That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime – Episode 1 & 2 Review
The Monsters Strike Back
In an interesting twist on the fantasy anime genre, the monsters have taken the lead role. No longer will the lonely slime creature be subject to adventurers fulfilling quests by their guild. In “That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime” Mikami Satoru has literally died and come back in a different world as a blue amorphous slime.
The main character, who will be renamed shortly, Mikami Satoru gets run through with a knife by a seemingly random homeless man. It is somewhat of a bizarre scene where there is no rhyme or reason for Mikami to die. Its while he is dying though, that we get introduced to some of the more interesting mechanics of the show.
Slime Reincarnation the Game the Anime
Tensura, as the show is nicknamed in Japanese, acts like the world it is building is part of a video game. As the main character is being rebuilt into a slime, an omnipotent voice narrates the new powers Mikami will receive upon reincarnation as the slime. He gains resistances to fire and ice as he complains about the hot feeling of his blood pouring of his wound, and the cold feeling he has as his life begins to fade. His virgin status at 37 leads to the voice in his head to give him other powers as well.
In this new world he is transported to a magic cave where he comes into being as a new person, or rather a new slime. He is in fact a sage with great power he clearly will eventually use. Through his new found power, he begins to explore this second world, only to encounter an ultra powerful storm dragon named Veldora. We learn some more about other worlders entering this current world, and our main quest is set.
The game like aspect of the world is exciting in that we don’t have to build the story around another game world come to life. Instead we can have the fun naming of spells and abilities in a game-like fashion and pretend like this is normal in a second world. It is familiar and yet refreshing to see a fantasy world take on this form.
Goblins, Dire Wolves, and the Monsters
A good dungeon crawler is littered with monsters of evil intent to be slain by the hero of the game. In “That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime,” it feels like it is the monster’s turn to be the hero. Our main protagonist, who by the end of the second episode has gained a new name, Rimuru Tempest, is a monster. Most JRPG fantasy games have slimes as the easiest target for a player character to beat. The iconic slimes of Dragon Quest have clearly inspired the creators of Tensura. The anime literally feels as if the created a Dragon Quest game with the slimes as the main character.*
A brief side conversation by two humans in this world point us in a monster vs. human vs. empire story. While Rimuru, or Mikami, may have been a human in his past life, there is much to be seen about his current loyalties. By the end of the second episode we can see that he wields great power in this world with the goblin village pledging their undying loyalty to him in order to protect them.
The Human Touch
For a show that had to get through a lot of exposition in the first two episodes, it covered some good ground in a mostly funny way. A blue slime as a main character is great for sight gags and physical comedy, two funny elements that translate nicely across culture and language. The bit where in our original world, Rimuru/Mikami’s dying wish is upheld by his junior destroying his computer was excellent.
The first two episodes of “That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime” are off to a good start with a good twist on the genre. It is going to be interesting to see which direction the series goes with the old and new worlds of Rimuru/Mikami.
*Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime does exist and it is an excellent game for the Nintendo DS.
[Images – Instagram]