Goblin Slayer Episode 7: A Dependable Fellow and a Disturbing Off-Hand Prophecy

November 20, 2018

Quick Summary

In Goblin Slayer episode 7, "Onward Unto Death," the priestess Onna Shinkan receives a disturbing prophecy from the Sword Maiden, and she can't shake the feeling of unease even as they start their next mission into the sewers. Goblin Slayer, warned perhaps by the lack of giant rats in their destination, purchases a canary to detect poison gas. That turns out to have been a good decision when he and his entire party find themselves trapped in a crypt that's flooding with gas. Can even Goblin Slayer, with backup from Onna, the Elf, the Dwarf, and the Lizardman, survive the gas? And if they can, what can they do about the large number of goblins outside the door -- goblins that have brought something else with them?

Warning: This series presents decidedly mature themes, and it contains a dramatic representative of violence against women (including rape). If any of these these trouble you, please do not watch this series or read this review.

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.  

What's in This Post

3 Favorite Moments

There's no substitute for paying attention and making preparations. Goblin Slayer saved them from death by poison gas by bringing the components of a primitive gas mask. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Moment 1

There's no substitute for preparations! I think Goblin Slayer suspected the goblins were using poison gas when he saw there were no quests to kill giant rats in the sewers. Tokage Souryo seemed to confirm this with his comments that they had been trapped like rats in the crypt. So, when the goblins began flooding the crypt with poison gas (10:25), Goblin Slayer didn't panic! Instead, he brought out the period equivalent of gas masks and handed them out to the team. He also brought the raw materials for concrete to plug the gas inlets. Kudos also to Kouhito Doushi, the Dwarf, for using a weathering spell to set the concrete almost instantly (11:29), and to Yousei Yunde for running around and plugging the holes ahead of Kouhito. Teamwork makes everything better!

I wonder if Onna would have fared any better without hearing the Sword Maiden's dire prediction? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Moment 2

Onna was apprehensive since the moment the Sword Maiden warned her that Goblin Slayer would someday disappear (4:06). She held herself together during the descent, but for the whole episode, we could see that she was scared. It got worse when Goblin Slayer dashed outside of her protection spell so he could kill more goblins (14:05). She nearly panicked in that moment, but again, she controller herself and kept the protection spell intact. But then the goblin champion blocked Goblin Slayer's sneak attack (by using another goblin as a shield -- talk about hard core!) and countered with a smash that sent Goblin Slayer hurtling through the air. He crashed in a crumbled heap (14:59). When she realized how much blood he coughed up, you could just see her panic building (15:13). It was like every memory she had of her first encounter flooded back over her. Her protection spell wavered and fell. Then she screamed (15:21). That sound that gave me chills. I think her scream of despair was even more affective than her later scream of pain when the goblin champion bit into her arm (16:07). 

Sometimes the decision within a single moment can define who you are. This is Goblin Slayer's moment. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Moment 3

We expect super-human efforts from our heroes, and in that regard, this episode didn't disappoint. The show prepared us by showing Goblin Slayer's back story in episode 2, so we had the visual vocabulary to understand how he saw the world and his relationship to it. As Goblin Slayer lay in the wreck of the sarcophagus, Onna's screams, Yousei's increasingly desparate shouts, and even the battle cries of Kouhito and Tokage as the goblins drove them back, washed over him and blended with his childhood memories -- and seriously pissed him off (16:57). His reaction to these taunting sounds and memories? "Bullshit," followed by the trademark red glow igniting in his left eye. The show treated us to some great goblin slaying from that point forward, but for me, the best moment was his decision to stand. I'm a sucker for that kind of thing!

Thoughts

There's something about the metal rock music this show uses during battle scenes that I love. It really captures the intensity of the emotions! 

Did you notice the shot of our heroes kneeling beside the fallen Goblin Slayer that went on for almost 90 seconds? At first I thought it was a cheap way to end the episode, but then I read a Reddit post from LordFapington513. The poster pointed out that in the Japanese version, the end credits rolled over the scene. The post even contained a screen shot. So, it looks like there was a problem with the version Crunchyroll showed, at least when I watched it (on November 17, 2018). If you're wondering what I'm talking about, maybe Crunchyroll fixed it by the time you saw it!

This was a touch episode for Onna. It was as if her worst nightmare was coming true. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Yousei's voice actor, Nao Touyama, did a fantastic job in the early parts of the episode -- she sounded so natural! And if I'm talking about voice acting in this episode, I have to mention Onna's voice actor, Yui Ogura. Both of her screams were absolutely convincing.  

I've said before I wanted realistic fights, and this episode gave one to me. Previous episodes prepared us for what could happen in this world, particularly that brutal first episode. In this episode, seeing Onna deteriorate and when Goblin took the full force of the goblin champion's enormous club, I lost all thought that "Hey, they're both main characters. They'll be fine!" I was completely caught up in the danger of the moment. I was convinced that any of them could die at any moment.

Part of me is still not convinced Goblin Slayer is going to survive this! Another part of me is certain that the titular character will live on... Won't he?

This kind of danger I can handle. Kouhito or Gimli the Dwarf, I've seen this kind of thing before. I'm used to it! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

But do you know what bothered me the most in this episode? It wasn't Goblin Slayer taking so much damage. It wasn't Tokage being overrun or Kouhito vanishing under a wave of goblins. I've learned to expect that kind of violence since I read Lord of the Rings all those years ago. In effect, I'm desensitized to it.

Even seeing Onna nearly eaten is something I've seen before and was prepared for. Don't get me wrong! I really like these characters. What they're going through it terrible! But seeing characters I like in mortal danger is something I've gotten used to.

What really got to me was Yousei's plight. You remember what happened to the young woman adventurer in the first episode. Yousei had to face that possibility of same fate in this battle. I hated seeing that. I'm not used to it! It was worse because she's my favorite character. 

I'm not desensitized to that kind of danger yet.

Because of Goblin Slayer's heroic last effort, she drove off her attackers, and so did the rest of their party. The goblins had managed to rip off most of her clothes, but did you see how she reacted when Goblin Slayer almost fell? Heedless of her modesty, she rushed to his side and caught him. She was calm and composed -- right up to the moment where she realized he was so bad off that he couldn't walk on his own. That's the moment when her tears started.

Yousei's toughened up since her previous foray into the dungeon. She's learned to handle danger to herself. It's danger to her companions that's still hard. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

This episode was so visceral that I think I'll only be able to say if I think it's "good" in retrospect. For now, I'm going to accept that it gave me what I asked for in the beginning: a show that puts its characters in real danger. 

I wonder if this show's going to make me more cautious about what I ask for?

What did you think of this episode? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!

Other Posts of Interest

  • Dawnstorm says:

    At this point it’s very hard for me to talk about the show, since it just plays out as expected. Remember when I said that personality and character design of Priestess hint at a rather common purity ideal? I thought they’d stick to it, but I wasn’t quite confident. Now? Our highelfen archer got threatened with rape, but Priestess was threatened with being eaten straight away. That supports (but doesn’t confirm) my theory, but it’s not really that interesting to talk about.

    Gruesome content works better for me with better characterisation. I was feeling for the characters here, but it wasn’t very intense, mostly because at some level I just see a thematic layer to the violence. It’s not just violence; there’s a sense of sado-maso fantasising here, too. It’s very sexually charged, with the difference in male/female victims. Compare this to say, episode 10 of Made in Abyss, where what happened wasn’t that gruesome compared to other things that happen in the show, but because of character reactions this became by far the most gruesome scene in the show (I watched it while sleep deprived, and by the end of the episode, I was afraid, I’d pass out; I was worried I wouldn’t be able to switch off my computer before going to bed. [No bad dreams, though.])

    For me, Goblin Slayer, competent though the dramaturgy is, doesn’t come close. If I’d eaten a snack while watching that I’d probably have wondered if Priestess tastes like marshmellows (a better show would render me unable to eat – I didn’t eat anything so I have no actual proof; I might be underestimating GS). It’s entirely about how much I’ve seen; and I find the older I get the less patience I have for such scenes, which is why I said in one of my earlier comments, that my teenage self would have liked the show a lot more.

    (Also: I’m not sure the violence against dwarf and lizard is desensitizing so much as that we’ve learned from thousands of shounen fighters that people can lose more blood than is in their bodies and be run through with sharp objects and still come through. There’s something inherently hyperbolic in shounen violence, and GS uses the same visual language really. And sidestepping into rape circumvents this, since survival isn’t the point here. The damage is inherently more against the person than the body. Now, if the goblins couldn’t tell male from female and just tried to rape everyone…)

    • tcrow says:

      Are you enjoying the series? I hope so — you’re putting a lot of energy into sharing your thoughts about it?

      I readily concede that this episode doesn’t hold a candle to Made in Abyss episode 10. I’m not sure if you know I reviewed in on this site, but in all honestly, that was some of the most intense work I’ve seen in fiction.

      “It’s not just violence; there’s a sense of sado-maso fantasising here, too.”

      I’m not convinced of that. I still suspect that the writers know how used we all are to simple violence, so they had to offer something else. For me, that “something else” has been effective at heightening the sense of danger for the female characters, and like I said in my review, I was seriously worried for Yousei.

      “There’s something inherently hyperbolic in shounen violence, and GS uses the same visual language really. And sidestepping into rape circumvents this, since survival isn’t the point here.”

      I agree with your observation about the same visual language; from that respect, Goblin Slayer feels almost tame. I also like how you said:

      “The damage is inherently more against the person than the body. Now, if the goblins couldn’t tell male from female and just tried to rape everyone…)”

      That would be an interesting development… Though it would need more explanation since the goblins are apparently using human females in their reproductive cycle. Maybe make the goblins less like mammals and more like spider wasp?

      I kinda freaked myself out just thinking about it…

      • Dawnstorm says:

        Are you enjoying the series? I hope so — you’re putting a lot of energy into sharing your thoughts about it?

        I’m liking the character of Goblin Slayer: his personality is interesting and his creativity is fun to watch. But a lot of the drama… it doesn’t leave me cold, but it doesn’t draw me in exactly, either.

        Of the shows I’m watching it’s not bottom tier: for example, I like it more than Radiant, which bog-standard shonen fighter, or Derrida, which could have been great but has no narrative control at all (and thus shoots itself in the foot).

        I’m not convinced of that. I still suspect that the writers know how used we all are to simple violence, so they had to offer something else. For me, that “something else” has been effective at heightening the sense of danger for the female characters, and like I said in my review, I was seriously worried for Yousei.

        It’s hard to put into words. There’s a contiuum that goes from rape fantasies to protector fantasies, and there’s a side of revenge fantasies, and none of it straightforward, and not all people are even able to trigger the entire spectrum. It’s difficult, because of that. The energy I’m putting into my replies here is a consequence of the initial controversy, which I didn’t like very much. My experience, in the end, is much closer to those who complain about the violence/rape, but it doesn’t destroy the show for me.

        Your argument doesn’t much work for me, because rape as a threat isn’t exactly new either, for me. We have a surface level of violence-is-cool (that’s the bread and butter of many fighting shows, including, for example, My Hero Academia), and man and women can be equal here. But if you introduce rape, you usually only threaten women, and you add a layer where, while violence suddenly isn’t cool anymore, it also adds a layer of legitimisation of the core violence. We’re all violent (“to them I’m a goblin”), but only the other side rapes. Goblin Slayer couldn’t protect his sister, but he successfully saved his party.

        Genderflip GS under that perspective and see what you lose. The entire protector angle becomes something much more personal: nobody should go through what I went through. But a female GS darkness would be a whole lot more threatening to a male voyeuristic gaze. The entire women-are-attractive angle the show plays would suddenly move a lot closer to a goblin’s perspective.

        Now, the reaction of fearing for the characters you have isn’t nessarily gender dependent. A young and naive male priest with the same personality as priestess might work just as well. And one can only react the threat that’s on screen right now. Ceteris paribus speculations are notoriously difficult, as you never engage them innocently. That is part of the problem, here: what’s the throughline of a female-exclusive rape threat here? How much of the feeling bad for others here is a protect-the-innocent impulse, how much is sexual rivalry, how much is empathy? It’s a tangle, and honesty can hurt. What, for example, if GS were to introduce a female villain, who then falls prey to goblins? How would the show frame such a thing? Not even she deserved such a thing? Poetic Justice?

        I don’t think the show is malicious. But I do think the show has poked a wasp’s nest unprepared. Part of this is that I’m watching GS while still under the influence of newspaper reportings of rape perpetrated by refugees (or sometimes legal immigrants). Difficult situation, easy outrage. GS pokes into a sore spot here, with its goblin concept.

        I’m going to watch closely how the show treats Sword Maiden; it’s a balancing act, and you have to wonder how the show will handle her. In the bath scene, they pretty much portrayed her as Priestess’ possible future self. But they also made her seem a little sinister, I think. It’s not obvious, though. I could also see her behaviour as simply jaded.

        Maybe make the goblins less like mammals and more like spider wasp?

        Yes, the goblins are anatomically still apes, like we all are, so that wouldn’t work. Insects, however…

        I kinda freaked myself out just thinking about it…

        Welcome to my nightmare. I hope I didn’t scare you. That’s just the way we are when we come down. (Alice Cooper)

        Now, what you really have to do is go the other way: rather than dehumanize the humanoid, you could humanize the ailen. Make them able to communicate. Different human societies would have different ways to deal with things (and different hives would have different levels of aggression). I can imagine a rather horrid prison system, but on the other hand we’d have the wasps police themselves – they don’t want to risk the human genocidal hammer; we’re agressive apes after all. (They might prefer less threatening species on the whole?)

        How will the species get along when humans can’t parse wasp pheromones, and wasps can’t read human facial expressions? And what about the morals of human trafficking from a wasp’s perspective? Is that sort of thing a queen-only question? Oh, the possibilities!

        Poor high-elfen archer: your adventure is fantasy.

        • tcrow says:

          “But a female GS darkness would be a whole lot more threatening to a male voyeuristic gaze. The entire women-are-attractive angle the show plays would suddenly move a lot closer to a goblin’s perspective.”

          I hope that’s not how this is playing out. I’m aware that there fetishes surrounding this topic, and I’m not really a fan. But I really hope that Goblin Slayer isn’t female to avoid making those who enjoy that fetish feel threatened.

          This really is a hard topic. Everyone comes to the conversation with so many assumptions, both personal and cultural. Should Goblin Slayer have avoided the topic altogether? Should it have presented a female Goblin Slayer? I can’t answer those questions, so I’m going to trust in the writer’s vision to give us an interesting tale with all the trimming (including theme).

          It’s still getting more and more difficult to write the reviews. Miscommunication is a constant threat even in something as simple as an episode review, but adding this topic makes establishing the context, making word choices, and being aware of the cultural nuances even more critical. I’ve tried to stay focused on other aspects, because I’m more comfortable there, but this episode used the threats realized in the first episode to enhance the danger in this episode, so it was hard to ignore.

          “That is part of the problem, here: what’s the throughline of a female-exclusive rape threat here? How much of the feeling bad for others here is a protect-the-innocent impulse, how much is sexual rivalry, how much is empathy? It’s a tangle, and honesty can hurt.”

          That’s a dangerous question, isn’t it? Combined with your comments on episode one (“one of my least favourite tropes: the ugly races are evil”), it reminds me of terrible, racists incidents in the US on this topic. I honestly don’t think reminding us of those lynchings are what Goblin Slayer is going for, so maybe you’re right when you say the “show has poked a wasp’s nest unprepared.” Maybe they just didn’t understand the nuances of this topic in countries like the US?

          A more cynical side of me wonders if they understood too well! But without evidence, I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt.

          “Poor high-elfen archer: your adventure is fantasy.”

          Isn’t that the truth? Even at its “best,” war is still war.

          • Dawnstorm says:

            Should Goblin Slayer have avoided the topic altogether? Should it have presented a female Goblin Slayer? I can’t answer those questions, so I’m going to trust in the writer’s vision to give us an interesting tale with all the trimming (including theme).

            I’m not bringing alternatives up to unearth shoulds. They’re thought experiments to unearth decisions which are likely to be unconscious, or premade social defaults (i.e. you make a decision to deviate from a default, but you don’t think twice about sticking with it – that goes automatically).

            If I had been given the concept of goblins who reproduce that way, I’d have probably focussed on the difficulty of living together. It’d be a terribly difficult situation for two sentient species, I’d say, especially if inter-species sexual attraction is assymetric. I’d probably set the story two or three generations after an all-out conflict, with an uneasy peace in place. I might be trying to tell the story from the observer point of view of a golem, or a sentient amoeba colony, or something else that reproduces non-sexually. My story would be nothing like GS in the first place, so I’m also not really fit to advise the author of GS on anything, even if he were interested in my advice.

            It’s really interesting that GS and Slime air in the same season. Both shows treat goblins as fodder: GS says they’re not to be underestimated and have to be exterminated. Slime says they really are that weak, so you need to protect them. I find the Slime approach more likable, but also more patronising. It’s interesting.

  • Karandi says:

    I really like how Goblin Slayer is all about being prepared and learning rather than just being an unstoppable killing machine. He’s good at killing goblins because of the experience he has gained and because he learns from everything. Still, sometimes the lesson is painful and this week the team got put through some pain. I’m going to be honest, I had trouble reading this sequence and watching it was actually harder.

    • tcrow says:

      “I really like how Goblin Slayer is all about being prepared and learning rather than just being an unstoppable killing machine.”

      That makes him so much more relatable to me. OP is fun (I like One Punch Man as well as anyone), but Goblin Slayer as a fallible hero works much better for me in this context.

      “I’m going to be honest, I had trouble reading this sequence and watching it was actually harder.”

      It _was_ tough! I was physically anxious for Yousei! Onna, too — she’s gotta be traumatized after this. Those two are ridiculously brave to put themselves in harm’s way like that…

  • >
    %d bloggers like this:

    By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

    The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

    Close