Art: Masahiro Ikeno
Original Story: Kumo Kagyu
Character Design: Noboru Kannatuki
Translation: Kevin Steinbach
What They Say:
In a remote town dwells a man single-mindedly devoted to the slaughter of goblins – a man known as Goblin Slayer. However, this grim crusader isn’t the only one living an adventure-filled life! There are many who cross his path, like the rookie warrior and apprentice cleric who (though a bit put off by him) seek out Goblin Slayer’s advice or the waitress on a mission to get him to eat her tavern’s food … Not to mention the goblins themselves, lying in wait in their nest. They all have their own stories to tell!
Content (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
As any smart porcelain ranked adventurer both Rookie Warrior and Apprentice Cleric have decided to begin with a low ranked quest suited to their skills, but this means clearing out fetid sewers beneath the city. However as a giant rat seeks to defend its territory the amateur fighter is stunned by how hard it is to stop this menace, his arm going numb after the first shield strike and begins to complain about the pain, all but ignoring his foe. It is only after his female companion yells to pay attention does he finally become frustrated in guarding and plunges his short sword into the oncoming body, killing it instantly. After she scolds him for being careless and gives an antidote to cure any diseases, the fledgling priest inspects what the rodent was protecting and it was the remains of long deceased explorer, taking her tag so that the guild may inform the family of the death. However her admonishments are not over, she reminds her friend they need the rat’s ear for proof but all attempts to pull his weapon lose make it clear the blade is stuck inside the corpse. Panicking for his only armament they do not notice the chittering of another foe coming down the dark corridor and it is only thanks to her Holy Smite they come out of the encounter alive, but as they continue to argue about what to do next their attention is once again pulled to the shadows as numerous eyes pierce the blackness. A horde of giant cockroaches is skittering down the cobblestones and with no other options left the pair is forced run for their lives … leaving his blade still embedded in the decaying body.
With their quest ending as in a complete failure the pair meet up the next morning in the guild hall to discuss what to do next, especially concerning Rookie Warrior’s uselessness now without a weapon. While able to borrow something from another adventurer he is hesitant to do so, that is until Spearman interrupts the conversation and ask about their predicament, resulting in worry reflected on his part since he cannot but be troubled about the same thing happening again. It is only then does his partner Witch approach and suggest another solution by pulling a strangely colored candle from her ample cleavage, communicating in her halting style that this magic item will lead the way to what they seek or they can sell it for a few coins. Although they thank them for the advice, this team is still uncertain what to do and speak to more rookies until they are finally to talk to Guild Girl since she is there to help novices like themselves. And yet once they begin talking most of what she says is already known to the duo and frustration begins to set in, but when both are about to leave the receptionist greets the one person they did not want to meet – the menacing form of Goblin Slayer. It is only then does the group remember their first encounter with this eccentric person, as with anyone else hearing his reputation they made fun of his preferences, but Guild Girl smiles and reassures them he will not mind such insults. So they hesitantly approach this hulking man with an exhausted Priestess passed out beside him, but still do not know how to ask his silver ranked explorer for help when they feel disappointed in themselves for insulting someone who now exudes such a pure aura of intense intimidation.
While he may not be the center of attention within this title, it is still fun to watch others cope with their own problems only to have Goblin Slayer step and offer sincere, if somewhat brief advice, even if it may be hard to approach such an intimidating man. And since it appears these stories take place after the anime (he now has a silver tag and Priestess an obsidian plus others in his group and now more comfortable around him), writer Kagyu-sensei allows for the stories’ mood to bit more relaxed, but still allow us not to forget goblins still pose a threat. You cannot but smile as these side characters, especially Rookie Warrior and Apprentice Cleric, all appear to be on the edge of crying when they cannot manage with the difficulties of life whether they are trying to make it as adventurers or find out more about a mysterious man. And yet mangaka Ikeno-sensei still manages to give the artwork a gentleness not seen within other works of this series, allowing the reader to sympathize with each person’s naiveté until they are shown the truth behind exploring or secrets hidden behind a gruesome helmet.
But even with these reflective moments we are still shown the ruthless cruelty of goblins and the man who hunts them without mercy, with the final solo tale allowing us to see through a different viewpoint and portraying simplicity from his prey with the same desires as normal men, until they release the hunger and wanton desires which human females fear. You cannot but want to help their captive as these filthy animals have their way with her, feeling sickness within the pit of your stomach, only to have it dispelled once our favorite helmeted hero cleaves the beasts for their hungers.
Goblin Slayer: Brand New Day creates a lighthearted mood within this title which is unusual for the franchise and yet each story allows for a different focus which centers upon side characters who might never have their own moment in the spotlight. By allowing this change it keeps the tales fresh and breaks the mold where Goblin Slayer must always lead and instead allows him to offer guidance in keeping with his attitude – where more is said with fewer words. His personality shines forth within each chapter whether they be from his influence or a tone reflected from his hatred for his bitter foe and whatever may be the case, this series is certain to captivate anyone who enjoys his escapades and the world in which he lives.
Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: A-
Text/Translation Grade: A-
Age Rating: Mature
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: July 23, 2019