Since the final moments of last week’s episode, I’ve been eagerly awaiting Episode 4 of Goblin Slayer. It’s no secret I’ve found the daily life and world building of the last two episodes slightly tedious. So, I’m glad we’re moving away from monologues and campfire chats and jumping back into what Goblin Slayer does best – slaying some darn goblins! Please note that while this episode did feature quite a bit of violence and gore, it was not nearly as graphic nor as horrifying as episode one.
Episode 4 Violence Levels – Medium (fighting & bloodshed)
Japanese Original Episode Title: 強き者ども
Moving past the two goblin sentries, our Goblin Slaying Squad (GSS) moves deeper into the ruins. There’s quite a bit of tension between our adorable High Elf Archer and Goblin Slayer as Archer struggles to process how horrible the goblins are. Goblin Slayer steps on a few toes by suggesting she should return to the entrance if she can’t handle it. The episode ends with one of my favorite fight scenes of the series (so far), as the GSS shows viewers the real meaning of teamwork.
Scrolls: Last week’s episode had some subtle foreshadowing about Goblin Slayer’s scrolls and I’m glad we got to see them in action so soon. While Goblin Slayer didn’t use the scroll as its intended purpose, it just goes to show how creative and innovative he is when it comes to killing goblins.
Perceptions of Goblin Slayer: In this episode we saw yet another unusual way that others perceive our hero. Priestess and the High Elf Archer were so quick to assume he would kill the female elf they saved, to which he replied, ‘I’m only here to kill goblin’. This makes me question how cold-hearted others view Goblin Slayer to be.
The Struggles of an Elf: While our sweet Elf may be 1200 years old, it seems that she has been quite sheltered from the horrors of the world. Viewers can see how much she struggles to get through the goblin nest, from seeing their treatment of another elf woman to killing them. But it was also inspiring to see how the rest of the group rallied around her and gave her the motivation to continue on.
Themes & Trivia
Goblins vs. Dwarves: Dwarf Shaman comforts High Elf Archer by telling her that dwarves have a strong hatred towards goblins but he doesn’t expand much more than that. Again, this is not a new relationship dynamic depicted in fantasy. For example, in Lord of the Rings, goblins had taken over a dwarf stronghold (the mines of Moria), and in The Hobbit trilogy, the Goblin King seemed to take great pleasure in capturing Thorin’s company of dwarves. It seems these two cave dwelling creatures just can’t get along!
He’s no Shrek!: The depictions of the Ogre in Goblin Slayer seem to align more closely with Japanese mythology (where they are called Oni). Oni are usually depicted with red or blue skin with long hair and sometimes beards, their teeth are tusk-like, and they have large horns.
Post-Credit Scene: Stick around after the credits to see a small clip of Cow Girl.
This week’s episode showed the second half of Chapter 5, as well as all of Chapters 6 to 9 of the manga. While this may seem like a big chunk of content, quite a bit of it was fight scenes and moving through the dungeon which was streamlined in the anime. This episode is pretty much what I’ve been waiting for with this series; a balance of some action, character development, and backstory. We learn bits and pieces on various character’s cultures and how this informs their perceptions of the goblins and Goblin Slayer’s work.
As I mentioned above, High Elf Archer was a particularly interesting character in this episode. While she’s okay to use her bow and arrow to wreak havoc, when it comes to using her hands and getting down and dirty she gets quite disgusted and upset. It’ll be interesting to see if this contrast is explored in later episodes or if she just learns to put up with it, like Priestess has. I’m also keen to know the full backstory of why dwarves hate goblins; is there something there besides the obvious?
Get Ogre Yourself!
This week’s episode gave us a lot to muse over. From hints to the demon king’s army to side character development, I’m really excited to see where the next eight episodes will take us. But, based on the title of next week’s episode, it seems we’ll be jumping back into Goblin Slayer’s everyday life. It’s difficult to convey sarcasm in text, so imagine me rolling my eyes as I type, ‘how exciting, I can’t wait!’.
In the meantime, make sure to check out the rest of the MANGA.TOKYO team’s Fall 2018 reviews.
NEXT TIME: Adventurers and Daily Life
Fall 2018 | Anime Info | Simulcast