I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level is charming and yet fairly unremarkable.
For the Spring 2021 anime season Lynn Sheridan sponsored me to review I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed out My Level. It is an isekai fantasy which is well within my usual comfort zone however it is also a slice of life and a comedy which puts it into the realm of stories that are more miss than hit for me. Which did leave me wondering how Slime would go.
Fortunately, episode one was mostly charming even as it went through some fairly standard motions and largely this was thanks to the protagonist Azusa. While the whole season wasn’t all smooth sailing, I will say a huge thank-you to Lynn for choosing this anime because I may not have stuck with it by my own choice and then I would have missed out on something that could definitely be described as comfort food.
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Anyway, I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level (or Slime Taoshite 300-nen, Shranai Uchi ni Lvel Max ni Nattemashita, or just plain Slime 300) is an isekai anime based on a light novel that features an overworked female protagonist from Japan who dies and finds herself before a goddess who essential grants her a wish for her next life.
300 Years later and Azusa is the most powerful witch even having spent the time inbetween just kind of killing the slimes around her home.
It doesn’t make a lot of sense but this isn’t the kind of power-fantasy isekai where Azusa is ultimately going on a quest to save anything. Largely, it is a slice of life about Azusa, and the characters she meets, just kind of dealing with the day to day and enjoying cups of tea, good meals, and helping out their friends.
The strengths of I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years definitely come through from knowing that it isn’t trying to be serious and so rather than trying to provide explanations that ultimately won’t really work things just kind of happen in the story. Azusa is the most powerful witch because she is. Characters just kind of show up at her house on cue and for whatever reason a lot of them end up just moving in and staying.
All of these characters are of course cute anime girls and most of them bring something to the table and depending on your viewing preferences you’ll love them or find them annoying. But it really doesn’t matter because there are so many characters by the end surely one of them will hit the spot for you. The only problem then is how little screen time they’ll get as the story tries to find uses for all of these characters.
Episode 12, the final of the season of I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years, particularly suffers from this as it brings back every single character who had interacted with Azusa. While the episode itself is pleasant and charming, not one character can really distinguish themselves because they all get like a two line beat before the episode whisks the audience away to catch up with whatever the next girl is doing.
Part of me kind of wishes the story had a little more focus on just Azusa, Laika (the first dragon girl) and the twin slime spirits with a few drop ins from Beelzebub (perhaps the coolest demon girl ever). The bloated cast made it harder to really care about anyone in particular and episodes where the focus was on Halkara or Flatorte didn’t really sit well with me.
Of course, other viewers probably disagree and found the episodes that were just super cute with the twin girls were a little too saccharine and probably wished they had less time.
This is kind of the problem with anime that try to cater to all tastes because it is a real scatter-gun approach and leads to hits and misses throughout the season for every viewer. I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years may have ended up being more solid if it had just decided it wanted to be super adorable (such as How To Keep A Mummy) or if it had decided to focus more on the dragon conflict.
Then again, by taking a more scattered approach the end result is something that everyone can kind of find something to like in it so they’ll keep watching so maybe I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years is fine with being just kind of okay for everyone and not really amazing for anyone.
You may have noticed I’m talking a lot about the girls and haven’t really gotten into the plot. And that’s largely because I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level doesn’t really have one.
Azusa’s driving focus is a slow life. If left alone she’d simply go out, kill some slimes, and then relax the day away. Though she does have a hat to rival Elaina’s from Wandering Witch so she’s definitely got credibility as a witch.
It is only through the arrival of other characters with a specific problem that Azusa is driven to any kind of action and then it is kind of a simple solve the problem and then have yet another girl kind of move into her house to join the ‘family’.
Ultimately it means there’s no real story here. The demon lord isn’t trying to take over the kingdom. In fact, she’s just another of the many characters who end up hanging around Azusa. There’s no real threat or conflict. Each week I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years simply has someone or something show up to introduce a minor drama that the cast then try to fix by the end of the episode.
It is low stakes and largely the problems exist only to give the girls a reason to do something other than drink tea.
This is definitely an anime trying to get by on the charm of its cast and fortunately it largely succeeds.
That said, some of the girls are very much used for fan-service with varying degrees of success. Halkara is the used for many jokes but her bouncing breasts come into focus quite a bit and Flatorte has more than one moment of stripping her human clothing off. There’s the usual interesting camera choices that make it clear that this anime is aware of how it is positioning its female characters to be viewed and at times it feels a little jarring in contrast to the overall relaxing tone of the story.
That said, it isn’t intrusive to the point of actually making this a strictly fan-service only show. If anything, it is rather reserved when compared with many isekai anime.
Adding to the overall charm of I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years is well chosen music that suitably fits the overall relaxing calm the story seems to be striving for and some great visuals with some of the landscapes as the characters stare out at starry skies or fly along on dragon or even leviathan back.
It is a brightly coloured and vibrant affair with a clear focus on colour over movement at times. And it works. Because it is charming to watch even when little is going on.
While I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level isn’t going to top any of my lists for best anime any time soon, it was a really enjoyable experience. It is the kind of anime that is perfect to watch at the end of a long day at work and it just helps tension and stress melt away.
While those looking for something a little more plot driven probably won’t be thrilled, there’s certainly fun to be had in this series and it certainly hits the right notes for cute characters being cute.
As always I’d love to know what my readers thought of the anime so be sure to leave a comment below.
Images used for review from: I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level. Dir. N Kimura. Revoroot. 2021.
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