Goblin Slayer Ep. 1: Give me my light-hearted fantasy RPGs back

Imagine playing some RPG for the first time, not knowing anything about how the genre works, and plunging yourself deep into the first dungeon. Oh no, the goblins are overpowering us! Oh no, we died! Time to reload our save file and try again! We just gotta rest up at the inn and our HP/MP will be maxed out! No big deal! We got this! Yeaaaaaah, that shit doesn’t happen here. If you go into a goblin’s den inexperienced and unprepared, you’re going to die… assuming that you’re a dude. You ain’t reloading. You ain’t gluing that arm back either. Hell, if you’ve been poisoned and you don’t get the antidote anytime soon, your allies may as well put you out of your misery. There’s no coming back from that. Worst of all, if you’re a woman, you’ll be captured and raped endlessly. Hoo boy, that is not fun to watch. Look, I know terrible things happen in the real world. That doesn’t mean I like seeing them happen in front of me. So I dunno, I don’t necessarily mind Goblin Slayer‘s pragmatic approach to adventuring, but it’s a tough swallow. Furthermore, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that these adventurers can be so blase. You’d think they would know better.

Why do foolhardy rookie adventurers keep putting themselves in these unwinnable situations? Okay, the first time it happens, you’re shocked, you say your prayers to whatever gods you believe in, then you tell yourself, “Hey, let’s not do that dumb thing. If I’m gonna be adventurer, I’m not gonna do that.” Right? I mean, that makes sense to me! Terrible things happen all the time, but I gotta know my limits. But at the end of the episode, our heroine — we just know her as Priestess — makes it sound as if this is a regular occurrence: “A party of rookie adventurers going out to slay some goblins only to end up slaughtered…” We then see three happy-go-lucky adventurers walking in the opposite direction of a cart full of traumatized rape victims. I mean, the story doesn’t spell it out to us, but it’s obvious that those three are on some sort of maiden quest. Are they just dumb or what? If you can’t fight, then maybe you should raise money to hire people who can. There’s more than one way to skin a cat. Heroes don’t necessarily have to be warriors.

Even the lady at the guild obviously thinks that it’s a bad idea for a bunch of Porcelain-ranked adventurers to tackle a quest involving goblins. Unfortunately, she only puts in a minimal effort in stopping Priestess’s new friends from throwing their lives away. Don’t you think she would have a moral obligation to try a little harder? Well, maybe if these fools won’t try, nobody else will. I get the sense that other adventurers don’t want to deal with these quests because they’re not worth the effort. Goblins attacked a village, huh? Well, is the reward even that great? How much can a village honestly pay out? The hopeful, rookie adventurers — like the ones that we see die — are young and idealistic, but the experienced veterans are probably jaded. Even when Goblin Slayer successfully takes down a few goblins with gasoline, he notes that the cost was too high for the meager results. Luckily (or maybe not so luckily), he’s motivated by hate so he does the job anyway. He takes on these quests because he downright abhors goblins. I guess we can’t exactly say the same about the rest of his kind.

Stray observations:

— You’re considered an adult at the age of fifteen, huh? Hmm…

— The story opens with our heroine visiting a guild. You get an ID tag, you pick up quests from a bulletin board, then you find other adventurers to join. Feels like a modern RPG. Y’know, just because this is how it’s done in video games doesn’t mean that our stories have to be the exact same way. I’m just dismayed by the lack of creativity, I suppose. A video game’s primary concern isn’t storytelling. It’s to be fun. This sort of thing doesn’t necessarily translate well to other storytelling media, and it’s just silly to see the same damn setup over and over.

— I still don’t know our heroine’s name. All I know is that she’s a priestess. I guess that’s what I’m gonna call her for now.

Jesus Christ, could you guys wave your death flags any harder?

— As expected, Priestess’s party gets overpowered. First, the mage goes down. Then the warrior loses his weapon and gets swarmed. Last but not least, the remaining girl (probably a monk class) is brutally raped. I dunno, I have to rethink whether or not I wanna keep blogging this. If the story keeps up this level of wanton brutality, then it’s just not fun to watch. I’m not saying that the show is bad… yet. Whether or not something is fun to watch, however, is irrelevant to its badness. A bad show can still be fun to watch, and likewise, a good show can be no fun to watch (show me who has a rocking good time watching Grave of the Fireflies). Point is, if every episode leaves me feeling miserable, then it’s not worth the effort. Like most, I don’t like seeing people suffer, real or not. Like most, I don’t enjoy watching innocent people being killed or raped.

— Great, now our heroine has to go and piss herself out of fear. I’m glad we got a close-up.

— Finally, Goblin Slayer shows up and starts murdering everything left and right. He even has to put the mage out of her misery.

— Nobody has actual names in this story, apparently. So far, it’s just Priestess and Goblin Slayer. Hell, we don’t even know what Goblin Slayer looks like.

— With the help of Priestess’s Holy Light, Goblin Slayer manages to wipe out the entire dank cavern full of goblins. He then to proceeds to kill the little ones as well. Yep, he kills them all. In response to Priestess’s inquiry, sure, he can imagine there being a good goblin somewhere in this horrible world, but he’s not going to waste his time looking for one. Shrug, what can I say? It’s fantasy. Maybe it’s very much the case that goblins are genetically programmed to be evil or whatever.

— I do like the shot of Goblin Slayer dragging his club across the room and thus tainting Priestess’s staff with blood.

— All the girl can do is cry, because she’s obviously in way over her head. She couldn’t save her party, she had to witness death and rape, and even children had to die in front of her. Even though they’ve managed to save the kidnapped girls, it’s not like she can really do anything to heal their souls.

— And yet, we immediately see Priestess in good spirits the following day. The girl walks right into the guild, greets Goblin Slayer, and even proudly shows him how she’s bought herself some chainmail. This girl’s going to keep on adventuring. I guess her spirit is just that resilient.

17 thoughts on “Goblin Slayer Ep. 1: Give me my light-hearted fantasy RPGs back

  1. Falcon | GeekAstronaut

    Didn’t watch the episode yet, but yeah, I agree with your points. By what you said, the character’s decisions and reactions are not very realistic at all, at least at some points.
    Can’t imagine a 15 year old deciding to still adventure the next day after this shitstorm.
    But I’m going to watch anyway, I guess. Too long curious about the LN and the anime, so I have to watch at least a couple episodes

    1. Falcon | GeekAstronaut

      Ok… watched the first half, and it was just too bad. The rape scene per see is not the problem, but the problem is that it was TOO gratuitous. And it REALLY bothered me is how 15-year-olds are even allowed to go goblin hunting. And on top of THAT, after seeing that shitstorm, she still wants to do that??? THE F***?
      Yeah, it’s just too dumb for me.

      1. Sean Post author

        And it REALLY bothered me is how 15-year-olds are even allowed to go goblin hunting.

        According to the anime, they’re adults at that age.

      2. highfirex

        I’m going to agree. The depiction of rape could have been more discreet and nothing of value would have been lost. It’s simply a culture in some Japanese anime enthusiasts that this type of scene would play out like that.

  2. Mort Baldomero

    The people of this world are really stupid, the goblins are not real threats but they are very underestimated that “they are the weakest monsters of the RPG” so few hunt them and they go on to become a plague, even the rats can be dangerous when they are numerous or worse because they spread diseases that you can not annihilate simply with a sword, I read the source material MEH becomes tedious to see the same creature hunted all the time, it is only exciting when they win some power-up or use other monsters, but that’s all there, no story or a secondary plot.

    1. Sean Post author

      but that’s all there, no story or a secondary plot.

      I expect nothing and I’m still disappointed.

  3. Adrian Saputra

    If you think this episode is problematic, it’s going to get worse later. This crap is like what will happen if a 15-year old chuuni boy write his own version of Berserk. It’s actually saying something that I think this story has a shitload more gratuitous rape than Berserk.

    Not to mention that the author clearly base the Goblin Slayer on Guts with his loner persona and the “So, he did all this (i.e. slaying goblins and suffering) alone all this time?” spiel that other characters do to him. It’s just that the reason behind all that is much dumber here.

    I mean, seriously, there is something hilarious with all the author’s effort to make goblins dangerous so the Goblin Slayer becomes more awesome for doing his job while others fail and at the same time also make the goblins underestimated or not taken seriously so the Goblin Slayer can always be this misunderstood and underestimated loner, and I guess to make sure no other adventurers do his job. There can only be one Goblin Slayer, after all.

    Of course, for all the attempt to ape Berserk here, It also still somehow include a bunch of generic anime waifu. Ugh…

  4. Cozy Rogers

    I wish the guild receptionist would have faced some kind of consequences for her actions here. If she’d spent 10 seconds to tell the idiot newbies that the goblins used poison, or that their caves were often traps, or that they lived with hobgoblins and shamans, then she could have easily saved lives. Would be fine if the show made it clear that she was jaded or something, but it seems to be trying to play her as sympathetic all the way up to the end.

    The next day, priestess meets her again and apparently all that ‘you just sent me and three other child-adults to die’ thing is just water under the bridge. At least she (presumably) sent Goblin Slayer after them ASAP, so I guess there’s that.

    What are the chances that Monk Girl is never heard from again, and that her assault was just a tool to be used in this one instance for shock value? I give it 70/30 odds. Would be nice to be proven wrong and see her recover to become GSlayer 2.0… or even just helping other survivors from the sidelines… anything, really.

  5. Leivinia Birdway

    This manga is only a activity unitaleral, without plot or development whose protagonist is good only because he dedicated his entire life to training and thinking how to kill goblins because of trauma, but the truth is that it is just an ordinary human that anyone can beat it in fact an ogre almost kills him because he does not know how to fight with anything else literally he was paralyzed in front of that monster.

  6. Sean Post author

    I know this anime will probably suck, but chill on the spoilers. I’d like to see how it develops on my own.

  7. Julius Hall (@jcOchco)

    Do you watch anime? It’s common for stories to have protagonists that a common high school age. Hell less than 100 years ago you were given adult responsibility at 15 hell had families. Girls were married as soon as they were physically able to bear children, and here we are. Hell my son rides the train to school in Chicago and he’s 15. Oh and one more thing IT’S ANIME calm down.

  8. BAR-1 Studios

    A) A Bar Mitzvah happens when a Hebrew boy is 13. They aren’t the only people to have such rituals.
    B) It’s astounding that people can’t imagine this. I’mafraid these illiterates must read nothing but mango funny books, because they’d never even cracked their history books to learn about pre-industrial societies.
    C) what can I say about Goblin Slayer’s depth of story? Combining a reconstruction of gebre with commentary on the meta-narrative s of most RPGs tied into a redemption arc for an anti-hero paired with an idealistic young Priestess out to save his soul? Note the little things, even humorous- a 15 year old girl telling a twentysomething veteran about the basics of social interaction.


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