Okay, the final episode is out now. We’ve come far and witht he close of the season, we bring the biggest threat that our hero has to face to an end. But what will the future hold for our hero and the series from now on?
Find out in my Season Finale Recap and Review Goblin Slayer!
Episode 12 opens with narration from the Goblin Lord as he recalls his reasoning for running away. He was so sure that he would be able to try again another time, right up until he ran into Goblin Slayer. Our hero explains that while his army was being used as a distraction, he’d gone and wiped the nest out while he was attacking the farm.
Then… then there are no more words as the Goblin Lord and GS go at one another. Goblin Slayer is at a disadvantage initially since the Goblin was smart enough to wear armor, so he throws grass in his face and cuts close to the eye in an attempt to blind him. But it isn’t successful since he isn’t used to fighting head-on against Goblins of this caliber.
Cutting back to the battlefront, we see Rookie Warrior getting a Goblin kill as it tries to stab Apprentice Priestess in the back. The others have largely finished mopping up the stragglers, with Heavy Warrior struggling a bit against the Champion since it knows how to fight. He relies on Female Knight to make an opening and then uses it to cut the Champion in half, while Spearman just straight-up kills the one he’s fighting by running along the length of the chain and getting a head-stab.
As for GS, he’s not doing as well as they are, but manages to get in a stab at the cost of one of his arms being pretty much useless. The Goblin Lord then gets in a few stomps before Priestess gets involved and presses him between two barriers. The Goblin Lord tries to beg for his life and promises not to do anything bad, but the flashback we get shows that he pulled that stunt before and Goblin Slayer just slits his throat.
We then get a flashback to before the battle. Goblin Slayer originally wanted her to use three Protection spells to trap the Goblin Lord, but she only used two in order to save his life with her last spell. She then gets on him for a minute before he tells her he trusted her as they head back to the other adventurers and Cow Girl.
Then we cut to the Heroine, who’s keeping her word about going to a festival now that everything has settled down. But they immediately learn about Goblins popping up and one of them dismisses them as mere underlings, which pretty much only reaffirms the difference in scale of threats they deal with. Anyway, with the battle done, the Adventurers the celebrate to their victory and honor their fallen comrades.
Even Goblin Slayer is rethinking his position in life and that he wants to become an Adventurer someday before Priestess wakes up. When asked why he didn’t post the request as a quest initially, he points out no one came to his village before and he didn’t want the same thing to happen this time. He knows that he’s a weirdo, so he didn’t want to trust in luck, but Priestess assures him they’d always be there to help.
That heartwarming moment is then rounded out by some comedy as she requests to see his face beneath the helmet, which immediately draws the eyes of everyone else. You’d think he was the world’s most handsome man from how everyone crowded around, but then you learn they had a betting pool. The episode then ends with Goblin Slayer smiling and narration that states that GS doesn’t let anyone roll the dice and so the gods liked him since they couldn’t tell where his adventurers would end…
AND A NOTICE THAT GOBLIN SLAYER WILL RETURN!
WE’RE GETTING A SEASON 2!
So this episode covers Chapter 14 – 15 of the manga, with some slight trimming but still an overall fine adaption. The episode drew a close to the season and what should have been the final events of the first Light Novel, making to a rather pleasing ending all things considered.
The battle drew to a close on a mostly positive note. The Adventurers did suffer some deaths, but no one with names (or titles we know) died. Our hero even walked away without dying like a nail in a coffin while protecting the place he calls his home.
I was a little upset they didn’t flesh out the Goblin Lord somewhat. They don’t even explain why he can speak the language of the common folk when Goblins speak in what sounds like grunts to them. In a way, it diminishes the threat he presents, but it is what it is.
The animation was on-point for all that I could see, but it looked especially beautiful when Priestess came out walking with her spell. The details in her eyes, the sheen on her lips, the quiet resolve that’s even more intense given she had seen GS fall to the Goblin Champion and broke down last time. It was magnificently captured.
It was a very fitting episode for a series finale, and if I didn’t see that text at the end I would have thought that. But then they showed that text saying he will return, which makes sense given how much it was watched, and all was right in the world.
This episode is a must-watch for anyone who has been through the season until now.
Differences in Adaptation
Like last episode, the episode is about 80% loyal to the source materials but neglects some inner monologue that could be used to flesh out the mindsets:
- The Goblin Lord’s flashback neglected to show how he got his axe by killing a Conan the Barbarian-like Adventurer who came into the nest and slew every other goblin until he used the woman he came for as a meat shield and then killed them both.
- The Goblin Lord initially brushed off GS’ stab as a minor wound since GS was in a worse position, due to having lost a shield and his arm’s use. He was planning on torturing him for a bit since his horde got killed, but since GS wasn’t going to beg there wasn’t going to be any satisfaction in it and so he decided to just get the kill. Cue Priestess.
- After he gets caught, the Goblin Lord also initially tries to threaten Priestess into letting him go, threatening to do things to her that involve amputating her limbs, burning her, violating her, and then shoving a spike… well, you can guess. When she doesn’t cow under his threats, he then resorts to begging her because its happened a number of times and each time the women were left begging and weeping as he basically did what Goblins do afterwards. In other words, he was never going to change his ways, so anyone who thinks otherwise should think again.
- After the Lord is dead, Priestess notes that Goblin Slayer was losing a lot of blood and wishes he didn’t take such risks, but he admits he couldn’t win unless he did so.
- The heroine doesn’t show up in town. It’s too soon for that, we’re talking Volume 3 stuff.
- The manga also adds in a scene at the end where the narration takes place over the gods setting up a D&D campaign and rolling the dice for Goblin Slayer, only for his piece to kick the dice out of the way and show he doesn’t let them roll the dice. I found it hilarious.
Okay, I’ve been pretty positive about the Season, despite some grievances. So it goes without saying that I’m obviously going to be singing praises here. Goblin Slayer was one of the best anime that I’ve seen this year, and as a fan I quite enjoyed it.
The plot is simple: a dude and his crew kill Goblins. That’s it. There are occasional curve-balls thrown in, like the Ogre and the Champion, but from start-to-finish it has been a simple story with a grounded plot.
One of the biggest issues I’ve had with a lot of manga and anime over the last few years is that the scale is too huge. Saving the world, being the chosen hero, getting everything going your way and powers oozing out of every orifice. Poor characters that never really have fleshed out personalities became the standard and it has gotten horribly stagnant.
Then this came along. A simple story that only gets as big as saving a town. A hero who only has his wits and whatever he can prepare, who has flaws and is growing into someone who can be happy after losing everything. A party that’s competent and full of quirky people who I really do like.
Is it any wonder this become one of my favorite stories of all times?
Before I heard of this series and found the manga, I never bought a light novel. But after reading the manga, I picked up every volume that has come out and have never looked back. And then the anime was announced and I was ready to watch it, hoping it wouldn’t suffer the same fate as something like Sword Oratoria (I will never forgive this adaptation and the people who made it).
Don’t get me wrong, there were some issues to be found in the series. They cut out a lot of things that spiced up the world-building, they swapped an entire volume’s content (though it makes more sense so I’m good with that), I also hated the opening song because it seems… weird to me. Unfitting. And this studio has a strange fascination with the female face, even though it worked out some times like with Priestess in the last episode.
But it was still good. They showed that this world could be an unpleasant place to live in and didn’t shy away from showing us just how monstrous the weakest of monsters could be. The heroes struggle and fight and take their hits, but they get up and keep fighting with what they have and what they can plan out. They aren’t overpowered like the Heroine and they probably can’t save the world, but what they do is necessary and it was a great tale to be told.
And then there’s the main characters: Goblin Slayer and Priestess.
I really can’t stress just how much of a change the Goblin Slayer from the first episode is from the Goblin Slayer of the final episode. Not only has he become more open and trusting to others, but he was willing to take off his helmet when he never does otherwise, and found that he has people he could trust. Sure, he’s still a little rough around the edges, but did you see that smile on his face at the end?
And Priestess was just an angel from start to finish. She’s seen some of the worst things that can happen to people in her profession, and she knows what will happen to her if she gets captured. Yet, she’s the first one ready to go behind Goblin Slayer and the one who will call him out when it needs to be done. She has her moments of fear and they have cost her greatly, but she learns from it all and keeps moving forward. She’s a wonderful character, a strong female protagonist who may not be able to fight head-on but offers support wherever she can.
Everything being said, I am happy with what we got. I am proud to say this is an adaptation to be watched. This series deserves every praise it gets, controversy or not.