Due to its slave narrative, The Rising of the Shield Hero is one of the most controversial isekai anime to have appeared. Regardless, how the slave crest works in The Rising of the Shield Hero is critical to the plot narrative between Naofumi and Raphtalia. It represents not only the beginning of their relationship but also their trust and loyalty to one another.
Meanwhile, the show's critics complain about the romanticism of slavery, which allows the viewers to justify its implications. There's also a case of Stockholm syndrome thrown into the mix in the anime.
The Rising of the Shield Hero follows the isekai'd Naofumi Iwatani, who becomes the Shield Hero and one of the four cardinal heroes. Naofumi sets out to save the world from the strange waves with his allies, the demi-human Raphtalia and the filolial Filo, all the while proving his innocence and merit amidst the King and Myne's conspiracies, as well as the corruption of the Church of the Three Heroes.
What is the Slave Crest in The Rising of the Shield Hero?
In The Rising of the Shield Hero, the slave crest, also known as the slave seal, is the binding contract between the master and the slave, which is accomplished by mixing the master's blood into the slave crest ink.
It is a shockingly effective method of instilling obedience and subservience in slaves, as evidenced by the relationship between Naofumi and Raphtalia. It is also one of the best ways to upgrade both the master and slave stats and levels.
How Does the Slave Crest Work in The Rising of the Shield Hero?
To begin with, the slave crest comes in varying degrees, with a few rules governing it. If someone has been inked by the crest, it does not imply that the master has complete control over everything that he or she desires.
It does not have direct control over the slaves, but it can force them to obey the master's commands. For example, orders could include "Don't lie," "Don't attack," "Stay," and so on. Furthermore, the slave crest has a limited range. As a result, if the slave does not obey the master's orders, the master cannot inflict pain on the slave.
Moving forward, the master can also personalize the amount of suffering the slave would experience if the orders are disobeyed. In reality, depending on his preferences, Naofumi may adjust the pain intensity from low to high, which can be extremely painful for the recipient.
However, it is still uncertain whether a person or a species can build up resistance to the slave crest's pain. In the anime, it is evident that resistance is determined by the slave's stats, as Filo's magical defense resists the slave crest and doesn't bother her.
Finally, the slave crest does not appear to have the power to have a long-lasting effect on the receiver, as Raphtalia and Myne, who have experienced the agony for quite some time. Moreover, it has no effect on the receiver's mental state. In Season 1, Beloukas, the slave merchant, tells Naofumi that the slave crest can cause suffering that leads to death if he so desires.
Before I forget, the King of Melromarc, also known as Trash, ordered the removal of the slave crest, which was only done in the anime by pouring some type of removal potion. I felt compelled to include the King's pseudonym, pardon me.
Who Has The Slave Crest in The Rising of the Shield Hero?
Raphtalia, Filo, Myne, the previous King of Melromarc, and Rishia are the recipients of the slave crest in The Rising of the Shield Hero at the time of writing.
After being sold to Naofumi, Raphtalia received her slave crest from the slave merchant, Beloukas. Raphtalia eventually loses it, but she volunteers to reclaim it as a mark of Naofumi's faith in her.
Filo, on the other hand, has the slave crest imprinted in her before their voyage from one area to another under Naofumi. It has been observed to activate following Idol Brier's unannounced visit to Van Reichnott's mansion, where Melty invites Filo to play hide and seek. In order to find out where Filo has been hiding, Naofumi leverages his superiority over him.
Meanwhile, after the Queen coerces them into a trial over Naofumi's innocence, both Myne and the former King of Melromarc earn their slave crests. They both received what they deserved after Myne was stunned in front of everyone multiple times after spitting falsehoods after lies.
Finally, in Season 2 of The Rising of the Shield Hero, Raphtalia advises Rishia to get the slave crest in order to accelerate her development and skills. While Naofumi prevents Raphtalia from doing so, Rishia is adamant about obtaining the slave crest so that she can get stronger and return to Itsuki's party.
In case you missed it: The Strongest Characters in The Rising of the Shield Hero (So Far), Ranked