“I don’t know if I’ll be able to save it, but let’s kill some Goblins.” — Goblin Slayer
All you f—king assholes need to stop hating on Goblin Slayer — LEAVE BRITNEY (I mean Goblin Slayer) ALONE! Jesus Christ, just stop it. Take your pretentious, Tatami-Galaxy-loving-ass outta here, so us real fans can enjoy the kick-assery that is Goblin Slayer.
………….No. I’m serious, leave. RIGHT NOW! Only true fans will have the pleasure of reading this phenomenal review. Shit, if you gave this series anything less than a “10,” you’d best stop watching anime altogether, you wannabe-otaku.
<ahem> “So, where are the
goblins?” — Goblin Slayer
The genius of Goblin Slayer comes from its uninhibited objective to underscore the savagery of the goblins; thereby, forcing the audience to immediately empathize with the lowly adventurers who’s virginities will be forever lost to those disgusting green chodes. The first episode may have been a bit overwhelming, but it was necessary to highlight the evil nature of the goblins. And boy, were they ever evil. But when all hope seemed lost, the vigilante known as Goblin Slayer entered the proverbial arena, to lay-the-smack-down on all their candy asses. And layeth-the-smack-down he did. Essentially, if you think about, he’s the Japanese equivalent of Batman — mother f—king BATMAN, people — set in a medieval world. It’s f—king awesome! But instead of breaking bones and scaring his foes psychologically, the Goblin Slayer just straight up murders those little dick-wads.
Along with his ruthless nature, the Goblin Slayer utilizes a myriad of techniques to kill goblins and keep the viewer entertained, including: curb-stomping goblin teeth against jagged rocks; rearranging goblin face’s with his knuckles; splattering goblin brain matter across cave walls; shooting arrows through goblin eyeballs; and performing a mass genocide of all goblins, including the young-lins (NOT THE YOUNG-lins!). Also, the Goblin Slayer’s battle armor looks amazing, and his sturdy resolve to remain a “goblin-slayer,” despite the ridicule of his fellow (ASSHOLES!) Compatriots was admirable. His heart is filled with a deep hatred for those vile creatures, and people calling him an “edge-lord” simply don’t understand how traumatizing of an experience he went through. If the anime community had any inkling of what empathy was, then they would know what time it is. But the Goblin Slayer knows: it’s f—king goblin-slaying time! Amirite.
The genius of Goblin Slayer comes from the formation of a great coalition of diversified talents and people to accelerate the slaying of even more goblins. Simply put, they paired the Goblin Slayer with a lizard-dude, a flat-chested elf, a geriatric dwarf, and Onna the high “priestess” to go on a super-cool adventure to destroy an enormous goblin nest. When the elf-girl used her magic to guide the single arrow through the two goblins and a wolf, I was straight up marking out. Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!! (Ric Flair style). But the episode wasn’t over quite yet, because just as my erection was at its limit, they started playing epic rock music as the main crew walked towards the Goblin den with bad intentions, enough weapons to terrify the whole country of France, and a whole lot of awesomeness. Schwing!!!!!! Party time, bitches!
But, alas….it’ not all good, dear friends (friends only include people who have Goblin Slayer in their favorites list). Episode five deviated from the norm, omitting the Goblin Slayer’s main objective in lieu of a silly side quest by some arbitrary character’s. EXCUSE ME! Are we watching “Goblin Slayer” or “Pummel a Rat With a Giant Club Because You’re Too Incompetent to Pull Your Sword From a Dead Rat Carcass…Slayer?” The show, obviously, lost its focus, leaving the viewer in a deep pit of despair, wondering if the Goblin Slayer would ever resume his normal duties of goblin slaying (#depressed). This sort of blunder would have been unforgivable, if not for the following episode when the MOTHER F—KING Goblin Slayer lit those goblins up like a Christmas tree…….wi-with his sword (it makes SENSE!).
The genius of Goblin Slayer comes from the application of Sun Tzu’s, “The Art of War,” via the Goblin Slayer’s willingness to think like a goblin (i.e. “To know your enemy, you must become your enemy”); hence, why the Goblin Slayer used goblin blood to conceal his own scent and displayed an indifferent, callousness during his various killing-sprees. In addition, his level of perception to distinguish between goblins and non-goblins was especially on point, rarely finding himself in a situation where he cannot fulfill his goblin killing responsibilities. Developments throughout the series highlight the contemplative side of the Goblin Slayer, as it’s revealed that the internal goblins inside his head haunt him — “Bullshit.” — inspire him to become enraged and go on the greatest goblin slaying spree of all time.
The genius of Goblin Slayer comes from its beautiful blend of “happy,” vibrant colors of the real world, juxtaposed with the dark, bloodcurdling atmosphere of the real-er world. The contrast exemplifies the duality of life itself and how transient bliss can be supplanted by life long despair, due to circumstances that are beyond our control. The Goblin Slayer experienced a fate worse than death, having witnessed the gang rape and eventual death of his sister. Instead of acquiescing to his own fears, the Goblin Slayer hardened his resolve, choosing to never forgive the creatures that robbed him of his remaining family and his innocence. The Goblin Slayer, himself, is not an exceptionally powerful warrior, nor is he blessed with unique gifts/powers that elevate him to the status of being “one of a kind” (perpetuating the Stock Shōnen Hero archetype). What makes the Goblin Slayer “special,” is his devotion — some may call it, insanity — to exterminate every last goblin in existence and make no apologies about it. Just as Michael Jordan etched his name in history as the G.O.A.T with his unmatched competitive fervor, the Goblin Slayer’s inexorable zeal to eradicate his mortal enemy, is an unparalleled intensity that instills fear in his adversaries and certitude in his comrades.
The genius of Goblin Slayer comes from the tactical vision and strategic planning of the Goblin Slayer. His ability to foresee goblin battle plans and construct effective countermeasures, validates his meticulous nature and his profound cognitive capacity. While other adventurers were caught off-guard by the goblin riders and the goblin champions, the Goblin Slayer, in all his clairvoyant glory, ensnared the repulsive creatures with his superior traps and delegation of responsibility; thus, paving the way for his final showdown with the Goblin Lord. A showdown, in which the Goblin Slayer harnessed all his rage and pent-up frustration to fuel his fighting spirit to its absolute maximum.
So why, you may ask, does the community hate the Goblin Slayer? Detractors have argued that the Goblin Slayer’s combative fury embodies the worst aspects of the “Unstoppable Rage” archetype. You know, the same “Unstoppable Rage” every Shōnen hero experiences when they lose their shit and unlock a dormant power they never realized they had, until that very moment when they needed it most. In addition, they claim that the excessive amount of fan-service has been rather excessive. Excessive or not, the fan-service has been a point, with a plethora of great camera angles and side boob action to boot. Lastly, they assert that none of the characters exhibit a genuine personality, or display any growth throughout the series.
Of course, these are just words, with a sprinkling of even bigger words (so many words). And are we really going to accept the words of a bunch of salty bitches who conform to groupthink psychology, to avoid being ostracized by the anime “elitists” for having “shit-tastes?” I think NOT!!! Why is that?…
Because Goblin Slayer is the hero the MAL community deserves, but not the one it needs right now, so we’ll ridicule him. Because he can bear it, because he’s not a hero. He’s a stoic defender, a warrior-savant, an ardent gladiator, a competitive eccentric, an iron-clad inspiration….
a GOBLIN SLAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYEERRRRRRRRRR!!!!!
Goblin Slayer is a series that, paradoxically, is underrated because of how popular it is. Popularity means a wide audience, which means a wide array of stupid uninformed opinions that undersell a good work of fiction. Here is a shortlist of wrong statement about this show one might hear, as well as where those statements originate from:
“It’s edge-fest/fetishistic porn/literally neo-nazi propaganda” - originates from sheltered, entitled life without any hardships plus never reading/watching any serious fiction, thus having no context whatsoever for how a dark/whatever show looks like. Goblin Slayer is just an ordinary R-rated show.
“It baits you with
gore and then becomes generic SoL” - from sheltered, entitled life without any hardships plus never reading/watching any serious fiction, thus having a warped idea that to be “mature” a story needs a character getting killed/raped/eaten every 30 seconds, “just like it happens in real life”.
“It’s a generic isekai” - from thinking SAO invented fantasy anime and not knowing such words as “tabletop” or “D&D”.
“It’s a bad adaptation” - from not even knowing what medium the source material comes from, and mistakenly believing it’s manga. Between manga and anime, the anime is a better adaptation of the original light novels. Alternatively, from fundamentally not understanding how “adapting” from one medium to another actually works.
Brushing the nonsense aside, I want to emphasize what makes this show good:
Goblin Slayer perfectly captures the spirit of a D&D campaign - that is, the spirit of murder-hoboing, with all the glorious total party kills, rule-lawyering and cheesing of the encounters. You can constantly see deliberately written moments where the players are implied to be rolling the dice, and how good of a roll that was based on the outcome.
It is a well-written dark fantasy in a market where this commodity is in deficit. Many little details show that a lot of thought and research was put into world building. While it’s not quite on the speculative fiction level, it comes pretty close to being a D&D setting written as a real functioning world.
A unique and fascinating main character and his character arc. The premise initially implies that Goblin Slayer is going to be a faceless killing machine. He was born to be a completely unremarkable average person, but then a single event radically changes his life making him fanatically focus on a single goal (of killing goblins) in favor of which he abandons everything else, including growing into a well-adjusted human being. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t a human being, or even that he is crazy. The foundations to lead a normal life are there, and the more Goblin Slayer comes in contact with other people, the more he grows, becoming more and more complex and constantly re-evaluating what he is.
Good adaptation. Not slavish adaptation, but actually good adaptation. Things are swapped around and changed to accomodate episode length and season length limitations, thus having a proper story arc in 12-episodes format. Between the things that are the point of anime medium - fight scenes choreography, music, voice acting - the former two are great. And while the latter is nothing to write home about, hearing Priestess say Goburin Sureiya-san is a reason enough for an anime adaptation to exist. Also, main character’s model is CGI and it looks fine unless you hate CGI on religious principle, not based on how it looks. For those who desire faithfulness, the anime is more faithful than the manga, which has an annoying manner of randomly changing characters’ reactions/behavior, therefore changing the characters themselves and making them look inconsistently written.
9/10 because this series succeeds in what it tries to achieve with basically no issues.
*** How to bamboozle Anime fans in 2018 in few steps only***
1) Announce the production of a “Fantasy” Anime that its LN/Manga has a large fanbase, so you can attract a large amount of anime audiences.
2) Make a really nice & “vague” trailer that shows this anime as a “generic” fantasy anime with goblins.
3) Accidentally, Make a mistake by putting “PG-13” in the Rating section instead of “R – 17 +” in most of anime sites, so the audiences feel safe 100% about this one. (But change it later indeed).
4) The first few minutes of the first episode must be smooth and normal like any generic fantasy
or Isekai anime. Now, it is the perfect chance. The audiences are off guard … INCLUDE some random disgusting rape scenes and some brutal deaths to the extent that the audiences want to vomit & puke and feel pain in their stomach, ragging on Internet about this anime, driving them into insanity, cause of the best trolling ever. Ka-booooom, Mission accomplished by a success rate 100% and the anime’s base has jumped into a high number of users in no time.
Some animes acquire their fame due to the high quality, the originality or maybe cause of the hype. But Goblin Slayer is different. This anime acquired its fame cause of …. Some rape scenes??! Goblin Slayer is now considered as the best anime for “hot” topics and discussions threads. With +850 comments in the first episode’s discussion, and more than 45 threads about this anime in only few weeks, Pretty much right?
If you’re looking for a “deep plot”. Then, you came to the wrong place, my friend. As the name of the title, this anime is only about killing goblins, obviously the anime is called Goblin Slayer. The setting of this anime is somehow like MMORPG games or Isekai animes. It’s about a fantasy world with different races and creatures, and one of those races are the goblins. The story revolves around a skilled adventure who kills nothing but goblins only. Despite his high rank as an adventure, he only cares about slaying goblins; cause he hates goblins as he wants to take revenge from them. But do goblins consider as a high threat? In this anime, yes. Goblins here have only 1 gender. “Males”. How can they reproduce then? Simply, by having an intercourse with female humans to breed their kids. Which is “Rape” of course.
Some people would say that rape’s theme is used here as a kind of awful fetish or some kind of disgusting fan-service. No, rape here isn’t used for this. It’s not hentai. It’s not used for making you entertain seeing some girls getting raped, again, it’s not a BDSM hentai or something. And if you think like they used it for a disgusting thing like this, then mate, it’s your own problem.
But then, the rape theme here is used for another purpose. The idea of this anime is to make the audiences hate goblins to the extent that they all must die and that humans must wipe them out. If goblins kill humans only, then it will not make all of the audiences agree on annihilating them, even killing their kids like what goblin slayer did. So how can this be improved? By rape. Yes. Rape is an awful act, then what if all goblins rape innocent humans? It’s awful right? And this successfully worked. Anime fans are hating goblins – and the anime itself – cause of this. The purpose of rape is to make you get angry from all goblins and want to kill them like what goblin slayer is doing by himself, cause even their kids, will grow up someday and will rape other women. So they must be slayed. And this is why, this anime is called “Goblin Slayer”.
Most of characters here are somehow generic. You have a cute and innocent priestess, a busty childhood cheerful friend, a blonde elf, a hot guild girl and some cool characters like that Dwarf and the lizard-man. But, the only exception here is, the protagonist who is Goblin Slayer himself.
Goblin Slayer is unlike the main characters of any other fantasy/Isekai anime. Some sees him as edgy and some sees him as a badass person. Goblin slayer is an interesting person in my opinion. He has witnessed his sister’s rape when he was young, leaving an enormous scar in his soul, turning him into someone who cares about nothing but murdering goblins to take his revenge. Goblin Slayer’s monologue in the 2nd episode highlights an important part about his character, revealing the truth that he knows, that he is getting ‘happier’ and ‘happier’ each time when he kills goblins, changing his route from seeking revenge into fulfilling a sadistic desire. He, himself is going downhill into insanity, as he’s slowly turning into a monster who just enjoys killing goblins every day, losing his humane side bit by bit, which can be highlighted as a foreshadowing in the upcoming events.
Goblin Slayer isn’t like the other high-ranked adventures who seek for attention, bragging and being pretentious to be praised from others. He doesn’t care about stuff like this at all. He is a victim in my opinion, despite his high rank, he’s getting mocked by the other guildmates about his state, gears etc .. And what he cares about is killing goblins only, we can see from this that he has zero intent in life since that he looks like as if his holy mission is killing goblins and nothing else, feeling joy? No. falling in love? No. He’s basically turning into a blind person whose desires are consuming him to a bad edge.
Nothing special about the OSTs, they’re not bad nor perfect, just normal. The OP song is dark, calm & somehow okey, the ED song isn’t that good even.
The animation here isn’t a top-tier or something. It’s normal, people complain about the bad GC but actually I didn’t notice the GC till I saw people talking about it on the internet. There’s nothing like a superpower here or stuff like that so I don’t see the importance of wasting a huge budget on anime like this.
The anime is quite entertaining, as many generic fantasy & isekai animes were released this year, Goblin Slayer breaks the trend like what Re:Zero did in 2016. As in Fall, we have mostly romance or school animes, so I honestly like watching Goblin Slayer, this anime is somehow dark and has a lot of violence in it beside really good action’s scenes, which is something I really appreciate, giving the calm and heavy atmosphere, is a something I barely see in the recent animes.
It’s okey if you don’t love Goblin Slayer, you don’t have to force yourself to watch it, if you can’t stand the rape and violence in it and you are sensitive about it, despite that “rape” here is used for another thing as I explained, then I think it’s better for you to watch any anime else from this season, there are more than 20 animes, you know. Goblin Slayer isn’t meant to be liked by everyone so please don’t start bashing about a series that is not genuinely your type. In the recent years, animes tend to be more “peaceful”, “relaxing” and having some cute girls. So It will be weird indeed for a lot of people to see something vulgar & harsh like Goblin Slayer. Moreover, if you don’t like the anime cause that there’s no particular deep plot or something, then yeah, you’re probably right. But overall, this anime is so good & interesting in my opinion, It has some pros and some cons indeed. I hope that this anime impress me even more in the upcoming episodes.
“I am, in turn, a goblin to them” – Goblin Slayer.
Another fun little romp through fantasy-land, quests to be ventured and gold to be reaped... or maybe not quite.
Welcome to 2018's most controversial anime, Goblin Slayer. Little known by western anime fans, it came much out of nowhere, with a first episode that made viewers aghast and the social medias ablaze. And why, you may ask. I will have to leave that unanswered for a moment, as you should not yet be reading this review if you are unfamiliar with what scene I am referring to. But I will leave a word of caution: you should probably not watch Goblin Slayer if you are
Spoilers of the first episode, necessarily, will follow.
What transpires in the first episode overshadows everything that comes in the following eleven episodes. And so, this review will be centered primarily on the first episode and its resulting controversy. Though I will also be discussing the artistic merits of the anime as a whole, this will be as much a critical analysis as it is a response, an answer of sorts to whether the controversy Goblin Slayer brewed ever had any meaning in the first place.
And, I will tell you, no, it really did not.
From the second episode onward, a 'viewer discretion' warning appears in the subtitles provided by Crunchy Roll. But nowhere does it appear in the show itself, in Japanese. It is quite clear who was actually offended by this show... and it was not the Japanese audience, for whom this anime was made.
I'm going to be quite blunt, as this perception that westerners' views are always, unquestionably important is bothersome. Japanese anime studios do not care about what English-speaking YouTubers have to say, for they cannot even understand them in the first place. They do not care about Tumblr, nor do they care about anyone except viewers in Japan who could potentially buy BluRay discs of their series. They are companies, not political organisations. They are from Japan, not from the United States. The only thing the west could do to make an anime studio utter more than a flippant 'oops, sorry' is to have a spot on CNN or some other giant television network, in the same vein as the infamous adult game, 'Rapelay'. So, unfortunately, if you think yourself a sort of champion of justice, destined to rid the world of all portrayals and even mentions of rape, in countries you have never even visited and which do not share your beliefs— then, sorry to say, your words have fallen upon deaf ears.
If you have ever played a visual novel, read adult-oriented manga or watched an R-18 anime (and the Japanese audience for Goblin Slayer most certainly has), then sexual assault, as vile and irredeemable an act as it is, is not particularly unusual or shocking. I suppose it may be shocking in the context of Goblin Slayer being a TV anime, in which these sorts of acts are seldom depicted. But you also have to keep in mind that Goblin Slayer airs past midnight on a weekend, well into the usual watershed hours of western television. Kids are not meant to be watching this in the first place. And sexual assault is not rare in late-night anime so much because it is 'going overboard', but because the anime community in Japan is obsessed with the concept of virginity and do not take kindly to their imaginary characters being touched by a man other than them. Hence, the reason for why sex is not so much as mentioned in non-erotic anime, whether it be consensual or not. If sex is not graphically depicted (i.e. genitals showing and thrusting and all), then it is, generally speaking, safe to air past midnight on Japanese television. Goblin Slayer's now infamous scene, unpleasant as it is to watch, was not especially graphic. It did not black-out and fast-forward to the end as most anime do, and so while this scene is not entirely innocent (true, it is difficult to not feel at least a little bit sick in the stomach), it is hardly the traumatic viewing experience that some claim it to be. Say, for example, "13 Reasons Why", a western Netflix series, was far, far more graphic in its depiction of similar subjects and yet it was extremely popular among western teenagers, particularly females. But when an obscure late-night anime aimed at a completely different culture, and with drawings instead of real actors, tries to tread the same waters? Take it down. Take it all down, they say. Right. Good luck with that one.
I suppose the deeper question, then, is whether these scenes were actually necessary. I highly doubt these scenes were meant to be erotic, to arouse its viewers when they were preceded by a brutal stabbing and a brutal massacre. And the attempted rape that follows the first is abominable enough that it defies any and all human logic, clearly meant to invoke deep feelings of hatred for goblins rather than a boner-pop and an "oh yeah, baby, show me more." Goblin Slayer showed these scenes to create a sense of danger and to make you root for the titular character's, uh, titular slaying of said goblins. And fair enough. But equally fair is the question of why they chose rape in particular, rather than some other wretched act that would make you want to see goblin heads hitting the floor. Hatred was necessary for the story to continue, but not so much rape itself. My guess is the author chose that route because other fantasy series such as Re:Zero have already done the same with violence alone. The author wanted to set their series apart, to invoke a sort of hatred that anime-only viewers have rarely or perhaps never experienced before, and, well, the result of that is laid bare for all to see: angry westerners, and Japanese fans who just want to see some dead-ass goblins.
It is not so much from an artistic perspective that I am defending the author's choice, however. Gratuitous and pretentious, it is, when what follows in the later episodes is of little importance and does not in any meaningful way make use of the hatred instilled in the audience. Rather, it returns to the exact same silly and carefree tone of the anime's opening few minutes, as if it what happened in the first episode was just some sort of dream. Heck, the second episode may as well have been the beginning episode— the first completely obliterated from existence— and little would change at all with regards to the story and the characters. Goblin Slayer does not contain much in the way of themes other than 'goblins suck' and 'revenge begets revenge', and the trauma the heroine experienced during her first encounter is hardly touched upon or even acknowledged afterwards. Indeed, after an experience that horrifying, you would expect the heroine to, if nothing else, be apprehensive about another goblin slaying adventure, but by the next day she gives almost zero damns and throws herself to the protagonist's side merely because he is tough and can protect her, I guess? A bit of an idiot, indeed. Other characters will casually talk about their traumatic experiences as the camera pans lustfully over their breasts... almost as if it is a joke, making it pretty well clear the anime has no intention of taking these issues seriously. How are you supposed to care for characters that don't even know how to care about themselves? In the end, the main thing that sets the rest of the anime (everything sans the first episode) apart from any other fantasy series is the level of blood involved. Goblin Slayer is a strong dude, the heroine is cute, and screw goblins— there you go, Goblin Slayer's deep themes interpreted by yours truly.
If a darker fantasy anime in the lieu of Berserk is something you are clamoring for (as, well, there really are not a whole lot of them), then Goblin Slayer is if nothing else a serviceable adventure. The titular protagonist, Goblin Slayer, is essentially a more calm and composed version of Guts from Berserk: taciturn, a dark past, filled with hatred and a desire for vengeance, armor and all... albeit with a sword a size that humans can actually wield. His cold but logical manner of speaking are refreshing in a genre that is largely defined by self-righteous protagonists spouting idealistic nonsense. Goblin Slayer will save whom he can, but he is also capable of recognising the limits of his power and putting those with mortal wounds out of their misery. He knows that fighting requires planning and a clear head just as much as it requires strength. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth is his way of living, but he does not try to moralise his lifestyle, instead believing that his endless lust for revenge makes him just as violent and as brutal as the goblins themselves. He has a sort of awareness and intellect that most anime protagonists lack, which makes the desolate world he lives in feel just a little bit more authentic. But those who are not a fan of darker or more morally ambiguous protagonists will only find the anime more unappealing with his presence. "Edgy", "pretentious", others might say. Considering that one's enjoyment of Goblin Slayer is almost entirely decided by their interest in the protagonist, and consequently his goblin slaying journey, those who do not find these sorts of characters appealing are well within their right to dislike the anime as a whole. But to say he is dark merely for the sake of being dark would be something of a lie. No, he is dark because he grew up in an awful world with rapey, murderous goblins.
Considering the natural path for most fantasy anime is to gradually hunt stronger and stronger monsters, the fact that Goblin Slayer is perpetually chasing weaker monsters— goblins— and even being ostracised for it by his fellow adventurers, is a refreshing change of pace for a genre that is often so predictable that you can already guess the events of the final episode based on the first. Sure, those in search of climactic fights may find themselves bored with an adventure that stays at largely the same difficulty level for its entire duration (with the rare boss battle here and there), but then again, how many times does one need to see a big bad dude or a dragon slain before they are satisfied? While most anime increase the stakes as the opponents get stronger, Goblin Slayer is able to portray weak little creatures as menacing, something few anime do, slimes and goblins brushed aside as if it is a necessity. The issue is that Goblin Slayer, despite it having a clear, singular focus with goblins as the villain, never really does or say a whole lot with them. They are almost entirely identical to one another, existing to rape, kill or be killed and little else. When the antagonist of a story lacks a motive and a personality, it's kinda hard to care much about where things go in the end.
Goblin Slayer is neither horrible nor is it great. And sometimes it is both. Putting aside all the noise surrounding the series, and looking at it as a piece of fiction like any other, what is left is merely a decent dark-fantasy anime. Its artistic merit is hardly comparable to its big brother, Berserk, and while there are very severe issues afflicting the show, in a season where truly abysmal, irredeemable rubbish such as "Ore ga Suki nano wa Imouto dakedo Imouto ja Nai" has aired, Goblin Slayer is not what I could consider a bad anime. There's enough of interest here with the protagonist and the setting that I am at least considering reading the light novels in Japanese, where perhaps things are a bit better explained. Those regarding Goblin Slayer as the worst anime they've seen are more likely than not fishing for attention by exaggerating their opinions as much as possible. Either that, or they have just not watched a whole lot of anime, I would have to guess.
But to say I am a fan of Goblin Slayer, or that I even liked it would to be as dishonest as saying I hated it. My defense of Goblin Slayer is my defense of the author's right to artistic freedom. Being offended by this show is reasonable. Using said offense to try and shut down an author's livelihood, or to generalise an entire country of 130 million people as perverts or as morally bankrupt, is not. Some may even say it is despicable. And, you know, I think there is some truth in that.
So, feel free to watch Goblin Slayer if you enjoy dark-fantasy and have a tolerance for uncomfortable content. Or skip it, because truth told, Goblin Slayer was never really worth caring that much about in the first place.
[Alternative Title – Goblin Slayer Threat Level at Maximum]
They are rage, brutal, without mercy. But you. You will be worse. Rip and tear, until it is done.
- Intro Dialogue to Doom (2016)
Having watched Goblin Slayer in its entirety, I can’t help, but be reminded of the video game Doom (2016). In fact, the quote above perfectly encapsulates what Goblin Slayer is really about. Killing, slicing, dicing, burning, piercing, bludgeoning, ripping, and tearing goblins apart. The violence is brutal and extremely gory. Our main protagonist, Goblin Slayer, will use any means necessary to kill as many goblins as
possible. During the first episode, he kills by himself, while keeping count, exactly 22 goblins. That’s a lotta damage. And also a lotta dead goblins. But, to our main protagonist any dead goblin is a good goblin.
Goblin Slayer is also a very controversial series. It goes without saying that violence and gory isn’t what made this series so controversial rather it’s
the sexual content and rape. Within the same first episode, we have the gang-raping of a female adventurer and the molestation of another one. Future episodes contain implied rape and torture of many female adventurers. And while the series could have minimized these elements, I believe it adds to the setting and enemy characters, i.e., the world is dark and brutal, and goblins do terrible things to female characters.
However, if you’re like me, who only watches to see Goblin Slayer kick ass, then you’re not going to be disappointed. In fact, I would argue that watching Goblin Slayer kick ass alone makes this series really entertaining and worth watching. Everything else be damned.
Goblin Slayer is a dark fantasy based on the light novel and manga of the same name. The series sticks to its source material and doesn’t remove any of its ultra-violence and sexual content. It should be noted that this series is not a isekai, where the main character is transported to another world and does whatever shit the main character needs to do. There are no fun adventures in this series, just death and destruction. Mainly the death of many goblins and other creatures, and occasionally some adventurers. But, that’s just the general setting of this world, i.e., it’s dark, cruel, and merciless.
If I had to simplify the story, it would mainly be about Goblin Slayer’s “adventures”, how one man elects to do only goblin quests, in order to satisfy his anger and thirst for revenge. And, of course, based on his adventures you can expect numerous goblins to be killed in the most brutal ways possible. In fact, he would go as far as kill goblin children because to him “the only good goblins are the ones who never come out of their stinking holes”, which unfortunately the goblins never do, so he has to kill them all. And I have to hand it to him to stick to his principles: to kill every single goblin in the world.
Now, one may notice that some episodes feature ‘slice of life” moments, such as Goblin Slayer repairing his equipment, interacting with other adventurers, participating in shopping, checking his surroundings on the farm, etc. These moments are pretty boring, but it does add to the setting and provides some characterization for our main character. Furthermore, there are plenty of scenes where episodes focus on different characters along with their actions, fanservice from the main female characters, and jokes and laughs. However, in Goblin Slayer fashion, our main character doesn’t care about other adventurers beyond his own friends, he doesn’t care about the fanservice from his female companions and friends, and he doesn’t care to have a sense of humor. The only thing he cares about is knowing where the goblins are and killing them.
Our main character, Goblin Slayer, does what his name implies. He slays goblins, and nothing else but goblins. His reasons for killing goblins and only goblins originated from a tragic event that occurred in his childhood, i.e., the death of his older sister, and the destruction of his village. These two awful events changed him and, on that day, he swore vengeance against every goblin in the world. It’s this vengeance that allows him to keep on living, in fact, even in situation where he should have died, he gets back up, and continues to kill as many goblins as possible. He’s literally to angry to die. I have to admire his dedication and devotion to killing these goblins, even when he’s about to die.
And because, Goblin Slayer is our main character, he gets a lot of screen time and thus get some character development, e.g., he changes and becomes friends with other adventurers, he works with other adventurers as oppose to working sole, and we learn about his reasons for vengeance. Our other companions, mainly High Elf Archer, Priestess, Dwarf Shaman, and Lizard Priest, don’t really have much background information and their personalities are somewhat the same, i.e., they are all kind, caring, and concerned towards Goblin Slayer; they are much more cheerful and happier than Goblin Slayer; and their appearance and job description are implied in their name.
Some tidbits that I like about Goblin Slayer include: 1) he speak little to no words, mainly sticking to phrases like, “I see”, “that’s right”, “yes, that’s right”, and is that right?”; 2) he’s not swayed by woman and their advances even when he’s seen them nude, and finally 3) his eye become bright red indicating he is angry and filled with rage, this happens quite frequently.
Goblin Slayer’s art and animations are hit-and-miss. On one hand, they feature outstanding battle scenes with fasting-moving animations, such as sword-swings, arrows flying though the air, people rolling and dodging attacks, and, of course, brutal executions and various attacks. They also feature a great setting, e.g., dark and narrow caves, wide and spacious fields, and dimly-lit caverns, thus creating an effective atmosphere and ambiance. However, there is the obvious and overused CGI Slayer that somewhat clashes with the cartoonish-look of other characters, especially the female adventurers. I guess the creators deliberately did this to make Goblin Slayer standout, but more importantly to make him appear like a badass. Which, in that case, I could forgive because every time he starts fighting and kicking ass, he does look badass. Another noticeable feature is the number of close-up shots of the female character’s pink and glossy lips, I guess the creators did this to show that the females have wits and charm, or just to make them appear sexier in front of Goblin Slayer.
The sound design is also pretty good. The background music does an excellent job of providing the right mood for the right moments. such as heavy badass music before and during fight scenes. The opening song is dark and eerie which is perfect for a dark and brutal setting. The voice actors and actress do a great job at making the characters feel alive, especially our main character who, thankful, doesn’t sound too “dark and edgy”.
Having read Goblin Slayer, the manga version, I already knew what I was getting into, in fact, I was looking forward to watching this series. And did it disappoint? Not really. Goblin Slayer stuck to its source material. It doesn’t shy away from implying rape and torture scenes, and the numerous ‘glory kills’ only reinforce the dark and brutal setting. I’ll admit the story and characters are somewhat simple and straightforward, especially the characters, however its entertainment value lies within this simplicity.
What I mean is this: Goblin Slayer, our protagonist, kicks ass and kills goblins, anytime and anywhere. That’s it. And for me that’s what makes it so enjoyable, watching this ‘madman’ or ‘crazy bastard’ kill a bunch of goblins in the most brutal manner possible has never been so entertaining. As, for the story, it’s basically a depiction of Goblin Slayer’s “adventures”. A vehicle that showcases what Goblin Slayer does to the goblins. And we all know what he does to them. And this alone makes this series worth watching.
TL;DR: at bottom ***Minor Spoiler from episode 1 below***
I am not familiar with the source material, my review is solely based on the first 4 episodes.
The worst part of the show is the main character. He is an empty tin-can, both literally and figuratively.
He is always wearing full body armor which covers his face and body at all times. This might look bad-ass in a character with
less screen-time. But when the main character is wearing armor doing mundane things, like eating though though his metal visor,
it really makes him look retarded.
One might overlook the superficial appearance of MC if he was given
something resembling a personality.
He is obsessed with killing goblins because TRAGIC BACKSTORY.
His responses are monotone, like a robot.
99% of his responses are
"Is that so?"
" Where are the goblins?"
These repetitive responses, combined with his appearance really get on your nerves over time. You don't care about him at all.
The Main girl character has turned 15 and she really wants to be an adventurer. That's her motivation & "personality".
Supporting cast is your generic tropes in an adventure anime. Most of them are there to talk about Goblin Slayer, to make up for his cinder block personality.
Story is non existent until now. Just kill goblins thats all.
The biggest flaw here is TONAL INCONSISTENCY
Characters are non-serious, joking and bickering, sometimes, even during dangerous quests, followed by scenes of carnage, immediately followed by same jokes.
Its almost like the things happening aren't real and have no effect on them.
They look like Edgy teens running around in a Adventure game.
ART, ANIMATION & SOUND 6/10.
NOW LETS TALK ABOUT THE INFAMOUS SCENE * SPOILER FROM EPISODE 1*
There is a random girl adventurer that gets raped by goblins. She is immediately cast aside by the end of episode.
Why not make her the main girl? She has a lot more reason to fight goblins and the motivation behind her actions would be self-evident.
And this would have made a dark action packed emotional drama with cathartic violence.
But the show neither had the intellect nor the courage to actually deal with such an issue.
That is why I would say the rape scene was unnecessary, exploitative and only there to seem edgy.
A Human shaped Tin-can, a stupid girl, an elf, a dwarf and a lizard-man walk into a bar.
All of them talk about how great the Tin-Can is.
“Anyone who likes/dislikes this show is a Nazi/Libtard.” – The state of the anime community after episode 1.
I think it is fair to say that no other anime has caused such controversy and overwhelming divide amongst anime fans after a single episode like Goblin Slayer has. The pilot almost effortlessly setting a spark across the community that would act as ignition to countless flame wars lasting for weeks on end. A scene lasting around fifteen seconds receiving more vitriol and condemnation than arguably every other anime airing this year. On the surface, the divide seems clear: on one side lies those vocal to their displeasure
of even the sheer existence of this series, labelling it as edgy, repugnant and pornographic. Some going even so far as comparing the anime to Nazi propaganda decades ago. And on the opposing side lies the fandom, constantly upset by criticism their beloved show receives and reverting to insults and name-calling them with popular phrases such as the dreaded “SJW” for example. But these are simply gross generalisations of both the series and its viewers, centring upon a small group of outspoken individuals that unfortunately leads any attempt of discourse astray. Instead my aim here is to hopefully bring a more critical view on Goblin Slayer to the discussion; of the series’ perceived intent, as well as numerous faults and issues prevalent throughout its first season.
“The gods of light, order and fate, and the gods of darkness, chaos and coincidence decided to throw dice in order to determine which side would rule the world. The gods threw the dice over and over and over again, until they began to feel faint.”
Goblin Slayer is a dark fantasy anime adapted from both the manga and light novels of the same name, highly inspired by tabletop role-playing games. Initially the story follows a young woman known as “Priestess” that has recently become an adventurer and joins an upstart party on her first quest. Their naivety and inexperience ultimately lead to their grim demise, ravaged by goblins who commit heinous acts such as rape and dismemberment depicted in much more graphic fashion compared to other fantasy anime of recent years. Before the Priestess can be dispatched however, the actual protagonist appears from the shadows, intent of massacring every goblin in sight. From this point, the series is predominantly focused on this mysterious adventurer commonly referred to as “Goblin Slayer” and his efforts to exterminate the entire goblin species.
The beginning to this story gives what I believe to be a clear sense of what Goblin Slayer strives to be. Simplistic, cheerful dialogue to elucidate fundamentals of the adventurer system, a light-hearted tone able to create a strong optimistic mood, even the visuals and audio utilizing light colours for character designs coupled with an upbeat tune all try and convey a presentation akin to the typical fantasy anime of recent memory. The group of upstart adventurers each can be seen representing archetypes one would expect to be present in such a series: tsundere, loli character, main character for a harem, etc. Numerous times before a goblin appears on screen, subtle signs are revealed about the party’s lack of preparation and expectation to indicate this quest will not be as successful as they hope, and then what follows is a shocking realization of what the world of Goblin Slayer truly entails. Essentially these characters were tools for the series to subvert people’s initial expectations of the story, with the tragic events that entail further emphasizing this point. The sickening portrayal and detail of these actions going to further lengths than most anime fans have probably ever experienced previously in the medium. Disgusting to watch even for the short time shown, and from the reception this anime received, it looks to have garnered the initial reaction staff had intended. From this perspective, while many can find these scenes crass and tactless in their depiction, I find it difficult to call this part of Goblin Slayer lazy writing.
Shortly followed by the introduction of the titular protagonist reveals a change that strongly contrast to events that just transpired earlier. Compared to the almost wilfully ignorant upstart adventurers that end up decimated to the lowest mob type in the world, Goblin Slayer’s approach to killing goblins is much more tactical. Shown to analyse nearly every time he murders a single goblin, often determining the most effective method for slaughtering the mob step-by-step before executing his strategy in cold, calculated fashion. Through this he not only personifies the kind of badass main character one would expect for a darker fantasy story, but also provides a solid understanding of how a high-level adventurer would be expected to act in battle. Armed with various weapons and antidotes whilst always on the lookout for signs, Goblin Slayer has enough tools at his disposal to face any goblin he would come across. A clear juxtaposition to how many inexperienced adventurers would conduct themselves. Him slaughtering the horde also raises an intriguing question of Goblin Slayer’s morality when intending to murder the child goblins. While the protagonist remains steadfast of his opinion on the species, the Priestess brings forth the possibility of a “good goblin”. Despite going through with eliminating them, he does admit there could be one out there. From this, viewers have a grasp on how this tale could further develop this idea with having both character’s ethics challenged as Goblin Slayer’s quest continues. There is potential in this tale to be more than just the fun schlock of the season. Unfortunately, that potential slowly gets squandered every episode following, and personally even loses the series’ initial appeal.
One of the more detrimental choices I find a story can make is following an attempt to create a purposeful, serious tone, and then reverting to what it tried to distance itself from initially. After Goblin Slayer’s shocking start that firmly established the story as a dark fantasy that supposedly takes itself seriously, the anime takes an odd change in tone that is rather baffling to understand. Numerous quests later in the series showcase characters in a way you would never have expected in Goblin Slayer, with an array of playful, trifling scenes one would more commonly associate with a slice-of-life anime than this show. Somehow the series decided to skip on possibly showing some of the effects trauma experienced from death, sexual assault or even just being an adventure can have on a person, instead these scenes barely contribute to the characters on a notable level. The change in tone can lead to breaks in one’s immersion of the story and the protagonist it follows, with transitions feeling awkward and out of place more often than not. A notorious example can be found in episode 2 where the episode cuts to a well-endowed redhead girl waking out of bed and stretching, followed by some of the most prominent jiggle physics to be found this season. I thought this was meant to be a serious tale. For a dark fantasy to work, usually it requires the atmosphere of a series to remain constant enough to a degree where the earnestness and consequences of actions can still be felt through the more cheerful scenes. Berserk, Attack on Titan and Fullmetal Alchemist 2003 are just some examples of dark fantasy anime that constantly have a sombre air about them, constantly felt when witnessing the actions of their characters. Goblin Slayer lacks this air that breezes alongside the narrative and whilst continuing to lack a strong sense of identity in a genre already spoiled by an abundance of generic fantasy, it is more inclined to leave a stale taste in the mouths of those hoping for Goblin Slayer to distance itself further from its contemporaries.
This lack of an identity also permeates the narrative and overarching worldbuilding to a degree that I have to address. When a series attempts to be a subversion or even a deconstruction of a genre, normally this would involve acknowledging tropes typically associated with a genre whilst subverting their intentions. Goblin Slayer, at least in its first season, does not do this. Alongside the series constantly switching the tone between dark and nonchalant, the anime seems to never want to take its world very seriously despite the premise. Goblin Slayer is a man who has an unrelenting obsession to kill goblins as they are a species that lingers on as a problem for innocent people. They are weak creature with childlike intelligence individually, but as a mob are a destructive force which can lead to the devastation of entire towns. An interesting yet believable problem in this world. So then, how is it believable to think that there is only one person that acts in response to this problem? Because the anime has mainly taken place around a small town there is a possibility for other adventurers similar to Goblin Slayer to be primarily hunting goblins in their own areas of the world. But thinking on a large scale, if goblin mobs can and already have been a significant cause of wiping out various towns, would someone not think that their effect to agriculture and the overall economy poses a severe threat on a national scale, to where even adventurers seeking glory and fame would end up losing money? I would have at least expected some form of intervention – here is an idea: have some adventurers hired as a form of security for farmers against a potential goblin attack. Or at least have the guild girl not allow novices to take these jobs when it is made apparent how many novices and kidnapped and killed off by goblin mobs! If so many are dying because of this fact, maybe it would be best to intervene, even if with just a simple warning about how dangerous they are, and how prevalent this is. If only Goblin Slayer had more consistency in its world that more people could admire, instead of trying to subvert common fantasy anime tropes and then as if almost contradictory to itself maintaining a level of unbelievability behind how these aspects work in its story.
It is upsetting how a show essentially fails at fleshing out the more complex issues the world of Goblin Slayer encompasses, especially when most of the defence for this anime in regards to certain actions and events is derived from insular logic. A common complaint for the series initially was based around why goblins rape, and while it certainly is specified that rape is their only option for reproduction, that does not cover details about their creation. Goblins here are force-of-nature villains that embody evil and chaos, thus not requiring distinct personalities and from this the rape shown can be considered a further way of emphasizing that point thus bringing them to where they can be considered irredeemable, but this only works on a narrative level. All works of fiction are made with intentions from their creator/s and by peeling down the layers of in-universe context is one able to search for the purpose and intentions behind specific scenes, actions, etc. Often termed the Thermian Argument, it claims that pointing to a show’s logic in response to criticism of the subject matter is inherently fallacious. It supports a difference between what is being depicted and why such is being depicted at all; a metanarrative point of view. I stated what I believed to be the main intention behind such shocking acts in the first episode as a way for the show to subvert the audience for what kind of anime they were in store for, but after witnessing the series make that idea almost completely irrelevant through poor direction, tonal dissonance and having such actions repeated onscreen later with similarly crude framing for reasons even I am unsure of, it is hard to defend the series for all these creative choices happening numerous times throughout the anime’s duration from a metanarrative point of view.
Characterization is one of Goblin Slayer’s focal points if even only applying to one individual so far. Goblin Slayer is the embodiment of a man who refuses to die before his purpose in life is seen through to the end. Driven by revenge after goblins took away the person most precious to him, he epitomizes the idea of how a badass protagonist should act. His character design is also impressive in certain scenes with a red eye theme glowing in the darkness that oozes a killer instinct rarely found in anime nowadays. Reminder that the in-universe creation of the series was founded on gods rolling dice and playing the game of chance, with all various races and species being birthed purely for their amusement. But with the way Goblin Slayer acts, he can be considered the one character in this world to defy the will and wishes of those who created him. And while there are numerous examples of him conveniently surviving so far due to plot armour, the intent remains – underneath his monotonous voice and implied social awkwardness lies the potential for a metaphorical figure of inspiration. Unfortunately, that is where most of the praise for characters ends at this point in the anime. Every character besides Goblin Slayer receives little attention in the anime, with minimal development bar the Priestess who acts as a rookie slowly growing and learning how to survive as an adventurer in this harsh world, however even this has made little progress this first season. Other characters sprinkled across the story range from other rookies slowly improving and gaining experience to dependable fighters often able to hold their own in battle, which is a striking difference compared to how most typically act away from any battlefield; childish and immature. Honestly, besides Priestess and Goblin Slayer the rest of the cast are easily expendable, but I guess that is to be expected when the supporting cast includes names such as “Cow Girl” and “Lizardman”. Hopefully if there is a sequel, they have a better opportunity to leave a lasting impression on the anime.
Much like these forgettable characters the production quality for Goblin Slayer also failed to leave a strong impact. The art is not very detailed, with most character designs and backgrounds often appearing plain and generic for most of the season. A mixture of 2D and 3D animation is used to jarring effect, with most action scenes and the occasional panning shot relying on CGI that look more like an eyesore that anything visually pleasing. In fact, most of the better-looking shots involve scenes lacking any sort of movement. Disappointing as the artwork is commonly seen as a key strength to the manga’s popularity. For a series where the most basic appeal comes from a guy mowing down goblins, the action was underwhelming and that kills a show like this. Wish I could say otherwise for the soundtrack, but that also failed to leave a strong impression on me. Voice acting was solid but effectively crippled with a lacklustre script treating half the characters as dense. The opening theme was melancholic but failed to ever have me personally want to listen to it more than once. The ending theme while I certainly enjoyed it more was accompanied by CGI Goblin Slayer with clunky animation. At least the ending track was fun.
Goblin Slayer is at its core, an anime about one man slaying goblins. Though it can tempt viewers with ideas of something greater at work, it still boils down to a mere schlocky action show with lacklustre presentation that by the end of its first season has its biggest strengths stemming from potential and a hope that a sequel can further flesh out characters and worldbuilding which at this point cannot hold up to scrutiny. But it does have its appealing qualities no matter how superficial they might be. If you are willing to take a chance on a simple action anime trying to break the trend of generic fantasy released this year, this might be worth your investment. My main hope is that now with the most controversial anime of the year finished, the community at large can learn from this experience. As the old saying goes: “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”
Not because of the show's quite questionable and more than broken quality, which I and many others, have been pointing our fingers at since the first episode made its appearance, but rather something... much more bizarre. I find it astonishing how much controversy and heated exchanges a single scene has sparked up among the viewers, even though its importance, in the grand scheme of things, is as insignificant as one can be.
And I will never understand how and why a mind-numbing phenomenon of this calibre came into existence, but I digress.
Goblin Slayer is not a fundamentally weak story, and I
want to get it out of the way from the get-go. Sure, it is a notably straightforward one, but a work's extreme simplicity should never, under no circumstances, be considered a bad thing. Frankly, if executed correctly, the anime would be a silly yet moderately delightful experience, I would be willing to even revisit at a certain point in the future. That did not happen though as too many components of this now deformed cake came out as undercooked.
The logic in Goblin Slayer is one of my favourites. Goblins are established as a level one mob, a being with intelligence and strength of a child, which are not worth wasting your time on. Adventurers are reluctant to pick up quests revolving around the little bastards for that reason alone; they will not grant you glory and an excessive amount of gold. That is understandable yet odd at the same time. We learn that goblins, with time, can mutate and become a stronger version of themselves, champions, shamans etc. And no one seems to care about it! Does the government or the military exist? We never hear about the monstrous demons and different abnormalities making their moves in our world since the Demon Lord-esque being has been defeated, which would be the priority, so these fellas don't have their hands full. Goblins can, literally, ruin economy at its very core, destroying villages, crops, kidnapping women and killing farmers, yet, people overlook it and do not see it as a glaring and alarming problem. Maybe they are waiting for hordes of goblins knocking at their door to remind them of this? Or perhaps they are waiting for the guild to send inadequately qualified rookies to certain death and young girls to help goblins reproduce, like the insensitive degenerates they are? Who knows; I for one do not.
I do not understand the idea behind implementing a "moral dilemma" as well. In episode one, after the Goblin Slayer had slaughtered a group of his favourite pesky green creatures, he found a hole with a few baby gobs hiding inside it. Naturally, he decided to help them meet their end, but for a reason still foreign to me, Priestess, with a face covered in tears, tried to prevent him from doing that by saying "what if there are good goblins?". Here is the problem with this sentence; no one should raise such a question. Goblins use women, murder and destroy on a daily basis, and everyone, even newbies know about it, considering the Priestess admitted that such things often take place in the world. They are inherently evil beings, who hate "those with words" and we are witnessing this very image of them, remarkably black and white monsters with one goal in mind, on every instant throughout the show, making the concept of a good goblin even less probable, to the point of impossibility. Though we can merely bat an eye on this odd situation, the limitations Elf Archer put on the Goblin Slayer are not that easy to ignore. The implementation of the "No water, fire or gas." rule was a logical decision during the sewer mission as using any of these methods could potentially cause collateral damage, but other than that, I fail to understand its presence in the story. Goblins are horrendous, so why should they not be treated like filth, which someone has to eliminate from the face of the earth no matter the methods used? Why should they not be killed in nonhumanitarian ways? I cannot wrap my head around this one. Of course, I might be just a picky bastard for mentioning those, but this attempt at bringing a little bit of "depth" to the story bothers me a lot. It looks as if the series desires you to take it more seriously, but, in my eyes, both the morals and Sword Maiden's horrific PTSD cripple the experience rather than enhancing it.
These pretty irritating problems with the narrative could have been easily avoided or at the very least reduced in intensity if the characters had not been cardboard cutouts. It upsets me to no end that the supporting cast is so fixated on the titular character that their goals and ideas seem not to exist at all. In reality, we know nothing about these folks; absolutely nothing. Their names are that of the classes or roles they represent since the author is not good at coming up with names, we have no idea why they accompany him, and their backstories are nonexistent just like their personalities. Honestly, I could describe the characters one by one using three words at max. Even the Goblin Slayer, the "person" who has got the most amount of screentime and development in the entire story, fits the bill perfectly. Despite not having any social skills, redeeming qualities as a person and, overall, being a monotonous walking trash bin with his only quirk being his tragic past, girls flock to him as if he were the most handsome chad they have ever seen, creating a harem full of carboards head over heels with him. You either become a part of the collection or are a nameless component of the background, whose entire existence boils down to making fun of the titular character merely to do a 360 and convert into one of his newly found buddies.
For a show with such brutal content, it sure as hell does not restrain itself from exhibiting blatant, in your face fanservice. I'm not against seeing a tit or two, but I believe that displaying an extremely sexualised "morning routine" right at the start of episode 2, which is the polar opposite of the travesty we witnessed a week earlier, is not the most brilliant idea ever. Same goes for the character of Sword Maiden, whose sole reason to exist is being a fanservice dispenser, shoving her pair everywhere it is possible with an extremely horny attitude and the camera pointing at her immense cleavage whenever it can. Even though we ought to look at her heroic records of a gold ranked adventurer as an impressive feat, her inadequately handled, if communicated at all, PTSD, instead of doing the character favour, made the Sword-Maiden a damsel in distress relying on the Goblin Slayer to save her from the monsters who used her when she was younger. The fact that a mental disorder was utilised for mere wish fulfilment is sickening.
The show does not know what it seeks to be. Its tone is, to put it plainly, all over the place. Like blood and corpses, the slice of life moments filled with characterless struggles at comedy and the previously mentioned plethora of tasteless fanservice scenes are regular guests on the screen. In one instance, the cast is having fun, bantering with each other, enjoying food or other activities, and in the next scene, there are blood and gore everywhere. Heck, even moments which are supposed to invoke emotions are immediately squashed by booby shots. Complete tonal dissonance achieved. Viewers disengaged.
I wish I could compliment Goblin Slayer a little bit for its overall visuals, but, in all fairness, there is nothing worth praising here. While the art style has that generic oomph to it and does not ooze with any striking manner or personality, for the most part, it looks okay-ish. I cannot deny that; the designs seem decent, and some of the backgrounds are not half-bad. Nothing worth being called good, yet not offensive either. However, the constant, jarring CGI, presumably used to put off the viewers and make them feel as uncomfortable as it is humanly possible, completely ruined one aspect the show had going for it, its appearance. I could count on the fingers of two hands the number of scenes where the Goblin Slayer is not 3D while walking or making other movements. I understand the creators' intent, they did not want to draw his somewhat intricate armour piece thus save some time, but the final result of this overuse of CGI is nothing short of saddening and immersion breaking for its quality is utter rubbish.
It gets even worse when we have the opportunity to observe a fight scene because, oh boy, the animation in these is something out of this world. I have seen my fair share of battles so dull, linear, poorly thought out and animated that make your insides scream in agony and here, most of the encounters suit this category of a sort quite well. The tension is never present since, in the back of our minds, there is always that certainty that the red, glowing eye of the edge will prevail by the end of the day; his script reading skills come in handy all the time. Furthermore, every single fight tastes the same, with the door to creativity forcibly sealed because of the abnormally dumb and absurd morals enforced on the cast, which prefers to stick to a handful of spells, occasionally whipping out a new one for the oh-so-fantastic surprise to forgetting about the restrictions and winning without much stress and hardships with distinctive tactics.
Sigh, I wanted to enjoy the show for what it is, but Goblin Slayer is like a patchwork of the worst kind. It tried to be a jack of all trades, yet ultimately became a master of none; implemented a myriad of different elements only to watch them painfully fall flat on their faces. Attempting "depth" which added nothing of substance, having more than an apparent identity crisis, while maintaining the unintentional hilariousness at its highest level; this utterly devoid of motion and emotion series fueled by controversy and tears of soy will soon perish into the unimportance as, in spite of its position of the hottest show of Autumn 2018 and le epic meme generator, it will hopefully soon be forgotten.
Goblin Slayer is a show that abducted my wife and sold off my children into slavery. It is the reason I stay awake at night with visions of tiny green blurs bouncing on the edges of my bed. Undoubtedly, Goblin Slayer is singlehandedly the worst thing that has ever happened to me. I used to be an avid cave enthusiast with a PHD in cave science, but now I can't step one foot into a cave without my feet turning cold (and not due to the naturally decreasing temperature, either). I see them everywhere; in my dreams, in visions. Faint glimpses while walking down the
street. Menacing silhouettes in the distance. Moreover and especially whenever I'm eating peas.
I finished my services in Nam back in early '75 and from then onwards assumed I wouldn't be put through anything similar again. Being violently thrust into the jungles of Saigon suddenly seemed all too inconsequential upon bearing witness to the first 10 minutes of Goblin Slayer. I have been scarred for life. Following these events, I have purchased a suit of chainmail armor and a few water scrolls from Ebay to protect myself from the inevitable and despite my therapist's best wishes. The end is neigh, my friends.
Joking, this anime is bad lol. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize the sole reason it's currently in-season for one reason and for one reason only. Shock factor, but more specifically the rApE. Goblin Slayer is a substanceless heap of hot garbage, albeit hot garbage packed meticulously well. It serves as a constant reminder that the people who forfeit artistic integrity, and maybe even their pride - oftentimes have it the very best. Liking shock factor fueled shows isn't a small niche, granted, but not to this extent where everyone cares for them, and the people who don't typically know to avoid them. Yet for some reason once sexual assault gets thrown into the equation, everyone and their grandmothers rush to the scene. And only then too is it that people get upset and start storming the shed looking for pitchforks.
Depiction of rape in art can either be tasteless or serve a purpose. In our case and in the humble beginnings of Goblin Slayer its initial intentions are presumably to villainize the goblins. Rape is probably the single easiest way to make the audience dislike the perpetrator. And low and behold, it works... for a while. Not before long, it devolves into nonsensical softcore porn, but more importantly manages to desensitize a large portion of the viewerbase to the act itself by repeatedly shoving it down our throats. Which has me convinced the word "villainization" is thrown around as nothing more than a convenient scapegoat here. If it truly were about muh villainizing, it did a damn shitty job by instead making me profusely grin at a child's sister unwillingly partaking in a goblin bukkake in front of his very eyes.
It's an actual fear of mine that some 12 year old somewhere on this very planet popped his first boner over a few goblin cummies. And what a massive one it must have certainly been. While it's clearly overused mainly just to maintain cheap interest for the story, the point to take away is that no one should have their goblin slaying experience sullied by implementation of needless hentai elements. If animated goblins really are your kink, HentaiHaven probably has you cov -- Oh, wait. :(
Before getting into the nitty gritty, litty titty, or the plot if you'd rather, it might be important to address the whirlpool of opinions surrounding the anime as a whole beforehand. Some conflicting, others in fullhearted agreeance, it doesn't really matter. The root of the problem is the sheer amount of opinions, instead. Please refrain from adding this anime to your stagnant PTW with 200+ and counting titles that you'll never get around to finishing in this lifetime or any other after seeing one scene and a Gigguk video on it. The most enjoyment someone can suck out of this withered goblin's crusty nutsack is watching a grown man get a stroke over episode one. Head on over to EtikaWorldNetwork for more information.
Yet youtubers, discussions, and the community as a whole have deemed it fit to blow a staggeringly boring show out of interstellar proportions. All because of a little edge. Consider realistically, what else does Goblin Slayer bring to the table? Cookie cutter characters, a nameless and faceless protagonist who is the literal living embodiment of stoicism itself and a Tolkein-esque animified high fantasy setting with that rudimentary boring ass guild system that's making me want to rip out my nose hairs by the second. Konosuba you aight tho.
The plot is, as the title suggests, a well over four hour journey of pure unadulterated goblin slaying and all the misadventures accompanied along with it (18+). Resembling a few anime due to the aforementioned setting, there are two I constantly see being referenced as similar, with Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash definitely being the most prominent one. These two shows clearly split at birth, and one is a bit less retarded than the other but it's still clear to see why the mother abandoned both. I have an entire review dedicated to Grimgar written two years ago, and seeing as I'm writing this right now you'd figure shoving special ed kids in lockers to be a specialty of mine. Berserk's the other one often mentioned, which almost seems like another gateway for Berserk fans to toot their own horn for liking the grimmest, darkest comic of them all. "This series people like has rape? My series also has rape, but, like, betterer".
I'd like to say the show has a definitive highlight (i.e plot, characters), but it's about as consistent as Miura's writing. The quality of the fight scenes is incredibly varied, ranging anywhere from terribly unengaging to kinda fun and the SOL scenes inbetween are either boring as all hell or funny-ish. The humor in these scenes typically relies on showcasing how much of a flat out sociopath our protagonist is. It typically follows the structure of one of the side characters interacting with him in a normal way and him responding like a lizard person. Or like if Gendo Ikari had his own show and wasn't a neglectful father but instead the protagonist of an action adventure. Essentially, he's just Jotaro minus Star Platinum. While that means he'd probably still make a better Jojo than Jonathan, Jotaro has the power of unfunny memes and Jojokes on his side while this guy swims around in sewers killing goblins. Talk about luck of the draw.
His backstory is pretty unclear and at one point in the show he is even killed, only to be resurrected back to life by laying in a bed with a virgin. Disregarding the Kirito-tier plot armor for just a second, if that method of resurrection were applicable in real life I'm pretty sure the anime community would account for the single most renowned group of healers in the realm. Last but not least, his suit of CGI armor is incredibly ugly looking and has almost become synonymous with his character by now. The epic character of.. the nameless titular character almost makes up for the fact that using more than a single adjective to describe the entire cast is overkill. The most characterization this lot gets is establishing a tropey elf vs dwarf rivalry and a personal favorite of mine, that is seeing the dragon-lizard-man's transformation into a certified cheese connoisseur
Anyway there's really not much else to comment on. The main sauce of this whole Goblin Slayer saga lies in the fact that something so bland has gotten so tremendously popular and even well-received overseas. I call it a saga because judging by its level of success, it'd be dumb not to continue in this season's footsteeps. But I suggest instead of how power scaling exists in shonen, every season they up the ante by doubling on the number of goblin gangbangs.
The fall 18 was a pretty interesting season for anime. It was the season that gave us the nicely written romcom anime Bunny Girl but at the same time, it gave us the ulmate train-wreck of 2018 that was Tokyo Ghoul re where that season completely shat itself for a living. It was also the season that gave us the very underrated Release The Spyce, the epic and fun continuation Golden Kamuy second cour and the lovely sweet Bloom Into You. However all out all the anime from the Fall 18 there was one show that totally shocked the anime community when it first aired
and that anime was Goblin Slayer. When the show first aired it gained a lot of controversy as it contained a lot of rape scenes that shocked the anime community. The first episode was so shocking Crunchyroll themselves had to change the rating from PG13 to R17+. Despite that, the first episode of Goblin Slayer didn't bother me all that much as I already knew by an advance that the series would have a lot of shock values thanks to people's reactions and unfortunately that is where Goblin Slayer starts to fall apart quickly because this is not a good series at all. If you remove the rape scenes, you're just left with a lifeless husk of a fantasy anime that fails to impresses the viewer outside its dark content.
So What went wrong with Goblin Slayer?
What caused this show to be so bad where it becomes one of the worst animes of 2018. You will soon find out.
The story follows an inexperienced priest named Onna who joins a party of inexperienced adventurers where they take part in the first quest in a cave. However, the party first adventure doesn't go as well as apart from Onna the party ended getting attacked, killed and raped by Goblins. When all hope was lost she is saved by a man known as Goblin Slayer, an adventurer whose only purpose is the eradication of goblins with extreme prejudice. From there Goblin Slayer and Onna adventures of killing Goblins begin.
Because I think everything about the story is horrendous, I will be spiting the story section into small parts starting with the first episode.
This is the worst first episode I seen for 2018 as a whole. Outside of the cringe-inducing over the rape scenes the episode is poorly directed mess that is filled plot contrivances. For starters, the Guild lady is such a pushover because instead of being this strict but helpful builder she is a brain dead idiot who lets a bunch of first timers go ahead with the dangerous adventure without a veteran member of the guild. This is incompetent writing at it completely goes against nature and appeal of the fantasy genre that has a rank/level system. How would you like it if there was no one stopping you from going into caves that contained high-level monsters that can one-shot newbies? That defiantly wouldn't be fair as the newbie would have a big disadvantage from the beginning. The whole point of having a rank system is to not only identify players ranks but to also the people who have an edge in terms of battle experience. On top of all that we don't see the new adventurers even get prepared at all as stuff like testing out gear, magic, training by fight low-level creatures and even stocking potions/revival herbs are non-existent at all. There's a difference of being realistic and being downright incompetent there is no way in hell that an inexperienced group would do a quest without even getting prepare for it.
This is almost as stupid as fighting the giant in Skyrim at level 1 carrying weak battle gear with no potions.
Keep this in mind this is just the first episode. The series somehow manages to get even worse as time goes one as show literally betrays itself as a dark fantasy as where it decides to become the laziest and unoriginal light-hearted fantasy harem anime I have ever seen in my life. Many fantasy story elements from Goblin Slayer were done so much in other fantasy anime and some of the episodes feel like boring filler content. The tone shifts were out of control at various points, the pacing is below average and the writing itself is straight out incompetent. My favourite example of this incompetent writing happens in episode 7. After Oona pees herself off out of pure fear Giant goblin grabs her. Instead of biting her head off the goblin decided to bite a small part of her arm causing her to scream very loudly. This contrivance causes Goblin Slayer to get a random berserk power where despite him bleeding a lot in the progress he makes to take various goblins in his way until they eventually run away.
All of this is due to Goblin Slayer having writing comparable to bad fanfictions done by 12-year-olds and I'm sure that one of that the same 12-year-old writer who wrote Akame Ga Kill also wrote this.
Before I talk about the worst thing about Goblin Slayer let's talk about this show pathetic excuse of worldbuilding. The worldbuilding is Goblin Slayer is absolutely abysmal because not only does the series goes a horrendous job at establishing its own world but the people into the universe have absolutely no regard of the people are living in it. Some of the examples include how the group of adventures don't seem to have a reaction to the wagon that is filled with traumatised women who have been raped by goblins. Another example of how people in this universe don't seem to care about the goblin race as they all say that Goblin is weak creatures even though they have been capable of killing and raping people including experience adventurers.
As for the world establishment in Goblin Slayer itself, it's pretty awful. The lack of establishing monster races other than Goblins, blacksmith, inns, the name of the country that the series is set and I could go and go. The worldbuilding in Goblin Slayer it makes the worldbuilding in Akame Ga Kill and Re:Zero (White Fox other fantasy show) look competent by comparison.
Now if you thought the worldbuilding is dogshit, the series direction is somehow even worse.
In my Tokyo Ghoul re: review, I mentioned that it was the worst directed series I have ever seen. Goblin Slayer made me seriously question what it really was. For me to answer this question is yes. Tokyo Ghoul re: was direction ultimately way worse but the direction in this series is still a complete abomination to a point where it makes the series direction for Darling in the Franxx and The Asterisk War look like a masterpiece by comparison.
You may think that I'm just skipping the character selection together to talk about the shows visuals but trust me this shows direction is so utterly horrendous I literally had to start talking about the show technical aspects.
Some of the examples of the show abysmal directing happen in the first episode where get a bunch of disjointed shots off our adventures fighting the goblins. It was not pleasing to see thanks to abysmal camerawork and framing and it only made the scenes look more pathetic than actual fear.
Another good example happens in episode 11 where the character model of Goblin Slayer keeps changing to bad CGI model to 2D model. What had me facepalming hard was when he talked about the hoard of Goblins planning to attack the outskirts of the town the character model of Goblin Slayer kept on changing even when he isn't moving at all as he was just standing still.
The best example of this show disgusting direction happens at the end of episode 7. Normally in anime when an episode ends, a show would have nice transitions to the end credits. While not all shows are perfect of transitioning to the end credits it still does a good job of telling the audience visually that the episode of set series has finished. So what does Golbin Slayer episode 7 do you may ask?
Well instead of closing the episode like every other anime the series decides to have looped a still image with an eye-opening and closing for two minutes. TWO MINUTES!!! This decision boggled my mind so much that I thought I would intensely drop dead on the floor. How did anyone in Japan greenlight this broken directed fuckfeast of an episode?
The most infuriating part about all this that the dub version still kept that looped still shot. Could the production in this show be any more incompetent? Did someone in the editing room simply forget to do a transition to end credits? I'm sorry but this was simply unacceptable. I honestly cannot believe that this shit was a thing. Also, we don't speak about the recap episode of Goblin Slayer as it was just a horrendously compilation of poorly edited clips of the series that we already have seen before.
Overall the story of Goblin Slayer is a complete abomination.
The characters Golbin Slayer are awful and I was being dead serious when I said that. They all a bunch of uninspired one-dimensional shitheads.
Goblin Slayer is one of the worst written characters in 2018. Not only he's an unlikable and unrelatable to the eye but he only has a single character trait that he just wants to kill Goblins for the rest of his life. I understand the series tried to make him as this stoic badass character but didn't work thanks to terrible writing. In many ways, he's no different to the typical silent protagonist that you will see in Video Games.
Onna is not much better, in fact. She is even worst then Goblin Slayer as she is a just a plan useless girl from start to finish. There's nothing else to say about this useless husk of a chararter who just incompetent with her role and pissing herself whenever she gets scared.
The rest of the characters in Goblin Slayer are nothing but the bottom of the barrel collection of fantasy characters tropes.
Old drunken fart (Dwarf Shaman)
Generic fantasy girl (High Elf Archer)
Tits girl (Cow Girl)
Bootleg Guts (Heavy Swordsman)
I could go on and one talking about how lifeless these characters are I won't because since this show doesn't care about making these characters interesting so why should I bother. They are just a bunch of empty husks that exists in this lifeless husk of a fantasy show that prioritizes pandering to a certain audience being the edgy 12-year-olds over actually telling a story that has a purpose.
Goblin Slayer visually look liked they been lobotomized. There was not a single frame of decent art here let alone okay animation. Now I think about it more clearly this show looks like it was fished out of a toilet. Some of the visuals in Goblin Slayer looked bad in 2002. The characters designs in Goblin Slayer uninspired as they all looked they throw away concept art for set fantasy anime. The same thing can apply for the background scenery.
The fight choreography ranged subpar to awful as many of the battles outside the rape scenes don't seem to have any impact or weight to it as the animation is stiff and terribly animated. Let's not forget the shows horrendous use of CGI for the Goblins and Goblin Slayer armor.
The soundtrack has about much effort about put to it as the characters and visuals. The tracks are all uninspired fantasy that you all heard before. Many of the tracks sound like bad ripoffs from Overlord, Akame ga Kill and Berserk. Not they are generic but they sounded generically bad. The same thing can apply for the opening and ending themes.
Now for sub vs dub.
The sub was okay for what it was as all the Seiyuus did an alright job with the roles that they were giving. So I have no complaints whatsoever with the sub.
The dub for Goblin Slayer is absolutely awful in every way possible. I seriously don't know what the hell was Funimation was thinking when they decided to dub the because it sounds like ass. The worst dub is Goblin Slayer himself as the actor who voiced him sounded like he was holding a tin can walkie-talkie.
Horrendous dub stick with the sub.
Goblin Slayer is a disgrace of a fantasy anime. It tried to this epic fantasy anime that contained a lot of blood and rape but it ultimately falls completely flat its face thanks to horsehit series directing, empty characters, horrendous worldbuilding that puts Akame ga Kill to shame and shit shock value writing. Studio White Fox may be a shit studio when it comes it fantasy anime but after watching Goblin Slayer it made me realise that they are not capable of making/adaptation fantasy anime as the studio would pander to the lowest common denominator rather than make a story that is worth telling.
You're better off watching Berserk and Slayers rather than watching this bottom of the barrel fantasy anime that toys around the viewer mindset with its stupid fanservice and awful shock value.
Final Score 1/10
Now if you excuse me, I will be slaying Goblins in Dragons Dogma Dark Arisen.
"Slice of life really just tends to write itself."
- Gen Urobuchi
These were the words I found myself saying when watching this newest iyeshikai (=healing anime) by White Fox. After the dark and edgy filled last season where a nameless series contained a traumatizing hand-twist scenes, I was blessed with a series that values the comfy and cozy side of every day life. These type of 2pure4this world narratives may to be very well-written or plot heavy series in generally, but they offer something most other series can only dream of: beauty.
Our story centers around the daily life of a man who we simply refer
as the Goblin Slayer. His favorite past time includes slaying goblins, hence the name. Just like in many other healing centric series, Goblin Slayer himself is a very likable and strong person who essentially is offering the viewers a certain feeling of "safety" and "comfort" and overall a welcoming atmosphere that could be compared to the safe-space level of ASMR videos. This feeling is presented so well and in such a powerful manner that even other characters are feeling the healing and safety effect of Goblin Slayer by simply being close to him. This is the type of stuff that relieves my stress and gives me hope for better tomorrow, and also works as the main motivator for character development seen in the series. The character development for other character, I mean, as Goblin Slayer himself is already flawless.
The biggest difference between Goblin Slayer and typical comfy stuff are the existence of "villains" in the series, who are -of course- essential part of the series, after all, how can man slay goblins if there are none? The "green little shits" side of this story is where the real good stuff is at. Essentially, these characters are what us humans would be if we didn't have someone as awesome by our side as Goblin Slayer. The acts of goblins are something us modern humans couldn't even comprehend. They do not follow such human-made concepts as moral compass or right or wrong. However, this is not to be mixed with one-dimensional characterization. Oh, no. What we, once again are seeing here, is what us humans would be if we didn't limit ourselves with self-invented moral codes. When the first goblin incident occurred, I didn't see any evil doing, but the natural act of uncensored person who is enjoying the good things life. These including the intimate acts inspired by our natural need to reproduce.
This might raise the question: what else exactly happens in the series? And that's the smartest decision that was made here: Absolutely nothing. That's right. The entire series is about slaying goblins and unwilling acts of mating. As a person who appreciates the simple things in life, the content where quantity is not prioritized but the quality of it -- anti-jack of all trades, master of none -- I truly appreciate what Goblin Slayer does with its overall story. It doesn't extend its art forms: it masters them. To get back to my original "this is beauty" claim, Andre Gide, a famous French writer and poet, has been rewarded for the quote "Only those things are beautiful that were inspired by madness and written for a reason." And I find myself thinking these words whenever a goblin gets its head smashed in or the distant screams of unwilling sexual intercourse are echoing in the walls of any dungeon. This is what the rough, natural reality of life is all about, and life is ugly yet beautiful.
The art in the series is completely flawless because the scenes where goblins are slayered are great and the rapey scenes are also neat and nothing else happens. Therefore, no flaws. In all honesty, the art is the best part of the series and the single biggest upscaling from the manga. The highest maturity level, the cold and brutal atmosphere, the feel of a dark fantasy series and overall the badass characterization all have been changed to match what this series truly is about. For one, the color pallet is just ridiculously happy bright rainbows and unicorns -tier stuff that really brings alive the aesthetics and the all-positive look on things, serving the series and making it soothing to watch.
Sounds-wise, only smart decisions have been made. Whenever the characters mention Goblin Slayer, I find myself repeating out loud after them "Gobulin Shleiyaa". The foot-step sounds alone are already creating an awe-inspiring feel as this is the most badass walking sequence since the reappearance of The Mountain. I unplugged my bass, but the water surface on my glass was still making waves like in Jurassic Park. This is the type of stuff I like. The OST is also uplifting when it has to be and beyond calming and has a real home-feel to it especially in the tavern scenes and the sexual intercourse scenes. Every part serves to warm its viewer's heart.
While the content may occasionally be "dark" the series itself is radiating positivity and spirit, showing us how amazing humans can be even in situations that are less amazing and not preferred. By humans, I mean the ideal humans -- such as Goblin Slayer. Seeing how the weaklings, baka-boats and other people in the series who do not know how the world really works -- all are getting what is coming to them, is nothing less than a form of honesty. Only the strong, smart and most fit survive, and while many will not like it, this is what the ideal world looks like. There is no way to rig this game, and that's precisely why this series has a powerful healing effect. Equality in its purest sense. After just 4 episodes, I already feel like my very soul has been cleansed from everything that is evil, from all the injustice and acts in our very own world that make no sense and should not be. These things never occur in Goblin Slayer because it is a genuine work written based to how the world works and not how society wants it to work. 10/10
Goblin Slayer is an anime about a dude named Goblin Slayer who slays goblins.
Now here's the part of my review where I wish I could say "but there's just so much more to Goblin Slayer than that!" Unfortunately, I just can't. In fact, with the exception of a few dark scenes, this show possesses all of the qualities of a typical fantasy world anime. Now is this a bad thing? Of course not. It's just that Goblin Slayer was hyped as a new and innovative approach to the genre. Yet from what I've seen so far, this simply isn't the case. In this preview,
I'll list the two most prominent aspects of this anime that make it absolutely plain and generic.
1. A lackluster plot that doesn't go anywhere.
At this point of a show, one would expect the story to have actually, you know, PROGRESSED in some way. Not Goblin Slayer. Other fantasy anime that many would probably classify as "standard" like DanMachi had already established some plot elements like character motivation and world building by this point. Yet in Goblin Slayer, what do we know? Well, there's a run of the mill guild that serves as the location for literally every relevant conversation and character interaction in the show...Okay, what else? Umm, apparently the demon lord is threatening the world, but no one seems to care too much...Wow, that's TOTALLY original...Oh, and goblins raid villages, pillaging and raping everything they see. Hmm, how...innovative? Seriously though, we know absolutely NOTHING about the world of Goblin Slayer. There's just a lot of much needed depth that's simply missing from this anime. All I've gotten out of this show is that goblins are bad and must be slayed. And to be honest, that's quite disappointing.
2. One note characters with little to no depth.
The most prominent example is the protagonist Goblin Slayer. Anyone who has simply heard about this anime or read the source material knows that this man loves to kill goblins. Aaaaand that's it. So far, his personality hasn't developed at all. In fact, it's a stretch to say that he even has a personality. I'll give you a basic example of why his fixation on goblins can be detrimental to the already weak narrative.
Elf, Dwarf, and Lizard: "Hey bro, we heard that u r supah cool fighta & want you to help us kill da demon lard."
Goblin Slayer: "Did you say goblins?"
Yeah, that's basically how the meeting between these characters went down. Well, at least Goblin Slayer's given a good reason for hating goblins. And he looks cool when he's not animated in hideous cgi, so that has to count for something, right?
So while I was composing this preview, I realized that I didn't know the name of any other character in the show. Then it dawned on me that none of them actually have NAMES. They're just given titles like "Priestess" and "Cow Girl." I mean what the hell? If that doesn't completely detract from any connection to the characters that a viewer might have, than I don't know what does. Well, I guess I might as well talk about some of them. Priestess is a cute, innocent girl who follows Goblin Slayer because...she can. Cow Girl is Goblin Slayer's childhood friend who clearly loves him and dotes on him but gets completely shafted by Goblin Slayer's fixation on goblins. Dem feels doe. High Elf Archer is obviously best girl cause she's a hot tsundere elf girl who gets drunk easily. Oh yeah, there are also some dudes in this show, but nobody really cares about them, so...moving on!
Don't get me wrong, I have no problems with the cast. I even hope that the anime gives them much needed development down the line. But for now, there's just nothing that noteworthy about any of them. They're just, well, average.
On a positive note, the anime has decent technical aspects, but nothing outstanding. The opening theme is a pretty good song. It's a captivating combination of both modern and classical music that perfectly coincides with the tone of the anime. The seiyuu do a fine job and perform their roles adequately enough. The visuals are pretty standard, and I have no problems with the animation besides the choppy and unrefined cgi.
So I've established that Goblin Slayer is basically average in every sense of the word. But there has to be something special about it, or else it wouldn't receive so much attention. So what does Goblin Slayer have that makes it stand out from the rest of the crowd? Extreme Edgyness!
Though in all seriousness, it's not nearly as edgy as people make it out to be.
I simply couldn't end this review without discussing what made Goblin Slayer so popular (or maybe "infamous" is a more suitable word). Yes, this anime has rape and gore, which is heavily demonstrated in the first episode. Thankfully, it's not used to the extreme in every episode, which would, for me, be quite detrimental to the anime. Instead, it's used as a means to show that fantasy worlds aren't all fun and games, and that they contain a lot of pain and misery too. Makes you think twice about wanting to live in a fantasy world full of monsters even if you get all of dem waifus, doesn't it?
That's right, I'm actually defending the dark scenes in this show because they do, in fact, add layers to this anime (albeit pretty thin layers). I betcha thought that I was a butthurt snowflake who would complain about the rape scene after seeing my score for this show. But it was I, D- *ahem* Anyway, like I wrote in this review, Goblin Slayer's flaws lie elsewhere.
You know, if the anime continues down the path it's going, but starts to include some good plot progression and character development, then I think it could actually be at least a semi-decent and entertaining anime. But for now, it's just lacking too much to be anything but mediocre and generic, which is really unfortunate.
Goblin Slayer is the one of the better series this season and probably the most popular anime this season. The show has an interesting concept, dark themes and it has decent comedy elements. It also has a interesting main character that hates goblins. Unfortunately, the show has a very controversial first episode that made a lot of viewers hate the show because of one scene.
1. The controversy
For those who haven’t followed the Goblin Slayer controversy. Right after the first episode this show has received tons of backlashes due to its rape scene. There have been a huge disturbance and conflicting
debates among the anime community. Many people were disgusted towards Goblin Slayer due to what it showed in the first episode. Some people got so triggered that they deemed the anime as trash and said that this anime promotes rape. Yes this anime has rape in it, so what?
The rape scene in Goblin Slayer is just an element in a dark-fantasy anime. The rape scene may not be necessary, but it does have purpose of describing a realistic fantasy world where dangers and stakes are real. A lot of other anime have rape scenes like SAO and Berserk, but why can't Goblin Slayer have a rape scene? The controversy of Goblin Slayer is just bullshit.
2. Story 8/10
The series is set in a generic fantasy world. The show is a deconstruction of the typical fantasy tropes by taking a new spin on the known character and world archetypesl. The story (and the OP) does allude to the fact that the world and the characters may be just a part of a game played by gods. Relationships between each of the characters are given enough time to develop and feel natural. This series has also some pretty good comedy elements.
3. Art and animation 7/10
The art is good and the fight scenes are also animated really good, but the series has a lot of stil frames and Goblin Slayer is a lot of the time in CG. The art and animation is overall good enough.
4. Sound 8/10
I liked the OP and ED a lot and the voice acting was decent, but I didn't like the voice acter of Goblin Slayer.
5. Characters 8/10
The first few episodes had not a lot of character development and we didn't know a lot about Goblin Slayer and the Priestess. However, by episode nine we got more background on Goblin Slayer. In general, both he and the Priestess are excellent characters. The other party members are also great, especially the elf, I loved her interactions with the Dwarf and Goblin Slayer a lot. Regardless of the pace of development, the characters are driving this anime more than anything else. They are all an interesting and entertaining bunch. It is hard not to like them.
The show is great and I can wholeheartedly recommend it to all but the youngest anime fans. Even if You decide it’s not for You, do so after watching three or four episodes instead of just the first one.
Not because of its content, mind you. But because THIS is what the community decided to make a whole brouhaha for, rassling endlessly about how “DAE RAPE IS BAD???”
Now, I apologize, we’ll talk about the show itself in a hot minute or two. But the community discussion of Goblin Slayer really is integral to the series itself. Like an album cycle from Kanye West, public reaction is all part of the seasonal anime paradigm, after all. Even if this anime is lost to the weight of time (read: four months), it should be noted that this anime
caused quite the stir for its first few weeks of airtime, until everyone finally realized that SSSS.Gridman and Zombieland Saga were the actually worthwhile shows.
It was hilarious.
Apparently, no one’s seen Berserk. Devilman: Crybaby wasn’t a thing. But this little ditty had an ape beginning with the letter ‘r’, so the community became a monkey house about it. Many parts praising the anime, with a loudmouthed bunch absolutely horrified over it, causing the latter half to be even more vocal. And that’s why, at the time of this writing, Goblin Slayer is the most popular anime of Fall 2018, ahead of the new Sword Art Online, and the much more beloved adventures of Slimeboi and Bunny Girl. Nevermind the fact that, two seasons ago, Mahou Shoujo Site literally did everything in its own first episode that Goblin Slayer did, plus change, and was outright buried by the community for it, the general seasonal community doesn’t like to dwell on things too much. Not that I’m implying anything~
All this, for what? Is Goblin Slayer REALLY that daring of a show? Is it showing a brutal, grimdark reality? Is it making a scathing social commentary?! Is there an intellectual masterpiece lying underneath all of this terror?!?!
Ha ha ha!
No. Like the Elf’s chest, the answer is a flat, uninspiring no.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Goblin Slayer a lot. I think this show is a blast to watch. But I don’t consider this anything more than what I mentioned earlier. “Cheap entertainment.” It’s not gonna mentally challenge you, unless you’re a literal retard. In fact, as far as graphic violence goes, I’d say there isn’t really enough to recommend the anime based on that single element. It’s there and it’s nice, but it’s something that’s lurking around the corner, rather than a relentless bombardment.
But, it’s true. Goblin Slayer--the character--has no personality. The goblins themselves act as a mindless force who do bad things so the audience will root for their defeat. The supporting cast is gimmicky; the setting, mild; the story, basic; and an artstyle uninspired.
And to what end? Well, the thing about Goblin Slayer is that it never really tries to offer a fully immersive adventure series. The show doesn’t ask you to think. It doesn’t ask to be questioned. As dumb as it is, Goblin Slayer is exactly what the label says. It’s about Goblin Slayer. His name is Goblin Slayer. His occupation is being a Goblin Slayer.
What Goblin Slayer--the show--does, is strip everything down to its very basic elements and present something simple and blunt, and that’s what makes it a hilariously amusing show. Goblin Slayer--the character--this is getting out of hand--has a brutal honesty and charisma more dull than his armor. See, this guy is not just A goblin slayer--he is THE Goblin Slayer, and the lengths of which his dedication go to are quite fascinating, and, honestly, really goddamn funny. His entire brain is geared to destroy every goblin on the face of the Earth. He constantly wears his armor “just in case”, he only ever accepts quests that involve killing goblins, and he even mutters “Goburin…” every now and then when he’s about to embark on a quest. It’s like Ash Ketchum on the Genocide Route; it’s a simple, childhood-like dream that’s continued into adolescence and consumed everything about you. He’s a man on a goddamn mission.
And when I say this anime is funny, I don’t just mean “ha ha, graphic violence, what a spectacle!” like I normally do. Although, that is pretty funny tbh. But I truly, genuinely think that Goblin Slayer presents itself as a comedic show many times throughout its run. With things like Goblin Slayer’s--goddammit it, this is hard to express--MC-kun’s blunt personality will create some funny back-and-forths with the characters he regularly parties with later into the show.
“What is that?” says the Elf, gazing upon the birdcage which this Undyne-looking motherfucker is holding.
“You don’t know what a bird is?” he replies.
It’s that Sheldon Cooper, possibly autistic mentality that makes him enjoyable. His inability to properly communicate with other people lead him to say things so sharply honest that it has a witty sensation, and as you’d expect, it has an effect on the people he interacts with. In a scene where Goblin Slayer’s party--he forms a party, by the way--gives their own noble speeches about why they became adventurers and what it means to them, they circle around to Goblin Slayer, who begins to say the usual “to slay Goblins”, he gets cut-off mid-sentence by the Elf, essentially saying “yeah, we fucking know.” And that one scene with the Sword Maiden. . . do I even need to explain why that’s funny?
And when I say--shit I already said that. Oh well.
And when I say this anime is stripped down to its basics, that’s not me being reductive. That’s not a 0IQ comment of “lol turn ur brain of cuz its dum!!1”, I really mean that it’s basic. Every character in the show has a name that is exactly what they are. The priestess is called Priestess. The elf is called Elf. The hot receptionist waifu is Guild Girl. The girl with big titties is Cow Girl. The setting has room for full exploration, but chooses to focus on this one little story instead. You know the template isekai plotline of “I’m the main character and I need to defeat the Demon King God Emperor Overlord!!” Well, that happens in the world of Goblin Slayer. The big boss is actually defeated. Not by the Goblin Slayer himself, mind you, but by a completely unrelated character known as The Hero. Imagine that. The world has more areas to explore. Adventuring is a given; ranks are awarded to those who succeed, and many other characters do as such. But, among all that, this anime is about one thing and one thing only: a guy who just really likes to kill goblins.
I commend this story for sticking to such basics. Say what you will about it, but it doesn’t ever stray off its path. It’s delivered just as advertised, no refunds allowed. If you want a more expansive fantasy, that’s fine. But Goblin Slayer never, ever promised to deliver that, and it really doesn’t have to. Not every fantasy needs to have the long, thorough exploration of One Piece. Not every conflict has to have the moral greyness of Shinsekai yori. If you don’t like that, well, you should probably just watch another show instead of bitching about this one. It din’du nuffin’.
For what it’s worth, Gobby Gobby Kill-Time has a surprisingly believable world. Mr. Slayer isn’t a character who is worshipped and respected. He’s not a self-insert made to look badass. He’s a fucking weirdo and is treated as such. Other adventurers look down on him, gossiping about his disgusting habits: not ever cleaning his armor, never talking to anyone and only taking the most redundant of quests despite his Silver ranking being quite high up the board. His job is not admirable.
Despite that, there are people who believe in him. There’s his cow-titted sister or what the fuck ever who appreciates his work. Priestess was initially saved by him, and follows him around to not only learn various things as an adventurer, but to also normalize him as a person. Elf and the others--actually, I forgot why they’re there. Oops. And then the receptionist waifu commends him for his dedication in one of the anime’s most underrated moments, where she expresses her appreciation for doing the things he does. Because, at the end of the day, it’s a job that needs to be done, even if it sucks, even if no one wants to do it, something that many people can likely relate to.
There’s no bullshit. No real asspulls or crazy powers. The anime has a good sense of rules, balance and logic for its battles. Different weapons are used depending on the environment; magic has very limited usage, items are consumed in very specific circumstances with preservation in mind, and many different approaches are used to killing goblins. Do they storm into a nest and rampage through them all, or do they lay traps and smoke them out? How do they deal with an ambush, or a boss? And better yet, what happens when shit really hits the fan? This party isn’t perfect, and there’s a threat of very not good things constantly lurking. While I wouldn’t say Goblin Slayer has any real strokes of genius with its combat, it certainly gets the job done well enough to make it a believable and interesting enough action series.
Goblin Slayer is a fun show. It’s as simple-minded as the title implies and plays the role it signed up for. It’s a very simple action/adventure series with an edgy streak to it, but please note that it’s really not the edgiest thing in the world or even really this season like holy fuck watch Golden Kamuy you fucking cotton-humpers. Anyway, at the end of the day, it might seem strange; I’m giving this a positive review but also saying it’s not that big of a deal.
That’s because it isn’t. Y’all just need to calm down.
These are bonus sections because they don’t really add anything to what I was saying, but some people might still care for some reason.
The art is mud. Rapist Slayer Guy is CG in some scenes and not CG in others. It doesn’t look good when he is, and the fact that he isn’t all the time makes it very weirdly inconsistent. The director sometimes does good things, but also tries a little too hard to make some shots look cool; it’s very hit-or miss. There's also a countless number of horribly tacked-on blood splatters that makes every kill look hilarious. The backgrounds are nothing to write home about and the setting itself is pretty generic, but the character designs are actually quite good. Mr. Slayer has a cool red eye for when he gets cereal and Priestess-chan can get the dick; I’d go as far as to say they look iconic for how strong their designs are. Elf has some cool, sharp features and Lizardman looks pretty rad.
The OP has one of the most interesting songs that I’ve heard in anime this year, to the point where White Fox seemed pretty clueless as to how to animate it. Some of the shots feel very strangely timed and there’s little consistency to its visual themes. Still, the song alone makes it a great OP with its somber introduction going into mysterious vocal melodies, crescendoing into an action-packed verse until it lets out a long vocal stream, layered over another melody about wanting to kill goblins and shit. It’s actually really well-written, but the percussion sounds like someone farted on the audio waves somehow because it sounds like shit. The ED sucks.
Goblin Slayer is an anime that everyone can enjoy.
Following a badass computer-generized protagonist slaying mobs of goblins like the pests they are, it encourages every person watching to take arms, get active and do something with your life. Our man got cucked in his backstory by a dozen goblins and now he doesn’t give a flying f*** no more. Now he slays goblins and women on the daily. What other guy do you know in this show that got healed through taking a virgin’s purity? I’ll wait…
The priestess first joins a group of no-hope losers with no understanding of what a potion is, and as
expected, they are beaten, bloodied and booted from the show, but the Priestess ends up saved by Lord Slayer-kun and just like real life attraction, the girl is taken for her hero and follows him everywhere. She would follow the MC to the ends of the Earth if only to prove her worth to him. Now that’s something every man on the planet can learn from, instead of wasting hard earned money on false prophets like PrankInvasion teaching you how to kiss women on the streets by practicing on a pillow.
The animation is subtly brilliant with depicting Lord Slayer-kun in a completely different animation style, further showing how much more advanced of a person he is compared to every other character in the show. The red eye symbol is kind of dumb as he has two eyes but I’m being nitpicky here.
The sound, well I’ll be honest, it sucks but you have the option to mute every episode so that renders this part of the review proof.
I’m amazed how in a year that completely disappointed with trash after trash after trash after trash after trash, finally there is a show that can inspire everyone to be a better person. Maybe I’m just optimistic, but everyone has at least the chance to watch how an alpha male goes about his business
“The only good [losers] are the ones who never come out of their [mothers basement]”
It’s safe to say that if it weren’t for series such as “Conception” and “My Sister, My Writer” airing this Fall, then Goblin Slayer, without a shadow of a doubt, would take home the title of “Worst Anime of the Season.” It’s an anime that yearns to be Berserk but fails miserably. An anime that sacrifices everything in service of a threadbare plot with zero long-term emotional impact, along with gratuitous fanservice and surface level vileness for vileness’s sake. It's the classic case of trying to have its cake and eat it too, which is very telling in its premiere episode that caused one of
the most controversial moments in recent time—in order to vilify the enemies in this story and darken its tone from a seemingly happy-go-lucky JRPG world, it gave every excuse possible to use rape as a shock factor to hook viewers in—It’s actually woven into every fabric of the story that it is literally impossible to avoid talking about rape when discussing Goblin Slayer.
The writing is beyond abysmal that there are numerous contradictions in its worldbuilding that is so glaring that it cannot be ignored. In addition to this, every character is one-dimensional and so generic to the point of being incapable of having a moment of introspection, having personal goals that don’t revolve around the main protagonist, and they have no names since the author states in an interview that he is bad with them. So, the characters are referred to, as their character classes since this fantasy is set up like a tabletop RPG. Being the cardboard cut-outs that they are, almost the entirety of their dialogue consists of only talking about the main hero of the story and his goblin quests, his name is—get this—Goblin Slayer (will refer to him as GS). He’s a stoic man, barely says a sentence, hardly ever takes his armour and helmet off, and is your typical Marty-Stu who overcomes the impossible, and has a harem of anime beauties that love him for the shallowest of reasons. His only defining characteristic is his edgy glowing red eye.
Not only does the audience have to suffer through these plastic characters but also the villains are alike, which are the goblins. These creatures represent the evil of the world and their purpose is to simply destroy and multiply. This is where the story and worldbuilding reach the lowest depths of terrible writing. The goblins are underestimated in this world and acknowledged as a non-priority, despite these inworld facts: The first being that goblins are weak and a low threat; they have the size, strength and intelligence of human children. The second being, goblins are well known to be dangerous; they massacre, rape and pillage, some can even cast deadly spells. If goblins are so weak and stupid that a normal villager is capable of killing one, then how can they do everything in the second inworld fact? Why does the show continue to preach how goblins are level 1 mob but also tell us how history and current time teaches about the notoriety of the goblins? It is later explained that goblins can evolve into higher classes if they live long enough where they will gain experience, learn to organize. This contradicts the first inworld fact—let's say for argument's sake, it’s an unreliable piece of information, then how is it possible for the population to believe something so contradictory to the fact of the world?
Goblins have an immediate impact on the citizens as well as its economics. A villager gets pushed aside despite begging the guild and government for adventurer and military aid to defend their hamlets and farms from hordes of goblins, but since this incoherent story makes them out to be a small issue, he gets ignored. The adventurers wouldn’t do it for free either since they are all assholes who only do things for money and glory. It makes you question the common sense, ethics and morality of this world. Especially when the villagers are responsible for the farming—crops and livestock, mining, crafting and architecture. If you remove GS from the story, it collapses straight away since he is the only person who takes these quests besides rookies, who basically end up dead as mention by the guild. Why are they underestimated when the majority of new adventurers, who take on goblin quests, die? How can the world remain this naïve when this occurrence is frequent and goblin attacks are so abundant? It literally makes zero sense. With GS out of the picture, all the goblin nests shown in the story, multiply to insane numbers, the goblins will gain experience and evolve, led by more Goblin Lords and will pillage all the hamlets and farms, raped numerous women and eventually take over the main towns.
I don't get the reasoning made for goblins to rape. Yes, I understand in the story that they have to use females from other races to procreate since they are all born males, but that's the Thermian Fallacy! I'm asking specifically the logic behind this from a meta point of view. The author made them beings of pure evil to cause chaos and pain but gives them the glaring oversight of needing other race's females to reproduce. And from a serious narrative point of view, this only serves as a way to make goblins seem bad, e.g. “Goblins are bad, rape is bad, so goblins rape!” This is the main logic behind the reasoning given. It was a way to depict the goblins as spawns of evil and to establish that this is a dark and cruel world. The issue here is that having the goblins suddenly raping women is really unnecessary to achieve that goal, the story acts as if murder or torture is incapable of doing so. An obvious sign that values being dark and shocking over telling a story. The way they use rape is to make this show artificially darker for no reason other than being edgy - and that is what rape essentially is in Goblin Slayer, cheap shock value!
It is very rare for any fiction to be able to use rape to darken the tone of its world without turning that work into smut. If dark elements like rape could be removed and the story would be exactly the same, then those elements shouldn’t be here, to begin with. Relying on artificially added darkness only makes Goblin Slayer's story a piece of trash, far from mature and smart. Especially when these dark elements are selectively applied to everyone outside of GS bubble of happy-go-lucky JRPG world with his harem of anime beauties, which none of them gets raped during the current storyline. While everyone else is living in the goblin rape house game. At least Berserk has enough inworld consistency to subject important characters to the carnage. No, I'm not saying that equally raping everyone makes a better story but there is no consistency in the world of Goblin Slayer. In Berserk, rape is a reality that everyone may encounter. It is a clear message that the characters are squarely operating within the world's rules. It is not done frivolously either because the events did not put them out of the picture like some used goods. They become survivors and turned it into a narrative of strength and recovery, adding to their characters depth. They are trying to not let the act define them forever. And this is exactly where Goblin Slayer shamefully stumbles on, it’s an embarrassment to the fantasy genre and the anime fandom.
As mentioned previously, the world is set up like a tabletop RPG. The “gods” created this world from the bottom up, made the laws and rules, designed and created everything. Every piece on the board represents a character. The gods did this out of boredom, they play the game similar to the likes of D&D where they roll the dice to determine the fates of the people of this world. For some odd reason, GS is the only piece on the board that is able to negate their dice roll on him, effectively ignoring the laws and logic despite rolling a nat 1 himself. GS is a powerhouse walking Deus ex Machina while also being the pinnacle of a Marty-Stu, a character who constantly peaks at the script to have all the essential knowledge and sources to overcome any obstacle in his path. Even in times when the story makes his plot armour as thin as possible, there is no tension. The one time where viewers felt that there would finally be consequences was resolved by off-screen healing magic which required GS to sleep with a naked, underage virgin (Deus ex Machina) without previously mentioning such a spell.
If there is one thing Goblin Slayer executed ‘well’ was the amount of unnecessary fanservice. Every woman in this story is some sexy bombshell with gigantic funbags or a breathing kawaii anime troupe. Studio White Fox ended up adapting Kumo Kagyuu and Noburu Kannatsuki’s horrible manga and light novel. The animation was poor, a lot of recycled sequences, especially for GS and the goblins. Terrible use of CG on GS that reach the highest levels of cringe imaginable. Most of the blood and goblins themselves were CG. The character designs were unoriginal, basically ripping off characters from Fate Stay, Berserk and Sword Art Online. The score was weak, soundtracks cutting off abruptly during transitions and the seiyuus couldn’t shine with the lacklustre script they had. There was even a recap after episode 10 which is very telling on how well White Fox really did, basically, they raise the white flag. Watching that recap would be recommended instead of viewing episodes 1-10 as you would not miss anything, and it would save you a lot of time.
Goblin Slayer tries to make other factors feel important like legendary heroes, demons, dragons and all these things that are shown in snippets, much later in the series. When you see them, it honestly feels like you’re watching a completely different anime. There is a huge disconnect here since the story spends its time delving into one man’s struggle against this dreadful set of circumstances. Which means every other aspect of the show is a failure as it is not explored, they are not in service to the premise so they become nothing more than distractions—yet another sign of bad writing. This show has more problems, such as cinema narrative dissonance; the story being told visually does not agree with the story being told by the script. A perfect example is when the show finally attempts to explore the psychological trauma and PTSD of a victim of rape, which was completely ignored for most of the story. While the Sword-Maiden is telling her experience, the shot composition is dedicated to her bouncing tits and stiff nips. It is titillating, with various camera angles and lingering shots. And it happens twice, the second time having her also trying to seduce GS as she was portrayed as one of the shows many whores. Doesn't it occur to anyone that the atmosphere, the scenery and the fanservice are undermining the actual tone of what it's trying to tell you as the audience?
In summary, Goblin Slayer is worse than a poor mans’ Berserk, in fact, it shouldn’t even be compared to it. It’s a culmination of every poorly written fantasy rolled into one with high levels of exploitative sexual violence, used to shock the audience into thinking they are watching some mature and deep piece of media. The story (lack of it) and characters (who lack characterization) cannot hold together without GS. Remove him out of the picture and everything collapses. When you can imagine the cast of “No Game No Life” doing the happy-go-lucky, slice-of-life elements that are in this show is when your suspension of disbelief has evaporated. It manages to insult your intelligence and also on a personal level with all its nonsensical gibberish. There is just no redeeming quality in this clusterfuck called Goblin Slayer, an abominable series whose legacy will be its controversial first episode, and won’t be remembered by anything outside of it, which practically makes it a wet dream for edgelords.
Goblin Slayer is one of the few anime which raised my hype from '0' to 'maximum'. Only Nozoki-Ana (ok there was only an OVA & a 130+ chapters manga) and Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo managed (12 episodes anime + 2x30 min OVA & 240+ chapters manga) to do the same. Indeed, when I started watching GS, I immediatly switched to the manga (both original & prequel) right after latest episode finished airing. Time to read the Light novel now that I received my GS wall poster.
Talking more seriously : Goblin Slayer first shows itself as a dark / violent / horrific anime (everyone
who watched episode 1 only would answer that). However, it quickly turns out to become softer, to please a bigger audience I guess. For anyone interested in a more cruel, darker & disgusting version of the story, you should take a look at the manga or the light novel : they might give you chills thinking about how bestial are the goblins. Not as dumb or weak as showed in the anime.
The plot isn't complicated and the major points of the anime are : its characters & its fights. Even though I have to add that you shouldn't expect a deep developpment of the characters... they don't even have names (people usually using words like High Elf Archer (HEA) or Anvil ; Priestest, GS, Guild Girl (GG), SpearMan (SM) etc... to design them). Nevertheless it won't impeach you to find a catch for them, considering they are more normal & close to you than you think, despite the environment, magic and universe. As I read, the author intended to not give names because he saw his creation as a game of Dungeon & Dragons, so every players (in our case, viewers) could incarnate any character.
Basically, it was a beasts / monsters VS Humanity story, and you will take the second one's side for sure. The anime gives you a hatred towards those filthy creatures and makes you enjoying every new massacre ! Especially the last arc, that was critized at first because it shouldn't be taking place at the end but more like at the beginning. Anyway, it was a really nice idea to swap arcs, in order to provide the viewers an amazing ending. It also officially announces a second season, even if the manga content can't afford it... YET !
Finally, a great show with a taste of violence in a darker universe. Definitely the one you should have watched during Fall 2018 if you like this genre. I placed it within my Top 3 favorite Fall 2018 anime, alongside with Zombieland Saga & SSSS.Gridman. I highly encourage everyone to watch the show then read the manga (if you are hardcore fan, even read the light novel !).
Minor first episode spoiler warning:
I gotta admit, I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I was going to watch this anime. At first I thought it would just be some gory and edgy anime about a guy who kills goblins (My assumption wasnt that far from what it is), but it turns out there is way more to it than just that!
Before watching the anime, I thought the story would just be something stupid and ridiculous, but it turns out there is a real motive to all of it.
There was quite a controvery with the first episode of Goblin Slayer,
due to the amount of gore and especially that one rape scene. But this was indeed all necesarry to understand the situation thats going on. It aint all fun and games in a fantasy world.
As a Manga reader, the story itself is really interesting and really enjoyable, but at the same time its pretty gory (Not on the level of "Berserk" though), so if you aint into gore or violence then this anime isnt for you.
I also love the art style, the only thing I dont like about it is the CG for the main character every now and then, but other than that, its all pretty cool. The soundtrack is also great! The OP is actually in English which is nice to see in animes everynow and then.
In the end, I rate this anime a solid 9/10. Really enjoyable! Great story! Awesome characters! Go ahead and give it a watch, unless you aint into gore. <3
The very first episode set a very strong impression. I feel that a lot of people forgot all about how we recently survived an era of very uninspired and generic isekai / fantasy anime, then when Goblin Slayer emphasized the presence of these tropes viewers didn't see it as the intended bait and switch - they only saw the bait. So many shows, including large amounts of battle-magic-highschool anime from eras passed had main characters who were very one note just like Priestess appeared to be for our first impression before actually digging into what a blindly optimistic and faithful
healer would think during these adventures. What resulted in the first episode's premier was a lot of lazy criticism.
What also followed were several debates about how the goblins are just a plot device (or shallow), whether or not it's fine for an antagonist to be just a device or if it's good story structure to have the antagonist(s) vilified first. To anyone who argues either of these points, do keep in mind that man vs nature is a very popular trope found in several stories - and very many fun action movies have villains serve as bowling pins for the main character to defeat. One other popular arguing point was the "throw-away" characters presented in the show also being shallow and not well introduced, but many people forget about several shows that are praised doing something very similar to Attack on Titan.
Now to critique the show instead of critiquing the critique;
What I find the most exciting is the presentation of our main character, Goblin Slayer. The common fantasy main-character is usually plucky, well spirited, and adventurous, usually getting out of situations with his sheer force of will or special talent against an unknown enemy after we're grown to "love" him from a sad, characterizing flashback. Goblin Slayer is the exact antithesis to this. He is practical, calculated, imaginative, and knows his enemy very well while his origins are unknown. On top of that, rather than being a charismatic character the people around him are drawn to, Goblin Slayer is shown to be less capable of socializing and is someone who needs to heal overtime - a more believable character to put it simply. The main character alone was enough to intrigue me to invest in this show.
There's no denying that Goblin Slayer isn't what most people would call a high art, the next Gurren Lagann or Berserk, but the show very much serves its purpose as a fun adventure series or a fun subversion of generic fantasy anime. You wouldn't grade a fish on how it climbs a tree so to speak.
Story (7): A simple but functional story that's been painted out from the first couple of episodes, and seems to be a slow-cook to a satisfying character-driven ending. However the second episode prompted debates about how Goblin Slayer's flashback served the story. On one hand the lack of episode one characterization was what many critics disliked of the show, but on the other hand it served extremely well to have our main character seem ambiguous and ominous.
Art (7): Functional. The many sets feel very lived in with a great sense of space, along with thought-out details that goes into even dank caves, ruins, or meeting rooms. But the sets do lack textures in some portions and it doesn't live up to many contemporaries. The character designs on the other hand are very distinct and the action in the very first episode is very satisfying.
Sound (6): Once again, functional. Nothing about the soundtrack stands out one bit and the sound effects for the action scenes are appropriate at best. Nothing feels inventive or experimental and the action could gain more weight with better sound design.
Characters (10): As I mentioned above, it is fantastic to have a main character who's the exact antithesis of plain, generic, insulting, isekai shows we've had to suffer through. The side characters have plenty of small moments too which characterizes them very well.
Enjoyment (10): Should be plain to see through my praise from before. I've actually found myself jumping in my chair the moment a new episode is posted, and it's fantastic to see the niche of fans from the Manga / Light novel coming out of the woodwork. I've also loved the many conversations and discussion after every episode.
Overall 40/50 (8): A very satisfying show for people who like character-driven shows with moments of intrigue and seeing someone prevail with wit over strength. Goblin Slayer is a very firm suggestion should someone be okay with the graphic nature.
Goblin Slayer is a unique fantasy story about paranoid mentally broken wierdo who wants to commit genocide on a green raping barbarians. In a Dungeon&Dragons setting using homerules.
Is it Dark Fantasy? Yeah, sort of, BUT NO BECAUSE OF "MUH RAPE", you goddamn millennials, but because in the world of GS you are a pawn in the hands of Gods, you will die when certainGod roll D20=1 and you can do nothing about it. You cannot win because Gods, eventually, will create another scenario where demon lord resurrected or necromancers destroy your hometown or goblins destroy your village. But you also cannot loose, because
Gods will also spawn heroes on your side who will keep balance and endless war going.
Story - Anime is retelling events of first 2 volumes of ranobe (or light novel, who cares), cutting worldbuilng, character thoughts and 70% of details. Thats pretty sad but without full season necessary.
Its always very simple on surface - GS on a quest to kill some goblins (you dont get to see his routine, only the epic quests shown), but its always a different place, different threat level, different boss. And its not just "goblins sitting in dungeon waiting to be slaughtered", they are planning some bad things. So while it looks like a simple goblin slaying there is always something more, but I dont wanna spoil things.
Art - meh, from pretty good to "ahaha oh wow". Better use your imagination (your strongest weapon) while reading source material, or AT LEAST manga.
Sound - every theme fits the situation and place, from peaceful town/guild music to intense "overcoming the odds" battle themes. I am just waiting full OST release, cant fully judge it now.
GS - your main character. People's hero, defender of frontier villages from green shits, a silver ranked (third rank) adventurer who is actually obsidian (9 rank) in terms of strength, paranoid, autistic and simple man. Fighter+Ranger+Scout multiclass. Normalfags (both in his world and IRL viewers) dont understand him, but he doesnt care. Obsessed with guess what, and has a good reasons for it.
Priestess - second MC. Shy and kind girl in the beginning who will change A LOT in future. Idealistic, pretty strong magic caster for her level, one of the best female characters I've seen in like 10 years or so, with her own mind, motivations, strengths, weaknesses, without forced "muh stronk independent wamen" or being "token appendix to MC (ahem, Asuna, ahem)". True support who can carry whole party.
Dwarf Shaman - typical dwarf, I would say, if typical dwarfs were magic casters. But they usually dont. In any case, if you love fantasy you probably love dwarfs - these short, sometimes drunk, sometimes grumpy, but loyal and honest folk are a great battle-bros, so nothing wrong with being "typical dwarf".
Lizard Priest - one of the most serious (and probably strongest) party members. Lizardman is not a common species in a fantasy settings (usually they are just one of neutral secondary races who no one cares about), so seeing one is pretty refreshing. Wants to PURGE HERESY and become a Dragon. Isnt that a noble and relatable goal?
High Elf Archer - flat tsundere and normie, very young and optimistic (but you dont want to make her angry). Despite what animeonly thinks not a part of the harem (more on that later).
Guild Girl - older sister type character, competeting in GS-bowl with Cow Girl. Pretty cute in source material, but only a side-character in anime (I think Witch got more screentime than a Guild Girl).
Cow Girl - choldhood friend (childhood friends never win, remember that). Yet again another victim of anime adaptation with no screen time or personality. Guess you have to read the fucking book if you care!
Here comes the most important. Why do people (and me) enjoy Goblin Slayer?
1. Classic tropes done right - your typical fantasy setting, but without bullshit isekai OP characters, without subverting expectations (except for the "goblin are stupid as kids" part) and without trying to be more than it is.
2. Rooting for underdogs. You see GS is weak as fuck compared to for example Lancer. So even if he fights the weakest monsters in the world he has to be careful and come up with new tactics and ideas. And if it wasnt enough there is always some greater threat that can smash and disintegrate our MC in 1x1 match. So even if you expect Goblin Slayer to prevail from the beginning you never know how this battle will end.
3. References. I fucking love references and there are A LOT OF THEM. Ignoring D&D part since its a part of the setting -
Lord of the Rings (Orcrist-Orcbolg, master Bilbo, lembas)
Mini-Lancer aka Cú Chulainn
Platinum hero Haruhi
And so on, its too hard to remember them all.
4. Tonal shifts. What I heard many people complain about and getting it wrong. If you go full "tea and cake party" you get boring slice of life. If you go full "blood and gore" you get boring bloodbath. GS is about adventurers. Life of adventurer is about having fun while you can between the quests. Tomorrow you can die, but today you will laugh, drink and spend time with your party. What is the point of worrying about absolutely random dice rolls? Thats why tonal shifts are great and fit here. If you want 100% grimdark - watch some News channel or think about routine work you will have to do until you become old and sick. Pretty dark huh? Already want to forget about it using good old "tea and cakes" method? So dont blame adventurers for distracting from routine stress.
5. Compenent characters. At least most of them, but dont blame fucking noobs. You would also never expect that a level 1 giant rat can kill you when you start playing game.
And I am not even talking about Goblin Slayer, thats obvious part. The rest of his squad and even side characters (specially Lancer and Guts) has their own views and solutions to the problems. And most important that they respect each other views. So many stories show how MC knows everything better than anyone else, how he is perfect and others (mostly girls from harem) praise him. But here MC is experienced only when it comes to goblin slaying. Others use his knowledge and provide theirs.
6. Romance. "Oh look every girl like GS, bullshit stupid slice of life harem dropped". Aaaaand you are wrong. A common mistake for a beginner. Its all about love triangle between Cow Girl and Guild Girl (and potentially Priestess). Why do they love him? Skip the childhood friend part since its obvious. Guild Girl knows him for 5 years. Thats a lot of time to become attached to someone. And Priestess can become more than apprentice, but thats not the point. Also there is a Sword Maiden but no one cares about her. 2(3) girls love one stoic, reliable and good-looking guy, do you still think its so unrealistic and stupid? I think it totally makes sense. Specially if you think about some abomination like SAO where girls fall in love with MC after 1 day of meeting him instead of 5+ years of knowing each other.
7. The way Main party interacts with each other. Its hard to describe but you know what I mean if you played at least one game from Bioware, or any MMO with friendly guild.
Overall - most of my enjoyment comes from ranobe or manga, I've been reading GS for 2 years now, its just impossible to forget about it and judge only the anime.
But think of this - my friend could not enjoy Overlord S2 and S3 after reading source material. He said that anime just ruined entire arc and I trust him. With Goblin Slayer I read the source material and I still could enjoy the anime adaptation even if it has a lot of flaws and cut content. That means that adaptation is good, while the source material is great.
THE CRIME IS YOUR FOUL EXISTENSE, GOBLIN, THE SENTECE IS DEATH!