That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2
by Richard Eisenbeis,
How would you rate episode 8 of
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (TV 2) ?
“In which our hero decides to kill 10,000 people.”
After skipping Shion's cliffhanger last week, we now learn her fate: she was killed protecting a child. Shion's death is shocking. She is the first of the main characters to die in the series. It's a game-changer for the structure and tone of the story, implying that if a character as beloved and important as Shion can die, anyone can.
Yet, the revelation of Shion's death also exposes the big flaw of the episode: pacing. No sooner have we found out that Shion is dead than we're told that it's possible to bring her back, which robs her death of much of its emotional weight and suggests that even death isn't all that serious of a worry in Rimuru's world. Or to put it another way, it lowers the overall stakes significantly and shatters the tension that the story has been so artfully building this season so far.
Now, even the possibility of reversing Shion's death might not be so bad if we got some character development before that reveal, such as seeing in detail how Rimuru, the townspeople, and the other Kijin process her tragic end. As a wise man said, “How we deal with death is at least as important as how we deal with life.” This is doubly true when it comes to Rimuru, whose only other brush with mortality was Shizu's relatively peaceful death after a long life. Other than that, everything's always worked out perfectly for him since his reincarnation.
Shion's death should have allowed for some serious soul-searching as the feelings of guilt, anger, and sadness rage within him. And while we do get the first hints of this internal turmoil, the time between him finding out about Shion's death and hearing about a way to resurrect her (and all the others who died) is only a matter of minutes. There's simply no time for any personal reflection, much less meaningful growth. Really, the only lesson Rimuru learned from this whole situation is that things will always work out for him in the end. Even death can be overcome.
That said, an interesting seed does come out of this terrible lesson. To resurrect his fallen people, there is a cost: Rimuru must kill 10,000 humans. And conveniently enough, an army of 20,000 humans is marching on his territory at that very moment.
Now, let's be clear about this: by taking the fight outside the barrier, Rimuru and the Kijin could likely end the approaching battle with far fewer deaths—especially since the invading army expects Rimuru to be dead already. However, Rimuru has gone from his rule of not harming humans straight to killing 10,000 in a single day as sacrifices to a magic spell.
This puts the viewer right in the middle of an ethical dilemma. Like Rimuru, we care about Shion, Gabzo, and all the innocent monsters killed in the Falmuth raid. However, this being a medieval setting, the majority of Falmuth's soldiers are likely conscripts (peasants forced into taking up arms by their greedy King) with knights and career soldiers only making up the command structure. This, in turn, means that most of the 10,000 Rimuru plans to kill are as innocent as his own slaughtered people.
So is it right for Rimuru to kill 10,000 to bring back the hundred or so who died just because he was personally responsible for them? Hell, is it right for him to then overthrow an entire country and install his own puppet ruler—especially considering the chaos and rebellions that are sure to follow? Regardless of how evil the King, his council, and the Western Holy Church are, the massive death toll that would result from going through with his plans would make Rimuru unquestionably evil in the eyes of humanity—and perhaps in the eyes of the viewer as well.
• It's a 3% chance to bring everyone back to life!? That's far too high. They need to figure out how to make it a one-in-a-million chance. Then it'll be a sure thing!
• It was a big asshole move on the part of Rimuru's advisors to not immediately inform him of Shion's death. He is the king. It is his job to receive as much information as possible and then make decisions. His advisors, as well-meaning as they no doubt were, don't get to omit information like the third most powerful person in Tempest being killed—especially in the middle of a war.
• Gobta's screams of anguish upon seeing the death of Gobzo echo exactly what Rimuru feels on the inside but was unable to let out.
• I'm not sure you want Youm and Myulan ruling a conquered country. Neither strikes me as politically savvy, and I don't see either being able to rule with an iron fist. Also, how would normal people react to the fact that their new queen is a demon?
• I'm still unclear on how Clayman's heart control works. Is it mind control or simply a hostage situation? Does having Myulan's heart mean Myulan is magically compelled to obey Clayman's orders or is it simply that he will destroy her heart and kill her if she disobeys?
• There's clearly more to Myulan's story than we know. She got something for giving her heart to Clayman (as she is “repaying” him for something). What was it and can it be taken away now that she's betrayed him?
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