Manga Cafe Monday: Goblin Slayer

Trigger and Content Warning.

This series is dark, morbid, deals in blood, death, gore, mental health, physical abuse, nudity, assault, and in general should be consumed with foreknowledge that it is designed for an adult audience.

With that in mind:

Oh yes. This one. I love this one. I’ve watched the anime twice and read the manga twice. This is going to be my third read through.

I’m hearing mutterings in the back. Ok, okay. We’ll address the issue first. The glaring one. The one that seemingly everyone I’ve ever talked to about this who is not blessed/cursed with a uterus has brought up.

It’s super dark.

I don’t actually find it all that dark. Uterus holder that I am, this manga is honestly, to me, rather blase for all the “dark, dark, dark, sick” that gets bandied about. No. This is just in your face about the thing uterus holders get taught from the time we’re, what, three?

We’re taught to watch where we walk at night. To not go down side streets or strange alleys. To avoid strangers. To avoid parking lots late. To park under lights. To know which lots have working security cameras. To put safety bars in our sliding doors.

This series is literally what we are taught what will happen to us by other humans, not goblins, since almost the time we’re born. I haven’t heard, in real life, from too many other uterus holders that this is a dark anime. Because we get it. It’s just another slice of the anxiety in the back of our head. It’s like “yep, know that fear intimately, and daily, so, when do we get to the dark part?”

I love the Goblin Slayer in this. He does fit that “hero” role for damsel in distress situations. However, he breaks the mold because guess what, he doesn’t develop some weird romantic heart beating out of his chest infatuation, and the cleric following him around might have a lightweight crush on him, but they work together. They WORK. They aren’t trying to flirt every five seconds. He depends on her as much as she depends on him. He might have a level advantage because he specializes, but he doesn’t push that advantage to the detriment of his comrade.

This isn’t a “save the princess in the castle.” It’s not a “the empire has failed us”. It’s not “Look at me, I’m a strong woman who gets in over her head and needs a guy to come rescue me every two minutes.” This is a solid platonic partnership. The guy is pretty blunt, which can rub some people the wrong way. A “he has no compassion.” No. Dig deeper. He sees when there is no other option in a situation. He can and will improvise when able. He does the job no one else can or will do in order to help keep people safe.

Yes, it sounds like I’m singing praises here. I’d just like to see these kinds of characters and relationships more often in anime. Ones where you don’t have to depend on drama, jealousy, misunderstandings, or slap stick comedy to change or lighten a mood.

This one is dark. It touches on subjects meant to disturb the market audience it reaches. I’m glad for that. I’m glad it disturbs those who don’t have a uterus that feel revulsion on reading it. I want them to have an ounce of sympathy jammed into their skull so they can understand what it feels like to walk to your car at midnight wondering if there is someone sitting in the backseat and you’re going to be the body on the side of the train tracks found three days later.

That is what this story is. It is the daily fear we hold and the fear we wish others would actually understand and internalize for two seconds. This needs to be where we show the type of hero we want. The one that doesn’t see us as a piece of meat or a broodmare after rescuing us from the other guy. No. Fix the problem. Be the example. Make it not okay to assault uterus holders.

Its a revenge story, a cautionary tale, and an example all rolled into one big ball of dynamic action and cunning traps. It’s what I’ve wanted to say forever and never been able to get people who don’t have a uterus to understand what that terror is.

“Why are you so anxious? Why are you worried? Meet me for dinner.” etc. etc. etc.

Because the world flipping scarred an entire segment of the population from the time they were born and I’m sick and tired of it.

This one hits every one of my slash and hack do it, do it, do it gratification buttons when I see goblins fall.

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Chapel Orahamm View All →

I am a writer and artist working through the Kavordian Library series. I write sci-fi, fantasy, lgbt romance.

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