Even if I had drop Goblin Slayer at the first episode, I’d probably still keep an eye on it. I don’t know about mainstream success but this has undeniably left a mark in the anime fandom. By God, everyone and their mom and their grandma gave two cents about that premiere. Hell, I gave my two cents on that premiere. I’m part of the problem! However this anime fares, I think there’ll be more opinion pieces on it than the number of dead goblins left behind by its titular protagonist.
Anyway, I had time and I was apparently one of ten people who was in the middle about the premiere so I decided to continue watching. And truth be told, I do enjoy this episode more than the first. Do I still think this show is on the gratuitous side of the spectrum? Pretty much. I guess having the Goblin Slayer’s sister raped and killed by the goblins lends reason for the titular character’s vendetta but by God, you’re giving Eren Yeager a run for his money in terms of angst. I don’t know, it just feels like this show is trying too hard. Oddly enough though, this episode also proved to me that the gratuity can still extend to mere fanservice. Gee wilikers, there’s a lot of shots of Goblin Slayer’s childhood friend, Cow Girl (Yuka Iguchi) naked or wearing anything that exposes some cleavage.
That said, this episode was much easier to stomach through. The lack of excessive rape scenes obviously helps a ton but now that we’re actually getting to know the world, I do find it pretty compelling. To start off, it’s especially peculiar that goblins aren’t treated as high level threats. Seriously? How oblivious are these people? I guess a dragon is more dangerous, that’s like ignoring rats because you’re more concerned about a tiger attacking you. I’m kind of with Goblin Slayer in that regard which makes it a shame that he’s treated as an outcast by his peers. It seems that only Priestess and Guild Girl (Maaya Uchida) really give the man the respect he presumably deserves.
As time goes on, I am finding myself more intrigued with Goblin Slayer as a character. Mind you, this anime still tries to paint him as this edgy badass but give credit where it’s due. At least, it has Goblin Slayer acknowledge that what he does for a living is pretty heinous in of itself. He even goes as far as call himself a goblin to the goblins in terms of how relentless and cruel they all are. I’m sure the man thinks he is in the right but he does seem to view himself as a necessary evil. Someone who just has to get his hands dirty to stop goblins from ruining more human lives. He even seems aware that it sullies his reputation, acknowledging that his Silver rank (which, I checked, is considered high in this world) seems unfitting given his brutality.
Contrasting that, you do have a fair amount of characters who appeal to Goblin Slayer’s humanity. All of them are female which I find suspicious though I’d be shocked if a harem route is even on the horizon with where this story is going. I already mentioned that Guild Girl is one of the few people who acknowledge Goblin Slayer’s work but it’s worth bringing it up again. I find it a strong contrast that she thinks the man should be prouder of his service given how he himself personally views it. Once again, Priestess tries to act as a conscience for Goblin Slayer. A lot of her objections over his goblin killing ways falls on deaf ears since they’re too practical to abandon. Still, her presence is necessary and welcomed. This anime would be so much less engaging if all you watched was one man carrying out his vendetta.
The addition of Cow Girl I find pretty interesting. Yes, she is the fanservice character and with that in mind, I must wonder if her name has a double meaning. But for once, I think the childhood friend trope works to great effect. If you think about it, Cow Girl is pretty much Goblin Slayer’s sole remaining tether to his old life. I quite enjoyed the bit where he inspects Cow Girl’s land for goblin tracks as it shows that he does have something he cherishes and wants to protect. And despite objections from her uncle, it seems that Cow Girl insists on remaining by her friend’s side. Perhaps she’s the only one who understands what Goblin Slayer truly is underneath all that armor — a broken man carrying out a revenge he’ll never truly fulfill.
Goblin Slayer sure is proving to be a tricky beast to decipher. I still stand on principle that this show ought to really dial back on its extremities but at the end of the day, if I like parts of it, I like parts of it. For now, I can say that this episode convinced me that this story is capable of something smarter than it initially lets on so for that, I say this anime is currently safe on the watch list.
- Don’t really get the CG modeling for Goblin Slayer. Most of the time, he’s animated normally so I question the money or time this move is saving.
- A real testament to Goblin Slayer’s skills: he can drink soup with his helmet still on.
- I find it hilarious that Priestess has been bestowed by her deity, the Great Earth Mother, with a fancy barrier spell. Heh, even the divine is like “Here. Go kill those goblins”.
OP: “Mob mentality” by Mili
No matter the number you roll, kill the goblins.
But seriously, this OP is fantastic. Perhaps this show doesn’t deserve such an intense sequence but the directing and Mili’s vocals still deserve all the praise it gets.
The use of dice is really silly but I kind of get this OP is going for. It describes the plot as a game of chance for its characters.
ED: “Gin no Kisei” by Soraru
I’ll dramatically walk, then I’ll run! That’ll really show how edgy I am!
Thanks for reading!
Goblin Slayer is officially available on Crunchyroll.
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