Goblin Slayer Review, Is It Worth Watching?

Published in News on 01-08-2020

Goblin Slayer is a very.. controversial series. It goes without saying that violence and gore aren’t what made this series so controversial rather it ’s the sexual content and themes of rape. Within the very first episode, we are shown the violence and brutality, depicting the gang-raping of a female adventurer and the molestation of another one. Which is controversial in any form of media, not just anime. However, in future episodes rape and torture is continued to be implied. While the series could have minimized these elements, making it less controversial, I believe it adds to the show, allowing us to feel as Goblin Slayer feels, which is an unending hatred for goblins. The world of Goblin Slayer is dark and brutal, a world where goblins do terrible things to humans, especially women.

However, if you can stomach it and are fine with darker elements within an anime and want to see Goblin Slayer slaughter some disgusting goblins, then you’re not going to be disappointed. In fact, I would argue that watching Goblin Slayer mercilessly massacre scores of goblins is what makes this series really entertaining and worth watching.

Either way, let’s move on-

Goblin Slayer is a dark fantasy based on the light novel and manga of the same name. The series fortunately follows the source material quite closely. Which is good as it doesn’t remove any of its characteristic violence or sexual content. Something to point out is that this anime is not a isekai. The main character was not transported to this dark and cruel world by any means other than simply being born into it. Another thing to point out is that there are no comical adventures in this series, whilst there’s moments of lightheartedness it’s generally consumed with death and loss. But being honest, mainly death. The Death of many goblins sometimes other creatures, and the occasional adventurer. But, that’s just what happens in this dark, cruel and unforgiving world.

So, to simplify the story, it’s about Goblin Slayer’s and his many “adventures”. A story about a man who is strong enough to get the glamorous quests but chooses to continue to take the lowly quests of goblin hunting in order to satisfy his anger and thirst for revenge. So, in essence, this story is all about the murder of goblins in the most creative and brutal ways possible. In fact, Goblin Slayer has even killed goblin children scared for their life because to him.. “the only good goblins are the ones who never come out of their stinking holes”. A bleak outlook but very true if you’ve watched the show. It’s not often we see the main character stick to their ideology without question even when it means killing a young creatures.

Something important to mention is that there is ”slice of life” moments within Goblin Slayer, such as repairing his equipment, interacting with other adventurers, participating in the minor task, wandering around, etc. These moments whilst seemingly boring in comparison to the normal blood crazed rampages that typically go on, it’s there to provide some characterization for our main character and his companions. Furthermore, these episodes focus on different characters along with what they’re up to whether that be providing fanservice or some laughs to lighten the mood.

Our main character, Goblin Slayer is as his name implies. A man who slays copious amounts of goblins, and nothing else, just goblins. His reasons for killing goblins and only goblins originated from a tragic event that occurred in his childhood. Which was the death and gang-rape of his only family, his older sister. This along with the destruction of his home village changed him. From that day forth, he swore vengeance against every goblin in the world and It’s this vengeance that allows him to keep on living. Even in times and situations where he theoretically should have died. Goblin Slayer refuses to die till all goblins are eradicated, his rage and angry consumes him too much to die.

Now, because Goblin Slayer is our main character, he gets a lot of screen time and thus he gets the majority of the character development. This development changes him allowing him to gain friends with some of the other adventurers he works with instead of always going and working solo. The other main characters, Goblin Slayer’s companions (Being, a high elf archer, a priestess, a Dwarf Shaman, and lastly a Lizard Priest) don’t have much in terms of character progression and or background information. Their personalities are also somewhat the same and are all generally kind, caring, and concerned towards our main character, Goblin Slayer. Goblin Slayer is, however, a lot more stoic and serious than his companions.

Something interesting regarding Goblin Slayer is that he doesn’t speak a whole lot for the main character. Typically saying two or three words. Saying things like “I see”, “that’s right”, “yes, that’s right”, and is that right?”. Not only that, but he’s not swayed by the advances of a woman even if they’re completely naked. He is instead fixated with his lust for goblin death, even at times turning his eyes crimson red.

Goblin Slayer’s art and animations are whilst high quality, somewhat lacking at times. It features outstanding battle scenes with fasting-moving animations, such as fast sword-swings, immersive arrows flying through the air, people rolling and dodging attacks, and, of course, brutal executions. These scenes are set in dark, creepy and narrow caves that’s dimly-lit, thus creating an effective atmosphere and ambiance. However, there is an overuse of CGI, and as we’re all aware from Berserk’s remake.. no one likes THAT much CGI in an anime. This clashes with the cute anime animation of other characters, especially with regards to the female characters. It should be noted that this may have been a ploy to make Goblin Slayer (The main character) standout, but more importantly to make him appear like a badass goblin slayer. Which in all honesty worked. because every time he starts fighting and slaughtering, he does look rather astonishing.

The music design is also rather high-grade. The music does an excellent job of providing the watcher with the right mood for the right moments. Such as epicly timed music before and during slaughter sessions. 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”. Nor does he sound like a pre-pubescent teen.

Having read the Goblin Slayer manga, I already knew what I was getting into, in fact, I was looking forward to watching this series. And did it disappoint? No, it did not. Goblin Slayer managed to adhere to its source material, which is a difficult task. It doesn’t shy away from implying rape or torture which is necessary to further this story. I will admit the story and characters are somewhat simple and straightforward. However, its entertainment value lies within this simplicity.

I’d rate this series a 7/10. Whilst it is simple, it’s so satisfying to watch especially when the series does such a good job at making you hate the enemies. A.K.A the goblins.

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