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‘Goblin Slayer: Goblin’s Crown’: A Worthy, if Lackluster, Addition to the Series

While Goblin Slayer: Goblin’s Crown might lack the intensity of the series at its best, it is a worthwhile addition for fans.

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Goblin Slayer: Goblin's Crown

When Goblin Slayer first emerged as a new series in 2018, it shook the world of anime with controversy. The premiere episode, which featured brutal bloodshed, deliberate narrative subversion, and, most notably, a nasty interspecies rape scene, was more than some viewers could handle. Though the remainder of season one wasn’t always as grimdark as the series premiere, it did retain as much stark realism and awful consequences as one can expect in a fantasy series based closely around Dungeons and Dragons.

As the gods continue to roll the dice in the series, Goblin Slayer: Goblin’s Crown has emerged on Crunchyroll. A new movie that follows the events of the first season, Goblin’s Crown picks up where the story last left off, with the team of adventurers taking on a new mission from the quest board. The mission in question sees the quintuplet tasked with seeking out a royally connected adventurer who disappeared while on a goblin slaying mission for a local village.

Goblin Slayer: Goblin's Crown

As the titular Goblin Slayer, Priestess, and the others set out into the snowy wilderness in search of the goblins who took the girl, they make a series of increasingly unsettling discoveries about the creatures they’re tracking. As seen during the first season, the goblins are continuing to evolve both their base of knowledge and their technological abilities, becoming more of a threat than ever to the human race. Now, equipped with a paladin, the goblins are carving magical runes for some unknown purpose, while they stock supplies and tie up villagers, rather than killing them.

Of course, the ever-stoic Goblin Slayer is unmoved by these developments. His mission remains the same: to kill every last goblin. Even as he begins to soften to the group, his resolve remains stalwart, and he remains passively ignorant of Priestess’ love for him, a fact which is finally confirmed here (as if there was ever any doubt).

Goblin Slayer: Goblin's Crown

Goblin Slayer: Goblin’s Crown also continues the trend of leaning heavily into fantasy tropes for which the series is known. As elves and dwarves grow their unlikely friendship and there is talk of dragons and the spirit of adventuring, fans of the series will find plenty of fantasy nostalgia to enjoy here. However, the movie may be a bit too similar to the series to make a significant mark on fans.

Though no one wants to see the series repeat itself necessarily, the high stakes of Goblin Slayer‘s two best all-or-nothing battles are a hard benchmark to beat, particularly the series’ finale fight with the Goblin Champion. As such, Goblin’s Crown fails to up the ante enough to match the series at its best. While it maintains the strengths that made Goblin Slayer such a hit to begin with, it doesn’t reach the series at its heights.

Goblin Slayer: Goblin's Crown

Further, the only significant new character seems to be a one and done addition, meaning that fans who skip Goblin’s Crown likely won’t be missing much. However, for those who are eagerly awaiting the second season of Goblin SlayerGoblin’s Crown is a nice bit of dessert to pacify fans for the remainder of time before season two finally arrives.

Complete with a series recap at the front end, fans could do a lot worse than Goblin Slayer: Goblin’s Crown, but for those seeking the jaw-clenching suspense and top-tier ass-kicking of the main series, Goblin’s Crown is only an appetizer for the main course.

Mike Worby is a human who spends way too much of his free time playing, writing and podcasting about pop culture. Through some miracle he's still able to function in society as if he were a regular person, and if there's hope for him, there's hope for everyone.

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Anime

Anime Ichiban 33: Coming into Maturity

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Anime Ichiban welcomes our anime waifu overlords, old and new. Join Matt and Kyle this episode as they discuss the return of the Goddess of Anime, Haruhi Suzumiya herself, then hop on over to the new virutal sensation that’s finally sweeping English-speaking nations: Hololive Vtubers!

For this episode of Anime Ichiban, the SHITSUMON! topic will have the duo diving into recently released Aggretsuko Season 3 and The Great Pretender and explore how the two shows work with mature themes.

TIMESTAMPS

0:00 – Introductions and what we’ve been up to
23:33 – The Return of Haruhi Suzumiya(‘s light novels)
37:23 – The Debut of Generation 1 of Hololive English Vtubers
53:07 – Minor news roundup: (Shenmue anime announced; Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel Part 3 movie debuts to huge success; KyoAni fire updates)
58:35 – SHITSUMON! How does anime portray mature themes in its storytelling?

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Anime

Anime Ichiban 32: The Art of Following a Formula

Corporate shakeups and Galapagos Syndrome spell omens of a changing global landscape for the anime industry.

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diary of our days at breakwater

Corporate shakeups and Galapagos Syndrome spell omens of a changing global landscape for the anime industry and that the crew digs into along with how a series can effectively perform within its genre conventions.

TIMESTAMPS

0:00 – Introductions
12:28 – Legacy piracy site KissAnime shuts down
28:45 – AT&T reportedly looking to sell Crunchyroll
43:27 – Galapagos Syndrome: Is anime in danger of losing its global identity?
58:41 – News Reel
1:02:20 – SHITSUMON! How do shows perform effectively and still entertain in genres whose formulae are already well known and expected?

TRACKS

Intro – “Cagayake! GIRLS” by Houkago Tea Time (K-ON! opening theme)
Outro – “Tsuri no sekai e” by Umino High School Breakwater Club (Our Diary at the Breakwater ending theme)

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Anime

‘One Piece: Stampede’ is an All-Star Behemoth Buckling Under Predictability

Does One Piece: Stampede sail all the way to Laugh Tale, or remain anchored in an East Blue of mediocrity?

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As the fourteenth film in Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece saga, One Piece: Stampede was released in 2019 to critical and financial success. As a big-budget commemoration of the anime’s 20th anniversary, Stampede has lots to live up to, from successfully stamping a momentous two decades, to satiating the hype of a passionate global fanbase. Does it sail all the way to Laugh Tale, or remain anchored in an East Blue of mediocrity?

It’s party time at the Pirate Fest!

The Pirate Fest, a grand gathering of the sea’s most infamous individuals, is underway! At the festival, the Straw Hats compete with their Worst Generation rivals to retrieve a treasure of Gol D. Roger. But behind the scenes, festival organiser Buena Festa and legendary pirate Douglas Bullet are scheming something sinister.

Cutting to the chase, One Piece: Stampede soon kicks into an all-out battle against said Douglas Bullet, with Luffy working with friend and foe alike to fell his opponent.

Much like Dragon Ball Super: Broly, also animated by Toei Animation, each frame of One Piece: Stampede is a treasure to behold. Fluid animation and colors spell eye-candy magic, and the odd bit of 3D animation isn’t (too) visually jarring.

One Piece: Stampede nails its mission statement of lightning-paced popcorn entertainment to a tee. Goofy shonen films don’t have to transcend ‘awesome action and silly superpowers’. Rather than shooting for the moon and coming up short, Stampede settles for smashing the sky. With white-knuckle fights and satisfying character moments conveyed with a zippy pace, One Piece: Stampede assuredly brings what fans want. And whilst not as developed or memorable as other film baddies (One Piece: Strong World’s Shiki or One Piece: Z’s titular Z), Douglas Bullet is terrifyingly tough enough to tick the boxes.

Playing It Safe

Whilst the ‘playing it safe’ ethos of One Piece: Stampede succeeds on the surface, the imaginative innovation of One Piece: Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island is missing, and the excess of characters prevents the possibility of channeling the simplicity of One Piece: Dead End Adventure. Stampede works as anniversary celebratory bombast but isn’t the series’ smartest, and with the core of the film occurring in a single spot and under dull skies, location fatigue rears its head.

For some, the draw of One Piece: Stampede is its constant character cameos. From the instantly recognizable to the deep cuts, it’s a fun gimmick for fans, although the absence of big names like Kuzan and Jinbei are noticeable. Some cameos fall on the side of groan inducing-ly forced, shoehorning a requisite Zoro fight, or overtly shouting to audiences “Remember them?!” Having no effect on the story, these cameos are clunky and break narrative immersion.

Far from the worst of One Piece’s wildly varied films, Stampede is what it needs to be. It lacks the creative spirit of One Piece’s heights and is dampened by its inconsistent cameo execution, but it’s a fine anniversary celebration for one of manga and anime’s, if not the world’s, best works of fiction. For the uninitiated, it’ll be like an avant-garde acid trip, but for those clued-into Luffy’s antics, it’s a barrage of ballistic glee!

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