Miss my review last week? You can find it here!
After last week’s harrowing introduction to the world of Goblin Slayer, things slow down a bit as we get some background on our mysterious protagonist’s background. Maintaining stellar animation and art direction, Goblin Slayer takes a step in the right direction after the shock and awe approach of its first episode.
The episode opens with a young red-haired girl proclaiming her excitement at the thought of going to the city soon. A childhood friend gets upset at the thought, dismissing her before an older girl interrupts their spat. Waking from her dream, the red-haired girl (covered just enough by a thin blanket, of course) is revealed to be grown now, and opens her window to see the Goblin Slayer scouting for tracks.
We see the masked adventurers obsessive behaviors, including scouting for tracks and damaged sections of the fence – ever watchful for a goblin attack.
Making his way into town, it’s revealed that other silver-class adventurers look down on the Goblin Slayer for his dirty armor, as well as his obsession with seemingly “weak” monsters.
We see a handful of haughty adventurers in fine armor, bragging about bringing down trolls and hitting on the receptionists at the guild.
After the rush of adventurers clamoring for new quests, Goblin Slayer approaches and takes on the goblin-related tasks. He learns, along with the Priestess, that another novice (porcelain) party has taken on a goblin quest. Priestess is distressed and wants to save them, but Goblin Slayer isn’t concerned, instead focusing on another mission.
The Priestess is curious as to why Goblin Slayer is so committed to killing goblins via seemingly cruel and extreme methods. He gives a “hypothetical” example as to what would make someone that way, alluding to the fact that his village was attacked and his parents killed by goblins. Furthermore, he witnessed his older sister get tortured, raped and killed by goblins in front of his eyes as a child. These horrifying events seemingly shaped his hatred for the creatures, and now he’s committed to exterminating their kind once and for all.
After a few days of goblin-killing, he returns to the farm where his childhood friend lives.
In the after-credits scene, we witness a bard singing the exploits of the Goblin Slayer, which attracts the attention of an odd bunch. A pointy-eared woman seemingly refers to him as “Orcbolg” just as the episode ends.
Alright folks, now we’ve got something pretty exciting here.
After last week’s episode, much of the anime community was up in arms over the grotesque nature of the goblin attack in the cave. Some argued that this is what grimdark fantasy looks like, while others claimed that Goblin Slayer was just looking for cheap thrills and shock without much substance beyond.
I would say I resided somewhere between the two camps following the premiere, but this week’s episode took some serious steps in establishing it as a proper fantasy series.
Something that continually impressed me with this episode, and with the series as a whole so far, is the art direction. Numerous times I found myself admiring the framing of a shot. There’s some serious wallpaper material going on throughout the episode. This, combined with the gorgeous animation, is making some serious strides in setting it apart visually from the rest of the shows so far this season.
I really appreciate the pacing and tone of this episode. After clubbing us over the head last week, it’s kind enough to tend to our wounds with some world-building. We get a brief glimpse at the broader world of adventurers, including some that will likely cross our paths again – either as friends or foes.
I appreciated the “newbie group takes on goblins” sub-plot in this episode, including the surprisingly happy ending for them in the closing montage. It goes to show that Priestess’ group was tragically misguided and terribly unprepared, and that even a bit more caution and forethought could have spared them all from tragedy.
Overall, I’m impressed with the balance and aesthetic of Goblin Slayer so far. It’s proving to be my favorite of the season so far.
What do you think? Feel free to comment, or join us in our Discord!
Goblin Slayer - Episode 2
- Gorgeous animation and superb art direction
- Great pacing - slowing things down after last week
- World-building and new adventurers abound - increasing interest
- The Goblin Slayer’s well-endowed childhood friend lays the fanservice on a bit thick in the opening scenes