The Rise of the Shield HeroThe second season greatly expanded the anime’s cast of characters, including the sinister villain Kyo Ethnina. He first appeared during Naofumi’s battle against the titanic Spirit Tortoise, stealing some of the turtle’s energy before retreating to his own world. Naofumi had no idea why Kyo was doing all this back then.
Naofumi still only has vague notions about Kyo’s background and goals, but Episode 11 sheds a bit more light on the villain’s methods. The next Doomsday Wave arrives a few hours earlier than expected, and much to Naofumi’s shock, Kyo himself is responsible for this artificially induced Wave. Whatever he’s planning, it must be big.
In Season 2, Episode 11, the joint Naofumi-L’Arc team faces a new adversary: swordsman Yomogi Emarl, who openly fights on Kyo’s behalf. Naofumi’s group quickly subdues and captures her, and Kizuna’s group escorts Yomogi to their rural home to interrogate him about Kyo. Yomogi explains their childhood together, revealing that Kyo was a reclusive, bookish boy that no one else understood at the time. Back in the present, Yomogi becomes aware of her childhood friend’s many crimes against all heroes and realizes that she cannot defend what he has done. She agrees to oppose him, but Kyo has another trick up his sleeve.
The next morning, Yomogi is shocked when the next wave arrives several hours early, with the sky turning red and portals appearing everywhere. Notably, almost everyone except Naofumi is teleported to a cliff, where Yomogi can see Kyo’s research lab on the ground far below. Another scene shows Kyo himself using his arcane research to accelerate this wave, proving it’s a tool he can use for his own purposes.
No doubt hundreds of monsters will be pouring in soon – perhaps too many for Naofumi’s extended team to face alone. Kyo raises the stakes and danger considerably here in Episode 11, and this will most likely be the climactic final battle of shield hero Season 2. Everything has built up to this moment.
This shocking new development further establishes Kyo Ethnina as shield hero The biggest villain of Season 2. His role in this new wave quickly dispels any notion that he’s just the misunderstood researcher Yomogi remembers from their childhood together. Yomogi must confront his old friend and contribute to his defeat in some way, but his combat skills seem poor in episode 11; she may soon be overwhelmed by the new Wave, especially without Naofumi and her shields to protect her. Maybe she’ll try to interrogate Kyo and demand to know why he’s doing this, but it probably won’t come to anything.
These events reveal certain implications for the Waves themselves. Rather than being inherently evil, it’s likely that the waves are a supernatural phenomenon that researchers like Kyo can exploit for their own ends. It is also likely that a party other than Kyo engineered the waves that devastated the world where Melromarc is located, though it is unknown why that party took such action.
It wasn’t Kyo, at least – Episode 11 makes it clear that this is the first time he’s controlled the waves like this; but if he can do it, so can the other parties. Maybe Naofumi’s ultimate enemy has yet to appear in shield hero, Kyo being merely a warm-up for the real thing. The future season 3 could explore this in more detail and finally provide solid answers on the waves.