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|“||Huh? Why am I crying? Rishia... I'm sorry... for everything.||„|
|~ Itsuki after his change of heart.|
Itsuki Kawasumi, also known as the Bow Hero, is a supporting character from the Rising of the Shield Hero franchise. He originally served as an anti-hero/villain before returning as the main antagonist of Volume 12.
Driven by a misguided principle of justice, as well as a superiority and hero complex, Itsuki's main ambition is to present himself as the ultimate hero. He wants to be the strongest of the heroes so that people to praise him. As such, Itsuki does not react well when others overshadow him.
After the Spirit Tortoise incident, Itsuki was betrayed by his companions, who together with Princess Malty, utilized the broken hero for their own benefit. He was eventually rescued by Naofumi and Risihia, upon which he gave up many of his misguided principals. Seeking redemption, Itsuki apologised for his past actions and with Rishia's help began the process of healing.
In the Reprise of the Spear Hero spin-off, Itsuki takes Motoyasu's place as the most antagonistic hero and Malty's puppet.
In the anime series, Itsuki is voiced by Yoshitaka Yamaya in the Japanese version and Eric Scott Kimerer in the English version.
Itsuki is seventeen years old, is the shortest and youngest looking of any of the heroes. He has short curly blonde hair and green eyes. Itsuki was initially summoned wearing a school uniform, with a green blazer but quickly traded this in for light armor. Wearing white underlayers, his overclothes are brown, with metal shoulder and hip guards. He also wears a green traveling cloak.
Powers and Abilties
Like the other cardinal heroes, Itsuki is unable to use weapons that are not based around his original weapon, in his case a bow. Similar to Motoyasu, this puts him at a disadvantage compared to Naofumi or Ren, since he cannot fight or defend himself effectively at close range.
Itsuki's main strategy is to use powerful bows, with high-level attacks to overwhelm his opponent before they can get close to him. He initially believed that the rarer a weapon the bigger advantage he held over his opponent. Like the Sword and Spear Heroes, Itsuki also thought that grinding levels quickly would make him more powerful than any of his adversaries.
Whilst these strategies initially served him well, they ultimately hindered his growth and left him outmatched by people like Naofumi and L'Arc.
Outside of the waves, Itsuki will never engage in a fight until the crisis has reached its highest point. This is done with the express purpose of making him look more heroic.
Itsuki ran his party like a vigilante group, establishing a clear hierarchy. With Itsuki in command, his chief lieutenant was Mald the knight, whilst the lowest of the group was Rishia, a rescued noble. Every action they took was meant to make Itsuki look like a hero. Itsuki did not tolerate weakness, working to make his party members as strong as possible, which was one of the reasons he eventually kicked Rishia out.
In accordance with Itsuki's orders, his companions lavished praise upon him, singing his name to the masses. In reality, however, only Rishia was genuinely loyal to him. The others simply used him to their advantage in order to make themselves look good. Unlike Motoyasu, whose party consisted of nothing but gold-diggers and backstabbers, it is implied that Itsuki's party were once genuinely loyal to him but grew tired of his repeated failures and arrogance.
During the Spirit Turtle incident, all of Itsuki's remaining party members deserted him. By the time they next met up, Itsuki's companions had joined up with Malty and began exploiting Itsuki for their own financial benefits. Naofumi, Ren and Rishia eventually discovered this and when the latter defeated Itsuki in open combat, her treacherous former companions completely abandoned both her and their hero.
Note: For the sake of the character and this wiki, only his antagonistic role (pre-Volume 13) will be presented in this article.
Unlike the other heroes, Itsuki was born into a world with some small degree of magic power. Originally ecstatic about this, as he got older, Itsuki discovered that his skill 'Accuracy' was actually considered very low tier magic. This lead to him being bullied by some of the more powerful students whilst he was a child. This harassment is what led to Itsuki developing his hero and superiority complex, on top of a strong desire to be recognized as special.
In order to escape from reality, Itsuki turned to online computer games where he was able to mask his abilities and use them to his advantage. He particularly liked the game Dimension Wave. He adopted a very Robin Hood-like style, fighting for those who could not defend themselves and serving as an ally of justice.
Whilst walking home from school one day, Itsuki was hit by a speeding truck, which apparently killed him. Seconds later, he found himself standing in a new world. There were three other people at his side, a group of robed figures in front of him and a bow in his hand.
Along with Motoyasu Kitamura and Ren Amaki, Itsuki initially believed that the new world he had been summoned to was just a game, in his case Dimension Wave. Thinking that the already knew everything there was to know about this world and that the inhabitants were just NPC's, Itsuki began making demands from his new carers. King Aultcray Melromarc, the ruler of this new nation, soon gave Itsuki (along with Ren and Motoyasu) a band of apparently loyal followers.
Like the other two, Itsuki looked down upon Naofumi Iwatani, believing the Shield class to be weak and useless. When Naofumi was accused of rape by Myne Sophia (Malty in disguise), Itsuki believed it immediately because of his strong sense of justice. Not realizing that the innocent man in front of him was being set up, Itsuki took the opportunity to distance himself from the disgraced hero. He also chastised the fallen hero for his apparent lack of remorse.
After this, Itsuki became an on-again, off-again ally of Naofumi. He tolerated the latter's presence during the waves but did his best to avoid him outside of it. Despite this, he and Ren both earned themselves a small redemption after the second wave. When the citizens of Melromarc tried to take away Naofumi's companion, the tanuki demi-human Raphtalia, by having Motoyasu duel him, Itsuki and Ren called them out on it. They informed the stuck up Spear Hero that Myne had illegally interfered, whilst openly reprimanding the callous citizens and royals for their actions. The following morning, they did a similar thing when King Aultcray tried to rescind Naofumi's promised reward.
Itsuki spent most of his time between the waves travelling throughout Melromarc, dealing justice to those he perceived as evil-doers. In accordance with his fantasy, Itsuki traveled in disguise so that nobody would recognize him until the crucial moment. As such his accomplishments were not as well known as those Motoyasu, Ren or Naofumi.
At some point, Itsuki was employed to deal with a corrupt noble in the northern territory who was overtaxing his people. Itsuki joined the local rebellion and personally killed the "evil overlord". It was here that he rescued a young woman from a noble family called Rishia. Enraptured by Itsuki, she asked to join his party, which he accepted.
Just before, the Third Wave, Itsuki together with Ren and their parties confronted Naofumi outside the weapons shop in Castle Town (in the anime it was a restaurant). They believed Naofumi to be responsible for stealing their reward money and wanted answers. The irritated Shield Hero told the Bow Hero flatly that he had not stolen Itsuki's reward money (since he was not registered at a guild). He also revealed that the noble Itsuki had slain was overtaxing his people, because his country was going through a famine. The funds were needed to procure food and protection from encroaching neighbours. After Itsuki left, the rebels he instated overtaxed the population as well, leading to thousands of casualties. Itsuki did not believe Naofumi and left in a foul mood.
During the wave itself, Itsuki did not co-operate with Ren or Motoyasu causing the wave to last for over three hours. He was left bewildered by Naofumi's offensive capabilities but did not have long to dwell on it. The quartet and their companions were confronted by Glass who proceeded to mock and then defeat Itsuki, Ren and Motoyasu without issue.
Shortly after recovering Itsuki was informed that Naofumi had abducted the Crown Princess Melty Melromarc and was holding the poor girl against her will. Together with Motoyasu and Ren, he joined the search party and eventually managed to corner the Shield Hero. Itsuki was the one to demand Melty's release. Although Naofumi initially tried to convince Ren and Itsuki that this was another setup the Bow Hero was swayed by Princess Malty's accusations that Naofumi had unlocked a brainwashing shield.
When Itsuki made it clear he would no longer listen to Naofumi, the Shield Hero gave up on trying to reason with him. A fight soon broke out between the two sides. Despite being under-leveled and having not undergone a class up, Naofumi's party were victorious and managed to escape. During this confrontation, Itsuki noticed that Myne was deliberately launching powerful attacks at her sister, the girl they were supposed to be rescuing. These attacks would have surely killed the girl had Naofumi not intervened. Once the battle was over, Ren (who likewise saw the incident) managed to convince Itsuki not to pursue Naofumi but begin a separate investigation into the Church of the Three Heroes back at the capital.
The pair were eventually betrayed and apparently killed by Pope siphoning and his zealous followers after uncovering the full extent of the churches corruption. Thanks to the intervention of the Queens Shadows, however, they managed to escape and ran to join Naofumi and Motoyasu who had just been cornered by the treacherous clergy. Though on the receiving end of a verbal reprimand from Naofumi, Itsuki and his companions joined the other heroes and their allies against the Pope.
Thanks to the Queen and Naofumi's efforts, the Bow Hero stood on the winning side. Two days later, they entered the throne room in the Melromarc Capital together with the Queen. Itsuki watched on bewildered, as Mirellia proceeded to humiliate both her husband and her daughter for everything they had done. Like everybody else, the Bow Hero was shocked to learn that Naofumi had been innocent all along and did not come to the aid of either Aultcray or Malty when they were publicly punished and humiliated. He also acknowledged Mirellia's decision to show Naofumi slight favouritism in order to make up for everything the latter had gone through. However, Naofumi suspected that this was all an act and that Itsuki was in fact jealous of this.
Despite Itsuki's apparent compliance with the Queen, he did not fully reconcile with Naofumi. Indeed the former's actions during and leading up to the Cal Mira incident, soured the latter's opinion of him even more.
In a meeting between the four cardinal heroes and the Queen, Itsuki made it clear that he did not believe that Naofumi had gotten stronger through constant practice and hard work during his travels. Instead, he believed that Naofumi had met this worlds creator/God and been granted special powers. He also rejected the idea that his method of levelling up through rare items could be wrong.
His arrogance did come back to haunt him somewhat, on the journey to Cal Mira, Itsuki (along with Motoyasu and Ren) evicted some passengers and crew from their high-class cabins. Due to the rough weather, all three heroes ended up becoming seasick. During the expedition itself, Naofumi and other adventurers began to realise just how arrogant Itsuki and most of his party members, especially Mald, actually were. They were also disliked the way Itsuki and the others treated Rishia. Instead of helping her level up, they treated the poor girl like a servant, forcing her to carry much of the heavy luggage and food, despite the latter's clear devotion to the Bow Hero.
During the Cal Mira wave, history repeated itself when Itsuki and the others were once again outshone by Naofumi. Proving themselves to be practically useless, they were easily defeated by the intervention of unexpected rivals, L'Arc and Therese. Towards the end of the battle, Rishia, in a bid to help the heroes lobbed a barrel of alcohol at the villains, which combined with a fire spell temporarily incapacitated the villains.
For her efforts, Rishia was given personal praise from the Queen and Naofumi. However, Itsuki did not appreciate being outshone like this and together with his other party members decided that enough was enough. That very night, his party members accused Rishia of breaking one of Itsuki's levelling bracelets and the Bow Hero expelled her from his party.
When Naofumi learnt what had happened he was outraged. He immediately confronted Itsuki and demanded an explanation. Even when presented evidence that Rishia was not guilty of the crime she was accused of Itsuki refused to change his mind. In the end, Naofumi realised that Itsuki did it because he couldn't stand the fact that somebody else looked stronger than he did. Enraged, the Shield Hero told the Bow hero that he was disgusted by him and that his opinion of him had dropped drastically.
Angered Itsuki drew his bow and shot at Naofumi but thanks to his high defence the Shield Hero was able to tank it. Bearing down on Itsuki, Naofumi mocked the Bow Hero for being weak.
Rishia, who had overheard the whole thing was distraught but pleased to have at least learnt the truth. She immediately tried to commit suicide by drowning in the sea but was rescued by Filo, who happened to be nearby. After that, she was persuaded to join the Shield Heroes party in a bid to prove Itsuki wrong. Rishia admitted that despite everything she still in love with Itsuki, a fact that Naofumi accepted.
Volumes 6 & 7
After returning to Melromarc, in a bid to help the heroes get stronger, Queen Mirellia employed some tutors in order to train them. Naofumi was the only hero to take this training seriously, whilst the others were still convinced that their original methods were the right way to go. By this point, it was clear that there was no unity between the heroes.
Itsuki's jealousy of Naofumi was no longer concealed as the events of the previous wave proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Naofumi was the strongest of the heroes. The Bow Hero was outraged that a shield-bearer with absolutely no attack power had managed to humiliate him in front of everyone.
When a group of unknown familiars began attacking innocent civilians, Itsuki together with Ren and Motoyasu abandoned their training and immediately rushed off to deal with the new threat. From their studies, the three heroes eventually concluded that this latest incident was being caused by the Spirit Tortoise. Gathering dragons, filolials and horses, the trio and their parties rushed at all speed to confront the new beast.
However, the Spirit Tortoise was unlike every other opponent they had faced up until this point. Not only was it colossal in size, but it was also practically immortal. Concerned only with gaining experience points, valuable materials and fame, Itsuki and the others ignored the fact that every other hero in history had failed to defeat the divine beast. Indeed the previous heroes had only ever managed to seal it away and now the three offensive heroes were hoping to awaken a creature that had wrought great destruction on the land previously.
All attempts to stop Itsuki, Ren and Motoyasu ended in failure, although Itsuki and his party members were captured at one point. It was at this moment that Itsuki's party members revealed their true colours and what they really thought about him. Angered they told Itsuki to his face that he was no hero of justice and how much of an idiot they thought he really was.
Itsuki was stunned to hear this but was soon forced to face the divine reptile anyway. When the giant turtle attacked, Itsuki, Ren and Motoyasu were all incapacitated and captured by the beasts controller, Kyo. Whilst Ren's party members were all killed, Motoyasu and Itsuki's abandoned the heroes they had sworn to protect to their fate without a moment's hesitation.
Itsuki spent some time in stasis, Kyo syphoning off his energy in order to power the turtle. This captivity finally ended when Naofumi led his party and agents of Melromarc into the belly of the beast. Saved by Rishia, Itsuki was taken back to royal capital for treatment. He woke up a week later, whilst Naofumi, Rishia and others had followed Kyo back to his home dimension.
Like Ren and Motoyasu, Itsuki escaped from the hospital not long after regaining consciousness. Upon venturing out into the world, however, the Bow Hero found himself confronted with his worst nightmare. Owing to the events brought about by the Spirit Tortoise, the entire world now despised him.
Branded a false hero by the populace, Itsuki now found himself subjected to a similar sort of prejudices that Naofumi had previously experienced. Ordinary citizens threw rocks, insults and glares at him. The guilds would not hire him and soldiers repeatedly tried to arrest him. As such, Itsuki was forced to keep a low profile whilst searching for his party members.
Shortly after betraying Ren, Malty (now known as Bitch) and Mald found the distraught Bow Hero and deemed him perfect for their schemes. Feeding Itsuki lies they led Itsuki to the Zeltbar Colosseums were they convinced him to fight for money, which they claimed was to help them liberate the mistreated slaves in Naofumi's village. In reality, this money was simply used to line their own pockets.
Driven by purpose, Itsuki fought relentlessly for the justice he believed in. Eventually, he unlocked his curse series, Pride through which he gained a brainwashing bow and a final execution attack, brazen bull (similar to Naofumi's Iron Maiden). He never once realised that he was being used.
Eventually, Naofumi, Rishia and Ren came to Itsuki's rescue. Still being feed lies by Bitch and Mald and influenced by his curse series, Itsuki refused to listen to his would-be rescuers. Standing her ground Rishia refused to abandon the man she loved and proceeded to engage Itsuki in a one on one battle. Despite the latter's high level, the formers training alongside Naofumi paid off and she eventually defeated him.
Freed from his curse at long last, Itsuki broke down and apologised for everything. Bitch, Mald and the other members of Itsuki and Motoyasu's former parties promptly fled ditching Itsuki for a second time. Now possession of a clear mind and free will Itsuki became determined to make amends for his past mistakes. He gave up on his sense of justice and found forgiveness from Rishia.
Owing to the trauma he had been through, Itsuki retired as a hero for the time being and settled down in Naofumi's village under Rishia's care.
- Naofumi once noted that Itsuki could easily disguise himself as a woman and that nobody would be able to tell his real gender.
- Although Itsuki looks like the youngest of the heroes, he is actually one year older than Ren.
- Amongst the Cardinal Heroes, Itsuki appears to have the best relationship with Ren. The pair are frequently seen together.
- Following Malty's original accusations, Itsuki was less hostile to Naofumi than Motoyasu but was not as tolerant as Ren. Even when the Shield Hero was proven innocent other factors ensured that their relationship remained a hostile one.
- Itsuki was the last of the heroes to join Naofumi.
- In the web novel, Itsuki's party members were captured when Naofumi, Rishia and Ren defeated him. In mockery of Itsuki's execution skill, they were then killed by burning within a brazen bull.
- After Motoyasu, Itsuki is the least popular hero. This likely due to his ego and massive hero complex, hypocrisy, poor treatment of Risha and his party members, who he forces to praise him all the time, his lack of remorse towards his mistakes, unlike Ren and intentionally doing wrong to satisfy his ego (framing Risha for braking an item and kicking her out of his party).