We don’t need another hero.
In an epic battle far away, the Hero and her party finally muster up all of their strength and vanquish the Demon Lord once and for all.
News travels fast as Goblin Slayer and HIS team arrives home from their own quest. But despite this vast ease at the Demon Lord’s defeat, GS is vigilant as ever to keep slaying goblins. With his armor in disrepair, he heads into the town with Cow Girl to both get it fixed and report to the guild, but people in town don’t recognize him without his armor. After getting suited up again, he meets up with Priestess and the rest of the party, leading to them all having a meal together, Cow Girl and Guild Girl included. He also gets a letter from the Sword Maiden, telling him that her bad dreams have ceased since their last talk.
Back at the farm, Cow Girl reflects on GS’ still impenetrable determination to his one-man quest to fight, and worries that he won’t stop until he becomes too old or weak to stay alive. Still, the world celebrates the death of the Demon Lord and the hero’s victory. However, the next day brings a bad omen on the horizon, as GS finds countless goblin tracks near the farm.
For its final arc of this first season, Goblin Slayer has decided to begin it by looking inward once again in comparing our protagonist’s goals to the bigger conflicts in the background. These grand clashes would normally be the center of attention in a story like this, but are used here to highlight how the more personal and less important fights and struggles often go unnoticed. GS’ journey has not been about ending one solitary threat and then hanging up his helmet, but to engage in a likely endless battle against an infestation of creatures who are constantly underestimated and then allowed to ruin more lives. So now, when the world is seemingly finally at peace with the end of this current Demon Lord’s reign, GS is now about to face another assault on his home, just like the one that led him to this life.
This arc is actually an adaptation from the first light novel, much like the first four episodes were, while the fifth through ninth covered the plot of the second volume. While it might seem odd to have these events out of order, I think this might have been the right move in this case. Having read up on how these last few episodes will play out, I think we needed to see more time fleshing out GS’ growing relationships with his party and other adventurers in order to make certain developments later on feel more earned. And the ending of the Water Town quest doesn’t really feel like an ending to a season anyway.
It was also nice to see some revisiting of the last time Cow Girl and GS saw each other before the goblin attack, but this time from his perspective. In a lot of ways, this is a follow up to the second episode’s introduction of the show’s themes and philosophies before it wraps with another big battle, and it shows a lot of thoughtfulness to the usual way certain fantasy tropes are viewed. It’s this kind of thoughtfulness that makes me kind of bummed this series’ reputation is pretty much overshadowed by the way it handled its first episode, because this series has more than proven there is something deeper beneath the surface.
Though, weirdly, there wasn’t any preview for the next episode this time, which prompted me to look up what happens next week. Looks like we might have to do a recap episode, sadly, but in contrast to Radiant, I’ve been having way too much fun for this to ruin my experience.