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Kuroonehalf rated it
Goblin Slayer
September 5, 2018
Status: v3
This was both the most exciting novel for me, and then also the most disappointing. If I were to rate the series based on the first volume, it would have been a resounding 5 out of 5. In that first volume we're presented with a seemingly bland starter RPG setting and quirky protagonist, but then knocked off our boots with its execution. The writing is excellent, with characters who act and speak believably, and with a grippingly gritty and realistic fantasy world. The act of choosing your equipment, putting up... more>> a party, struggling in battle, and so on, are all painted in a way that don't just feel like references or tropes, but like real actions with substance and meaning. Even the simple act of consuming a health potion is told in a way that is fascinating.

The dynamic of the two main characters and two main side characters is also very interesting, with loads of potential for a good harem/romantic triangle. All-in-all it's amazing, and I couldn't stop gushing about it after I read it.

Then I read V2 and V3 and my hopes were crushed. There are two giant missteps:

  • A small party of an elf girl, a dwarf, and a lizard priest manage to tag themselves along with Goblin slayer and his sidekick from the end of V1, and they not only don't pull their weight, but they drag the whole thing down. The elf girl and the dwarf are in constant childish bickering (I kid you not, the "pointy ears is flat as an iron" "yeah, well, you're tiny and stupid" bit is replayed over and over and over again. It's unbearable). The elf girl is a total cardboard tsundere and does nothing but whine and get drunk. She's so whiny that she even forces Goblin Slayer to change his tactics. Goblin Slayer is usually an insane maniac and will do whatever is most effective for the situation, regardless of how brutal and disgusting it is. But when elf girl tags along she keeps getting all prissy that his tactics are too gross and makes him not do them, making battles a lot less exciting, and also constantly putting their party in even more danger (to a point where some end in what feel almost like asspulls). The dwarf and the lizard priest don't get in Goblin Slayer's way but also don't do anything interesting. They're kinda just there, repetitively enchanting spells in battle and throwing assorted quips outside of battle.
  • Goblin Slayer becomes a parody of himself, turning into a supremely dense character with no awareness of others' emotions and with no goals and ambitions aside from just killing goblins. That's enough for a first volume, but you can't just keep pushing on the same key after that, and unfortunately that's exactly what happens. He just becomes so boring, and his lines comprise 90% of "is that so?".
There's also some other extra characters that don't justify their screen time, and a super awkward interaction with a major plot character in volume 2 that is weirdly sexual, and other smaller gripes.

I would still recommend checking out volume 1 to see the great stuff it does there, but be aware that it's a vehicle about to drive off the cliff. <<less
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