In a world stalked by great beasts and frightening monsters, a more common creature is often overlooked: the goblin. While not as outright threatening as some of the larger nightmares out there, goblins are capable of grotesque feats of brutality in their own rights, often joining together in large bands and spreading destruction.
Enter the justly titled Goblin Slayer, whose sole mission in life is to wreak havoc on goblins, murdering as many of them as he possibly can. Utilizing the realm's reigning mission system for adventurers, Goblin Slayer makes sure to accept any and all goblin-related missions.
One of these quests brings him into contact with a young Priestess, who he rescues from an assault at the hands of a particularly nasty group of goblins who have raped and slaughtered her entire party. Although initially averse to human connection, Goblin Slayer begrudgingly finds himself developing an attachment to Priestess and the other party members that they gain along the way. Often tugged into massive adventures that pull him away from his goblin-murdering comfort zone, Goblin Slayer works to keep his party safe from harm and gradually overcomes the childhood trauma that crafted him into the killing machine he has become.
Goblin Slayer is kinda entertaining. It's not entertaining because it has a compelling plot, or any deep themes, or any multi-faceted characters (dear god no). In fact, it lacks any depth or subtlety whatsoever and can be aptly described by its title -
It's about a dude killing goblins. That's it.
There are goblins in this established fantasy world, and they wreak havoc every day by pillaging villages and raping women. This actually happens on a daily basis, but because there are worse problems in the world (problems which are never elaborated on) and because the rewards for killing goblins are too meager, most higher leveled
adventurers don't bother to kill them. Instead, beginner adventurers attempt to kill the goblins, but many of them perish in their attempts due to their inexperience and get raped and murdered. But there are worse problems in the world (that are never elaborated on) and goblins are apparently too weak (which they clearly are not) to be considered a threat, so this happens daily. The author isn't the greatest when it comes to world building, no.
Insert our badass protagonist, the fabled Goblin Slayer, whom bards sing of and people fear. He has made it clear that his entire purpose in life is to kill goblins- he lives for it and knows everything about the hunt. He knows literally everything about goblins, from how they eat to how they move. He has plenty of experience destroying goblin nests and doesn't flinch in killing even the children. He reasons that the young surviving goblins become truly strong when they grow up, and sparing them is extremely detrimental. So he crushes them (literally).
That's it. This dude kills hoards of goblins because of his "tragic past" involving them (a past he suddenly elaborated about without ever being asked early on in the manga.. talk about subtlety). And women love him. Almost every female characters he meets lusts for him. How could women not love him? He's the best goblin slayer around.
That said, I enjoyed it. It's fun, despite the entire thing being about killing the little green cunts. The goblin slaying is often done in creative ways, and the protagonist comes up with kinda interesting plans in destroying the things. It's also enjoyable in just how brutal he is at times. At some point, I genuinely wondered why the author was so fixated on vilifying and destroying goblins. Did a goblin murder his family? Did he read a doujin with them and his favorite female character? Does he just not like the way they look?
In all, I give Goblin Slayer a 6/10, which is pretty damn generous given the many negative aspects of it. A more objective and fair rating would be a 3/10 or something of that reign, but I don't really care. It's far more enjoyable than other "turn your brain off to enjoy" manga like most battle shonen because the author of Goblin Slayer realizes the only entertaining aspect of these things is the ridiculous fighting scenes. It's actually genuinely inspiring how little the author gives a fuck when it comes to world building, character development, themes, or anything that would normally be prevalent in such a tragic, character-driven story. It skips the BS. There's no protagonist I want to strangle, there's no stupid "friendship is power" monologue and no plot whatsoever. It's a manga about a badass and his genocide against goblins and I like it.
*Warning : May contain some minor spoilers...
Who am I kidding, this manga is awesome, just read it*
Story : 8
While the manga is fairly new and fresh, the story is progressively getting better with new side-characters with believable motives , relatable personality and overall looking very promising. To be fair, the first few chapters so far wasn't much for advancing the plot, but take it with a grain of salt since I consider these chapters a Prologue for grand up-coming story waiting to be told. While the manga may appear edgy at first glance , the author did a good job portraying how difficult
and unforgiving the world can be, especially a world with magic and monsters. The gore, the unfortunate things that happened are explained properly with details. Hell , I will even go so far as to say that I would probably be like the MC or even worse if that happened to me, and I think that many people would agree with me. There are some moments of levity , and the show doesn't take itself too seriously that it leaves a disdainful taste in your mouth. I'm pretty excited for the incoming arc and the story is looking very promising.
Art : 10
The art is absolutely gorgeous. I myself believe that art and artstyle are subjective depending on the people perceiving them , so you may think that I'm being biased, and I do agree. But holy hell is this freaking beautiful. Check them out for yourself and see how you like it.
Characters : 9
As I mentioned before in the Story section of this review, this aspect of the manga is very well-done . The MC is a total badass in of himself , but the things that make him interesting is that fact that he doesn't kill for glory or money or anything artificial like that. I don't want to go too deep into the spoiler territories but the way he views himself , his actions and the world around him is definitely very refreshing and unique. I'm sure the author put a lot of thoughts into the MC ( I also find him to be somewhat relatable in this aspect but this is irrelevant) .
Enjoyment : 10
What can I say ? The gorgeous artstyle combine with intense, detailed and highly gory fights along with beautiful background scenery makes this manga a blast to read. It is so enjoyable that I found myself rereading the few chapters available for numerous times now , and I have not gotten bored of it (and probably won't). The story is coming along very nicely , and is getting hyped up so badly that you just can't wait for the new chapters. This is such a feel-good show (Different from the healing show) that you just want to enjoy yourself and your life while being on this one ride of massive fun.
Overall : 9
I've had fun a lot with this manga and I certainly can say for sure that this is gonna be big in the fantasy sub-genre. It's not too edgy that you cringe to sleep, but it is dark enough to keep you interested and invested. The world-building is amazing too, though we don't know much about it, there are hints here and there and it's really fun to try and think about all of the subtle things happening in the background. The characters are fun to watch, somewhat relatable , have reasonable motives and their personalities tend to defer from others, side-characters are also given some backstories and such. The art style is highly-stylized, detailed and the fight scenes are awesome. This is some top-tier manga here.
'Goblin's killed my family!' Oh great motivation dude, really inventive.
Faux-edgy rubbish with no heart or drive. It's obviously going for a D&D universe of adventurer types without names pottering about doing general quests right? So the hook is there's a really powerful adventurer who only does the lower level missions. This is a weak set up already, not really unique but who cares Berserk started with a lame set up and developed into the greatest manga of all time so whatever.
However, Berserk took time to reveal the protagonist's motivations and gave it a huge amount of power via the narrative. Goblin Slayer's is literally
the most basic and banal motivation in the book. Like fucking hell what is this shit.
It's trying to be shocking with the first chapter depicting rape and relatively harsh violence while pulling at the heart strings by showing their hopes and dreams while growing up. It doesn't work, it comes off as try hardy and fake. It wants to shock you quickly but fails to have this pay off in anyway.
The art isn't terrible but god is it boring. You want to draw this dark edgy character out for revenge but everything is so cutesy and clean. All these typical overly endowed girls run around as a sort of foil to the main but it doesn't work when there's literally no detail around them to make it interesting. The backgrounds have huge amounts of white and lack anything but the most basic detail.
Inane story, one-dimensional characters and boring art. Rubbish.
The basic mob 99% of fantasy writers/game publishers brush over.
Being able to write an engaging plot about that is a plus in itself.
But what sets it apart, is being able to provide multiple perspectives and consistent pacing to the world of the goblin slayer.
If you are afraid of gore and dark sexualised depiction of the fantasy genre then this manga isn't for it.
What is it is a semi-realistic story of what life would be like if the average person like you and I were to live in the popular generic fantasy RPG world, as we watch various protagonists share their harsh realities of living in
such a world.
We would be scared shitless of basic mobs like goblins.