Goblin Slayer Episode 1
Studio: White Fox
Genre: Action, Fantasy
When Goblin Slayer’s manga began serialization in 2016, I read the first 10 or so chapters. I enjoyed it a lot, and only fell off due to other things in life coming up. But now that the anime by White Fox (known for Steins;Gate, Akame ga Kill!, and Re:Zero to name a few) has begun, I’m excited to pick the series back up. I know we’ve had plenty of fantasy role-playing-style anime in recent months, especially with the rise of the isekai genre, but it’s nice to see a series that doesn’t have to use the fish-out-of-water format and instead simply tells a story from within the confines of its own universe.
Goblin Slayer follows a novice Priestess who just joined the Guild and subsequently her first adventuring party. Her first adventure is met with disaster, however, when they attempt to rescue some kidnapped women from a goblin nest and find themselves in way over their heads. Before the Priestess is killed, our titular Goblin Slayer appears and shows off how he got his name.
Something that I really enjoyed about the manga when I first read it was the gratuitous violence shown. In the beginning, Goblin Slayer feels like it could be a family-friendly take on role-playing fantasy with parties, guilds, and each different character only known by their class. Once they enter the cave, though, it becomes clear that the series going to be telling a darker, more gruesome story. The anime translates most of the violence over from the manga, however they do tone down the sexual violence. While still very much implied in the anime, the sexual violence isn’t explicitly shown like it is in the manga (and that’s probably a good thing).
White Fox has done plenty of great work in the past, and their animation and sound design continues to shine here. I’ve never been a fan of CGI in my anime, so I can’t say that I wasn’t disappointed when it briefly appeared in this episode. It’s not used too much so it’s not a major negative but going forward I hope we don’t get much of it if at all.
So far, there’s really only three characters for us to get to know: the Priestess, the Guild Girl, and the Goblin Slayer. Goblin Slayer is ruthless and determined in his hatred of goblins, and while goblins may be a bottom-tier enemy within most RPGs or fantasy worlds (including this one) his deep wealth of knowledge about goblins, like their habits and their lairs, allows him to show off just how powerful he is despite how weak his enemies appear. The Priestess is the typical naïve cute girl in the beginning, but she does show herself to be willing and able to grow and doesn’t immediately submit to despair when things get bad. It will be interesting to see how her and Goblin Slayer’s relationship shapes and grows in the coming episodes.
For a first episode, this was a solid start. Good action, great pacing, and intriguing plot are three things that make for a good anime. I’m excited to see where this series goes. Might even pick up the manga again, too.
I'm excited to see where this series goes. Might even pick up the manga again, too.