Hard Narrative Setpieces

An example is the opening act for the isekai "Rising of the Shield Hero" animé. The main character is pulled into a fantasy world as one of four people from the modern day to take up arms in defense against magical invaders. The three other people he comes with seem at ease and treat their new environment like a videogame. However, from the onset this strange fantasy world treats the "legendary role" of the Shield with abject revulsion and by association the main character.

Two choices are made in the introduction that have garnered criticism in the past:

First is a false accusation made against the main character by the princess of a kingdom, claiming that he had forced himself onto her. This leads to being socially drawn and quartered in the public domain, the main character vilified for a crime with no chance to clear their name.

Second is the inclusion of slavery. The narrative goes against the typical theme of breaking chains and instead finds the main character resorting to the purchase of another sentient being, in this case a young girl with beast-like features, because it is the only avenue afforded to them. Unable to engage with common folk due to the previous situation, the main character buys this companion to help fight monsters since the Shield is not a fighting weapon. Control is exerted via a magical tattoo that causes pain if the slave does not comply with an order.

The story is unique and sets itself apart from similar genre entries via these two points, though has been decried as male wish fulfillment, a slippery slope into literal sexual objectification, etc. There are similar titles which include one or more topics that could be considered offending to society’s sensibilities.

Discussion then revolves perhaps around whether or not a narrative like the aforementioned should be allowed to be told. At what point does a work of entertainment cross the line in order to tell a story?

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