Three days after his sister was no more, he finally gained the will to move. In the aftermath of a goblin raid, a lone boy mourned his village, his family. Five years later, he visited a city on the frontier and became an adventurer. It was five years earlier that the boy who had lost a place to call home was reunited with his childhood friend. Despite being the lowest Porcelain rank, the boy readies himself and then sets off alone for a lair of goblins, marking the beginning of the legend of Goblin Slayer!
Source: Yen Press
Goblin slayer year one is a manga adaptation to the Goblin Slayer: Year One light novel that takes place before the original light novel series. This manga explores Goblin Slayer's early adventures ONLY. The story is primarily based on the main character, Goblin Slayer, before he met his team mates in the sequel series. This series isn't much different to the sequel. It's the same ol'guy killing goblins before he met his team mates. But in all honesty it is just as intriguing as the original series. However if you didn't enjoy the premise of the original series, the sequel manga, then don't expect anything new or changed in this manga. It's the same dark, gory, edgy fantasy manga. We also still don't yet fully understand what happened to Goblin Slayer when he was younger and his past yet. I do recommend reading the sequel manga or Light novel before you read this series because the sequel did come out before the prequel did. If you came here expecting if this manga will show any more part of his childhood other than of what you already know, then you'll be disappointed, we don't get any new info yet; but we do explore his early expeditions. Unlike the many isekai's that have been coming out lately, Goblin Slayer explores the darker side of the fantasy world. Instead of the shitty generic trash isekai we have seen so many times. Instead of the nice, unrealistic world with very little blood shed with villains evil just for the plot we get a isekai villains with actually reasons to be evil. The goblin's aren't evil just to show how OP the Mc is (Well...Kinda, but there are other legitimate reasons) but because they have to reproduce. They aren't evil because they want to be, they're evil because they have to be. The manga is just as dark and gory as the sequel is so if you just want more of Goblin Slayer then you have come to the right place. As I've said, the story is mostly on Goblin Slayer only and his early adventures so we don't get to see too much of any other characters besides Goblin Slayer. There are some new characters introduced here but haven't yet shown in the sequel yet. If you're expecting any of his party member to be in this manga then you're going to be disappointed. It's the same badass, cool Mc that is not an exceptionally over powered, nor is he blessed with unique gifts/powers that elevate him to the status of being “one of a kind” being or Mc like you're used to seeing so many times in other fantasies. He uses legitimate tactics to kill goblins which is much better than just killing them easily because how op you are. He kills Goblins because he knows how they think, what they're going to do next, and their weaknesses. Like in real life when facing an enemy. The art is pretty similar to the sequel. Dark, detailed, and overall quite beautiful. You know exactly what is happening during the fight scenes that you don't have to stare at the pages wondering what the hell is going on. You can tell that the artist wasn't lazy with his work. Although, there might be others who dislike it for being, idk, too dark or gory but i think it fits the mood of the manga and does a good job portraying what's happening. Overall, it's very similar to the original sequel series. Don't expect it to be much different. Goblin Slayer isn't a story that is supposed to be meaningful or deep with compelling themes but rather just mindless enjoyment. By far it isn't the greatest manga out there nor is it the worst. It's quite unique in a sense how it shows the cruel reality of life and probably the more realistic side of the isekai/fantasy world we aren't used to seeing very often. I definitely recommend to give it a shot if you love dark, gory, edgy fantasy stories or you just want more of Goblin Slayer. It's a good prequel.
We see Goblin Slayer making a lot more mistakes, but there are still a lot fewer mistakes (and fewer negative consequences) than I would expect from a story about feir first year as an adventurer. We also see some interspersed flashbacks to feir mentor, who is apparently a rhea (I had assumed fe was a goblin for the longest time). Related to that, they have the mentor quote from both Yoda and Gollum...which, I mean...just felt dumb. Each of the various plotlines is obviously built to show how some detail from the main series came to be. Like, we see how feir helmet lost its horns, why fe first decided to use chain mail, where fe got the idea to connect a gateway scroll to the sea, when fe gained an aversion to fighting goblins out in the open, when fe got the idea to use fire, and so on and so forth. It's, um, somewhat pathetic. Most of these details--while existing in the main series--are pretty mundane and don't feel worthy of having origin stories written about them. For example, why would I care about the thought process that led to fem realizing that fe can pick up goblin weapons as fe goes? That's not a detail that needs an origin story. There's also quite a bit of "oh, I recognize that character!" going on, and they include several of the proto-romances that end up being a bit more developed in the main series. I think these types of things are probably the main reason this series feels lesser than the main series--it just feels like it's trying to tick off checkmarks in its checklist of origin events. It also had too many internal monologues. I noticed it especially with the farm girl and with Goblin Slayer. And it seemed like each chapter either ends with a dire situation popping up (cliffhanger!) or with a close-up shot of Goblin Slayer reiterating feir desire to kill all the goblins or otherwise emphasizing feir obsession with goblins. Like, we get it: Goblin Slayer feels the urge to slay goblins. It doesn't need to be restated during every other chapter's final panels. It's not as strong of a conclusion as the author obviously seems to think it is. It's also stupid how they try to emphasize the curves and femininity of the girls by having them do stupid poses (like pressing their knees together while having their feet flared outward) or by just spending far too much time peeking at the farm girl when fe's in a pre-dressed state. In addition to showing Goblin Slayer's early career, this series seems very focused on showing a new character I'll refer to as the "brash newbie." This brash newbie learns a lesson in being too brash and is currently in the midst of a regrowth portion of feir character arc. I definitely don't mind the idea of including new characters, but I just didn't find these new characters all that interesting. There are also a few other new characters, including a researcher and the receptionist girl's mentor from the main city (who seems to be leading us into an enjoyable storyline). Goblin Slayer helps the researcher out with two projects: 1) updating the goblin entry in the Monster Manual, and 2) looking into planeswalking and the idea of fate being determined by gods rolling dice. I honestly don't find the gameboard cosmology very interesting. I can stand it in small doses, but when they have it be a larger focus of a plotline or chapter, I get turned off. Which means that, clearly, the dark tower storyline (ch. 37-42) with the researcher is my least favorite storyline--I found it dull and grating. [Reviewed at chapter 48]
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