I will start this out by admitting, I watched the anime first. I watched it as each episode came out and badly wanted to throw something at the tv every time an episode ending because OMG cliffhangers! This is a completely binge-able anime that I will do up a review on in the near future.
When Wren and I went to Japan for cherry blossom festival in 2019, I had to deep dive Akihabara. We came back with a few neat things, one being That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime Light Novel vol 1 all in Japanese, and a statue of Rimuru. I’ve seen several on the internet with the same pose, but they have wings. I got the one without the wings. To say the least of it, my ability to read Japanese is pretty dodgy and the light novel is kanji heavy, so…yeah, it’s more a decoration than an actual enjoyable read.
Hence, I’m reading the translated manga. Would I read the translated light novel? Oh hell yes if I could find it! Currently though, I have access to the translated manga, so that’s what we’re going to be discussing.
The manga and the anime pair up rather well. The panels for the cave are fascinating the the aspect of representing a pitch black space as actually black space with white outlining, whereas the anime does provide color. I could see where the animation team could have taken some real liberties with artistic stylization, but they didn’t. I watched Soul by Disney a couple weeks ago and there was this section in it where the main character drops through the levels of the quasi-state and there’s a bit of just black & white chromatic art that could have been epic in this anime for this one little area. I’m going off topic though and looking at how the anime could have deviated. I can only imagine the publisher rubbing their temples when they got these manuscript back for approval going “you know how expensive it is going to be for that much ink?”
Proceeding from the cave into the depths of the manuscript’s content, the art style keeps up with the storyline. The pacing has been ironed out. Arcs are to be expected. They however are not belaboured in their length. Enough to provide context for why situations occur, but not so short as to be random disturbances to the function of the main arc.
There is a bit of fan service here and there. Rimuru is written in with a bit of lewdness that comes in with a time and place rather than a constant, and it is never pressed to an extreme. The character pushes for morals and tries to hold themself to those morals more so than some other manga I have read.
Though the beginning of the story opened on the character being a virgin and there’s a bit of revealing clothing here and there, romance itself is not discussed with any length. It’s a subplot of a subplot of a subplot, if at all. More like a couple tangential characters might find themselves in a romantic relationship, but it’s not the focus. This is really a trade-routes relationship development game book with some nice intense combat thrown in for dynamic flavor.
I have to wonder at the stack in character development. The story itself does well in catching potential plot holes and filling them in a timely manner. Rimuru however is an overall nice guy character. They’re easy to accept and let yourself get swept up in the story itself. Thinking heavily though on if they develop in the story, it takes time for them to move out of just another salaryman character deposited in an isekai world and into a fully-rounded character who has substantially integrated into the world. Once the world evolves enough to catch up with who they was as a human, true changes can start occurring.
It’s an interesting idea, slow character development. This type of medium allows for that. Regular one to three book sets don’t have that type of room. Characters have to change rapidly to show their growth. Manga and manwa though can take time to massage out changes in a person’s morals. Their ability to shuffle through the greys between the whites and blacks of a story are part of the enduring quality of medium. In reality, people take a long time to shift some of their perceptions, to arrive at conclusions they otherwise might have opposed if they had to consider a predicament presented to them in three days rather than three years of time span.
This manga has that type of endearing quality to it. Dynamic action, a fast pace, but time still for the character to incrementally evolve into something more than just an over powered slime.
I am a writer and artist working through the Kavordian Library series. I write sci-fi, fantasy, lgbt romance.