You know, there isn’t any reason why I should write a first impression review on an anime that going in, I knew sucked. When you share common opinions and viewpoints on anime with fellow otakus (with way more knowledge on anime than yourself) that you can trust (and mostly agree with because they’re jaded as hell thanks to horrible mainstream anime out today), you should take their word that the anime they hate on sucks.
It sucks and you should leave it alone – never to waste your time on it.
I could have spent that time on better things. Things such as shopping for food for the week, upgrading my Fall/Winter wardrobe (so I won’t look like the sloppy weeaboos and nigga nerds you love bashing, cleaning my messy room, and finishing up that Anime Weekend Atlanta (AWA) adventure series that I’ll never complete because I should have done it as soon as I got home from the convention while I still was high off the AWA hype.
Instead, I decided – against all of the suggestions of my like-minded peers – to watch Goblin Slayer: the latest edgelord gore fest anime that entry-level weebs are capping for. I am sure that I don’t have to tell you folks that Goblin Slayer is complete trash that you must avoid it. Avoid it as if it was your crazy ex-boyfriend or girlfriend who loves playing with knives and use those knives to cut themselves for fun.
We know its trash. I know its trash. But, it’s my duty to play pretend Chinese Cartoons Analysis and break down why this show is trash and why only edgelords and entry-level weeaboos love it.
…I’m fucking lying! I’m not wasting 24 minutes of my life analyzing an episode of from an anime that I knew it was going to be trash since Day 1! So instead, let’s talk about the scene that sold the entry-level weebs, offended the SJWeeaboos, and made us veterans otaku avoid Goblin Slayer.
The “fucked up” shit starts around the 5:52 mark. After our heroes see an obvious warning to not enter the goblin cave (not once, but twice), they are ambushed by the goblins. Inside their nest. Where they know the nooks and crannies of their cave. And know where are the best places to attack any intruders.
Our heroes aren’t fucking smart.
And so, they get their asses beat – mercilessly. The Mage Girl gets stabbed to death by a poisoned knife (more so she gets mercy killed by Goblin Slayer because the Healer Bitch never learned an Antidote spell), Fighter gets chopped up into pieces after being assaulted by hideous, CGI-rendered goblins (by hideous I mean that in a bad way the CGI animated goblins look ugly as hell. Oh and they cut away from the Goblin chopping dude’s body in pieces), and Kung-Fu Girl gets command grabbed by the Goblin boss, slammed against a wall, and gets gang-raped by the rest of the goblin nest.
This is the “fucked up” shit we waited for after two minutes of the generic baby’s first fantasy anime story explanation. This is the fucked up shit that people have been either of support or offended over for the past three weeks. It’s honestly nothing special.
Let’s compare Goblin Slayer’s intro to a legacy edgy anime’s intro: Elfen Lied.
In Elfen Lied, we’re immediately dropped into the carnage after the end of the OP. Viewers are treated with a twitching, severed arm on the ground cover in blood, a man being beheaded by Lucy, a pen piercing through another man’s skull, a young girl’s body gets used as a human shield riddled by bullets, (but not before Lucy’s rips her head off) , and bodies being shredded into pieces.
Right off the back Elfen Lied doesn’t play around with how gory it can get.
Goblin Slayer? Nah. It decided to show us its horrible crap after wasting two minutes of our time. Sure, we got a black and white scene of Healer Bitch weeping on the ground crying in fear while Goblin Slayer is walking towards here. But, there are no clues telling us what’s happening. We are unaware if Goblin Slayer was the one who attacked her or not.
The intro gave us no reason on why we should care about what is going to happen to Healer Bitch or why we should care about her and her character overall. That’s another problem I have with Goblin Slayer: the characters (sans the Goblin Slayer himself), are unmemorable.
They’re literally nameless. They are only named by their class names – nothing more. No clues on what these guys were doing before their demise, why they wanted to become adventures, their ultimate motivates, nothing.
The only character I gave a slight fuck about is the Black Mage Girl; that’s only because I like dorky girls who wear glasses and read books. But there are other anime female dorky, bookworm characters who are way better because they have personalities (Ami from Sailor Moon, Yuki Nagato from Haruhi, and Tsubasa from Monogatari to name a few)
(Btw, any dorky glasses-wearing woman between the ages of 21-30 out there reading this hit me up The Yuki The Snowman Facebook page DMs been dry lately)
None of the characters are remotely interesting (sans, again, Goblin Slayer). They all have generic, uninspiring character designs that you could find in any average, bland JRPG mobile game or an old-school Nintendo/Famicom JRPG. The Fighter looks like your average, cocky hero thinking he can smash any female in his party. Karate Girl looks like any other girl from anime that loves action (ponytail and acts a bit masculine). Black Mage Chick looks like a player 2 palette swap of Yuki Nagato in her Witch outfit.
I give no fucks about them.
You know how to make people give a fuck about characters? Give them a little bit of a personality that could help us connect to them. If we spent a little time getting to know these characters throughout a few episodes, maybe whatever terrible thing that happened to them in that cave would have been way impactful (beyond knee-jerk reactions from SJWeeaboos and entry-level weebs)
Better yet, if Goblin Slayer started by dropping us in the middle of the action/carnage at the very start of the episode, I would have given a care. Show us that this is a suspenseful world in conflict. Show us that these goblins have completely dominated the human population, in the beginning, to give us the impression that living in this type of society is horrifying for the average human.
Know what? Let’s compare the introduction of Goblin Slayer to the introduction of another dark fantasy media: Final Fantasy 2 (FF2). Bear with me; I know FF2 is a video game, but trust me on this one.
After reading the intro text and naming your characters, you’re immediately forced into a hopeless battle. Your party is surrounded by four dark knights from the demonic empire who are leagues beyond your party in combat experience.
One-by-one, the Dark Knights take your team out. By the way, your party was running away from these guys earlier; after their village was slaughtered by the empire’s forces. In less than two minutes you knew that the story of Final Fantasy 2 wasn’t going to be a happy one. You knew that it was going to be a story of war, despair, hopelessness, tragedy, and death.
And it didn’t wait until halfway into the game to tell you that.
If Goblin Slayer started out with the four heroes being ambushed and mercilessly assaulted by a few high ranking goblin soldiers (along with some other goblins wreaking havoc on their town) I would have cared. Elfen Lied dropped us right into the action. Higurashi starts out with Keiichi killing Mion and Rena (thus making us curious on why he did kill those two). Final Fantasy 2 started the action by showing the heroes getting their ass beat.
Why Goblin Slayer couldn’t do the same?
Let’s go back the boring ass “slaughter” scene of the Goblin Slayer party. First off, how did this party get slaughtered by a group of goblins? As in the entry level, easy to defeat enemies? That are usually fucking tutorial enemies to fight in most JRPGS?
In fact, let me show you the first battle in Final Fantasy 3:
See how easy it is to take out a few goblins. I was pressing “Fight” with one button while checking my emails on my phone with the other. That’s simple.
Another thing that annoyed the fuck out of me was the “fear” faces each hero had before they met their demise. These faces don’t convey the message that these characters are in fear of their lives. They looked like they were being in minor pain at best and annoyed at worse.
You wanna see faces that convey the emotion of fear?
This is fear:
This is fear:
This is fear:
This is retarded:
Black Mage Girl is about to get stabbed to death and that’s the face she’s making? It looks like she pulled a muscle. It doesn’t look like she’s about to have her life taken away from her by some monsters.
Sigh…no fuckin excuses for this shit.
After the scene where Healer Bitch starts pissing on herself and Goblin Slayer came to save her, I gave up on this anime. A shame. Mostly because I wasted two glasses of wine and a blunt of loud in hopes that I was able to completely tear this show apart (being intoxicated helps with writing bad reviews). The show was so disappointing that I couldn’t get past the fifteen-minute mark. It kinda makes me sad because I enjoy media that’s fucked up and dark…as long as it’s good.
I’ve seen Goblin Slayer being compared to Berserk and Elfen Lied in terms of edgelordness and darkness. Berserk is dark, yes. But Kentaro Miura went out of his way to make sure readers of Berserk gave a fuck about characters like Guts by giving Guts a personality and a reason for Guts to better himself despite all the horrific things that happened to him in his life.
We gave a fuck about Lucy/Kaede in Elfen Lied because we understand that she was tortured, bullied, and treated like shit because of her race. Despite how much of an overrated and horrible show Elfen Lied is, at least we could understand Lucy’s trauma and why she was so angry with humanity. We wanted Lucy to have at least a little bit of happiness (or at the least, therapy).
Goblin Slayer? Well, at least he’s a badass mother fucker that we can compare to Doomguy from the Doom video game series. Goblin Slayer (the anime) would have worked better as a dark, edgy, violent hack-and-slash game. You don’t need to have a decent story. An excellent, exciting gameplay and great graphics emulating the feel of the manga would do. But real shit, the characters of Goblin Slayer are boring, unoriginal, and lack heavily in the personality department.
It’s clear that I, and many other anime fans with common sense and superior taste in anime (compared to the rest of you weeaboos), don’t like Goblin Slayer. However, I do understand why some anime fans might love it. We are dealing with a new generation of anime fans who are watching their first edgy, bloody, and gory anime thanks to Goblin Slayer.
Like us older folks, they were once used to the light-hearted, cheerful, happy-go-lucky Shounen bullshit. Sure, Shounen anime tend to have blood, violence, and cussing, but that’s about it. A show like Goblin Slayer? It’s like these kids went from smoking reggie weed to Californian dispensary kush.
(Little do they know Goblin Slayer is just high-quality reggie weed)
Look, I remember being a naive weeaboo getting into gory anime such as Elfen Lied or Higurashi no Naku Koro ni for the first time. I thought I was the shit! No more watching boring, kiddie anime like Inuyasha or Dragon Ball for me: I’m where the big boys play now! I found anime that was bloody, gory, and ultra-violent. Anime that [adult swim] wouldn’t even dare to show on national T.V. late at night. And I’m sure some of you older folks once knew this feeling of joy as well when you saw your first gory anime like Violence Jack or Ninja Scroll.
So I can understand why the current generation of young anime fans is eating up Goblin Slayer. It’s a new experience that they wouldn’t otherwise get from watching anime on T.V.. Or Netflix. Crunchyroll. I dunno what you folks watch your anime on now anymore; I’m a fucking old man.
But still! It’s that experience that is going to stay with their otaku journey forever.
Trust me on that.
Regardless, just like with me understanding that Elfen Lied was edgy trash a few years later after watching it, Goblin Slayer is edgy trash. The only people who should watch the show are folks who want to watch something utterly violent and degrading, but lacks substance to justify it (So mostly children and wannabe edgelords). Sure, it’s dark and fucked up, but as previously mentioned, there are other anime that does the dark and edgy gorefest much better (like Berserk).
To conclude this first impression review, what are my final thoughts on Goblin Slayer?
No. Just no.
-Yuki The Snowman
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I heard the manga is lightyears better than the anime and much gorier so I may check the manga instead of the anime. Also I should had known this anime would suck given most anime that have its roots in a light novel are garbage.