“They Were Called Goblin Slayers”
Sundays at 11:30 am EST on Funimation
The party realize that Mary will probably never open up to them if they don’t open up to her. Luckily, they seem to be getting a lot better at the whole goblin slaying thing, allowing them to invest in some much-needed new equipment.
Filler rarely works in shows as slowly-paced as Grimgar, and unfortunately, this episode all but confirmed that idea. Due to a general lack of interesting developments and details and excessive padding, this was arguably the worst episode of Grimgar to date, though that doesn’t mean my enthusiasm for the show has been tempered. The build-up to a square-off against the leader of the goblins is a promising prospect; this episode simply didn’t do a lot to justify postponing that fight another week. I appreciate that Mary didn’t become BFFs with the party all of a sudden now that they learned each other’s tragic backstories, but aside from this refreshing bit of realism, we didn’t really learn anything new or interesting about anyone in this entire episode.
What do we get? Well, a lot of montages, for one. We see Haruhiro and his friends killing goblins, shopping, killing some more goblins, bathing, boozing and killing even more goblins, all set to a rather inappropriate song more concerned with hyping up the many, many music releases Toho Animation Records has in the pipeline for Grimgar — the band (K)NoW_NAME was assembled specifically to compose theme and insert songs for the anime — than with actually fitting the content. It’s enjoyable to see how far our loveable band of losers has come since their humble beginnings, sporting all kinds of fancy new armor, but it’s not exactly something Grimgar needed to spend an entire episode on.
The fact that it comes accompanied with another lousy exposition dumb about all the different classes and their skills and abilities only makes the whole thing more frustrating. I’m allergic explanations for things that don’t need explaining (looking at you there, Fate/Stay night), but this recent trend of ‘game-ifying’ all the concepts and mechanics in fantasy and sci-fi anime is on a whole different level. Not only does it completely break any sense of immersion viewers have, it also perpetuates this ridiculous idea that nerds won’t care about anything unless it looks like a video game. Grimgar doesn’t need video game mechanics to drive home its point. For that, the basic tropes espoused by its world are more than enough already. In fact, by trying to look more like a video game, Grimgar actually sets a step back in the direction of all the other ‘trapped in a video game’ stories it is trying to distance itself from, which will only hurt it in the long run.
And that’s it, really. For the first time, I don’t really have any interesting character analyses or musings to espouse. Sure, I could complain a bit more about how the camera won’t stop lingering on Yume’s butt, but you’ve all heard that record by now. The truth is that this was on all accounts a transitionary episode, the somewhat unfortunate result of both Grimgar‘s slow pacing up until now and the several obligations it seems to have to both its record label sponsors and its significantly more
shitty game-like source material. If anything, I have to congratulate Grimgar for tackling even the most gratuitous padding with beauty and flair: Just look at all the swell new outfits our characters get to wear during this episode, for example! Now if only it’d get on with it and let me see these losers try that fancy new equipment out on the goblin boss. I can’t wait for them to get their asses handed to them.
- With Shihoru being ‘the boob girl’ and Yume being ‘the butt girl’, Grimgar clearly struggles to find a fetish Mary can cater to. Maybe she can be the ‘treated with respect like an actual human being’ girl.
- Apparently, one of Haruhiro’s Thief skills involves gaining the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception?
- According to the character song single covers (yeah, really), the official romanization of Mary’s name is supposed to be is ‘Merry’. However, since Funimation aren’t using it and the character in question isn’t particularly, well, merry, I’m gonna stick with the more sensible spelling. Occam’s razor and all that.