In one of the more shocking moments of The Rising of the Shield Hero, Ren and Itsuki seemingly die. It’s the kind of thing that makes people stop watching until it is cleared up. That is exactly what we’ll do here. Note that there are heavy spoilers for the first nineteen anime episodes, first eight manga volumes and first four Light Novels here. Nothing beyond that is spoiled.
So, do Ren and Itsuki die? Although Sword Hero Ren and Bow Hero Itsuki are not killed by the High Priest/Pope, they do actually die before being summoned to another world. This is info missed by a lot of people as it is omitted in the Anime. Motoyasu also shares their fate.
Let’s discuss this further below.
Ren and Itsuki versus the Church of Three Heroes
After Naofumi implores Ren to investigate an alleged conspiracy, he and Itsuki find themselves investigating the Church of Three Heroes. This does not sit well with the Pope/High Priest, who decides to purify them. A big pillar of light, the high-level magic requiring multiple powerful casters, results in a big explosion and seemingly eliminates both heroes.
It was quite a shock to many viewers. Not to worry, however, as it soon turns out they escaped the ordeal unscathed. They were saved in the nick of time by the Queen’s Shadows. This causes some confusion with Spear Hero Motoyasu, as he believed the Shadows to be working for the Church. They were the ones feeding him info on Naofumi’s whereabouts after all. It turns out that there are several factions of Shadows.
The death of Ren, Itsuki and Motoyasu
Although they escaped the Judgement spell, it is not exactly their first encounter with death. I promised when starting this article that there would be no spoilers beyond that story point and I intend to keep that promise. What we discuss here is extra info in the first volume of the Light Novel and Manga, not present in the Anime.
Motoyasu, Ren and Itsuki die before being summoned to another world:
- Ren had a fairly heroic death, saving a friend from a criminal before dying at the hand of said criminal
- Itsuki had a rather lame death, getting hit by a speeding dump truck
- Motoyasu‘s death was downright pathetic, being stabbed by one of his girlfriends who found out about his other girlfriends
Does Naofumi die? Well, consistency wise it would make sense. There is no indication for this though in any of the source material up to this point though. If there turns out to be in future volumes, I will not be updating this article. As mentioned above, only the events up until the near death of Ren and Itsuki appear in this article.
The second death of Motoyasu
Although not part of the main story, the author is working on a spin-off series where Motoyasu dies a second time. Death is not permanent for him, however. In what reminds me heavily of Re: Zero, he is transported back to the first day he was summoned.
It is a “what if” spin-off with the focus on Motoyasu, called Reprise of the Shield Hero. In this spin-off, Naofumi is not betrayed. Despite the story not focusing mainly on him, it is interesting to see the effects of this on his character.
I am planning to only give this series a go after having finished all available sources of the original story. If you want to dig into it earlier than that though, you can find the manga volumes on Amazon. Simply click the image to the right to be taken to the relevant page (affiliate link).
What will the future bring?
As stated before, there are no spoilers in this article for the future. That does not stop me from speculating, however, for the simple reason that I deliberately wrote this article before going further in the source material myself.
I think it will be very unlikely for any of the heroes to die in the future, bar maybe a big self-sacrifice at the end of the story. This is due to Fitoria saying that the death of even one hero would make the waves a lot harder to deal with.
While the Anime leaves this open for interpretation, making it seem that all four are needed to stand a chance, the Manga is even more clear-cut. For every Hero that dies, the Waves themselves seem to grow in strength. This clears up the reason behind Fitoria’s intention of killing all four heroes when one were to die, as I previously figured three somewhat experienced heroes would be better than four new ones.
This implies that all four heroes have big plot armor, at least against death. They could of course still be taken out of commission, imprisoned, etc.