How would you rate episode 7 of
Goblin Slayer II (TV 2) ?
Community score: 4.4
If you ever worry that might be getting too self-serious, just know that Crunchyroll opted to subtitle the Elvish language in this week’s episode using Comic Sans. It’s but a minor detail in a simple, yet sweet scene where the High Elf Archer reiterates to her sister her intent to stick by the Slayer. Her logic is endearingly sound, reasoning that the short lifespans of humans (which might be cut even shorter, given the Slayer’s particular lifestyle) mean that eternal like the elves might as well stick with them for the relative blip their time represents. The Archer has genuine affection for those other races outside the confines of her village, representing a bit more worldliness than her relatives unmoored from the passage of history. The dialogue depicting this is rendered with the professional print choice of an early 00s webcomic.
It’s a mildly amusing aesthetic but the episode pretty neat-looking by standards. Getting out of the standardized fantasy villages, dank dungeons, and caves does wonders for letting the show indulge. The forested home of the elves is on further display, and the boat trip taken by the party later in the episode sees the verdant, fog-enveloped surroundings of the river rendered lushly. While ‘s animation remains as perfunctory as ever, there’s detectible effort to branch out. The opening fight with the giant dinosaur among the trees of the elf village results in a necessary focus on verticality. These are all appreciable flourishes for a show previously steeped in workmanlike pragmatism. You can feel the GM at the table working to keep the locales and encounters engaging for their players.
That’s a necessity at this point, as shifts towards its more typical tactics this week. There are goblins confirmed nearby which means the Slayer is set to do his thing. However, as disconnected as I often feel from that process, I still noticed some gaps in the setup this go-around. A key feature of the goblin encampment is the desecrated corpses of captured elves on display, but the elves that the characters just visited hadn’t brought up any missing members of their population. It’s a detail mostly there to affect shock value in Priestess (after previously showing all her growth in dealing with goblins), so a comparative lack of reaction from the High Elf Archer undersells how affecting this is supposed to be.
It also necessitates at least one brief digression into ‘s hoary-old handling of interspecies issues. The potential growth and evolution of goblins have informed many of their moves this season, yet that’s not visited on in this instance. Instead, the Slayer simply reiterates the goblins’ preceding status as harbingers of mindless, vindictive destruction. They just hate the elves’ freedoms so they are compelled to move in nearby and begin committing atrocities. I know everyone’s sick of the contentions around Fantasy Racism depicted in this setting. But beyond the societal implications of arguing that entire populations are simply inherently evil, it’s also just plain less interesting from a storytelling perspective. It rings repetitive to say the goblins are just visiting violence on the elves for inborn meanness’ sake, especially after spent half its season gesturing at something marginally more interesting.
It’s not like is incapable of being reflective about itself. The interrogation of the Slayer’s awareness of his driving trauma was one of the most interesting elements of the preceding Wizard Boy arc, all its other aggravations aside. And that’s brought up again here, alongside this section’s strong use of character. It’s genuinely poignant to see the Slayer knocking back drinks at an impromptu bachelor party, reflecting on his regrets and insecurities. If the series can at least nominally question the place of the , why shouldn’t it be able to do the same for the goblins themselves?
There is still the potential for more complexities. There’s a tease about the Sword Maiden having cracked the code of that tablet, sending a missive to the Slayer that neither he nor the audience gets to be privy to just yet. This implies that it’s working towards a grander world-saving situation that may or may not still involve goblins. It’s just a sidebar of a suggestion alongside some of the other questions that arise as the heroes quietly storm the goblin stronghold. It works alongside the visual flair (again, you get to see the fight a dinosaur in this one) to keep this storyline a step up compared to the previous arc. Even as it continues to be prone to at least some of the series’ regular pitfalls.
is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
You can just call Chris the Slayer. You can check out his other adventures over on his blog, or brave the grungy goblin cave that is Twitter.