That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Series Review

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

Ready for the slime of your life?

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

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

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

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 11 Rimuru

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

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

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 16

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

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 6

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

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

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 1

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

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 16

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

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

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 10 Lizardmen

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

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

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

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 19 Gobta

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

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

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 18 fanservice

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

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

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

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

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 21 Review

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

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

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

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

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

Um…

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 21 Ranga

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

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

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

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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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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

That Time We Defeated a Catastrophe Without Really Trying

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

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 19 Review

Once again Slime goes about showing the audience that we really should not be invested in any of the situations. This anime is always about the joke and the punch line and bringing things back to a very relaxed level so even as increasingly dangerous foes appear, the actual impact of these encounters remains pretty negligible. That doesn’t make it bad, just kind of forgettable. If you were chasing an epic fight scene after the setup at the end of the last episode you’d be left disappointed, but Slime has consistently maintained its tone and feel so the outcome here as Rimuru hands the fight over to Milim to wrap up in one hit isn’t exactly a surprise.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 19 Rimuru and Milim

Much like the fight with the Orc Lord, this fight begins with all the support cast getting a brief moment to shine against the lackeys. The ogres, goblins, lizards, orcs, and even the borrowed knights, each get to take down some of the flying shark things and each of these moments is fun enough to watch. Then we get to Charybdis and all the supporting characters are sidelined as Rimuru takes centre stage.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 19 Gobta

I hadn’t really bought Rimuru’s reason for telling Milim to stay out of the fight in the first place so I was kind of waiting for when she’d either jump in and get involved or he would change his mind. What I didn’t expect that mid-battle Rimuru would realise that Charybdis was after Milim and would just turn his back on the enemy and essentially tell Milim it was her problem to deal with. I’m guess this is supposed to be amusing but given how Rimuru isn’t taking this threat seriously it makes it hard to care. Like watching characters swatting flies really given their Rimuru and Milim’s absolute lack of concern.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 19 Rimuru

Anyway, one episode after being introduced the big-bad catastrophe is finished, Rimuru has made yet another alliance, and the masked faced weirdo group are now known to be stirring trouble. All nice and neat and ready to move on.

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THAT TIME I GOT REINCARNATED AS A SLIME B2 WALL SCROLL: SHIZU (RE-RUN)
	THAT TIME I GOT REINCARNATED AS A SLIME B2 WALL SCROLL: SHIZU (RE-RUN)