Goblin Slayer Episode 1 Review: The Fate of Particular Adventurers

The rookies adventurers

Goblin Slayer is a 12 episode anime series based on the “a Japanese dark fantasy light novel series written by Kumo Kagyu and illustrated by Noboru Kannatuki.” It was also adapted to a manga series of the same name by Kosuke Kurose. To say this series is a “dark” fantasy is an understatement. The horrifying elements of this series (mainly the Goblin rape) but also the bloody violence can certainly be off putting. 

We are first introduced to a young priestess as she signs up for adventures. We quickly learn that there are ten ranks of adventurers, that ends with the rank of platinum. Her rank starts at porcelain and is given a tag that can double as a identity tag. She is quickly invited to join a group of rookie adventurers. The quest is to slay some goblins. Without any preparation they head off . 

nameless swordsmen

After they enter the cave their collective inexperience leads to disaster. Our priestess is practically scared of her own shadow. Making matters even worst she and the mage get separated from the rest of the group. I will  admit that I found her helplessness to be irritating. However, considering her age and life experience this reaction was the most realistic. The mage is stabbed in the stomach by a goblin as the swordsmen arrives. 

He was quickly overwhelmed and brutally stabbed to death by a horde of goblins. The monk is next, she fare far worst. She faces off against a large hobgoblin and is quickly subdued before being sexually assaulted by one of the smaller goblins. The priestess flees with the mage. They’re quickly caught by some goblins, who prepare to rape the mage. However, the iron clad “Goblin Slayer (GS)” arrives as he keeps count of his kills. 

The priestess

The goblin slayer informs the priestess that the mage was poisoned and he death is guaranteed. A dying naked mage asks to be put out of her misery, the goblin slayer obliges. The priestess and the goblin slayer team up with our priestess revealing that she can only use “holy light,” and “heal” three times. GS explains how the goblins got the drop on them. He the proceeds to systematic slaughter them including the children, killing 22 goblin in all.

This episode was a . . . well effective. This world is unforgiving. The initial presentation of the series reminded me of many RPG anime. I kept hoping that when they were killed that they simply left the game. This series is certainly difficult to watch at times, yet I find myself wanting to watch the next episode.

Rescued young woman

I was quickly reminded of Game of Thrones, mainly due to the violence, rape and dark tone. What is noticeable is that none of the characters so far have names. Is this so that we don’t become to attach, see ourselves in these characters? Maybe their names will be revealed later as we go further in the series. The animation wasn’t spectacular but I find that it was good enough. I’m into this series, hopefully every episode doesn’t involve rape. It can be too much to handle for some, but I might like it. 

The Priestess and Goblin Slayer partner again
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Conception – Episode 001

Mahiru and Itsuki

Conception is an anime based off of a video game of the same name. First it’s unclear to me whether Itsuki and Mahiru are “friends,” or “cousins” as there are differences between the game and anime. Regardless, the main premise of this series is how the lives of Mahiru and Itsuki change when she reveals that “she’s pregnant.” 

Itsuki strapped to the bed

They’re instantly pulled into another world called Granvania. The quickly run into the perverted flying Raccoon Mana and court scholar Narcisstes. They are told that they have been summoned to “save the world.” How will they accomplish this? Itsuki is tasked with having sex with and impregnate the ” twelve Star Maidens (including Mahiru).”

One of the 12 star maidens

In order to save the world they must produce children to fight, as they can’t fight themselves. It’s only after this can Itsuki and Mahiru return home. It turns out that Mahiru isn’t pregnant after all and was just sick from some impurity. I’m not going to lie, the premise of Conception is ridiculous. I’m not at all interested in this series and I’m mildly put off by it.

The pervert Mana

Don’t get me wrong I’ve been watching anime since I was 5, so I’m not shocked by Conception’s concept. It is a common trope in most anime that the main characters sexual objects are young women that often look like children. It’s always creepy. Mana enhances this creepy atmosphere when at one point he “sniffs” out Mahiru virginity. After Itsuki is strapped to bed the camera zooms in on his bulge. 

Mahiru and Itsuki preparing to have sex

Also there’s the incest element between Mahiru and Itsuki, the fact that neither one of them is giving a choice to have sex as it’s clearly stated that they can’t return home until they all conceive. Conception also has poor dialogue and average animation. 

Zombie Land Saga Episode 001 Review – Good Morning

Sakura Minamoto

Sakura Minamoto is killed when she is hit by a truck. Before her death she had dreams of becoming an “idol.” She wakes up in a mansion, in the Saga prefecture. She stumbles upon zombie girls and flees in terror. She runs into a police officer that shoots her when he realizes that she’s a zombie.  

Frightened Cop that shoots Sakura in the chest

The cop is knocked out with a shovel. Still in shock Sakura is told by Kotaro Tatsumi that she has been dead for a decade and that she will work with “your team to save Saga.” Kotaro tells her that he will “make her into a idol.” Sakura asks Kotaro the following day during class “how she became a zombie” in the first place. 

Kotaro reveals the “Zombie Land Saga Project,” or just the title of the project. He keeps information close to the vest. He introduces the other band-mates, Dorami’s Legendary Biker Boss, Saki Nikaido, Legendary Showa Idol, Junko Konno, Legendary Courtesan, Yugiri, Legendary child actress prodigy Lily Hoshikawa, Legendary Tae Yamada and Legendary Heisei Idol, Ai Mizuno. 

Saki Nikaido

Sakura comically notes that Tae Yamada’s doesn’t have an elaboration like “Biker Boss,” or “Courtesan,” to go with her “Legend.” Regardless, the other zombie’s haven’t been awoken yet. They behave like traditional mindless zombie’s. Kotaro brings them to an open stage policy and puts make up on them concealing their zombie status. 

Kotaro Tatsumi

Kotaro tells Sakura that she should “trust her instincts,” while performing. The girls begin to react to the music and put on a performance that’s weird as they scream and “head-banging” to the point of breaking their necks. The performance, however, ends terribly as the girls turn on the audience. They “awaken” the following morning as Sakura yells GOOD MORNING.

Sakura “singing”

First Impressions

The musical anime genre doesn’t really interest me much. However, the general premise of the series was intriguing. The animation of MAPPA is always a draw for me and they don’t disappoint. What struck me as strange was how sad I felt that Sakura was killed. She wasn’t a familiar character at the beginning of the episode, yet her energetic, hopeful dreams to become an idol made her seem so innocent. It was a quick characterization that was very effective. 

I of course wonder if we will see her family. Fast forwarding a decade seems to be an narrative attempt to avoid focusing on the direct aftermath of Sakura’s death. However, a decade isn’t really long enough for her family to all be dead, unlike the other girls that appear to have been dead for longer. Personally, I was annoyed that Kotaro kept Sakura in the dark, regarding her zombifaction. I not sure if we will learn the truth or if they will simply move past it. That said I’m at least interested in seeing episode 2.

My Hero Academia Chapter 199 Review: Improvisation Operation

Fumikage Tokoyami takes center stage in this chapter. In My Hero Academia many characters have taken a back seat to the main ones. With so many interesting characters in this series that has been disappointing. However, the Joint Training Arc, Academia promises to focus on other secondary characters. Tokoyami has been on of the most appealing characters so far. He recounts his internship with Hawks.  

Hawks invites Fumikage to his home. He tells him that ” he wanted to talk to someone from Class 1-A about the League of Villains.” Hawks invites him a second time, he takes Fumikage on a flight. Hawks claims that Fumikage is wasting his potential. He tells him that ” he should be able to move much more freely as a bird with wings, and that he need not be confined to the ground.” 

Shihai mocks the name of Tokoyami’s new ultimate move name and uses the shadows hide from Class 1-A. Shihai gets behind Yuga and grabs him. He believes that his Quirk is superior to Fumikage as it’s more versatile. Fumikage uses his Dark Shadow: Black Fallen Angel on Shihai. This move allows Fumikage to fly ” by having Dark Shadow hold onto him while covered by Fumikage’s cloak to provide better darkness.”

He rescues Yuga from Shihai. Momo instructs Yuga to use his Navel Buffet, a move that blast several laser beams creating light. This prevents Shihai from hiding in the shadows, Momo instructs Toru to grab Shihai. However, a mushroom appears on Momo’s nose. Itsuka Kendo has apparently come up with a “plan B.” Momo and Kendo are clearly the leaders of their teams. So far in the series they have shown that they’re highly capable and highly intelligent. I’m curious to see what Momo and Kendo come up with to counter each other and what Kinoko’s mushroom quirk does.

Attack on Titan Episode 8 Review: Outside the Walls of Orvud District

Rod beings transforming into a Titan that is twice the size of the Colossal Titan. While transforming Rod destroys the cavern. In order to survive they turn to Eren. As typical of him, Eren has been begging to be “eaten.” He continues to be a “crybaby,” calling himself “useless.” Eren continues to apologize, but Jean does accept it stating that “that Eren has never accomplished anything by himself.” Conny reminds him that “collectively they have been through worse.”

Finally, Eren decides to grab a bottle labeled “armor” and breaks it in his teeth. He transforms and pillars of crystal beings to reinforce the ceiling of the cavern. The squad hides underneath Eren. The Anti-Personnel Squad is harmed however. Caven and another solider are crushed by debris form the cavern ceiling. Unsurprisingly, Hange survives, as Armin and Moblit escape with her Erwin arrives with the scouts.

Meanwhile, Eren is freed from his crystallized Titan and has apparently gained the ability to “harden,” his skin. Levi points out that this is can be used to rebuild the Wall Maria. Interestingly, Rod’s Reiss Titan is strange. It’s large and seems to have a torso too long to stand, along with arms and legs too weak to lift him. Instead of walking upright it crawls and burns everything in it’s wake. According to the Scouts they believe that Rod is an Abnormal Titan.

Historia is asked by Hange if she’s okay with her father being killed. Considering the fact that a Titan of that size must be killed. If find the attachment between Historia and Rod to be weak. It’s really unconvincing to me that she would sincerely care about him. However, she accepts that her father must die.

This episode wasn’t really as entertaining or interesting as the previous ones. That’s no real issue, all episodes don’t need to be spectacular. Mostly the episode felt slow and there wasn’t anything new revealed. Regardless, I’m curious why Erwin won’t evacuate the civilians, the next episode is going to be very interesting.

Attack on Titan Episode 6 Review: Sin

In the underground chapel built by the Reiss family, Historia reveals to Eren that “everything is all right,” and that her father is “an ally of humanity.” An ally despite the issues he caused for the Scouts, the murder of Pastor Nick and Dimo Reeves. I like Historia but she is rather naive to believe that he father is an ally of anyone but himself. Considering her childhood I think that she really wants to believe that her father is sincere so that she can have a family. Regardless, Rod decides that he will explain it everything to Eren. Having himself and Historia place their hands on Eren triggers memories from Grisha Yeager (Eren’s father). These memories depict Grisha’s “sin.”

Historia recovers some of her memories after touching Eren and realizes that she wasn’t alone as a child, but a dark haired young woman helped her and taught her to read. Rod tells her that woman was his daughter Frieda and she was Historia’s half-sister. Grisha’s sin was the killing of Frieda Reiss. He reveals that Grisha killed Rod’s entire family after he ate her. Gaining the Power of the Titans from Frieda. Grisha has been a mysterious figure in Attack on Titan. It’s stunning how monstrous he turns out to be or was he. Was the Reiss family really for humanity or for their own power? I’m betting their own power. We also learn how Eren received his powers, he ate his father. Knowing Eren this truth is going to weigh on him for some time even if it was an accident. However, considering his fathers knowledge of titans, I get the suspicion that he wanted Eren to eat him.

Kenny the Ripper interrupts them, telling them of the coup. Kenny seems to be subservient towards Rod, whom he calls King. Rod orders him to prepare for the Scouts to arrive. Meanwhile, we see how Zachary plans to treat the nobles, torture them. Basically he strips one naked and feeds him from the “bottom up.” It’s all quiet grotesque but I have no sympathy for the noble anyway, so I don’t care. It also turns out that Erwin’s father was right, the Royal family has the ability to erase memories. Of course certain bloodlines are immune to it’s effects. The nobles are telling all these secrets because they expect that no one will remember anyway.

The scouts prepare to get Eren and Historia. Armin, Mikasa and the others contemplate what their plan should be. Kenny is considered by Levi to be their biggest obstacle. He states that it would be smart for them to consider Kenny the “enemy version of him,” but “deadlier.” We finally get more clarification on Levi and Mikasa relationship with Kenny. Mikasa reveals that her dad did tell her that the Ackermann family had been persecuted. Levi asks her about a moment when she felt a “hidden power,” she says that she had. Levi states that both himself and Kenny felt it as well. In a flashback from Kenny we see that the Ackermann family use to be the warriors that protected the King.

Kenny’s grandfather tells him that the King does hate them, but he can’t control them. The Ackermann family and the Oriental Clan are immune to the King memory erasing power. This all of course makes sense. Mikasa, Levi and Kenny are clearly among the best warriors in the series, the fact that they are also immune to the King’s power does add some comfort. I be interested in seeing if Kenny and Mikasa face off. The scouts arrive at the chapel and prepare for a fight, meanwhile, the Military police are already prepared to greet them. The series has scaled back on the action in favor of more world building, it appears that the next episode will see Attack on Titan return to that action. Which is great, I was starting to miss it.

One Piece Chapter 915 Review: Bakura Town

We are introduced several other SMILE users. One of them is Holdem. He’s a SMILE user whose devil fruit ability allows him to create a lion’s head and forelegs on his waist. What makes him interesting is that the lion is sentient and thinks on it’s own. This leads to them getting into conflicts with each other, they physically assault each other but they inflict damage to themselves because they share a body. Regardless, he asks Tama how she was able to tame the animals. She’s unwilling to tell him and lies. However, Holdem tells her that she “pulled something from her cheek,” he tells his subordinates to “bring pliers,” so he can pull her cheek bu force.

As they are riding into the town, Luffy catches a sumo wrestler that is sent flying. Urashima is dominating other sumo wrestlers in the ring. He apparently has broken, “10 arms, 15 legs, 52 ribs, 4 skulls and 7 spines.” He’s undefeated, he sees Kiku and assumes that she came to be his wife. This triggers the women in the audience who assume that she is a gold-digger. He sends his boys to go get her, Zoro lets them take her. I doesn’t matter as Kiku takes it upon herself to cut Urashima’s topknot off.

This chapter went by real fast. Not much really occurred other than the introduction of more villains. They will almost certainly be quickly defeated by Luffy and Zoro, so they don’t feel like threats. Also I’m not afraid for Tama’s safety. I’m interested is how strong Kiku is compared to say Zoro. I’m not an expert on Japanese culture, but I know that cutting of a samurai’s topknot is considered a major insult if not worse. Will Kiku be able to defeat Urashima? Finally, I literally though the lion was Pekoms. LOL.

Attack on Titan Episode 5 Review: Reply

This episode largely takes place in the throne room. Erwin makes a impassioned plea for the value of the Scout Regiment. The nobles seem to be hasty in their decision to disband the scouts. The Scout Regiment are the branch of the Military that faces off against the Titans the most and they do so deliberately. It features the best soldiers and have the best at using omni-directional mobility gear. Disbanding without having a replacement is short sighted and will cost everyone at some point if implemented.

Erwin claims that if “Wall Rose was breached, its residents would take refuge in Wall Sina again, but the earlier evacuation decimated their stockpiles. This time the residents would be forced to fight for resources and a civil war would erupt between Wall Rose and Wall Sina. Furthermore, Wall Rose is always suffering from a food shortage, so the best way to avoid war is to reclaim Wall Maria. It is the duty of the Scouts to charge at the enemy.” The nobles don’t care, avoiding answering whether they have a better plan to deal with the Titans.

Aurille instead focuses on Erwin’s violation of the “Charter of Humanity,” which reads: “Thou shall not prioritize one’s own gain over the longevity of humanity.” Erwin’s refusal to hand over Eren to the Military has resulted in the Charter being violated. Predictably, he’s sentenced to death. Nile Dawk’s sort of represents the audience here, I think that many of us watching shared his confusion. As Erwin is being lifted to his feet, Anka Rheinberger enters the thrown room and states a clearly false claim that the “the Colossal and Armored Titans have broken through both gates of Calaneth District. The reaction from the nobles is predictable as they demand the gate be closed, leaving half of humanity to death.

Nile disobeys the order, stating that he’s “a human of Wall Rose and he will not allow the gates to be closed.” Dhalis Zachary arrives with armed soldiers. He reveals that the report was false. Pyxis admits that he orchestrated the plan. What surprised me about Pyxis confession is that he was willing to let Erwin die, if the Government made a better choice for humanity. He declares a “coup d’etat.” This moment illustrates how the real power tends to be with the Military forces, after all they have the guns right.

The most surprising thing about this scene in the throne room is the incompetence of the “King” Fritz. His personality and psychical appearance gave off the impression that he was a ruler not to be messed with. It turns out that he was actually asleep with his eyes open. This episode plays with this fact by constantly showing him motionless over and over again. At first I assumed he wasn’t threatened, then I though he might have been dead and propped up somehow, the truth is played for laughs as when he is woken up by Aurille he’s ask if “it’s time to eat.”

So far each episode has solve some mysteries while creating new ones. This episode is no different. Hange explains the report that Erwin gave her. 5 years prior, the Reiss family save Rod Reiss were killed by bandits while praying in a Church. Rod found Historia right after they were killed. Levi concludes that there must be something in the blood of Reiss family. Hange suggests that the story doesn’t add up. The chapel was destroyed even though it was made of stone. Personally, I think he may have had his family killed, destroying the chapel to cover his tracks.

Finally, we see that Eren is chained in the Underground Chapel. I’ve mention before that Eren constantly getting captured seems to be a theme in this series. However, I wonder if the series is trying to turn the “Damsel in Distress,” motif on it head, by constantly having Eren (a male) getting kidnapped and being saved by Mikasa (a female). Anyway, Armin wonders that if “a Titan gains the powers of a person who can change into a Titan by eating them, then when did Eren become a Titan and who did he eat?” I don’t know if that’s how Eren got his powers. Considering their closeness from childhood wouldn’t Eren tell him he ate a Titan?

One Piece Chapter 914 Review: Leftover Town

O’Tama’s recovery

O’Tama quickly recovers as Zoro notes. Apparently, Bugleweed is a “wonder” drug. The weed doesn’t eliminate all the poison however. O’Tama is sweet and adorable, but I found her humility to be so what annoying. She refuses to accept the food Miss Tsuru offers her. Maybe I’m being too unforgiving. Year of starvation probably make her value food even more that most. Regardless, she does seem to evetually accept the food. It strange that she has issues with starvation, considering her devil fruit ability that allows her to create food like dumplings. She claims that it doesn’t help.

Leftover Town

Zoro ask why the town is called “Leftover.” Basically, when the Shogun Orochi took control of all the food and land they began hording it for themselves. The powerful officials send their rotten food, refuse and other things that they don’t want to be purchased and sold. That is why Leftover Town received it’s name. 20 years ago the Kozuki Clan ruled Wano, the Lord planted a field to feed the people. Oda is clearly setting up to restore the Oden’s to power.

The Gifters

We are quickly being introduced to new villains in this arc. The Gifters are a division of the Beast Pirates, they have been giving “Artificial Devil Fruit,” and each possesses a pair of black horns. They were created by SMILEs, which ” gives them the ability to transform some parts of their body, such as their arms or ears, into different parts of an animal’s body even some animals that live in the ocean.” Batman shoots an arrow at Tsuru for “bad mouthing the shogun,” he claims to have super hearing.

Meanwhile, the Gifter Gazelleman kidnaps O’Tama. Kiku, Luffy and Zoro give chase. It is revealed that Kiku is a samurai herself. I assumed that Zoro would get the legendary sword, but maybe Kiku will keep it. As they enter Bakura Town and prepare for battle, Law is alerted to their presence. He states that they must be stopped otherwise they’ll make a scene. I for one am looking forward to see how Law and his pirate crew fits into this arc.

Banana Fish Episode 007 Review: The Rich Boy

The boys head to California, we are quickly introduced to Max’s family. He has a son named Micheal and a soon to be ex-wife, Jessica. She pulls a shotgun on him fearing that Max is trying to kidnap their son. She sees Shunichi and stops. She offers Ash and Eiji a modeling deal, but Max suggest that “She’ll make you open your legs and show your butt hole.” She chastises him for his hypocrisy, considering he did the same thing “making a living out of taking shots of girls cooches.” I turns out that it was the birthday of Micheal, Max leaves him with a baseball mitt.

Jessica is an interesting and dynamic character, she doesn’t put up with the bullshit even from Ash. I hope to see more of her in this series. They finally head to Dawson’s mansion, Ash is quickly on alert. The maid tells them that “master,” is being kidnapped, when Ash arrives in the backyard they three men shoot at him. They miss every shot, Ash shoots the guns out of their hands. Ash inability to trust anyone leads him to be suspicious of Yau-Si, as he tells Shorter, “he’s too quiet.”

Ash hacks into a computer and learns more about, Banana Fish. I’m surprised that Ash is such a computer expert considering that he’s never been depicted as being good a tech. It’s likely a result of the modernization of the series. Furthermore, Ash is too well versed in Chemistry. How does he know what “Inert Alkaloids,” are? Meanwhile, Shorter learns about Yau-Si Dawson, but is quickly betrayed to Lee Hua-Lung, the brother of Lee Wang-Lung.

Max tries to understand what they discovered. He concludes that the military is probably involved. Ash of course decides that he’s going to see this through regardless. Shorter is ordered by Lee to spy on Ash. He’s told that Yut Lung will be “giving him orders from now on.” Understandably, Shorter is distressed by this, he realizes that Yau-Si is Yut Lang. Ash has a conversation with Eiji in which he tells him to “go back to Japan.” Basically, that he’s a large liability. Eiji ask for time to think it over. Yut Lang takes notice of Ash and Eiji’s relationship, he orders Shorter to kidnap him.

He needs to capture Ash alive and plans to use Eiji as bait. Shorter pulls a knife on him but Yut uses his sister against him. Shorter seems devastated that the Lee Clan is as he puts it ” the same as the Golzine gang.” He begins to cry which surprises Yut. The racial dynamics in this show is difficult for me to decipher. I’m not Asian so I don’t know if the reverence for powerful families like the Lee’s are common or if its specific to Shorter’s family. Also, I’m not sure that the racial politics are current or is it adapted directly from the manga series. The one issue I have with this series is that modernizing parts of it has lead to confusion. Finally, Max’s family is in danger. I’m hoping that Jessica doesn’t become a typical damsel in distress. Another, great episode though.