「ある冒険者たちの結末」 (Aru boukenshatachi no ketsumatsu)
“The Fate of Particular Adventurers”
Fall’s heavy hitters may be dominated by the likes of SAO and Index, but not to be forgotten is one little fantasy called Goblin Slayer. This is one series quite a few people have been looking forward to for one reason or another, and while early days yet in terms of story, I think this opener proves exactly why. Dark and edgy fantasy with an overabundance of bloodshed? Oh darling, that only scratches the surface here.
As highlighted in the ever trusty and important (very important) RC Preview, Goblin Slayer is a relatively straightforward series. We have our new and innocent adventurer Priestess (Ogura Yui) who winds up biting off more than she can chew during her first quest, only to be saved from death by our youngling killing machine Goblin Slayer (Umehara Yuuichirou; yes, actual names aren’t going to be thing here) from the horrors of various goblins. It’s no lie to say to say this series takes the idea of grimdark and runs all the way with it as various scenes prove, which much like Berserk are largely defined by the degree of depravity bearing down on its victims. Fear, murder, rape? It’s all on the table in this one, although unlike that gritty fantasy staple it remains to be seen whether something deeper lies under all the torture porn gracing our screens. Certainly the potential either way for it given the veritable black box the characters are right now, but hey, that’s what the Three Episode RuleTM is for.
The one real positive so far for Goblin Slayer though is the visuals. I’ve seen a few complaints on this so far, but in all honesty I’m liking the direction White Fox is going. Too often shows like these either go the route of excessive censoring or source chopping—i.e. removing the bad stuff—but Goblin Slayer is treading the line very well so far, featuring all the gritty and dirty while keeping it relatively tasteful. The infamous rape scene for example (which has been one hell of a discussion topic up to now) was largely shown in its entirety, with the more provocative elements simply kept off screen via some choice scene cuts. Whether the material is disgusting or not (and that will come down to personal opinion), it was arguably the best way to handle such things, letting the aesthetics and nature of Goblin Slayer come through without going too overboard in the process. Couple this with the good 2D artwork and some well-integrated 3D CGI and we are likely looking at one hell of a fun fantasy ride here. This series definitely won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but if Goblin Slayer can keep up the appearances shown this episode, its later arcs are going to be quite entertaining.
Before getting to the good stuff though first comes introductions, and you know what that means. It’s time to find out a little more about our goblin slaying badass, and what better way than by killing a few goblins? Stick around boys and girls, the fun (and slaughter) here is just getting started.