I remember how long it took me to really dive into this series. Lately I’ve been on a spree with anime series that I had never gotten the chance to get around to. One of those just so happened to be Goblin Slayer. If you ask some people, it may be too brutal. If you ask others, they may be turned off by the things that make this dark. This one grabbed my attention because it fit into the category of fantasy, which tends to be the kind of anime series I enjoy more than most. Especially when you take that next step forward and make it a dark fantasy as well. So while I say this is one that has heart, it was also for the faint of heart as well.
What hooked me into this series was that it turned out to be unforgivably dark. Dark is dark, but sometimes you want to see creators who are able to go the mile. Now in the case of Goblin Slayer, that may have involved some scenes where you see the deviant nature of goblins. That may be something which triggers some, but we are using the setting of a fantasy world taking place during a time where the worst acts against another person can occur. Particularly when we are talking about the things that goblins and other creatures will do to humans in general. That’s not to say that this is all that the goblins do. You would think that these little monsters were nothing but the runt of the litter and this series would prove you wrong. Not when they can come at you with overwhelming numbers, the element of surprise, and with a surprising arsenal that would give the most arrogant warrior a run for their money. Everything about these goblins felt as genuine as something ripped right out of the pages of a monster manual for D&D.
One thing that separates Goblin Slayer from other anime series is the appeal of the cast. Not too often will you find yourself invested in a main character who neither has personality, or takes off his helmet. There was a couple of scenes where he does, but even then they tried their best to keep most how his features hidden. For the kind of story told, this worked. You have an adventurer who cares only for the goblin jobs, gives attitude because he’s the only one who truly cares about them, and suffers from a lack of trust because he knows what happens when you depend on the wrong people to save you. I personally thought it was a miracle to have a lead who rarely felt the need to raise their voice. Other characters stand out too. Starting with the Priestess, who impressed me for the way she didn’t fall into line as your average healer. I enjoyed the way her path changed when she first experienced the madness of goblins, and the perseverance of the goblin slayer. She was a young girl forced to grow up quickly in this world and understand the importance of making sure that what could have happened to her, happened to no one else. With that said, I only had one concern for her, and that was the idea that they may have been trying to stir some feelings for the goblin slayer. I appreciated how they managed to dodge this. Characters like Priestess can offer much more than romance.
Now the last thing you expected was also the D&D party style system that they managed to use as well. When you got into this series, it was easy to simply assume that aside from having the priestess by his side, this would be one of those majorly solo adventures. I was happy to see that the cast could expand beyond that and really dig into the excitement of fantasy. Having an elf around felt like a given, a dwarf as well. What was unexpected was also having a Lizard Priest tag along. Because of who the goblin slayer is, it was actually the way that they interacted with each other which entertained you more. Aside from that, the combination of their skills in combat added to the thrill of each action scene.
How other characters fit into this story also helped to create an engaging world. They all played a part that felt ripped out of a game, but still each stood out for the way that they influenced the way that this world turned.
Being a dark fantasy, the big thing of course is how this series fairs as one that you know is going to be heavy in action. I was satisfied all the way through. One of the big things that Goblin Slayer had going for it was excellent artwork and animation. You always know you’re in for something visually appealing when the style is more three-dimensional. It works for Goblin Slayer because the action jumps right at you. Not to mention they wasted no action scene where they could get away with throwing blood in your face or getting a little explosive. I think the beauty in much of the action was in just how creative the goblin slayer could get with his slaughtering. This could have been straightforward hacking and slashing, but they had fun with every unique method he could employ to get the job done. It helped that others could also lend some unique talents to aid him.
At the end of the day, if you want something that you can watch that throws the wonders of fantasy in your face? Goblin Slayer in the anime series for you. We all love a good story where the main character embraces the whimsical aspects of these worlds, but where’s the fun in that? We’ve seen more than our fair share of those series. Goblin Slayer aimed to shake things up and nailed it.