Saihate no Paladin definitely did the whole calm before the storm thing with episode 10 being very much set-up with very little happening before this episode has the adventurers who have signed on with Will entering the forest, helping deliver goods to the villagers and sending out periodic scouting parties looking for demons. Inevitably, one of the scouting groups goes missing and Will and others set out to track them down.
Spoiler alert – it doesn’t end well.
Saihate no Paladin doesn’t let Will triumph for too long before bringing him down.
There’s something oddly similar between how Saihate no Paladin works to shatter Will’s confidence this week with how Mushoku Taisei: Jobless Reincarnation treats its protagonist, Rudeus, in almost every episode. Having defeated a wyvern two episodes ago and been made a paladin in the last episode, Will enters the woods on a real high note.
More than that, the mission initially goes well with villages welcoming them and coming to rely on Will for a number of reasons. In fact it is all going so smoothly you just know it isn’t going to last.
And lo-and-behold it doesn’t.
There’s a turning point in this episode of Saihate no Paladin where the guy whose name I can’t remember but he’s referred to as the Penetrator (because he kills monsters in one blow naturally) enters Will’s tent and tells him one of the scouting parties is over-due.
Will, Menel and the Penetrator gather some others and head out after them.
Unfortunately, its already too late and they come across the grisly remains which they bury. During this process they notice one of the heads is missing and so progress further down a valley in search of someone who may have run from the scene.
For viewers watching it is just a tease as you know this is a bad idea. It’s like watching a horror movie where the characters hear a noise and go to investigate. You just want to shake them and ask them what they think they are doing.
By the time the characters wizen up that perhaps this valley with steep sides isn’t the best location to be walking around in, its already too late and they find themselves boxed in by enemies.
Here Will learns that just having good intentions isn’t enough. Also, just because you are strong doesn’t mean you can protect everyone.
Saihate no Paladin doesn’t take this lesson to the extreme and doesn’t permanently take out Will’s potential friend here, but it does come close and it is enough to send Will a little over the edge during this fight.
Further evidence of how rattled Will has become is clear when he actually misfires his magic. I know he was hit from behind by one of the monsters but in all the time we’ve watched Will grow up and train he’s never once blown a spell that badly. The fight that follows is ugly and Will himself isn’t proud of it but he, and all the other adventurers, do survive it which is kind of a miracle in and of itself.
However, I think the real tragedy comes afterward when Will draws the wrong conclusion from the fight.
Here’s hoping the final episode of the season for Saihate no Paladin has Will’s friends find him and beating some sense into his head given his goddess didn’t feel the need to correct his misinterpretation of the lesson from this fight.
That and I kind of hope Will gets a rematch with the monster. I think that will help him a little bit if he gets the chance to face it again.
You can read the full season review here.
Images from: Saihate no Paladin. Dir. Y. Nobuta. Children’s Playground Entertainment. 2021
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3 thoughts on “Saihate no Paladin Episode 11 – Being Ambushed Sucks”
Maybe the goddess isn’t allowed to give him advice. She sure looked saddened when he told her his conclusion.
I know, I wish he had picked up on her sad expression.
Can’t do that! If he had they’d lose the next story arc.