A big trend in the isekai genre lately has been characters who’re not only transported into a fantasy world, but also reincarnated as something inhuman. Perhaps the most popular of these stories is Fuse’s That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime light novel series, which was adapted into manga and then an anime last year. Today I’m here to review the anime and find out how to survive life as a slime!
The story begins with thirty-seven-year-old salaryman Satoru Mikami, who’s living his life happily. One day he meets up with a colleague who wants to introduce Satoru to his girlfriend, but this casual get-together leads to Satoru’s untimely passing when he’s suddenly stabbed saving his workmate’s girlfriend from a random assailant.
While reflecting on his life and regrets, Satoru hears a disembodied voice telling him that he’s unlocked special abilities. This voice is known as the ‘Great Sage’, and its presence will determine Satoru’s next life.
When Satoru reawakens, he discovers that he’s been reincarnated as a slime! With the help of the Great Sage (who continues dwelling in his mind), he explores the cave he finds himself in. Eventually, he stumbles across a dragon called Veldora, who’s been sealed in this cavern. Veldora is lonely and asks the slime to help him break the seal, to which he readily agrees. As a sign of friendship Satoru gives Veldora the surname ‘Tempest’ and in return Veldora grants Satoru the new name of ‘Rimuru Tempest’ – a name that grants him divine protection.
When Rimuru breaks the seal on Veldora, the dragon suddenly disappears (having in actuality been swallowed by Rimuru) – but Rimuru vows that they’ll meet again and sets off to a nearby forest to find a place for himself. Within the forest, the slime runs across some goblins who, after being saved from a gang of dire wolves that were raiding their village, take Rimuru in as one of their own. With his new home secured, Rimuru promises to protect it and everyone in it with his life. And so begins a tale of heroics, all accomplished by a simple slime.
While That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime sounds somewhat like a generic isekai story, the twist of Rimuru being a slime offers a lot of interesting developments. Rather than being in a human civilisation, he’s living among fellow monsters and it’s nice to see them considered friends rather than foes for a change. That’s not to say that humans are the enemy either, as Rimuru does establish connections with dwarves and humans alike. It’s a situation where Rimuru wants to make friends with everyone eventually.
There are those who will stand against our young hero though, and they’ll certainly do their best to bring down Rimuru’s newfound home. Our little slime is going to have his (metaphorical) hands full learning new skills and abilities to protect those he loves so dearly.
Much of this first part of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 1 is spent setting up Rimuru’s new life. While that’s not a bad thing, it does mean that it’s not until closer to the end of this half that he’s established himself and is about to face his first big challenge of protecting the village. However, the series does a good job of drawing you in, right from the beginning.
Another point in the show’s favour is the wonderful animation handled by studio Eight Bit (Knight’s & Magic, Encouragement of Climb). The way this series is animated reminds me of many shows from the 90s or early 2000s. Its very brightly coloured and distinctive artwork is coupled with smooth, detailed action scenes. The animation is extremely fluid and the colouring and outlines stand apart from other anime in the genre. I also really liked how the studio connected up the animation of the opening and ending songs, so if you played them back-to-back they tell a story of their own.
Music for the series has been handled by Elements Garden (Symphogear) and the compositions work really well in a fantasy setting. While I’m not convinced the tracks are memorable outside of the show, they certainly work well within it. The opening for this half of the series is “Another Colony” by True, while the ending theme is “Megurumono” by Terashima. Both songs are catchy and succeed in capturing the fun yet dramatic events of the show.
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime has both English and Japanese audio, although it has to be said I vastly prefer the Japanese actors overall. This is especially true in the case of Rimuru, who’s played by Miho Okasaki (Teruko in Demon Slayer, Foil in Overlord III) in Japanese and Brittney Karbowski (Migi in Parasyte, Karen Tendo in Gamers!) in English. When our protagonist first awakens as a slime, he’s undergone a voice change and is very gender-ambiguous, something that Okasaki’s mellow tone reflects. Okasaki gives Rimuru a voice that is neither overly feminine or masculine, which reflects his position in the show. In English on the other hand, Brittney Karbowski gives Rimuru a very girly, sometimes screechy voice which doesn’t suit the character I’ve come to know at all. The rest of the cast in both English and Japanese are perfectly fine, but Rimuru’s situation is enough to leave me unable to recommend a dubbed watch.
This series comes to the UK thanks to Manga Entertainment and is available on both Blu-ray and DVD. This part includes Episodes 1-12 of Season 1 both dubbed and subbed. On-disc extras include trailers, Episode 8 commentary, and clean OP/ED videos.
Overall, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime successfully puts an interesting twist on the usual isekai tropes. Protagonist Rimuru is a lovable, friendly slime who just wants to live a peaceful life, but his adventures are anything but! Entertaining and memorable, this is a must-have for fans of the genre.