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The series itself begins in a terrible note, story-wise. A rookie party formed by a Fighter, a Female Wizard, a Warrior and a Priestess, all of them at quite the low power/experience rank, decided to go into a nest of goblins to try wiping them out and rescuing their prisoners. However, due to their lack of preparation, the group is horrifyingly overwhelmed: Warrior is literally torn apart, Fighter is captured and gangraped, Wizard is fatally wounded and molested, and Priestess is all but indefense against the goblins themselves. Suddenly, a stranger decked in full-body armor shows up and saves Priestess, helps her rescue the still-living Fighter, gives Wizard a Mercy Kill at her request and completely annhilates all the Goblins and Hobgoblins there...
Priestess learns that the man is the Goblin Slayer, an adventurer whose one and only goal in life is to erradicate all kinds of Goblins. Feeling that she owes him her life and that she still wants to go further in adventures, she becomes Goblin Slayer's partner and keeps travelling with him. Eventually, the two form a more stable party with other travelers (a High-Elf Archer, a Dwarf, and a Lizard Priest) and keep on fighting, exploring the dangerous world, and exterminating Goblins and other menaces...
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- Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever: One of the easiest taks for adventures consists in taking on giant rats.
- Blood Knight: Goblin Slayer commments that after so much time killing goblins he may as well doing it because it feels good to fight and kill them.
- Childhood Friends: Goblin Slayer and Cow Girl.
- Also, Fighter and Warrior.
- Doomed Hometown: Cow Girl and Goblin Slayer's village was ransacked by Goblins. Cow Girl and her uncle survived because they were outside the place that day; Goblin Slayer was saved by his older sister and maternal figure's Heroic Sacrifice.
- Fan Disservice: The Wizard's ample chest bouncing? Good. Bouncing because she is struggling with a goblin that seeks to beat her up and then rape her? Not so good.
- Pretty much every single time a female character is seen with damaged clothes or no clothes at all, she's gonna get molested at best and raped or gangraped at worst. Right before Wizard got molested, Fighter had her attacks stopped by a huge Hubgoblin, then was stripped nude and gangraped by a bunch of Goblins; while the "rape action" mostly took place offscreen, one still got to see the poor girl being pinned down and near nude as she begged Priestess to escape, then hear her screaming, and as Priestess escaped while begging for forgiveness, there's a brief shot to Fighter's face and Dull Eyes of Unhappiness... and when she's found still alive, one sees her nude and still catathonic...
- The Faceless: In-universe, most people never saw Goblin Slayer's face since he never removes his helmet. At the end of Volume 1, Priestess asks if she can see his face and the title character removes his helmet without any problem in public. His face isn't seen by the readers, but Priestess is pretty impressed.
- Human Shield: At the climax of Volume 1, a group of goblins uses human hostages as shields, knowing humans aren't likely to kill other humans to reach an enemy.
- Mars Needs Women: The Goblins are an all-male race, so they rape women of other species with the specific goal of knocking them up. i.e. the Goblin Mother from the Year One novels and manga was a human girl who, until Goblin Slayer saved her, was held captive by goblins for at least a week, then raped repeteadly and forced to give birth to more than one Goblin child.
- Oblivious to Love: In-universe, this is the witch's opinion about both Goblin Slayer and Priestess.
- Older Than They Look: The High Elf Archer looks like a young adult at best, but it is actually 2000 years old.
- Revenge: Goblin Slayer's initial motivation to kill goblins was to avenge his late sister. As time goes on,however, it takes the shape of a psychological obsession (he only does that, even knowning there may be more important jobs which may save as many or even more lives as killing goblins do), and he says to Guild Girl in Volume 1 he is beginning to enjoy it.
- Skewed Priorities: Goblin Slayer dismisses a quest to save the world from an army of demons because goblins attacking villages are somehow more important. However, soon he lets it slips why he does that: there's so many Evil Overlords appearing and then being defeated that he feels there's no consequences if he ignores such tasks in favour of hunting goblins, an activity that attracts well less attention from adventurers, downplaying the trope.
- Supporting Protagonist: Most of what happens in the story is followed through the eyes of Priestess, instead of the title character.
- The Comically Serious: Goblin Slayer is prone to give straight-forward Mathematician's Answers, is almost completely single-minded in killing goblins and often answers with a straight "no" or "yes". The result is this.
- The World Is Always Doomed: In Volume 1, Goblin Slayer offhands mentions a demon lord have awakened ten years ago when it's told one is doing the same thing now, basically saying there's no point for him to care about such threats when they're always happening and are always stopped by someone else.
- Zerg Rush: The goblins are generally weak, but they attack in numbers to compensate for their individual weakness.