“They Were Called Goblin Slayers”

「ゴブリンスレイヤーと呼ばれて」 (Goburin Sureiya to Yobarete)

There’s Something About Mary:

One thing that stands out to me with this episode is how self aware it was. It brought up all the points we – the audience – are thinking, and even asked the same questions that some of us will be asking. Ranta may be an unlikeable ass from time to time, but he said what critics of Mary’s backstory will be saying: Why should we care? It’s in interesting question that can’t be answered simply. Some said that they found it cliche, others (like myself) felt it made her easier to like and understand. I always suspected she would have lost her previous teammates, but that doesn’t mean it was a disappointing revelation. What’s more, we got to see a little bit more of the raid in question and how devastating it was for Mary to lose two friends whilst watching the third die in battle. As I said before, it turns out people die when they are killed.

We don’t know anything about the lives these characters had before they arrived in the world of Grimgar, but perhaps them losing their memories is for the best. After all, the one character who has lived in this world longer than the others is plagued by what memories she does have of her earlier days, and she’s changed as a person because of it. In present, she’s still scowling and showing as little emotion as possible, but as the episode progresses we see her demeanour soften as she interacts more with her newfound friends. It takes several days of asking, but she eventually joins them in the tavern, uses her higher level knowledge to explain the difference between male and female goblins, and even skips away when she heads home at the end of the day. It’s little moments like this that make her development believable. If she suddenly changed after her history was revealed, that would seem forced and rushed. And rushed is one thing that Grimgar certainly ain’t.

Growing and Healing with Time:

While this seems like a Mary-centric arc right now, everyone else got their moment to show their growth as well. At first it seemed like this episode was going to be the slowest yet, but the second half made creative use of another insert song (this time with dialogue!), and showed the characters buying new gear, learning new skills, and defeating goblins with more ease. Some of the best parts of the episode were littered throughout this montage, like Ranta’s bargaining, Mary looking out at the starry sky, the group being known for their goblin killing, Yume’s slick bow and arrow skills, Shihoru’s friendliness towards Mary, and Haruhiro embracing his role as leader as best as he can, whilst having conversations with an imagined Manato every night, promising he’ll see him again tomorrow. Another self aware moment would be when Haruhiro gives his “Goblins goblins goblins goblins goblins goblins goblins” speech, which made me chuckle if only because I’m also wondering when they’re going to fight something other than goblins.

And while everyone is growing, making silvers, learning new skills, and becoming better as a team, there’s still the less serious moments that I’d like to point out. Mainly the fanservice we got this episode – or should I say manservice? People (myself included) have complained how sexualised the female characters are, but this time I’m sure we saw more of the boys’ bodies than the girls’. I’m not complaining at that – it’s kind of refreshing, actually. Other than that, it’s good to see (almost) everyone laughing and smiling, especially after the tragedy of Manato’s death and how – as Shihoru pointed out – it affected everyone. If there’s one thing that brings everyone in this party together, despite their contrasting personalities, it would be them all witnessing death first-hand. Thanks to that, it now appears they can get through this together.

Overview – What’s Next?:

Grimgar continues to excel at what it’s good at. If you’re still watching, you’ve likely accepted that we’re not rushing through the story anytime soon. It’s rare for a MMO/fantasy world light novel anime adaptation to treat its characters and their hardships with such care and affection. There’s a certain delicacy to the storytelling, despite the blood and occasional gripping violence, that makes Grimgar more human than it perhaps ought to be. I can honestly say that I now care for all these characters and want to see them progress in their newfound world. There’s no endgame in sight, but it looks like Haruhiro is set on getting his dagger back and seeking revenge on the goblin party that killed Manato.


End Card


  1. I’m just gonna copy and paste what I commented on the episode itself.

    It’s very rare for an anime to be able to set the tone with no music whatsoever. Like there’s a sense of emptiness in the air. There were probably only 3 or 4 tracks the entire episode and just about 7 minutes or longer without any track playing at all.

    I loved the directing of this episode. I really did. Not often a series that’s assumed to have a lot of action focuses as much time and effort on it’s characters and their relationships.

    The progress is sooo REAL. They learned Mary’s story, but to Ranta’s point(even though he’s annoying…well he did good this episode, so give credit where it’s due), does that mean they should feel sorry? Just cause she suffered tragedy, doesn’t make her any different from them. And to all of their behaviors, they learned her story, but then what? They didn’t know how to approach her, or how to feel anything else but awkwardness and pity. Should they empathize? Would that make her feel more comfortable? It’s like when you just found out someone’s parent died and you just ran into them. You don’t know what to say or how to address it, if you should at all. But then Haruhiro lets it all out on the table. Haru’s group and Mary both share the same pain, so there’s no reason for the tension when it stems from the same source. Loss. And with that, make her feel welcome. Not as a Manato replacement, but as a new member of the team.

    It’s very self aware too. Viewers are getting tired of the goblins and no other threat, but the group knows and everyone else is aware that goblins are all they can do right now.

    If SAO’s anime did more of this (At least Aincrad arc) then I’d enjoy it more than I did. This puts to shame people who say “things need to be skipped over or else they won’t get to the main point”. Albeit, I’m sure some stuff was glossed over or downright skipped, it sure doesn’t feel that way with how the progress is so gradual.

    1. The characters might be self-aware but it feels like they lack insight. Ranta completely misses the point. Mary’s tendency to party-hop makes it apparent that she doesn’t want to get attached to people, to prevent herself from more emotional distress when losing people close to her. Even Haruhiro&co think it has to do with her refusing to move on or loss of one’s self in that dungeon, while it is most likely a coping mechanism for her trauma.

      I like the mood this show gives as well, but it could do without the music scenes. It feels overused when every time they wrap something up or want to skip forward another cut scene is thrown in your face.

    1. That seems to be the route this series seem to give specially next episode. I wonder if they will come into a point where they want to make peace. Wars, guild, gang or any other sort of fight is brutal and only leads to an endless cycle of revenge. It is sad and is what makes live and peace even more appreciated. I am just rambling at this point…

    1. Sometimes I wonder what the standard is for jackasses like you. Like, give me an example of good writing in an anime review. I wanna see to what standard you hold hobbyists.

      Somewhat old cake
      1. You do? No doubt, it must be the brilliant writing style he showed us an example of in his previous comment. Look, there’s exaggeration, a metaphor, ellipsis. And in just 2 sentences he’s giving us so many informations about himself. Im raising my hat to Newcake.

        @samu etc. I know you want to give us the negative thumbs back now;)

  2. That moment you start singing “They’re taking the goblins to Isengard” due to Haruhiro’s fandom towards gobs.
    It certainly is slow-paced, but I can’t remember something so slow and so good, anime-wise. This is already becoming my (veeery early) AOTY, much shows to see until the end though 😀

  3. between the new opening and this episode, I am extremely satisfied with how much they are picking up the slack in terms of man service. I don’t mind seeing jiggle tits and Yume’s large ass in my face so long as we get the boys naked too to compensate. On a more serious note though, this show is a real slow build and I love it, cuz it actually makes me care about the characters and route for them, and Mary slowly growing into a part of the team is very nice to see. Another!

  4. For how much I and others have enjoyed the methodical pace to this series, we’re approaching an interesting question due to that very pace. Presumably episode 8 will be the climax of the battle with the goblins (and thus the end of the LN volume 1 if I’ve measured right), leaving us 4 or so more episodes for… what, exactly? If Grimgar took a generous 8 episodes for volume 1, I highly doubt it’s going to be (relatively) blazing through volume 2 in 4. Are we en route to an anime original ending, which probably fills most of us with a sense of dread? If not that, are we just going to be tossed into a cliffhanger as we stop mid-volume and can only pray and hope that Grimgar gets a second season? March is going to be a very interesting month for this series… I just don’t know why it’s going to be interesting.

    1. Well, the anime has pretty much gone for original regarding *major spoiler*
      Show Spoiler ▼

    2. It’s certainly an interesting question. I’ve heard that Vol2 is faster paced and more action packed, so maybe they will get through it in those 4 episodes? But it’s just as likely they will only adapt part of the novel or just go the anime original route.

      1. Maybe they’ll give it a second season. A-1 seem more open to giving a show two lots of 12/13 episodes than some studios. Some of their more recent shows have had sequels too(Asterisk, Gate, Saekano, Idolmaster etc).

  5. You’ve said perfectly in your review Samu, it truly is rare for a light novel adaptation to take it’s time in developing the characters with care and realism. I can think of so many other anime that would show some tragic flashback, just for the person afflicted to cheer up in the next episode or so. Not here, Mary isn’t magically going to cheer up instantly, it can take a long time to accept the past and move on.

    The characters are just getting more likeable, particularly Haruhiro and Ranta. Haruhiro because he’s starting to become comfortable with his position as a leader, and I appreciate how thoughtful he is. He apologizes to Ranta for neglecting his thoughts and isn’t afraid to admit his mistakes. Ranta because as the series progresses, I can really see how pivotal his character is. He’s aggressive and isn’t afraid to haggle, and he speaks his mind clearly without regard to what kind of backlash he gets. He’s still obnoxious, but even he is slowly getting more tactful and more mindful of what he says.

    All in all I feel like I praise this show too much, but this anime is just a breath of fresh air for me. This isn’t going to be a show everyone talks about like Sword Art Online or Attack on Titan, but it’s a splendid watch nonetheless.

  6. I have a feeling that that light the Haru sees will become important later on. Like some unique passive skill that only manifests super rarely.

    Can I also say that I LOVE that this show is treating noobs like noobs. How sick am I of shows like Naruto (hyperbolic example) where 12-14 kids are surpassing their teachers in strength on a regular basis. Implying that everyone must apparently hit their peak at like 12 and just stay that level of strength forever lol. Or where the main characters are just on a completely different level than everyone else, like Kirito in SAO. Log Horizon was a little bit better, but still mostly following brilliant and OP characters.

    I like that they are even taking a little longer than the average party, and that there is an OP party, but that is not the one we are following. Very refreshing.

    1. I’d agree with you on the subject of good character progression in Grimgar, i liket he way that Haru has become the de facto leader in the group without a whole bunch of unecessary and protracted exposition.

      I will though, disagree with you on your Naruto point.. which developed certain character traits years and years.. i mean its shonen model.. and i think that Naruto gets more shit than it deserves.. the character growth of Naruto is really quite well structured.

      if you cut out the filler nonsense… Chunin Exam Arc and early Naruto is the best Naruto.

      1. Chuunin exam is good, yes. But it gets more and more ridiculous from there. For instance, we see Kakashi was a genius kid, but now he’s like 30ish and Naruto and Sasuke, hell even Shikamaru, Neji, and like 20 other kids from Naruto’s age-range are basically at his level and that of other Jounin. Wouldn’t the village be brimming with geniuses if there are like 15 in Naruto’s graduating class, alone? Like, do they all hit their peak in their early teens? Think how much stronger they got from like 13-19, if that is their ages. And whenever you see armies of Jonin at certain points in naruto, they’re all just throwing effing kunai lol. Like…. look at how hard it was for these kids to make Chuunin. You’re telling me you’ve got 100 jonin and they’re best move is to throw knives in unison…

        But then like, what the hell happened to hand seals? They totally abandon them after making them out to be really important during the whole Zubaza arc or whatever his name is, where Kakashi is this genius copycat that can copy them. If they had established a harry potter type “you don’t have to do the signs/say the name of spells once you’re super skilled” I’d have been ok with abandoning chakra flow and signs and all that. But they spent SO MUCH time developling that.

        Speaking of HP, that is another fantastic example. The books, I mean. The main characters are never able to compete with the main villains in terms of proficiency and power in spells. In the fifth book they get lit up in the Ministry, until their elders show up to save them. Harry is just amazing at defensive magic, but they make it clear that they are outclassed by people that have been studying something for like 20-30 years longer than they have and I like that. It makes their victory more incredible.

        TL;DR some shows handle progress better than others. This is a good one for noob vs expert strenght. Shin Sekai Yori does a good job of adult vs child strength as well. I just prefer this to the overwhelming number of OP type anime characters out there.

    2. The red moon definitely has a part to play in the overall mystery of what Grimgar is and why they are there. I remember earlier on Haru stated that he thought the colour of it was strange (compared to our Moon).

      As for the rate at which the characters progress, I agree that this sort of stuff is more appealing. That being said, this is bound to be no longer than 12 episodes, where as something like Naruto is a long-running classic battle shonen, and not many of those sorts of series are going to be as slow paced as Grimgar.

      1. Which is kind of funny considering they have 600 episodes to move slowly, whereas Grimgar has much less. But I have to imagine it will run more than 12 episodes. We haven’t even scratched the surface of the world yet and why they are here. The season may end after 12-24 episodes, but I feel like this will take a few seasons to run its course


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