In Goblin Slayer episode 8, "Whispers and Prayers and Chants," Onna Shinkan and Sword Maiden go to great lengths to resurrect Goblin Slayer -- which stresses even his stoicism. As Kouhito Doushi, Tokage Souryo, and Yousei Yunde scout their next targets, Goblin Slayer and the priestess get their gear repaired and take a moment to learn about ice cream. Finally, the party reassembles and descends into the sewers, where they come face to eye with a terrible monster that's not a goblin. How will our hero react?
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
If Goblin Slayer were completely unaware of the feelings of others, he would just have rolled out of bed and left her uncovered. Instead, he gently covered her with the sheet. She was completely helpless, and he looked out for her. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
I think it's pretty clear Goblin Slayer is living with some kind of chronic mental illness. One of the symptoms is that he's pretty much cut off from his emotions, and understanding the emotions of others is very difficult for him. At the same time, he's not completely unaware -- he just responds in a non-typical way. I won't go into why this is so interesting to me! But take his reaction to waking up next to a naked Onna. How would a typical anime protagonist react? Nose bleed? Groping? What does Goblin Slayer do? He wakes up in a strange room. He's groggy. When he tries to roll out of bed, he finds Onna's arms entangled with his. This is where he shows the true calibre of his character. He gently pulls the covers up to her shoulders (4:16). Only then does he begin to ponder what happened to him. His consideration for the priestess was touching -- and exemplary.
Goblin Slayer was amazed -- and more than a little touched -- that no one had eaten until he recovered. Watching this team come together is a treat! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Goblin Slayer is learning how great it can be to have comrades in arms. Just as he and Onna finished dressing, the Dwarf, Lizardman, and Elf burst happily into the room. Did you see how Yousei just plunked herself onto the bed? After some small talk, Kouhito said it was time to get something to eat, and Goblin Slayer was amazed to find that none of them had eaten because they were waiting to eat with him (8:41). You could hear the amazement in his voice! Onna reminded him that they all promised each other that after they got out of the sewers, they share a meal together -- and the concept seemed both wonderful and perplexing to him. Seeing them almost joyously sharing a meal (9:05) was a welcome contrast to the darkness from the last episode.
I can see that somebody wants ice cream! How precious was she in this scene? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
There's a reason my third favorite moment is a charming scene in which Onna doesn't know how to tell Goblin Slayer she wants to try ice cream (12:14). You might be thinking, "Dude, you said you're watching this show for the heightened sense of danger to the characters! How's this fit in?" Thanks for asking! Endearing the characters to us is an important step in making the danger real. The more I care about a character, the more I understand them, the more likely I am to feel for them. Onna almost reverting to little kid status as she dashed up to the ice cream stand was almost painfully pure. Not only that, but Goblin Slayer reasoned the treat must be sweet because he saw so many kids lining up for it! And just to go that extra mile, Goblin Slayer asked the vendor how a frozen desert was possible -- and added to his arsenal of knowledge in the process. Asking questions incessantly is one of his super powers! We got closer to Onna and Goblin Slayer in this scene.
Have you ever played Dungeons and Dragons? If you have (and no, I won't tell you stories about me playing D&D in the late 1970s -- at least not right now), you likely recognized big-eyed monster they faced at the end of the episode. Its names is the answer to the question "How do you end the phrase 'Beauty is in the eye of the...?'" I wondered why the show didn't just come out and name it, until I read a post by Reddit user Crap4Brainz. That user shared a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) that talked about some of the names creative types can use for their monsters. Turns out Wizards of the Coast owns the copyright to that monster's name, and the Goblin Slayer team likely didn't want to be sued. It's also probable that the monster in this episode didn't have a mouth for the same reason.
Maybe if Onna had gone into Law instead of the priesthood, she could have cast a Protection from Lawsuit spell...
Sword Maiden is a complex, tragic character. I'm not sure this episode did her justice. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
This sometimes confounds me. As you can tell from the fervor surrounding the discussion about the first and seventh episodes, the show has touched a nerve. I've argued that dramatically speaking, the show's approach has worked. Yet, as you can see if you're following the comments associated with my Goblin Slayer reviews, I'm uneasy.
The scene after the OP didn't help (4:22).
Sword Maiden tells Goblin Slayer that she and Onna slept beside him to bring him back from the brink of death -- an action he correctly identified as "the miracle of Resurrection." The magical requirement was that he had "share a bed with a virgin." Sword Maiden laments that she can no longer be considered pure because of the goblins, and Goblin Slayer says she doesn't need to tell him more. He's well aware of what goblins do to the females they defeat.
On one hand, Goblin Slayer's almost comforting bluntness helped her share her feelings about the goblins by relieving her of the need to explain.
On the other hand, the camera's insistence on showing her protruding nipples and bare upper thighs sent a disturbing message. That's far too close to the salacious line for me. The scene was supposedly about how she still felt traumatized and was reaching out to Goblin Slaying for comfort, not giving the audience a chance to leer at her.
This scene should have been about Sword Maiden reaching out to Goblin Slayer. In a sense, it was, and it worked. But it did more than it needed to... Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
If I may invoke a third hand, the same scene shows her leaning against Goblin Slayer for emotional support. She clearly trusts him and feels like she can open up to him -- presumably more so than anyone else in her world. Of all the people in the world, Goblin Slayer is the one most likely to take her fear of goblins seriously. She even suggests that she'd be open to a more personal relationship with him.
I immediately remembered the shot from the first episode where a wagon took several women survivors to a convent, because the experience with the goblins broken their spirits. I guess I should be glad that Sword Maiden is on a different trajectory. But it's hard to ignore the camera lingering on her figure as she spoke of her experiences.
This episode saw some interesting character development, especially for Goblin Slayer. I also enjoyed the emotional closeness Sword Maiden seemed to share with him. So I'm going to interpret the excess sexualization as tone deafness rather than an intentional exploit.
But dang it, this is serious stuff. They need to be aware of that! I sure hope the series doesn't make me look any more like an idiot than I already do!
What did you think of Onna's encounter with ice cream? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!
Other Posts of Interest
Other Anime Sites
- Reddit Discussion of Goblin Slayer Episode 8
- KVASIR 369'S ANIME, MANGA, AND GAME BLOG: Goblin Slayer Episode 8 Review
- AngryAnimeBitches Anime Blog: Goblin Slayer Episode 8
This Site (Crow's World of Anime!)
- Goblin Slayer Episode 1: The Fate of Particular Adventurers
- Goblin Slayer Episode 2: Goblin Slayer
- Goblin Slayer Episode 3: Unexpected Visitors
- Goblin Slayer Episode 4: The Strong
- Goblin Slayer Episode 5: Adventures and Daily Life
- Goblin Slayer Episode 6: Goblin Slayer in the Water Town
- Goblin Slayer Episode 7: Onward Unto Death
- Goblin Slayer Episode 9: There and Back Again
- Goblin Slayer Episode 10: Dozing
- Goblin Slayer Episode 11: A Gathering of Adventurers