Clearly even the writers seemed to get that they couldn’t just perpetually have new characters move into Azusa’s house and so episode 4 shakes up the established formula by having Azusa actually travel. Laika (the dragon-girl) gets a little more fleshed out as a character (though emphasis on the little part) as we travel to her home to take part in her older sister’s wedding. It isn’t all smooth sailing as the blue dragon clan crashes the wedding and Azusa’s over-poweredness is required to save the day.
It was nice for the anime to shift its focus back to Laika. Since episode one where she brazenly challenged the witch of the highlands, she’s really just been the server of tea. As much as Azusa told the elf-girl last episode she’d have to help with the cooking, you never really see anyone outside of Laika preparing food or serving the meals. While this episode didn’t give us a lot of insight into Laika, she did at least get to be more central to the basic story unfolding and we got to see her interactions with her older sister and parents which adds a little more to her character (it is kind of like she’s starting to be filled out from the very sketchy outline we previously had).
That said, this episode also kind of established that elf-girl isn’t going to be anything more than the butt of repeated jokes. Whether it is playing dead during the dragon fight, getting drunk at the party, or left out of Azusa’s make believe family ties, elf-girl really isn’t getting to do anything more than be the punch line. That said, I couldn’t help but sympathise as she got dragon-sick having had to get on a plane twice in three days and being incredibly sick myself on both occasions (I do feel bad for other passengers who are unlucky enough to fly with me on small domestic planes – international flights I’m usually okay for… usually).
Though if elf-girl has become the butt of every joke, the slime spirits don’t even have that going for them. They just get the occasional cute line and get to huddle at the first sign of any danger. I will give them credit for actually being pretty adorable, but that doesn’t give them any more character points.
But, the award for worst character motivation so far in this series, I’d have to give it to the leader of the blue dragons who rocked up at the wedding just to cause trouble because they could. Even the characters even the show remarked out petty and pointless the whole thing really was and again I feel the need to point out that being self-aware of lame moments in a story does not make them less lame.
If I ignore the motive behind the dragon attack though, the episode that unfolds is actually pretty fun and more or less reinforces the point that this story isn’t about what is happening or even why it is happening so much as just enjoying what is there. The fight between Azusa and the dragons is kind of fun and feels very reminiscent of something from Dragon Ball or a similar type story. The demon’s reappearance later in the episode is perfectly done and her attitude and manner is actually genuinely funny. Then we have some touching family moments with Laika and her sister followed by Azusa and her group and it leaves us feeling like we watched a fun episode and then got a feel good ending so its difficult to really be overly critical of the show.
If I was going to be a little more critical, the visuals took a bit of a hit this week. Maybe it was the sheer number of dragons they were attempting to animate or the difference in size between the humans and dragons. However there were a number of scenes that really just look a little bit on the lame side visually and moments where characters (particularly their faces) seemed to lack detail. For a show really being carried by cute girls being front and centre that seemed a little odd for the cute aesthetic to take a hit.
All and all, this episode did expand the world a little more as we finally moved out from Azusa’s home and village. It also gave us a slightly different variation on the set-up that the first three episode delivered. It definitely gives the series a bit more room for movement going forward with more possibilities for scenarios or I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years could just go back to doing what it was doing with the occasional episode like this to break things up. Either way, I’m pretty happy to sit back and watch it all unfold.
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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