Goblin Slayer

Goblin Slayer

Goblin Slayer anime series cover art
Goblin Slayer Cover Art

Overview

Goblin Slayer was probably my most anticipated anime of the Fall 2018 season. However, I’ll start today’s review off by simply saying that this anime didn’t live up to my expectations, but that it’s still good. And, no, I wasn’t mad about the use of rape in the series, because it actually serves a purpose.

Unlike the vocal minority, I knew what I was getting into with this series because, while I haven’t read the source material, I had heard a lot about it from fans who had. It seems like the only people who were really upset with the use of rape in this series were those who went into it thinking it was just another happy-go-lucky fantasy adventure.

Perhaps they’re the kinds of people who don’t yet realize that anime isn’t a genre, it’s a medium with many different genres in it.

Goblin Slayer is definitely a fantasy series, but it’s a dark fantasy. The main difference between the two is simply that dark fantasies are more realistic. They more closely resemble our own world and shed light on the dark parts which we often pretend not to see.

But, that doesn’t mean Goblin Slayer is a depressing anime. In fact, I’d say it’s just the opposite. The first episode is dark and is meant to break us down by revealing the reality of the world. However, every episode afterwards brings us closer and closer to salvation.

So, all those people who dropped the series after the first episode really missed out on what the story was all about. It’s not about using violence for shock value, it’s a story about how to overcome said violence and find your way back to normalcy by building a support group around yourself.

Expectations vs. Reality

As I mentioned, Goblin Slayer was good, but it wasn’t as good as I had anticipated. The first issue I have specifically has to do with the anime adaptation, and this is the use of CG animation. There are very few anime that can pull off the use of CG animation, and Goblin Slayer wasn’t one of them.

If you’ve watched Overlord, then you should be familiar with the kind of CG animation use I’m talking about. The entire series isn’t made using CG animation, just certain parts. And, while you may think that limiting the use of CG animation would be good because it means less bad CG animation, it’s actually not because we’re left with an ungodly mix of 2D and 3D animation.

For the Goblin Slayer anime specifically, the only time CG animation was used that I can remember was for the character of Goblin Slayer. For some unknown reason, White Fox Studio thought it would be a good idea to use CG animation to animate Goblin Slayer, and only Goblin Slayer. And, they didn’t even do it all the time.

In one scene we might get a nice 2D animated Goblin Slayer, and in the next he’ll be the only 3D object in an otherwise 2D scene for no apparent reason.

But, the use of CG animation isn’t my only issue with the series, it also just wasn’t what I expected overall. I suppose this isn’t technically an “issue,” but I was hoping for a bit more adventure in my anime about adventurers.

Sure, they travel to one other town for a couple of episodes, but as a whole the series is centered around a single location. All I’m saying is that it would have been nice to see our main party going on some longer quests to unknown regions.

Goblin Slayer’s Party

  • Goblin Slayer
  • Priestess
  • High Elf Archer
  • Dwarf Shaman
  • Lizardman Priest

Goblin Slayer is a simple man; he sees Goblins, he slays Goblins. Although he’s a Silver ranked adventurer, all Goblin Slayer cares about is slaying Goblins. And, despite saving countless lives by doing so, he doesn’t see himself as a hero, just someone doing his job.

Originally a Porcelain ranked adventurer, Priestess is the weakest of the five party members. She joined up with Goblin Slayer after he saved her (and her party to some extent) from a Goblin attack. Her specialty is in protective spells, which Goblin Slayer makes use of in unorthodox ways.

High Elf Archer is the first of a group of three adventurers who joined Goblin Slayer’s party after Priestess. Although she’s new to adventuring, she’s already a Silver ranked adventurer like her companions other than Priestess. She’s a tsundere who likes to brag about her skills, but at least she can back them up as far as archery is concerned.

High Elf Archer from the anime series Goblin Slayer
High Elf Archer

Dwarf Shaman is essentially the foil character to High Elf Archer, much like Legolas and Gimli from The Lord of the Rings. However, instead of using a more stereotypical Dwarf weapon like an ax or war hammer, Dwarf Shaman is a magic caster who specializes in Earth and Sleeping spells.

The final member of Goblin Slayer’s party, Lizardman Priest, is also the third magic user. If Priestess is the defensive magic caster, and Dwarf Shaman is the all-around magic caster, then Lizardman Priest is the offensive magic caster. He can summon dragontooth warriors and isn’t afraid to get up close and personal with his enemies.

Side Characters

While there are certainly more side characters than these, I’ve picked out the five most important:

  • Cow Girl
  • Guild Girl
  • Witch
  • Spearman
  • Sword Maiden

Cow Girl is Goblin Slayer’s childhood friend who lives with her uncle on their farm. Although Goblin Slayer now has other friends he can rely on, Cow Girl is the one he knows he can always go back to. She’s also in love with Goblin Slayer (as are many of the women in his life), but he doesn’t even realize it.

Guild Girl is another one of the women who’s in love with Goblin Slayer, but for a different reason. She works at the front desk of the Adventurers Guild and sees that Goblin Slayer is the only qualified adventurer who’s willing to take Goblin requests. As far as she’s concerned, he’s a hero because the quests he takes save countless lives.

Witch is another Silver ranked adventurer at the guild and has worked briefly with Goblin Slayer in the past. Although she thinks Goblin Slayer is strange, she respects his skill and isn’t against helping him when the need arises. However, instead of being in love with Goblin Slayer, she seems to like Spearman.

Witch from the anime series Goblin Slayer
Witch

Spearman is yet another Silver ranked adventurer and is in a party with Witch. Their party doesn’t appear to include any other permanent members, and yet the two of them are able to complete seemingly high-level requests. He has a crush on Guild Girl and so sees Goblin Slayer as his romantic rival.

The final side character I want to mention is Sword Maiden. Originally a Gold ranked adventurer who fought against the Demon Lord’s army, Sword Maiden is now the leader of the church Priestess belongs to. As a survivor of a Goblin attack, she naturally sees Goblin Slayer as her savior.

Conclusion

Overall I’d give Goblin Slayer a 7/10. As I said at the start, although it didn’t live up to my expectations, it’s still a good anime. A second season was also confirmed at the end of the final episode, so you can be sure I’ll have more Goblin Slayer content in the future.

But, if you’re itching for more Goblin Slayer right now, then perhaps you’ll be interested in these reviews of each individual episode of the anime series. I go into a lot more detail in these than I can in this review of the series as a whole.

Episode 1 Episode 5 Episode 9
Episode 2 Episode 6 Episode 10
Episode 3 Episode 7 Episode 11
Episode 4 Episode 8 Episode 12

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Finally, today I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier, as well as Rob Wright and Keyboard Kadabra for their support at the Kouhai tier this month. For more information about becoming a supporter of this site, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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