|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Goblin Slayer focuses on the titular hero taking on jobs as an adventurer slaying goblin tribes that cause different villages to suffer, while gaining new companions during his quest to rid the land of goblins. Essentially, Goblin Slayer plays out like a gritty fantasy action-adventure series a la anime like Berserk that is focused on Goblin Slayer's single-minded quest to slay goblins and the anime does offer a good amount of exploration on the habits, actions, and types of goblins. The series does offer up a solid amount of development on Goblin Slayer's character as while he's not impressive in appearance as an adventurer, he has practical reasons for utilizing his equipment and does undergo some gradual development as he learns to bond with and open up to his companions. Beyond this, many characters are pretty two-dimensional as far as depth goes as each have their archetypes that they stick with largely throughout the span of this anime's run and while the plot is implied to have a larger scope of extraordinary enemies to be overcome, the series is largely focused on the goblin-slaying missions of Goblin Slayer and his growing party. Not to mention like many titles based on an ongoing light novel or manga source material, Goblin Slayer ends inconclusively. Overall, the series is an entertaining fantasy action-adventure series that offers some solid development on its titular character and his goblin-slaying quest, though is otherwise mostly ho-hum in other elements of its story and characters. It's at least worth a watch if titles like Berserk catch your interest.
Last updated Saturday, December 29 2018. Created Saturday, December 29 2018.
(Rent+ or Buy)|
(All episodes watched--twice):
Here we have another tale set in a fantasy world which just happens to function much like a sword & sorcery video game. Episode one was possibly the most grim and brutal tale of S&S adventuring that I have yet seen. Captives are raped, people die agonizing deaths, and in general there is little heroism to be seen, just hatred and vengeance. In some ways it reminded me of Grimgar. But I was left intrigued, and wanted to see where this story would go from here. The priestess (I don't think we ever learn her—or anybody else's--name) narrowly survives her first quest and is taken on as a sort of assistant by Goblin Slayer, a mysterious high-level fighter who always wears an enclosing helmet and whose face we do not get to see. We get to know both of these characters fairly well through what they do in a situation which is desperate for her but seems pretty routine for him. After episode one I felt that I had gotten to know Priestess well enough to care what would become of her, and hope that she would be able to make herself useful while adventuring with this pro, but not become brutalized and emotionless. And I couldn't help but be curious about GS himself.
I was a bit surprised to learn that for all his skill, valuable equipment and fearsome appearance, Goblin Slayer is a pretty modest guy. He lives on a small farm, presumably because killing Goblins isn't all that profitable a pursuit. Nobody wants to pick a fight with him, but the general opinion is that he is a fool who is wasting his talent on a minor endeavor. He has a Captain Ahab-like obsession with killing goblins (which he normally does alone), because of what they once did to his sister. This surprise was kind of neat; it suggested that some serious thought had been given to his character, and he wouldn't just be another superhero cast in pretty much the same mold as the average one. It becomes obvious that GS is a pretty unemotional guy, who seldom displays either joy or unhappiness--he doesn't even seem to hate them all that much. He just he just mercilessly and remorselessly kills goblins, in the most efficient manner possible. That's who he is.
In episode three the rest of the team illustrated above appears, as they recruit GS for a major task and, once they tell him that killing goblins will be involved, he gladly agrees. Early on, I had wished that no additional characters be added for fear that they be weak ones who would consume too much time that might otherwise have been concentrated on exploring the personality of GS. But with the benefit of aftersight, I'm now glad this team was assembled, because they are all fun and colorful characters who work well together. Rather than diverting us from the main story, they become part of it and improve it. Episode four was fun, as the team ventures into a seemingly deserted fortress or temple that is now a goblin hideout. I wish the trick that GS used at the climax had been explained a little better, but otherwise it was an entertaining story which included an exciting battle. I like the fact that goblins aren't easy to kill; the writer might have just made GS such an awesome warrior that he can take them down with one swing of his sword (and expected us to be thrilled by that), but instead he uses all sorts of tricks and clever tactics that he has learned over the years to deal with them. This show quickly became the first one I watched each week, which tells you something about how much I liked it.
Indeed, this is a cool show! That thought occurred to me after watching episode five, which was largely about what goes on between quests. It fleshed a number of characters out, and they all seem like interesting ones that I would like to learn more about rather than two-dimensional cardboard ones. Who would have thought that one of the female characters thinks GS is hot? There was also a touch of quality humor. Episode six, on the other hand, seemed kind of disappointing to me. It was rather outlandish--Goblins riding large boats through the sewers beneath a city? A giant alligator--that can barely fit through the tunnels--down there as well? It didn't make a whole lot of sense and made me worry that the show as a whole might be veering off the excellent track that it has followed up until this point.
In episode seven something happens which shouldn't--not if this show is indeed about this Goblin Slayer person (he seems to get killed). What seems to have happened can't be right, so we wonder what explanation there will be to undo this event. Otherwise, it was a good deal more serious and enjoyable than the absurd fight with the giant alligator in the last episode, which was a relief. In episode eight we get an explanation—remember, this world functions very much like a video game. It could also be argued that Goblin Slayer and the priestess girl should get married now (which would actually be kind of neat and unusual). Even though the team has yet to set out on another adventure, this episode seemed to race by and ended when I was sure that it had at least one more scene to go. I didn't quite 'get' the lie that had been told to Goblin Slayer and his companions by the blindfolded woman in episode nine; something about she lured them into a much more dangerous quest than they had been expecting with a promise that they'd only have Goblins to deal with. I guess I never completely understood how that magical mirror worked and why it was a problem. On the one hand, a guy who has an almost fanatical hatred of low level monsters--Goblins--because of a traumatic event he once experienced is intriguing and unusual; but it's also sort of a handicap since Goblins are, again, modest opponents. I wondered if GS might eventually decide to hunt larger game.
Episode ten is another 'between the quests' episode, but that doesn't mean it wasn't entertaining. There's at least three girls who wouldn't mind having GS as their boyfriend, and the tension is building. I was sure that the climax of the series would have something to do with this 'Demon Lord' character that is often discussed. Word is that a female 'hero' has taken him out, but why would the writer take the trouble to include numerous mentions of this person if he won't become involved with GS and his companions? In another way. It was not all that difficult to guess how the climax would occur. I couldn't help thinking that the red-haired girl who lives on the farm with GS (a childhood friend of his), would find herself in danger from Goblins at some point. Sure enough, the routine checks that GS has been performing for signs of Goblins at the farm since episode two finally reveal evidence that they are coming. Many shows wouldn't have bothered to foreshadow this turn of events, which, on second thought, was surely inevitable. They would have just declared 'here come the Goblins!' when it came time for a climax and been content with that. The scenario doesn't make complete sense--why did GS want to fight a one man Alamo style battle against hopeless odds, until the red-haired girl refused to flee? I couldn't help laughing during the early stages of the fight, which was very one-sided. Still, it was exciting and enjoyable. And the way GS is obliged to ask for help from the adventurers who normally scoff at him was intriguing. Most shows wouldn't bother to include a twist like that. Better yet was when it becomes clear that this won't be a walk-over after all, because the Goblins are stronger than had been expected.
Goblin Slayer was my favorite anime of the season, and I was reluctant to watch the final episode because I didn't want it to ever end. The finale didn't disappoint me, indeed it was rather clever, including a scene where we (sort of) finally get a look at GS' face. Best of all was the implication that a second season will be forthcoming. This anime as a whole was not perfect but it knew how to tell an engaging, well packaged story with colorful, likeable characters and an unusual twist. By the time I finally watched the final episode, I had watched all previous ones twice.
Last updated Thursday, January 10 2019. Created Sunday, October 07 2018.
|Official Japanese Series Web Site||http://www.goblinslayer.jp/|