Goblin Slayer – 01 (First Impressions) – Shoulda Leveled Up More…

A young priestess and healer is eager to start adventuring, and registers with the guild. She’s quickly recruited by a party of three: a swordsman, a hand-to-hand warrior, and a wizard of the mage’s college. All are Porcelain-ranked, the lowest.

They’re all very gung-ho about going into a cave and hunting some goblins who recently raided a village, but they don’t have any plan, and it’s clear from the worried look of the guild registrar that they’re in over their heads with such a mission.

At no point do the members of the party take the threat of the goblins seriously, or not overestimate their skills. The swordsman even boasts he could slay a dragon if he wanted, even as his long sword hits the roof of the cave, showing just how out of his element he is.

Predictably, the low-level rookies get their asses handed to them, and it’s not pretty. This show promptly shows the folly of underestimating goblins, who are all too willing to exploit the many weaknesses of their human opponents.

The party manages to kill a couple of goblins, but the wizard is stabbed with a poison blade and the priestess’ healing spell is useless. The swordsman nicks the cave roof at the wrong time and gets overrun and gutted; and the hand-to-hand specialist is over-matched by a larger hobgoblin, who tosses her to the other goblins.

That’s when we learn one more little detail that takes the threat of the goblins to a new and darker depths: they’re quite fond of raping the women they manage to overpower.

They don’t even have a problem about raping the half-dead wizard. The depiction of bestial rape was apparently (and understandably) controversial in both the LN and this adaptation. The helpless, fear-petrified Priestess is shot in the shoulder with an arrow and looks to be their next victim…until the titular Goblin Slayer shows up.

The Slayer is as effective, ruthless, and cunning as the noobie party was ineffective, overconfident, and foolish. He keeps a running tally of his goblin kills (like Gimli and his orc-count), puts the wizard out of her misery, and with the Priestess’ Holy Light assists, takes out the two biggest threats: the goblin shaman and the hulking hobgoblin.

He also finds the goblin children and slaughters them, saying they’ll learn from their elders’ mistakes and hold grudges for life. The Goblin Slayer may be more the manifestation of an concept (namely, goblin slaying) than he is an actual character, there’s no disputing his skills…nor his respect for his enemy, something that doomed the rookies.

The hand-to-hand warrior’s adventuring days are likely over, at least for the time being, as she’s carted off to recover from the trauma she endured. The swordsman and wizard both died in the cave.

That leaves the Priestess the sole survivor of her first ill-fated party, but to her credit she’s not discouraged from continuing her life as an adventure; it’s just who she is. Indeed, she takes her first fiasco of a quest as a valuable lesson: don’t go in to any quest half-cocked. As soon as she returns to town she procures some chain mail.

The hand-to-hand warrior’s adventuring days are likely over, at least for the time being, as she’s carted off to recover from the trauma she endured. The swordsman and wizard both died in the cave.

To survive the next quest, she must also gain strong allies—allies like Goblin Slayer. She may only be able to heal or cast holy light three times, but those three times will make his job of slaying goblins that much easier, so he’s happy to have her by his side for his next session. And so, a new party of two is born.

Like other White Fox works like Akame ga Kill!, Re:Zero and Steins;Gate, Goblin Slayer knows how to pile on the suspense and dread and doesn’t hold back when it comes to torturing its characters. It also features some pretty solid soundtrack, including a thoroughly badass battle theme during the end crawl.

It’s a desperately simple show—something I believe works in its favor—and while its protagonist is pretty much an Index clone looks a lot like Index, at least the episode ends with her in a good position to succeed…though she’ll have to get stronger for the day or moment when the Slayer won’t be there to bail her out.

Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

5 thoughts on “Goblin Slayer – 01 (First Impressions) – Shoulda Leveled Up More…”

  1. I wouldn’t call Priestess an Index clone. For starter, she’s more than willing to learn from her mistake. She only have a couple of miracles at her disposal. She’s also far from useless.

  2. Insightful interview with Goblin Slayer’s author, Kagyu Kumo, courtesy of Youtuber The Anime Man. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sN0p3xsork

    Some interesting bits:

    – Kagyu’s writing style is influenced by older dark/classic fantasy novels based on tabletop RPGs, like Lodoss Senki and Orphen. He hopes he can spark a revival of the classic genre he grew up with, against the current trend of lighthearted reincarnation/video game type fantasy novels.

    – Kagyu firmly states although the Slayer’s the main character, he’s to be considered as one of many individual adventurers in the wider world, each with their own thoughts and stories. Hence his usage of a 3rd person perspective in the books to show a more world-centric view.

    – The Slayer was modeled on gritty US superheroes like Batman, Punisher and Kick-Ass. Kagyu likens him to a small-time hero operating in his local area.

    – He tried coming up with actual names for the Slayer, but didn’t like any of them. So he just named him, and all other characters by job title.

  3. My sincerest advice, please do not watch anymore of this trash. I read its LN, read manga, and this first episode. And believe me, it sucks, the worst kind of trash in fact. All the rape, violence and such at the beginning is just cheap shock element, nothing more. For example, the trauma that monk girl and other went through is almost never address after that, if other help them recover, the lasting effect, etc. All those are never mentioned. And the one girl they seem to explore this is played only for cheap fan service. Also, after these scene on the beginning, they occur very rarely after that or not at all. Most time they are short scenes for shock element again, and again, the cool, dark, mysterious and silent slayer wipe them all out with no effort. That goblin slayer is such a emotionless robot that it is a wonder that author even tried (futilely) to explain his past. So please, do Not watch it, it is nothing more than a cheap copy of Berserk. If you want plot, try reading Overlord, its novel explain All plot holes very well, and it also explore the problem with Tuare much better.

Comments are closed.