「ある冒険者の結末」 (Aru Boukensha no Ketsumatsu)
“The Fate of an Adventurer”

You know I could probably give a good spiel on Goblin Slayer’s finale, about the (unsurprising) results of one goblin raid ending rather ignominiously, the happy celebration culminating in some well-timed banter and self-reflection, or even the grand face unveiling ending, well, as you might as well expect. It might be worth digging into these tidbits in these final moments, but truthfully, I think the results speak for themselves. Over the past twelve weeks we saw the story of a nameless man on a mission which few shall remember (let alone go down in the history books), but one which for those involved will forever be respected. Goblin Slayer came and conquered, and if one teaser is any indication, he isn’t finished yet. Who ever said the anime gods don’t listen from time to time?

Final Impressions

When Goblin Slayer’s adaptation was announced it provoked quite a few reactions. It was dark, it was gritty, and as readers of the source material knew, it was one story certain to induce strong and varied opinions. Yet the results in practice largely went in the direction opposite what many were expecting. Was the show grimdark fantasy? Yes. Did it overly indulge in its bloody aesthetic? Far from it. This was one show which arguably threaded the dark fantasy needle perfectly.

The thing which Goblin Slayer nailed best (at least for me) was its D&D-esque trappings. The show, barring the continuity of its cast and their past experiences, functioned like a set of quasi-independent quests/adventures, each capable (mostly) of being viewed in isolation from the rest. Much like the actual tabletop game, Goblin Slayer (the Dungeon Master) effectively gave its players—i.e. the cast—a situation and observed how they’d muddle through it. Would the quest be flawless, would someone get hurt? Or would matters end in the most tragic of ways? You don’t know until the die is cast (as the show literally alluded to with the talk of gods tossing dice), and Goblin Slayer definitely succeeded in keeping to this variety of suspense. Thanks to a willingness to let its characters be hurt and pushed within inches of death, the show could play around with scenarios to keep things refreshing and unique. Mines of Moria references, sewer romps, the featuring of quintessential magic creatures? All were on the table, and we never really knew how each encounter would end. Well, most of the time.

What really helped the most in this regard though were Goblin Slayer’s characters. While true the main cast played to the usual fantasy tropes, they did so in a manner—i.e. banter and teasing—which remained entertaining from start to finish. It honestly felt just like an actual D&D party as time went by, which wasn’t hurt either by the ability of Goblin Slayer’s cast to show growth and development. Our titular greenskin slaying badass for example successfully emerged from his shell as time went by, not transforming into some selfless, heroic extrovert of course, but becoming a guy who learned from his experiences and the importance friends have in your moments of need. It was the right sort of development for the material in question, and development which wasn’t hurt by the subtlety used in showcasing it. Grandiose speeches and open air moments of understanding? Who needs that when a quiet moment and a bit of peace is all you need to get the message across.

Of course looking at all of this ignores the elephant in the room: goblins. While Goblin Slayer did a quite tasteful job of showing the evils of its nemesis compared to its source material, there’s no denying this part of the show will remain divisive; anything featuring rape and torture as its main mode of operation is always going to be problematic, no matter the treatment. Did the goblins need to be so severe in function to get the point across about their undesirability? Was their method of reproduction really necessary for the sake of highlighting the differences between them and everyone else? It’s a question you could debate for hours with everyone having a different answer for, and one which will ultimately determine the amount of satisfaction you get from this series. If you can look past the shock to see the story underneath though, I’d say the results are certainly worth the price of admission.

While Goblin Slayer may not be the greatest fantasy to ever walk the Earth, it is a series deserving of a good bit of praise. Dark fantasies have gotten a bad rap of late with either simplistic, cliché writing or terrible adaptations (*cough* Berserk) highlighting the worst in an otherwise good series. Thanks to White Fox and crew however Goblin Slayer has shown the potential of these types of stories, that with good focus and attention to detail their purpose (and all the entertainment they bring) can shine right through. It may take some time before we see something similar (whether Goblin Slayer’s sequel or different series) grace the anime world again, but Goblin Slayer is proof you can have your grimdark fantasy and enjoy it too.


  1. For people who read the light novel, do you have any spoilers to share? Am curious who is the lead girl that Goblin Slayer is being paired up with.

    now off to find more anime with female elves or witch onee-san. Sad that this anime had so many Waifu characters killed off.

    1. Having read the main novels to the most recent localization (vol 5), the matter of which end girl is still up in the air. Not only because of GS being GS as always, but also because each of the girls in his harem has their moments that expand upon their characters as well as their relationship with him. It’s a tough choice, but I’m personally rooting for Guild Girl here lol.

      1. I see
        Childhood friend girl sure has some tough competition. But, as usual, girls that are the main character’s childhood friend, or liked the main character for a long time, will often never be the main love interest, at least based on a lot of anime I have seen (excluding Naruto).

        Now I wonder how much of either the manga or light novel is cut out of the anime. Meh. Hopefully, season two shows more romantic moments.

    1. That’s the idea. This is no her story, yes she has a lot of adventures where she saves the land but we will never see them because this is not that kind of show. I hope we can see Goblin Slayer Year One soon, then you will know how GS affected the life of the heroine.

    2. Pretty much as Lasttywinfan says, there’s plenty of fantasy shows already telling the tale of heroes saving the world, for Goblin Slayer to do so would be to sacrifice a good chunk of what makes it work so well. Although to be fair I wouldn’t mind having the guy randomly run across the heroes at some point, if just to see how the react after realizing who they missed in the crowd 😛

    1. Personally I think the second season will be released Summer/Fall 2019. White Fox have two other shows to release in 2019 too, so if those take priority, this makes the most sense. They’re not going to sit on the series for years.

      1. I guess we can cross Summer off because White Fox are releasing Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest. Spring seems a bit optimistic though and I think they would have announced a date with that return announcement if it were. Fall 2019 it is!

  2. What female bonds i can see here:
    The “Cow Girl” became somehow his “family”. She is some kind of “Sister”, while not forgetting his real Big Sister
    Perfect “Waifu” candidate. But perhaps her “Holy Church” Duty could ruin the more deeper connection.. Well, she saved his life just because she is still “pure”.. You know what i mean
    Some “Comrade” that he would proudly protect her back and he knows even she would protect his without an heartbeat thinking. Also his Party of course. You saw how the Dwarf try to protect the Elf from harm… that speaks for itself. “All for one, and one for all!”
    “Sword Maiden”
    He knows what he is for her. But the same story with the Priestess. the Holy Church duty is her priority. And if there are more to it, then it must run “Secret”

    But i bet, Doujinshi’s would rise here and there.. also some other “Fantasy” Manga-kas try to adept the “Evil Goblins” now.. where Overlord and our Slime-kun paint them as “good”

    1. explanation to:

      She get used to him and has no “shame” or “fear” to sleep in her own house… because she life’s with him under the same roof and nothing happens.. No, keep your “oni-chan is ecchi!/hentai!” Doujins away

      She saved his life trough Sword maiden’s heal/ressurection spell. Okay? But what critical point was there to make it work? So, perhaps for his Future “adventure” time, as long she came out save and perhaps Sword maiden reveals this spell to her. She stay “pure” to save him…

      Orcblog was never an love interest for her. She seeked an strong battlefield Ally for an quest, and found and “Nakama”

      Sword maiden is an Archbishop and the “Justice” upholder of the City. I do not know this world, but as the word indicates.. she “must” play the “maiden” part, and this means also… yeah you guess it. It’s AAA+ Top Secret.. or (for future Dark path) someone that want to overpower her (for various reason) could Blackmail her to reveal her past

      Behold, even an Human heart can be host darkness.. like the ones that our Hero here “get rid” with the summoning using females sacrifices (Sword maiden arc, and where they use mostly females to summon evils?)

  3. Our titular greenskin slaying badass for example successfully emerged from his shell as time went by, not transforming into some selfless, heroic extrovert of course, but becoming a guy who learned from his experiences and the importance friends have in your moments of need.

    This. The grimdark aspects made many viewers think that this was going to be dark fantasy from the beginning to end, with shock and gore as the main selling points. It wasn’t. The author said it himself when describing the gist of the story in an interview:


    “In some fantasy world, on some continent, in some remote region, there is a strange adventurer who constantly kills goblins…And the reason for his goblin killing tendencies does have reasons behind them that make him quite obstinate…The story revolves around his relationships with the many people that surround him and help turn him towards a positive light.”

    That’s it. And we see some of that growth in this episode. “I think I want to be an adventurer”, he says. Which sounds ironic, since he’s already one of the highest-ranking adventurers in the area. But that was never his point… Until now, perhaps.

    Glad this is seemingly going to get a second season. Thanks for covering this, Pancakes!

    1. Goblin Slayer-kun here is an Dungeon Expert. He knows how to fight them in tight areas and such.. But in Open fields he is weaker. As he said himself. So even our Goblins Slayer here have strong point and weakness.. Like Yin and Yan

      and for the weakness, he has his comrades or for the final the “guild comrades”

    2. Thanks glad you liked it! I had a blast covering this one that’s for sure, not often I come across a series where I never have to think about what to write, there was always something interesting worthy of discussion every week.

      1. It was eventful, wasn’t it? A pity that the art didn’t reach the manga’s gorgeous and expressive images.

        I think that, all in all, the closest equivalent would be the Overlord anime. And no, I’m not just saying this because Ainz-sama appeared in episode 10. Similar setting, similar adaptation spirit, similar CGI problems (it’s deliciously ironic that GS’s answer to Overlord’s horrid CGI goblin army was a horrid CGI Goblin Slayer), and from the look of it, similar success (if it’s true that GS has already secured a second season).

  4. This arc in the Manga is what for me confirmed that GS is Dark Fantasy, not Edgy Fantasy. This world may be very dark and the stakes may be very high, but in its heart it is very much a pure story of friendship, camaraderie, and heroism.

      1. Of popular ones, Akame ga Kill is one. That one’s writer at some points… well, it was like he was afraid that he had become too soft.
        Also, there’s quite a few Manga out there that are just plain edgy.

  5. While certainly everyone has grown throughout this series, I find myself most enjoying Priestess’ development. And I would even say that the order in which the anime placed these stories helped highlight it even more. The girl who was literally wetting herself in terror is now able to stare the deadliest variety of goblin in the face while she slowly crushes him to death with repurposed defensive spells. Even Goblin Slayer being injured won’t break her concentration any more.

    It’s heartwarming to see how strong she’s become.

    1. Yeah, her growth as an adventurer was great. And from a purely meta perspective, I’m so glad a character with a support role is getting the spotlight. Healers need more love!

      Seriously, though, there have been a lot of developments:

      -Goblin Slayer: from antisocial goblin-killing machine that doesn’t care about adventure and is convinced that he’s alone and nobody is going to help (like how his village didn’t get help either) to antisocial goblin-killing machine that has learned he has friends and allies.

      -Guild Girl: from punch-clock bureaucrat that worries about villages but doesn’t do anything to change the system to someone that convinces her bosses to put the money to save the farm.

      -High Elf Archer: from wide-eyed newcomer with romantic ideas about adventure who can’t stand it when GS dismisses the threat of the Demon Lord to someone that was about to throw a fit when others dismissed GS (Sadly, in Anvil’s case, the order in the anime hurt her rather than help).

  6. Certainly was an exciting finale. Held my breath during the final duel, even though I’ve read the manga. Also flinched when he delivered the coup de grâce.
    Doing this in front of someone who has personally seen goblin babies getting exterminated. She’s witnessed regular goblins rape her companions, gotten used to being douched in goblin blood and has been hanging around someone who views them as devil incarnate. That futile effort only made his demise seem pitiful.

    Quite an enjoyable show that ended in a great finale. One of those rare shows that’s like a typical D&D adventure instead of an epic tale.

  7. Decent finale. I like how Priestess used protection in an offensive manner.

    Wish the recap episode was replaced with a while pre-ultimate episode covering Goblin Lord’s rise instead.

    I agree with some comments that the show started really grimdark and got lighter as it went on. Hope that it periodically goes back on the grimdark side, if only to remind us that it’s not all happy-go-lucky out there.

      1. Goblin Slayer said he already freed the Goblin Lord’s hostages before the Goblin Lord retreated from the battlefield. He probably circled around and followed the goblin army’s tracks back to their cave or hole in the ground to find the nest.

  8. oh well, gotta hand it off to the Priestess, she came along way since her first almost fatal adventure…
    trapping Goblin Lord helpless, and still saving one spell to heal GS, and not getting fooled by the sweet talk of the creature

  9. Good riddance, there is no better way to end this story than killing the one creature that orchestrated this entire attack.

    You know besides those edgy scenes that you don’t want to watch in your lunch room at work on an iPad. The other episodes in between the Goblin raids were relatively benign.

    YO! you got two guards here that didn’t notice a thing—what, are they like asleep or something?!


    1. Truthfully I think a lot of them know they’re not a simple newbie challenge (as the talk about goblin champions this episode and last suggests), but they give off the impression because there’s plenty of greater threats in the world and they spend all of their time dealing with those. Since the veterans don’t take goblin quests and newbies cannot tackle the harder ones, goblin quests probably morphed in the collective conscious into newbie friendly material. Wouldn’t be the first time such a thing has happened.

      1. What I think guilds should start doing is training newbs on how to tactically raid a goblin stronghold. It would be a great idea for Goblin Slayer, he will still get paid, help young adventurers avoid mistakes with handling goblins, and Goblin Slayer’s gear will still take damage.

    2. It’s the guild master, the man with the coin, who determines what is and is not an expensive challenge to meet with gold.

      In the guild’s defense, they usually act as the intermediaries between the adventurers and the actual quest givers. The adventuring business works like a market, and the result is that Adam Smith hates your guts (trope!):

      -Villages are poor and can only offer a meager reward. The kingdom and feudal lords have the soldiers and the coin, but they’re too busy with demon lords, necromancers, dragons, etc. (and they’re right to be busy; those guys are far more dangerous than any goblin horde).

      -If the guild limits goblin quests to high-ranked adventurers, nobody is going to take them because the pay is bad. And if the guild demands higher rewards, villages won’t be able to post the quests and will be destroyed by the goblins.

      -In the end, this makes goblin quests a work for newbies (because they need the money). The guild warns of the dangers, but ultimately it’s up to the adventurers. It doesn’t help that goblin nests are a lottery: a small one can indeed be taken by a team of greenhorns, while a bigger one can get a veteran party killed (lampshaded by episode 2, where both cases were shown). You don’t know until you face the enemy.

      Of course, there are exceptions. The non-human alliance sponsored a special silver-ranked team (including Goblin Slayer) because of political considerations. And Sword Maiden offered a handsome reward because she knows what goblins can do. But the rest? What can be done to change the situation?

  10. One of the benefit from switching events in the anime is priestess character. She looks very calm and determined in this episode. Well, just imagine that if the water town arc was shown after this arc. Her image from this episode was probably destroyed when she pissed herself again.

    One of my most favorite about GS is that he is not OP. He can’t uses brute force to overcome his opponents. He needs to rely on tactic and his friends. For next SS, I hope that they decide to adapt the main story from LN rather than spin off or prequel.

  11. https://randomc.net/image/Goblin%20Slayer/Goblin%20Slayer%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2026.jpg
    “You are huge! THAT MEANS YOU HAVE HUGE GUTS!! (*proceeds to rip and tear the Goblin Lord while pinned by Priestess’ Protection fields*)

    For once, being Lancer is NOT suffering–unless it’s about wooing Guild Girl. Poor guy has “E-rank luck” in that regard, though at least he still has the very seductive Witch (though she won’t admit it).

    Well, there are a few things that could possibly top Goblin Slayer‘s dark fantasy–if they ever get made:

    – A more decent adaptation of Berserk. (Though I sense the fans desperate for a good anime adaptation have been burned one too many times.)
    – A CG animation series set in the world of Warhammer 40,000–which is desperately needed as The Lord Inquisitor CG fan-film is pretty much dead. Or alternatively;
    – A CG animation or actual anime series set in the Warhammer Fantasy universe. Or the Diablo universe–though that’s a long shot with the way Activision-Blizzard is going right now…
    – An anime adaptation of the manga Ad Astra – Scipio to Hannibal. (OK, it’s not fantasy, but the battles of the Punic Wars are just as brutal, if not more so. And it scratches my historical series itch, too!)

    But for now, I’ll be happy to include Goblin Slayer among my favorite grimdark anime (which also include Hellsing Ultimate, a few of Junji Ito’s horrifying works, certain entries from the Gundam franchise, and Akira). And even though I didn’t want to get too attached to the characters considering the world they live in, they grew on me anyway.

  12. The biggest problem I had with GS is that most characters seemed like side quest npcs without a background.
    Priestess and GS got a bit of development but still way too less for my liking. The rest of the party were like random mercs you would hire in a tavern.
    Also there seemed to be no real story besides GS backstory and why he is so weird.

    With all the harem stuff, fanservice and comedy I wouldn’t really call this grimdark.
    In the end I hoped for more after the inital episodes but the popints above threw me off.


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