Review for That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime - Season Two Part One
I’m painfully reminded here of just how dense I am when it comes to anime prognostication. I simply cannot predict which show will be successful, and which will fall flat. Certainly when I first saw That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime, I didn’t think too much of it. I certainly enjoyed it, but it was just another isekai “lost in another world” show, and one that lacked many of the traits that other, popular isekai shows have. And this winter, the feature film spin-off will be distributed in UK cinemas.
There was also the second season that came in between, although once again, Manga/Funimation/Crunchyroll’s release schedules didn’t do the show any favours. Manga Entertainment released the first part of season one in October 2019, while the second part came out in March 2020. Naturally there would be a gap between the first and second seasons given the process of renewal and re-commissioning these shows in Japan. Funimation set the release of Season 2 Part 1 early in 2022, and Part 2 not too long after. But Part 1 got pushed back until May, and Part 2, which was originally set for May, kept being pushed back again and again, until finally, in December, it was released by Crunchyroll. And I had said to myself I wouldn’t start watching Season 2 until I had it all on my shelf. I wonder what the company will be called when they release the movie on Blu-ray?
Satoru Mikami is a 37 year old salaryman, whose life is going great, except for the lack of any kind of relationship. It irks a bit when his co-worker calls him to introduce his new girlfriend, but that doesn’t stop him when a knife-wielding mugger attacks. Satoru intervenes, and gets stabbed. He manages to get his dying wish across, but as his consciousness fades, he hears a strange voice.
Then he wakes up... in a cave... as a slime. The only companion he has is that voice, the voice of the Great Sage still echoing in his mind. But his body is strange, his senses are curtailed, and it seems that all he can do is absorb that which he envelops. But the voice helps him understand his new life, as he explores the cave. It’s when he encounters a dragon trapped in the cave that his horizons begin to expand. No other slime has consciousness, and he’s also not the only out-worlder to come to this world, although reincarnation is unheard of. The dragon, Veldora Tempest becomes his first friend, and he gives the slime a name, Rimuru. Rimuru promises to free the dragon from his magical imprisonment, and that’s the start of an amazing adventure.
12 episodes of That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime Season 2 are presented across two Blu-rays from Funimation in this Part 1 release.
25. Rimuru’s Busy Life
26. Trade With the Animal Kingdom
27. Paradise, Once More
28. The Scheming Kingdom of Falmuth
29. Prelude to the Disaster
30. The Beauty Makes Her Move
33. Putting Everything On The Line
35. Birth of a Demon Lord
36. The One Unleashed
The show gets a 1.78:1 widescreen 1080p transfer, and it’s a good one. The image is clear and sharp, colours are strong and consistent, detail levels are accurately represented, and the only issue is some minor banding during the few darker scenes. That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime is a light-hearted comedy adventure show, so the colours are bright and vivid, the artwork is simple but effective, and the character designs tend to the cute and amiable. The animation is smooth, while effects are used well to establish the expected fantasy tropes.
You have the option of Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround English with a signs only track, and Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Stereo Japanese with translated subtitles, all locked during playback. The audio is fine, the dialogue is clear, the music suits the story well, coupled with a pair of catchy theme songs, and the action comes across well, even in the Japanese stereo version that I watched. The subtitles are accurately timed and free of typos.
You get two discs in a BD Amaray style case, with one on a centrally hinged panel. The sleeve is reversible. There is also a digital code for the show, although given Funimation have shifted to the Crunchyroll platform, I don’t know if the code works anymore. The discs boot to animated menus.
The extras are on disc 2...
Promo Videos (4:52)
Episode 31 Preview (0:37)
Textless Episode 34 – Part B (12:37)
Textless Episode 35 – Part A (9:45)
Textless Episode 35 – Part A (13:58)
It may be the second season of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, but I’m still stuck, trying to figure out just why I like this show. And I do like the show. It’s entertaining, has an interesting enough story, and I enjoy the characters. But the fundamental problem remains; a show with a dramatic premise that lacks for drama. A man dies in our world, and is reincarnated in an RPG fantasy realm as the aforementioned slime, and goes about applying his real world nous to the problems of dealing with goblins and orcs, and dragons and demons. The thing of it is that Rimuru appears to have the walkthrough to this particular ‘game’, and success comes easy to him. Although at first glance it does seem as if Season 2 might actually address this.
Also different from Season 1 is the length of the story arcs... In this release there really is just the one arc, although there are small stories, and character explorations within. As this collection of episodes begins, Rimuru’s still teaching that class of Outworlder orphans, people from ‘our’ world who have also found themselves in the fantasy realm. There’s plenty of bonding and family moments in this story. At the same time, Rimuru’s nation is contacted by the animal kingdom of Eurazania, where monsters combining animal and human traits reside. Led by the Demon Lord Carrion, they want to open trade, although naturally there are some new characters to meet.
A return to the dwarf kingdom is an opportunity to remind us of the show’s premise, a bit more of the world building and character development, but it also introduces the human kingdom of Falmuth, which plays a big part in the story that unfolds in this collection. It’s all about trade to begin with, as Falmuth is threatened by the rise of Rimuru’s nation, They use infiltrators, an alliance with a religious order, and a xenophobic attitude to non-humans to pick a fight with Rimuru, and they do so in the worst way possible.
It’s here that you might feel that there are consequences to Rimuru’s choices, that there is finally drama in the story. That lasts as long it takes for Rimuru to learn that by ascending to a Demon Lord, he’ll have the power of resurrection. And as quickly as that, what little drama the show had introduced vanishes, and a big reset button appears to make things all warm and fuzzy again. On top of that, there is a big price to pay to ascend, and Rimuru doesn’t think twice about paying it, and neither does he suffer the consequences of that choice. It’s just something to do to unlock the next achievement in the game.
By the end of this collection, Rimuru is now a Demon Slime, and both he and his followers have levelled up once more, attained new abilities. He’s even got a new minion at his beck and call, a high ranking Devil that he calls Diablo, and who looks a bit like Sebastian from Black Butler. The next instalment of the show looks like it will have to do with a confrontation between the Demon Lords such as Milim and Carrion, and now Rimuru as well.
I can see the direction of travel for this story, the constant levelling up and attainment of new abilities, much like a video game, which given the genre is appropriate I suppose. But you have to wonder just how much room is left following the Demon Lords. I expect by the end of the next instalment, the Slime will be a god. What saves this show, bereft of drama, is just how fun it is to watch. The stories are entertaining, and the pace and progression of the show never lets you get bored. What actually makes the show is just how enjoyable the characters are, just how likeable the interactions between them are. I do still wonder just why that is enough for me to invest in the show though. The Blu-ray release is as you would expect and hope at this point.
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