Series Review

Anime Hajime Review: Goblin Slayer

Original Run: October 7, 2018 - December 30, 2018
Number of Episodes: 12
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy
Based on the Series Created By: Kumo Kagyu

***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Goblin Slayer. Reader discretion is advised.***

Series Synopsis

A young Priestess (voiced by Yui Ogura) has just entered an adventurer’s guild. With zero experience, she quickly joins a party, and they all set off for their first quest – goblin hunting. Although none of them have ever ventured into a goblin’s lair before, confidence is high. After all, they were just facing weak, little, no-nothing creatures. How hard could it be?

Sadly, this mindset has brought about the deaths of an untold number of rookie adventurers.

The quest goes horribly wrong, and Priestess looks on as a horde of goblins bear down upon her. Before meeting a horrific fate, she is saved by the most unlikely hero.

An adventurer clad in full armor easily defeats the mass of goblins and brings Priestess under his wing. This person is none other than the mysterious Goblin Slayer (voiced by Yuichiro Umehara).

Goblin Slayer is one of the highest ranked members of the guild, but he will only go on quests which involve killing goblins. Where most of his peers only see goblins as annoying headaches, Goblin Slayer understands them as the threat they really are.

Worse than cockroaches, goblins spread and kill without mercy. It is Goblin Slayer’s mission to bring about the complete eradication of these vermin.

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Series Positives

Goblin Slayer was great, and I’m saying that as both a reviewer and someone who enjoys Dungeons & Dragons and other roleplaying games. In fact, if this series didn’t take heavy inspiration from either D&D or something similar, then the sky is purple, and the ocean is made of dry cement.

Separate nerdom aside: There was one thing Goblin Slayer did exceedingly well. This series kept reality in check.

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For context, here is the description of goblins from D&D Beyondthe official online character-creator for Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition:

Goblins are small, black-hearted humanoids that lair in despoiled dungeons and other dismal settings. Individually weak, they gather in large numbers to torment other creatures.

Goblin Slayer adhered to that definition to a T.

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I want you to take a second to imagine a fantasy fighter. If said fighter had decent armor with adequate weapon proficiency and they faced just one goblin in an open field, the resulting “battle” would be laughably one-sided in favor of the adventurer.

That there is the seed of the lurking danger.

This series effectively pointed out a typical fighter probably wouldn’t face just one goblin in a pristine environment.

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Instead, someone would most likely be up against a horde of these vile creatures, and often in a dark, dank cave with very little room to swing a sword and even less chance of escape. Sure, even a novice might take out one, two, or even three goblins by themselves. The problem is, it’s the other twenty or more goblins who are going to rip them to shreds

A goblin’s greatest weapons are fear and surprise. Since no one in a fantasy setting ever takes goblins seriously, no one ever expects it when their village is suddenly attacked in the middle of the night, and they are then horror struck as their loved ones are brutally slaughtered right before their eyes.

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In Goblin Slayer, unwarranted overconfidence was usually met with a fate worse than death. This wasn’t a story about a fun little romp through a fantastically adventure-filled world. Instead, there was blood, cruelty, and believe me when I say, “Viewer discretion is STRONGLY advised.” Oh, and by the way, this series didn’t waste any time. It demonstrated what it was capable of doing pretty damn fast.

Fortunately, Goblin Slayer wasn’t an exploitative display of over-the-top violence. Although this series had brutal scenes, the story took the time to establish why things happened the way they did.

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Without going into too much detail, there was a scene in Goblin Slayer where the titular character had to will his way to tap into his dormant strength when he and his party was on the verge of defeat. I’ve seen this type of scene so many times before, and it was really no shock to see it again in this series. However, there was one key difference here.

When other shows have their last-ditch-effort moment, there is indeed something on the line. In Goblin Slayer, the consequences were frighteningly direr. By this point in the show, the story had made it abundantly clear what would happen if goblins managed to overwhelm our main group.

And to tell you the truth, since this series had no qualms about employing darkness, the typical safety blanket of everything-is-going-to-turn-out-alright simply didn’t exist.

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To help with that sentiment of ultimate tension, Goblin Slayer had given itself a few amazing tools to work with. I am, of course talking about, Goblin Slayer and his party.

As a quick warning, none of the characters in Goblin Slayer had names. Therefore, I must refer to people by their specific classes. Along with main leads Goblin Slayer and Priestess, there was High Elf Archer, Dwarf Shaman, and Lizard Priest (voiced respectively by Nao ToyamaYuichi Nakamura, and Tomokazu Sugita).

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This series already had the brilliant benefit of having an outstanding protagonist in Goblin Slayer. He alone was enough to carry this story. Masterfully, though, all his fellow party members had personalities, were skilled fighters, felt essential to what was going on, and they held their own against the awesomeness of Goblin Slayer. These FIVE allowed this series to have amazing action which accompanied an astonishing amount of depth.

Every fight in Goblin Slayer was exciting, but more than that, when there wasn’t a fight going on, this show never lost its intrigue. This was among one of the best series I have seen come out of 2018. What’s even better, at the end of the last episode there was a hopeful little message:

Goblin Slayer will return.

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Series Negatives

I really don’t have much to say here.

Granted there were some small points I could harp on about. For instance, there were a lot of examples of questionable boob physics. Also, the character Goblin Slayer was animated using painfully noticeable CGI.

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Together, bits like those did nick at Goblin Slayer’s armor. However, this series had plenty of solid action, character development, narrative progression, and all the other things which made the occasional blemish feel insignificant.

Be that as it may, there are still two things I wish to point out.

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The first has to do with only one episode. Keep in mind, this episode wasn’t bad, but it was – in the grand scheme of things – pointless.

This story decided to take a quick detour and focused on two low ranking adventures whose mission it was to clear out their city’s sewers. To give the credit which is due, this pair did help reinforce how even the most seemingly mundane quests can turn deadly if one doesn’t account for the proper preparations.

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The problem was, this duo never came back up again. That was until the final episode, and I would argue this series didn’t need to spend a whole episode’s worth of time to justify their actions during this series’ climax.

So, basically, I’m just nitpicking.

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The second issue wasn’t an issue in the slightest. Instead, this is actually a warning. Goblin Slayer was intense, and there were some difficult moments to watch. The thing was, those difficult moments had a purpose; they were important for the story at large. Nevertheless, that doesn’t change the fact this series went down some dark paths.

Should you decide to give Goblin Slayer a look – and although I don’t think you’ll regret it – please be aware you’re going to run into a few uncomfortable moments.

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Final Thoughts

I was looking forward to this series, and this was one of the special cases where I wasn’t left disappointed. On the contrary, this show fully exceeded my expectations.

The story was great. The characters were amazing. This series took an idea – goblin hunting – which is usually an afterthought and put it into its proper perspective. To be fair, though, that perspective wasn’t particularly sunny. Get ready for some bleakness.

But if you want a series that can grab and hold your attention, then you no longer need to keep looking. Goblin Slayer is one I absolutely recommend.

But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this show? What would be your advice concerning Goblin Slayer? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.

And if you liked what you read, be sure to follow me here and on all my social media sites so that you never miss a post or update. Also, please share this review across the internet to help add to the discussion.

I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.

Post Edited By: Onions

7 comments

  1. I enjoyed seeing the light novels coming to life in this anime, though I kind of felt a few too many details ended up getting sidelined for some of the character actions to make sense in the anime. While I know stuff should be left out when adapting a story, at times it felt like the audience was just expected to have read the source to follow parts of the anime.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure there is plenty more background information outlined in the novels, but I have never read them. As such, I’m interested in what was left out because I never felt lost when watching the anime.

      Like

  2. i was never a dnd player but I do enjoy the light novels and this anime adaption delivered on a lot of fronts and like a lot of anime white fox has produced it understood the source material which in this case it understood what made and still makes goblin slayer an interesting dark fantasy and there’s a lot of interesting references to the author in how he loved playing role playing games which is kind of where a lot of his scenarios were based on. such as the the initials for Green Moon according to a few people shortens to GM which translates to Game Master. I don’t know if that’s a big deal but I liked the idea there are some hidden references like that if you look for them in both the novel and anime.

    I will give credit to the fact goblin slayer never apologizes for what we see even to the fact in how it goes out of its way to remind us Goblins are absolutely evil and will torture you to the point you wish you would die where that would be a mercy and as noted by hentai doujin sites yes you get your Goblin taking women for breeding purposes while still torturing the hell out of them. jesus kind of dark to imagine sword maiden getting raped after having her eyes burned by fire.

    I think what’s probably goblin slayers biggest strength is in a lot of ways it’s similar to batman or the punisher where by that I mean in the fact it knows it’s a “small” story. it tells you there’s a bigger story going on but it focuses on the small stories happening like hypothetically Goblin Slayer could happening during the whole lord of the rings adventure where Sauron could attack them but Goblin Slayer will focus on what he wants to do which is similar to how batman won’t abandon gotham for the justice league or how the punisher isn’t gonna let a gangster get away no matter how insignificant he is.

    Liked by 1 person

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