Even discounting the title being wildly inventive (and fun to say), Kodansha’s latest fantasy series, That Time I Got Reincarnated As a Slime, is quite good. It plays around with a human character entering a fantasy world with RPG style gaming on the mind. His tactics keep him alive, but it’s all very real. The latest volume ramps up the danger even more, and it may spell doom for our slime protagonist.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
A living disaster in the form of an Orc Lord and his 200,000-strong force of monsters threatens the residents of the Great Forest of Jura. In response, Treyni the dryad, protector of the forest, asks Rimuru to vanquish the Orc Lord and his army. Rimuru accepts, but to take on this new, formidable enemy, he’ll need help. Unfortunately, it looks like he’ll need to enlist the aid of the lizardmen, which might be difficult after his last encounter with one of their leaders…
Why does this matter?
Volume 1 was great.
Volume 2 was equally great.
Volume 3 was even better.
There isn’t a fantasy quite like this on shelves, as the main character has slowly built up their powers and earned them along the way. Alongside the slime protagonist, there are various fantasy creatures. It’s also fun to see how Taiki Kawakami weaves in tactical elements.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The main thrust of this manga revolves around the lizard people and Rimuru joining forces against the Orc Lord. Unfortunately for the lizard people, the king’s kids think they know best and a union can’t work due to their great pride. Things get complicated fast, which only heightens the tension of the inevitable conflict with the Orc Lord who has great power. What kind of power? He can steal the power of his enemies when his soldiers eat their flesh. Yuck. This gives them multiple powers–and an interesting look, almost like bat people–and Kawakami does a fantastic job building up the tension between the movement of the Orc Lord’s army and the lizard people’s stubbornness.
This manga really opens up, however, when Rimuru’s second in command pupils take charge. Kawakami shows off their incredible powers (one of them has some kind of invisible wire to slice enemies) and you get the impression Rimuru can beat anyone with compatriots like this. It’s also fun to see how each character works off one another. There’s a welcome complexity to the band of heroes, especially if you’re a fantasy fan.
The art overall works well, especially when it comes to facial expressions. The lizard people don’t have the greatest of faces to express themselves, but the point comes across nicely. A highlight is the character design of the minion who follows the orders of the ultra bad guy character (who we have yet to really see in action). He has a court jester look that’s evil, but also mischievous. It’s creepy as hell and it’ll make you want to see more of him.
It can’t be perfect can it?
It’s a tad unfortunate how little Rimuru is in this volume. Obviously, his supporting soldiers are the highlight and get the most development. That said, with the first three volumes building up Rimuru and focusing on his story it’s a bit odd to see so little of him in this volume.
The ease at which Rimuru’s soldiers take out the Orc Lord and his army becomes a bit boring after awhile. At first, you’re unsure how they can beat this army that Kawakami has built up, but it becomes repetitive to see Rimuru’s men take them down so quickly without even breaking a sweat. It doesn’t help that the action isn’t rendered in the best detail, either. Following the action is difficult due to the panels mostly showing a chaotic mess rather than multiple panels to follow the movement. That just adds to the boredom of the action when it becomes repetitive that the good guys can’t lose.
Is It Good?
This is a good chapter as it does a lot of work to build up Rimuru’s second in command and supporting cast. That said, I wanted more of the main protagonist since we’ve been following his journey so closely for so long. It also gets a bit repetitive and boring to see the heroes win with little difficulty. The big bad villain who keeps getting hinted at can’t come soon enough.