Well, after the controversial first episode because Crunchyroll didn’t apparently have someone check their rating systems, Episode 2 is out. Is it any good? Did they butcher the source materials?
Take a gander at my Recap and Review of Goblin Slayer Episode 2 to find out!
So the second episode opens with a viewer description warning, because they learned their lesson this time, and a view of the childhood of a red-haired girl and her friend arguing until the boy’s sister comes by. The girl heads out to the city for the day without making up with him, and then we flash forward to seeing that girl as a rather… healthy, young woman. Cue the out of place OP that downplays what we saw last episode and will confuse even more people in the future.
After a scene of somewhat gratuitous nudity, she greets Goblin Slayer in the middle of checking for Goblin tracks around the farm and for any damaged fencing. It’s something he’s done for the last five years since he came to live with Cow Girl (yes, that’s her name) and her uncle. He pays rent and heads into town with her since both have business there.
Then we cut to Guild Girl who is helping a villager arrange for a Goblin Extermination mission. She wears a smile but notes the reward won’t entice the more skilled adventurers, meaning what happened in Episode 1 will happen again if GS doesn’t pick it up. Then we get Lancer, er I mean Spearman who tries flirting with Guild Girl to no success until GS shows up and everyone has something negative to say about him.
Priestess shows up and tells him that blowing up a cave was going too far because of a potential avalanche. Its been a month since she started partying with him, and in that time she’s somehow lucky enough to learn from him. He also establishes that you never enter a nest unless you have to, for reasons we saw the last episode.
Then we cut back to Cow Girl later in the day after GS has set out on his quests to kill more Goblins. Another group of rookies also took a mission to kill Goblins and Priestess wanted him to go help them, but the forest was more important. Lucky for them, they come out of it unharmed.
Cutting to that forest we see a group of dead women adventurers and some flashbacks to what was Goblin Slayer and Cow Girl’s village being overrun, serving as the reason for why he’s the way he is. Goblin Slayer burns down the fortress and has Priestess use a barrier to block the entrance (she learned two new Miracles in the last month). Then he hunt down the survivors because there can be no mercy.
The episode ends with songs being played about GS by a bard, which attracts the attention of a group of adventurers looking for someone by the name of Orcbolg.
So this episode pretty much serves as our introduction the life and backstory of Goblin Slayer. He lived with his sister and Cow Girl in a small village that got overrun by Goblins. Cow Girl left the day before it happened and GS somehow survived and bore witness to his beloved sister being desecrated while hiding. Five years later he showed up at the Guild to start killing Goblins, the innocent boy he once was long gone.
There were a lot of details they glossed over for the sake of compressing the two episodes that need to be discussed, so I’ll have those at the bottom, but let’s focus on the content that we do have.
Now, having the adventurers talk crap to GS does two things. The first is that it establishes that he’s an outlier because he uses what they call crappy gear and only hunts the weakest monsters despite being a Silver-ranker. Second, it makes us want to sympathize with him since they’re ragging on him for no reason.
This is a technique that a lot of writers actually use in stories like Chivalry of a Failed Knight, Arifureta (may it burn), and Rising of the Shield Hero, so you root for the underdog. But considering some of the events you learn later on it feels hollow, so I consider it a weak point.
The opening and ending were also… well, crap. I can’t hide my disappointment in them.
But other than that, it was a solid episode and gave me an idea for where they intend to go. If they’re doing roughly 2 chapters an episode then they’ll probably hit the end of the second volume in 12 episodes. As much as I’d like them to simply slow down so I get a direct adaptation, I understand why they’re doing it.
The first episode set the tone for the most part, so they had to adapt it accurately. They don’t have to go into further extremes like how that goblin chewing a bone was actually a finger and he was visualizing what Priestess looked like beneath her clothes since he didn’t get the chance to join in with the other Goblins in desecrating the other women. And, you know that’s probably for the best.
Differences in Adaptation
Now, on the matter of content they did change it from the manga and light novel by mixing and matching Chapters 3 & 4 along with the details.
- Those women dead at the fortress were a team of Steel-ranked adventurers, who made to the inside but found the girl dead and fell for a trap because their scout was worn out. The leader got knocked out by a stone to the head (she didn’t wear a helmet) and they were overrun with their fates being that they were to be used for target practice (the Scout), burned at the stake (the Witch), disemboweled with the entrails stuck in her mouth (the Priestess), and either raped to death or mutilated to the point of something out of a horror show and tossed down the river (the Leader).
- Guild Girl establishes that the pay for Goblin Quests are so low (barely 10 coins in gold) that only rookies will take it, and because of it they have a rate of success that’s about 1-in-3. But because they have more people constantly coming in, they aren’t concerned that its a meat-grinder. She is personally, but the higher-ups aren’t since the alternative is to let three or so villages burn.
- Spearman actually fought off 20 men, not a troll. He and Witch are both highly-experienced Silver-rankers, with it being mentioned by the two rookies who took on the sewer quest (see the side-story manga for how that goes).
- Goblin Slayer takes two quests out of the three, the one from the old man and the fortress one. That group of rookies who came back alive weren’t a thing in the manga, but Guild Girl did plan on having someone take it so I guess they count.
- Goblin Slayer’s explanation about Goblin habits were spliced in with scenes from the first episode for relevance, but the manga made it clear just how messed up he was that he could have been the goblin instead. Its this reason Cow Girl’s uncle states that he’s no longer sane.