‘Goblin Slayer‘ is a 2018 dark fantasy anime that is based on a manga written by Kumo Kagyu and illustrated by Noboru Kannatsuki. The show is produced by the Japanese animation studio White Fox and directed by Takaharu Ozaki for a first season of twelve episodes. Funimation handled the English voice acting.
A young Priestess (Hayden Daviau) leaves her sheltered life in the temple to become an adventure in a world of magic. Her first adventure goes horribly wrong when her entire party is massacred by goblins. She herself is about to be turned into a plaything for them when Goblin Slayer (Brad Hawkins) arrives. He brutally wipes out all of the goblins. He tells her that goblins are inherently evil and they should be wiped out. At first, she is put off by his obsession but eventually tags along. Later, a Lizard Warrior (Josh Bangle), Dwarf Shaman (Barry Yandell), and a High Elf Archer (Mallorie Rodak) join his quest. While the guild administrator (Sara Ragsdale) overhears strange talk about Goblin Slayer, she knows the truth. He is a simple man who saw his family killed by goblins when he was a boy. Now, he lives on a farm with his childhood friend (Brittany Lauda) with her always wondering if he will come home from his quests to kill the goblins.
One thing to note before I continue my review. This show is for mature audiences. Even for an animated series, the violence is incredibly realistic, gory, brutal, and often disturbing. The pilot is particularly terrifying with its opening act, showing just how evil the goblins are, even using women for playthings. Its content is definitely rated ‘R’ and be mindful of this.
As for the story, it is actually quite enthralling. Goblin Slayer grows from being a loner in the adventurers guild to someone with a friend and from there a whole party. He is a strong silent type and at first, his companions are frustrated with his demeanor, but he himself grows as he learns what it means to have friends.
The animation is very brilliant. I love all of the character designs, especially with Goblin Slayer. Despite rarely removing his helmet, the animators do a good job of making his body language reveal his emotions. There were moments when they would be battling large amounts of goblins where they would turn to a weird CGI-hybrid style that sort of stood out, but other than that, I liked it.
While following along with the Priestess, we learn how tragedy shapes a person. At the start of the series, she is frightened by her traumatic first encounters with the goblins. Yet, traveling with Goblin Slayer, she becomes a fighter in her own right and helps him rediscover his humanity.
I found these complementary roles between the antagonists an interesting theme. We have Goblin Slayer as a warrior representing a masculine character. He is tall, mysterious, a master at his skills, and lives on a desire to keep the world safe from goblins. The Priestess is a young woman who goes through serious trauma, but in her travels maintains her hope in humanity as a feminine character. One is tall and muscular, the other short and petite. He helps her by teaching her how to survive and she helps him by nurturing his moral compass. The two help one another through their past horrors and it flows well within the story. It was good watching a show display these themes instead of the weirdo woke crap that has infected most Western content.
Check out the trailer below:
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Graphic violence (including sexual), Some foul language, Disturbing images, Some nudity
This review is based on the dub. Yes, I know I am late to the game.
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