As you may recall, six months ago I read Mushoku Tensei and greatly enjoyed the experience. So I decided to read another well-regarded web novel, Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari, or The Rising of the Shield Hero. From the title, you can probably guess precisely what is doing the rising.
It starts out similarly to Mushoku Tensei— a loser otaku comes to another world. This time instead of starting as a baby and “working hard” to earn his triple loli harem, he’s born as a hero except everyone hates him and everything is oh so unfair. He buys a loli tanuki slave and she’s the only one who truly loves him. Then it’s the same idea as Mushoku Tensei, he builds up a loli army in a loli village and saves the world.
If that were all I would have enjoyed it even though it’s trash. But… that’s not it. Know how I mentioned that everyone hates the main character at first? The lead in all this is the daughter of the king (named “Trash” throughout the book), who is literally named “Bitch” throughout the entire 300+ chapter book. Oh, actually, occasionally the author changes her name to “Whore”. This girl is the epitome of evil. She keeps trying to kill the Shield hero, tries to murder her sister, her father, her mother, sells the country out to the enemy, etc., etc., all by seducing men other than the hero. Then the hero executes her. There is an entire chapter dedicated to this brutal execution, with everyone cheering for her death. Then she comes back to life and she gets executed again, this time by graphically described and in fact videotaped multiple days of rape. As as if that’s not enough, she comes back to life and goes through a similar treatment again.
Then there’s also the fact that everyone the shield hero “loves ” becomes his slave. (The most disturbing part of the story is that that wasn’t the most disturbing part of the story.) There are multiple chapters devoted to passionate defenses of slavery. It’s the only way way the people of this world can accomplish anything, the slaves are so much better off than they were before, these children just need a man to take care of them, it actually makes them stronger by being slaves, etc., etc. When he had the one slave girl at the start, I was ok with it, but as it just built and built this defense of slavery… just wtf dude?
Anyway, to summarize, the author of Mushoku Tensei fantasizes about a harem of multiple little girls who are his wives. That is disturbing. Obviously. But hey, at least in his fantasy the girls join willingly, are treated well and are happy. It’s a very low bar here but I’ll take it.
In Tate no Yuusha, the author fantasizes about making all little girls his slaves. And for those who oppose him (including, as explicitly made clear many times, the girls in the real world who just weren’t interested in him), he fantasizes about brutally raping them and executing them.
Both works treat women like sex objects. But one polishes them to display them in the trophy case, while the other treats them in ways that make the war criminals of our world look kind and loving.
Even I have some standards. I may be trash but I’m not complete shit.