Anime Review: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 1 Part 1

By Drew Hurley 13.09.2019

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That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 1 Part 1 (UK Rating 15)

With so many isekai appearing every season, the premise of a guy appearing in a fantasy world with the power of a god has become the most cliché thing in anime. Light novel writers are scrambling to find some way to stand apart. The Slime, that classic JRPG enemy, is hardly the most powerful creature in a fantasy but this isn't a classic shonen protagonist either - it's not some horny teenage boy surrounded by willing women. Satoru Mikami is a 37-year-old office worker. He's not becoming some godly Lich or master Swordsman either. He's coming back as… a slime? Courtesy of Manga Entertainment, this first part of the anime is available from October 21st.
Satoru's life is a pretty content one; he's happy enough with his job and his friends. His only concern is that at 37 he hasn't got a girlfriend and has never had one. During just another regular day he's heading out with a junior from work and his new girlfriend when some psychopath with a knife comes sprinting at them. Satoru jumps forward to save his young friends and ends up taking a knife to the gut for his trouble. As he lies bleeding out on the street, a voice booms out in his head. A computerised woman's voice starts to list out traits for Satoru's next life.
His distress at being stabbed grants him a resistance to physical attacks and the agony of dying gives Satoru a nullification to pain. The burning of the pain followed by the strange coldness from loss of blood bestows resistance to hot and cold, and that loss of blood grants a body without blood. Finally, Satoru receives some special skills. He bemoans the lack of a girlfriend and thinks to himself how in his next life he will "devour" all the women he meets, granting him the unique skill "Predator".  In addition, since he reached 37 as a virgin and those who reach 30 are known as magicians, he thinks that means he'd probably be a "sage". Thus, he's granted the "Sage" ability and the voice he's been hearing becomes his very own built-in Google, able to identify and answer questions on any topic.
After finally slipping away, Satoru awakens blind and feeling strange. He's awakened in a cave in his new slime body. He still has the same computerised voice thanks to his new Sage ability, and this voice guides him into his new life. His new body gives him something to do as he examines his new home, absorbing plants and crystals he finds with his Predator ability and analysing their components using Sage. He's quickly able to learn how to make potions and how to get around in his new gelatinous form. Someone is sharing the cave with Satoru though, and he bumps into this roommate quite literally, smashing into an invisible barrier with a towering shadowy being lurking behind it.
Sealed in the cave 300 years ago is the devastating Veldora. A gargantuan Dragon, a walking disaster, a being of godly power, and quite the tsundere… Veldora was sealed here by a hero using a special unique skill. Veldora and Satoru become fast friends, and there are benefits for both. Veldora shows Satoru how to see once more using the extra skill Magic Sense and Satoru gives Veldora a potential way out of the cave. In addition, the pair both gain new names. Satoru grants the name Tempest to Veldora, and taking that as his family name, Veldora dubs Satoru "Rimuru Tempest" (an important development for later in the story as names hold special weight in this series). The way out for Veldora is for Satoru (now Rimuru) to use his Predator skill to devour Veldora. Thanks to the unbreakable barrier "Unlimited Imprisonment", Veldora is safe from being totally absorbed and meanwhile, Rimuru can continue to use Sage to analyse the barrier in the hopes of one day freeing his new friend.
With a new nametag and an all-powerful Dragon in his belly, Satoru (now Rimuru) makes his way out of the cave, making quick work of it since he requires no food or sleep. There's the odd barrier to his progress though, the first being a giant black snake. It's a chance for him to try out his new powers, having developed a skill to manipulate water. Then there's the chance to get more and more skills on his exit. After slaughtering the snake he is able to use Predator on its corpse and learn how to mimic the creatures, along with learning how to use any of their special skills.

Rimuru continues to travel through the cave, trying to find an exit and devouring various monsters along the way. He also passes some adventurers entering the cave just as he heads off into the wider world. The sudden disappearance of Veldora, combined with this ominously aura'd monster, attracts the attention of a nearby village of Goblins who beg Rimuru for help in saving their homes from a group of terrifying Dire Wolves from the East. In a scene reminiscent of Overlord - and there's more of them to come - Rimuru becomes a makeshift leader to both factions, uniting them under his leadership and building a town together. Part of this is Rimuru deciding to give names to each of his new underlings. He thinks nothing of it at the time, just naming some creatures to make it easier to keep track, but in this world, a name gives a monster a new life - evolving them and granting them great power. The effort wipes Rimuru out, and when he awakens three days later he finds that the monsters in the little village have transformed into all-new and powerful forms. The infirm old Village Chief becomes a buff warrior, the Goblins transforms from weedy little creatures to Hobgoblin warriors and the gormless female Goblins into green-skinned beauties. Best of all, the Dire Wolves have become Tempest Wolves after their leader was granted Rimuru's family name, imbued with the power of wind.
This village of Hobgoblins and Tempest Wolves is now Rimuru's responsibility and his first job is travelling to the great Dwarven city of Dwargon to look into recruiting some artisans, as the village badly needs shelter and clothing. That trip includes meeting some of the other species in this world, including an Elf-filled hostess bar! This little arc builds up to Rimuru establishing his town and growing relations with some key characters in the world.
Following this arc, the adventurers that Rimuru bumped into during his escape from the cave return. It turns out that they were sent by the Guildmaster of the area to investigate the disappearance of the great Storm Dragon. After confirming that the cave was empty, they have returned and are now being sent to search for Veldora in the Forest of Jura, accompanied by a mysterious masked woman. The girl in the mask is from Japan, too - she's a girl named Shizu who was brought to this world, though not through reincarnation: she was summoned during World War II. Pulled through a vortex while her village burned, she was brought to flames in this world too, as a Demon Lord possessed her with the great fire demon Ifrit. While she was possessed for some time, a hero freed her from her possession, giving her control over her body once more, along with the ability to draw upon Ifrit's explosive abilities. This arc gives some huge developments, setting a future antagonist in the Demon Lords and confirming that Rimuru isn't the only "otherworlder" here.
Following this, the Forest of Jura has degenerated into a state of turmoil where Lizardmen, Orcs and Ogres are fighting to fill the power vacuum left by Veldora's disappearance. It's also where Rimuru is building his growing village of monsters. This makes up the final arc of the collection and is not concluded here, as a mysterious masked Majin puts an unimaginable Orc army on a path of destruction and Rimuru needs to build alliances wherever he can to try and stand against them.
There's both the original Japanese dub and an English dub available i this collection. The English is mostly made up of lesser names and unknowns, but it has a fan-favourite who puts in a great performance at the front, with Rimuru being played by Brittney Karbowski (Wendy in Fairy Tail, Mikoto in Railgun). As usual, the Japanese dub is superior, though it has no amazing star power; it just has plenty of familiar voices putting out quality performances. The bonus features are the standard fare for these types of releases with few worthy of note. There are two audio commentary tracks and one video commentary, along with some promo videos and a clean opening / closing.
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10
In the overcrowded and oversaturated isekai market, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime stands alongside notables like Overlord and Konosuba as one of the best in its genre. It doesn't do anything especially different to make it stand apart, but it is a solid production all round. It's a comedy at its core and there are tons of genuine laugh-out-loud moments, but there's also some decent action and drama to boot. The integration of game-style mechanics and fantasy RPG elements are captured perfectly and the developments throughout this first part of the season leave the audience wanting more.

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