[Breaking News: Man Literally too Angry to Die]
[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.