Goblin Slayer is among the most anticipated anime Fall 2018 and while many viewers are fine with its… dark nature, many others express a great displeasure after watching the first episode. Currently, there are already many viewers deeming this anime to be trash. But why is that? What did happen exactly? Let’s try to find out!
Goblin Slayer is originally a dark-fantasy light novel written by Kumo Kagyu and illustrated by Noboru Kannatuki. The series started on February 2016 and so far, there have been 7 volumes published. Then on May 2016, the series got a manga adaptation drew by Kōsuke Kurose and serialized in the Monthly Big Gangan magazine. Aside from the main Goblin Slayer storyline, there are 2 other spin-offs called Goblin Slayer Side Story Year One (by Kumo Kagyu and illustrated by Shingo Adachi) which told the origin of the man who becomes Goblin Slayer, and Goblin Slayer Brand New Day (by Masahiro Ikeno). And finally on October 7, 2018, White Fox began a Goblin Slayer anime adaptation which is expected to have 12 episodes in total.
In summary, Goblin Slayer takes place in a fantasy world where demons and monsters exist. Adventurers often get missions from the Guild and they deal with all kinds of monster problems in the world, including dragons, demons, and goblins. The story begins with a young Priestess who has just begun her adventurer career. She joins in an amateur group of 3 young adventurers who took a mission of eliminating a goblin cave. Since goblins are deemed as “puny weaklings”, the team was rather… careless in their preparation. And when they got into the cave, they soon found out that they were ambushed by the goblins. Unexpectedly, the goblins totally wrecked the entire team, while young Priestess had no choice but to retreat. The goblins, despite being “dumb”, were extremely quick and savage. They quickly caught up with the Priestess and at her seemingly final moment, a mysterious warrior – the Goblin Slayer – walked in and saved her. And so, the duo destroyed the goblin cave and at the same time, the Priestess got to witness the true terror of the goblins, how dangerous they are to the people. And so, she decided to join with the man known as Goblin Slayer and together, they go on a journey of killing goblins… or at least that is what they think.
For those who haven’t followed Goblin Slayer controversy, the anime has just on air recently on October 7 and so far, there have only been 2 episodes released (this article written on October 17). As mentioned, right after the first episode this show has already received tons of backlashes due to its… sensitive rape scene. Yes this anime has rape in it, which is shocking in our opinion.
“Okay?… So what happened exactly?”
In the first episode, the noob party (the same amateur team in the summary above) was totally wrecked, mercilessly. Since this is a dark fantasy, at the very least we can expect tons of gore throughout this anime. And true, the first death of the male warrior was quite brutal, no surprise there. But right after his death, there was a scene when the Monk girl was beaten by a humongous Hobgoblin, then surprisingly got raped by the goblins. Due to the danger of the situation, the Priestess had no other choice but to carry her fellow Sorceress who got stabbed with poisoned dagger. Luckily she was rescued by the Goblin Slayer and when they ventured deeper into the cave, they found out that the monk girl, along with other female captives, were dragged further inside cave and got raped.
Personally we have read the Goblin Slayer manga and we kinda… expected some sort of subtle hint to this raping stuff. But definitely we did not expect White Fox to show it, briefly of course, but still, they showed the scene. And as you can guess, this triggered a huge disturbance among anime community.
“That’s… disturbing… So what about public reception?”
As we said, there have been a huge disturbance and conflicting debates among anime community. Many people express a disgusting feeling towards Goblin Slayer due to what it showed in the first episode. Some people got so triggered that they deemed the anime as a trash anime, and certain people even dubbed other viewers who defended the anime as “bad people” (no kidding, you can pretty much find these sort of debates all over the place from Crunchyroll to Reddit). Certain viewers of this side also believe that the rape scene was unnecessary, it felt like a cheap shock factor, rather than providing meaningful plot. And then there is a… quite valid argument saying that Goblin Slayer was originally rated PG which is basically “viewable for children”. Nonetheless, the fact remains that these backlashes were so burning hot that anime sites like Crunchyroll had to put a warning message on the anime.
On the other hand, there are many other viewers defending the anime, saying it is just an element in dark-fantasy anime/film. From their perspective, the rape scene may not be necessary, but it does have purpose of describing a realistic fantasy world where dangers and stakes are real. There are also a number of viewers defending the shock factor, saying that the shock value actually does have an important role, not a cheap one. Furthermore, they argue that it is somewhat hypocritical to judge the rape scene as bad, while feel fine watching some anime characters being tortured or brutally beaten by force. Then there are number of people believing that the rape scene is not a problem since it is just an anime depiction of a real life issue.
In fact, there are other anime, manga (or film) which describes violence and rape even more disturbing than Goblin Slayer, typically Berserk. This argument is quite legit since Berserk manga (by Kentaro Miura) indeed has lots of disturbing stuffs, including an infamous rape/NTR scene which makes rape scene from Goblin Slayer look rather pale. Ironically (especially if you hate these kind of depictions in manga/anime), Berserk is among the best manga to date according to lots of manga readers.
That said, there is also a counter-argument saying: Goblin Slayer is nothing like Berserk. Specfically, Berserk’s rape depiction makes sense in its own context because it has realistic artstyle and more importantly, it has established its dark-fantasy nature far more effective from the beginning of the series. Whereas Goblin Slayer’s dark-fantasy element is not convincing. It features moe-cute characters like in other fantasy anime, which does not make sense in dark-fantasy story. And thus, it just feels cheap.
Of course, there are more arguments and opinions among anime community; however, here we would like to share some of the main arguments from both sides only. Whether this Goblin Slayer controversy is good or bad, guess we have to form our own opinion on the matter.
After the first episode of Goblin Slayer, it is understandable for many people to feel bad, or want to reconsider whether they should keep following the anime or not. So instead of answering the question “Should I watch Goblin Slayer anime?”, we believe the better question should be: How well can you handle these kind of “controversial depictions” in dark-fantasy story?
Based on our personal experience with the manga, we can say that rape is not the main focus of this series. The rape scenes only appear in the first few chapters, and later on, we haven’t seen them since. But again, we have to warn that there will possibly be rape/nudity scene in certain anime episodes, including one rather disturbing scene (which we can’t spoil here). So in general, if you cannot stand these sorts of disturbing scene, we recommend bailing-out as soon as possible.
What about those who are fine with those scenes then? Will this anime be good? Hard to say. From our perspective, the story will gradually focus more on characters development, specifically Goblin Slayer as he meets new friends (episode 2 did hint this near the end). However, we cannot say any further since we haven’t touched the light novel yet. For now, we think that Goblin Slayer will be a good anime to watch if you are fine with rape/nudity in anime.
And what about you? What do you think of Goblin Slayer anime? Feel free to share with us and for now, thank you and stay tune for more news in the future!
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