No one is in doubt that the culture war has spilled into every facet of American society as humanly possible. It should come as no surprise that the social justice community would be up in arms over the use of a false rape allegation as a plot point in Crunchyroll’s The Rising of The Shield Hero anime.
The attacks and criticism came after the first episode of the show aired on Crunchyroll.
But before we get into the criticisms, here’s the synopsis for the show according to Anime News Network:
Naofumi Iwatani, an uncharismatic otaku who spends his days on games and manga, suddenly finds himself summoned to a parallel universe. He discovers he is one of four heroes equipped with legendary weapons and tasked with saving the world from its prophesied destruction. As the Shield Hero, the weakest of the heroes, all is not as it seems. Naofumi is soon alone, penniless, and betrayed. With no one to turn to, and nowhere to run, he is left with only his shield. Now, Naofumi must rise to become the legendary Shield Hero and save the world.
What happened that has everyone up in arms?
In the first episode, we learn that Naofumi Iwatani, shortly after being transported to the fantasy world, is accused of rape by a female character named Myne.
Following his arrival in the fantasy world, the four heroes split into two teams. Naofumi teams up with Myne on one day and with Malty on the next. After teaming up with Myne and sleeping in separate locations, Naofumi wakes up to find his belongings, including his gear and silver have been taken. Myne, who was supposed to be his hero partner, also accuses him of rape. The situation worsens when a torn neglige is found on Naofumi’s bed.
Though he attempts to defend himself the other three heroes don’t believe him, and he is ostracized.
In the fantasy world, the assault of a female is comparable to a capital offense, but Naofumi is only saved due to his status as being one of the four heroes.
While Naofumi continues to plead his case to Myne, she does stop her crying for a moment and sticks out her tongue as a means to confirm that she did in fact falsely accuse The Shield Bearer of rape.
The Social Justice Crowd Are Up In Arms
Unsurprising, the social justice elements of the internet weren’t happy that a false rape accusation was used as a plot point.
Anime Feminist refused to review the first episode due to its content. However, they did have a few choice words for the series:
“I have never seen a series with such a deeply held, misanthropic victim mentality.”
They also noted that “Our readers know why a series hinging on a false rape accusation and slavery apologism is wrong.”
Anime Feminist would then list off a number of organizations dealing with sexual assault like RAINN and Men Can Stop Rape.
Others such as Anime News Network had reviewers who chose to base their low ratings of the episode on the plot point they didn’t like.
For example, James Beckett even went so far as to scold the writers for using fake rape allegations, giving the episode a 1.5 out of 5 stars. This is what he had to say:
“Every trick in the book is employed to frame Myne as an exaggeration of the duplicitous, promiscuous harpy that uses her beauty to lure men to their doom, and Naofumi is the innocent everyman who’s punished for being too trusting, thus justifying the hatred and misanthropy that follows him. It’s not just a cliché, it’s a fantasy of persecution that’s frequently propagated by men in order to justify mistreatment and mistrust of women. It would be foolish to say that no person has ever falsely accused another of assault, but the fact is that society more often does not take allegations of assault seriously and often punishes victims for speaking up about it. The situation is so bad that the majority of victims choose not to report sexual violence, because it is assumed that they will be ignored or harassed further. This is why Rising of the Shield Hero’s treatment of this subject matter deserves to be discussed. The idea that men are aggrieved victims of some matriarchal conspiracy is not only an imaginary boogeyman, it’s something that has caused real harm in the world outside this work of fiction.”
Other reviewers weren’t much kinder with Nick Creamer calling to burn the episode writing, “burn it and salt the earth.“.
Creamer derided the writer of the episode writing, ” Butthis author isn’t just angry at women—his bitter paranoia extends to basically everyone around him.“
He also went after the Naofumi’s character describing him as “unlikeable in a casually misogynistic way.”
Those are pretty strong words to say the least.
Website S1E1 would also lament the false rape allegation as well.
The review specifically took issue with Naofumi’s bitterness of being falsely accused and how he becomes cold to the people of the fantasy world. This coldness is described as a “type of toxic masculine traits that just make him into an unlikable protagonist.”
It seems that the reviewer was more bothered by the allegation and wanted to attack it more than seeing how variables around Naofumi shaped his attitude towards his new home.
Here are some more of the review that attacked the plot point:
“The first and most important thing worth mentioning is that false rape accusations of this nature aren’t really a thing (think about the social consequences for women even when their accusations are extremely credible; people don’t do this kind of thing for fun). It’s as if Myne’s actions sprung fully-formed out of a misinformed, misanthropic incel fantasy; Kitamura is even depicted as some kind of an alpha male who gains women’s attractions unearned. I feel like Myne’s betrayal could have come in any number of different forms and not been half as problematic; unfortunately this choice reads to me as having been made with particular intent.
“The consequence of this is that it positions Naofumi to harden his emotions, come into his anger, and embody the type of toxic masculine traits that just make him into an unlikable protagonist. He begins to violently hassle shopkeepers and threaten people by confronting them with the low-level biting monsters he keeps hidden beneath his cape. He turns into the kind of world-reviling jerk that goes on to commit mass violence, inspired by the type of event these sorts fantasize as a common truth. It’s dangerous and vile.”
Why Do They Hate Rising of the Shield Hero?
As I mentioned above much of the vitriol we see against this new anime is its use of what seems to be a sacred cow to the SJW movement. The the use of a false rape allegation undermines what some see as a political weapon used by the modern SJW movement.
We have seen this play out over the years with so-called “Mattress Girl,” as well as Chris Hardwick. Most recently this tactic debuted on a national stage during the Senate confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault with little to no evidence. These types of false allegations have been used as a means to attempt to derail the lives of people.
What do you think of all of this? Does the Social Justice Community have a point in their concerns? Or are they overreaching? Have you seen The Rising Of The Shield Hero? If so, what are your impressions? Let me know in the comments below!