“They Were Called Goblin Slayers”
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.