100 Ways To Remove an Obnoxious Character

Conception Anime Episode Review Title Image

Conception Episode 10 Review

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On watching Conception this week I was initially reasonably happy because for the first time in awhile the focus seemed to be on Itsuki beating the labyrinth and the fight sequence, while clearly not on par with an action focused anime, was entertaining enough. Itsuki would be a terrible action protagonist but in the role of high schooler thrown into life or death situation he works well enough as he stumbles about with the Star Children and tries to protect them from harm even while he isn’t some kind of juggernaut of destruction.

Conception Episode 10 The Star Children

However, any enjoyment I may have derived from this episode quickly evaporated as we moved into the second half where we focused on finding the thirteenth Star Maiden. Alfie has been hanging around since nearly the beginning and the reveal makes sense, and as Mana points out in a fourth wall breaking moment it was perfectly set up by the OP, however a little of Alfie is a good thing. This focus on her just kind of puts her character in the worst possible light and by the end I just didn’t care whether she and Itsuki ended up together.

Conception Episode 10 Alfie

More of a problem though is my increasing rancour toward Mana. From the beginning Mana has irritated me but their presence in Conception becomes more irksome with every episode. Even with Alfie not exactly being a stellar heroine, Mana’s intrusive ranting outside the window made what was already a tiresome scene significantly worse.

Conception Episode 10 Alfie and Mana

Which leads to the post title as I started wondering just how many ways the writers could use to remove Mana from the picture (they won’t, and it is clear next week is going to focus on the obnoxious vermin, but I can dream). I’ve suggested several times Mana needs a close encounter with a paper shredder, but maybe it is time to get more inventive. Regardless, I can now say with absolute certainty that Mana is topping my most obnoxious character ever list (forget just this year) taking out even Excalibur from Soul Eater.

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Karandi James
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The Worst Way To Learn the Skill of Diplomacy

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode Review Title Image

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 11 Review

Reminder: the poll is now open for you to vote on the best and worst anime of the 2018 Autumn Anime Season. Be sure to jump in and have your say.

Rimuru might be a slime but this isekai story is pretty determined to ensure we hit every cliche and trope along the way which kind of takes away some of the impact of having a slime as a protagonist. Still, it isn’t as though cliches are bad, it is just this kind of self-awareness walks a fine line between slightly amusing and smugly obnoxious and Rimuru sitting at the table bemoaning the fact that he was about to be fed cliche terrible food (purple and all) really didn’t hit the mark. Though, as much as I will roll my eyes at that scene, the rest of the episode was pretty pleasantly entertaining.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 11 Rimuru

We get to spend a bit of time seeing how the ogres have integrated with the goblin village and the roles they are taking up. While this does lead us into a number  fairly generic encounters but again, these characters are pleasant enough that you can kind of just go along with them. Seeing Rimuru trapped in the forge because he couldn’t find a good moment to take his leave as the Dwarf and the Ogre discuss techniques was pretty entertaining, and the other dwarves learning about silk was fine.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 11 Lizardman

However, it isn’t until the Lizardmen finally show up in the village that things seem to move forward again. That usual issue I have with the pacing of the show where nothing happens for ages in terms of plot and then we suddenly leap forward.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 11 Gobta
When rewards don’t work, threaten them with bad food.

But, it is worth the wait. Gabiru, the Lizardman Prince or whatever, is an insufferable narcissist, made worse by his group of cronies and hangers-on who encourage his worst personality traits. He’s only been around two episodes and yet I was utterly delighted when Gobta knocked him senseless. Gabiru is at the village essentially asking for help, and instead of asking declares that they can all have the honour of serving the lizards, and then proceeds to belittle the direwolves for following a slime. Not exactly the way one goes about asking for a favour.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 11 Dryad

That actually seemed like enough for the episode, given the pace of most episodes, and yet Slime wasn’t finished just yet, as right before the end we introduce a Dryad who also asks Rimuru to fight the orcs. Given she’s a pretty girl I’m guessing he’s going to say yes.

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Karandi James
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THAT TIME I GOT REINCARNATED AS A SLIME PUNIPUNI RIMURU-SAMA
THAT TIME I GOT REINCARNATED AS A SLIME PUNIPUNI RIMURU-SAMA

Slime, Ogres, and Lizardmen, The Coming Conflict Looks Colourful

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode Review Title Image

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 10 Review

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime continues to move at its own pace. Last week, Rimuru defeated the ogres and invited them back to his village. This week, we admire the meat and feast before Rimuru gets to the business of inviting the ogres to join him in the village. Now, this seems fairly straight forward: ogre village destroyed, ogres should go elsewhere. However it turns out it is a little more emotionally complicated than that for the leader of the ogres who feels he has failed to protect his people and all that. 

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 10 Rimuru

I don’t actually mean to sound blase but it is really hard to sound otherwise when discussing this anime. For while we do get a fairly decent scene with the ogre punching a tree showing off some inner turmoil, in almost the next scene he puts a few amendments onto the agreement with Rimuru and takes to one knee. It is back to this idea where Slime kind of lingers on slice of life nothing kind of moments but then where something major happens it feels like it just kind of accelerates straight through it.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 10 Ogre

Not that it matters. The point gets across. The episode doesn’t feel dragged out. Ogres join with Slime and Rimuru then gives them names causing him to take another nap. He really needs to learn to ask first as to what the cost of something is going to be.

However, just in case ogres weren’t enough, the anime then brings in some Lizardmen. And while these guys haven’t gotten to Rimuru’s village yet it is kind of only a matter of time. Their introduction seemed only relevant in that it reinforced that the orcs are coming, the Prince of the lizard-guys has been given a name by a wanderer, the same as the deceased goblin brother that was mentioned episodes ago, and the ogres have all but confirmed that the demon lord guy who connects those two points is the one who came to their village and was refused right before the orcs destroyed it.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 10 Lizardmen
You just know this guy is going to be a problem.

It’s kind of a lot of information but at the same time still feels like we didn’t really get very far. And I feel like I say that a lot with this anime. Anyway, I had fun, in case that wasn’t clear. The more characters and the more the world opens up, the more entertaining each episode seems so let’s push on and see what happens next.

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Karandi James
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That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime NendoroidPlus Mug Cup
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime NendoroidPlus Mug Cup

Watch the Slime Playing With Powers and Defeating Ogres

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode Review Title Image

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 9 Review

Rimuru had something of a touching moment at the start of this episode where we saw him looking eye to eye with the mask Shizu left. For a character that existed for only a couple of episodes, she’s left an impact on both the Rimuru and the audience and her presence is palpable throughout the episode as Rimuru’s human form does mimic hers in a lot of ways and he’s also acquired her powers. 

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 9 Rimuru

Still, despite doing a decent job on the passing of a character last week and beginning with remembering her we quickly turn to some comedy that will either have you smiling or groaning depending as Rimuru plays with the body double skill and first ageing and then playing with the sex of his human form. Fortunately this is a brief moment of comedy before we get on with more important things (though still kind of cool if you think about future possibilities it has to be able to change the appearance of your clone).

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 9 Rimuru in human form

I enjoyed Rimuru returning to the cave where Veldora was to play with his new powers. It kind of gave it a sense of importance and also reminded the audience about Veldora (who at this stage is pretty easy to forget). But, this episode did want to move things along and so we have a party of hunting goblins being attacked by ogres. However, things aren’t as they seem as the ogres are only attacking because their village was attacked.

Going to be honest, this one is a pretty transparent as to where this is going.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 9 Ogres

By the end of the episode Rimuru in his own weird way has won them over and they all go for a feast. Which is probably a sound way to end anything really. Still, like many things in That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime it all felt a little too unearned. Largely though, this remains a pretty fun viewing experience and it has built nicely upon its foundations even if at times it feels a little shallow.

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Karandi James
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3 Ways Slime Is Exploring Endings and Beginnings

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode Review Title Image

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 8 Review

There’s no real surprise that an anime with reincarnation in the title is looking at the idea of endings and new beginnings. What is surprising is the way “That Time I got Reincarnated as a Slime” is committed to the idea of one life coming to an end opening the path to something new. While earlier in the season I most definitely took a swing at this show for the reincarnation gimmick, and from a character point of view I stand by that because the whole past life thing is almost irrelevant to who Rimuru is becoming, from a thematic point of view Slime is actually a lot more consistent than it first appeared.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 1
Episode 1

The obvious ending and beginning is Rimuru Tempest, formally Mikami Satoru (a point they finally reminded us of in episode 8). Stabbed in episode one, Satoru awakens in a cave as a slime and begins his new life in his new form and body. While the transition is fairly seamless and ultimately didn’t feel very weighty, it does set a theme in place that we have seen this show return to again and again since the first episode.

I’d like to discuss Veldora, just because dragons are kind of cool and all, but that story doesn’t feel anywhere near finished yet and to be honest I’m not sure where it is going so I’m just going to leave that one alone and skip right on to the dwarves.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 4
Episode 4

Kaijin is fairly dissatisfied with where he is given the persecution he receives from his former subordinate. He positively jumps at the opportunity to travel with Rimuru which originally just would have been a choice for him to make. However, the sham trial and subsequent banishment more or less bring his former life to a definitive close whether he’d made the choice or not. Once again though, we see that the end of one life has opened the door to another, and in both of these cases losing something and leaving it behind isn’t seen as a tragedy when it leads to new opportunities.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 8 Rimuru and Shizu

And now we come to this current episode which is really why I was thinking about this at all. Shizu, or Shizue, has finally come to the end of her road. For ten minutes of this episode (half the run time) we hear her story and what she has done over the long life she has lived in this world. We hear her final request to Rimuru that he devour her. We see her happiness at being reunited with her mother. A lot of this glosses over the fact that she did just die and then her corpse was eaten, but that would kind of be a downer in an otherwise fairly upbeat series so the focus is entirely on the positive.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 8 Rimuru and Shizu farewell

However, what is the new beginning?

Well, we finally found an answer to something that had been bothering me from the OP, though I’m guessing fans of the source knew all along. I wondered how Rimuru would acquire a human form given we already knew he had to eat something to copy it. I couldn’t imagine Rimuru eating a human given one of his first steps was to ban his followers from attacking people.Also, despite Rimuru being a slime now, it just didn’t sit right that a former human might actually eat another (I guess they could go there, but it just doesn’t seem to fit).

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 8 Rimuru Human

So, at episode 8, Rimuru finally has a human form he can use and in the narration at the end declares that the story is about to begin. I’m not sure how many stories get away with 8 episodes before declaring they are going to start, but despite the slow start this series has had, I will admit I’m pretty interested in where they will go next. Every door that has closed so far in this series has opened up so many more wonderful possibilities and I really hope the story explores them.

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Karandi James
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That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Parapara Memo That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Parapara Memo

Miraculous Survival of the Slime; Defeated Fire Demon Devoured

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode Review Title Image

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 7 Review

Was anyone really surprised to see that Rimuru survives everything that goes down this week? If the answer is yes I’d question whether or not they’d watched the episodes up until this point because clearly they haven’t been paying attention. Rimuru, since his reincarnation, has not received anything resembling damage and we already knew he had fire resistance, so the fight this week was more about how much collateral damage would happen before it all got under control.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 7 Review

However, backing up a bit, this is largely an episode focused on Shizu and yet we learn only the bare bones about her background. Admittedly, watching her being forced to take out her friend and the puppy thing they adopted was kind of tragic and you can kind of see why she might have a few issues, there’s a huge number of gaps still in her story. While that gives us something to look forward to learning, it really does feel like this episode spent a lot of time on a character to reveal little.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 7

Though, that actually seems to be the trend this week in anime with plot and character reveals moving incredibly slowly. While in some stories it makes sense and Bloom Into You is certainly making the most of its languid pacing, I’m not entirely convinced an Isekai has the emotional depth or narrative complexity to really warrant such an incredibly casual drive.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 7 - Shizu

Still, if it seems I am simply complaining about this show, I will give it credit where it is due. The actual fight was pretty cool to watch or would have been if my internet hadn’t kept slowing down causing the picture to go fuzzy. Not to mention, after the fight we get to see Ifrit meeting Veldora inside of Rimuru. Now, I’m not sure how the inner workings of a slime go, but honestly this is the start of a terrible joke. A dragon and a demon meet inside a slime… and you get the point. Very curious as to where they go with this idea though as Rimuru seems to be collecting ridiculously powered creatures inside of him and he himself is ridiculously overpowered.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 7

So yes, at seven episodes in I’m pretty much hooked into this show given I actually do care about what the reveals might be and where these characters are going. It has definitely been a slow build but its continued to do enough to keep me watching and in the meantime its managed to build a reasonable foundation for the story to build off of. So while I’m still not a enthused about this as some other titles, I am pretty happy I chose to stick with it this long.

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Karandi James

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That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (Anime)

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 6: The Importance of Pacing To Build Tension

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 6

Now, I’ve kind of figured out that this anime isn’t actually trying to be particularly tense or serious. It really is just kind of rolling along with the daily life of a slime with a human mind. It cares more about feeling good, being a little bit off the wall from the standard isekai even as it follows the same basic tropes, and landing the occasional comedic moment than about building drama into its story. And for some people, this is definitely going to be a major draw. It doesn’t take itself overly seriously; nor does it ask the audience to take the central conceit of the show overly seriously. So kind of pleasantly amusing watching.

Unfortunately, what that means for me is that while I appreciate what That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime is doing and that it is doing it relatively well, I’m never going to be more than casually enjoying this. And that’s mostly because every time I start getting seriously into the story because of some development that might potentially be really interesting or dramatic, the story cuts it off at the knees and kind of does a ‘ta-da’ kind of moment where everything just kind of resolves and we return to the status quo of Rimuru bouncing around and goblins progressing.

Slime6c

Gobta being left in the prison is a good example of this. Firstly, it was a pretty cheap move by Rimuru as a character to just abandon him there.

Side note: That’s part of why I’m struggling to connect with him as a character given episode one he gets stabbed to save a coworker and then he’s just happily abandoning someone in a dungeon.

Back to Gobta though, while strung up and trapped he just wills and prays and somehow develops the ability to summon his wolf to him and escapes. Poof, problem solved and tension drained and no real need to worry.

We get this again during the scene with the ants chasing the humans this week as first Shizu turns and goes to town on them, making you wonder why she didn’t try that first, and then Rimuru just turns up and poof, problem solved. There’s never an ongoing threat or a sense of a problem that might be insurmountable. There’s always just here’s a problem and ‘ta-da’.

Slime6e

However, even outside of danger, the story can’t help itself as it trips over itself to jump to reveals. Last week we have a fortune teller show Rimuru the girl he’s going to meet and this week he meets her. Just like that. The character himself commenting that it happened fast doesn’t excuse the fact that any build up, anticipation, or dramatic tension just kind of withered in an instant. And while it is clear she’s got some baggage that might bring future fun developments, it kind of feels like the show will bounce through those as well.

So far, the only on-going plot thread that hasn’t been instantly solved is Veldora who I think is still inside Rimuru(?).

Now, none of this as criticism stops the show being fun. It really is good fun. However, what it isn’t, at least for me, is memorable. It doesn’t give me something to ponder or think about or anticipate in future episodes. It just kind of is.

Slime6b

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Karandi James

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THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD-CREATING A CHAMPION HERO'S EDITION (HARDCOVER)