Naofumi Iwatani, a run-of-the-mill otaku, finds a book in the library that summons him to another world. He is tasked with joining the sword, spear, and bow as one of the Four Cardinal Heroes and fighting the Waves of Catastrophe as the Shield Hero. Excited by the prospect of a grand adventure, Naofumi sets off with his party. However, merely a few days later, he is betrayed and loses all his money, dignity, and respect. Unable to trust anyone anymore, he employs a slave named Raphtalia and takes on the Waves and the world. But will he really find a way to overturn this desperate situation?
Naofumi Iwatani is your average college Otaku who lives with his 'Good for nothing younger brother' and together they live off of their parents' money. One day while checking out manga at the library, Naofumi stumbles across a book called "The Four Heroes Weapons Manual" and while skimming through it finds himself transported to another world along with three other people.
Naofumi soon discovers a shield attached to his arm and people asking him and the others to save their world. While Naofumi is confused about the situation he finds himself in the other three, Motoyasu Kitamura who is holding a spear, Ren Amaki who is holding a sword and Itsuki Kawasumi who is holding a bow are already negotiating payment with their summoners.
The summoners promise an explanation to follow as they lead the four heroes to the king of their country Aultcray Melromarc XXXII. Asking each of the four to introduce themselves, and pointedly ignoring Naofumi, the King explains that their world is under threat from Waves of Calamity, inter-dimensional portals that open periodically and dump monsters onto their lands and need the four to stop them.
They are Heroes chosen by the four Legendary Weapons as champions to defend them from the waves. In exchange for defending their world the Heroes weapons have the ability to send them back to their worlds to live under highly favorable conditions or live in this new world where the King promises they will be treated as heroes for the rest of their lives.
However, as they are now the four will not stand a chance against the incoming waves: thus come morning the King will have prepared volunteers to join the four of them to hunt monsters and increase their power. As the four retire to the room prepared for them they learn various things about both each other and the world they now find themselves in.
For starters, they learn about Status Magic which tells them about both themselves and their weapons and the various abilities that they share. For another, the Four heroes also learn that although they all come from Japan, they don't come from the same Japan. The other three have all played different games whose plot remind them of the world they're now in, but all on different systems.
They also confirm that their Japan's histories and cultures are different from one another via a round of trivia. The other three also confirm that in their respective games Naofumi's class, the Shield, was the 'loser's class.' While Naofumi can expect to have an easy time at first being invulnerable to low-level monsters he has next to zero attack power and it won't increase as he levels.
When morning comes despite twelve adventurers having volunteered to join their parties, Naofumi finds that no one wants to join his party: Rumors have already spread about Naofumi's seeming incompetence and weakness, no one wants to join a legendary hero's party and expect to do all the work them-self. However one of Motoyasu's party members, a woman named Myne volunteers to join Naofumi.
The four heroes are given an allowance by the king to live off of for the next month, 800 silver coins for Naofumi for this time alone, as he had no party members and 600 each for the other heroes. The King also promises a special allowance of 500 silvers for each month. to each of them, Myne takes Naofumi to a blacksmith named Erhard who sells them equipment, a modest 100 silver coin chain mail coat for Naofumi.
Naofumi also learns to his horror that he can't even pick up a sword to attack with, thanks to the power of his shield anyone that he tries to pick up immediately flies out of his hand. Naofumi is taken to a field outside of the castle where he is introduced to Orange Balloons, monsters that resemble orange balls which fly around at high speeds.
Attempting to take a group of them on by himself, Naofumi spends five minutes of continuous punching just to make one of them pop, further blows to his confidence come when he watches Ren chop more of the balloons to pieces with his sword. After a long day of punching the balloons, Naofumi learns that he can feed bits and pieces from the monsters he's killed to his shield in order to unlock alternate transformations for the weapon.
Calling it quits for the evening Naofumi, and Myne return to the town. Myne buys an expensive 600 silver coin set of armor and sword, she promises to get stronger and earn a lot of money to make up for it. They return to Inn where they enjoy steak and she invites him for a drink of wine together, but Naofumi calls it a night and promise to drink with her another time. Before retiring for the night, Naofumi stashes some coins to the shield as a precaution. The next day Naofumi learns that the clothes he came to the new world with, the armor he bought and all the money he had left from the king have all been stolen. Checking in on Myne, Naofumi is snatched by a group of royal guards and forcibly dragged in before the King and the other heroes.
There, Naofumi was accused that after apparently getting drunk last night he violently attempted to rape Myne who then sought safe refuge with Motoyasu, whom it should be noted is wearing his chain mail. The King calls his action punishable by death and none of the gathered was willing to listen to his side of innocence. When Myne starts making faces at him. Naofumi becomes enraged and realizes that he's been framed for rape and all of his belongings but the shield and underclothing he went to bed in last night were stolen by Myne.
Naturally, Naofumi demands proof for such accusation against him. The knight produced a negligee (which is tone at the chest) is said to be found in the shield hero's room, but Naofumi says that it was not there when he woke up. Frustrated, he demanded to be sent back to his world immediately, however, the King can't do that: the heroes can't be returned to their own world until the waves are stopped and they can't summon new heroes until either this set of waves are stopped or all four of the heroes are dead. The king tells him that he should fight the wave and the rumors of his deed is already spread across the nation and he shouldn't expect any help or favors. Naofumi breaks free of the guards and storms out of the castle but not before throwing the rest of his money at Motoyasu realizing that everyone from the start had been plotting against him.
Naofumi encounters Erhard who is about to punch him for his actions but stops after looking him in the eyes, instead, he gives Naofumi some armor he had on clearance and tells him to pay him back when he can. A thoroughly enraged Naofumi goes out to the fields and takes his anger out on the Balloons there. After working through the night, Naofumi finally reaches level two.
The next morning, Naofumi gathers the scraps of Balloons he killed and brings them to a merchant to sell. After the merchant initially tries to rip Naofumi off, the Shield Hero reveals numerous Balloons hidden under his coat trying to gnaw through his arms and legs, though they happily take their pent up aggression out on the merchant when Naofumi puts him into a chokehold.
Like that, Naofumi successfully bullies his way into something resembling fair treatment by tossing Balloons at people who try to rip him off while at the same time fending off people who try to steal from him. Naofumi also realizes that he couldn't taste food since the day of the accusation. After two weeks and two more level-ups Naofumi frustratingly laments that he's trapped in a vicious cycle, he can't defeat strong monsters because he has no attack power, he can't get more attack power because he can't level up, and he can't level up because he can't defeat strong monsters.
After fending off another group of would-be party members, a strange short little man makes his presence known to offer a solution to Naofumi's party member situation. Rather than some half baked companion who can turn on Naofumi at any time, what the hero of the shield really needs is someone who is magically bound to obey Naofumi's commands: a slave who cannot betray, lie, or disobey their master due to the slave curse placed on them which will take their life, if they did do those things against the master.
Light Novel & Manga Differences
Information to be added later.
- In the anime, Status Magic is only exclusive to the Heroes. While in the light novel, Status Magic can be accessed by anyone that resides in the world.
- Melromarc is a matriarchy nation.
- Slavery is permitted in Melromarc and the slaves are all Demi-Humans.
- Naofoumi is robbed of everything, except his inner-wear, Shield and Thirty pieces of silver which he stashed inside his shield.
- This is the first episode without any opening theme.
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