That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2
by Richard Eisenbeis,
How would you rate episode 7 of
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (TV 2) ?
“In which our hero learns the power his words hold.”
Last episode and the one before were filled with cliffhangers. Myulan revealed herself to be a demon and traitor in front of Youm and Grucius when she added her barrier to Falmuth's, sapping the monsters of their magic. Gobta was cut down—as was Hakuro—leaving Shuna defenseless. A massively weakened Shion was about to be trampled while protecting a young girl. The knights of Falmuth were leaving a path of death and destruction through the middle of the city. And Rimuru was run through with a soul-killing sword. Of these, only one is resolved on-screen. All the others are either resolved off-screen, aren't addressed, or turned into a new conflict altogether—which, let's face it, is more than a little bit of a letdown.
The cliffhanger we do get to see resolved is Rimuru's. Basically, the episode pulls the old “unreliable narrator card” to wind back time and show us that the Rimuru fighting Hinata in the latter half of the fight was just a body double, which doesn't technically have a soul to be destroyed. Moreover, it is able to destroy Hinata's sword before she kills it. Then, thinking she has finished Rimuru off, she leaves the area and dispels her barrier.
On one hand, this is a cool fight that shows how Rimuru isn't infallible, especially to a well-prepared opponent. The only reason he survives, in the end, is the simple fact that she didn't know he could clone himself. Yet, this feels like a bit of a cheat because we, the audience, didn't know he could do this either. While we have seen Rimuru's body double skill before, it was basically just a mannequin at that time. It didn't move and most certainly didn't use “unique” skills like Gluttony. So while using a clone to fake his own death isn't exactly a deus ex machina, being able to be in two places at once is such a useful skill that it seems odd that we haven't seen it used constantly.
Once Rimuru returns to Tempest, we learn how the other cliffhangers were resolved—except for Shion's. Gobta and Hakuro are alive and being treated by Shuna. The Falmuth knights have retreated and promised to return soon with an army to partake in some good old genocide. As for Myulan's betrayal, it has gone in a wildly confusing direction.
Skipping past all the drama that likely occurred after she revealed her true nature and put up the barrier, we now find that Benimaru has entered the scene and is trying to kill her while Youm and Grucius attempt to stop him.
There is so much going on here that we don't have context for. On one hand, this is an interesting way to handle it because Rimuru is likewise clueless, which allows us to see things from his viewpoint. At the same time, however, it's hard to understand why the characters would ever act this way—especially Myulan.
Myulan is trying to repent for the crime she has committed... while actively continuing to do that very same crime. She clearly feels remorseful for what has happened and is ready to face the consequences, yet the barrier remains. Of course, Clayman will likely kill her if she takes down the barrier. If she doesn't, it's likely Rimuru or Benimaru will kill her to bring it down.
However, if she's going to die either way, it's obvious that Clayman has abandoned her—that he has broken his word to allow her and Youm to be together when everything is over. And as that was the entire reason she put up the barrier in the first place, I can't understand why it still remains. It feels like we have skipped over something vital in her story and her current scenes are falling apart because of this. As it stands, it seems like she is acting this way not because it's internally consistent for her character, but rather so that Rimuru has a scapegoat for his own dilemma.
With dozens dead, this is the worst atrocity to have happened to Tempest since its founding. The easy thing to do would be to blame Myulan for all of it. And for a moment, it seems that Rimuru will take this easy out—until the Great Sage skill speaks up. The Great Sage points out that Myulan's barrier is but a piece of what happened. It alone would not have been able to bring this about. This in turn allows Rimuru to rein in his feelings and keep Myulan alive until he knows more about what is going on.
What's so interesting about this little interjection is that it happens at all. The Great Sage is not a person: it's a skill. It's supposed to answer Rimuru's questions about the world. This time, there was no real question, but it still spoke up in the moment when Rimuru needed guidance most. This suggests that the Great Sage might be more than it pretends to be. It seems to have a personality (not to mention a great grasp of comedic timing) and, in this scene at least, seems to care about Rimuru on a personal level.
And with all the blame to go around, it's nice to see Rimuru realizing that a good chunk of it falls on him. Sure, Clayman is pulling strings from the shadows, the church wants to wipe out all monsters, and Falmuth wants its trade routes back—but there was a lot Rimuru could have done to protect Tempest and its inhabitants against something like this.
Rimuru is a victim of his own success. Up until this point, everything has just worked out, which caused him to ignore the warnings of Kings and merchants alike that his new city was starting to upset the balance of power.
Worse yet are Rimuru's own words to his people. By ordering them so long ago not to attack humans, he made it hard for them to protect themselves. While the upper echelon of his followers understand the difference between the spirit of the rule and the rule itself, to most of the monsters in Tempest, Rimuru might as well be a god—and his rules divine commandments. With this, Rimuru will hopefully come to understand the true weight of being a leader—and learn to think long and hard about the consequences of his every action and word.
• What happened to Shion? Was she captured? Killed? It seems odd that this was the one cliffhanger left unresolved.
• It's nice to hear that Shuna wasn't kidnapped and raped as Shogo planned.
• Is there any proof that killing Myulan would remove the barrier?
• It's clear Falmuth never expected that the humans visiting Tempest would side with the monsters and spread the truth of what happened. This is going to bite them in the ass.
• Rimuru really needs to keep his head down if he wants to win the battle to come. Otherwise, he may find Hinata waiting for him again—and this time ready to go full scorched-earth to finish the job.
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