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 and this one just comes out in the title and says its about That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (you know, because that happens a lot).

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.

That Time I Got Reicarnated as a Slime knows what it is and doesn’t really try to go beyond that.

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.

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. And you can check out my thoughts on season 2 here.

Images from: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime. Dir. Y Kikuchi. 8Bit. 2018.

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Karandi James

Isekai Cheat Magician Anime Series Review

Cheat Series Review

Being Generic Is Not A Crime;
Being Generic and Boring However…

Isekai Cheat Magician is one of those shows where there is in fact truth in the label, though that seems to be a trend in isekai stories (light novels and anime) to simply describe the basic plot and use that as your title. I mean, I always struggled coming up with titles for stories but apparently if I got back into writing I could just put that concern to the side and write a brief synopsis and there we go – insta-title.

In seriousness though, generic isekai is something I quite enjoy. There’s something quite relaxing about genre fiction that doesn’t really aspire to be anything beyond its basic label and when”>watching with others isekai can work as it usually brings something to the table that everyone can enjoy. While I do enjoy more thought provoking fare inbetween my binge popcorn meals, I happily return to these fairly routine anime with a regularity that kind of indicates that I’m getting something out of it.

Despite that, Isekai Cheat Magician ended up being one of those anime that started out looking like something I would truly enjoy despite its limitations, for instance Kenja no Mago, and yet ended up being one of the more forgettable viewing experiences of the year. Which is actually a pretty impressive feat given this year’s viewing also included that happily dismissed Grimms Notes.


However, just in case you have never embraced watching an isekai before, let me run through the basic plot here. Mr Ordinary-Nice-Guy gets summoned by a Princess to another world where he naturally has the biggest, baddest magic power around but of course he won’t abuse his power but rather he’ll help the first people who take an interest in him because they are of course good and everybody who opposes them must be bad for reasons.

Our ‘twist’ such as it is for Isekai Cheat Magician, is that Mr Ordinary-Nice-Guy (Taichi) is with his female child-hood friend when the summoning circle appears and she, despite Nice-Guy pushing her out of the way, jumps back into the circle and gets herself summoned as well.

Isekai Cheat Magician Episode 1

It’s fine. She also has super-powers and is actually smart so could probably have been the protagonist on her own but apparently the author wasn’t sure that his nicely written, well rounded female characters could carry a show and so tied them all inexplicably to the dead-weight and personality-less actual protagonist.

Alright, he has a personality but largely it consists of being dense and being nice in equal measure before occasionally punching something.

And let’s consider that for a moment. Despite being a cheat ‘magician’, and boy do they remind us of that a lot as he calls himself one at least once every second episode, or Rin (the childhood friend does), he largely uses his power to strengthen his body and punch things. They could have called him isekai-wannabe-fighter and the story probably would have turned out much the same except for his whole connection with the spirits who actually help him use the occasional bit of magic. Instead of spells and chants and really cool combinations of ideas we get a guy who glows and punches things.

Admittedly, it worked really well for Gon (Hunter x Hunter) but then again they weren’t trying to convince us that Gon was actually a magician.


Then we have Rin who actually does learn to use magic and carries a staff. At one point she uses a combination of magic spells to slow down an entire army and it is really cool to watch. She’s confident and self-assured, using her knowledge of science to combine with magical power to deliver some spells that are unknown in the world they’ve been transported to. Wow, Rin could carry this anime all on her own and join the list of female leads in isekai anime except that instead she ended up in this.

When she’s paired up with Myura, one of the inhabitants of the world who works to train them in magic, the two are really great fun to watch. Both are powerful but not unbeatable and both are observant about their surroundings.


Which makes these two characters getting sidelined so the chosen one can save the day in the final battle fairly unpalatable and is perhaps the worst offense of Isekai Cheat Magician (other than just being a bit dull).

Somehow all their tough and strong personality traits get evaporated and they end up more or less just waiting around while Taichi mops things up. It is most definitely a disappointing direction for their characters, though clearly it was inevitable. Even in earlier fights where Taichi was around they found reasons to almost damsel-in-distress them or they found ways to separate the group. Because, they can only be strong and self-reliant if the protagonist isn’t on the scene. That inconsistency kind of hurt.

By the time we throw in villains who by and large aren’t even cliches they are so paper-thin in terms of the writing you almost have to wonder if there’s anything left to appeal about this anime. And the truth is, there are some nice moments between Taichi and Rin and then between Rin and Myura. Rin manages to bring out the best in the cast around her and when she’s bouncing off someone the scenes come to life.

Yet, that probably isn’t enough to salvage Isekai Cheat Magician’s plot that just feels like they didn’t know what to do beyond summon two characters and throw stuff at them, and characters who don’t actually have a consistent personality but merely respond as the plot demands at the time.

Umm… duh.

Isekai Cheat Magician isn’t creative enough to be called a train wreck. It just kind of is.

Isekai Cheat Magician has visuals that are adequate but certainly nothing note-worthy, music that is equally forgettable, and ultimately an unfinished story because while we have a fight in the final episodes the ‘true’ mastermind has yet to actually grace the scene, and honestly I’ll happily recommend dozens of other isekai titles before this one. That doesn’t make this one broken beyond repair and it certainly is watchable (at least if you’ve watched many other isekai stories). But there’s nothing here that makes this one something that needs to be watched and there are plenty of better anime that do more or less the same things.

A few glimmers of decent characterisation and a decent basic concept just can’t make up for the deficits of Isekai Cheat Magician. Characters introduced only to show off the power of the main character or to drag out the watch time really weigh the mid-season down, and the absence of any real threat makes it hard to buy into any of the tension. Not to mention, when they are flailing about for a real fight at the end they resort to zombies… Like really?


As with many titles I’ll have to say the greatest problem with Isekai Cheat Magician is wasted potential. The generic set up and storyline is used over and over because it is functionally sound, but only if the writers do something with it. Here it never went anywhere or kept trying to go somewhere but didn’t really know how to build up either the plot or the characters over a sustained period of time. So yes, I’d have to say Isekai Cheat Magician probably isn’t worth your time.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
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Karandi James

Saihate no Paladin Review – An Isekai With A Focus On World Building Over Fan-Service

Saihate no Paladin Review

When I did my best anime 2021 celebration post, I wasn’t exaggerating when I chose Saihate no Paladin as my favourite isekai for the year. Sure if you are after standard adventures or slice of life in another world stories you will find better options, but for me Saihate no Paladin is the anime that really drew me firmly into its world and while Will does have some memories of his previous life, enough to motivate him to work hard in this one, he isn’t cheating his way through every encounter with knowledge from our world (sometimes highly specialised knowledge and you just have to wonder how so many isekai protagonists have this near photographic memory for things).

Saihate no Paladin Episode 2

Saihate no Paladin gives me what I want from fantasy and reincarnation stories.

For anyone who has ever thought they wasted their life, or even a moment of it, the idea of starting over in a new place with the knowledge that you were given a second chance, is one that has so much potential. You could sit and make a list of all the things you would do better or right but kind of know that mostly you’d probably just fall into the same old patterns and somehow things wouldn’t be any different.

Will, our protagonist in Saihate no Paladin, awakens as a baby with the knowledge that he live a pointless and stagnant first life and as he is raised by a Skeleton (Blood), a mummy (Mary) and a ghost (Gus) he learns to fight, to pray and to cast magic but more than anything else he finds in himself the desire to improve and to live this life better than his last. It takes him awhile to figure out what that means but after the events that occur as he comes of age he makes his vow to the god of his choice and sets out into the world with high ambitions.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 4

What I loved most about this process was it wasn’t a one or two episode montage where we just kind of see the baby, see a few training clips and then here we go fully formed warrior boy. Instead this introduction takes five episodes really developing the relationship Will has with the three who raise him in this world.

Its a risky move and one that has put some viewers off Saihate no Paladin given it isn’t your standard isekai full of upbeat quippy characters and there’s been no busty elf-girl in sight (at least not yet). Sure we do get a few standard moments such as before Will comes of age Blood invites him to drink and then leads him to try to spy on Mary changing.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 3

Also, Will is ridiculously strong due to the training he goes through with Blood, Mary and Gus though just how overpowered he is doesn’t become truly apparent until he’s fighting a god and more so after he leaves his home and sets out into the world and we all get a clearer idea of just how much stronger Will is than your average human in this world. Fortunately, again because of the time spent in the early episodes, it doesn’t feel cheap. Will isn’t strong because he is reborn. He is strong because of the life he has lived this time around and the effort he has put into his training and his faith.

Where Saihate no Paladin is perhaps weakest is in Will’s personality. While he is pleasant enough he isn’t the most dynamic or interesting or protagonists and more than that the entire anime is filled with internal dialogue from his character that usually adds nothing. It also has a weird audio effect over it which just doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of the anime and so feels intrusive.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 5

Perhaps if his internal commentary provided some additional insight or seemed to contrast with Will’s exterior then I could see the point. And actually, this is where I’d point out that Mushoku Tensei did internal dialogue fairly brilliantly using the main character’s adult voice and definitely providing a clearer picture of Rudy’s character. Then again, How Not To Summon a Demon Lord also used internal dialogue well to show the conflict between the introverted guy’s interior character compared to his demon-lord persona.

The tone of Saihate no Paladin also clearly changes after Will leaves his home and sets out on his own. He meets new people and makes a friend, helps villagers and fights demon-beasts before arriving in a town and being acknowledged by both the temple and the crown-prince for his potential. The world definitely starts expanding during this second half of the anime and Will starts learning a lot more about the world he lives in from those he meets.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 10

It isn’t all brilliant and there are at times more or less exposition dumps as other characters explain things to him and the pace, while mostly continuing its deliberate march, gets a little choppier. The final episode of this first season is actually where the pacing is at its worst and the final confrontation of the season definitely feels rushed. Almost as it this anime needed a thirteenth episode to really finish properly.

And with that said, while Saihate no Paladin leaves us at a perfectly sound resting point, the story has barely begun. Will has only taken his first steps on his own and there’s still so much for him to do. Fortunately he’s started to gather allies and friends around him but there’s so much world he still knows nothing about.

Saihate no paladin Episode 12

Its one of those anime that would be just criminal if it didn’t continue – which usually means it won’t though there has been a second season announcement so I guess we’ll wait and see if it appears.

Visually Saihate no Paladin isn’t exactly amazing. The colour palette works for the story being told as it uses more subdued colours than most isekai adventure anime. The character designs for the ghost, the mummy and the skeleton were perhaps the standouts as most of the other characters are pretty generic looking so far. Action scenes look good enough but can’t compete with other fantasy anime out there. I do however love how magic and combat are combined by the main character at times.

And I absolutely love the music in Saihate no Paladin. From the OP, The Sacred Torch, to the music swelling behind conflicts to even incidental background music, there’s a real attempt to set a tone and mood that reminds me of older cinematic works.

Saihate no Paladin

I will admit, Saihate no Paladin isn’t for everyone and the divided opinions of it in reviews on sites like MAL kind of make that clear. For some this is an anime that mis-fires and doesn’t get going. For me though this reminds me of the epic fantasy novels I read as a teenager where sometimes it did take awhile for the story to get going but the world and characters were firmly established giving everything that little bit more weight and meaning.

As always, I’d love to know what my readers though so let me know how you found Saihate no Paladin in the comments below.

Images from: Saihate no Paladin. Dir. Y. Nobuta. Children’s Playground Entertainment. 2021

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Karandi James

Saihate no Paladin Episode 12 – A Slightly Rushed Resolution

Saihate no Paladin Episode 12

So far one of the things I’ve consistently praised about Saihate no Paladin is the deliberate choice not to rush through set-up or events just for the sake of quick thrills. Instead this story has taken its time to build up the character and the world and that means my emotional investment is significantly greater than it usually is for this kind of hack and slash fantasy. Which makes me wonder why episode 12 feels so incredibly rushed as our main character gets over his sudden round of self-doubt, rallies the troops and defeats the immediate villain before finding out he’s pretty much in charge of the region in the space of twenty minutes.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 12

The only justification I can see for the sudden haste is that overcoming this creature and somewhat resolving the issue in the southern woods does at least provide a sensible resting point for the story for the season to end on.

Saihate no Paladin’s final episode for season one feels all too hasty.

Unfortunately, by rushing it, Saihate no Paladin has undermined that sense of deliberate pacing that has permeated the entire story so far. While there’s nothing wrong with episode 12 -indeed when compared to the ending some something like Banished From The Hero’s Party, the final episode of Saihate no Paladin comes out significantly stronger – and yet it loses something of its own tone in the process.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 12

Will has been a character we’ve watched grow up and find his feet. Two episodes ago he finally became an actually recognised Paladin. One episode ago he experienced his first real taste of failure since saying goodbye to Mary and Blood. And in this episode he more or less has a little bit of a sulk about it, has Menel come along and beat him up a bit, and instantly he’s just fine. Even tells everyone else that it’s all good.

This is the first time it has felt like Saihate no Paladin has trivialised a pivotal character growth moment and the episode suffers because of it.

Though points for Menel for knowing when it was time to beat his friend senseless.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 12

Regardless of how satisfying it is to see Will, Menel and the others get back on their feet and plan to defeat the demon beasts, and then do just that, the episode is marred by this absolute abrupt turn around from the end of last episode where Will resolves to go it alone because he’s almost immediately reversed position and it feels far too trite.

Then, we also need to look at the battle. It was definitely satisfying and overcoming the chimera that took down Menel last week needed to happen for the season to come to some kind of a close, and yet Saihate no Paladin blurs through preparations with a few stills and a quick narration and then the fight begins. And all too quickly Menel and Will are separated from all the extras for their own fight against the chimera so it just makes you wonder why they bothered dragging them all along.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 12

Despite all those complaints, ultimately this final episode leaves us in a good position to end the season as it brings one phase of Will’s journey to an end. Now we just have to hope a season two actually comes out because while it has been announced details are few and far between. I have thoroughly enjoyed Will’s story up until this point and really do want to find out what is next for these characters and this world so I’ll keep my fingers crossed for more details of Saihate no Paladin season 2.

You can read the full season review here.

Images from: Saihate no Paladin. Dir. Y. Nobuta. Children’s Playground Entertainment. 2021

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Karandi James

Saihate no Paladin Episode 11 – Being Ambushed Sucks

Saihate no Paladin Episode 11 Review

Saihate no Paladin definitely did the whole calm before the storm thing with episode 10 being very much set-up with very little happening before this episode has the adventurers who have signed on with Will entering the forest, helping deliver goods to the villagers and sending out periodic scouting parties looking for demons. Inevitably, one of the scouting groups goes missing and Will and others set out to track them down.

Spoiler alert – it doesn’t end well.

Saihate no Paladin doesn’t let Will triumph for too long before bringing him down.

There’s something oddly similar between how Saihate no Paladin works to shatter Will’s confidence this week with how Mushoku Taisei: Jobless Reincarnation treats its protagonist, Rudeus, in almost every episode. Having defeated a wyvern two episodes ago and been made a paladin in the last episode, Will enters the woods on a real high note.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 11

More than that, the mission initially goes well with villages welcoming them and coming to rely on Will for a number of reasons. In fact it is all going so smoothly you just know it isn’t going to last.

And lo-and-behold it doesn’t.

There’s a turning point in this episode of Saihate no Paladin where the guy whose name I can’t remember but he’s referred to as the Penetrator (because he kills monsters in one blow naturally) enters Will’s tent and tells him one of the scouting parties is over-due.

Will, Menel and the Penetrator gather some others and head out after them.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 11

Unfortunately, its already too late and they come across the grisly remains which they bury. During this process they notice one of the heads is missing and so progress further down a valley in search of someone who may have run from the scene.

For viewers watching it is just a tease as you know this is a bad idea. It’s like watching a horror movie where the characters hear a noise and go to investigate. You just want to shake them and ask them what they think they are doing.

By the time the characters wizen up that perhaps this valley with steep sides isn’t the best location to be walking around in, its already too late and they find themselves boxed in by enemies.

Here Will learns that just having good intentions isn’t enough. Also, just because you are strong doesn’t mean you can protect everyone.

Saihate no Paladin doesn’t take this lesson to the extreme and doesn’t permanently take out Will’s potential friend here, but it does come close and it is enough to send Will a little over the edge during this fight.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 11

Further evidence of how rattled Will has become is clear when he actually misfires his magic. I know he was hit from behind by one of the monsters but in all the time we’ve watched Will grow up and train he’s never once blown a spell that badly. The fight that follows is ugly and Will himself isn’t proud of it but he, and all the other adventurers, do survive it which is kind of a miracle in and of itself.

However, I think the real tragedy comes afterward when Will draws the wrong conclusion from the fight.

Here’s hoping the final episode of the season for Saihate no Paladin has Will’s friends find him and beating some sense into his head given his goddess didn’t feel the need to correct his misinterpretation of the lesson from this fight.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 11

That and I kind of hope Will gets a rematch with the monster. I think that will help him a little bit if he gets the chance to face it again.

You can read the full season review here.

Images from: Saihate no Paladin. Dir. Y. Nobuta. Children’s Playground Entertainment. 2021

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Karandi James

Saihate no Paladin Episode 10 – After 10 Episodes, Finally A Paladin

Saihate no Paladin Episode 10

This week, Saihate no Paladin finally made Will an actual Paladin. Admittedly, that happened during the end credits and the lead up to it felt like a lot of talking heads. I guess it is all important set-up for the next step on the journey as the Prince and the Bishop argue about Will’s status as Knight or Priest and then Will posts an advertisement looking to recruit adventurers to defeat the demon boss in the woods, but it does all feel a little tedious and looking at the screen caps there’s a lot of people standing in rooms and talking.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 10

Is the dramatic step to becoming a Paladin enough?

What actually makes this episode even more tedious is once again there’s a heavy reliance on Will’s internal monologue at times and as usual it adds little that wasn’t clearly apparent by watching the scene. The other problem of course being that if this was part of a longer work it would be the preparation before the adventure and it wouldn’t really warrant criticism but as a stand-alone twenty minute chunk it wasn’t great viewing.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 10

I still don’t have much of a reading on the Prince. I mean, he doesn’t say no to Will and he does knight him, but he also clearly has his own agenda and he isn’t even subtle about making that known. More importantly, for all that Will internally makes his judgements on the Bishop known (not that they weren’t obvious from his actions) with the Prince we get nothing and then Will leaves the room so we don’t really know what his overall feeling about the situation is.

If Saihate no Paladin was going to rely so heavily on internal dialogue to convey a character’s impressions of others, that might have been a good time to use them.

Then we have Will’s recruitment of adventurers and apparently people who adventure to make a living aren’t what they are looking for.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 10

Sure, go for the crazy and mad kind. That’ll end well.

Weirdly though it probably will. It always seems to in fiction where you get the recruits no one else seems to want to recruit.

Ultimately they aren’t even particularly clear on who Will has recruited other than one guy who the bard travelling with Will also wants to interview to write a song about. And sure, he seems strong but I’m kind of thinking Will needed more than one guy and there were others who said they would join but we learn nothing about them. Nothing at all. They barely even register as background characters.

There’s also a minor reminder about the purchasing of live stock that was part of Will and Menel’s original purpose in travelling to the city. And once again Will’s lack of business savvy is made clear.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 10

Basically, I understand the necessity of the events that occur in this episode of Saihate no Paladin and the end of this episode certainly sets Will up for the next step in his journey as he is now a Paladin who has his own epic song being composed by a travelling bard (yeah, I get how that could become awkward). But at the same time, I didn’t find this episode particularly entertaining.

Here’s hoping the final two episodes are a bit more entertaining and I guess then we just have to hope that this one eventually gets a sequel because clearly the story isn’t going to be done. One might even argue that Will’s journey is still in its very early stages and there’s still miles to go.

You can read the full season review here.

Images from: Saihate no Paladin. Dir. Y. Nobuta. Children’s Playground Entertainment. 2021

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Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Saihate no Paladin Episode 9 – The Comforts and Politics of Civilisation

Saihate no Paladin Episode 9 Review

In episode 8 of Saihate no Paladin Will was given a bit of a history lesson and also was told about some of the political situation going on in the city they were to visit. As I thought, he nearly instantly got himself caught up in politics, both in the temple and after saving the city with the city leaders. Whether this turns out to be helpful to him or not remains to be seen.

Still, episode 9 was a fun episode to watch with just enough touring the city, relaxing in the bath and eating a good meal moments before plunging into temple politics, fending off a wyvern attack and then fencing words with the leader of the city.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 9

Saihate no Paladin knows the dangers of the city can be as hard to navigate as a forest.

It was no surprise, given this is an isekai story, to see Will get so excited over the thought of a public bath house. Fortunately the explanation of how it worked was pretty brief and we didn’t spend too much screen time on shots of characters luxuriating in water (probably because the water itself wasn’t heated, the steam room was).

Instead, Saihate no Paladin broke up the first half of this episode with Will looking around the city, the markets, the brief bathhouse visit, eating a good meal, all before visiting the temple.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 9

The group dynamic here with the bard, merchant and Meneldor kind of works though unfortunately these characters are all falling into that ‘beige’ category where they are nice people, helping out the main character and sure they have one or two individual skills but honestly as individuals they don’t leave much impression other than their visual design. Which makes it even harder for Antonio who is more or less generic old-studious looking guy.

However, once Saihate no Paladin feels confident that through information given last week and the tour we get early on in this episode the audience has enough understanding of the new location, it moves the story along. Firstly by having Will introduce himself at the temple as a Priest of Gracefeel.

There he learns that that aren’t many priests there because of problems outside of the city and also that the Bishop isn’t well liked. Admittedly, when we meet the man he’s a bit of a grump, but he does seem to know his gods and acknowledges Will as a Priest after a few simple questions.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 9

However we don’t have time to dwell on this. Saihate no Paladin then throws a wyvern at the town and for the first time in a while we get to see Will lose his cool.

It is sometimes hard to remember he’s still pretty young and inexperienced given how overpowered he kind of is so it was nice to get this reminder.

Also nice to see that Maneldor, despite being a grump and saying he wouldn’t be friends, does exactly what any good friend should do and brings Will’s focus back to the task at hand.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 9

What follows is a pretty decent fight (or at least as decent as you can really get when non-flying characters are taking on an infuriated wyvern. The conclusion of which is obvious but still pretty spectacular to watch and Saihate no Paladin ensures that Will uses something from every one of his family in bringing down the beast.

During the clean up, the ‘wyvern killer’ is summoned to meet with the leader of the city and that’s where we get some politics coming into play as Will really wants to help those living in the southern forest but the city really doesn’t have the resources to deal with demons in the forest. I guess we’ll see how that plays out in the next episode.

You can read the full season review here.

Images from: Saihate no Paladin. Dir. Y. Nobuta. Children’s Playground Entertainment. 2021

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Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Saihate no Paladin Episode 8 – Not Yet Forgotten

Saihate no Paladin Episode 8 Review

Saihate no Paladin has Will and Meneldor heading to a town to buy livestock and other supplies for the newly reclaimed village. While Will can eradicate the demons (as shown in the previous episode) he can’t bring back everything that was lost during the demon invasion and so after an off-screen bit of ruins exploration for cash the two head-off to town.

Naturally, because this is a fantasy anime, they hear a scream in the forest while walking and Will does his hero thing saving a bard and a travelling salesman from certain death (or at least theft) by a giant ape monster thing. The four then continue the journey.

Saihate no Paladin episode 8

Are Robina and Antonia a good addition to the mix in Saihate no Paladin?

This week we still get an unnecessary amount of internal dialogue from Will but for the most part with the addition of two more characters there’s at least less time for Will to spend in his own head. Robina is a particularly exuberant character who brightens up scenes just by being in them and she’s forced the other characters to be a bit more lively as well.

That she is also serving a plot purpose, being a bard and recounting the history of the land including (conveniently) the history of a certain warrior, sage and priestess, is just icing on the cake of a character who has burst onto the scene like a breath of fresh air.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 8

I really love that Saihate no Paladin is keeping Will connected to his roots. While the story might not be quite right, even Will internally acknowledges the characters described in the bard’s song weren’t exactly as he would picture them, seeing Blood, Mary and Gus working together to take down a wyvern was still pretty awesome.

For Will, learning that some people (such as the half-elf in the story) were even still alive overwhelmed him emotionally as he realised that he wasn’t the only person alive who remembered the three even though they had been ‘dead’ for so long and now Blood and Mary have moved on altogether.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 8

Perhaps the best thing about this episode was the Meneldor finally seems to have relaxed and isn’t putting on a false bravado or tough front anymore. He opening laughs and his interactions with Will and the others, while guarded to a point, feel far more natural. It’s taken a few episodes but Saihate no Paladin is slowly settling this character into his role.

Though while he might be settling his personality, his actual actions this week were a little bit sidelined as he was largely just there. He did some introductions and talking at times but he didn’t involve himself in the ape stand-off and wasn’t involved in the performing or selling in towns. Really he just kind of travelled along. Weirdly, you couldn’t imagine the group functioning without him being there but it was hard to say what exactly he did.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 8

By the end of episode 8 of Saihate no Paladin the group have come across fields of wheat and the episode ends as they can see the ocean and a city sprawling along its edge. We’ll have to wait for next week to see how Will fares in his first real encounter with civilisation. I suspect that it isn’t going to be smooth sailing for him.

Otherwise this episode really was just a transitional episode moving us from the villages in the beast forest toward the city and continuing to expand our understanding of the world and its history. Will, and the audience, picked up quite a bit of history this week in Saihate no Paladin and toward the end of the episode a bit of the political situation was explained (I guess Will’s somehow going to get caught up in that situation, otherwise why tell us).

You can read the full season review here.

Images from: Saihate no Paladin. Dir. Y. Nobuta. Children’s Playground Entertainment. 2021

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Saihate no Paladin – An Excellent Fantasy That Seems To Lack Confidence In Its Own Character

Saihate no Paladin - Character

From the very beginning, Saihate no Paladin has been a little different from other isekai anime while at the same time it embraces a number of the usual genre tropes. This is no light hearted fantasy romp with RPG style levelling up and self-aware characters making jokes or smugly showing others how superior they are. Nor is it a grim-dark venture glorifying misery.

What Saihate no Paladin, of The Faraway Paladin, seems to be setting itself up to be is a very solid epic-fantasy adventure complete with a hero who is overcoming trials and adversity, as well as his own failings, to rise to meet the challenges we know are coming in the future.

Its a bold choice when you consider the format of twenty minute episodes a week.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 1

Where most isekai anime would have the protagonist set out on their journey from the starting village within an episode (two at most) or will have some kind of epic battle sequence in episode two or three to ensure audiences didn’t get bored, Saihate no Paladin stretched its first act for five episodes giving us Will’s upbringing and really taking the time to establish the influence of those who raised him.

This means that as he reflects back on things Blood, Mary or Gus told him or skills he learned, this isn’t just a convenient plot device further down the line. The audience remembers the connection he has with these characters and the different skills they taught him as well as having a real understanding of Will’s deep connection to them.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 3

Of course that depth comes at the expense of moving on with the story, building the world beyond the starting town (or in this case deserted city), and introducing other characters who will become important to the story later. For some viewers it was just too slow an opening act to really grab them. For others, this will be an anime better binge watched than episodically. Actually, I agree with that as well, even though I am enjoying it episodically.

Or at least I was until we got a recap episode after episode 7. Seriously, why?

But where pace is the point of concern for some viewers, my own concern continues to be with the presentation of the main character himself. For while I really like Will conceptually, what I don’t like is how much internal dialogue this anime feels the need to dump on the audience through even the most mundane of scenes.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 2

Why can’t Saihate no Paladin trust the character’s intentions to come through his words and actions?

Right from episode 1, we’ve suffered through so much internal dialogue from Will. Admittedly, without it we probably wouldn’t have even realised Will was a reincarnated human given this didn’t become an actual plot point until episode 3 or something, but at the same time so much of what we are told through Will’s echoed internal voice are details about his life and his feelings for those around him. Things we are either watching happen or could discern from the interactions with those characters.

Realistically, I kind of get why in a written format the internal dialogue would have been necessary to convey a lot of the information. However, as the story is transformed and adapted to the new medium the question has to be asked whether Saihate no Paladin still needed all of this or whether they just didn’t bother to consider it and threw it in because it was in the source (keep in mind my memory of said source is incredibly incomplete so I’m not actually sure, just speculating).

Where the internal dialogue became most intrusive to the story was in the battle with Stagnate. Perhaps the goal was to show Will’s determination and then inner desperation as he realised Stagnate had gotten ahead of him to where Blood and Mary were. Perhaps they just didn’t think Will running up the slope toward the temple was thrilling enough without a constant barrage of inner thoughts.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 5

What I know is that Will has gone from a character I was fairly underwhelmed by in episode one of Saihate no Paladin, more or less calling him the generic nice-guy protagonist, to someone I see as a far more interesting character who is driven by a desire to do better in this life than his last, driven by his emotional attachment to his ‘parents’ and the family he’s made in this world, and who has a strong moral compass.

But none of this is conveyed through his internal dialogue. It is from his actions and the words he speaks to others that his character comes across loudly and clearly.

The internal dialogue is a distraction and at times seems to almost undermine the tone of the scene.

Saihate no Paladin

If I was going to offer one edit to Saihate no Paladin, it wouldn’t be about the pace of the story. The deliberate pacing has really helped to establish this world and these characters and to be honest I’m really enjoying an isekai that seems to want to really build a world rather than just borrow generic elements in and create a fusion world we’ve seen before but doesn’t feel real.

No, I’d probably like someone to go through Saihate no Paladin and eradicate at least 80% of Will’s internal dialogue and really just whittle it down to those thoughts that genuine contribute something more than what we’ve seen on screen and inferred ourselves.

I’m not sure if it is the character or the audience that the writers don’t trust, but Will is a pretty solid character seven episodes in. He doesn’t need a voice over to explain his motives as they are quite clear through the choices he’s made and the path he has set out on. The audience also doesn’t need someone to hold our hand to understand this character. The pacing and opening act have well and truly done the heavy lifting there.

Saihate no Paladin

Actually, I do have one other concern for Saihate no Paladin. And that is this season is apparently only 12 episodes and as far as I can see there doesn’t appear to be a sequel announced. There’s no way this story is going to get anywhere close to a conclusion in that time so I’m hoping there is at least some thought about where they will resolve the season and it doesn’t just stop mid-story beat like several other anime have this year.

Anyway, Saihate no Paladin has so far been an excellent fantasy anime and one I’ve thoroughly enjoyed despite the small complaints. Hopefully it ends well.

You can read the full season review here.

Images from: Saihate no Paladin. Dir. Y. Nobuta. Children’s Playground Entertainment. 2021

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Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Saihate no Paladin Episode 7 – No Longer Walking Alone

Saihate no Paladin Episode 7 Review

Saihate no Paladin continues its languid pace. Even where there are fights to be had and enemies to vanquish, Will continues to move deliberately through his own story allowing things to happen as they do. It is such a change for this kind of series to not have a harem of girls showing up at every turn, not have some gag comedy moments just to break the tension, and to really just let the story and the world speak for themselves.

Admittedly, whether you like this or not will entirely depend on how you feel about those things being missing. For me, Saihate no Paladin has really created the sense of a world that is slowly dying. It feel empty and devoid of hope which really helps Will to shine as a character who has vowed to bring light into the darkness. That doesn’t make it particularly cheery viewing but it does make the tone feel consistent and each step of the journey feel somewhat meaningful.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 7

Saihate no Paladin lays the groundwork for a beautiful friendship.

This episode has Will and Meneldor continue their journey back to Menel’s village with Meneldor as the guide as agreed last episode. Along the way they take out some demons and Will lay’s souls to rest.

It is an emotional journey for Meneldor who has a long-lived half-elf has struggled to find a place in the world, and the place he had found is more or less gone now. The person who saved him and took him in passing on after conveying her final messages.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 7

While I try, most of the time, not to compare one story against another as frequently they are trying to create something entirely different, I couldn’t help but appreciate how much stronger the foundation is in Saihate no Paladin for Meneldor to join Will on his journey when compared to the characters who jumped on board the trip in Sakugan. And again, I get these are very different stories but where Sakugan has me wondering just why these characters are even in the story, here we’ve had two episodes to really give Meneldor a reason to want to follow Will on his journey.

I also really love that even though these last two episodes have focused on bringing Meneldor into the story, Will isn’t just left on the side-line. As much as Meneldor is being changed through his encounters and the trip back to his village with Will, Will is also changing as Meneldor is really the first person he’s interacted with over a period of time outside of Blood, Mary and Gus who raised him.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 7

Both characters are also bringing strengths into the mix with Meneldor knowing far more about the world and having his ability to work with fairies and Will being pretty ignorant of the current state of the world but stupidly strong and earnest. It will be really great watching these characters help each other to grow from this point forward.

Of course, it isn’t all beer and friendships. Saihate no Paladin has built a world that is pretty unforgiving and even though Meneldor hopes that they will find someone alive in their village the end result is that they only encounter the dead and undead. Confronting this kind of loss of life in a world that is already feeling a little empty really adds to the overall feeling of isolation and loneliness in this episode.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 7

As Will and Meneldor stare off into the sunset you can’t help but wonder if these two characters are entirely alone (not really true given they just left the gathering of the surviving villagers who came to bury the dead).

Saihate no Paladin Episode 7

I kind of want this season of Saihate no Paladin to draw to a close, largely because I really want to binge watch this series in a single setting. I feel the languid pace would really work in a continuous viewing period rather than having the weekly interruptions. There’s a lot to love about this story but it really doesn’t quite suite the episodic approach.

You can read the full season review here.

Images from: Saihate no Paladin. Dir. Y. Nobuta. Children’s Playground Entertainment. 2021

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James