When it comes to fantasy and anime, there are a ton of great shows from Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash to Sword Art Online, Black Clover, and more! All of these shows have little to now issue bringing such wonder and awe to viewers since Anime is almost always about going above and beyond expectations.
I have been an avid fan of the fantasy trope since as long as I can recall and have been enjoying watching series after series so when I heard that Goblin Slayer was a new show I immediately put it on my list to review.
Imagine my surprise when the ‘Viewer Discretion’ warning appeared prior to the episode airing. With most anime, viewer discretion is known to be advised since there can be a heavy amount of sexual appeal or graphic violence but In Goblin Slayer they take the show to a whole new level.
Within the first 24 minute episode we are introduced to the main character, Priestess, who is a young seemingly nameless adventurer looking to help the community by joining a group of other fresh faced heroes. Together they decide to take on a relatively simple mission to wipe out goblins who have been a bother in the area.
Like most other anime we see they struggle with combat and showcase their determination, friendship, and skill set that help them overcome most obstacles. That is until they get ambushed.
In a matter of moments the tides turn as these small creatures divide and conquer the group one by one and the viewer is exposed to watching them get brutally murdered with crude weapons. I do not just mean a simple and dramatic stab but literal dismemberment with death cries.
The main character is stunned as she uses everything she has to keep her new friends alive but finds that it is all in vain. She then watches as the strongest of their group self sacrifices in order to give priestess time to run and save their mage who is alive but in a vegetative state. After a few solid hits,she too is overwhelmed but she is met with a fate worse than death. Priestess watches as these tiny green goblins rip off her clothes and proceed to rape her.
Needless to say I was stunned as I watched these series of events unfold because the show absolutely did not give off the vibe that I was going to be subjected to everything that is horrible in this world! Worst off they maintain the anime trope of having their female characters with huge breasts and clothing that is focused more on being aesthetically pleasing rather than for protection so when they get raped it is sickening.
Thankfully, Priestess is rescued by Goblin Slayer only after she pisses herself. Goblin Slayer is twice as brutal as any goblin they encounter and he makes short work of not only the adults but also makes it a point to slaughter the goblin children as well. When Priestess finds that her Mage friend is alive but subject to poison that they do not have the antidote for, she has to watch Goblin Slayer grant her a clean death. Also the once strongest member of their adventuring group who was raped is found to be alive and rescued but mentally broken.
They soon end the episode on a note where Priestess decides to continue adventuring with him despite the nightmare she encountered.
As the credits finished I gave an audible “WHAT THE FUCK” as Goblin Slayer completely took me by surprise far worse than any episode of Attack on Titan ever did. I literally had to sit there and ask myself “Is this actually a good show? Or is it just shocking?”. I wrestled with this thought for some time before deciding to continue on and watch more.
With every episode we watch even more brutally but we also watch the relationship between Goblin Slayer and Priestess grow. Priestess remains as our anchor, her feelings tend to mirror that of the viewer which helps when she learns more about this man who has committed his entire life to slaying goblins.
I assumed that Goblin Slayer was going to be a simple character who is there solely to be bad ass. However, he has an actual backstory that is just as dark as everything else in this series. He suffers from his past experiences/traumas and requires the help of Priestess in order to ground him. He in turn uses his unhealthy homicidal tendencies to keep themselves, and the surrounding lands safe. Meanwhile various characters warn Priestess that staying too close to Goblin Slayer will only lead to her ruin as he is mentally unstable.
The show offers so much to those who are willing to be subjected to un comfort and portrays a more realistic fantasy world than most shows ever will. Combat is unforgiving as every second that the characters are in conflict, you are on the edge of your seat because you have been conditioned to believe that there is no plot armor. Getting to better understand Goblin Slayer and watch as they get into more difficult adventures is rewarding. It is for these reasons that I do recommend this anime series but with the huge warning that this show is filled of triggers which show no sign of lessening.