That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime – Mid Series Anime Review
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)
Mid Series (12 Episodes) Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: That Time I got Reincarnated as a Slime (or Slime for short because I am NOT typing this title out every single time) starts off with promise. Small touches like the dying protagonist asking his friend to delete his hard drive or big plot elements like our hero, Satoru, being reborn as the lowliest of beings, a slime, rather than an ultra powered human being made it feel like classic Isekai tropes were broken and new territory was being chartered in a genre that could seriously use a breath of fresh air (or a quick and complete death according to some). Unfortunately, Slime isn’t able to keep that up because even as a slime, Satoru, now Rimuru, quickly becomes an unmatched powerhouse. Almost everyone he meets is forced to acknowledge or be defeated by his immense power. No matter what enemies or problem the show throws at Rimuru, he is able to figure out a solution in a snap, making it hard to take any upcoming threats seriously. Yes, the role of a protagonist is to save the day, but in Slime, they do it so easily that the problems ends up lacking bite and sincere tension. There’s no challenge, no reason to be concerned and it ends up feeling like yet another cliche ridden male power fantasy.
Tom: Isekai frequently suffer overpowered heroes. Kirito, Itami, even Mao from Devil is a Part-Timer often seem positioned so far above in skill or luck compared to their enemies that our heroes face little true challenge.Isekai frequently put ‘bad ass’ wins above compelling drama or action. It’s clear who will win from the get go, and the more a series draws from that one-sided well, the more predictable it gets. Rimuru is much like those other heroes and as Linny said, never seems in any true danger. Despite this all too common flaw, there’s still a lot to love within Slime. There’s some generally strong animation, and even visual direction that keeps every episode attention grabbing, even when the art itself dips or the writing flags. There’s also strong world building as Rimuru gradually comes to learn about the various races and kingdoms of this gamified fantasy world. There’s also a stellar episode (Episode 8) with some powerful, emotional story-telling that leaves it as a highlight of Slime’s first 12 episodes.
Linny: To the show’s credit, it does succeed in pulling off a very interesting plot development midway through its run. This injects new life into the story and some serious drama that some might have found lacking earlier. As an army of cannibalistic orcs marches on Rimuru’s allies, there seems now a major problem that our lead might not be able to fix in one go and might even cause him major strife.If it plays out as well as it seems to be building, it could go a long way to addressing my major complaint with the series. But moving on, I’d like to address another issue; Slime’s rather uneven attempts at comedy. The show often tries to inject humour into its plot, particularly as we close in on the midpoint. One episode’s comedy mainly stems from the character of Gabiru, a lizardman prince whose giant ego is outdone only by his immense stupidity. Gabiru’s screen time is often comedic, involving him mulling over his ‘greatness’ and his soldiers and underlings feeding into and buying his bs. It quickly outstays its welcome thanks to frequent and unvaried repetition, especially as it is jammed into the most random parts of the episode, making the entire thing jarring and tone deaf compared to everything else in the episode.
Tom: Comedy is overall an element to the series that feels decidedly weak compared to everything else. It sits as the second big detractor to the series. Slime is all too happy to draw from the same well of comedy, and far too often. Slime draws from generally overdone comedy as well (a woman turns out to be a bad cook for example) and fails to offer enough variation on the proceedings to make that gag feel unique again. Perhaps the greatest double down on comedy is when Rimuru blesses various characters with a name. In this fantasy world when a monster gets a name, they gain a significant power boost in addition to a total visual change. Slime plays with expectations the first time it does this gag, to great effect. But that gag is repeated again and while it remains somewhat interesting to see how various monsters evolve visually, the punchline is so similar to the joke’s first instance that it feels like little more than a repeat.
Linny: When the anime adaptation for Slime was announced, I stumbled across a fair amount of buzz and excitement. This may have marred my experience as people often used all sorts of extreme extolment to describe it and so I went in expecting earth shattering content. While Slime does do some things right, it suffers from the most dreaded Isekai trope; the ridiculously talented/powered protagonist. If that’s a deal breaker, Slime does not do enough otherwise to overcome this most pervasive, drama killing trope. However, if you enjoy watching the hero take down all kinds of threats while barely breaking into a sweat and you haven’t had your fill of Isekai stories, Slime might still be the show for you.
Tom: Despite my two big misgivings, I think Slime stands as one of the stronger Isekai of the past few years. It offers fun characters, solid direction, and interesting world building. That said, Rimuru coming across as too powerful, and the comedy getting recycled are pretty big red flags for me. I can’t see myself actively recommending the series (although things could always improve in the second half its run.) Ultimately Slime is great for Isekai fans, but for a more general audience I don’t think it amounts to a must watch for the Fall 2018 season.