So What’s Wrong with Getting Reborn as a Goblin? Volume 1 is about Akira Yagami’s untimely demise and reincarnation in another world as a goblin. The volume, created by Nazuna Miki with art by Tsukasa Araki, translations by Caleb Cook, and lettering by Carolina Hernandez, is standard isekai fare with a person transported to a fantasy world. It builds some interest as to where the story might head. Still, Reborn as a Goblin Volume 1 is a solid start for the series if future volumes focus on character rather than horniness.  

Reborn as a Goblin Volume 1 Has A Great Character In Akira

Though not everything about Akira is crystal clear, what is apparent is Akira’s sensitivity (and I mean this in the best way) toward others. At work, when Akira learns it’s Takahashi’s girlfriend’s birthday, Akira tells his kohai to leave. Few would volunteer to take on extra work for a birthday especially given the grind workforce culture. The second clue Akira is a decent, caring man is how he dies—rescuing a kid from getting hit by a truck. So off the bat, Akira is likable and tragic. 

After wishing to pass his skills onto Takahashi before he dies, he wakes up in a world where that is possible…but as a goblin. Of course, Takahashi is not there, and he must acclimate to his new world and surroundings. Akira’s personality does not change; he is still caring, intelligent, and, as it turns out, strategic. All beneficial qualities, but they also, unknown to Akira, paint a bulls-eye on his back. So you root for him as the story unfolds and he winds up in battles.

The World Functions The Same As Others In The Genre For The Most Part

The world is somewhat standard for fantasy worlds with different races. Although in this volume, the focus is the relationship dynamics between goblins and humans. Still, there are tidbits unique to the series. Goblins’ have a short lifespan; they die after one week. Arguably, this ties into their rampant horny nature. You probably want to procreate as much as possible with one week to live. Goblin women can carry babies from two different men as well. They embody the answer to the “what if you had a week left to live” question.

Reborn as a Goblin Volume 1 cover art of Akira as a blue goblin and human Karen behind him
Reborn as a Goblin Volume 1 cover art

At first, I thought how messed up it was for Akira to die at such a young age, only to be reborn as a goblin and die within a week. But that is where his skill comes in; everyone has an innate skill at birth. Akira’s skill is “Octogenarian,” so he will live until he is eighty. But that does not exempt him from murder. Combine that with the fact that others can pass their innate skill onto another before they die, and Akira is living a better life than the grind back in the regular world. Shoot, he has over two hundred skills! He even seems optimistic about this life, save for the rampant libido issues. 

A Questionable Skill, Drama, and Trajectory

When Akira inherits Archfiend’s skill, his threat level increases. So far, info about the Archfiend comes secondhand or more. But his particular skill, “Survival of the Fittest,” bound defeated enemies to him, preventing betrayal. Even in the hands of Akira, that skill raises the question of whether stripping free will for the greater good is acceptable. So I want to see where they take it. 

So What’s Wrong with Getting Reborn as a Goblin? Volume 1 has potential, provided the direction the series takes. The horny conversations do not bother me. But some were dull. The reference and illustration of a pregnant goblin with two men goblins pressing their heads against her stomach, talking to their respective babies made me laugh. This volume does not dazzle. But Akira’s personality and skills make you want to see what happens next. Akira and the first volume in this Yen Press manga entertained me enough that I want to see what happens next, but the series needs a “wow” factor.  

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