Okay, I see why this premiere made such a stink with viewers…
Let’s just get this out of the way: I didn’t really like the first half of this episode. I mean, I suppose it succeeds in serving its purpose. Those goblins are very repulsive indeed and you will feel compelled to root for Goblin Slayer in killing them. That said, there’s just something about this part that feels so gratuitous. Maybe it’s the fact that the story jumped to something as extreme as rape to show how dark it is. Maybe it’s the fact that we barely got to know any of these characters so subjecting them to such cruel fates in the span of minutes is a cheap way to elicit sympathy. Either way, it all just feels juvenile and not genuinely dark as I imagine the creator of this story intended.
Things do pick up once the the Goblin Slayer (Yuuichirou Umehara) shows up. I mean, episode is still over the top with how edgy it’s trying to be. I laughed so hard once an electric guitar started playing during his entrance and geez, this man is giving Anakin Skywalker a run for his money for how many children a character has killed. But I don’t know, his obsession to kill all the goblins and the strategies and techniques he’s developed against them are interesting. I also thought his presence helped make Priestess (Yui Ogura) seem more like a character. I liked her well enough to begin with but with Goblin Slayer, she helps offer a more human point of view on the story and the resolve she musters after such a disastrous adventure is pretty interesting.
I’ll also say this: Goblin Slayer is shaping up to be a pretty distinct light novel-based anime. It’s not marketed as a harem and the roster seems to be a legit RPG-inspired party which is refreshing. Even better is that there is no high school boy who died and got transported in a fantasy world. For once, a recent fantasy anime that isn’t a stinking isekai! It’s just a slight shame that the writing is still the kind you see in these kind of shows — crass in some way and altogether not as smart as it thinks it is.
I imagine Goblin Slayer will be one of the more divisive anime of the season. Already, the discourse surrounding it seems to have on gotten pretty heated. Personally, I’m falling somewhere around the middle. Again, it does pick up halfway through but what leads into it is incredibly rough to watch. I can see someone really getting into this but I also understand someone not liking it all, especially with how it uses such sensitive content. As for me…I don’t know, give me another episode or two before I make a final decision.
Thanks for reading!
For all of my Goblin Slayer Episode Reviews, check out the show’s archive page!
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