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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.


Please believe me. I believe, I know you never committed any crime. You gave me medicine, saved my life and taught me what I needed to survive. You are the great Shield Hero, and I am your sword. No matter how rough the path, I will follow you.

Raphtalia to Naofumi Iwatani in Volume 01, Chapter 23

Raphtalia (ラフタリア Rafutaria?) is the main heroine and Deuteragonist of The Rising of the Shield Hero series.

She is the first real companion of the Shield Hero Naofumi Iwatani. Although she was originally bought as a slave, she was never treated badly and the two forged a strong bond.

She later travels to another world and obtains the Vassal Katana, becoming the Katana Hero (刀の勇者 Katana no Yuusha?). Additionally, she becomes the Heavenly Emperor of Q'ten Lo after overthrowing the previous emperor.

Appearance

Raphtalia is a young girl with long brown hair and reddish eyes. Being a demi-human with racoon and tanuki ancestry, she has fluffy red tanuki ears and a bushy tail. She takes after her father in having a lean build but has built some muscle from the demanding life of an adventurer.[20]

Over time, Raphtalia's appearance has changed significantly. When she was first introduced, she was a young sickly child dressed in rags with an unkempt appearance. However, after she met Shield Hero Naofumi, he was able to bring her back to health and give her a suitable set of clothes for adventuring. After several weeks adventuring with Naofumi, Raphtalia started increasing her level. Being a demi-human, this accelerated her aging until she was a young adult. During this time Raphtalia switched her knife for a sword and donned a leather breastplate.[21]

Upon traveling to Glass' World, Raphalia reverted to being a child of around 10 years old until she had leveled-up sufficiently. While she was escaping from enemy territory, she was selected as the wielder of the Vassal Katana and given a Miko outfit. The Vassal Katana removes the slave crest she had on her chest up to this point. Now she remains an adult when traveling between the two worlds.

Personality

When she is first introduced, Raphtalia is initially very shy, sickly child who was fearful for her life. Her village and family were just recently destroyed by the waves, she was captured by slave hunters and sold to a wicked noble. When she got deathly sick, she was sold off and expected to die. This left her in a very vulnerable state of health and mind which was actively worse by her constant nightmares at night. By the time she was bought by Naofumi, she was losing hope in the future.

Fortunately, Naofumi turned out to be a kind master who took care of Raphtalia. He treated her sickness, fed and sheltered her despite his own misfortune. His unexpected good treatment of Raphtalia allowed her to heal and gain hope in the future. Eventually, she was forced to face her trauma when they encountered the Two-Headed Dog which reminded Raphtalia of the Cerberus that killed her parents. Raphtalia was frightened stiff. With Naofumi's help, Raphtalia was able to overcome her deep-rooted trauma and slay the beast.[22] From then on, she swore to stay by the Shield Hero's side and be his sword - preventing others from experiencing the tragedy she had faced.

After a long time adventuring with Naofumi, Raphtalia got separated from him for the first time when they traveled to Glass' World. Kyo had set a trap and Raphtalia was forced to escape a specialty prison with heroes from another world. While Raphtalia was worried about Naofumi and being separated from him, she showed a great deal of growth and independence as she led the prison break by herself. She became the Vassal Katana wielder which permanently removed her slave crest. Raphtalia worried about losing her slave crest since it was a symbol of her connection to Naofumi but upon reuniting, it became clear that it was no longer needed. Upon returning to her world, Raphtalia's decisiveness and connection with Naofumi grew. Upon being targeted for assassination by her home nation Q'ten Lo, Raphtalia fights back for her own sake. She also eventually becomes the reluctant leader of that nation. Finally, after being ambushed by Takt, Raphtalia decided to stay behind to let her friends, and the critically injured Naofumi, to escape to safety.

Despite her mistreatment in the past, Raphtalia is a kind and compassionate person. When Naofumi has been at his lowest points, such as his duel against Motoyasu, Raphtalia has been there to comfort him. She is also willing to put herself in danger to protect those she cares about, such as when she's gotten burned by the shield of wrath to prevent Naofumi from losing himself. When her village gets rebuilt, she takes on a "big sister" role to the villager children: being a role model and taking care of them, but also reprimanding them when they do something wrong. Raphtalia has even been shown to protect those who have mistreated her, such as warning her bullies before Naofumi enacts punishment[23] or saving Riyute Village when their nation enslaved her in the first place.

Ostensibly, Raphtalia doesn't outwardly care for romance and being girly, but this comes from her desire to support Naofumi. At the beginning, he believed that such things should wait until after the waves. As a result, Raphtalia started to instead focus on efficiently and improving in combat though extensive training. Tragically, Raphtalia does harbour romantic feelings for Naofumi but has decided to wait out of respect for him. Raphtalia's close friends have repeated encouraged her to try bolder steps to get his attention. At first, Naofumi felt himself unworthy of such relations but this has begun to change as he has begun to heal from his own trauma.

At times Raphtalia feels disappointed by Naofumi's actions and wishes for him to be the hero she knows he is. She wants him to stop pretending to be the villain and be more straightforward about his motives. For example, she is disappointed that he did not remove his villagers' slave crests upon purchasing them from the slave trader. She often objects when Naofumi does something distasteful, such as acting cruelly towards his enemies or creating the Chivalrous Thief Guild. Finally, Raphtalia is disappointed and slightly disturbed in Naofumi's creation of Raph-chan and the Raph species which he created using her hair. She finds that the creature is based off her unsettling and is jealous is the abundant affection Naofumi gives towards them. She feels that he can sometimes be a bad influence and is worried about people like Ruft taking after his undesirable behaviour.

Background

Until the age of 10, Raphtalia lived in a small coastal village outside of Melromarc, where everyone lived in harmony until the first wave of calamity attacked. During the attack, Raphtalia and her parents fled from their home, but considering they could only dive into the sea to escape the monsters, Raphtalia's parents made the ultimate sacrifice. Her parents pushed her off a nearby cliff as the wave approached them and she watched as her parents were engulfed by the Cerberus. Raphtalia survived the fall and went back to find her parents, but was unsuccessful. Shortly thereafter, a group of Melromarc Knights came to her village and killed all the adult survivors. They captured all the young ones and sold them to the slave hunters for money.

She and many of her friends ended up being purchased by Idol Rabier, who pleasured himself by torturing the innocent demi-humans. Raphtalia suffered and witnessed her best friend die, which caused her to have a mental breakdown and left her traumatized. Afterwards, she was sold multiple times until she ended up with the slave dealer in Melromarc. Alone and sickly, she was picked up by a slave merchant and put up for sale in the capital of Melromarc. Raphtalia was at the slave traders for weeks until she was purchased by Naofumi Iwatani, at which point her life would be changed forever.

Trivia

  • Her bond towards the Shield Hero has reached a point where she can often tell what exactly he is thinking with just his facial expressions. She often points it out and scolds him when he thinks of something very unreasonable.
  • Raphtalia has a strong dislike for the Raph species, she finds it strange for a monster to be based on her genes.
  • In the Anime Raphtalia is portrayed as far more naive than in the light novel. A well know example is the scene where Raphtalia thinks kissing Naofumi would get her pregnant.
  • In the anime the otherworld arc is dramatically changed. For in the Light Novel Raphtalia is transported alongside Glass, L’arc and Therese instead of Naofumi’s group. This means she is not originally present for the beginning of the arc.
  • Raphtalia’s POV from when she is separated from Naofumi is also exclusive to the Manga and Anime while it was not in the Light novel.
  • The character who helps Raphtaia and gives her a Miko outfit in the Anime is completely original as she does not show up in the Light Novels. Instead I the outfit was chosen by L’arc.
  • The whole reunion between Naofumi and Raphtalia is very different between the Anime compared to the light novel. In the Anime we see Naofumi find and protect her after she defeated Trash 2. While in the Light novel we see her, Glass, L’arc and, Therese meet up with Naofumi, Kizuna, Rishia, Filo, and Raph-Chan in a very emotional scene. Before the fight with trash 2 and his harem, army and divine beast clones.
  • In the anime there was a lot more buildup to the battle with Trash 2 and his harem When compared to the Light Novel. The Light Novel itself had little to no buildup to the fight as we followed Naofumi’s view instead as Raphtalia’s POV is absent from it.
  • The whole fight with Trash 2 played out out completely differently between each source. For In the Light novel It is a group battle between Trash 2 alongside his Harem with his Divine beast copies Fighting the combination of Raphtalia’s and Naofumi’s group. While in the Anime it’s a single battle where Raphtalia fights Trash 2 on her alone.
  • In the Light novel Trash 2 dies to Raphtalia due to his own pride and ego when he does not heed Raphtalia’s warning to not move. While in the anime he does not move which spares ends up sparing his own life.
  • In Light novel 22 When Naofumi asks her to stop calling him Mr.Naofumi and instead call him by his name alone. Raphtalia tries to do it but she is unable to do it an gets extremely embarrassed. Naofumi then says that she can one day drop the Mr prefix.
  • In light novel 22 Naofumi teases Raphtalia about what he should call her once they get married. The joke name is Raphtalia Heavenly Empress Iwatani. This interaction makes Raphtalia extremely embarrassed and unable to speak properly for a moment.
  • In the Web Novel, she possesses the Vassal Hammer rather than the Vassal Katana.

References

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