Ever since the first chapter was released, Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari has been increasing exponentially in popularity. It is quickly rising up the ranks and it isn't very hard to see why.
Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari is a story of betrayal, revenge, & redemption. The story follows Naofumi Iwatani as he is suddenly brought to another world. There he is deemed as the shield hero, the weakest of the 4 heroes due to lack of attacking power. Because of that, no one wants to be his companion and what's worse is, he's eventually betrayed and framed. Scorned and loathed by the people who were supposed to be his allies and the people who brought him in the first place, the once happy and caring otaku is now a mistrusting anti-hero hellbent on revenge.
As time goes on, he finds people who actually place their faith in him and see him as a hero. However, as a result of being betrayed, it's going to take a lot of work, before he warms up to anyone. Of course, he is slowly becoming the person he used to be. But there's still one problem, the fact of the matter is, he was betrayed and ridiculed. Who wouldn't be mad after those events? Will he truly live up to the name of a hero? Or will his desire for revenge never subside? Join Naofumi as he embarks on a journey to discover what it truly means, to be in a marching band. Sorry, I just couldn't control myself. Jokes aside, you will experience the adventure of a lifetime as Naofumi fluctuates between the borders of wanting to protect innocent citizens & his companions and wanting to kill those he hates with all his heart.
The story has plenty of action and brutal ones at that. Shield Hero (what I'll call the manga from now) isn't as soft as to not show the likes of blood & decapitation. It's just one big thrill ride; you anxiously wait for those who betrayed him to be killed in the worst ways possible. Nothing of the sort has happened so far, but it only makes your interest stronger. Now, you just can't wait for that time to come.
Just by reading the synopsis, you can already tell, there's going to be drama and there certainly is. We are given back-stories, current situations, etc. It makes for more compelling characters and senseless action is never fun.
Romance is definitely present in the manga. Currently, we only have things like blushing, but soon enough, you will get your ever so nice romance. At this rate, it seems like it's going to be a harem, so if that's not your cup of tea, I'd get off the train now.
Like every story, Shield Hero has flaws. The most one prominent one being that a lot of things that happen are cliche. You could even say it's predictable. But don't you tell me you don't want a heart-warming after everything the protagonist goes through. You know you want that cliche yet adorable moment. So it's flaw may not be as bad as it seems, it doesn't deteriorate the quality of the story by that much.
To sum things up, Shield Hero is a roller-coaster of emotions, supplier of top notch action, & generous giver of sweet romance.
The art has a shoujo feel to it. You can't deny that the main guys were drawn to be good looking and the main female lead has remnants of common female shoujo eyes. It's not a bad thing though, the art is actually great. The characters, the fights, the backgrounds, and especially Naofumi's feelings. Whenever he's pissed or angry, his face really shows it. You can tell how mad he is. You get a sense of his blood-lust.
I don't think the plot is the main reason as to why the manga got so popular, the plot isn't exactly new. With that being said, I'd give that award to the characters.
Naofumi isn't your typical shounen protagonist. He isn't crazy altruistic, he has a dark side filled with thoughts of revenge and selfishness. Yet, deep down, he's a caring guy. He just doesn't want to show it, in fear of being betrayed again. In short, Naofumi is a breath of fresh air.
Raphtalia, our main female protagonist, is a great female lead. She's caring and adorable. She's afraid of dying, but isn't afraid of fighting. It's nice to see a female lead who isn't completely useless. She's just a strong and nice girl who'd do anything for Naofumi.
Now, this is where it gets interesting. Those who believed Naofumi committed heinous acts are absolutely hated by the readers. I hate them too, but if you really think it about it, their actions only make them human. Yeah, I hate those guys with every fiber of my being, but who's to say I wouldn't have reacted the same way they did? That goes for all of us. I'm sure a majority of us would've ended up as the enemies of Naofumi too. Everyone knows there's technically no benefits in helping someone who's ostracized and that's why bystanding is a common problem. The only difference between what happened in Shield Hero and what happens in real life is the supernatural aspect. Aside from that, their personalities, thoughts, and actions are all realistic.
While not every character is likable, they are all well-written and for that, I will give this section a 9 by not including my personal feelings.
Shield Hero is a riveting tale of betrayal, revenge, redemption, faith, love, action, and so much more. I assure you, reading Shield Hero is simply a wonderful experience. The story is so enticing, Naofumi's feelings of revenge will be passed on to you. You will be that close with the characters of the story.