After a random fatal encounter, Satoru Mikami is reincarnated as a meager slime in a fantasy world full of monsters, magic and mysticism. His weak gelatinous form quickly improves in strength and power with the help from the Great Sage and Predator abilities. The Great Sage serves as a guide through this world, while Predator permits him to absorb, internalize and create new items and powers. After befriending the dragon Veldora, Satoru accepts his place in this new world and is renamed Rimuru Tempest.
Rimuru spends time acquiring new skills in a monster infested cavern before making his way out into the world. He immediately runs into a humble goblin tribe who beg for help. After protecting the goblins from a pack of dire wolves, both groups pledge their loyalty to Rimuru. As village leader, Rimuru names his subjects resulting in character evolutions in both appearance and strength while draining his magicule reserves.
Rimuru visits the armed nation of Dwargon to find aid with building homes, clothes, weapons and armor from the dwarves. Through a series of events, a group of dwarves agree to travel back to the goblin village to share their knowledge and crafts after being banished from the city.
Rimuru meets a powerful warrior named Shizu who is revealed to also be from Japan. She was summoned by Demon Lord Cromwell during the WWII bombing of Japan only to be possessed by the flame giant Ifrit. Her new powers allowed her to become the Conquerer of Flames hero, while also permitting Ifrit to take control at times and fulfill the evil wishes of Demon Lord Cromwell. Ifrit takes control of Shizu which forces Rimuru destroy the flame giant and his new friend in the process. Rimuru absorbs Shizu’s body and promises to continue her quest to confront Lord Cromwell.
A band of ogres attack Rimuru and his followers due to a case of mistaken identity. Shizu’s mask that our brave slime now wears while in human form resembles the mask of a majin that led a horde of orcs against the ogres village. Rimuru invites them to join their village and names them all resulting in their evolution from ogres into kijin. While new friendships are forged, a massive orc army marches to claim the entire Great Forest of Jura.
The lizard-man chieftain sends his son Gobiru to recruit nearby goblin villages to fight against the orcs. Upon arrival at Rimuru’s settlement, Gobiru demands submission to his will. Gobta is chosen to fight against Gobiru, who drops the Lizard-man with a single shadow kick. The defeated Gobiru returns to his home, overthrows his father and assumes the role as lizard-man chieftain. While power dynamics shift, the massive orc army makes their way to the Great Forest of Jura.
That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime quickly became one of my favorite anime of the season. I’m a sucker for the fantasy genre, especially when there’s a video game-esque component. Despite the massive cast of characters, the series successfully provides unique personalities to every human, monster and creature. Rimuru is a brilliant protagonist in design, personality, humor and heart. The animation style is beautifully captivating.
The action sequences and portrayal of powers are exhilarating and intelligent. Rimuru’s ability to absorb, modify and combine powers makes for constant battle evolution. One of the standout features has to be how Rimuru’s followers are also able to learn new abilities and morph them to fit their unique fighting style. The battle between Gobiru and Gobta perfectly embodies this concept. Not only was this scene hilarious, but to everyone’s surprise Gobta utilized his dire wolf’s shadow step ability to defeat Gobiru. This scene alone demonstrates how Slime isn’t afraid to spotlight growth of characters outside of our main protagonist.
While the list of reasons to love this show are lengthy, a common issue raised by many is that there are no real stakes. Rimuru’s abilities at this point appear to be limitless, thus eliminating any need for fear of our heroes losing. I understand this line of thinking, but ultimately this is a mute point. The series isn’t about Rimuru becoming the strongest, but about his ability to bring more into his fold and create peace in the land. Rimuru never actively seeks out new threats and always has his followers to fight and grow before stepping in. To say there are no stakes disregards the deep loss of characters like Shizu and the friend she was forced to incinerate. Rimuru may be powerful, but those around him are clearly vulnerable.
That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime is hilarious series that’s not afraid to go dark at times. The character designs, evolutions and abilities are well thought out and dazzling. Despite the astounding visuals, voice acting, music, humor and powers, what makes this series stand out is the way it makes you feel. It just makes you feel good. The friendship, love and devotion these characters have for one another is heartwarming.
Box Set Review
That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime Season 1 Part 1 includes episodes 1-12 on both Blu-ray and DVD. Special features include audio and video episode commentaries from the voice actors and production team, promo videos and textless opening/closing songs. The set has beautiful cover art and images of Rimuru on on the discs.
Note: Funimation provided us a review copy in exchange for an honest review