Well, it’s here, my #1 most anticipated release of the entire year. More than My Hero Academia, Overlord, or anything else, Goblin Slayer has been higher on my must-watch list than almost anything else (Unless Rising of the Shield Hero releases this year. Then i’ll definitely be hyped.)
I have been following the Light Novel for several years now, and I absolutely love it. It takes a very dark and brutal outlook on Fantasy tropes, similar in nature to Grimgar’s dangerous and hellish world. Monsters pose a real threat, even the smallest and weakest of the bunch, Goblins.
Well… a lot of people were turned off by this first episode. It’s not for the faint-hearted, for sure. Bloody, brutal, and graphic, the first episode alone has killing, mutilation, rape, abuse, and more, all in spades. I can definitely understand why some people would be turned off by this, feeling a bit squeamish or even disgusted by the graphic nature of the content, even if there is some inherent censorship from the more graphic pieces. Even so, I don’t really get the backlash that the community has given so far; it seems a bit overwhelming. Dark Fantasy/Seinen has been a staple of Anime, Manga, and Light Novels for a long, long time, and Goblin Slayer is still drifting on the tamer side of things. Would people be as upset if this was Berserk? (I mean, if Berserk ever gets an Anime adaptation that looks even half this good, we’ll be in for a treat.) Or is the backlash just because it wasn’t really what they were expecting when they jumped into the episode?
I’ve seen a lot of criticism going around about how it’s all gore, no soul, no story, etc… but that’s really not true at all. Part of what makes me love the Goblin Slayer light novels so much is how much growth the main characters go through over the course of the series. As they gather together, building friendships and overcoming trials, they learn more about each other, and about themselves.
It’s not only a tale of growth, friendship, and discovery, but it also tells a story that I think a lot of people can relate to: doing a job that isn’t glamorous, that might be crappy, dirty, and make others look down on you for doing that job. But, in the end, if you weren’t out there doing that job, then many, many more people would be suffering.
Besides, the violence isn’t just there to be violent, and the other parts aren’t just there for… whatever people seem to think. It’s there to alter the perception of us, the viewers. We generally see Goblins as these weak, pathetic creatures, the lowest of the low. By witnessing the characters going through this, we, the viewers, start to feel fear and hatred towards the goblins. This was escalated by just how well the characters themselves displayed their own growing fear of the creatures, from laughing about their weakness previously, to sobbing and begging for mercy, or just running away. It’s really well-done, and I think it’s pretty praiseworthy.
Another complaint i’ve seen: Why do none of the characters have names? Well, that’s exactly why. Priestess is a young girl entering the workforce with very little experience in what it’s like to work for a living. She’s naive, and gets hurt when her first experience goes poorly. Goblin Slayer is the guy that kills Goblins. He does the dirty work. He’s the car mechanic, the burger flipper, the lawn mower, or the cashier at the grocery store. It’s a story of self-insert characters done correctly; they both fit the parts, and have tremendous character growth throughout the series, becoming characters that stand on their own.
My favorite part of the episode, however, has got to be just how dang good the show looks. Studio White Fox always does an amazing job with their production values (Steins;Gate, Jormungand, Re:Zero, etc…) The soundtrack is epic, the action sequences were as fantastic as they were brutal, and everything just had a very nice polish applied. I couldn’t have imagined a better visual adaptation of the characters.
All-in-all, I was very pleased with the first episode. It followed the contents of the Light Novels very well, with some real quality and effort put into making it look, sound, and feel really, really nice. Again, to those considering the show, there is definitely some adult content to be seen, and the more squeamish viewers may not enjoy it. But, if you do decide to give it a try, I hope you like it as much as I did!
Anyways, that’s it for my first impressions of Goblin Slayer. For those who have seen this first episode, what did you think? Did you enjoy it, or did you hate it, and why? Thanks everyone for reading, and i’ll catch you all in the next post!