I can honestly not remember the last time I have seen so much hate around the anime community for the first episode of an anime, and I know I am a little late to talk about this but I just really wanted to put my two cents into the discussion about this first episode that has so many anime fans pissed and on a side note personally I liked the first episode and plan to continue watching the series.
As someone who over the years has read countless fantasy stories, played fantasy games and watched a few fantasy anime, I knew this was not going to be the usual power fantasy cliche of a story when one of the characters asked if they had enough potions and another character said no and laughed it off. These adventurers were idiots in a dangerous world and it was almost a relief to actually see some danger and consequence in the story for such idiotic adventurers.
The biggest issue I am seeing about this series around though is people being ‘uncomfortable’ with rape being shown in the first episode and that it is just there as a cheap attempt to make the story edgy. Now as someone who has read and watched countless yaoi titles and knowing that at this point rape could be considered a cliche within that genre this scene did not bother me that much and there was a reason for this. The rape itself was shown as a cruel and depraved act. It was not glorified or fetishized it was shown for the cruel act it is and this has apparently pissed off a lot of people. I have written countless times that I personally do not have an issue with subjects like rape happening in fictional media, in fact, at times I outright support the depiction of it because sexual violence is something that does happen, but what I do hate is when these acts are glorified into something enjoyable. Odd I know for someone who is a yaoi fan to say right? News flash, just because rape is a cliche in yaoi does not mean all yaoi fans like or fetishize rape. In fact, I went into this fact with my review of The Tyrant Falls in Love, this was an anime where the rape made me uncomfortable, Goblin Slayers rape scene not so much.
The other scene that is making people uncomfortable is the slaying of baby goblins, this is a scene that like the rape scene earlier in the episode is here to prove a point about the world that the story of Goblin Slayer is taking place in. This world is a cruel and dark place and though to a certain extent with the title character at least it could be seen as a power fantasy much like the original Berserk this is a power fantasy in a world where you need to be powerful to survive and not a power fantasy that comes from being surrounded by weak easily defeated enemies.