That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Series Review

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 9 Rimuru in the cave

Ready for the slime of your life?

Here we are with another isekai anime. Another normal, ordinary, totally average guy who is killed by a totally normal knife wielding running man before being reincarnated as an over-powered blue slime in a world resembling a standard generic fantasy setting where he will begin building an empire and have plenty of adoring subjects because he is awesome.

So, if you don’t like isekai or over-powered protagonists it is probably time to duck out of this one. Because, this anime is utterly unashamed of what it is and while we have the gimmick of the protagonist being a slime, there isn’t a lot that really distinguishes it in terms of plot or setting.

Where That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime does manage to distinguish itself from similar isekai adventures is that the protagonist seems utterly without a goal for the majority of the story. Sorry, I’ll correct that. He has goals but mostly they revolve around making his life easier, and usually making life easier for those who follow him. There’s no grand plan of fighting some powerful evil, trying to return home, or really anything else. Just short term goals that get accomplished in bite sized arcs as this essentially slice of life, empire building story kind of rolls itself out.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 11 Rimuru

As such there is never any real sense of urgency or that there are any real stakes in anything that happens. I kind of found this very off putting and frequently found it hard to invest a great deal emotionally in this show. While I never overly disliked it, I think if Slime had suddenly had production issues and been delayed a month, I may not have even noticed. It just kind of existed and while I was watching it I usually had a casual good time with an occasional smile, the occasional enjoyment of a particularly good dialogue exchange, and very rarely an interesting fight, but mostly it just kind of passed by.

For people who prefer their stories low-key and don’t mind watching characters just kind of drift and do what they do (so people who don’t really mind slice of life in general), Slime probably offers a rare fantasy opportunity that isn’t all about slaying a demon lord or achieving some grand goal. In a sense it reminds me, vaguely, of something like Restaurant to Another Universe in that you have what appears to be a standard fantasy setting without any of the epic plot trappings that usually accompany it.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 16

In a sense, if Slime had chosen to simply occupy the space of a slice of life in a fantasy setting, I probably wouldn’t have watched it at all because I already know such a premise doesn’t really interest me. However, Slime does at times have hints of a larger narrative and certain arcs seemed to push that forward. In those moments I found a genuine enjoyment rather than a casual like of the show. Shizue’s arc in the first cour was the true highlight, hitting some fairly decent emotional notes, filling in our knowledge of the world, and progressing the idea of a villain Rimuru may have to face at some point. All and all, it was pretty solid. There are other arcs, or bits of information within some of the other arcs that also build on an overall narrative idea, but they are scattered and hardly a focal point.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 6

With that it entirely comes down to your viewing preferences and whether you need a driving narrative as to whether this anime will grab your interest.

However, if the basic premise and set up is what you are looking for, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime offers a fairly beautifully presented quality viewing experience. In almost all episodes the visual and animation quality is maintained with none of the mid-season or late season mistakes, glitches, and just rushed efforts that other anime sometimes face. Rimuru is as charmingly depicted in episode 23 as episode 1 (though early in the series there’s a weird CG visual used occasionally for Rimuru that just seems out of place with the rest of the visuals of the series – quite possibly deliberate but I felt it was weird).

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 1

One thing I did find bizarre was that the anime would introduce monster characters who would have quite strikingly non-human appearances and then after Rimuru gave them a name they would ‘evolve’ and have a more human appearance. I mentioned this in one of my episode reviews, but it felt like an utter waste to take such distinct looking characters and morph them into generic fantasy boy/girl with vague monster appendages. It felt like a loss for what could have made this anime visually far more memorable than it ends up being, even if it is a pretty anime that is easy on the eyes.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 16

From a sound point of view everything works. Character voices serve their purpose and Rimuru’s voice acting is perhaps the character’s most charming point. He’s easy to listen to, fairly emotive, and the contrast between his inner and outer tone at times is spot on and nails the humour of a situation. Other characters are either good enough or quite interesting, and the background music and sounds do their job but don’t stand out as overly memorable.

Overall though it is the characters that I find to be the weakest element of this anime. Not because they are not good characters. Individually, each character is perfectly fine and they even play well off one another. The problem is that other than Rimuru, no character really sticks around long enough to have much impact. Even characters who stay in the story, after their introduction and brief moment in the spot-light, get shunted to the background where they occasionally fill screen space or make a comment, but kind of cease to develop as actual characters.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 10 Lizardmen

For me, in the absence of a driving plot, I really needed more from the characters and their personal journeys. I needed something to make me want to invest emotionally in this anime, and tragically the characters just couldn’t fill the void.

Admittedly, the characters are largely quirky and cute but when the vast majority of names are forgotten before the series has even been a week completed, and you genuinely don’t know what even half of them are trying to do or accomplish and you generally have no sense that any of the characters are motivated to do anything beyond serve Rimuru, it really makes it hard to care about what happens to any of them and Rimuru is so over-powered (and if he wasn’t, Milim sure is), that it is hard to visualise harm coming to any of them.

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Again, it comes down to whether or not you care about any kind of tension or emotional stakes in your story or whether you just want to chill. That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime would be a very good anime to just chill to.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 19 Gobta

Before I wrap up, I do want to discuss the episode count. At 25 episodes, this anime took six months to air. That’s a long time investment for episodic watching and I will admit, I was weary of it by the end. It didn’t help that the final arc, despite tying in fairly beautifully with Shizue’s arc from the first half of the season, was undeniably one of the weaker stories delivered. However, what makes it worse is the anime actually finishes at episode 23 and then we have two extra episodes. Episode 24 actually is better than anything the second half of Slime gave us and just made me wonder why we hadn’t seen more like that. That probably isn’t what you want your bonus material to do. 24.5 is just padding. Poorly executed recap. A poor excuse of filler to pad out a 25 episode count that was unneeded.

Getting onto recommendations, it isn’t as though this was a bad anime. There are huge numbers of fans, massive amounts of merchandise available, and realistically there’s nothing inherently broken about the story. While it doesn’t suit my viewing preferences, it functionally works and at times even I found it very entertaining and at its worst I just found it kind of empty but watchable. So for some this will be highly entertaining.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 18 fanservice

My honest opinion with this one is that there are better isekai anime out there with better journeys and characters. Then again, I prefer something that has clear direction and characters that grow and learn so perhaps Slime and I were never meant to be. Still, I wouldn’t actually tell you to avoid this one. It can be good fun and is nicely made. Give it a try, by the end of episode 3 you should have a rough idea of whether this works for you, and maybe you’ll find a show to fall in love with.

However, I’d love to know your thoughts on That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (the anime) so please share in the comments below.

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And Then Shizue Stole The Anime Right Out From Under Rimuru

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That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 24 (Extra) Review

This is probably the most fun I’ve had with That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime since the first cour and it is an episode that takes place prior to Shizue meeting Rimuru. She travels to a kingdom to help deal with a summoned demon but things aren’t what they seem at first.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 24

I’m going to be honest, I would love to say that there’s some great characterisation and story telling going on in this episode, and comparatively there actually is, but twenty minutes isn’t exactly a long amount of time and as a stand-alone story there is only so much they can do. While both Kuro/Black and Shizue come across as very interesting characters, without actual follow up this episode doesn’t quite get them there. Fortunately we’ve already seen how Shizue’s story ends so this works nicely to fill in her character and as for the demon, well it is nicely teased that Rimuru is going to meet him sooner or later so we can expect that we’ll meet him again.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 24

What really works though is that this story is tightly structured with very little left to waste. The first act has a human desperately summoning a demon. We’re never given the absolute specifics as to why, but given what the demon does and what we learn about the kingdom, we can probably take a fair guess as to who they were and why they wanted to summon a demon. Even without that particular bit of information, it is a reasonably dramatic opening for a story and right from the start the demon is pretty cool and interesting looking. Here’s someone you want to get to know.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 24

Shizue entering the story and being met by another adventurer is a little clunkier, but it does solve the problem of having to narrate all the exposition when Shizue has someone else to bounce a lot of conversation off of during the early part of the episode and to fill in the details of why they are all there. But once the action starts, we see Shizue at her finest making decisions and taking action.

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The final act links things back in with the main story and while they do rely on some narration here to explicitly link to potential future events for Rimuru, it feels warranted and this story has been interesting enough that it is a nice tease of something to come.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 24

Of course, the question I’m left with is why weren’t more episodes in the main series as interesting or well paced as this one? Why weren’t the characters given just that little more time and attention, some emotional nuances, anything to just make me want to pay that little bit more attention to them? I really enjoyed this story and I’d happily watch a whole season of this kind of story even without the main plot line. While I wasn’t overly impressed to find out this season was ending with ‘extras’ I will admit that this one definitely went above and beyond my expectations of extra material and really was just fun to watch.

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Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash Level 8 Light Novel Review

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash Volume 8

The party is finally splitting up and there are some dire consequences to be found.

It’s honestly going to be impossible to review this one without spoilers so if you haven’t read this far in the series, check out the links below for some of the earlier books or check out one of my other light novel reviews here.

For those still with me, level 8 really stepped things up. As much as I loved the last couple of volumes as they left Grimgar and travelled through the Dusk Realm but the end of the volume where they finally emerged back into Grimgar was a bit of a relief. The question became what now that they’ve gotten back to Grimgar considering it isn’t their world either (though at least there are more humans in Grimgar and they’ve gotten a bit used to it).

Well, it turns out a lot can happen when the party finally arrives back. They aren’t anywhere they know in Grimgar, in fact they are a long, long way away from their familiar territory and hunting grounds or allies that might help them. This presents a number of fairly immediate problems because even though Haruhiro and the gang have undeniably gotten stronger even before their trek through the Dusk Realm (and they most definitely found strength through enduring that), they are still very small fish in the larger pond.

So the team splits up in order to scout the surrounding area and figure out what to do next.

Honestly, as soon as they made this decision it was clear what was going to happen and yet they still managed to make this interesting. Ranta and Merry end up with one group made up of orcs and other inhumans while Haruhiro and the rest end up kind of attached to a mercenary unit that may or may not be assisting a samurai village.

As the team learn about this part of Grimgar, the Samurai villages, Arnold – a force of nature, and everything else that is going on, they are continuing to search for Merry and Ranta however Ranta as always has an interesting knack for survival. When up against an unbeatable enemy, make the enemy a friend remains his standard practice and while it might be argued in this instance his instant bow act saved Merry’s life, it would be difficult to say that Ranta has particularly grown as a character.

That said, his presentation in this volume was perhaps the most nuanced yet as it seemed he was well aware of his failings but desperately wanted to save Merry and couldn’t think of a better way to go about it. It made me quite interested in where his character might go, assuming of course he lives long enough to go anywhere from this point.

However, this does set up for a climax where Haruhiro and Ranta face off. Now, anyone who has read seven books in this series will be on their edge of their seat for this confrontation. While these two have been in the same team since the beginning, the friction between them has never gone away and finally seeing them on opposite sides for real is one of those character moments you are just grateful actually eventuated and they didn’t back away from it at the last minute.

Haruhiro Vs Rantar

While the conclusion is yet to be decided and I’m kind of hopeful that eventually they pull the team back together, Grimgar has a penchant for being very realistic about some things. Water once spilled can’t be returned to the glass and all that. Is this the end of Ranta in the group or will they find someway to save him?

Outside of the interesting team dynamic moments, I must say Grimgar continues to introduce some weird and yet interesting supporting characters. While such a large cast might be a problem if handled poorly, here they manage to keep the focus on how each encounter changes the core group so characters coming and going from the story around them is actually handled fairly well with enough reminders of who the important support cast are for us not to forget (even though it has been awhile since we’ve seen them as Haruhiro’s group have been separated for a fair while now).

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash Volume 8

The story continues to move at a good pace giving each moment enough time to have the appropriate emotional weight without lingering overly long on any one point and while Ranta’s dialogue remains fairly insufferable, it has become pretty accepted at this point that it is part of his character.

If anything, I’d have to say my only real criticism of the story at this point is that it has become decidedly serialised. Earlier books could be read more or less independently, though needed to be read in order, and these later ones pretty much build to a climax but leave so much still be to be discovered. That would be fine if all the books were out and while I have volume 9 to read and ready to go I suspect that I’ll soon want volume 10 and unfortunately it is pre-order only and Volume 11 isn’t out until October. That would be why I haven’t been in any rush to get through these volumes because I want the story relatively fresh when I read the next book.

Grimgar remains a really great read and I think the writing has gotten better since book 1. The story and world building are great, the character development remains believable, and the books haven’t fallen into a repetitive pattern as each new adventure really does build on the last but take us somewhere new to learn more about the world and characters. I very much recommend this series to anyone looking for a more serious isekai (though early books do still have too many random fanservice moments just because).

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That Time The Show Ended And The Audience Wondered Why

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That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 23 Review

Well this episode caught me off guard. MAL has had That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime listed as 25 episodes for most of its run time. The current arc, while beautiful closure on the whole Shizu story arc, has not been particularly compelling or season finale worthy. All and all, nothing really prepared me for the story bringing things to a close mid-way through episode 23 and then regaling me with montages, musical recaps, teary farewells and general padding for the remainder of the episode.

And I was most just left wondering, ‘is that it?’.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 23

I get that this has been more slice of life than shounen or even straight fantasy. There’s no real big bad to have a fight against or compelling goal that Rimuru’s been working toward since the beginning. In that sense, closing off Shizu’s last regret of not helping the kids is actually a really logical end point to the season.

But if that’s the case why wasn’t this a more emotional or interesting arc. The kids are barely sketched in characters that we literally just met and have no connection to. The journey to get a spirit to bond with them had no danger or even interesting moments. It was just kind of montaged over and then they were there. Likewise the actual moment of bonding the kids with the spirits, while we got a pretty light show and some potential future consequences, wasn’t exactly a riveting moment.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 23

And for all that Slime has been slice of life-ish for the majority of its run time it has managed emotive moments such as Shizu’s brief character moment and even Vesta falling from grace as the king called him on his schemes. These moments happened to relatively unknown characters with brief appearances and yet they had impact. Slime has also managed good action and drama at times. Yet none of this was brought to the fore in an arc that essentially ends a two cour series.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 23

We apparently have an extra coming at us next and I’ll watch that before getting around to reviewing this as a whole series but my honest opinion right now is one of being just a little bit underwhelmed by what Slime ultimately delivered.

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THAT TIME I GOT REINCARNATED AS A SLIME – RIMURU’S HEAT FLUCTUATION TOLERANCE SKILL LIGHT DRY HOODIE BLACK (L SIZE)
	THAT TIME I GOT REINCARNATED AS A SLIME - RIMURU'S HEAT FLUCTUATION TOLERANCE SKILL LIGHT DRY HOODIE BLACK (L SIZE)

That Time We Found A Fairy Who Is A Demon Lord?

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That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 22 Review

There’s not a huge amount to say about this one given it kind of just progressed the current plot of Rimuru trying to save Shizu’s students by travelling to a cave to see the spirit queen so that they can summon spirits to help the kids. It is all pretty ordinary as we enter the cave and easily avoid a few traps before getting taunted by a fairy who turns out to be a demon lord who knows Milim.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 22

There is a very brief fight sequence where the fairy summons a golem (based on the one that blew up in the dwarf kingdom) to fight Rimuru but it really isn’t so much a fight as a one sided slaughter and is hardly worth the mention. Ranga gets a couple of lines and gets to flap his tail and the kids altogether have about as much personality as half a character so there’s just not a lot to write about.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 22

Now that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. The current plot line is progressed, there’s a number of links back to previous characters and events so there’s some decent world building and character cohesion here, and all and all it isn’t as though the episode is boring. There’s just nothing that really stands out about it or that individually is particularly interesting.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 22

I am curious as to this whole summoning or creating spirit thing that comes up during this episode so I’m kind of looking forward to finding out what that means next episode.

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THAT TIME I GOT REINCARNATED AS A SLIME CHARA DOT RUBBER STRAP (SET OF 8 PIECES)
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Arifureta: From Commonplace To World’s Strongest Volume 4 Light Novel Review

Arifureta Volume 4 Cover

Complete a quest, rescue a child, save the hero, and win the girls!

Okay, volume 3 and I of this particular series parted on a fairly rough note. They’d introduced a character I pretty much despised and she was eating a lot of page time with comments I found neither interesting nor funny. I felt perhaps that this would be the end of my acquaintance with these characters and that we would go our separate ways after this volume.

Let me assure you, I’m not parting ways with this series.

The annoying character is most definitely still there, though with so much else happening in this volume Tio’s presence feels muted or diluted at least. But, everything is happening in this volume.

Arifureta Volume 4 Shea gets a new collar

There are two fairly major stories that happen in this volume and then they are book-ended by information that is pretty crucial to the ongoing narrative. It makes for a very satisfying read in a series where drama introduced within a volume resolves but the greater story it is apart of continues fairly seamlessly. This is my favourite kind of series to read where I feel like I was given a wonderful conclusion yet am desperate to read more to find out what the next thing for the characters is.

The first part of the story feels less consequential though it does introduce us to another character (yet another girl) that is going to have a fair impact on Hajime. After volume 3 reunited Hajime with his teacher, he’s definitely started thawing though that isn’t a huge improvement given he still treats most everyone outside of his harem as his enemy. No, they give Hajime a child to protect and while that could have gotten very inappropriate and a little uncomfortable given Hajime’s relationships with the other girls in his life, they actually make this one a fairly wholesome guardian and daughter relationship and the impact of having someone vulnerable and impressionable to protect pushes Hajime’s personality yet further toward the Hajime we met back in volume 1.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want that Hajime back. However the extreme personality make-over took Hajime to a place where he’s almost impossible to connect with so these small steps back to humanity are actually really appreciated and keep each step of the journey feeling fresh. Hajime isn’t wavering in his plans to defeat the gods and get himself back home and he’s still willing to trample whoever he needs to get there. But he is now carrying quite a few others with him.

While this was the shorter section of the book, it was nicely done. There were some battles and some city-wide destruction, and then Hajime moved on.

Which brings us to the second stage of the book. Finally Hajime is going to come face to face with the hero’s party and the other students. When first requested to go and rescue them, I really figured he’d walk away. Despite meeting Aiko in the last book and thawing a bit, and despite the influence of the child he was looking after, I honestly didn’t see Hajime as having captured enough of who he was to care about his former classmates.

Turns out I was right and wrong.

Arifureta Volume 4 Hajime and Kaori

It wasn’t the class he went to save but rather Kaori, the one person in the class who had been nice to him.

This is perhaps the first volume since the first that has devoted any time to fleshing out the students and their personalities and interactions. It is also the first time we find out why Kaori was so distraught when Hajime ‘died’ back in volume 1, you know, other than seeing a classmate fall into an abyss.

Arifureta Volume 4 - Kaori and Shizuku watch Hajime

It is a lovely bit of character development and they managed to simultaneously work in some world building because the students encountered a demon who ended up being way stronger than anticipated and surrounded by incredibly powerful monsters. We finally get a bit of a look at the threat the students were summoned to defeat.

All and all there’s little to complain about in this volume as it seems to keep powering from one event to the next and each part feels meaningful. There’s some excellent character moments from a huge number of the cast, and the ending will leave you wanting the next volume ASAP.

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Who Would Have Thought That All You Need Is A Dog And Unlimited Power?

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

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 21 Review

Turns out sending Rimuru to teach some kids ends up about as shallow a development as you’d expect this late in the season. The kids are all tropey personalities who don’t have any expectations or hopes because they are going to die anyway and Rimuru has declared he’s going to save them. Which makes little sense because even if Rimuru does find a spirit to merge with them, Shizu still ultimately lost control and died. Maybe they will clarify this as a solution when they get to it but it seemed a bit grandiose to declare he was going to help them without any real reason why.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 21 Rimuru reacts

Also, winning the kids over happens with very little effort or sense.

Because threatening someone with a giant dog always makes them want to trust you.

As does beating them in a fight that you don’t even take seriously as they give their all.

Um…

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 21 Ranga

Despite the kids being way too cliche, Rimuru being the typical television teacher coming in and winning them over after more or less only one real gesture, and the solution proposed not yet making a great deal of sense, this episode was still fun to watch. Sure, you can question Slime’s sense when it has a teacher challenge the students to try and hit him with their magic, but it is kind of fun to watch. As is watching Ranga menace the class so that they answer roll call even if there are definitely a few questions to be raised about threatening the children in your care.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 21 Rimuru fights a dragon

Plus, if the cutesy teacher saves troubled kids without any effort tropes aren’t working for you, there is the whole Rimuru saves the city from a dragon and makes friends with a merchant sub-plot mid episode. So not bad to watch by any means but nor a reason to recommend the anime at this point.

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