Note: Review copy supplied by Manga Entertainment
[url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/167982366@N06/]Matt Doyle[/url], on Flickr
Title: That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime Season One Part One
Anime Studio: Eight Bit Inc.
Publisher: Manga Entertainment
Genre: Fantasy / Isekai
Released: October 21st, 2019
Language: Japanese / English
Length: 300 Minutes
Extras: Ep 7 video commentary, ep 6 & 11 commentary promo videos, commercials, clean OP and ED.
Thirty-seven-year-old Satoru Mikami is a typical corporate worker, who is perfectly content with his monotonous lifestyle in Tokyo, other than failing to nail down a girlfriend even once throughout his life. In the midst of a casual encounter with his colleague, he falls victim to a random assailant on the streets and is stabbed. However, while succumbing to his injuries, a peculiar voice echoes in his mind and recites a bunch of commands which the dying man cannot make sense of.
When Satoru regains consciousness, he discovers that he has reincarnated as a goop of slime in an unfamiliar realm. In doing so, he acquires newfound skills notably, the power to devour anything and mimic its appearance and abilities. He then stumbles upon the sealed Catastrophe-level monster “Storm Dragon” Verudora who had been sealed away for the past 300 years for devastating a town to ashes. Sympathetic to his predicament, Satoru befriends him, promising to assist in destroying the seal. In return, Verudora bestows upon him the name Rimuru Tempest to grant him divine protection.
Now, liberated from the mundanities of his past life, Rimuru embarks on a fresh journey with a distinct goal in mind. As he grows accustomed to his new physique, his gooey antics ripple throughout the world, gradually altering his fate.
As a concept, That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime is an odd one. The death and reincarnation into a fantasy world is common in the isekai genre, but the twist here is that our lead is reincarnated as a low-level monster. On paper, as much as I love the silliness of the idea, it shouldn’t. Somehow though, it does.
Starting with the aesthetics, 8bit handle the animation. Bar their success with How To Keep A Mummy, I’m not overly familiar with their work. I was certainly impressed here though. The show is visually really nice, with the background work fitting well with the setting. The character designs too are nicely done, shifting from a cartoony edge to a more standard serious-fantasy feel when necessary. In particular, I thought that the dragon, Veldora, was really nicely done.
Meanwhile, Elements Garden handle the primary soundtrack work. The composer team has worked on a variety of projects before now, ranging from White Album to Bodacious Space Pirates, and this was another fine effort. Nothing feels obtrusive, but rather the soundtrack sits nicely behind the action. While True’s Another Colony is a good ending theme, it’s the opening theme, Nameless Story by Takuma Terashima that really stood out for me.
In terms of the voice cast, I really enjoyed the dub. Brittney Karbowski (Black Star in Soul Eater) does a fantastic job as Rimuru and helps bring the globby lead to life. Given that for most of the release the titular slime is very limited in terms of being able to physically emote, the strength of her performance was very important. So, well done there!
The story itself is surprisingly well balanced. We learn very quickly that RImuru is not as low-powered as you’d think, and is actually super strong. It gets to the point that the slime should feel overpowered, but the ludicrousness of it all makes it work in a quirky sort of fashion.
While there is a bigger story running in the background, much of this half of the series is given over to Rimuru’s abilities. To be more specific, learning new abilities and using them to reveal little snippets of world-building. The magical system in place is quite robust, considering the way the series is set up. Things like the evolution of monsters when Rimuru gives them a name, for example, were surprisingly well thought out. From the using up of Rimuru’s magical stores when giving out too many names at once, to the way that goblins evolve one by one but dire wolves evolve as a pack, it all makes perfect sense.
When it comes to comedy, we mostly get two kinds: over the top reactions to Rimuru, and Rimuru’s reactions to boobs. In the first instance, the supporting cast’s reactions did make me smile. They were big enough to feel light-hearted but still made sense due to Rimuru being a slime. Meanwhile, Rimuru’s love of breasts wasn’t actually too bad. It wasn’t overused as a gag and didn’t come across as as lecherous as it sounds.
The series is also perfectly capable of providing serious moments. The saga with Shizu was a nice touch and, as well as resulting in Rimuru getting a feminine but androgynous human form, added a nice wrinkle to the character. Watching the Orc Lord’s ‘starved’ technique was also a very welcome moment, as the dark tonal shift helped created a sense of dread for the heroes.
In all, this was about as good a release as you could hope for. It’s quirky, fun, and perfectly capable of adding depth to the world and story. That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime Season One Part One is an easy 5 out of 5.