Goblin Slayer: Influence of adaptation on events in the light novel

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

Is this a discussion?

Spoilers for Goblin Slayer

I know I said I’d do series reviews, but I couldn’t help myself with this topic. While I was on vacation for the winter holidays, I had a lot of time for reading light novels. With that extra time, I ended up reading the Goblin Slayer light novel up to the point where the anime ends. While it’s still uncertain whether we’re getting a second season, I did notice that the order of events in the light novel noticeably differed from what we saw in the anime. Obviously, this post will have spoilers about those events.

Goblin Slayer faces off against a goblin lord

The anime ended with the dramatic fight against goblin lord attacking Goblin Slayer’s home village. However, the light novel has this entire encounter in the first volume, before the group goes to the Water City and meets the Sword Maiden. This has an interesting consequence. As you may recall, there’s a specific scene in the Water City arc in which Priestess and Goblin Slayer wake up together in the same bed. At the time, I remember questioning why Priestess doesn’t bring up the fact that Goblin Slayer is not wearing his helmet, as it’s the first time we’ve seen that in the anime.

Goblin Slayer is revived by Priestess

In the light novel, this behavior makes sense, since Goblin Slayer reveals his face to her as a reward for defeating the goblin lord. So, Priestess has already seen his face by the time they sleep together. But that’s really just a minor gripe, as the anime explains this away by having Priestess say she didn’t see Goblin Slayer’s face clearly at the time.

High Elf sneaks

What’s more interesting is that the anime chooses to end on that fight in the first place. As opposed to the events of the Water City arc, the attack on the farm is personal, and it’s a battle Goblin Slayer acknowledges is impossible to win alone. As a result, the stakes for the fight become a lot higher, since it’s not just Goblin Slayer’s survival that’s in question. What better way to end a series?

Goblin Slayer is a weirdo

Additionally, the fight forces him to call upon the aid of every adventurer he has met up to that point despite his reputation as a largely unsociable guy. That means the fight is building upon the interactions we’ve seen throughout the entire series, making it a fitting conclusion. Sure, it’s probably just a result of the adaptation benefiting from hindsight. The fight serves pretty much the same purpose as the finale for the light novel, but it’s missing the time aspect, time to show how other adventurers see Goblin Slayer.

That's not a goblin

I think the events work either way, but I personally think it’s fun to see how the anime takes advantage of its season constraints to construct a slightly different, but ultimately appropriate, story experience. I’ve always been really bad at seeing the specific ways an anime adaptation builds upon its source material, and I think this might be a clear example to help me out. It’s something to think about, right?

Advertisements

Zombieland Saga Review: Not the zombie series you signed up for

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

Sakura has the best faces

This series ended up being a crazy set of ups and downs for me. It had an explosive opening that definitely caught me off-guard. I didn’t really have an issue buying into the premise of zombie idols attempting to save Saga, and I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed the first few episodes. I preferred the show when it was at its most insane levels, delivering absurd parodies of typical idol shows. When it winds down, though, it ends up being not too much different than the shows it satirizes, albeit with more ridiculous character backgrounds.

The legendary rap battle

Additionally, the story feels incomplete in the end. Sakura, the main character, ends up being a bummer in the show’s final moments, and her ultimate significance is only hinted at. Given that she’s the core of the story despite being a purported normal girl, it makes sense that the show revolves around her, but I didn’t feel too satisfied with the explanation.

Tae mimics Saki

Overall, I can’t be too upset with the general theme of the series. It takes the standard idea of overcoming individual flaws with the help of friends and amps it up to absurd levels by giving the characters the bad luck of literally dying. From a character perspective, I also liked some of the stories, like Saki’s story, but it was a bit sad that some of the characters didn’t seem to get any focus, like Yuugiri and Tae. Tae happened to be my favorite character, so it was sad that Sakura got a second awakening while Tae was pushed off to the side.

The girls get covered in mud

At the end of the day, the series was an enjoyable experience. It definitely wasn’t the show I was expecting to see when I loaded up the first episode, but I think it still ended up being better than I could have expected. The highlights of the show for me are probably the rap battle in episode 2 and pretty much everything that Tae does.

Overall Score: 6/10

Good for a lot of laughs, but the show gets really weird when it tries to be serious.

Random Impressions: Goblin Slayer Episode 9 – The brave adventurers

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

Discovering the secret entrance of the goblins

I’m still not entirely sure I understand the Sword Maiden’s role in this story, but I’m having a surprising amount of fun with the D&D references in this series. The more cheeky ones are nice to see, such as introducing the flying eyeball with with the line “behold” (look up what a beholder is). There are definitely some that feel more like a stretch, but it’s all good fun. I know that people are suffering in the background, but I’m supposed to be role playing as a form of escapism, right?

Trying to pry away the mirror to the goblin home world

This mirror is an example of a reference I think might be a stretch. Given that the mirror is a portal to the goblin home world, it’s presumably a portal to the “green moon”, or GM. Behind the mirror is every goblin that is entering the world to wreak havoc, so would that make the mirror a GM screen?

Goblin Slayer sticks to the plan

I really liked this scene. High Elf comments that Goblin Slayer’s plan seemed convenient given the location of the battle, and Goblin Slayer simply responds with “yeah, that’s because I plan based on my surroundings, genius”.

Sword Maiden gets rejected

It definitely took a bit of research before I could understand that remnants of the Demon army sent goblins to terrorize the Sword Maiden, forcing her to ask Goblin Slayer for help to avoid revealing her fear of goblins to other adventurers. But I think the important takeaway is that she’s not getting together with Goblin Slayer?

Everyone travels together now

The ending of this episode felt incredibly reminiscent of the typical D&D opening. The DM always comes up with some shoddy reason to shove the players together on the same mission, and the mission ends with everyone saying “I guess we’re a team now”.

Fall 2018 Grab Bag Week 5: Goblin Slayer, Ulysses

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

I’m watching too many shows this season. So, I have quite a lot of impressions to get through. I wonder how many shows are going to make it into the grab bag rotation.

Goblin Slayer First Impressions (1-4)

Hey, I heard people were talking about this show. I’m not really a big fan of super gory shows. I mostly like watching this show because I’ve played a decent amount of D&D and this show plays out like a pretty standard campaign. I can envision that one player who creates a character with a single defining trait and then goes to great lengths to make that character trait relevant in every exchange. Enter Goblin Slayer, the guy who’s obsessed with goblins and will bring up goblins in basically any way he can.

At the end of the day, I’m a sucker for the D&D references in this series. The character jobs are all familiar, and I like the constant references to dice. It’s also fun to see how Goblin Slayer in particular comes up with crazy ways to use his limited abilities to fight goblins. It’s the equivalent of one player asking if they can try something, and seeing what happens when the DM replies with “only one way to find out”.

Oh, the joy of spell slots. Better enjoy that short rest, right?

This is that awkward moment when you realize that Fireball has a 20-foot radius. Huh…I never thought about how ridiculous that is.

To be honest, I really like to see shots like this with Goblin Slayer’s phantom red eye. They’re…pretty cool?

Ulysses – Jeanne d’Arc to Renkin no Kishi First Impressions (1-4)

I’m really not sure about this show. I have no problem with re-imagining every supposed saint in history as an immortal Ulysses powered by a Philosopher’s Stone. Shifting the perspective of history is something I like to see in a show. My main issue is that the characters in the show have a weirdly childish side to them. The main character, Montmorency, has an excuse, as he literally spent seven years interacting with no one. But I really don’t understand why every other character seems to have an obsessive reliance on Montmorency when they’re all either stronger or more influential than he is.

As a general impression, this show moves quickly. Honestly, I think it moves too quickly for its own good, leaving certain things in the dust. For example, a large part of the series revolves around the fact that Montmorency disappears for seven years because he becomes so obsessed with creating the elixir he needs to tolerate the Philosopher’s Stone. How does one completely lose track for that long? Who cares? I’d be less upset with not knowing why if it wasn’t such a sticking point for every other character.

But hey…Astaroth is a pretty nice character, right?

Speaking of pacing, everyone is basically back together by episode four. Richemont’s capture ends up feeling like a cheap catalyst, since she’s back by the time Montmorency becomes active again.

Sure, why not?

The wonders of elixir. It evaporates immediately on contact with air, but it can apparently survive in your body for…as long as you want? It’s not like the stomach shares the same entryway as the lungs or anything.

Zombieland Saga First Impressions (1): Just an average, everyday idol show

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

This series doesn’t even make me sad to be watching an idol show. It does make me feel bad writing about it, though, since I think a lot of the episode relies on surprise to deliver jokes. Personally, misdirection humor tends to work pretty well for me, so I had a blast watching the episode. So yeah, zombies forming an idol group. What could go wrong?

The opener really does a great job of setting the tone for the series. Truck-kun is merciless. I probably should have noticed the giant 2008 calendar in the beginning, but the typical idol girl introduction really disarms you. I also loved the way the screaming music starts just as the camera zooms on Sakura’s dying face.

I’m not going to lie. I was really hoping that Sakura’s appearance in this whole section was just a result of her own personal perception. I think showing off the manager’s makeup skills makes more sense, but I like the idea of messing with perception, and it reminds me of Gakkou Gurashi.

This is a good representation of what it feels like when you’re the only person paying attention in class. Also, can we talk about the sound effect that was playing when the morning sun was being shown? I don’t know if it shows up in other media, but it sounds exactly like the sound effect that plays when you “wake up” in 7 Days to Die (which is a game I’ve played a lot).

It’s a funny joke…but I actually do want to know how Koutarou managed to bring everyone back as zombies.

I don’t know how I feel about the fact that extreme headbang is the only appeal of these zombies. I guess they’re just starting out, so I shouldn’t be so harsh.

I’m relieved to see the other zombies waking up. Dealing with a single sentient zombie would probably get old pretty quickly. We should give zombies more personality, right? That being said, it does bring up a troubling question. Just what exactly does Sakura do in this show? Before, she was just “the sane one”, but what now?

Satsuriku no Tenshi Episode 12: Shocking truth!

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

If this is truly the end of the TV release, then it was a really cruel cliffhanger to end on. This episode felt a bit strange to me, because it seemed like the tension and focus was pointed at the wrong things. Gray’s big reveal seemed like it should have been the important takeaway from the episode, but the episode itself seems to shift all of its attention to Danny (someone I really don’t like).

I actually think it’s hilarious that Rachel’s begging here makes her seem more normal. She sounds like a standard teenage girl who has embarrassed herself somehow.

Didn’t Danny want to kill Rachel to steal her eyes? Is this some extension of his character where he now wants to see Rachel’s eyes react to Zack figuring out her secret?

Watching Zack brute force through the puzzles was pretty entertaining.

The reveal that Gray apparently set up this entire murder house was way too casual. I mean, I guess it makes sense that Rachel’s faith is being tested by him.

So far, nothing in Rachel’s past seems particularly weird. Sure, she’s implicated in her parents’ murders, but Zack shouldn’t have a problem with that. So, Zack is clearly reacting to something else in the news report that’s been hidden from us, but I don’t really have a good guess as to what would cause him to recoil.

Random Impressions Summer 2018 (Week 11): Shingeki no Kyojin S3

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

This season’s still been going pretty strong even with much fewer Titans. Eren seemed to have a nice moment of self-reflection in this episode, and the resolution of Rod Reiss went in a way I liked. Historia’s also doing a solid job of proving herself now that she’s tossed aside her helpless side. But seriously, the CG version of Rod Reiss’s Titan is the stuff of nightmares.

I get that people are jerks, but I find it a little bit hard to believe that the people of this world can’t take a break for just one day. At worst, it seems like a minor inconvenience, so I don’t see it as a reason to denounce the new queen. I understand that the series needs a reason to stir up some drama around Historia, but I found this reason a little harder to believe.

Additionally, Historia states herself that people won’t be so easily accepting of a new ruler. Does the unrest even need to happen? In my mind, this line is enough, but I guess the idea is to make Historia look even more woefully unqualified.

I’m cool with this introspection from Eren. It’s about time he realized that everyone is killing themselves for him. He could easily turn towards a self-destructive path from here, but it seems like he’s found resolve from it (which is nice).

It’s a cool plan, but how exactly does Eren survive the blast? Gunpowder doesn’t explode in one direction, after all. I’d understand if Eren could clamp the mouth shut, but that doesn’t happen.

I like the idea of having Historia cut down her father, both for the emphasis on family and for giving the people a reason to accept her as queen.

Satsuriku no Tenshi Episode 11: Finding God

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

This episode was kind of strange, mostly because I didn’t get the sense that Rachel had changed too much after her mental battle with Gray. Maybe I’m missing some hidden significance in her declaration that Zack is her god, which is undeniably an interesting way to “defeat” Gray. Anyway, I think the TV release is close to its end, so I guess we’re going to end on something unsatisfying.

Gray is certainly his own kind of crazy, but I respect him for at least seeming to have his act together most of the time. Eddie was dramatically obsessing, while Cathy and Danny are more generically insane. In comparison, Gray seems like a break from the absurd.

I’m a little sad about how the hallucinogen is ultimately handled, since Rachel just calls everything an illusion and moves on. Still, I do appreciate the fact that she returns to her sense after cutting herself with Zack knife. It’s a common trope for breaking illusions, but it’s used in a subtle way that I liked.

In the end, it seems Rachel still has the same outlook of only killing those in her way.

The revelation that Gray care for Zack is a bit weird. From his conversations with Rachel, it seemed more like he cared about everyone else except her. Didn’t he call Danny and Eddie sweet boys or something?

While I’m not a fan of the idea that the truth needs to be ripped out of Rachel, I’m interested to see how this floor goes. It seems like it’s finally Rachel’s turn to be the floor master.

Satsuriku no Tenshi Episode 10: Couldn’t we have solved this with a duck instead?

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

Honestly, this episode wasn’t the most enjoyable to watch. The witch trial itself seemed a bit too abstract for me, so it was hard to follow along and really stay attentive. At this point, I honestly just think it would be cool if Rachel killed Gray way back when she first hallucinated, and she’s just been having hallucinated conversations with him because of timed gas clouds.

Gray as a character really feels like he’s just trying to get at the question of why Rachel cares so much about the promise to God, but he’s been dragging it on a bit long for my taste. I guess the witch trial is meant to prove that God wouldn’t care about Rachel’s promise regardless of whether she truly made it to God or not.

So many colors…

The trial itself just seems so…strange. I’m sure I’m just missing something obvious, but it started to feel ridiculous. I don’t particularly have a problem with letting the characters twist Rachel’s past intentions, but I thought that last week’s episode was meant to force you to question Rachel’s previous actions. Why do it again this week?

To be fair, the different characters get a chance to show off their different personalities some more. It does a decent job of demonstrating the range of people in the facility.

Hooray?

Summer 2018 Grab Bag Week 9: Shingeki no Kyojin S3, Kyoto Teramachi Sanjou no Holmes

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

This post seems a lot longer than I intended.

Shingeki no Kyojin S3 Episode 44

This whole royal blood business didn’t end being as bad as I had remembered. I like a lot of the details in this episode that I didn’t notice while reading the manga. Rod Reiss’s grand scheme still makes no sense to me, which is probably what annoyed me the first time, but the rest of the episode was pretty solid.

The cruel irony of the anti-personnel weapons is actually quite a nice touch in this episode. Sure, the Military Police have guns, but the very weapons they use specifically for fighting humans give them the same vulnerability from behind that Titans have.

Another small detail that I really liked was how the individual characters reacted to fighting other humans. Hange is one of the more experienced characters in the series, and even she grimaces when killing humans, along with Connie and Jean. On the other hand, the characters that have had traumatic encounters with humans in the past are shown acting more comfortable with the fight, namely Sasha and Mikasa.

And one again, Levi has a truly epic fight.

Historia’s character arc was mostly fine, as her interactions with Ymir inspire her to live her own life rather than being led by her father, regressing back how she was before. I still don’t get what Rod Reiss was saying about “God”, though. It’s supposed to be a response to why the royal family has never eliminated Titans in 100 years of history, and it seems like a non sequitur. I guess it could just be saying that they liked the power of being “God”, but doesn’t that defeat his point?

Kyoto Teramachi Sanjou no Holmes Episode 7

I know more episodes have come out, but I wanted to take time to talk about episode 7 in particular because it seemed to bring out a lot of the problems I have with the series. Episode 8 seemed to focus back on the romance between Holmes and Aoi, which I honestly think is where this series should spend its time.

I don’t have a huge problem with Aoi winning the antique competition. It does show that she’s learning as she goes, showing that she’s competent on her own.

My main issue with the episode is Holmes’s evaluation of Ensho’s counterfeit. It’s fine for Holmes to point out that the lighting is wrong, but his evaluation is completely based on a subjective feeling. I get that art is inherently subjective, but I would have preferred that a character like Holmes reference more objective features (such as color choice or maybe intensity) rather than purely referencing a feeling. At a later point, he even states that he has problems with relationships because he’s too reliant on objective facts, so it’s not just part of the re-imagining of the character.

The final revelation in the episode also doesn’t really make much sense. I’m guessing this is partly a translation issue, but I really don’t get what Holmes means when he says he only figured things out because of “knowledge he had”. I would imagine that most deductions are based on his knowledge, and I don’t see anything wrong with that.

Maybe he meant that he used his personal knowledge of Ensho as a person rather than just looking at the painting, but that’s not really conveyed. Also, Ensho mentions that he finally understands why artists sign their work, which implies that he also left some kind of sign on the painting that Holmes missed. However, all of this stuff is largely left in the air without any real explanation.