「強き者ども」 (Tsuyoki monodomo)
While I always knew I’d wind up covering Goblin Slayer the entire way through (something something popularity), this episode certainly proved my decision correct. Story controversy or not there’s just something satisfying about watching a veritable D&D campaign in action, where ruin exploration and party banter meet big boss fights and shrewd imagination overcomes all manner of physical limitation. It may be conceptually simple and thematically wider than it is deep, but Goblin Slayer easily has the idea entertainment down pat.
As shown last week, part of the satisfaction lies with the party interactions. All the characters play off against one another well, whether than be the titular Goblin Slayer’s (hilarious) single-minded focus, Priestess’ watchful caring, or our anvil Elf’s bipolar love/hate relationship with the greenskin slayer. This too carries over into the more serious aspects, with Elf especially learning the hard way that dealing with minor enemies isn’t as easy as it seems which cannot be overstated a positive in Goblin Slayer’s books. It’s incredibly easy to overplay the serious side of these stories, to overindulge in the shock and let the edge dominate everything. This was readily apparent in the first episode (and one of my underlying concerns), but Goblin Slayer handled it well here by showing the trauma Elf experienced, but without wallowing in it. The girl was hit hard, but she dug in, worked through it, and came out the other side (mentally) stronger than before. It may be cold, cruel, and more than a little deranged (especially deranged), but as Priestess shows you have to adapt if you wish to work this job because the working conditions certainly won’t change themselves.
One of the big surprises revealed this week too are the mechanics of Goblin Slayer’s magic. Normally it would be simple to throw in some amorphous mention of MP and user exhaustion, but actual spell limitations? Now that’s different. This aspect in particular hearkens back to the RPG elements quietly coming to the fore in Goblin Slayer, where in a lot of works (especially older) health and magic management was essential because items were limited and you had no idea when the next town/merchant would appear. Know there’s likely a boss fight coming? Better hope you dealt with the mobs efficiently enough because you’re not going to catch a convenient break. Thus the importance of items like the scroll and knowing your enemy inside and out—it may appear overkill, but in the heat of the moment you might wind up thanking yourself for having put in the forethought. Hopefully Goblin Slayer retains similar imagination for its future fights because what we got here is definitely doing it right.
For the immediate future though it looks like it’s back to friendly banter and some further world building, for every successful adventure needs a bit of relaxation. Well, at least for the moment; if there’s one thing you can bet on it’s that Goblin Slayer won’t be taking too much time off from the mission at hand.