Goblin Slayer – Ep. 12 (END)

Maybe it’s because Goblin Slayer‘s premiere ruffled so many feathers but I can’t help but find the show’s conclusion rather modest. The battle from last episode obviously gets carried over to here but at this point, everyone is left dealing with stragglers so you’re really just left with Goblin Slayer fighting the Goblin Lord. There is admittedly one brief cut to a flashback that shows the Lord assaulting and raping some unfortunate adventurers. I’ve personally learned to just trudge through that kind of stuff to get to what I like about the show but I can see that possibly bugging viewers again. Then again, if one really did find this show deplorable or offensive…I’m just saying, there were other shows to watch this season…

One thing I really like about this episode is that, despite having a ton of characters on screen, the spotlight largely dials back to just Goblin Slayer and Priestess. You have the two of them fight the Lord together and then you see them having a nice heart to heart chat at the guild. In a way, the story goes full circle, beginning with how these two met and ending with them finishing the fight.

Surprisingly, and I mean this as a compliment, it’s actually Priestess who gets to be the badass for a change. Yes, you still have Goblin Slayer going toe to toe with the Lord but it turns out that he is acting a decoy, distracting the monster so that Priestess can then trap him with Protection spells (always fun to see that spell used offensively). It’s a very smart strategy but what I really like about this fight is that it shows how far Priestess has come as a character. She expresses so much confidence here that for a moment, it hardly seemed like she’s the same girl who cowered in front of goblins not too long ago.

There’s also that moment where the Lord tries to beg for mercy. I’ll admit that it would be interesting if Goblin Slayer explored the possibility of a good goblin but at least in the context of this scene, I love that Priestess is unswayed by the Lord’s plea. Maybe she might’ve fell for it when she started out as an adventurer but she’s clearly been hardened from her experience and she sees through the Lord’s (very obvious) lie and lets Goblin Slayer finish the kill.

As for Goblin Slayer, it still impresses me just how much he values Priestess as a friend. Having complete faith that she’ll pull off their plan in time is great but what actually got me going “Awww” was when he decided to give the one gold coin he earned from the quest to her. Of all the people who helped out, I think Priestess was the least interested in incentives so Goblin Slayer still wanting to reward and thank for her shows that he can be just as selfless.

Priestess does end up banking on a request though all she asks is that Goblin Slayer takes his helmet off. No money, no favors. Just the desire to see what her friend truly looks like. Sure enough, Goblin Slayer obliges and naturally, everyone else except for Cow Girl (who’d obviously know her friend’s face) goes crazy over such a rare sight. That’s a really nice moment to end the story on. A man treated as a weirdo and an outlier now surrounded by dozens of people, all wanting to see the person underneath that suit of armor and recognize that he is still just a person, the same as all of them.

And so ends Goblin Slayer…for now. Yeah, is anyone surprised by that more will be on the way? It seemed very likely given how much attention this anime has garnered, good or bad. I’m sure those who decried this anime will dislike the news but personally, I welcome it. I generally don’t like or care for these kind of edgy light-novel based anime but, as my reviews might have made clear, I surprisingly got into Goblin Slayer. Believe me, it’s not perfect. I still question its use of highly sensitive content to make a point and even that aside, there is some really stupid shit in this anime. And while blogging, I try to always point them out as best as I can.

But despite all that, I really did enjoy this series. The characters are a lot of fun, look memorable, and some of their personalities even have a fair amount of depth to them. The action is consistently a ton of fun to watch with a lot of creative circumstances and strategies incorporated. It also helps that the show is self-aware from time to time, acknowledging that its protagonist’s obsession with killing goblins will garner some snickers and even tries to play into that when he interacts with other characters. Goblin Slayer is a clumsy anime but I think its strengths do outweigh its weaknesses and I’m more likely to look back on this series than plenty of other anime that aired this year. If more is on the way, then by all means: let the goblin slaying continue.

Thanks for reading!

Goblin Slayer is officially available on Crunchyroll & Funimation.

For all of my Goblin Slayer Episode Reviews, check out the show’s archive page!

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