As Rimuru sits down at the table with the other demon lords, his friends and followers battle it out against armies, skeletons, and whatever else this anime is going to throw their way, I can’t help but wonder if the reason I’ve never gotten as into That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime as some other fans is because, despite it being an adventure-comedy, I keep trying to take it seriously.
I mean, I know I’m not the only one who has found this second season a little lacking in… well everything that I was kind of hoping for from the follow-up season to be. Just read the one star review by perfectEveryTime on MAL and it becomes quite apparent that the lack of tension and the sense of episodes wasted hasn’t exactly sat well with all viewers despite the series overall still maintaining a score of 8.3.
If you’ve followed my episodic coverage of Tensura 2 Part 2 then you kind of know I was more or less ready to walk away from this series after repeated episodes of characters having meetings. It was like watching the Blue Exorcist Kyoto Arc all over again where previously fun characters who used to do exciting things decided to sit around tables sipping tea and discussing things that might be exciting rather than doing them.
Overall, fairly disappointing.
However, I had to wonder if the overall problem is that I’m just taking is all too seriously.
That Time I Decided To Sit Back and Take Another Look At Something.
Covering seasonal anime is always an interesting prospect, largely because you are forced to take a week to reflect between each episode. This means conversations that probably don’t even last fifty minutes in real time feel like they take forever as they stretch out over three weeks of viewing.
For some stories, this type of pacing does it no favours whatsoever and when I initially dislike an anime, sometimes a binge watch at a later date proves that with a different flow a lot of the problems are actually strengths.
But, is that true for That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime?
I guess the real problem I have overall with Slime is that it has never been quite the anime I want it to. See, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime could be an epic adventure. You have some serious powers with the protagonist and his group, you’ve got built in racial and political tension, there have been enough genuine threats presented that the drama and excitement could be dialled up to eleven without even trying.
Yet, the anime isn’t trying to do that. That Time I got Reincarnated as a Slime is happy kicking back, having characters meander about their business, chill in the hot-springs, and when they fight they tend to end the conflict in one or two moves so dramatic duels or matches are well off the table.
Also, nobody ever dies from Rimuru’s group since Shizue in season one. Nobody. Even when they do; don’t expect them to stay dead.
This disconnect between my expectations (or at least what I would kind of like to see) and what the anime actually is means that while I don’t dislike what That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime is presenting I always feel just a little disappointed in. I feel there’s wasted potential, only it isn’t wasted. Instead the anime pours its efforts into that chilled and laid-back tone it has going and it likes being there.
Slime isn’t Goblin Slayer, wallowing in the darkness of adventuring and the horrors that may befall the unwary.
It also isn’t something like Ascendance of a Bookworm that is really looking at an adult struggling in a new life and trying to find purpose and using their knowledge from our world to succeed.
Despite its more epic trappings, That Time I Got Reincarnated As a Slime doesn’t take itself anymore seriously than something like Cautious Hero.
As a result, it relies on the chemistry of the cast, the occasional moment of absurdity, and an overall feel to win the audience over.
And if I was just binge watching I can see how season 2, part 2 kind of works for just sitting back, eating some pop-corn and waiting for all the characters to have their moment to shine.
But as a seasonal viewer, and someone who probably is taking this whole thing too seriously, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime feels like this season has lost some of the charm that made its plot and tension short-comings forgivable. Instead of finding it fun to spend time with a lovable cast, I kind of keep hoping this current conflict with Clayman wraps up soon so they can get back to doing something fun.
I’ve already more or less assumed nothing will actually come out of the fight (and if the next few weeks proves that wrong then so be it). So if I’m not drawn to tension or excitement then I at least want each episode to be full of characters who bounce off one another and are just a pleasure to spend time with. And this current arc isn’t delivering.
So I’ll admit, I’m taking this adventure-comedy anime far too seriously, but even if I don’t, I’m still thinking this season has hit a low point and hasn’t recaptured the magic of the first season. But I’ll hand it over to my readers. What do you think?
Images from: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2. Dir. Y Kikuchi. 8bit. 2021.
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10 thoughts on “That Time I Decided To Take An Adventure-Comedy Anime Too Seriously”
I never wanted it to be anything more than mindless entertainment. I was pleasantly surprised that it lived up to my expectations. There have been some slow parts. Sitting around and just talking is kind of boring.
I don’t think it is war crimes to kill a marauding army to resurrect the city that they just killed.
I don’t really support retaliation as that can go back and forth forever and you rapidly lose your moral high ground when your actions are worse than your enemy’s.
It’s easier to not take something too seriously when the thing in question is not actively trying to be taken more seriously than it should be.
Firstly, let me say I am with you completely on the season splitting thing – drives me nuts and I wish they would stop doing it. Also strikes me as an excuse to pad out episodes with filler content under the guise of delivering double the number of eps in a season, when they should be delivering half the number of tightly constructed eps per season.
I don’t, however, think it’s a case of taking a particular show “too seriously” if you find a second or subsequent series disappointing in the wake of the first series, and are able to articulate coherent reasons why. On the contrary, I think “taking it too seriously” would more likely be a case of making a blanket statement about a series and not tolerating any viewpoint that diverges or differs from yours. Finding something disappoint is just, well, finding it disappointing.
I suspect it happens to us all. I, for example, found the most recent season of “Haikyu” a bit of a let down, largely because it seemed to me that they were trying to repeat a trick (having a single game last most or all of a season) they’ve already pulled before. And as for the “Alicization” arc of SAO…
So I reckon you need to cut yourself some slack. I’ve never seen this particular series, but I can relate to your sense of disappointment in something you initially found so promising. And who knows? Maybe next season will be better again and you’ll find the initial promise being lived up to….
Don’t even get me started on Alicization. That was the season that finally had me falling out of love with SAO, which was quite a feat given how much I adored the early seasons.
To the choir….it even made my blog post on the subject of “5 Anime With Which I Became Bored”…
Yeah, well, the novelty’s worn off, but it’s a comfortable watch. It’s uneven, really. I actually don’t want any tension. I thought all the drama with death and becoming a demon lord through committing war crimes was more silly than anything, and Clayman seems intent to make every single demon lord hate him (as he’s portrayed as arrogant rather than stupid). The show’s been telegraphing all along that Millim’s not actually under his spell (most notably with that clown’s warning), so I’m fully expecting a gotcha moment from her. (Maybe Frey’s given her a duplicate; she doesn’t seem to like him either. Nobody really seems to, except maybe for the clowns for some reason).
The problem is probably that there’s too much going on and too little matters, so the balance is a little off. So, yeah, it’s running on familiarity, mostly, for me. I watch an episode, then I forget it for a week, and then I’m low-key happy to see it back, as it’s good way to spend around 20 minutes without thinking or worrying about anything, and that’s pretty much it.
There is something to say about comfortable familiarity. And yeah, this anime doesn’t ask a lot from viewers so it is a relaxing enough watch. I just keep wanting it to be a little more but it seems content just to be.
To the choir….it even made my blog post on the subject of “5 Anime With Which I Became Bored”….
Dang…sorry…this comment was meant to be in response to K’s response to my comment….how did it end up here? 🙄