A young priestess has formed her first adventuring party, but almost immediately they find themselves in distress. It's the Goblin Slayer who comes to their rescue—a man who's dedicated his life to the extermination of all goblins, by any means necessary. And when rumors of his feats begin to circulate, there's no telling who might come calling next...
*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 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 whatsoever and can be aptly described by its title.
It's a manga 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 and goblins are apparently too weak (which they are clearly not) to be considered a threat, so this happens daily. Already you can probably already tell that this manga doesn't have the best writing, but alas.
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. 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 4/10 or something of that reign, but I don't really care. It's far more enjoyable than other "turn your brain off" manga like most battle shonen because the author of Goblin Slayer realizes the only entertaining aspect of these things is the ridiculous fighting scenes. 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.
Mark my words, this manga is going to be big in due time. Unfortunately, as a monthly manga, that may take a while. For now enjoy this mostly spoiler-free review and decide for yourself whether this is worthy of your time. The spoilers you find in my review are from chapter 1 and 2 to give examples of the setting.
As the synopsis said, the story unfolds with a shy young girl - a priestess - who wants to become an adventurer, deciding she should help those in need. Applying in a lobby of sorts between all kinds of typical rpg characters (witches, shamans, berserkers,
paladins etc), you are invited into a joyful setting in a fantasy world where many people can become an adventurer if they wish to do so. She gets invited by a party to hunt goblins and follows the group who thinks killing goblins is no big deal because they are the weakest character in most games. Overconfident and zealous, they enter the dungeon marked as the goblin nest and at that point, you are pulled out of the jolly RPG setting of cheerful characters and welcoming parties and thrown straight into a berserk-esque hell. Goblins may still be relatively weak, but they attack weak groups or lone villages and farms to set the buildings on fire and take their women for their own lust and mostly getting away with it. (This includes rape to a certain extent! This can put off some readers, but don't let it cloud your judgement) If it wasn't for one man: Goblin Slayer. He is hell-bend to kill the goblins due to some childhood trauma and only takes on goblin quests. Being a high ranked adventurer, some others scorn him for only taking on those weak monsters. Nevertheless, he accepts all goblin quests and continues to do his job, ignoring the others who despise him. Think of this as edgy, arrogant, selfish or anything you want, he doesn't do it for the glory or fame. His attitude is not the "Fuck all goblins, they should cease to exist" kind, but more the "I don't want others to experience the same thing I did" kind. If it wasn't for that, this manga would have a severely lower rating for me.
As this has an RPG setting, there should be other monsters, demons and dragons to defeat. However, those battles are fought elsewhere, as the main focus here is how much of a treat goblins can be to new adventurers, while the experienced and higher ranking ones scorn the goblin quests.
That is why the first couple of chapters show the merciless world out there and the tactics to use. Simply being powerful doesn't mean anything against a horde of goblins, accompanied by shamans, hobgoblins or higher ranked enemies. One needs tactics and that is one of the reasons why I like it. The MC, Goblin Slayer, is rational and thinks of the best solutions regardless what others may think. The most spoiler-free example I can give is that in the first couple chapters, he shows that even the gobin children must not be left alone, for they will harbour hate toward the humans that killed their family and will strike back when grown up.
A monthly manga usually has the advantage of having more time for artwork and that is definitely the case here. We can enjoy detailed goblin faces being smashed and spot-on character outfits fitting with the characters, flowing with emotion and amazing scenery. The surroundings are never left out, most empty spaces are filled with a simple item, such as a hay-car on a farm and tables with chattering people in buildings. There are a wide range of manga out here, but only a handful (literally) have received full marks for art from me, Goblin Slayer included. Dynamic fights, detailed, ugly goblins, interesting outfits and beautiful female characters (this doesn't mean all points go to boobs of course). This ideal world depicted is only set off by the contrast of the dark reality that is facing the goblins and their malevolence. Truly stunning to see, nothing to add.
Goblin Slayer is a man among men, let that be clear. His objective is killing goblins and that's what he does. If that means harming some others, so be it. He is clear, calm, just and for me, relatable. This is how one should act in a world such as this.
The priestess - Onno Shinkan - is a typical shy priestess. like Asia Argento from Highschool DxD and her decision to go with Goblin Slayer feels forced purely to continue the story. After that, she has more character development than Goblin Slayer or any other character here. She tries hard for the sake of others, but is not always able to due to her beginner rank. She displays a wide range of emotins, even including sadness for the goblins, even though they are the ones who put her in her misery.
The supporting characters however, all contain a certain archetype (elven archer, dwarf shaman, etc) and retain that type. During a journey, you come to know some of them, but my phone has had more development in the last year than they have had. They never break the archetype, yet some of them show more concern than they used to do. The most interesting supporting character is the receptionist who likes Goblin Slayer for helping people with goblins where most others would not even look at the quest as they are not rewarding or challenging enough.
Despite some flaws I mentioned, the enjoyment rating of Goblin Slayer is high for me. The chapters are usually over 30 pages yet felt like I was reading the short chapters of Dolly Kill Kill or the later Naruto ones. Every month waiting for a new chapter is slowly killing me as I want to continue reading, but there are only so few chapters out. Sometimes I even read it again for the sake of enjoyment of seeing those goblins being smashed most outrageously and brutally with melee weapons and amazingly drawn magic spells.
Goblin Slayer is rated as seinen and with reason. Gory deaths and captured/victimized females play a part of it, but that didn't cloud my judgement as it added to the seriousness of the settings. There is occasional humour with simply drawn faces later on, but the cold blooded seriousness and zeal of the MC is mostly what kept me reading, combined with amazing artwork which eases the reading and is a feast for one's eyes. I never get bored of a fantasy setting like this with tactical fights, bloody kills and a festive return.
As said at the start of my review: this is going to be big over time and I can only eagerly await each new chapter until that time has come.
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.