Goblin Slayer: Season 1 – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Goblin Slayer takes the least tread road by being a sometimes-violent anime yet still putting time and effort into its lead’s emotional development.

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Goblin Slayer takes the least tread road by being a sometimes-violent anime yet still putting time and effort into its lead’s emotional development.

Creator Kumo Kagyu
Good If You Like Anime Which Balances Violence and Having Some Heart

Seeing Lead Characters Emotionally Grow and Develop

Slight Harem Inclusion

This Isn’t For You If You Prefer Shows Featuring Epic Adventures Throughout The World

Comedy Is Something You Like As Part of Your Viewing Experience

You Feel All Characters Should Have Equal Development Throughout A Season

World Building Is A Huge Thing For You

Noted Cast
Goblin Slayer Umehara Yuuichirou
Onna Ogura Yui
Tokage Sugita Tomokazu
Kouhito Nakamura Yuuichi
Yousei Touyama Nao

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In a world where goblins, demon lords, dragons, and other monsters exist, most people look for fame and glory. At least those who considered themselves adventurers. Thus leaving monsters like goblins, a low-class monster individually, but dangerous in numbers, often passed upon for quests. Yet, when they grow large enough in numbers to take on a village, the devastation they leave is of that of more dangerous monsters.

Our lead, known merely as Goblin Slayer, is a testament to that. He is from a simple farm village without the protection of stone walls, lacking a marketplace to make it of any importance to the royal family, and thus is isolated and unprotected. Hence why, as a child, he witnessed it being attacked and his sister, raped and tortured to death, being one of the victims of the local goblins. Seeing that act led him to dedicate his life to killing goblins and becoming known far and wide as the Goblin Slayer.

Though in some parts of the world, he is known as Orcbolg and others he is known as Beard Cutter. Those of higher rank them him, from different guilds, seem familiar with who he is, and when it comes to goblins, he is considered an expert. Leading to the story he goes on this season in which, in his way, he helps against the fight of the resurrected Demon Lord. Not by confronting the lord himself, but instead addresses his minions, goblins.

This is done with the help of a young girl he saves, Onna, who gets through his armor and stubborn nature, alongside a handful of others. Each one helping to rebuild the trust lost the night his sister was mutilated and bringing him back to having hope and interests outside of goblin slaying. You could even say, while his true name isn’t revealed at all in the series, they do eventually end his arrested development and help Goblin Slayer pursue being human once again.


It’s A Violent Anime Which Has Heart

Goblin Slayer revealing his plan worked because he trusted Onna.
Goblin Slayer: It’s because… I trusted you.

Goblin Slayer caught many off guard since it began depicting women getting raped and baby goblins getting killed. For anyone who has watched a violent anime, this is a red flag. Why? Well, when gratuitous violence is acting as a hook, it means the show may rely on shock value — something that no show I’ve ever watched has maintained from episode 1 until its season finale.

Luckily, the reason behind why Goblin Slayer is so cruel is put into play, alongside him thinking about more than simply killing Goblins. One example being how Onna, who likely has feelings for Goblin Slayer, partly because he saved her life, helps him thaw out. She does so by helping him not feel that it is him against the world all the time. Throughout the season, voluntarily, she joins him on goblin raids, and while she does cramp his style a bit, making it so he can’t use the quickest and violent way to get rid of goblins, you can see him willing to compromise to keep her around.

Opening up like that is one of the driving forces that will keep you engaged with the story. For though various kinds of goblins are killed, as well as ogres, it is that emotional journey which keeps you coming back. Especially when the show pushes the idea, Goblin Slayer may have bitten off more than he can chew and, thanks to Onna limiting how he can kill goblins, she took away what made his job easier.

Though, even taking away life and death moments, just seeing this young man who became numb to the world after losing his sister open up, it may get you teary-eyed. The last two episodes specifically bring about moments when you realize that Goblin Slayer never some badass who was a loner. The truth is, he figured no one would be willing to help when the time came for when he needed help, his sister, his village, no one showed up. So him being a hero to many came solely because one never existed for him. Making us see he now has a community around him a real tearjerker moment.

On The Fence

How It Handles World Building & Some Character Development

The cast staring at the mirror the eye creature was protecting.

When it comes to Goblin Slayer, you’re given enough information to satiate your curiosity but not enough to say the show gave you a vivid world full of culture and an in-depth established history. We’re told the theories of where goblins come from, get to know about the relationships that lizard people, elves, dwarves, and humans have with each other, and more. But, with the way this show is, culture is more so presented in visuals than verbalized details. Creating minor, but often forgettable, frustration.

As for character development? Once again, we get to know the basics about many characters that closely associate themselves with Goblin Slayer, but we don’t get flashbacks or dive into what their life was like before they met Goblin Slayer. Even in terms of Onna, who was integral to Goblin Slayer’s development, her character is so wrapped up in his development that she is sacrificed in the process.

Overall: Positive (Watch This)

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Goblin Slayer is a standout anime. The main reason is that it is one of the few I’ve seen that knows how to be brutal yet doesn’t strictly use violence as a reason for you to return week to week. Violence in Goblin Slayer is treated as something necessary for history to not repeat itself. Killing goblins, sometimes in horrific ways, is so women like the Sword-Maiden, still haunted by their rape, have less to fear, and men like Goblin Slayer have less survivors guilt on their conscious.

Hence the positive label. Goblin Slayer never loses itself by repeatedly delivering shock value. Instead, it presents violence as what is necessary for peace. Especially when dealing with the kind of trauma that has made it where every day you have peace, you are left feeling guilty about someone else going through the same hell you’ve been trying to eradicate since you’ve experienced it.

Has Another Season Been Confirmed?: Based on the image below, yes.

A end title card noting Goblin Slayer will return - but not noting in what form.
Goblin Slayer will return.

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One Comment

  1. This one list something on the adaptation from print to anime but was still an enjoyable watch this season. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it.

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