More levelling up and beating monsters than ever before!
This volume is definitely dividing its time between the spider in the labyrinth and the prince in peril. Honestly, it is hard to know who has it tougher in this book. While the spider has been levelling themselves up, they still face threat after threat and every day is a fight to live, fortunately they’ve got enough tricks and skills now to make a good showing of it. You wouldn’t think the prince’s life would be that hard except for the part where his older brother died and he suddenly found himself lumped with the ‘hero’ title that only one person can get. Not only dealing with the death of someone but also given a position that will probably get you kills isn’t exactly easy.
So the plot continues to bubble along in So I’m a Spider So What? and I’m getting more and more suspicions that they are deliberately blurring the timeline in this story. It will be interesting to see if I’m right or not when I finally get on to the next book
That aside, it is the characters who are driving this story. Mostly because events in the novel mostly consist of characters getting attacked by monsters or political conspiracies and escape attempts so while it works it honestly gets a little repetitive. However, some fairly solid first person narration with different characters narrating appropriate parts keeps this whole thing rolling along and largely keeps it pretty amusing and entertaining. There’s also enough twists and weird moments thrown in to keep the plot from ever becoming stale.
What has gotten stale, and I mentioned this in my review of volume 2, are the pages of stats. This book isn’t as bad as the second volume but it doesn’t take much page flicking to find an entire page covered in stat listings and levels. Why on earth would anyone want to read that? Just tell us the levels we need to know to understand why the character is freaking out because they are about to die and leave it at that. This is just padding and incredibly dull padding that gets a little bit more dull every time we see it.
However, I’ve had far too much fun with the dungeon roaming spider at this point to give up the story, and the new hero is actually kind of interesting and I’d love to see how his character progresses (assuming someone doesn’t kill him). Also, the fight scene at the end of this book was pretty impressive to read (I’d love to see it animated actually) so I’m on board for another volume of this series. It isn’t the best, but it has enough quirky ideas and personality to keep me going.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
I’m going to start with the whole elven fortune telling thing that happened in the bar, apparently as some kind of entertainment while the dwarven smith guy was still treating Rimuru for making all those swords. Mostly because the episode kind of buried this part underneath yet more close ups of elven breasts and cheesy dialogue but it actually kind of intrigued me given the image we see in the crystal ball. Of course, then the guy who doesn’t like the dwarven smith comes over and makes a big deal about Rimuru being a monster and a fight breaks out so this part of the episode is pretty much shelved and forgotten. Part of me wonders if this is deliberate to make me intrigued and the other part of me, the cynical part, is more concerned that this was a their best effort and foreshadowing that we’re going to get. Because needless to say, we haven’t had a lot of other foreshadowing, unless the King muttering something about Rimuru being a monster at the end counts.
Anyway, putting that to the side as clearly it is a discussion to have later in the series when it has either done something with it or just forgotten about it, the rest of this episode focuses on the dwarf smith and his relationship with his former subordinate who apparently framed him and now continues to harass him with more or less impossible requests. A punch to the face was probably warranted but it does lead to the dwarves and Rimuru getting put back in the jail cell with Gobta (who at least the show acknowledges was forgotten but then they promptly go and forget him again).
The practical upshot of this is that the dwarf decides he doesn’t need to hang around any longer and agrees to leave the city to work fro Rimuru, so clearly Rimuru’s whole building a village plan is right on track. Unless of course the Dwarves get executed which given the nature of that court system may have happened. I actually really wanted more time spent on this sequence because there are literally a thousand questions about how such a legal system exists and how open it is to corruption and none of them will be addressed because for the first time ever this anime seems in a hurry to get to the next thing. But really, there’s no way this system works. There isn’t even a thin illusion that this might be justice.
I will give this episode credit though because of all the episodes so far, this is the one that has given me the most to think about and the most enjoyment. I really liked seeing the exchange between the King and the dwarf and I really liked the King afterwards putting the other idiot in his place. I think the more this world expands the more interested I’m getting in it, though clearly not enough to remember pretty much any of the character’s names so far but I’ll probably get there (or I’ll look them up).
I have no issue with overpowered protagonists, particularly in isekai stories. It is kind of expected that our self-insert type character who goes from zero to hero will in fact be largely stronger than most anything else. However, I still kind of want to feel that there is at least the potential of a threat. That was something How Not To Summon A Demon Lord managed to get right. And it is something that That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime has so far failed to grasp at all with Rimuru so far having nothing that has even managed to scratch him, let alone actually potentially threaten him.
Doom and gloom aside, I don’t actually need the protagonist to be in danger every minute of every day, but they could at least make the encounters that are clearly non-threatening a little bit more amusing. The ‘fight’ outside of the dwarven city was just kind of lame no matter how you look at it. While seeing Rimuru literally blow the other characters away before getting a damage report about random bystanders fainting or soiling themselves could be amusing if delivered well, here is is just kind of, okay, so that happened.
We also seem to have lost the extras very quickly. The goblins and wolves that accompany Rimuru are left outside the city with the exception of one who is then kind of left in a jail cell and never mentioned again. This wouldn’t be so much a problem except that Rimuru so far has very little going for him and the goblins at least offered something resembling a range of character types to kind of connect with and now instead we are faced with a group of dwarves who are every bit as impressed with Rimuru’s seemingly endless supply of everything.
Four episodes in and I’m not feeling this show. I’m also not really planning to drop it because as much as I’m not really into it, I don’t actually dislike it. I just keep wishing it was giving me a little more. I wouldn’t really mind which direction they took with that ‘more’ either. More danger, more personality, more humour, just more of something so that everything didn’t feel just so kind of ‘there’.
You know, if I’d seen this a long time ago I’d probably be totally in love with it. But as it is, I just can’t help but feeling like just making the main character a little bluer and bouncier than the standard isekai protagonist isn’t quite enough of a distinguishing point. From a plot point of view it still feels like we’re very much in an introductory phase as our protagonist still knows very little about the world, something which isn’t aided by the fact that he doesn’t ask sensible questions. When asked if he was sure he should be giving everyone a name all at once he simply said he didn’t see a problem. Why wouldn’t you ask why the other guy was concerned? It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
None of that is saying this show isn’t fun enough. My issue is it is very middle of the road. Some of the humour sticks and some of the action is kind of cool, okay the swift end to the leader of the dire wolves was very cool, but there’s a lot of very forgettable scenes as well and at the end of three episodes if I had to sum up this story it would be ‘bouncy blue slime thing eats stuff and makes friends with monsters’ which admittedly doesn’t sound too bad but also isn’t making me desperate to see what happen next.
Partially this is because there’s still no real indication that the story is going anywhere and while it is fine to focus on character exploration rather than having some urgent mission from the get go, I’d probably need to care more about the character for that kind of thing to work. As it is, I’m not overly concerned about Rimuru and now that the goblins and dire-wolves are teamed up, evolved and commanded to play nice with other species, I’m not overly concerned for their well-being either.
So while yes this will be pleasant enough viewing, unless the story takes a sudden turn after we get through the introductions I’m really not thinking that this one is going to end up in my top picks for the season. It is watchable, it isn’t doing anything overly wrong, last season I’d have been thrilled to watch it given how little there was on my watch list, but this season it is getting overshadowed quite a bit by other shows I’m more interested in.
I’m just not convinced by That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime yet. Sure the tsundere dragon was good for a few laughs but then the slime just went through one patch of cave after another that all looked much the same and more or less one shot monster after monster devouring them and getting even stronger skills and abilities. There’s no sense of struggle or effort or even care as this sequence kind of stretches on. I guess if you find the slime, now named Rimuru, super adorable as he goes about his daily wanderings, you might find this sequence endearing but mostly I just kind of wanted him to meet a nastier monster, or to fall into some sort of cavern, or literally just anything to happen to shake up the plot.
Fortunately, our slime eventually finds a door. And just as he is wondering how to open the door, three humans do it for him. I’d call plot convenience but to be perfectly frank I’d rather the story moved itself along, plus given the humans were apparently freaked out by the disappearance of the dragon it kind of makes sense someone would go to the cave to investigate so while the timing might seem very coincidental, it is hardly the worst plot contrivance I’ve come across even this week so let’s go with it and move into the outside world.
Maybe it was planned, but having spent so long during the first and second episode in that very blue cave, going into the outside world and seeing the trees and the birds and everything, it wasn’t just the slime being happy to see it. It was a veritable feast for the eyes and the moment this episode where I kind of switched on to this show a lot more than I had during the first half.
The meeting with the goblins and hearing the wolves is all pretty standard fantasy stuff, but it works and now that we’ve got characters who can potentially be at risk the stakes have gone up a bit as has my overall investment. While I’m still not jumping onto the That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime bandwagon, the second half of this episode definitely helped me want to go onto the third episode because earlier in this episode that seemed to be in doubt.