In Goblin Slayer episode 9, "There and Back Again," our heroes discover a magical mirror gate that the goblins have been protecting. Before they can do anything about it, Yousei Yunde hears a goblin army approaching -- along with the now one-eyed goblin champion. Goblin Slayer takes stock of their surroundings. Can even he come up with a plan to defend against that many attackers? And if he does, can Onna Shinkan and the others implement it quickly enough?
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
For maybe the first time, Goblin Slayer-san figures out the answer to the question, "What's in my pocket?" Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
This episode picks up right where episode 8 ended. Our heroes have discovered a magical mirror capable of creating a spatial gate. They discover that it's linked to the green moon, which is full of goblins. As they're trying to decide what to do, Yousei hears a goblin army approaching -- accompanied by the same goblin champion that had caused them so much trouble a couple of episodes ago. Tokage Souryo points out that if this mirror is the way goblins are getting in, they can't just abandon it, so they can't just flee. Everyone turns to Goblin Slayer to come up with a plan. The pressure's on! He looks around the room and suddenly says (2:22), "What's in my pocket?" It was the same question his mentor had asked him in a previous episode, and it took on new meaning: When coming up with a plan, take stock of what you have. Goblin Slayer showed once again that not only does he try to be prepared, he's cool under pressure. Good thing for them, too!
Goblin Slayer's plan had multiple moving parts and required almost perform teamwork. And guess what? His team was up to it! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
The culmination of Goblin Slayer's plan was brilliant! Last week, he verified that they were beyond the boundaries of the city, and now we know why. This week, Tokage's job was to detach the magical mirror from the wall (with Onna's help). While he did that, the rest of the team held the goblins and goblin champion at bay -- which wasn't at all easy given their numbers and goblin champion's brute strength! But as soon as they got the mirror detached, he told Tokage to face it upward and told everyone else to get under it (9:22). He then told Kouhito Doushi to launch an explosive magical attack very high into the air at the same time he ordered Onna to cast a light spell. Frozen by the blinding light, the goblins and their champion couldn't see the Dwarf's explosions destroy the pillars and supports -- and bring the roof down on them! Goblin Slayer and his team hid under the mirror, which transported the falling roof to the green moon. It was a brilliant strategy (yes, pun kinda intended). Even better? It was a team strategy, where each depended on the other. And they nailed it! Goblin Slayer's come a long way since the first episode.
From one perspective, Goblin Slayer merely said he would continue to be himself. From another, he gave Shield Maiden hope. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
I can't imagine the courage it would have taken Sword Maiden to open up to Goblin Slayer (14:39). Any woman talking about such an experience would be challenged, but this world looked at Sword Maiden as an all-powerful protector. If her secret got out, she could loose her position. Maybe even her life. She went so far as to admit to him that if the goblins were to attack, she knew she'd freeze. But Goblin Slayer being Goblin Slayer, he didn't judge her. He almost broke her heart when he told her he could not save her. But then he did something beautiful. He told her that if goblins ever showed up again, she could call him, and he'd come immediately and kill the goblins for her (18:32).
Falling to her knees, in tears, she asked, "Even... Even in my dreams?"
"Yeah," he answered.
"You will come?"
"Yeah. Because I'm the Goblin Slayer."
Her relief was just heart-breaking. I don't know about you, but I feel no shame in admitting that I teared up here.
So, the white alligator we saw earlier was actually Sword Maiden's familiar, and it was responsible for keeping the sewers clear of rats. This episode made that pretty clear. The explanation of the rest of her story, however, was less clear -- at least to me. I admit that I researched Reddit's spoiler discussion of this episode to make sure I understood what had happened.
Goblin Slayer saw through the lie that goblins had been behind the murders. He knew that goblins would not have killed women on the spot. The Sword Maiden, a Gold level adventurer, could not admit that lowly goblins terrified her to the point of immobility, so she couldn't just ask for help when protecting the city. She'd heard the song extolling Goblin Slayer's abilities, and she came up with the plan to ask him to get rid of the goblins for her -- under the guise of investigating how goblins were committing murders. She knew he'd take the bait because it meant he got to kill goblins.
I'm not sure Sword Maiden needed such an elaborate plan. Then again, until she actually met him, she didn't realize how much she could trust Goblin Slayer. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
I suspect she needn't have gone to that much work. She could just have sent him a secret message asking for his help. It's clear he would have come anyway! But given the state of mental health care in that world, maybe she just couldn't see beyond her own trauma.
I think this episode was dramatically a step up from the last. I've been looking forward to battles where the tactics and operations made sense in the context of the world. The battle in front of the magic mirror delivered that! I also wanted to see the team come together and fight as a unit; I got that, too!
Even the way this episode portrayed Sword Maiden was effective in terms of conveying her tragedy. Without the issues I talked about in last episode's Thoughts section, I was able to focus on sympathizing with her, so that scene I noted as my third favorite really resonated. It's just a shame that so many people (including me!) were initially confused by that scene. I've often reflected on how hard it must be to adapt a manga to anime form. Maybe I should be more surprised that so many adaptations go as well as they do!
This episode showed a lot of great teamwork -- like Yousei shooting a goblin as it tried to attack Goblin Slayer from a blind spot. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
I've not read the manga and (with the exception of checking Reddit's spoiler thread this week) I've avoided even reading about the manga. So I'm not sure where the show goes next. If it can keep the trends from this episode, I'm optimistic that it could stick its landing!
What did you think of the completion of water town's arc? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!
Other Posts of Interest
Other Anime Sites
- Reddit Discussion of Goblin Slayer Episode 9
- KVASIR 369'S ANIME, MANGA, AND GAME BLOG: Goblin Slayer Episode 9 Review
- AngryAnimeBitches Anime Blog: Goblin Slayer Episode 9
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 8: Whispers and Prayers and Chants
- Goblin Slayer Episode 10: Dozing
- Goblin Slayer Episode 11: A Gathering of Adventurers