Raphtalia and the rest of his party. He was even willing to sacrifice his life to save others such as when they were battling against the Phoenix or Takt.

Naofumi is a pragmatist and is willing to take some unconventional measures to meet his goals. For example, after saving Rishia and Keel, he offers both of them to be his slave since the shield helps improves a persons growth and stats. Once becoming governor of the territory which includes Raphtalia's destroyed village, Lurolona Village, Naofumi purchases slaves to be villagers. He justifies this saying that this will give them a better life and that it will help them gain independence. Due to their good treatment and their respect of Naofumi, the children end up adoring him. At one point, Rishia wonders if Naofumi's commitment to the villagers make him their slave instead of the other way around.

Subconsciously Naofumi often feels himself unworthy of what he has and tries to deny certain things. This can be seen in his constant ignoring of Raphtalia's Romantic feelings due to feeling unworthy of her which he tries to deny. This also shows in his addiction to Raph-chan which in his own words he only likes so much due to its resemblance to Raphtalia herself. He often feels vulnerable about certain actions he takes which can be seen often when Raphtalia points out the absurdity of some of his actions. He has feelings for Raphtalia for many reasons including her being the light that brought him out of the darkness of his life. Where she became the hero in being the one person to stay by his side even after everyone despised him.

One of the biggest differences that Naofumi has from the other heroes is that he thinks of the consequences of his actions. Despite having the most villainous attitude, ironically, Naofumi is perhaps the most effective of the heroes at getting things done. He even corrects the problems that the other three heroes either start or make worse. Another aspect of Naofumi that sets him apart is that he is generally reasonable and willing to listen to others. He was convinced to stay in Melromarc after listening to the arguments of the queen. He also attempted to amend his relationship with the other heroes at Fitoria's request despite their mutual hatred. When Naofumi became loved and adored by the public while the three other Heroes became hated by the same people that use to admire them, he decide to take them under his wing.

Naofumi has a habit of giving people he meets nicknames. His reasons tend to be because they didn't tell him their name or because he hates them. In the latter case, he will give them extremely degrading nicknames such as referring to Malty as Bitch. For most people, he tends to nickname them base off of who or what they remind him of, sometimes add a number if he feels they act a lot like someone he knows. After Naofumi became the Mirror Vassal Hero of Glass' world, his friends note it suited him given how he always 'reflect' other people's treatment of him right back at them, insulting those whom insulted him first and helping those whom helped him..

Background

From an early age, animals have naturally been drawn towards him. He was well-liked by any animal he encountered and they would act friendlier towards him than most other people. When he was a kid, he was offered a ride by a dog in his local area even though the dog had never once given a ride to anyone. During his time in elementary school, he was never once pecked by the chickens who were notoriously known by his classmates to peck. As Naofumi grew up, he worked multiple jobs at once, including at an izakaya and food-court.[1]

At the age of twenty, he was a sophomore in college and had a passion for video games, light novels, anime, and other otaku-like activities. He would often put his hobbies in front of his actual studies, which caused his parents to believe he was a lost cause and focused all their attention on his younger brother by sending him to a famous prep-school in the hope to secure his future.

However, the pressure and the lack of freedom was too much for his younger brother. Worn out by the stress of studying and jealous of his older brother's freedom, he eventually turned into a troubled teen. He started dying his hair in different colors and even swore around the house.

Naofumi was painfully aware of the fact that he was the main reason why his younger brother turned into such a troublemaker. He took it upon himself to help mend his younger brother's relationship towards their family by introducing him to a dating simulator game. His younger brother was hesitant at first, but quickly got hooked and became an otaku himself.

Because his younger brother found a way to relieve his stress, he rededicated himself to his studies. Afterwards, he became the top of his class and even managed to get into a good high school.

One day, Naofumi went to the library to save money, where he found a book called The Record of the Four Holy Weapons. He immediately lost consciousness while reading it and found himself in another world.

Etymology

  • The name Naofumi means "esteem, furthermore, still, yet" (尚) (nao) and "sentence, writing" (文) (fumi).
  • Naofumi's surname Iwatani means "rock, boulder" (岩) (iwa) and "valley" (谷) (tani).

Trivia

  • Due to Billy Kametz's deteriorating health and eventual death from stage IV Colon Cancer in 2022, Stephen Fu took over the role of Naofumi in Season Two.
    • Stephen is the same Voice who played Anti/Gridknight from SSSS/Gridman and SSSS/Dynazenon.
  • Naofumi was summoned to another world through a book called 'The Record of the Four Holy Weapons'.
  • As the only hero to be their weapon's first choice, Naofumi is also the only hero among the Four Legendary Heroes who did not die prior to being summoned to Melromarc.[2]
  • Naofumi has an innate immunity to alcohol and motion sickness.[3]
  • Naofumi's favorite fruit is Rucolu Fruits, which are commonly used to make water barrels into alcohol. Additionally, his love for the fruit became so well-known, it's now used to confirm the Shield Hero's identity.
  • Naofumi, Raphtalia and Filo are featured characters in the second season of the cross-dimensional anime series "Isekai Quartet."
  • In Light novel 22, Naofumi asked Raphtalia to stop calling him Mr.Naofumi and instead started calling him just by his name. He watches as Raphtalia tries several times but is unable to drop it which leaves her extremely embarrassed. He then tells her that he hopes she can drop the honorific one day.
  • In light novel 22, During the following conversation Naofumi starts joking around what Raphtalia's name would be once they get married. He then jokingly refers to her as Raphtalia Heavenly Empress Iwatani. This interaction further makes Raphtalia even more embarrassed than she already was failing to drop the Mr. honorific Infront of Naofumi's name.

References

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