That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
by Paul Jensen,
How would you rate episode 15 of
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime ?
Alliances are being forged, monsters are being named, and Rimuru is having another round of adventures in urban planning. Yep, it's that time again in That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime. With the Orc Lord defeated, the first order of business is smoothing out relations between the different monster races and setting up an alliance with Rimuru's group at the center. The new Orc leader inherits the name Geld from the Orc Lord, and both he and Gabiru own up to the decisions their factions have made. That's enough progress to buy Rimuru a little time off, but it's not long before Gazel Dwargo shows up to test Rimuru's character as the leader of this growing monster nation.
It's been a little while since we've had one of these transitional episodes between story arcs, but the basic structure is pretty familiar. As usual, Rimuru manages to ad-lib his way through some potentially tricky negotiations, and once again he ends up in charge whether he wants to be or not. That last bit is actually more important than it sounds; Rimuru's perpetually expanding domain could easily turn into a tiresome case of wish fulfilment, but the fact that he'd really rather not be in charge ensures that the process remains amusing. To some extent, he's not even the star of this sequence, as the moments of forgiveness and redemption between monsters ultimately steal the spotlight. Benimaru and Abiru have every reason to vent their anger at Geld and Gabiru respectively, and yet they both choose not to seek revenge. This carries on the theme of reconciliation that we saw last week, and it lends the episode a little extra emotional appeal.
Gazel Dwargo's return to the story is intriguing on a big-picture level, as he's neither an ally nor an enemy to Rimuru when he first appears. Instead, he's more of a neutral third party acting in the interests of his own nation, which shows that the series is putting some thought into what's going on the world beyond the basic “conflict of the week” stuff. Unfortunately, his brief faceoff with Rimuru feels more obligatory than intense. It's very clearly just a plot device to get the two of them on friendly terms, and it's over too quickly to qualify as a full-on action scene. There might have been more dramatic tension here if Gazel and Rimuru had done more to rile one another up beforehand, but they're both a little too reasonable to let the encounter turn into a real conflict.
The negotiations that follow are also remarkably quick and easy, so much so that we don't even get a real sense of what Gazel's getting out of the deal aside from a lack of hostilities with Rimuru's fledgling nation. On the upside, this treaty has the noteworthy side effect of forcing Rimuru to give that nation a name. It doesn't make a huge difference in the moment, but it carries some potentially serious implications in the long term. Just as naming monsters causes them to evolve, naming the country ramps up the consequences of any choices Rimuru makes as its leader. It formalizes the notion that he's responsible for whatever happens to the folks under him, and it emphasizes the fact that any mistakes he makes will affect a lot of people. That's a lot of weight to put on a slime's shoulders, and I'm curious to see if it will affect Rimuru's character arc at all.
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime has gone through enough of these in-between episodes that their level of quality has gotten pretty consistent. As you might expect, this isn't the most thrilling part of the series, but it's handled reasonably well. Geld and Gabiru lend a more emotional side to the negotiations, and Rimuru's increased responsibility means there's more pressure on him than ever to make the right decisions. The question now is whether or not this world has any worthy challenges left to throw at our heroes. How do you top a rampaging army of cannibal Orcs?
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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