I don’t like isekai. I know I don’t like isekai. If not for some kind words thrown at this series that led me to believe it broke some of the tropes embodied by the genre, I wouldn’t bother with it. I gave it a shot, and for a while, it was true. It focused much less on the self-indulgence of flaunting one’s OP-ness and more on building a fantasy world full of dozens of interesting creatures and personalities.
Until it didn’t.
I’m gonna explain something about myself that I’ve found to be true for the most part when it comes to fiction: I like fundamentals. A steady, progressive process of building something from the ground up, until it becomes something worth following/caring about. Like taking a LEGO set and following the instructions step-by-step to create something special. For me, it wasn’t always about what I was building, but the fact that I took the time to build it. In a similar sense, it’s the adventure, not the destination. Isekai series do not give a shit about this. Sort of. Kind of. It depends.
To clarify, I didn’t drop this series early on. I got all the way to episode fifteen, over halfway through! And that is because the first seven episodes of Slime are pretty good. To see our slime hero be transported to this fantasy world and having him figure out all of his capabilities and build into this invincible force is fairly engrossing. The goofiness attributed to it all also helps in taking the heat off any indication that the series should be taken seriously. Meeting with the goblins and eventually recruiting some dwarven allies were also entertaining, if not a little wholesome.
What killed the series for me was after this point, particularly when the ogre group was introduced. What makes this extra unfortunate is that the lizardmen arc, which came after the short ogre arc (or blended in?), was also decent in parts. But it was the arrival of these ogres that pushed the self-indulgence factor over the top and into the harem-ecchi category. Not to say it didn’t happen before, just that it went overboard once our slimy hero got a… “secretary.”
Y’see, the ogres-turned-kijin were an exaggeration of what had already been occurring. Within the series, the slimy hero can give monsters names (with the cost of magic or something) that allows them to evolve into stronger beings. When he named the goblins, they turned into big, muscular beasts, while the women became… sexy. When he named the ogres, they went from slightly-human-esque beings to… sexy human-esque beings. Why is it that the series seems to be sending a message that everything even remotely humanoid needs to be sexy? They even allow the slimy hero to obtain a human form, which makes the harem potential obtainable (who would fuck a slime other than pokémon?) and adds fuel to the fire. It feels disingenuous.
From an isekai standpoint, the hero’s journey in the beginning was more fun to follow because he was still testing his powers and fiddling with how to manage in the world around him. Once he obtained his human form, he seemed immediately adequate in practically everything, most notably in battle. He already was, granted, but it seemed even more so during battles starting with the ogres. His battle with the Orc Lord was especially cringey, if only for how comically overpowered he and his team was and how their dialogue was just over the level of “psshh… nothin personnel… kid…”
Not to mention the amount of convenience rewarded to the protagonist almost immediately, destroying any need for improvement when you’re born with the abilities of a god. The series could’ve compensated for this by making him a dopey leader, or a terrible decision-maker, or a giant asshole. True to the isekai genre, though, he has no weakness except for an early ignorance to the world he suddenly transported to. Once that wears off, the formula’s easy: Threat appears → Let them be menacing → Slimy hero defeats them with no issues/pad out the inevitable victory by making it seem like the hero might be challenged, but actually isn’t because OP. Kind of like One-Punch Man, except that was satirical, which this isn’t. Once that took hold, most else became fairly boring, if not irritating.
To reiterate, I like the fundamentals. I like when things are built towards, and given a reasonable amount of time to justify the end result. It needs to feel earned. Whatever argument one can make about the hero’s process of building a village of different races can be countered with the fact that it was easy as fuck to do so in the first place. This is likely why I enjoy Metroidvania games so fondly, which typically requires a player to start as a lowly warrior and collectively obtain power-ups/weapons to make them more powerful as the journey goes on. Can these games work if you’re overpowered from the start? Maybe; hence why Dynasty Warriors is popular. Except I was never fond of Dynasty Warriors past a short stint of hollowed frenzy. That’s pretty much what Slime is… after a point.
Pretty unfortunate that it had to go down the path that so many others did. For all the critical shots I took, I was willing to forgive it for the progress it was making with its first quarter of episodes. It wasn’t until two of the female kijin began fighting for slimy hero’s attention did my eyes glaze over in that familiar “End me” aura, effectively dooming the series from my perspective. To top it off, it even did the “haha the female kijin is bad at cooking and the slimy hero has to try and eat a disgusting abomination that she whipped up to please him oh no” garbage I am soooooooo tired of seeing. And Slime, just because you acknowledge something is a trope doesn’t mean it’s suddenly okay to do it ad nauseam. That debatably makes it worse. A pretty good series for isekai fans, but to claim it’s much better or different from those within the genre is something I disagree with.
Thank you for your time. Have a great day.