I have been around on the Internet long enough to pick up a lot of stray anime knowledge. Heck, I even tried watching some anime over a decade ago. However, while I finished the two series, anime as a whole never stuck with me. Over time, hatred found its way into my heart.
In the past, I have said some things that were, quite frankly, awful about anime / manga / light novels and those who enjoy them. For the record, I am now going to edit those statements:
1) Not all anime fans are pedophiles
2) Every square inch of Japan does not deserve to be bathed in nuclear fire for introducing anime into the world.
3) All waifus are trash, except for Grape-kun’s waifu
With that out of the way, let me tell about the first anime I have watched in over a decade:
Friend of the blog, ‘Of Wolves and Men’, had a post and video about this anime already. If you haven’t checked him out, go do that!
The title of this post was based on some things JimFear138 has said, along with Of Wolves and Men. While it is not perfect, Goblin Slayer brings forth a fantasy world that most OSR players will understand.
Before we go any further:
HERE BE SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST EPISODE OF THE ANIME
With that out of the way, I will go over a quick summary of the episode (with a few pictures from the manga, which almost identical to the episode):
– The show opens with a young cleric who goes to the local Adventuring Guild to register as an adventurer. She is given a dog tag that indicates that she is a low-ranked adventurer. [As adventurers become more powerful, they move up in ranks, until the highest level adventurers deal with nation-wide issues]
– She meets up with some other adventurers, who are going to go rid a cave of some goblins. They are all newbies with no experience, no funds, and no intelligence.
– Off into the cave they go!
– The tunnels are dark and tight. The party has to travel single file while they search for the horrid goblins. Naturally, Fighting Boy and Karate Gal walk ahead and SPLIT THE PARTY. At this moment, the goblins ambush the cleric and Magic-User Lady. Magic-User Lady gets stabbed in the stomach and falls to the ground in immense pain. Fighting Boy and Karate Gal rush back to defend their physically-weak companions.
– In the ensuing melee, Fighter Boy, who loves to swing his longsword wildly in the enclosed tunnel, hits the cave wall and before he can recover, the goblins leap on him, stabbing / clubbing him to death. Karate Gal leaps into the fray, beating up the goblins with her fists and feet, until a large hobgoblin grabs her and throws her to the ground.
– The goblins begin to rip off Karate Gal’s clothes and she tells the cleric to flee with the injured Magic-User Lady. Karate Gal is then sexually assaulted by the goblins. The anime barely covers the nudity, but the manga shows more than I am comfortable with. Heck, I turned away while watching the anime.
Rape is awful. However, in order to quickly introduce the fact that the goblins are evil, irredeemable monsters, Goblin Slayer had to either tell the audience this fact or show the audience this fact. In storytelling, it is better to show than tell. There are other ways this could be shown and I am not defending rape, just explaining why I think it is in here.
*END OF SIDE NOTE*
– The cleric tries to flee with Magic-User Lady (whose wound is not healed by the use of one of cleric’s three miracles per day), but is shot by with an arrow. She falls to the ground and thinks she is done for. Then… he arrives.
– Who is Goblin Slayer? What is his real name? Don’t know; don’t care. He shows up and starts kicking gobbo ass, after giving the cleric a potion to dull the pain.
– As it turns out, Magic-User Lady is poisoned and it is too late to save her, so Goblin Slayer gives her a merciful and quick death by dagger. Rather than wildly swinging a longsword, Goblin Slayer stabs the monsters with shorter blades (he has more than one!).
– He takes the cleric with him and through trickery, traps, and careful fighting, he kills all the goblins.
– Finally, they find Karate Gal nearly catatonic from her brutal treatment from the goblins. They take her back to the temple for rehabilitation, the cleric buys chainmail to go under her cleric robes, and she decides to stick with him on further adventures.
How many OSR games have been like that (minus the sexual assault)? The OSR forces you to learn quickly…
You learn that you can’t always wander into the dungeon and fight everything you see in a pitched battle. Sometimes, you need plans or tricks or traps to survive.
You learn to creatively use the environment to your advantage.
You learn to be prepared. Whenever you get ready to leave town for the dungeon, you check the number of torches you have, confirm you have enough spikes to hold a few doors shut, get enough rope to lasso the tarrasque, etc.
You learn the world is not made up of carefully-balanced encounters appropriate to your party level.
You learn that characters will die at random times, not just at dramatically appropriate times (despite what the 72,000 different Twitch D&D streams will tell you).
You learn that bringing backup is always a good idea.
Ultimately, I don’t know if old-school D&D actually inspired Goblin Slayer, but it sure seems like it. If you can stomach the evil that the goblins do “on screen”, I highly recommend giving this show / manga / light novel series a try!
EDIT: I can’t believe I did not include a link to this video. Shame on me. Shaaaaaaaaaaame.
DOUBLE EDIT: ‘Of Wolves and Men’ is at it again!