That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Corporate worker Mikami Satoru is stabbed by a random killer, and is reborn to an alternate world. But he turns out to be reborn a slime! Thrown into this new world with the name Rimuru, he begins his quest to create a world that’s welcoming to all races.(Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: That Time I got Reincarnated as a Slime is yet another entry in the ‘isekai’ sub-genre of anime where our protagonist goes from being an ordinary guy, maybe even loser, in our world to some sort of super powered/special being in a fantasy realm. Slime is a series that has a bit of a fan following already in the West’s manga/anime community thanks to the Western release of the light novel and manga series. This first episode does a decent job of showcasing why. While those absolutely tired of isekai will not be converted or blown away, Reincarnated as a Slime does enough to make itself feel fresh by adding in small details and nuances to stand out. To start with, we have our protagonist, Satoru who is actually a well adjusted (for the most part), contributing member of society with a well paying occupation as opposed to most other isekai heroes, who are usually shut in NEETs who abhor society and are either a god at video games or at least obsessed with them. He is also much older than most stock isekai protagonists; clocking in close to 40; something almost unheard of in anime in general where many stories revolve around teen aged youth.
Tom: Another thing that makes this first episode strong is the direction. Director Yasuhito Kikuchi has clearly put in considerable effort here, helping to craft engaging visualization for some of the stories’ less visually captivating ideas. As Satoru passes on into the next world and becomes a slime, already a ‘novel’ idea in a sea of stories that feel far too similar, Yasuhito does an incredible job of visualizing that gradual realization Satoru undergoes, slowly but surely coming to understand his new existence as a slime. This makes large chunks of the episode captivating and even when the episode gets a bit bogged down in exposition later on, Yasuhito’s direction carries the series forward, holding the audience’s attention perfectly. That said, there are still things about the story that beg question. The connection between our world, and reincarnating in this fantasy world, as well as its inherent gamey mechanics, goes totally unexplained and hardly addressed. The episode does hint at perhaps a possible explanation, which would be grand seeing as so many Isekai skirt the issue.
Linny: But with the good, there is still a healthy dose of cliche. Our male protagonist is a virgin, and not only that has never had a girlfriend in his entire 30+ years of existence. He’s so frustrated about it that he spews nothing but bitter and snarky retorts in his head when a co-worker introduces his significant other as they all head off to a meal together. He even has some rather vulgar/mildly offensive thoughts towards women as he is dying, making for more negative points against the show. Also, despite being reincarnated as a slime, he is reborn as one with several different abilities; one that makes him clearly far superior to what falls under the popular understanding of the fantasy monster ‘slime’. Not only that, he is quickly able to befriend an extremely powerful dragon in the first episode and thus already overpowered in more ways than one.
Tom: Linny refers to one of Satoru’s dying lines, and that also gave me pause. When Satoru is dying, and many of his final thoughts are being translated into fantasy world powers he’ll have as a slime, he mentions something about wanting to screw every woman he comes across. Seeing as Slime’s are notorious in fantasy anime for dissolving the clothing off girls and providing ample amounts of fan service, I do worry about the more… sexual assaulty aspects of Satoru’s frustration as a virgin. I fear we’ll have a rather offensive sequence coming up. The series does, sort of, address this, by granting him the “Predator” ability (which doesn’t actually seem to do what Satoru had intended) so perhaps this bullet has already been dodged.
Linny: Putting the bitter and frustrated virgin ‘jokes’ aside, the humour of Reincarnated as a Slime seems promising otherwise and what might make this show an enjoyable ride. It adds enough of its own personality with its execution, framing and voice acting to make its jokes feel amusing even when employing more tired comedy. So while That Time I got Reincarnated as a Slime may not revolutionize isekai or convert non fans, it’s definitely no slouch and more likely than not to entertain those curious and interested. If you’ve got the time you might walk away with something to add to your Autumn anime watch list.
Tom: Isekai aren’t a problem in and of themselves. Isekai as a sub-genre is fine, it’s just far too prevalent and at the same time too derivative. So many Isekai anime, manga and Light Novels exist, and so many feel borderline interchangeable. Slime stands among the few that feels like it’s own thing. It contains a number of the classic staples but reinvents enough to make it all feel fresh again. Couple that with a strong level of visual direction for the anime adaptation and you’ve got one of the Fall’s more immediately appealing titles.