The Accidental Creation of A Slime Nation

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That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 15 Review

Rimuru is remaining very much a character that plot just happens to. He died because the plot killed him off and was reborn for the same reason. He stumbled across Veldora in the cave by chance and equally became the leader of the goblins by a series of events mostly outside of his control. Same with the ogres. And now the Lizardmen and Orcs have decided to leave him in charge of the whole forest alliance supported by the Dryad and before Rimuru knows it the Dwarf King shows up and acknowledges the alliances as an actual nation.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as  a Slime Episode 15 - Dwarf King

At no point does Rimuru have any real plan for where this is going (outside of getting his bath constructed because that’s apparently a really high priority). And while Rimuru does make decisions, for instance he could have ignored the goblins when they asked for help against the direwolves, in terms of being the protagonist his choices are always kind of driven by circumstance.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 15 - Rimuru becomes a chancellor

What it means is that this bouncy blue blob, while amusing to be sure, seems very passive in a story that seems to be revolving around him. Certainly Rimuru gets some great moments, and watching him getting flustered as more and more titles and responsibility get thrust upon him, is entertaining, but Rimuru isn’t really driving this story. In point of fact, the plot isn’t really pushing forward at all. It progresses and there’s certainly indicators of future conflicts, but the story seems content to wallow in the everyday moments broken up by action only by necessity.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 15 - Bad guy

Episode 15 of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime is an excellent example of what this story seems to want to do. We see the town being constructed and encounters between characters. While there is a fight in this episode it is short and more good-natured than hostile and afterwards everybody eats.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 15 - Orcs

For me this means while I am enjoying That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime but it isn’t going to be a story I hold up as a favourite and these characters are never going to leave all that much of an impression on me. From week to week I don’t really think about this show outside of watching it and even when things end on a bit of a cliff-hanger I’m not overly concerned. Still, for relaxing and entertaining, That Time I Got Reincarnated as Slime is certainly hitting the mark and it is just kind of a fun way to pass the time.

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THAT TIME I GOT REINCARNATED AS A SLIME – RIMURU CHANGING MUG CUP
THAT TIME I GOT REINCARNATED AS A SLIME - RIMURU CHANGING MUG CUP

The Fitting End To The Orc Lord Courtesy of The Slime

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That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 14 Review

The battle rages on, or more to the point Gelmud makes an appearance and berates the Orc Lord for taking too long to evolve into a demon lord. He then makes the mistake of attacking Gabiru and his comrades at which point Rimuru steps into the battle for the first time. Completely outclassed, Gelmud orders the Orc Lord to kills them with more or less predictable results when the loud yappy man tries to shout at monsters.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 14 Gelmud

A fairly amusing end to Gelmud, a character who has been much spoken of but only appeared in few scenes, and one that does in fact achieve his wish of turning the Orc Lord into a Demon Lord (also clues Rimuru in that there is someone above Gelmud so plot direction for future given).

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 14

Now I wondered during the last episode whether Rimuru would handle the final battle or let the ogres get their revenge. Turns out they went with both, only despite the ogres (kijin) being super-powered, their attacks don’t have all that much of an impact on a ridiculously overpowered Orc Disaster (who names these things). So Rimuru does have to take up the fight.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 14
Believe it or not, this doesn’t kill him.

To give credit where it is due, despite the two beings fighting being supremely overpowered, this fight didn’t devolve into bright lights smashing into each other as so many other stories might have taken it. Instead, we get a fairly entertaining battle where Rimuru lets the Great Sage take the reigns for awhile to inflict damage on the Orc Lord before it comes down to a contest of Starving vs Predator. I actually have to say I was pretty impressed with how this battle played out in the end.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as A Slime Episode 14 Rimuru

That’s really all there was to this episode as it seems to tie up the arc nicely. The Ogres decide they are sticking by Rimuru and I’m not entirely sure what the orc army are doing now that they are no longer mindlessly following the Orc Lord but maybe we’ll get some loose ends tied up in the next episode. So while this was pretty predictable and we still don’t really have any reason to be concerned about anyone in this show, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime remains relatively entertaining and managed to make the battle feel reasonable fresh.

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THAT TIME I GOT REINCARNATED AS A SLIME B2 WALL SCROLL: RIMURU & SHIZU
THAT TIME I GOT REINCARNATED AS A SLIME B2 WALL SCROLL: RIMURU & SHIZU

How Even The Best Laid Plans Can Be Derailed by Idiots

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That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 12 Review

With the dryad making her request of Rimuru and the kijin being pretty onboard with the plan of taking out the orc lord, it seems it is fairly inevitable that we’ll get a battle between Rimuru’s group and the orc army. Still, allies are nice and while Rimuru doesn’t want to deal with the idiot Gabiru, he does send someone to talk to the chief of the Lizardmen and they hammer out an alliance of sorts. All looks to be going well in That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, until Gabiru decides (or rather is very easily manipulated) into stuffing everything up.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 12 Souei

Characters like Gabiru really annoy me but at the same time they aren’t actually badly written characters. They really do reflect those people you meet in life who think they are all that and can do no wrong. Those people who charge into things believing it will work out because ‘how could it not’ but generally speaking then blame others for their failures or have a whole bag of excuses as to why something wasn’t their fault. 

Just look at Gabiru’s explanation as to why he lost to Gobta.

I might have worked with a few people just like Gabiru. They are more annoying in real life.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 12 Gabiru

And while Gabiru eats a lot of screen time in the second half, this isn’t actually a problem because it is doing exactly what it needs to do. It is escalating the situation. Rimuru already had to deal with the orc army and the orc lord. He thought he had an alliance of Lizardmen waiting for his arrival, and now the lizards are under new leadership, stirring up the orc army and actually providing food for them (gross) and there’s almost no chance of them being able to join up. While I wouldn’t go so far as to call the situation tense, Slime doesn’t take itself seriously enough to actually have tension, it is certainly at least building up this threat as at least something that might vaguely threaten if not Rimuru then perhaps those that follow him.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 12 Rimuru

I am definitely enjoying Slime more at the moment than I was and unlike other shows this season that started reasonably well but have kind of gone nowhere or downhill (looking at you Index and SAO), this one seems to keep building on its world, characters and ideas and gets more interesting with time.

The Worst Way To Learn the Skill of Diplomacy

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That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 11 Review

Rimuru might be a slime but this isekai story is pretty determined to ensure we hit every cliche and trope along the way which kind of takes away some of the impact of having a slime as a protagonist. Still, it isn’t as though cliches are bad, it is just this kind of self-awareness walks a fine line between slightly amusing and smugly obnoxious and Rimuru sitting at the table bemoaning the fact that he was about to be fed cliche terrible food (purple and all) really didn’t hit the mark. Though, as much as I will roll my eyes at that scene, the rest of the episode was pretty pleasantly entertaining.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 11 Rimuru

We get to spend a bit of time seeing how the ogres have integrated with the goblin village and the roles they are taking up. While this does lead us into a number  fairly generic encounters but again, these characters are pleasant enough that you can kind of just go along with them. Seeing Rimuru trapped in the forge because he couldn’t find a good moment to take his leave as the Dwarf and the Ogre discuss techniques was pretty entertaining, and the other dwarves learning about silk was fine.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 11 Lizardman

However, it isn’t until the Lizardmen finally show up in the village that things seem to move forward again. That usual issue I have with the pacing of the show where nothing happens for ages in terms of plot and then we suddenly leap forward.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 11 Gobta
When rewards don’t work, threaten them with bad food.

But, it is worth the wait. Gabiru, the Lizardman Prince or whatever, is an insufferable narcissist, made worse by his group of cronies and hangers-on who encourage his worst personality traits. He’s only been around two episodes and yet I was utterly delighted when Gobta knocked him senseless. Gabiru is at the village essentially asking for help, and instead of asking declares that they can all have the honour of serving the lizards, and then proceeds to belittle the direwolves for following a slime. Not exactly the way one goes about asking for a favour.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 11 Dryad

That actually seemed like enough for the episode, given the pace of most episodes, and yet Slime wasn’t finished just yet, as right before the end we introduce a Dryad who also asks Rimuru to fight the orcs. Given she’s a pretty girl I’m guessing he’s going to say yes.

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THAT TIME I GOT REINCARNATED AS A SLIME PUNIPUNI RIMURU-SAMA
THAT TIME I GOT REINCARNATED AS A SLIME PUNIPUNI RIMURU-SAMA

Slime, Ogres, and Lizardmen, The Coming Conflict Looks Colourful

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That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 10 Review

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime continues to move at its own pace. Last week, Rimuru defeated the ogres and invited them back to his village. This week, we admire the meat and feast before Rimuru gets to the business of inviting the ogres to join him in the village. Now, this seems fairly straight forward: ogre village destroyed, ogres should go elsewhere. However it turns out it is a little more emotionally complicated than that for the leader of the ogres who feels he has failed to protect his people and all that. 

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 10 Rimuru

I don’t actually mean to sound blase but it is really hard to sound otherwise when discussing this anime. For while we do get a fairly decent scene with the ogre punching a tree showing off some inner turmoil, in almost the next scene he puts a few amendments onto the agreement with Rimuru and takes to one knee. It is back to this idea where Slime kind of lingers on slice of life nothing kind of moments but then where something major happens it feels like it just kind of accelerates straight through it.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 10 Ogre

Not that it matters. The point gets across. The episode doesn’t feel dragged out. Ogres join with Slime and Rimuru then gives them names causing him to take another nap. He really needs to learn to ask first as to what the cost of something is going to be.

However, just in case ogres weren’t enough, the anime then brings in some Lizardmen. And while these guys haven’t gotten to Rimuru’s village yet it is kind of only a matter of time. Their introduction seemed only relevant in that it reinforced that the orcs are coming, the Prince of the lizard-guys has been given a name by a wanderer, the same as the deceased goblin brother that was mentioned episodes ago, and the ogres have all but confirmed that the demon lord guy who connects those two points is the one who came to their village and was refused right before the orcs destroyed it.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 10 Lizardmen
You just know this guy is going to be a problem.

It’s kind of a lot of information but at the same time still feels like we didn’t really get very far. And I feel like I say that a lot with this anime. Anyway, I had fun, in case that wasn’t clear. The more characters and the more the world opens up, the more entertaining each episode seems so let’s push on and see what happens next.

Watch the Slime Playing With Powers and Defeating Ogres

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That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 9 Review

Rimuru had something of a touching moment at the start of this episode where we saw him looking eye to eye with the mask Shizu left. For a character that existed for only a couple of episodes, she’s left an impact on both the Rimuru and the audience and her presence is palpable throughout the episode as Rimuru’s human form does mimic hers in a lot of ways and he’s also acquired her powers. 

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 9 Rimuru

Still, despite doing a decent job on the passing of a character last week and beginning with remembering her we quickly turn to some comedy that will either have you smiling or groaning depending as Rimuru plays with the body double skill and first ageing and then playing with the sex of his human form. Fortunately this is a brief moment of comedy before we get on with more important things (though still kind of cool if you think about future possibilities it has to be able to change the appearance of your clone).

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 9 Rimuru in human form

I enjoyed Rimuru returning to the cave where Veldora was to play with his new powers. It kind of gave it a sense of importance and also reminded the audience about Veldora (who at this stage is pretty easy to forget). But, this episode did want to move things along and so we have a party of hunting goblins being attacked by ogres. However, things aren’t as they seem as the ogres are only attacking because their village was attacked.

Going to be honest, this one is a pretty transparent as to where this is going.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 9 Ogres

By the end of the episode Rimuru in his own weird way has won them over and they all go for a feast. Which is probably a sound way to end anything really. Still, like many things in That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime it all felt a little too unearned. Largely though, this remains a pretty fun viewing experience and it has built nicely upon its foundations even if at times it feels a little shallow.

Miraculous Survival of the Slime; Defeated Fire Demon Devoured

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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.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 7 Review

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.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 7

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.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 7 - Shizu

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.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 7

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.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 6: The Importance of Pacing To Build Tension

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

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.

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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’.

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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.

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That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 5: Past Wrongs and Future Destinies

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

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.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 5

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).

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 5

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.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 5

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).

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 4: Dwarven Blacksmiths and Giggling Elves

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

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.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 4

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.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 4

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.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 4

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’.