One of the best fantasy series today gets a new volume and a new story arc.
Out this week is Volume 6 of the fantasy series That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, which has a peculiar name but should be on every fantasy lover’s short list. This manga has played around with fantasy tropes and RPG tropes, and mixed those up in a strange world we’re only just now starting to understand. It appears the more powers our main character gains, the more formidable the opponent end up being–a trick all too familiar to video game fans.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
A new arc begins! After the defeat of the Orc Lord, Rimuru is now the chancellor of the Jura Forest Alliance. With more companions than ever, his profile within the world rises, but this also draws the attention of ever more powerful figures. How will Rimuru handle the schemes of the mighty Dwarf King Gazel and the most ancient of Demon Lords, Milim Nava?!
Why does this matter?
This volume starts a new arc that plays into the heavy hitters of this world. So far Taiki Kawakami has hinted at super powerful villains and good-hearted kings, but we haven’t gotten a taste of how they function in the hierarchy of society. Since the main character is gaining so much power and fostering such a large community of monsters, it’s the perfect time to flesh out the politics of the world.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This volume starts to lay out the power levels of the Demon Lords, establishing how the main character Rimuru stacks up. It’s a nice way to check in and remind readers Rimuru isn’t all powerful (yet) and has formidable foes yet to come. He’s defeated so many at this point it’s hard to forget. The big-time foe this time around is Milim Nava, who is a bit chaotic and immature even though she’s a catastrophic level Demon Lord. As the manga plays out we learn she has sway over other Demon Lords, further increasing the threat of the character and making the last chapter even more dangerous for Rimuru and his people.
This volume is a tad light on battles, but it does contain two. The first involves Rimuru and a major king in the world who is good of heart. So good the battle is more of a gentlemanly test of skill. It plays out in an interesting way reminding us Rimuru isn’t perfect. The second involves Milim and Rimuru’s main guards playing up their powers and the impressive invulnerability of Milim.
Much of this volume is about the politics between Demon Lords, Rimuru’s new status as a leader of his people, and the very interesting dynamic developing between Milim and Rimuru. All of these elements are paced well in the story and keep your interest while setting up plots you’ll be hungry for.
It can’t be perfect can it?
I’m a bit unclear about Milim’s design as she’s basically in a bathing suit and yet characters play up the fact that she’s flat-chested. The character is a kooky sort with not much development beyond that, making her flat and somewhat boring. She serves as a sounding board to make other characters react and reflect. Given how important she is to the narrative it’d be nice if she had more character work.
Is it good?
This is a great volume and one of the strongest yet. This volume sets up new plots, gives the reader just enough action, and above all else it is paced perfectly so the politics don’t bore. This is great fantasy storytelling.