If you’re looking for anime like Rising of the Shield Hero that shares themes of fantasy, and action with hints of romance and betrayal in the plot, then look no further. Rising of the Shield Hero tells the story of the kingdom of Melromarc. It depends on the Four Cardinal Heroes to protect it from the Waves of Catastrophe and disasters it has faced in the past. Naofumi Iwatani and three other men from modern-day Japan start their journey as the heroes of Melromarc. However, Naofumi faces a lot of trouble, betrayal, and heartbreak due to being the shield hero with no offense abilities, and being falsely accused of harassment by his only partner.
The overall concept and vibes of Rising Shield Hero are much more dark and sober compared to most anime shows. It shares a unique story without completely removing the isekai feel that the fans absolutely love.
25/25. Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World
No one can foresee their future and neither did Subaru Natsuki. Just as he comes out of the convenience store, he gets teleported straight to another world. His misfortune doesn’t end there as he is not even able to collect his thoughts after dropping out there. A group of thugs sees it as an opportunity and attacks Subaru. Luckily, a beautiful girl named Satella arrives at the scene and manages to rescue him. Satella informs Subaru that she is trying to find her insignia and Subaru agrees to help her. This marks the start of an epic adventure as Subaru and Satella are completely unaware of the things that are about to come.
Both Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu and Shield Hero are quality anime with iconic main characters.
24/25. Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers
In this anime, we come to know about an ancient legend that reveals that the Goddess of Fate will choose six heroes who are destined to save the world from the rise of fiends. Our main character in Rokka no Yuusha is Adlet Mayer who considers himself to be the strongest person in the world. He also arrives at the selection process with the hope of becoming a hero. Luckily, he gets chosen by the Goddess and is welcomed by another hero, Piena Augustra. They embark on a journey to meet with the other heroes at their destined location.
But on reaching the place they find out that there are seven people present even though only six heroes were supposed to be selected. Most of the suspicions fall on Adlet Mayer who faces the tough task of proving to the others that he is not the imposter they are making him out to be.
23/25. Seirei Gensouki: Spirit Chronicles
The last thing that Haruto Amakawa expected when he lost his life in an accident was to get reborn as a different person. When he opens his eyes, he finds himself in the body of Rio. Their memories fuse together and Haruto gets the magical powers of Rio. Despite all these, Haruto realizes that he still has the same desire of taking revenge for his mother’s murder. After rescuing the Bertram Kingdom’s princess, a golden opportunity lands in front of Rio. The King invites him to study at Bertram Royal Academy and he gladly agrees.
However, it doesn’t go as he expected since he is surrounded by children from various noble families while he is just an ordinary kid with magic from a slum. Seirei Gensouki is very similar to The Rising of the Shield Hero as both involve a protagonist who was ridiculed at first but showed their true potential later.
22/25. Spice and Wolf
Next, we have the fantasy romance anime where everything comes to an end after a certain amount of time. The wolf deity, Holo, was once worshiped by all the people as a symbol of a good harvest. But with the passage of time, only her folktale gets left behind and she becomes the stuff of legends. One day Holo meets an aspiring businessman named Kraft Lawrence. Holo gives him a proposal that she will become his business partner if he agrees to leave her at the northern home of Yoitsu. Holo’s special ability catches his eye and he agrees to that proposal.
This allows him to combine his own business skills with Holo’s abilities and get closer to his goal. But as the duo makes their way through the countryside, Kraft realizes that his dream is slowly turning into something that he never expected it to be.
21/25. The saga of Tanya the Evil
A young soldier has managed to make herself famous for her predatory instincts and unique tactical mastery. The name of this soldier is Tanya and everyone calls her Devil of the Rhine. But Tanya holds a deep secret within her, She was a man in her past life (Classic anime trap) who decided to challenge the Supreme Being X. As YOU can guess, the challenge didn’t go according to plan and he got reborn as a girl. Despite that, he refused to give up and formed a plan to reach the top of the country’s military. All of these were done as defiance of Being X. However, unknown to Tanya her actions propel the nation to be one of the most powerful ones that humanity has ever seen.
In Youjo Senki we see an overpowered character getting reincarnated to a different world which is very similar to The Rising of the Shield Hero.
20/25. Overlord (2015)
Yggdrasil is coming to an end and many veteran players are not happy about it. One of them is Momonga who played this virtual reality game for a long time and even controls a powerful dark guild within the game. As a tribute to his hobby, he decides not to log out when the servers are shutting down for the very last time. When Momonga opens his eyes, he sees that he has not been forced out of the game despite it shutting down. To his surprise, even the non-playable characters have got their own conscience and are acting like real people. Stunned by these recent developments, he decides to take a tour of this world and find out what caused this abnormality.
See relevant: 15 Best Anime Like Overlord Set in Virtual Worlds
19/25. No Game No Life
As a sibling duo, Sora and Shiro have caused quite a lot of noise in the gaming world. They play with the username of Blank and have been dominating the other players on every front. This is why when they get a suspicious email inviting them to a chess match, they don’t even think twice before accepting it. As a result, they get teleported to a different world where they are confronted by Tet. Tet is the god of games and he explains that in his world everything is solved through games. The parties involved in it have to wager something to make the stakes higher. Sora and Shiro are not at all unnerved by this new turn of events. Instead, they immediately start planning about how to take over that world and displace Tet as the god of games.
Same themes as the protagonists in No Game No Life get summoned to a different world where they get involved in a variety of adventures.
18/25. Maoyu Archenemy & Hero
Anyone will lose their patience if a war goes on for more than 15 years. The same is the case for this series Hero who is frustrated after the humans fail to make any progress against the demons. He loses all his wit and goes by himself in order to make a last-ditch effort. But on encountering the final boss, he finds that the demon queen has startling beauty and on top of that she wants the Hero to help him. The Hero becomes confused at this recent turn of events and refuses to join the enemy side. The Queen then starts explaining how the war is helping a lot of people and shows hands-on proof to the Hero. After much persuasion, the Queen shows him a way with which he can stop the war between the two sides and also help the nations who would have suffered otherwise.
A similar show to Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari, this anime involves a lot of action with romance as a subplot.
17/25. The Misfit of Demon King Academy
Demons and humans have been at war for a long time which has led to the loss of countless lives. Seeing this, the great Demon King Anos decides to willingly sacrifice himself and end the suffering of millions. In order to give their king a heartful reception, the demons form a Demon King Academy. But Anos takes too long to reincarnate and he gets reborn at a time when the magic level has decreased significantly. His problems don’t end there as he finds that the deeds of his past life have been altered massively.
He has been made out to be a person that he never was before. Anos then decides to take matters into his own hand and find out the people who are trying to tamper with his legacy.
16/25. KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World! (Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!)
Kazuma Satou suffers the most pathetic death anyone can ever encounter and that is also after buying a brand new video game. His bad luck doesn’t end there as after dying he gets reincarnated into a different world. He opens his eyes to find Aqua sitting in front of him who is apparently a goddess. Kazuma is presented with two options by Aqua. He can either go to heaven or get a shot at life in a fantasy world. Obviously, Kazuma chooses the second option and he immediately gets the task of defeating the demon king. To make matters worse, he chooses Aqua as the item for his help. The problem with this is that while Aqua is a stunning thicc anime girl, she is completely useless in every aspect and Kazuma doesn’t get any help.
Just like The Rising of the Shield Hero, the main character in Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! gets transported to a different world where he has to make use of his skills in order to survive.
15/25. Redo of Healer
The best ability to get as a hero is the power to heal people. This is what Keyaru thought when he first acquired this power but he was completely unaware of the fate that was awaiting him on the other side. People tried to take advantage of his powers and made him suffer painful torture and agony.
However, they didn’t know that while healing people, Keyaru can also get their memories and abilities. After he had stored up quite a lot of powers and reached his true potential, he was already at his weakest point. This is when he decided to turn back time and reach the point when his painful life had just begun. Thus begins Keyaru’s new life as a Healer where he is going to take revenge on all those who had made him suffer.
14/25. Cautious Hero: The Hero Is Overpowered but Overly Cautious
We should all be careful in life. After all, prevention is the best cure. However, Seiya Ryuuguuin is a little too careful, which may be borderline insane. His life’s principles revolve around a known concept in RPGs where a player should level up more than his/her enemies in order to achieve victory. This is why when he got summoned to the world of Gaeabrande in order to act as its protector, he took those principles very seriously and went on a journey of improvement. Even though he has great stats as a player, he spends most of his time fighting weaker opponents and hoarding potions and items.
Although this approach may seem annoying, it may be the best tactic for Gaeabrande where evil dominates in every step. Kono Yuusha ga Ore Tuee Kuse ni Shinchou Sugiru is very similar to Rising of the Shield Hero in terms of its overpowered main character who goes on a solo journey.
See relevant: 70 Best Isekai Anime With OP MC From a Parallel World
13/25. How Not to Summon a Demon Lord
Demon King Diablo is completely unmatched in Cross Reverie which is a fantasy MMORPG. He has toiled hard in collecting the rarest artifacts that have helped him to achieve this legendary status. Under this virtual character, there is a simple guy by the name of Takuma Sakamoto. Since he possesses absolutely zero social skills, he spends all his time in this game. His entire world revolves around it and he likes nothing more than to kill off rival challengers. But this changes one day when he gets summoned to the game through the form of a spell. The culprits behind this spell are Shera L. Greenwood and anime best cat girl Rem Galeu.
They try to take him under control but the spell backfires and they become his slaves. Takuma is now trapped in his gaming world and instead of panicking, he decides to explore it further and gain some clues. The Chinese anime revolve around a quality plot where the main character finds themselves in a different world.
12/25. BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense
Last but not least, we have another anime very similar yet different from the Rising of the Shield Hero. The anime revolves around Kaede Honjou, who is forcefully convinced to play a particular VRMMO game. Our girl is completely amateur at MMO games, so she decides to give all her stat points to defense. Sounds crazy, right? She can barely move around much, and her attacks don’t deal much damage either. However, her strategy wasn’t all too bad, as she gains incredible abilities, protecting her from the most brutal attacks. She also obtains items and weapons that further help her in completely annihilating all the monsters. Overall, we have both Shield heroes, struggling to get stronger with a shield only.
Although BOFURI has similar protagonists, the vibes are very much different. The rising of the Shield Hero is much darker, while the other anime is just flat-out MOE. However, the concept of VRMMO was demonstrated perfectly, so you will definitely enjoy the show.
11/25. Isekai Quartet
As a child, my idea of fun and happiness was a cross-over between my favorite shows. Do you remember how amazing it was? Imagine all your favorite characters are in one show! All hell would break loose if you ask me. However, this is not a drill as Isekai Quartet is a chibi cross-over of some of the most popular anime. The cast is absolutely amazing. It has the cute demon sister Emilia and Subaru from Re: Zero. We also have Kazuma, Aqua, and Megumin from Konosuba. In addition Albedo and Monoga from Overlord. And lastly, Viktoriya and Tanya from Youjo Senki. This is probably the biggest anime cross-over in the history of anime. All the characters are thrown into a world where they all become students and have to get along with each other.
We get to witness the unique interactions between the characters of a different world. From Aqua’s deep hatred towards the undead like Ainz to Tanya’s animosity for deities like Aqua, there are so many funny interactions that we are blessed with throughout the show. Therefore, Isekai Quartet is a must-watch, if you like any of these shows, and need a good laugh.
10/25. Chaika – The Coffin Princess
This fantasy anime exhibits a more cynical twist, offering similar themes, especially the OP blonde lolis. Chaika is a 14-year-old powerful sorceress who carries a coffin with her at all times. Having no memory of her past, our mysterious sorceress is only aware of one thing, and that is to gather the remains of the late tyrannical emperor, Gaz. During her journey, she meets two siblings: Tooru and his adoptive sister Akari, who decide to help her out. However, the poor siblings soon realize the tough road ahead of them and the true identity of Chaika.
Overall, Hitsugi no Chaika showcases the plot in an interesting manner. It playfully displays the bonds between the character while also effectively demonstrating the gravity of the situation.
9/25. Grimgar Ashes and Illusions
This knights anime is an incredible show. Grimgar adds hints of slice-of-life to its overall theme. The plot revolves around a young protagonist, who enters the usual RPG-like world. He has little to no knowledge about the past or the world she has to survive in. The world of Grimgar is brutal, to say the least. It forces the characters to do whatever they can to survive. Not to mention, the only job you can have in the fantasy world is to become a soldier. They now need to fight against anything that proves to be dangerous for the world of Grimhar. Our protagonists form a group and work together to get stronger and survive. Throughout their journey, they develop beautiful bonds with each other and grow together as well.
The character development combined with the strengthening of the bonds, and the artistic visuals of the anime, give it a more slice-of-life feel. Grimgar Ashes and Illusions exhibits similar themes of a weak MC trying to get stronger by honing their unique abilities, quite like The Shield Hero.
8/25. The Legend of the Legendary Heroes
This anime shares a unique concept of magical eyes. The Alpha Stigma is capable of analyzing and evaluating all types of magic. Except, the eyes are considered to bring destruction and chaos. Ryner Lute is an exceptional mage, possessing those cursed, magical eyes. Everyone sees Ryner as a monster, facing a similar fate as Naofumi. What’s more, our protagonist endures a lot of pain as well when most of his classmates from Roland Empire’s Magician academy die in war. Despite everything he goes through, Ryner decides to bring peace. He orders the country by setting on a journey with Ferris to look for relics. The relationship between Ferris the powerful swordswoman, and Ryner and their journey is so breathtakingly beautiful.
This cute couple will remind you of the deep bond between Naofumi and Raphtalia. In short, the main characters as well as the obstacles they face throughout the shows are quite similar. The animated series is aesthetically pleasing as well.
7/25. Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody
The anime initially displays the life of a young programmer Ichirou Suzuki. He spends most of his time debugging games and running beta tests on them. Ichirou always works long hours. One day he falls asleep only to wake up in a fantasy game-like RPG world. The world is a mixture of all the games he spent most of his time debugging. In the mystical world, our protagonist gains a much younger appearance. He gets the name of Satou, which he often uses for beta testing games. Lizardmen attack Satou before he even grasps the situation. They force him to cast an extremely powerful ability. He immediately wipes them out and gains max level and stats from it.
The concept of Death March may appear to be very much different from the Shield Hero. However, the anime does share the same experience. It has magic, adventure, abilities, and leveling up. Moreover, what makes the anime truly worth watching is that it doesn’t pretend to be something else. It doesn’t exaggerate certain themes, which can be quite refreshing.
6/25. Deadman Wonderland
Up next we have Demand World demonstrates the life of an ordinary student. Ganta Igarashi suffers a lot throughout the anime. One day Ganta and his classmates go on a field trip to a prison amusement park known as the “Deadman Wonderland.” The amusement park exhibits convicts performing extreme and dangerous stunts for the spectators. However, things take a different turn when a mysterious man brutally massacres all the classmates except for Ganta. That’s not all! He gets thrown under the bus for the massacre and gets falsely accused. Now the poor boy has to spend the rest of his life in Deadman Wonderland. There he discovers the unique ability to control his blood and decides to look for the man in red.
The anime shares similar patterns of betrayal, accusation, and revenge. It also shares a weak MC in harsh conditions, similar to Naofumi in Shield Hero.
5/25. Is It Wrong to Pick Up Girls in The Dungeon?
Looking for ecchi harem anime like the Rising of the Shield Hero, but more light-hearted and funnier? You have to watch this anime then. Much like its name, this anime is quite peculiar and hilarious at the same time. The plot takes place in the world of Orario, containing several dungeons that promise treasures to those who explore them. Our main character, Bell Cranel is a young adventurer. His only focus is getting girls. He starts his journey as an adventurer with the Goddess Hestia, only to realize that exploring the dungeons might not be as easy as he thought.
You’ll absolutely love this fun show. It has similar themes of a weak MC with a harem.
4/25. Absolute Duo (2015)
We follow the tragic story of Tooru Kokonoe, whose sister and friends were murdered by a mysterious man. Seeking revenge and more power, Tooru joins the Kouryou academy. It houses unique individuals that can materialize their souls into incredible weapons. But guess what? Tooru’s soul has some abnormality and transforms into a shield. The main character has high aims, he wants revenge for all the blood he has witnessed. Now he has to learn to fight with a shield and get stronger. Both Naofumi and Tooru possess a shield and have a unique fighting style.
Absolute Duo is definitely worth watching if you need the revenge and shield concept.
3/25. Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest
Up next, we have an anime quite similar to Rising of the Shield Hero. Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou exhibits a typical plot of the sudden transportation to a fantasy world. Hajime Nagumo and his classmates enter the magical, game-like realm to save humanity. All of his classmates receive some of the best abilities out there. These new skills are great for combat and defense, while poor Hajime pulls the short end of the straw. Like Naofumi, Hajime gets belittled and ridiculed for not having any offensive power. What’s more, he also faces betrayal and falls to the bottom of the abyss. Hajime survives the fall and becomes determined to find his way back. He is on a mission to become the strongest in the fantasy world.
If you look for similar shows with themes of betrayal, weak stats, and a determined protagonist, then Arifureta is your best bet.
See relevant: 23 Anime Like Arifureta With OP MC
2/25. Tower of Druaga: Aegis of Uruk
The story revolves around the mystical Tower of Druaga, which has many levels filled with powerful demons. They say that whoever climbs to the top, effectively defeating Druaga, gets the Blue Crystal Rod. The crystal is an artifact capable of fulfilling any wish. Furthermore, during the rare time of Summer of Anu, the demons lose their power. The adventurers are using this golden time to climb the tower and get the reward. Amongst them is our protagonist. He happens to be a shield hero much like Naofumi. The only difference is that Jil is also a powerful swordswoman.
The poor guy is super weak. All the adventurers always treat him like an outcast. Although he doesn’t face as much betrayal as Naofumi does, he still struggles hard to get strong and defeat Druaga. The Tower of Druaga has a generic concept, more on the comedy side. But, it has a similar protagonist to the Shield Hero.
1/25. That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
On top of the list, we have a very compelling anime. It has a somewhat unique but similar theme to the Rising of the Shield Hero. Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken has a typical protagonist. Satoru Mikami is a bored middle-aged man. All of a sudden, Satoru finds himself in a completely different and magical world. Except he’s not even remotely cool there. Our man literally gets reincarnated as a slime with barely any special abilities. An interesting concept, right? Poor Satoru always gets undermined and ridiculed for his abilities. Much like a certain shield hero.
However, both of them train hard to become much more powerful, shutting up all the haters. Overall, the anime stands out by offering a thrilling and very amusing experience too. If you’re looking for something similar, but more on the lighter side, then this would be your best bet.