Slay the Goblins… And Slay More Goblins
Five years ago, a small band of rookie adventurers entered a goblin den, and their brutal defeat and even more violent rescue launched a thousand memes. The trend in anime in recent years has been to tell stories involving villains with nuanced motivations in worlds of gray morality. Goblin Slayer bucked that trend with a short sword stuck firmly between a goblin’s eyes. The bad guys in this violent fantasy adventure are evil. They torture everyone, capture women, and then impregnate them with goblin spawn as if they were green, squat retroviruses. A recurring theme of the anime was how Goblin Slayer’s fellow humanoids questioned if he could justify his unforgiving and severe methods. Then, those adventurers fought goblins themselves and saw what he saw. The taciturn hero couldn’t be called “racist” or “genocidal” because he squashed goblins as the vermin they were.
That was a refreshing take in 2018. I often felt a satisfying surge of revenge when Goblin Slayer and his crew mercilessly exterminated a goblin den. The anime was as stark as its lead hero. None of the characters had names and only identified themselves by their societal roles. Goblin Slayer had an underlying theme about defying the gods, which became more explicit in the 2020 movie Goblin Slayer: Goblin’s Crown. It’s now the subtitle in Goblin Slayer II: “He does not let anyone roll the dice.” In the movie’s epilogue, the narrator explains how Goblin Slayer doesn’t aim to save the world; he only wants to slay goblins. But his extreme preparation leaves the gods out of influencing circumstances. Goblin Slayer makes his own luck and takes his own chances. For now, the gods leave him alone, but will that continue? Let’s find out in the second season!
Goblin Slayer Switches Studios
While the premise and main character remain the same, fans waited three years for any news after the Goblin Slayer production committee announced a sequel season following the movie. In January 2023, GA Bunko Channel revealed a vague 2023 timeline for the next season and that LIDEN FILMS would take over production from White Fox. Unfortunately, the teaser promo video and visuals used existing material. But we learned all the cast and much of the crew would reprise their roles. Most heartening to hear was that Takaharu Ozaki, the series director from the first season and movie, will be acting as chief director. Misato Takada from LIDEN FILMS will be the second season’s series director. Hideyuki Kurata returns as head writer and Kenichiro Suehiro returns to produce its music. The prominent change to match the switching of studios is new character designer Hiromi Katou taking over from Takashi Nagayoshi.
So, we have assurances that the tone and ambiance will carry over from White Fox. But we loved how the Priestess, Witch, and Sword Maiden looked, especially in a bedroom or luxurious bath. The Sword Maiden’s short scene in the preview gives me pause. Before disappointment sets in, let’s reacquaint ourselves with the cast.
Get Used to It Again
Goblin Slayer — Yuichiro Umehara (Klaus from Spy Classroom). His name is the title of the anime. He kills goblins to avenge his family and village from a raid in his past. Goblin Slayer bases his methods on solo missions, so adjusting to party tactics has been challenging.
Priestess — Yui Ogura (Hime Shiraki from Yuri Is My Job!). After Goblin Slayer rescued her while exterminating a goblin den, she insisted on joining him as a party member. The young healer has developed feelings for the stoic hero, but so have all the other girls in his orbit.
High Elf Archer — Nao Touyama (Rin Shima from Yuru Camp, Yui Yuigahama from My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, and Ruka Sarashina from Rent-a-Girlfriend). Even at hundreds of years old, High Elf still bristles at being called “Anvil Chest.” She loves drinking with Dwarf Shaman and would be ecstatic to see “Orcbolg” without his helmet again.
Cow Girl — Yuka Iguchi (Imouto-chan from Tawawa on Monday, Hibari from Senran Kagura, and Chigusa Hitachi from Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?). Goblin Slayer’s childhood friend has lived with her uncle’s family after the horrendous goblin raid that killed her family. Goblin Slayer also lives there when he’s not eliminating goblin dens. She is whom he protects from goblins, and the girls in Goblin Slayer’s orbit acknowledge her premier status.
Guild Girl — Maaya Uchida (Shinobu Miyake from Urusei Yatsura (2022), Vermeil in Vermeil in Gold, and Melty from Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari). The guild receptionist has an immense crush on her idiosyncratic silver-rank hero. She feels left out of his circle of attention because Cow Girl and Priestess command most of his attention.
Sword Maiden — Aya Endou (Reine and Mio from Date A Live). Goblins blinded and violated the former adventurer before she became the Church’s archbishop. She is the Priestess’s lead authority and can perform miraculous healing magic. That extreme healing requires extreme skin contact, which we are grateful to witness.
They Roll the Dice with Goblin Slayer!
- Dwarf Shaman — Yuuichi Nakamura (Max from Level 1 Demon Lord and One Room Hero and Hawks in My Hero Academia). The dwarf adventurer is as experienced a fighter as he is a drinker. He often jovially bickers with High Elf Archer.
- Lizard Priest — Tomokazu Sugita (Rudeus Greyrat from Mushoku Tensei and Dariel in Chillin’ in My 30s after Getting Fired from the Demon King’s Army). The Lizard Priest aspires to become a dragon and summons dragon skeletons from strewn bones. His favorite food is melted cheese!
- Witch — Youko Hikasa (Arshes Nei from Bastard!! and Yayoi Kusakabe in High Rise Invasion). Witch is an adorable woman with an explosive bust and seductively lilting voice. The smoking babe (in both senses of the word) knows the depths of Goblin Slayer’s conviction to destroy goblins. Witch often partners with Spearman, who jealously guards her attention from other men.
- Spearman — Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (Fuutarou Uesugi from Quintessential Quintuplets). Witch’s regular adventuring partner has a crush on Guild Girl but begins understanding her attachment to Goblin Slayer after the laconic hero plans an immense military operation and shows off his eye-meltingly masculine face. Chicks dig scars, even in grimdark fantasy adventure anime.
The first season and movie of Goblin Slayer stream on Crunchyroll, which will carry the second season after its October 6, 2023, premiere.
J-List has many official (and unofficial) Goblin Slayer products for fans. Let’s hope LIDEN FILMS can make Sword Maiden look as beautiful as this figure resembles her appearance in the first season.
Are you looking forward to Goblin Slayer’s return? How concerned are you about the change in animation studios? LIDEN FILMS put nipple bumps on Sword Maiden’s character design, so I’m guardedly optimistic. How about you? Let us know in the comments below or online on Facebook, Twitter, or Discord.
Source: Anime News Network