Depending on who you ask, Goblin Slayer has been described as one of the worst anime in recent memory and as an epic monster-killing adventure that's almost like an anime version of the classic video game DOOM.
Originating as a series of dark fantasy light novels written by Kumo Kagyu and illustrated by Noboru Kannatuki before being adapted into manga and finally adapted into an anime in 2018, Goblin Slayer infamously polarized audiences within the first ten minutes of its first episode.Now, CBR is breaking down what Goblin Slayer is about, digging into the controversy surrounding the series and taking a look at the show's possible future.
WHAT GOBLIN SLAYER IS ABOUT
Once every ten years, the Demon Lord returns, assembling an army of monsters to take over the world. That's neat, but Goblin Slayer is far more focused on simply slaying goblins.
After a pack of Goblins rampaged through his village, Goblin Slayer devoted his life to slaying Goblins. Though traumatized, it's heavily implied that Goblin Slayer is somewhere on the autistic spectrum, which is suggested by his one track mind, failure to pick up on social cues, dependence on his daily goblin-checking routine, insistence on counting kills and never taking off his helmet.
In the anime, Goblin Slayer has turned himself into the proverbial I Am Legend of Goblins, eradicating Goblins in increasingly creative and brutal ways. As Goblin Slayer explains, "imagination is a weapon." After saving the Priestess, Goblin Slayer's party is expanded to include the Dwarf Shaman, High Elf Archer and Lizard Priest. The characters don't have any other names, since Goblin Slayer essentially functions like a role-playing game.
GOBLIN SLAYER'S MAIN CHARACTER
The world of Goblin Slayer was built eons ago by Gods of Light and Dark who determine the fate of its inhabitants with dice rolls. Basically, Goblin Slayer take place in the world of a Dungeons and Dragons-esque game. While dice rolls frequently featured, RPG mechanics take prevalence during pivotal moments, like when Goblin Slayer's eye glows red to indicate that he made a critical roll.
The party even fights a Beholder (a staple of any Monster Manual), however due to litigious purposes they refer to the Not-Beholder as "The Creature" or "The beast that must not be named."
When not slaying Goblins, Goblin Slayer is about a traumatized young man who has found meaning in RPGs, which ultimately helps him come out of his shell. Its no coincidence that the first season doesn't end with Goblin Slayer slaying a Goblin Lord, rather the Adventurer Guild celebrating Goblin Slayer finally removing his helmet.
THE GOBLIN SLAYER CONTROVERSY
The controversy surrounding Goblin Slayer kicked off with its its first episode, where a young Priestess joins an overeager party of adventurers on their first quest to rescue hostages from a Goblin nest. While they fail to stock up on potions and supplies, the group believes that since Goblins are cannon fodder, everything will be okay. However, the adventures were tragically mistaken. The Warrior's sword is too long for cave combat so he's mauled by a pack of goblins, while the Mage is paralyzed with a poisoned blade. The female Fighter suffers an even worst fate, as she is abducted and graphically assaulted by the goblins.
While the assault is already jarring enough, the anime streaming service Crunchyroll initially labeled the series "TV-PG." After the initial uproar over this, a disclaimer was placed at the beginning of every episode. Some fans described this hard-to-stomach opening as a kind of "filter" meant to keep casual fans at bay and indicated that this series is only for fans who have already endured gruesome acts featured in series like Berserk.
While the series subverts plenty of fantasy troupes, Goblin Slayer doesn't continue on depicting disturbing incidents like that with such explicit detail. The show doesn't back away from violence of a sexual nature, but it considerably tones down the explicitness of the incidents going in later episodes. However, those kinds of acts remain a feature of the series, which is understandably sure to turn off some viewers.
GOBLIN SLAYER SEASON 2 AND THE GOBLIN SLAYER MOVIE
At the end of the show's first season, a title card that read "Goblin Slayer Will Return!" appeared at the end of the last episode. Considering that the show only adapted a small portion of its source material so far, it seems quite possible that the show will return. However, it's simply not clear how long it will be until that happens.
In the meantime, the movie Goblin Slayer: Goblin Crown which will be released on May 26th, 2019. Given the snowy setting that's glimpsed in the above teaser, the movie will seemingly adapt a well-liked part of the books that involves a journey to the north where the party meets a new companion, the Noble Fencer, while battling goblins who've taken over a castle.
That portion of the Goblin Slayer light novels also featured the first encounter between the Goblin Slayer and his goblin counterpart, the Goblin Paladin. Even if season 2 is still more than a year away, that fan-favorite moment could be heading to the big screen pretty soon.