That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
by Paul Jensen,
How would you rate episode 6 of
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime ?
The problem with leading a bunch of Hobgoblins and Tempest Wolves is that you actually have to govern the place when you're not out adventuring. With Rimuru now back in the Goblin village with his team of Dwarven craftsmen in tow, the place is starting to look like a proper town with a substantial population. Rimuru's adventures in civic planning are soon interrupted by the arrival of some unexpected visitors: a party of human adventurers. The members of this scouting team are more than a little surprised to find this bustling village of monsters, but Rimuru is in for a shock of his own. One of the party members is Shizu, the Japanese girl who appeared in his crystal ball fortune earlier in the series. While she has managed to retain her human form in this new world, it looks like her journey up to this point has been far harder than Rimuru's, and something may be amiss with her powerful abilities.
Much like the first half of the Dwarven kingdom trip, this episode is a leisurely start to a new story arc. There's not much in the way of conflict, or at least nothing with serious dramatic implications. Instead, we get a chance to check in on how the various races are working together to build up the village. This opens the door for some amusing little details and jokes, including a clever acknowledgement that Rimuru and company totally forgot about Gobta when they left Dwargon. Gobta himself is an endearingly goofy character, clearly not the sharpest tool in the shed but either resourceful or lucky enough to stumble his way into and out of trouble. The commentary on Rimuru's opinion of him is well delivered, as is the casual, understated addition of five hundred new Goblins, who Rimuru duly knocks himself out naming. There's a comforting sense of routine here as the show revisits some running jokes, like Rigurd's ongoing evolution, and that contributes to the impression that this village is now “home” for the various groups that have gathered there.
It's also kind of fun to see the adventuring trio from Veldora's cave again, though they're actually treated as characters this time around instead of nameless extras. Kaval and his party have surprisingly good chemistry considering that their sole purpose in this story is to set up the encounter between Shizu and Rimuru. Their interactions quickly create the impression that the three of them have been working together for a while, and have developed a sort of combative camaraderie along the way. No one's going to mistake them for main characters any time soon, and that's kind of the point; they're just ordinary adventurers trying to make a living without getting killed and eaten by monsters. This is another instance of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime doing more than just the bare minimum when it comes to developing its minor characters, and that little bit of extra effort pays off by making the show's world feel more alive. Just as Vesta turned out to be more than just a scheming minister last week, Kaval and company are more than just Shizu's disposable traveling companions.
As for Shizu herself, it seems like there's more going on with her than we've seen up to this point. Her battle with the giant ants suggests that her powers are either extremely taxing or unstable, and the show is making too big a deal of her mask for it to just be a character design gimmick. Her physical appearance is also suspicious; while she's aged a bit, she looks far too young for someone who was alive during World War II. For now, though, all of this is just foreshadowing, coupled with some less-than-subtle reminders that Rimuru is “destined” to meet Shizu. In the context of this episode, she's a quiet but likable girl who has a sweet little conversation with Rimuru on top of a hill. It looks like we'll be getting more of her backstory in the near future, and the early hints point to something far less pleasant than waking up as a slime and becoming best buddies with a dragon. I'm curious to see how the series will handle that, but the successful moments of drama in previous episodes are reason enough to be optimistic.
“Slime has a lovely conversation with some scrappy adventurers” is never going to be the premise of a thrilling episode, but it does at least make for an enjoyable viewing experience. Thanks to a good eye for humorous details and a knack for developing likable minor characters, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime is able to take its time without feeling like it's getting bogged down. Rimuru's first encounter with Shizu raises some intriguing questions and sets up a potentially compelling storyline, so the series should be in good shape as long as it follows through on that potential. As setup episodes go, this one's not too shabby.
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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