Up Close With Rimuru Tempest

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 12 Rimuru

Since That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime began in the Autumn 2018 season, Rimuru Tempest has been super popular. Just looking at the sheer number of items that have come out from That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime makes it clear that there’s some appeal. And yet, while I enjoy watching Rimuru’s antics, I can’t say that I find him overly memorable as a protagonist. Which is why his winning the Crunchyroll award for best protagonist last year kind of had me a little stumped. So, since the ‘story’ of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime came to a close last week I decided to take the opportunity to have a bit of a closer look at our reincarnated slime.

Keep in mind, I’m only responding to what I’ve seen in the anime as I have not read any of the source material in any form.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 1

Originally a 37 year old office worker from Japan, Satoru died when a random guy came running down the street with a knife and he protected his co-worker and the co-worker’s girlfriend. I’m still not sure why just pulling them out of the way wouldn’t have worked or why the guy was running with the knife, but clearly there wasn’t a lot of thought put into the way they’d off this character and at least they didn’t hit him with a truck which has become beyond cliche. Whichever way, we establish that even as a human, while Satoru isn’t overly ambitious he is a nice guy, and alas that kind of defines all of Rimuru’s relationships from that point forward.

Now, there is nothing wrong with being nice. Bell Cranel is certainly a ‘nice guy’ protagonist, however in his case it is off-set by his drive and ambition to become a hero like the ones in his grandfather’s stories. Rimuru doesn’t have anything to off-set just being nice other than the fact that he is reincarnated as a blue slime monster, which is novel for about an episode and then you wonder if there’s anything more to the gimmick.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime - Ranga

Probably my biggest complaint about Rimuru Tempest and his character is that it isn’t really defined by anything. He bops along in the cave collecting stuff because why not and then runs into Veldora, who also gives him his name and a few handy hints. After Veldora we meet the goblins, then the wolves, then the dwarves, then the ogres, and then… You see, once a relationship is formed, the characters in question end up more or less in the background and Rimuru just kind of moves on to the next thing.

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

About the only relationship that looked to go a bit deeper was Shizue, but even then she was only in the story for a couple of episodes and Rimuru’s only real connection with her was that she was also born in Japan.

However, I’m not just taking a look at Rimuru to dump on him (well, technically he is gender-less as a slime but he started out as a male human so we’re sticking with that). Rimuru is a fun character to spend time with because of his lack of drive and ambition. While he’s building his city, a lot of it he just kind of stumbled across and most of his actions are the result of him trying to make things easier on himself. He’s almost infectiously relaxing which is kind of great if you are looking for some laid back entertainment.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 10 Rimuru

He also gets two great character designs. As the slime, he’s awesome and I really was eyeing off the pillow version of Rimuru as a slime because it just looked too cute. While as a character that gimmick wore thin pretty quick, as a design for a character it is amazing how cute they managed to make a blue blob. As a human, he’s easily recognised, cute, and not over-designed. There’s a simplicity about him and yet he’s still distinct.

All and all, from a design point of view they kind of hit the jackpot with Rimuru.

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	DEFORMATION SERIES RURUMEKU THAT TIME I GOT REINCARNATED AS A SLIME: RIMURU TEMPEST

While I’d personally like him more if he had some kind of drive, rather than a vague picking up of Shizue’s legacy and just kind of dealing with stuff as it happens, there’s not a huge amount to actually say is wrong with Rimuru. Though plenty that might have been stronger.

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

He doesn’t leave a strong impression in terms of his character journey and on thinking about that it seems clear that he isn’t changing very much despite the circumstances he finds himself in. At first that makes no sense and then you remember he was 37 years old when he died. Late thirties, he was going to be pretty set in his personality and attitudes and even applying his thoughts to new situations it is unlikely his character would rapidly change. Certainly over time he might develop slowly in response to the new situation but it isn’t going to happen quickly. This isn’t an impressionable or emotional teenager we’re dealing with.

Also, his lack of ambition is also explained by the same. At 37 he had settled for what life had to offer and then he died in an instant. What would be the point in striving to work toward something when Rimuru knows first hand how quickly it could all just disappear. It makes his go with the flow feeling far more acceptable when you consider that he’s already lived one life where he didn’t really accomplish much and then died without warning.

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

While Rimuru isn’t going to rocket up my list of favourite anime characters any time soon, I certainly did have some fun bouncing a long with him on his journey.

What do you think about Rimuru?

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Karandi James
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That Time The Show Ended And The Audience Wondered Why

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

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?

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

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)
	THAT TIME I GOT REINCARNATED AS A SLIME CHARA DOT RUBBER STRAP (SET OF 8 PIECES)

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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PSN CARD 50 USD | PLAYSTATION NETWORK US
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Well It’s Been Fun, But Now We’ll Count Down Until The End

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

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 20 Review

It’s taken twenty episodes to get to this point, but I finally realise this was a series I was never meant to watch. For all that it has interesting moments and ideas, what it lacks are compelling characters or a developing narrative. I can’t wait until people tell me why I’m wrong this week (sarcasm) but that is the conclusion I’ve drawn after watching Millim decide it’s time she got back to demon lording and just up and leave, Rimuru deciding that things are going well enough in the kingdom he’s building that he can now just up and go to deal with Shizu’s baggage and have the episode end with him becoming a teacher in what essentially looks like a magic school.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 20

This isn’t a problem of this story being more slice of life than narrative focused. While there has been a narrative stringing events along, plot has never been a particularly strong point of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime. The most profound and interesting moments have come from the characters with Shizu’s short visit and subsequent death being the absolute highlight of the series. There’s also been some amusing moments from the general antics of some of the characters that have helped keep things feeling fresh even when very little seems to be happening.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 20

The problem is that in the absence of a driving plot, we don’t have deep or complex characters and a lot of the cast aren’t even vaguely fleshed out or interesting. Every character introduced has been potentially interesting, but far too many have just been shoved to the background with absolutely no focus, development or growth. Again, the support cast might get away with that if the main characters were amazing but as much fun as Rimuru is, and he is fun, for me he just isn’t a strong enough character to carry a series (clearly other people disagree given the recent Crunchyroll awards – but that’s why it is an opinion). For me, Rimuru is an interesting enough character and given a strong plot, I’d probably really love watching him. However, with neither the plot nor the characters particularly engaging me, this second cour has really felt pretty flat and my enjoyment of the series has been on a downward trajectory.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 20
Okay, so let’s list all the character traits we know about each person in this room…

But, the final nail in the coffin (not really given its still fun enough), is this sudden lurching scene change and Rimuru taking on the role of a teacher. I don’t know how that will play out. It might end up being brilliant to watch. However, it doesn’t fit within the context of the anime so far that has focused on building up that small goblin village and then negotiations between countries. It is such a shift in focus and even though it does connect to a previous plot thread, and one I really liked given Shizu was a high point, it honestly just feels like the writer decided they were bored with the whole negotiations and treaty building part of the story and wrote themselves a scene change.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 20

We’re still five episodes from the end of this and while I’ve had enough fun and even some good moments, I’m really going to have to think about my final review of this series, because with the ups and downs, highs and lows, the only thing I know for certain is that this anime is something I could have happily passed on.

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Karandi James
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TENSEI SHITARA SLIME DATTA KEN 1/6 SCALE PRE-PAINTED FIGURE: SHION SWIMSUIT GRAVURE STYLE
TENSEI SHITARA SLIME DATTA KEN 1/6 SCALE PRE-PAINTED FIGURE: SHION SWIMSUIT GRAVURE STYLE

The Slime, The Demon Lord and The Flying Sharks?

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

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 18 Review

It is a good thing that we’re used to That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime pulling absurd on its audience. The tsundere dragon way back when was a pretty dead giveaway we weren’t meant to take this overly seriously. So by the time some clowns convince a beastman to try to revive some really bad demon thing and we end up with a calamity flying toward Rimuru’s newly established nation accompanied by flying shark spirits, you just kind of shrug and go with the whole thing.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 18 Rimuru

Still, that is jumping to the end of the episode so I’d better back it up. You know, I never did get the name of that idiot who picked a fight with the city last week and was pretty much taken out in a single strike by Milim and I’m not exactly going to look for his name now. However for a few moments I thought we were finally seeing something a little bit different from a minion. He first talked of revenge, realised it was futile and that he’d handled the situation wrong but his pride was hurt. Self-realisation at its finest. Then he throws all of that growth opportunity away when the literal clowns walk up and promise him power in a deal too shady to even think for a minute should be listened to.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 18

Naturally he takes on the deal and I’m thinking we won’t see him again given it seems pretty certain he’s been consumed or used to revive the disaster heading Rimuru’s way.

But, just in case all the dragon corpses and impending doom are getting you down, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime has you covered with its cute fan service moments including the three girls in the hot spring having a competition to see who can hold their breath the longest and Milim stripping off in the meeting declaring she would go and fight before being told to essentially warm the bench.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 18 fanservice

Its these kinds of moments that make it difficult to take anything in this show seriously and I’m really pretty sure I’m not supposed to be. Then again, it might be nice to feel a few moments tension without the show cracking a joke or throwing fan service at the audience every now and then. I still feel this show was at its best in how it dealt with Shizue. That moment of drama was actually allowed to play out without the need to ‘lighten’ the moment and it was spectacular.

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Karandi James
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That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, Vol. 1
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, Vol. 1

That Time The Powerful Slime Decided To Dabble in Diplomacy

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

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 17 Review

The city of monsters continues to grow and it is attracting a lot of attention with demon lords sending lackeys and two human kingdoms sending representatives. It means we need to buckle in for a lot of talking but the occasional fight, or Shion knocking an arrogant human over the head with her sheathed sword, keeps things light enough as this story goes through its set-up for future developments.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 17 lackey

However, what keeps it interesting is the speculation from the viewer. How will this go wrong? Or go right? What will that lead to? Early in the episode we see that Vesta has succeeded at making a healing potion equivalent to Rimuru’s and Rimuru wants to trade and sell it but the dwarf blacksmith and Vesta don’t see that as practical for everyday use. It does make you wonder if too much of that healing potion got out would kings even worry about sending their troops into battle anymore knowing they could pretty much instantly heal them from anything short of absolute death? There’s a lot of implications around the mass-production of such a potion and while the anime touches on the surface it is enough to set the viewer’s mind running down a million potential plot points in the future.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 17 Rimuru

I’ll also give Millim credit for not being anywhere near as annoying as I thought she was going to be, they even found her an actual outfit to wear (though what is with the school girl look). She’s brash and childish but her genuine desire to be with Rimuru as friends is kind of adorable and his manipulation of her is pretty funny to watch. Particularly when she’s glaring daggers at one of the representatives until Rimuru glances at her and then she’s all smiles. It is silly and childish but it works well enough and adds a bit of vibrant energy to what might otherwise have been a fairly level episode.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 17 Millim

This episode alone, much like the last one, isn’t that great on its own. But as a stepping stone and an ongoing part of the world building, it works pretty good. I’m more and more convinced that this anime would be better binged but it is working well enough week to week. Looking forward to the next episode.

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Karandi James
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NENDOROID NO. 1067 THAT TIME I GOT REINCARNATED AS A SLIME: RIMURU
NENDOROID NO. 1067 THAT TIME I GOT REINCARNATED AS A SLIME: RIMURU