Zodiac Wednesday: Naofumi Iwatani from Rising of the Shield Hero


Hello there on this fabulous Wednesday! I am your Gaijin here to bring you another Zodiac Wednesday! This week we will be talking about the handsome HERO TO ZERO BACK TO HERO….Iwatani Naofumi from Tate No Yuusha No Nariagari (Rising of the Shield Hero ). Without further ado let us get started!

Appearance

So our character this week slightly different from our previous characters. From the beginning of the anime, Naofumi had this very happy-go-lucky, whimsical presence. He looked like a very open guy who was easy to talk to. Pretty energetic and had a pretty large personality…until the second episode when all that was crushed after the betrayal of Bitch… *clears throat* I mean Malty.

Yeah this bitch…

After that, his whole expression changed dramatically. He rarely ever smiles, he comes off cold and curt almost all of the time, and he rarely looks happy. Along side with his appearance, he has a broader build than most of the other characters in the show. Which really can add a menacing presence when you think about it. Most male anime characters are rather slim, so once you introduce a character that is somewhat larger and broader in the shoulders than the rest, it makes them appear a little more intimidating. So typically with this Ice Queen RBF going on, I’d typically say Capricorn or Aquarius rising. BUT considering his initial energetic, lively presence one may think of him as a Libra, Gemini, or Sagittarius rising.

Personality

Again, another duality. From the beginning his personality was very light-hearted, kind, energetic, and to be honest… kind of naive. He trusted very easily and he wasn’t really authoritative. Much more on the mutable side rolling with the punches. Yeah he would speak up but it was in the way a teenager who hasn’t seen the dark sides of the world until graduating high school would speak. You could say ignorant. But that really does change after the whole scandal and LET ME TELL YOU…our boy turns into a man. He becomes so vigilant and physically stronger. After being shamed, banned from the kingdom, and outcasted by literally almost everyone in the nation, he had no choice but to forge his own path or give up altogether. Thankfully, his vitality kicked in and chose to forge his own path. As you know, if you back a lion into a corner it’s survival instincts kick in. If you give someone enough stress and frustration then their true nature will show. This was definitely the case for Naofumi. When he had nowhere to go, he created his own path, went on his own journey, used his intuition and resourceful talents to become a trader in order to make money and purchase Raphtalia as his weapon.

He was not trusting of people nowhere near as much as he did in episode one and he also knew when to put his foot DOWN to get the respect he deserved. All while still being an egalitarian. For example, still helping people of the country who shamed him, cleaning up the mess of the other heroes, and even saving the lives of those who made his a living hell! Why did he do this? Two reasons: 1) He’s an egalitarian and believes everyone should be treated equally. 2) He was a master tactician and foresaw what would be the outcome if he let the situation in front of him carry on. Such as the dragon that Ren didn’t clean up. Naofumi knew that leaving that carcass there would cause even more problems for him and innocent people. And what happens as a result, he is given great fortune and allies on his side. This shows that he does not lack resolve. However, one con to this stronger version of Naofumi is that he becomes very afraid of being left alone again and can sometimes go into a deep depression and loss of self from that. Which can cause major pandemonium because of the Curse Shield he has access to takes creeps in and takes over his body…and that’s not a cute sight.

With that kind of duality, it is tough to figure out where his Sun sign and Moon sign lies. That being said, if you were to ask me from episode one, I’d automatically say Aquarius or Libra Sun. Open personality. Talks a lot. May be a little naive. But… after the betrayal, and my verdict, I have come to the conclusion he is…

Sagittarius ♐

Aquarius Moon ♒ Cancer Rising♋

Alright, bare with me. Sagittarius are one of the philosophers of the Zodiac. Most Sagittarius have an urge for learning and they learn the most out of life when they travel! In Naofumi’s case, traveling was kinda enforced onto him. He had nowhere to go but had to become strong somehow so he set his own path and learned sooooo many powerful lessons along the way. The Sagittarius shoots his arrow far and wide hoping it will land on his target. Naofumi, just like the arrow, goes the distance with goals of hitting his target of becoming stronger and surviving The Waves. Let’s not forget the love for learning new skills. Not only did Naofumi acquire new skills with every relic he collects for his shield, but he also picked up crafts and jewelry making along the journey. Sagittarius are also very very clear thinkers and see the big picture. They rarely look at the tiny details. This is definitely Naofumi for everything was because he saw the big picture. He didn’t look at the details. He saw what he wanted and when someone wanted to “help” his party, he became very suspicious of them keeping that big picture in mind of why he shouldn’t trust them so easily. Sagittarius is also of the planet Jupiter which is known as the planet of abundance and fortune. Our hero wasn’t very fortunate from the start but that’s because he entered a world that was already out to get him. Sagittarius, though, are known to be fortunate once they put in the effort. In Naofumi’s case. He was exceptionally fortunate after he stuck with his nature of doing what’s right. And in turn had so much abundance come his way from allies to his party to the Queen of Melromarc herself!

With the Moon being the center of emotional intelligence and honestly how one instinctively reacts to situations, I believe the Aquarius Moon shows more of his character. He was given constant struggles and hurdles, and that’s where the Moon comes into play. Aquarius Moon natives are super observant of people. Also they are the masters at humanitarianism and have a huge sense of justice. This explains the egalitarian nature of Naofumi. Aquarians have what I call an outsider perspective (being able to empathize more with outcasts and people not in the “in-crowd” or “normal”). Meanwhile all the other heroes are showing their hero cocks off, Naofumi is more understanding of all people and more humble because he understands what it is like to be treated wrongfully and applies that understanding to other people. This outsider perspective is what makes Aquarius natives believe everyone should be treated equally despite their crimes and cons. Naofumi definitley has that. I mean he saved the king and Malty from death when they deserved it. As a matter of fact, that’s probably his most significant trait. That he is actually a big softie that wants the best for everyone. Such a humanitarian.

And last but not least, the Cancer rising. This is where the teddy bear part of Naofumi is shown. Cancer Suns and Cancer Risings are often times known to display a hard outer shell or come off like they are unfazed when really they are innately sensitive and use this exterior as a way to protect their vulnerability. So…yeah that’s Naofumi to a T! He didn’t have that hard outer shell at first because of his naive, “give everyone a chance” Aquarius moon and that social Sagittarius sun, but when he was stripped of everything, that Cancer rising came out and built a fortress! No one was getting in and tearing him down again.


If you have any thoughts on Naofumi’s character and my Zodiac Verdict, then leave a comment below and let’s chat! Thanks again and join me next time for a very special Zodiac Wednesday.

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