Witches, Slimes and Dragon Girls… Oh My.
It is probably just as well I don’t require stories to be overly original to get my attention as the basic premise here seems as copy and pasted as they come for current isekai stories. Company worker literally works herself to death and on given a chance at a new life decides she wants the easy, slow life (I don’t know why corporate Japan thinks farming and self-sufficiency is actually an easy and slow way of living given how stressed most farmers are these days about just trying to keep their heads above water but that’s a whole other blog post about delusions of ‘simplicity’ that crop up from time to time). Anyway, after 300 years of killing slimes she’s overpowered and pretty much untouchable and so now we get a whole bunch of other characters turning up to either fight her or learn from her, thus disturbing her quiet life.
This story probably doesn’t even need to label itself as adapted from a light novel given the mouthful of a name and the Japanese title is just as bad: Slime Taoshite 300-nen, Shiranai Uchi ni Level Max ni Nattemashita.
The fantasy world is your standard rural medieval-ish setting we get in these sorts of stories with adventurer guilds, levelling up, low level slimes and dragons who turn into cute girls. In twenty minutes not one idea comes out that is new of particularly distinct from the host of other anime and light novels that cover much the same ground.
However, don’t take that as necessarily a negative. This story isn’t trying to amaze us with bells and whistles or gimmicks that get old by episode 3. It is just embracing what it is and that saves some room for actually thinking about the characters a little.
I actually really enjoyed this first episode. It was incredibly low-key, had enough moments that were kind of funny and made me smile to keep it from becoming dull, and Azusa is actually a pretty pleasant protagonist. She isn’t whining too much, she’s fairly capable as a person, and her former life has heavily influenced her attitudes in this life including the advice she gives the hard-working dragon-girl. It also remained free of the fan-service elements we’d usually come across in this kind of anime despite the cute girl protagonist and the cute dragon girl addition by the end of the episode.
Visually, the character designs here are super cute but the setting is as ordinary as it comes. The bright colour palette works with the overall tone but there’s little remarkable about it. Even the dragon vs witch fight ended up being pretty ordinary with a few orange fireballs and then some basic ice-magic just kind of appearing without any real oomph behind them. This anime seems to be going for really casual and it isn’t relying on big visuals to keep the viewers hooked. It is definitely hoping we got lulled into a happy numbness while watching and to be honest, this first episode succeeds quite admirably leaving me wanting more just to binge out and switch off for a few hours.
Part of me wonders how this anime will sustain itself for a season. I know the MAL synopsis claims that friends and foes are going to come looking for the most powerful witch as rumours of her max level status spread but does that mean we’re going for a visitor of the week style with a more episodic approach or is there some greater narrative that we’ll get around to. Hard to tell from the first episode, but if they are sticking with the very chill tone established here it would seem to lean more toward an episodic approach. There’s also a lot of cute female anime characters appearing in the character list on MAL so I’m guessing we’re going to get a bunch more characters drop in outside of Laika the enthusiastic dragon girl.
Right, so if you are in the mood for a truly relaxing premiere episode with a cute girl at the centre, a cute supporting cast starting to form, and you don’t object to treading over ground we’ve seen before providing you are entertained, then Slime 300 is going to work for you. This first episode is solidly calming, cute and a little funny. If you need something original to really hook you or a strong storyline, you probably aren’t going to get much joy here. That said, I’m looking forward to more of this one as it seems like it will be a nice, calm twenty minutes of viewing each week and I really did enjoy Azusa, the protagonist, and would love to spend more time with her.
Images used for review from: I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level. Dir. N Kimura. Revoroot. 2021.
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