The Spring 2021 Preview Guide
The Slime Diaries: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
by The Anime News Network Editorial Team,
How would you rate episode 1 of
The Slime Diaries ?
What is this?
“Dear diary… I got reincarnated as a slime.”
Even in another world, lives aren't always on the line. There's plenty of work to be done, from feeding the community and forging the items the community needs; as well as plenty of play …and hijinks throughout! Join Rimuru and friends as they kick back and enjoy their daily lives. (from manga. Source: Vertical)
The Slime Diaries: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime is based on Shiba's spinoff manga of Fuse and Mitz Vah's That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime novel series and streams on Crunchyroll on Tuesdays.
How was the first episode?
“In which our gloopy dictator complains that his people aren't free.”
The Slime Diaries is a spinoff of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime. Set mid-way through the first season of the main anime, the story follows Rimuru and his monster kingdom's early, peaceful days.
This first episode (and likely the episodes to come) does not form a cohesive story. Rather, it is comprised of a collection of two to three-minute vignettes that cover the random goings-on throughout the city. These can range from more practical developments—such as choosing a new outfit for Rimuru or forging a kitchen knife—to brief looks into the side characters, like Benimaru reflecting on his relationship with his sister or the egotistical Gabiru and his sycophants trying to incorporate Rimuru into their mental hierarchy.
Each vignette has some sort of comedic punchline. Some of these are derived from the situation, while others stem from the characters and their quirky personalities. It's all light-hearted comedic fluff, without any danger or stakes for the characters involved. Dramatic tension is 100% absent from this show, allowing viewers to lower their defenses and soak it in.
That said, for some viewers, the big weakness of the series will obviously be that nothing we see here really matters in the greater scheme of things. As a spinoff series, the events in The Slime Diaries will not have any impact on the greater narrative of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, nor will they likely be mentioned again. Even the occasional character insights we gain here may as well not exist as far as the main story is concerned.
And then there's the elephant in the room. This side-story is airing in between the two halves of the second season of the main series, with the first half concluded in the winter season and the second airing in the summer season. While the first season of the main series has a good share of lighthearted slice-of-life moments, the second season so far has not. In fact, to call the events of season 2 up to this point dark and morally complicated would be a massive understatement. And though what we see in The Slime Diaries predates those events, for some viewers, it can be a massive tonal whiplash to see a character who committed an unforgivable atrocity just weeks ago being portrayed as happy, innocent, and carefree.
All in all, this is an anime for fans who are highly invested in the main series and prefer its “slow life” parts to its more action and drama-oriented aspects. It's basically just an excuse to spend some downtime with the characters you know and love. But if you're simply looking for some more slime-filled action and adventure, this is most certainly not the show for you.
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