If people were scared off of this series for being too much like SAO, it is now easy to say, with 100 per cent certainty, that you’re missing out on something great here.
Continuing with the party trying to connect with Mary, we’re given the last little portion of the flashback to why she’s the way she is, and then we move on from there. It’s a quick movement from one plot point to the next, but it flows perfectly and allows the episode to spend quite a bit of time developing the party’s newfound reactions to Mary and her situation.
And develop it they did. While still giving Haruhiro most of the limelight, we get a nicely paced sequence where all the members of the party bring Mary into their group through an admittance of friendship, and it does a lot to make the team feel like they’re moving forward. The fact that this sequence is prefaced by Haruhiro discussing Manato with Mary is part of what makes it work.
Now that they know her history, although it’s dubious on whether she knows that they went and asked about her, it’s only fair turnabout that they give her information on theirs. And throughout the rest of the episode there’s a noticeable change to the party’s dynamic with Mary involved.
Mary isn’t the only one to be built up this episode. The party overall has had to change due to their intent to welcome Mary into the fold, and it leads to conflict between Ranta and the others – due to how he feels ignored or put down by the rest (which, he sadly earns and so far has done nothing to prove otherwise, but his feelings are understandable). The party has also now earned the title of Goblin Slayers due to their continued crusade against the only enemy they can face down.
These changes all seem to work in the favour of our leads as they find themselves moving up in “levels,” learning new skills and gaining new equipment through their efforts; making them a far more effective party than they have ever been before. It’s the first time in a while that the feeling of “trapped in a game” has come from this series, and it honestly doesn’t feel as awkward as it could have.
The animation this episode deserves to be noted as well, both due to the opening flashback, which felt intense, and the increased amount of movement rather than still frames during the goblin hunting scenes was great. All the members of the team working on this one deserve some praise here as it looked good and even made the insert song feel enjoyable, rather than a way to eat up time.
Overall, this is another great episode of Grimgar. The series has been doing really well week after week, and unless it starts to fall into the more cliché trappings of its subgenre, it doesn’t look like it’ll be losing steam at all.
Episode 7 Rating: 9/10
Grimgar streams new episodes Sundays exclusively on Funimation.