That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2
by Richard Eisenbeis,
How would you rate episode 5 of
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (TV 2) ?
“In which our hero doesn't even make an appearance.”
In this week's episode, building tension is the name of the game. Let us count the various factors that contribute to that escalation:
- Rimuru is still absent from Tempest.
- Falmuth's elite army is marching on the city.
- A trio of sociopathic otherworlders have entered the city to make it appear as if the monsters started the upcoming war.
- A barrier has been created around the city preventing escape.
- Clayman is adding to the chaos by creating a second barrier that prevents those within the city from using magic.
- Milim's decided to wage war on the neighboring beast country—causing a looming refugee crisis in Tempest.
I mean, those are some dire straits right there—and our main character not only doesn't know what's going on but also has no means of communicating with the people who do. Altogether, this forms a credible threat to the young nation and one that could easily leave it in ruins, unable to recover.
This is where the tension comes from—as opposed to any danger to Rimuru personally. After all, as far as we have seen, Rimuru is the fourth most powerful individual in this world (with Veldora, Milim, and Charybdis taking the top three spots respectively). It's unlikely that any of the parties currently attacking Tempest could hurt him directly.
What Rimuru stands to lose is not his life but what he has built. There are no do-overs in nation-building. In his case, reputation is everything. He wants to build a peaceful paradise for monsters and anyone else who wants to live there. All that comes crashing down the moment the rest of the world sees them as a violent empire of evil. It doesn't matter if Rimuru is physically stronger than his opponents, his dream for the country's future is lost.
However, that doesn't mean that there isn't a danger of physical harm adding to the tension this episode; it's just that that danger isn't directed towards Rimuru himself. Rimuru faces the same problem as Superman: he can only be at one location at a time. Even if he arrives before everything comes crashing down, who does he help? Shion and Gobu are separately facing down powerful otherworlders. An army is set to enter the city and commence slaughter of the population. Myulan's magic field is preventing the use of magic—meaning she needs to be stopped as well. And all that's before we take into account what's happening in the beast country with Milim. All the power in the world means nothing if you don't know the right place to apply it.
But what's really great about this episode is that, even with all that going on, we have a personal love story at the center of it. Youm and Myulan's romance has been developing in the background of the past few episodes. While we haven't spent a ton of time with them, it's been clear from the start that they have real chemistry, so it's easy to see why they would fall for each other.
This episode gives us a much deeper look into Myulan and her situation. While it's obvious from the start that she is Clayman's spy, we learn now that there is much more to it than that. Clayman has Myulan's heart—and seemingly in a literal sense instead of metaphorically. He's agreed to return it to her if she finishes one last job for him. (However, we get the sense that there is always another “one last job” for her to do.)
Yet, that's not why she casts the spell to block magic—not in that moment at least. Part of her knows she's trapped in Clayman's web and that he'll never let her go. Clayman can see her doubts as well so he gives her the hope that he'll allow her to be with Youm after this job is over. Normally, this wouldn't be enough to tip the scales, but the fact that Youm still loves her after finding out she is not human gives her hope that they can, in fact, be together—as long as Clayman allows it, anyway. And so she casts the spell.
This is a great twist on the usual cliché by making love the impetus for an evil act instead of the force that prevents it. It's also tragic as Myulan is in a no-win scenario and Youm, despite his feelings, really can't do anything to save her. It also serves as the emotional core of the episode and gives us the emotional investment we need to raise the overall stakes even higher.
All in all, great stuff. I'm excited to see how it all explodes next week.
• The magic-sealing barrier brings up all kinds of questions. What is the difference between magic and a skill? How does this affect creatures that have a lot of innate magic?
• On a related note, did Shion get weakened at the end of the episode because of Shogo's skill or because of the barrier?
• Why was Shuna able to block Kirara's unique mind control skill?
• Was there any hint in the previous episode for Grucius' crush on Myulan? I mean, I'm not surprised he feels that way, it's just that it felt like it came a bit out of the left field.
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