I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level Episode 7 Impressions

Slime 300 Episode 7

The family we make.

As we pick up after Halkara’s ridiculous knocking out of the demon king and subsequent imprisonment, the other characters (also potentially facing death) are fretting about how to save her and hatch a plot to wake up the demon king and have her over-turn the sentence. That sounds a lot more tense and interesting than it ends up being but the real bonus of the whole sequence is the brief turn by the red-dragon girl into a cute-mini dragon. Can I just say I want one? In plush form preferably. Which in honesty is probably the point behind it but anyway.

300 Slime Ep7 1
So cute.

Anyway, the plan involves mixing up some bitter green medicine that will apparently shock the demon-king awake and so Azusa, badly disguised as a demon doctor, goes to meet with the demon king. I’m guessing this sequence was more or less a desire to put Azusa in a sexy doctor costume complete with demon-horns and tail because it is clearly a bonkers plan with zero chance of success and honestly it is seen through almost instantly.

However, when subterfuge fails, Azusa brute forces her way through and this was a nice reminder that Azusa has in fact maxed out her level. I’m still not entirely sure how the level system works and why demons who have probably lived longer than 300 years aren’t stronger than a highland witch who only ever killed slimes but I don’t think we’re particularly supposed to be concerned with the specifics. Azusa is max level and she more or less wipes out the guards without breaking a sweat. Even Beelzebub is impressed.

300 Slime Ep7 4
Let’s hope she doesn’t try.

The confrontation with the demon king turns out a little differently than expected after she challenges Azusa to a duel to prove her intention not to kill her. Like Azusa, I’m questioning the logic here but given the demon king’s reactions after being beaten I’m guessing logic isn’t her greatest asset even if she is quite the devious one. The fight does at least have Azusa forced to dodge for once and while the outcome is never really in question it does at least leave you wondering if Azusa might even take an injury (I’m more surprised that she let her hat get cut to be honest).

300 Slime Ep7 5

All of that happens pretty quickly and honestly, was enjoyable enough. The rest of the episode very much falls into meh territory when it doesn’t make decisions that actually made me eye-roll. The Demon-King ends up demanding Azusa play the role of an older sister and she’s getting very exhilarated at the idea of someone who might give her orders and not just do as she, the demon king, says. There’s also a scene of Azusa kissing and then hugging the members of her ‘family’. All of this before we actually get to the award ceremony which was kind of the reason Azusa and family travelled to the demon king’s palace in the first place.

300 Slime Ep7 7
Credit where it is due – these two are adorable.

Honestly, the ceremony was the low point as we see a return of the blue dragon and then through a series of incredibly contrived plot points the blue dragon girl joins Azusa’s merry band of free-loaders (sorry, family members) and they all get back on the flying whale (or the sister of the original flying whale) and head back to the highlands.

It wasn’t a bad episode by any means but the addition of the blue dragon girl into this already over-cluttered cast of trope characters who don’t seem to get much fleshing out wasn’t exactly a winner for me.

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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Karandi James

Why Vivy May Become My Favourite Sci-Fi Anime

Vivy Feature

In the spring 2021 season, Vivy Fluorite Eye’s Song came out providing us with a new time travel, science fiction anime to enjoy (or not depending on which reviewer you are reading and what they want from the science fiction genre).

Time travel science fiction isn’t exactly new. While some stories take the notion of time travel very seriously (such as Primer) and others barely explain it other than using it as a plot device (such as Terminator) the genre is crowded with entries of varying qualities and I’ll admit I’m a sucker for a well told time-travel story even with the inherent paradoxes and inevitable loose ends or unanswerable questions that these sorts of plots tie themselves in.

Steins;Gate gave us a serious anime attempt at using time travel, albeit accidentally at first before the characters had to make an effort to use their own machines with precision to undo the ripples they’d created.

A story like Re:Zero explores a ground-hog day like phenomenon with the main character going back in time after his death with his memories in-tact. I can’t talk much about its success as a story (though it has got quite the following) given I’ve never made it very far due to an absolute hatred of the main character’s personality.

Vivy watching the plane explode because despite knowledge of the future wasn't allowed to intervene.

Vivy and Time Travel

Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song has taken on the basic plot device of going back in time to change an unfavourable future and has combined it with the emotional journey of an AI looking for what it means to make people happy through singing and the overall evolution of technology and the ‘rights’ of artificial intelligence. It is almost as if the ideas in Terminator collided with A.I and then got fused into a cute anime girl’s story.

With less care and attention, this story would have ended up feeling derivative and could very easily have fallen flat and yet, despite a few missteps, for the most part Vivy has managed to be a pretty interesting viewing experience and it has some stellar moments along the way.

There’s a couple of things that I’ve really appreciated about how Vivy has come together that have elevated it beyond just kind of pop-corn viewing while at the same time it has stayed pretty easy watching.

Firstly, is the protagonist. Diva/Vivy has been interesting to see develop across the season so far. As Diva her mission is clear and she wants only to make people happy through singing. When we meet her in the beginning she isn’t very good at this as while she can sing the songs they lack warmth and heart and it is only in the later episodes where we see a confident Diva who has learned how to interact fairly fluidly with humans that her singing has become successful.

However, Diva is also needed for the mission (we’ll get to why later). Fortunately, she isn’t the kind of AI that can’t be reasoned with and an understanding that she can’t make people happy through singing if they end up dying in an AI rebellion ensures that Diva takes the necessary steps to support the mission of changing the future.

Vivy Ep1 7

The result of this is Vivy. While at first Vivy is a nickname given to Diva by a human girl, Vivy becomes the name Diva takes on when on missions to change the future. While Diva is a singing AI, Vivy has combat programs and a far wider view of the world than just singing to make people happy.

In episode 9 we see these two distinct personalities briefly converse and more or less concluding a fairly solid character arc for our main character as she prepares for the final episodes.

Changes in our protagonist are slow and small, kind of drip-feeding throughout each mission, but when she see the two back to back and leaning against the door inside the construct, you realise just how far they’ve brought Vivy over the course of the series. It was solid writing and a character journey that has felt pretty satisfying.

Vivy Ep7 3

Secondly, I have really liked the set-up with the time travel. Rather than Diva being a traveller from the future, she has instead been joined by a program from the future that goes by the name Matsumoto (presumably the name of the person who sent him). Matsumoto at first inhabits a toy bear and later a cube to interact with Vivy in the real world, though the two also interact inside Vivy’s mind.

Now, what really works with all of this is that Matsumoto hasn’t been sent 100 years into the past simply to alter one event and send the world on a different trajectory. Instead, there are a series of pivotal moments across the 100 years that they are working to change in order to create ripples that will send the future onto a different path.

Where the story gets really interesting is that as we jump to each event we do see that they have drifted from the original timeline, as shown in the diverging images of what should have happened in each event, however despite seemingly being successful, the overall goal of slowing AI development and preventing AI rights that lead to their rebellion seems to be failing spectacularly with some developments actually speeding up.

Vivy Ep6 8

I do like the idea that it wasn’t one single incident that lead to the future we saw in episode one but rather a series of events that cascaded in order to lead to the tragedy. I also like that because of that basic set-up instead of the story focusing on a single time and incident we have a couple of episodes dealing with one situation before we jump forward to the next pivotal moment, moving us ever closer to the future that they are trying to change.

The story also makes attempts to address some of the concerns that arise when you start thinking about the time-travel occurring here. Such as why Vivy and why send the program back 100 years? Even as I thought these questions in episode 1, the next few episodes provided some reasoning that made this at least plausible even if it wouldn’t probably hold up under deeper questioning.

We also have begun to see that Matsumoto, the seemingly infallible time-travelling program has been wrong more than once in his predictions and as the timeline skews further from the original things seem to get further out of his control.

Vivy Ep8 5

With the story making an effort to address viewer concerns almost before they become concerns, the the more obvious plot holes being dealt with, it is difficult to fault the writers for their efforts. Certainly, not everything ends up being overly brilliant and occasional moments definitely feel clunkier than others, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.

Finally, Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song never gets to bogged down in its own premise. Vibrant musical interludes and dramatic, messy action sequences are dropped into episodes ensuring that things never feel too slow. Beautiful characters and scenery interact and leave a stunning impression. As each moment in time only lasts for a couple of episodes, the stories never feel like they are dragging before we move on to the next thing but nor do they feel particularly rushed (though one or two of them may have benefited from a little more time to establish themselves).

Basically, we have AI fights, internal conflicts, time travel, terrorism, and divas… What more could you want from an anime?

Images used for review from: Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song. Dir. S Ezaki. Wit Studio. 2021.

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Karandi James

Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song Episode 9 Impressions

Vivy Episode 9

Diva’s final song.

So many questions during this episode of Vivy and some of them aren’t overly helpful for the series. honestly, Antonio and Ophelia’s story, after two episodes of build up, was pretty underwhelming. The motive was kind of lame and while the fight sequence with Matsumoto on the roof was vibrant and energetic, overall it kind of became messy and was nowhere near as compelling as the story of Diva facing off with the TOAK guy. You know it is sad that after all these episodes I still haven’t really got his name.

Ophelia - Vivy Fluourite Eye's Song
And can I also just ask, who designed Ophelia’s outfit? Even without the lighting here, it is just not good.

What that means is that while Vivy, Fluorite Eye’s Song remains one of my favourite shows this season and so far this year, this episode was a bit on the messy side. We had the ordinary, Matsumoto fighting Antonio and Ophelia and the attempted tragedy of that story which mostly just kind of happened.

I’m still loving Vivy but that was a bit messy.

And then we had something that was a little bit over-dramatised as TOAK guy shouted his frustrations with the way AI’s and humans interact at Diva (a little weirdly considering he somehow became an AI in order to still be around in 40 years since their last encounter just to ask her a question) before the two fought it out resulting in a pretty awesome conclusion to the this particular three episode story.

Not because of the fight, though that was really fluid and the far more effective of the two conflicts this episode, but because of the internal discussion between Vivy and Diva. That was gold.

Vivy Ep9 6
Though watching Diva fighting was also pretty cool. I love how fluid the animation in this series has been.

Honestly, this episode review is messy and I’m jumping back and forth a lot, but that’s because ultimately my thoughts on this episode are messy. Part of me really loved this episode but I know a lot of that is good will because of the series so far and because they pulled off a fantastic final act giving Diva a beautiful character moment.

Part of it is also because we now know this show will have 13 episodes and I’m actually kind of hopeful that we will see the overall narrative conclude. However, the realist in me knows that this episode was very much hit and miss with some character beats landing and other flying wide off the mark and a lot of the run-time being taken up with some cool visuals that ultimately had little substance.

Vivy Ep9 2
Sparkly though.

One thing this episode did do well was make me intrigued about what is next. What will Vivy do after these events and how will Matsumoto change now that he knows his vision and knowledge of the future is not infallible? What are the implications of the TOAK guy having technology that shouldn’t exist and who was responsible for his revelation? Is there actually another AI from the future pushing things in a different direction, which of course would explain why every time Vivy and Matsumoto have succeeded something else happens to push AI technology forward?

From an individual episode point of view, this one is fairly ordinary, as was episode seven. When taken in the context of the series, so far I have little to complain about as Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song has remained pretty compelling viewing this season and so far any perceived failings or plot holes have at the very least had attempts at addressing them giving us a Sci-Fi story that while not mind-blowing remains intriguing and the action and animation have remained pretty gorgeous to watch even if at times they rely on being very bright and messy.

Vivy Ep9 7
The end – though if Ophelia is still dead, wouldn’t that mean the future didn’t change?

I’m looking forward to the next episode and the next stage of Vivy’s journey.

Images used for review from: Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song. Dir. S Ezaki. Wit Studio. 2021.

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Karandi James

I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level Episode 6 Impressions

Slime 300 Episode 6

Halkara continues to be the low point of I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years.

At episode 6, the mid-way point for I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years, it has very much established itself as perfectly mediocre in almost every regard. It is moderately funny and moderately calming to watch. It has a low-key interesting fantasy world that it doesn’t do a huge amount to explore and it has some decentish characters that don’t get enough development.

Basically, it remains very watchable and honestly will be quite the bingeable anime for when you want to relax but as a weekly show each individual episode does not pack enough punch.

Killing Slimes for 300 Years
Nor should they.

That said, I do know which character remains the one I dislike the most, and that is Halkara. Since her arrival she’s been treated as the butt of so many jokes, a lot of which haven’t landed, and then they spent another episode possessing her with a ghost. Now we have the set-up of the characters going to the demon-kingdom for Azusa to accept an award and we have the instant foreshadowing of Beelzebub pointing out the demons won’t hurt them as long as they are basically polite.

All the characters cast worried looks at Halkara and her fate is set and so begins the slow process to getting to the point where they actually drop the axe, which in this case is actually the end of the episode setting up a cliff-hanger conclusion for the first time in I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years’ run time.

The problem is, I kind of don’t care if Halkara actually does face a consequence given her blunder is so incredibly avoidable and I just don’t like her as a character. Ultimately, that makes what could have been one of the more dramatic moments of this series fall flat and I found I actually enjoyed the episode more when Azusa was playing dress-up with Rosalie, the ghost-girl who joined the cast.

300 Slime Ep6 3
See, cute.

It isn’t often I prefer the slice-of-life moments of characters just going about the day to day more than actual plot developments but that is where we are. Slime 300 does slice-of-life well. It does relaxing over a meal with incidental conversation well. It does cute slime-spirit girls well. It doesn’t do drama well. Or at least, it certainly hasn’t yet.

However, I would be remiss not to talk about the highlight of the episode. The night scene when the characters were riding the leviathan to the demon-kingdom. That was an incredibly pretty nightscape and it felt almost wasted. This beautiful set-piece and it was used for one incidental conversation that barely set-up a really lame fake-out joke. Admittedly, it doesn’t change the fact that it was beautiful and undeniably the show-stealing moment of the episode.

300 Slime Ep6 7
I know the image quality is bad but trust me, the scene was gorgeous.

I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level remains an anime that more or less delivers what you expect and it does it well enough that there’s not really any reason to complain. It never promised to be a brilliant character drama so the fact that it isn’t shouldn’t be a problem. What it is, for the most part, is a relaxing watch with a largely charming female cast and the occasional bit of magical shenanigans. And largely it succeeds at what it attempts to do.

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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Karandi James

Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song Episode 8 Impressions

Vivy Episode 8 3

Who, me? Vivy asks the questions.

Vivy returns with episode 8 and in a surprising turn of events doesn’t resolve the current story with Ophelia and the potential for AI suicide. I will admit, I like the Diva we see in this particular time period. She’s got a lot of sass and she’s figured a few things out so she isn’t constantly wondering or relying on others to draw conclusions for her. While I’m not entirely sure that Diva is going to get out of this situation without her previous personality emerging again, I’m actually kind of enjoying her as she is and I’m loving that she’s managed to cause Matsumoto to rethink his own assumptions more than once.

Vivy calling Matsumoto out.
Given how far you’ve now diverged from the original timeline, one has to wonder how much it matters that Matsumoto is from the future at this point.

Ophelia gets a lot more time front and centre this week, which is nice given the story is apparently about her. In episode seven, we only really saw her as an up-and-coming songstress who seemed way too timid for the role. This episode fleshes her out and gives her back-story and motives. It really makes her feel like a complete character. Which makes the final sequence on the roof-top a fairly dramatic and interesting spin on everything that has come before it over the course of the two episodes (and no I’m not going to spoil it).

Part of me started questioning Matsumoto’s whole mission in this episode. He was sent back to stop the timeline from progressing to the point where AI’s declared war and essentially slaughtered the humans and initially he was doing this by trying to slow down AI advancement… however somewhere along the way that mission feels lost. Ophelia’s death in the original timeline certainly sparked a discussion about whether AI’s had souls and were feeling things, but even if humans determined AI’s did have rights would that necessarily lead to AI’s becoming more advanced? It seems that without the original ‘naming’ law that Vivy managed to head-off, they’ve advanced just fine. Actually faster than originally intended.

Vivy Ep8 2
The original timeline.

However, despite repeated failure at diverting the timeline away from advancing AI’s, Matsumoto remains convinced his path is the correct one. While I get that part of that is his programming and loyalty to the ‘mission’ it also makes little sense. Ultimately his mission was to stop the war but his current course doesn’t seem to be working and he isn’t considering alternatives. I really did like that the ending of this episode really did smack Matsumoto in the face with the fact that he isn’t the be all and end all and that his assumptions aren’t always right.

Vivy Ep8 3
And this is probably a good thing.

Finally, we get another close encounter with the mysterious man from last week. They seemed to indicate he was the guy that Vivy has saved a number of times, the terrorist guy, but he’s so much younger. We then get a flashback sequence where he’s learning piano from an AI who dies trying to save humans… It seems like they are trying to establish a back-story for his actions but it all felt a little weak compared with how other characters have been built up along the way. It wasn’t poorly done but it just lacked impact in amongst everything else this episode.

Vivy Ep8 6
Same guy? Different guy? Not sure.

What I do know is that the next episode is already out and I am definitely going to go watch it as soon as I proof-read this draft because to be honest, I want to know what happens next.

Images used for review from: Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song. Dir. S Ezaki. Wit Studio. 2021.

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Karandi James

Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song Episode 7 Impressions

Vivy Episode 7

Vivy or Diva?

One of the interesting things that comes out of episodical anime reviews is that each episode ends up getting evaluated on its own strengths and weaknesses rather than when you review a whole season and you are looking at the overall flow of a narrative and the quality carried across an entire season. As a result we have an episode such as episode 7 of Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song that is still a decent episode but isn’t as compelling as the six previous episodes delivered by this series and the end result is I felt a little disappointed when it ended even though that is ridiculous and this anime remains a very solid watch.

Vivy Fluorite Eye's Song
Diva is focused.

Part of the problem comes from the fact that Diva/Vivy has had some kind of memory glitch and is firmly in Diva mode. She’s forgotten her previous missions with Matsumoto, outside of a few minor glimpses and her focus is firmly on her performance on the main stage. We’ve jumped again in time and she is now 60 years old but we’re only the briefest of glimpses into how her previous actions have affected the time-line.

The basic formula has been the first episode of a pair gives us the new context, establishes a mission and Vivy sets off before we end on some kind of surprise or obstacle and then the second episode resolves it. Here we lack the context other than Diva is really successful and there’s a concert happening and the reveal at the end of the episode seemed to come out of nowhere (unless of course you know what happens to Shakespeare’s characters in which case the name makes sense but it still seems like an out of context problem for Matsumoto to be involved with).

Whether this ultimately proves to be a weak link in an otherwise strong narrative will really be determined by the next episode and whether or not it brings all the threads together. I have confidence in this anime so far because it has given us six pretty solid episodes leading up to this one, but on its own, without the second part, honestly this one feels a little lacking.

Vivy Ep7 6
Good question and why does he keep changing size (or rather, how does he do it)?

However, while the narrative feels a little lacking in grounding and like it got a little lost or is meandering a bit, Diva/Vivy’s character was on full display this week. Since her first encounter with Matsumoto this AI has been going through small and subtle changes and these have definitely accumulated to the Diva we meet at the start of this episode some 60 years on from that first meeting.

While she is still definitely an AI and hasn’t just become an idol, her personality has very much expanded to feel more nuanced and fitting with her role as a performer. It is a really wonderful character evolution to watch and it will be interesting to see where the story takes this.

Vivy Ep7 3
Yeah, don’t call the mechanical girl heavy.

As usual, this episode looked really good. The opening song was fantastic to listen to and the visuals were spot on as always. The weakest point comes during the darker scenes where Vivy activates her combat program to avoid some falling debris, but even then the movement is pretty fluid. As much as I have said this episode is a weaker entry that is only comparably to the rest of this series. Vivy remains one of my favourite shows that I am watching this season and if it wasn’t for my fascination with Mars Red it would be my top pick for the season.

Images used for review from: Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song. Dir. S Ezaki. Wit Studio. 2021.

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Karandi James

I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level Episode 5 Impressions

Slime 300 Episode 5

Amateur exorcists should not watch this episode.

After a one episode break from the standard formula of insert new character and then have scenario play out, I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed out My Level kind of defaults back to form though this time at least Azusa is going to have to commute. Halkara (elf-girl) has bought a new factory and wouldn’t you know it, it’s haunted. Apparently so badly that people won’t actually work there and that’s forcing the elf-girl to work increasingly long days and into the night.

This naturally triggers Azusa who decides that something has to be done because people shouldn’t have to work long days.

I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years - Azusa
I like that she continues to be influenced by her first life.

Anyway, given Azusa doesn’t like ghosts and scary things either, she summons the demon-girl, Beelzebub to help them out. Why a reincarnated witch who lives with a dragon-girl, two slime-spirits and an elf, who happily summons a demon, is scared of ghosts is a matter this anime is utterly not-wanting to address but let’s just roll with it.

The summoning is slightly botched and Beelzebub ends up in a cold tub of water that is intended for the garden in what is a pretty lame joke except that it is a set-up for a plot point later in the episode so at least this story is trying to have some continuity even if at times it feels like they really had to force that particular foreshadowing.

Killing Slimes for 300 Years is pretty loose with its timeline.

One question I was left with at the end of this episode was how much time actually passed during the episode. We see Halkara looking at property advertisements and the rest of the group thinking she’s about to move out so it seems like the whole factory thing is kind of new. But then it’s apparently been operating long enough that the locals have all now heard the rumours of the ghost and won’t work there.

Did this all happen in a day or was there a number of incidents leading to this? What did the ghost do that scared them all? None of this is actually addressed and while the cute-teen ghost with a bad attitude ends up being kind of fun later in the episode you have to wonder what she was doing to people in the factory that made them all run away.

killing slimes - Beelzebub isn't messing about
Talk, ghost.

That point aside, Rosalie is the ghost and after hearing her sad story about how she ended up as a ghost they decide to help her leave the factory. Problem is she’s bound to the location. That should leave some kind of tension but Beelzebub more or less knocks that on the head by providing a near instant solution.

I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years did at least make it an imperfect solution which leads us to the final third of the episode and where things are either funny or idiotic depending on your mind-set while watching. I actually found it kind of amusing and the eventual return of the cold tub of water worked nicely to bring the episode kind of full circle.

The end result after all the silly antics and terrible methods suggested for removing a ghost from a possessed person is that Azusa now has one more house-guest. I know she mentioned having lots of rooms after dragon-girl rebuilt her house but how many is ‘lots’. I mean, are we going to end up with anyone else under this roof?

300 Slime Ep5 4
But then again, how could you say no?

Again though, the episode hits enough moments that make you laugh or at least smile and the characters continue to be pleasant and play-off one another. Halkara even felt a little more interesting this week, though she did spend nearly a third of the episode possessed.

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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Karandi James

I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level Episode 4 Impressions

300 Slime Ep4

Dragons Unite in I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years

Clearly even the writers of I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years 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.

Best dragon in I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years
I hate lines like this that are deliberately misleading just for the sake of getting a reaction from other characters.

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).

Dragon sickness - I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years
I could relate.

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.

300 Slime Ep4 4
Wow… That’s just sad.

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.

300 Slime Ep4 5
Don’t scare kids, don’t break Azusa’s house, and don’t try to fight her. Simple rules.

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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Karandi James

Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song Episode 6 Impressions

Vivy Episode 6 Review

That was an interesting twist in Vivy this week.

Vivy continues to be a fairly compelling viewing experience. Episode spoilers follow.

The story isn’t without it’s flaws – I mean there’s genuinely no reason for the AI at the end of this episode to still have its human torso and even less reason to believe that a single puncture would somehow shut the whole thing down so stopping and thinking about the climax here isn’t going to get you very far except to realise that they went for looks cool over practical or logical.

That said, these moments of ‘look aren’t we cool’ are offset by some genuinely clever story telling that mean the audience can follow the plot but at key points we are forced to question our own assumptions.

Vivy Ep6 5
Scientist and AI…

See, in episode 5, when this scenario was being set-up I made an assumption. The first time-line that lead to the massacre we saw in episode 1, had a pivotal moment where a scientist married an AI, the first marriage between human and AI and it was a big deal. I assumed based on how the visuals had run together plus the presence of scientist with cute robot housemate that the marriage had still happened in this time-line.

Turns out though that Vivy’s alterations to history have made bigger ripples than originally suspected.

I liked this reveal because unlike some anime that pull a plot twist out before their climax, this one felt earned. As I thought back over episodes 5 and 6 I realised it all actually made perfect sense and it was the missing piece that the audience needed to understand why things turned out the way they did in this episode. That’s a well constructed plot twist when it does catch the audience by surprise but it makes sense on reflection rather than feeling like it came out of nowhere.

If we throw in the fact that with the time-travel element the audience has been waiting for the moment where things got out of alignment to the point where even Matsumoto couldn’t predict where things were heading, it was a plot twist that fell within our expectations even if the specific details were a surprise.

Vivy Fluorite Eyes Song Episode 6
This still feels like a fairly forced emotional moment though. Have these guys never heard of copy and paste?

Additionally, we finally had an actual conversation between Vivy and the TOAK guy. Admittedly, he mostly threw suspicions at her, but surprisingly he ended up helping her to achieve her goal. it kind of leaves me wondering when their next encounter will be and whether he’ll listen first or just start shooting.

It is a bit weird because the TOAK guy is the only reoccurring character outside of Vivy and Matsumoto and he’s getting older in leaps and bounds between stories. I wonder if he’ll be a gray haired old man by the end or if once he gets too old to participate in battles anymore if he’ll dramatically sacrifice himself for the cause? Weird how a character I have no name for has made me this invested in what his future holds.

With all that said though, I do have to point out that the action animation in the climax of this episode took a definite hit. The sound didn’t. If you want a cool action sequence to pop-song moment Vivy continues to deliver on those. It would be nice if eventually we got a wider range of songs but at least it sounds cool. However, the visuals became very messy during this sequence.

I get part of it was to show speed and movement however thinking back to Attack on Titan and the sequence where Levy is fleeing through the town and how fluid and clean that looked despite the pace, Vivy isn’t even going to come close. What we get is a cacophony of colours and blurs with explosions without a lot of detail. Though, the final approach to the core took a very Star Fox turn.

Vivy Ep6 1
I’m just waiting for Andross to appear at the end of this tunnel.

Going forward I look forward to the next conflict Vivy is going to have to intervene in. I loved that in this arc she’s embraced the two sides of herself. Diva, the singing AI and Vivy, the one who fights to protect humans so that she can sing for them. It was a great character moment for her. The biggest flaw in this series remains Matsumoto as he still manages to pull out amazing technological solutions to things almost without effort at times and yet at others he’s pretty hopeless, depending on what the narrative needs him to be.

Still, if someone was to ask what shows they should check out from the Spring anime season, I’d definitely have Vivy on the list as so far it has been a pretty enjoyable ride.

Images used for review from: Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song. Dir. S Ezaki. Wit Studio. 2021.

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Karandi James

I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level Episode 3 Impressions

300 Slime Ep3

An elf and a demon come to call in I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years.

I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level has now repeated its episodic formula 3 times with little variation. In episode 3 we have an elf girl appear at Azusa’s door and she come complete with bouncy anime breasts, a scene involving aphrodisiac mushrooms, and is potentially being chased by a demon over an energy drink business. So you know, business as usual in Azusa’s house as the slime spirits share their breakfast and dragon girl serves tea.

Azusa from I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years
Azusa should just admit she is involved at this point.

With little changing from episode to episode in terms of plot, Slime 300 is very much relying on its cast of girls and its calming slice-of-life antics to hold the audience’s attention. That and the occasional comedic moment which are a splattering of hits and misses.

I will admit, there is a very good set-up in this episode where Azusa puts a barrier around her home early on and it comes into play at the most opportune moment later in the episode. I’d actually almost forgotten about the thing and so when it became important, it actually hit just the right notes to be pretty hilarious.

I felt less so around the elf-girl’s attempt to wear the clothes provided by Azusa and then her efforts with mushroom sorting that lead to her being under the influence of an aphrodisiac. While I’m sure there is an appreciative audience out there, largely I felt these scenes added very little and they made it kind of hard to really care about the elf-girl and her plight.

Where elf-girl got to shine was in her initial introduction where she described her work and she kind of cut into her own commercial montage. That worked for me and I really thought it was quite amusing and it gave me some insight into her overall commercially driven character (which plays nicely into her justification for staying at the end of the episode).

300 Slime Ep3 4
You sell that energy drink.

I am really struggling with remembering any of the characters names (as you may have noticed from my references to them as dragon-girl, elf-girl and slime-spirits). I think the reason for this is most of these characters haven’t moved beyond their introduction as one-note or one-problem characters but they are still hanging around.

Potentially we’ll get more attached to them as the series progress however we might also just continue repeating the formula of adding new characters indefinitely in which case it is unlikely I’ll ever take the time to figure out their names. (On that note, I just had a very interesting image of what Azusa’s house would look like if they kept building extensions for additional characters.)

300 Slime Ep3 2
I will admit, this anime does get the whole ‘cute girl’ aesthetic.

There’s not a huge amount left to say about this episode. It looks as good as the first two and the scenery remains really pretty. The characters are definitely maxing out cuteness even if they are also hitting all the stereotypes. The plot isn’t doing much but is doesn’t really need to because the enjoyment comes from watching these characters interact rather than any compelling plot twists or turns. This one continues to be enjoyable enough with enough of the humour hitting the mark and enough sweetness to bring a smile to the face.

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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Karandi James