- Genre : Isekai, Fantasy, adventure, comedy, romance, city planning
- Episodes: 24 +2
- Studio: Eight Bit
Life is a grand adventure. You never know what’s going to happen. One second you’re just minding your own business, living a contempt if a little lonely life, appreciated by your colleagues and kouhais, the next, you’re a slime. You know how it goes. Now you would think that reincarnating as a featureless slime might be a drawback but that’s because you lack imagination. Life is what you make it, and for the great monster Rimuru, life as a slime is to get exciting, filled with new friends, wild adventures, bittersweet romance and a lot of urban planning!
No matter how many times the universe proves me wrong, I still obstinately try to fool myself into thinking I know what to expect. I don’t. I’m almost always wrong. Why haven’t I learned my lesson yet? Does it have something to do with having a blog filled with drinking games? I don’t see the connection!
I’ve been watching anime for a while. Long enough to have started making some associations based on steaming service thumbnails alone. It’s a gift. A particularly useless one. My accuracy rating is pretty abysmal but unfortunately, it’s not zero. So, every time I get one right, I fool myself into continuing the practice. The thumbnail for That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime was:
And from this, I instantly understood that this was a generic fantasy-based isekai. You know, teenage boy transposed into a new world, suddenly incredibly powerful for some reason and surrounded by a harem of luscious admiring ladies. My success rate: 50%?
Sure, That Time I Got Reincarnated as A Slime looks pretty standard. Nice but nothing special. Both the visuals and the general narrative outline are extremely familiar to anyone that’s seen this genre of anime. If you just gaze at it from a distance or base yourself entirely on a thumbnail you can think that you’ve seen this show before. Dozens of times before.
And just like I was, you would be kind of right. But slime isn’t a big picture show. It plays with the details, gently subverts tiny expectations, it piles on subtle innovations and small-scale tweaks until your left with a completely new type of monster.
And this new monster is an unexpectedly mature and levelheaded one. I figure this will either be refreshing or boring to most viewers. I’m not sure what it says about me, but I really liked it. In fact, I started to get excited at the end of the day, just because I would get to see more episodes.
One of the very first things that hit me is that the main character is not a teenager. In fact, he’s a mature man close to 40 that has led a rich life. Even though he’s rather inexperienced on the romance side, he’s a generally happy and well-adjusted member of society and… he acts as such. Even when transformed in the adorably voiced Rimuru, his way of thinking and reactions, remain true to his personality. Meaning, measured, thoughtful and not too loud. Boy was that a welcomed change for me.
Oh, and while I’m talking about Rimuru, it does bear mentioning that although he remains an adult man in spirit, he is a genderless anthropomorphous blob in practice and that also has a surprising amount of influence on the character, considerably changing the valiant hero archetype and the impact his action have on the audience. It’s a drastic break from the heroes I’m used to seeing.
You may have picked up on the fact that I mentioned city planning in my summary, and that’s another wonderful break. If I were to liken That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime to a video game, it isn’t as much an RPG as a Sim. The true heart of the series isn’t in the spectacular battles and powerful foes but in the quiet moments of diplomacy and city construction. Rimuru isn’t a conqueror, even if he has the skills for it, he’s a builder. And as someone who spends indecent amounts of time creating home bases in Fallout, this aspect spoke to me. I admit it’s not for everyone.
This is a series that favours conversation to action, not that there isn’t any action, but if high adventure is what you’re seeking, I suppose you may feel a little let down.
I should say, in many ways Rimuru is a Mary Sue. I kept thinking to myself, “well that was easy” or “sheesh slimes are overpowered”! This is generally not considered very good character construction. Yet it didn’t bother me much, or even at all. I’m still not entirely sure why but I think I have a basic explanation.
The conflict in That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime doesn’t come from the confrontations. It a story that’s driven by collaboration instead. The point is not to follow a hero overcoming dire foes and immense obstacles, but to watch a community bloom and an outsider find their place within it. See, it’s not sounding so much as your standard harem isekai now, is it? Maybe it is, anime is fantastic at ignoring genre conventions!
Let me just touch on the romance for a bit. This is exactly my type of romance. Bitter-sweet, largely unrealized and present for roughly ½ episode out of 26! But you know, despite hardly being present, Shizu was so well established that I started to deeply care for her. And her own status as an outsider, an adult with clearly adult preoccupations and dreams, and a kind and gentle made it quite clear why Rimuru would also care for her.
This thought of living and entire life without finding love only to be thrown in another universe to find your one fated one just to immediately lose her again was both devastating and very pretty. An illustration of it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Ans it warmed my cold little heart without getting on my nerves!
But it remains a fairly small part of the series, more symbolic than present. If you are itching for a romantic adventure or some harem mischief, That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime is likely to leave you wanting.
TLDR: That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime is a well written, light-hearted and understated series of adventures that will bring in mind an old fashion D&D run with a civilization twist.
Random things I noticed: Some of you may know I have an odd interest in “names” and the importance of naming monsters in this show really thrilled me. It is a nice message that a recognition of personal identity brings with it power! I also found it a little narcissistic that by and large, evolution for monsters made them more humanoid looking.
Favourite character: Shion (who wouldn’t love Shion) also Veldora
What this anime taught me: A “silver fox” (i.e. attractive older man) in Japanese is called a “romance gray”. Amazing!
Everybody’s got to believe in something. I believe I’ll have another beer.
Suggested drink: a Vodka Slime
- Every time anyone says “I see” (naruhodo) – take a sip
- Every time Rimuru gets a new skill – take a sip
- Every time anyone mentions Veldora– Raise your glass
- Every time Shion cooks – get a snack
- Every time Rimuru runs out of magicules – get some water
- Every time Rimuru blushes– take a sip
- Every time Gobta gets the short end of the stick – take a sip
- Every time anyone gets a name – take a sip
- Every time Rimuru wishes someone would just give up – take a sip
- Every time we see Shizu – awwww
- Every time something just isn’t that easy – get some chocolate
- Every time Milim gets her way – take a sip
- Every time there’s a calamity class monster – take a sip
- Every time Gabiru is awesome – Cheers